Bruce Murphy
Back in the News

Spindell Defends Himself, Spins His Comments

He sends media softening language not in his original email about suppressing votes.

By - Jan 12th, 2023 01:03 pm
Wisconsin Elections Commissioner Robert Spindell speaks at a Stop the Steal rally in December 2020. Henry Redman/Wisconsin Examiner.

Wisconsin Elections Commissioner Robert Spindell speaks at a Stop the Steal rally in December 2020. Henry Redman/Wisconsin Examiner.

On Monday Urban Milwaukee published a column, “GOP Leader Thrilled to Suppress City Vote,” which quoted an email message sent on Jan. 2 to Republicans in the 4th Congressional District by district chair Robert Spindell bragging about the party’s efforts to suppress the vote in predominantly minority neighborhoods.

“We can be especially proud of the City of Milwaukee (80.2% Dem Vote) casting 37,000 less votes than cast in the 2018 election with the major reduction happening in the overwhelming Black and Hispanic areas,” he wrote.

Since Spindell is also a member of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, this comment has caused outrage from Democrats, calling for Spindell to step down from the commission, and coverage by the media across the state. In an effort to defend himself, Spindell sent the media an entirely different, undated four-page memorandum he says he also wrote and which Wispolitics has published. It has a very different tone from from the Jan. 2 memo quoted by Urban Milwaukee. The AP story offers this quote from that memorandum:

“The Democratic candidates were unable to obtain — even though they really tried hard — the votes they needed, expected and demanded from the Black Community. There is still a great deal of much more concentrated work we need to do in the Black and Hispanic Communities by continuing to show how the Democratic Elected Officials and Candidates are not watching out for the livelihoods of the people who live in these areas and the Republicans can.”

The Journal Sentinel story by Molly Beck chooses not to quote the line from Spindell’s Jan. 2 email crowing about reducing the vote in “overwhelmingly Black and Hispanic neighborhoods” and the paper ran a headline saying “he was proud of a lower turnout in Milwaukee.” (The AP headline, by contrast, says “he bragged about GOP efforts in 2022 to suppress voters… in areas with Black and Hispanic populations.”)

The JS story quoted  this from the memorandum Spindell prefers the media to discuss:

“We must remember, in the strategy of things, it is often extremely difficult & hard to convert a hard core, long term generation type Democrat to all of a sudden, bring himself or herself around to vote for a Republican. However, by our Republican efforts, pointing out strongly, how the Democrat Candidates are worse than or certainly no better than their perception of the Republican Candidates, at all levels, they hopefully cannot bring themselves to vote for either one.

“In a Democrat City or Democrat County where up to 80% of the people are voting for the Democrats – that’s a good thing and helped insure that Sen. Johnson got over the goal line.”

None of those softening paragraphs quoted by the AP and JS are in the Jan. 2 email that Urban Milwaukee quoted from. Here is the memo from Spindell in its entirety:


On behalf of the Wis 4th Congressional District Republican Party Executive Committee – see list of Executive Committee Members below – I wish you a Very Happy & Prosperous New Year! And, we wish to thank you and all our many, many hard working and conscientious volunteers, candidates and paid staff who devoted so much of their time and effort to this election.

We had a hard fought but really a successful November 2022 Election Year with the Re-Election of Sen. Ron Johnson, the Election of a new WI Republican Congressman, Derrick Van Orden; picked up three Dem Assembly and one Dem State Senate Seat to give us a Super Majority in the State Senate.

Republicans – remember Michigan had a Republican Governor only 4 years ago – lost both the MI Assembly & Senate to the Dems with the incumbent Dem Governor beating her Republican opponent by over 500,000 votes. Only one incumbent Governor (NV) in the entire USA – he shut down Las Vegas – was defeated & by a very popular incumbent Republican large County Sheriff. There was no USA National “Red Wave.”

In the City of Milwaukee, with the 4th Congressional District Republican Party working very closely with the RPW, RNC, Republican Assembly & Senate Campaign Committees, Statewide Campaigns and RPMC in the Black and Hispanic areas, we can be especially proud of the City of Milwaukee (80.2% Dem Vote) casting37,000 less votes than cast in the 2018 election with the major reduction happening in the overwhelming Black and Hispanic areas.

Promoting the Republican “Cares” Message; pointing out the many flaws of the Democrat Candidates; coupled with a Lack of Interest, persuaded many voters not to vote. All of this contributed to this great and important decrease in Democrat votes in the City through this well thought out multi-facetted plan below including:

  • Our extremely Visible and Billboard type Republican Black & Hispanic Location Offices.
  • Running great Republican Candidates in Dem Congressional, Senate & Assembly Districts.
  • Long term & continuing 2X week Black Radio Republican talk show.
  • Biting Black Radio Negative Commercials run last few weeks of the election cycle straight at Dem Candidates.
  • Black & Hispanic Republican oriented events.
  • Sen. Johnson’s great interest & continued availability in Black & Hispanic areas and with programs.
  • A substantial & very effective Republican Coordinated Election Integrity program resulting with lots of Republican paid Election Judges & trained Observers & extremely significant continued Court Litigation.
  • Significant Reduction of Unfavorable Rulings / Guidance from the Wisconsin Election Commission.
  • WI Election Commission’s willingness to help solve Republican encountered problems.
  • More details to come later!

We of your RPW 4th Cong District Executive Committee, will continue to work very hard and smart to do the great deal of important work that must be done as we approach this Extremely Important Supreme Court Race in April and then the Presidential, US Senate, Congressional, Assembly & Senate Races in 2024.

Again, Happy New Year as We Look Forward to
A Great & Successful 2023 & 2024!


Bob Spindell
RPW 4th Congressional District
1626 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee, WI  53202
414-276-6331 /

Your RPW 4th District Congressional Executive Committee
Chair – Bob Spindell
1st Vice chair – Doug Haag
Secretary – Pat Prudlow
Treasurer & Parliamentarian – James McFarland
RPMC North Shore Branch – Laurie Wolf, Chair
RPMC North Branch – Orlando Owens, Chair
RPMC South Branch – Darlene Wink, Chair
RPMC Wauwatosa Branch – Cheryl Berdan, Chair
RPMC West Allis Branch – Natalie Zebian, Chair

Seven days after writing this email bragging about suppressing the Black vote, Spindell wrote an invitation to Republicans inviting them to a reception for The Republican Party of Wisconsin-African American Council, which will be hosted by the group’s chairman Gerard Randall, with a suggested donation level of $500 to $10,000. It is being held Thursday evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen. “The African American Council is comprised of African American Republican Leaders whose goals are to present the GOP message to the African American Community,” the invitation noted.

What exactly that message is was not described.

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6 thoughts on “Back in the News: Spindell Defends Himself, Spins His Comments”

  1. GodzillakingMKE says:

    He is a racist pig. A seditious traitor.

  2. GodzillakingMKE says:

    Republicans do nothing for anybody unless you’re rich!

  3. Jeffrey Martinka says:

    It appears that Robert Spindell needs to take a remedial class in civics and the ideals of American government. Perhaps he has forgotten key elements of our system of democratic governance, based on the votes of our citizens.

  4. says:

    It is amazing that people vote for leaders who want to suppress votes. The Republican party is so scared of losing that they have to stoop to cheating. As DT would say, Sad.

  5. DKD says:

    Bob Spindell was a very, very visible supporter of Jeanetta Robinson who ran Career Youth Development. Bob was once a very visible supporter of the Black community at events. Now he is taking the racist low road,
    Was his past just hype for visibility?

  6. RetiredResident says:

    Saying the quiet part out loud.

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