Republican Party Raising Cash for Kelly
Emails from 4th District Republican chairman Bob Spindell shows how partisan the race is.
At Tuesday’s heated debate between liberal Janet Protasiewicz and conservative Dan Kelly in the race for the state Supreme Court, Kelly criticized Protasiewicz for “accepting millions” from the Wisconsin Democratic Party, accused her of being “bought and paid for” by the party and said he would not accept millions from the state Republican Party.
Apparently he hasn’t shared his position with the state Republican Party’s Fourth Congressional District, whose chairman Bob Spindell on March 17 invited all Republicans in the district to attend a fundraiser for Kelly. “Dan is holding a fundraiser Monday, March 20th, 2023 in Waukesha,” he wrote in an email, urging party members to attend the affair, with donation levels starting at $100 and topping out at $20,000.
That came just six days after Spindell invited “ALL REPUBLICANS & CONSERVATIVES” to attend a “Conservative Grassroots Workshop” to “Learn how to win our State For Dan Kelly!” with “Guest Speaker Scott Presler” on Monday, March 13, 2023 at the Greendale Hose Tower in Greendale.
One day before that Spindell sent out an email to Fourth District Republicans with the message “Save the Wis Supreme Court- Come to Make Sure Dan Kelly is Elected! Volunteer on this Saturday, Mar. 11,” at the Republican Party office at 801 S. 108th St. in Milwaukee.
It’s hardly surprising that the Party is involved in campaigning for Kelly. He has a history of working for and with the Party. In his unsuccessful campaign for the Supreme Court in 2020, Kelly used the state Republican Party’s office as his campaign headquarters. And state GOP staff are providing communication and research help for his race, along with raising campaign donations, both from a state and local level at the urging of GOP leaders like Spindell.
Then there is all the paid partisan work Kelly has done for the state Republican Party in past years, including getting paid nearly $120,000 over a period of two years by the state party and the Republican National Committee for work on election-related issues, including advising state party leaders on their failed effort to cast false Electoral College votes for then-President Donald Trump. Kelly’s statement of economic interest shows he also did partisan work for three other partisan groups, the Wisconsin Examiner reported, including writing a manual urging Republican lawmakers to conduct more investigations similar to the widely criticized review of the 2020 election conducted by Michael Gableman.
The reality is that both candidates are getting heavy support from the two political parties. Protosiewicz has gotten more money, but has also pledged to recuse herself from any cases before the court involving the Democratic Party. Kelly has made no promise to recuse, though he has been paid to do partisan work for the Republican Party. Whereas Protasiewicz has not done past partisan work for the Democratic Party.
In short, this race has from the beginning been a clear contest between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans and any pretense of a nonpartisan election has long since been obliterated.