Jeramey Jannene
City Hall

Group Wants Lena Taylor for Mayor

Mysterious group holding mayoral fundraiser for her. But Taylor wants nothing to do with it.

By - Aug 28th, 2019 03:04 pm
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Lena Taylor. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

Lena Taylor. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

State Senator Lena Taylor is happy people are interested in her potential campaign for mayor, but she’s far from pleased they’re using her name to fundraise.

“I don’t want to be unappreciative of the support, but there are appropriate ways to fundraise,” said Taylor in an interview with Urban Milwaukee.

A Citizens for Lena C. Taylor for Mayor rally, planned for September 22nd by Shine a Light MKE, currently lists admission options ranging from $10 to $500.

“We are just trying to grow awareness,” said Shine a Light MKE’s Marcus Duke in an interview with Urban Milwaukee. Duke is serving as the treasurer of what he says is an independent political action committee.

“I don’t know the gentleman,” said Taylor. But Duke insists that Taylor must know him for his work in the community. He led an organization called Club Kids that focuses on youth programming, though state records show the organization was administratively dissolved in 2018. Duke told Urban Milwaukee that if Taylor doesn’t know him she’s not doing her job, rather sharp criticism of someone he’s backing for mayor.

The activist said Shine a Light is within its legal rights as a political action committee to raise funds to support a candidate, even without their consent. But it’s unclear if the entity is a political action committee. A federal employer identification number was provided for the organization by Duke, but it does not appear in any public databases and is not listed as registered with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Duke said the organization does not have to register with the state until certain fundraising levels are hit.

The event location is currently listed as 333 W. Brown Deer Rd., a storefront in suburban Bayside, but Duke said that’s just a tentative location. “Still working on that,” he told Urban Milwaukee. Proceeds from the event would be used to bring more awareness to the effort including flyers and potentially yard signs, said Duke.

But why go through all the work, even if Taylor doesn’t want it? “We are not raising funds for her, we are fundraising to drive awareness,” said Duke. “For me personally, I’m just sick of the same old, same old across the board.”

As for whether Taylor is actually running for mayor, she told Urban Milwaukee an announcement is coming in the future.

A primary for mayor would be held in February 2020 if three or more candidates register. The general election will be held in April 2020.

Urban Milwaukee first reported on the effort to draft Taylor in May.

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Categories: City Hall, Politics

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