Friday, August 18, 2006

Smoking gun shows Reynolds

campaign is behind smear effort

The malicious smear effort by the campaign operatives of State Sen. Tom Reynolds (R-Loonytoons) continues.

Reynolds' team now denies it is behind the false charges against his opponent, Jim Sullivan -- charges of double voting which they know are false, and which were investigated and discredited years ago.

But the current round of charges, which I first reported Monday night, come directly from Reynolds' campaign manager, J.J. Blonien, and his campaign consultant, Bob Dohnal.

And I have the smoking gun.

Bear with me; it will take some exposition.

I first learned of the Reynolds smear Monday night in an e-mail from Bob Dohnal, a key player and consultant in the Reynolds campaign. Dohnal sent an e-mail to a long list of bloggers and GOP activists. I am on his blogger list, for reasons known only to him.

The e-mail from Dohnal -- with a subject line "Senate candidates (sic) Jim Sullivan double votes" -- simply forwarded a message from Blonien with a document attached.

------ Forwarded Message
From: JJ []
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2006 11:01:21 -0500
Subject: Public forum letter

Here's the attachment, a letter to the editor of the Wauwatosa weekly:
August 14, 2006

Wauwatosa News Times
Public forum:

I read with great interest the recent news reports regarding a complaint file with the Waukesha County District Attorney that alleges 7th District State Senate candidate Donovan Riley, voted twice in the same election.

Waukesha County DA Paul Bucher responded to the complaint by immediately opening up a preliminary investigation on August 14, 2006, which could result into a full criminal probe into the actions by state Senate Candidate Donovan Riley for allegedly voting twice.

There was a similar complaint filed in March 2000, with the Milwaukee County District Attorney alleging that Wauwatosa Alderman James O. Sullivan voted twice in the November 5, 1996 presidential election. As usual, Milwaukee County DA E. Michael McCann refused to file any charges.

I have obtained the voting records from the Village of Whitefish Bay, and the City of Wauwatosa. The records clearly show that on November 5, 1996, James Sullivan (with the same birth date) voted in Whitefish Bay, and in Wauwatosa.

Like Riley, Sullivan is also a candidate for the State Senate — running against Sen. Tom Reynolds in the 5th District. Like Riley, Sullivan is accused of having voted twice in an election. Unlike Riley, Sullivan was not vigorously investigated, and was given a free pass.

The records clearly show that Sullivan voted twice in the November 1996 election. Voters in the 5th District should ask why the same justice was not served in Milwaukee County, for the nearly identical crime, by a person who is also running for the State Senate.

(For the record, I have attached copies of the voting records from Whitefish Bay and Wauwatosa)

Very Sincerely,

Stan Zurawski
Zurawski is a perennial losing candidate for Tosa mayor, a fruitcake who spends his spare time trying to cover up the mannequins at Victoria's Secret at Mayfair Mall.

Thursday, WisPolitics covered the smear campaign in its "Milwaukee Notes" feature distributed by a-mail, with a story saying:
Jim Sullivan’s campaign manager says the Dem state Senate candidate is considering legal action against those who have resurrected allegations that he voted twice in 1996 – charges that the Milwaukee County DA’s office rejected after an investigation in 2000.

Lewis Rosser, Sullivan’s campaign manager, said Sullivan has consulted with his attorney, who sent a warning to several people in 2000 warning them to cease spreading the allegations or they would face legal actions.

“It’s on the table on what would be the appropriate action to take right now,” Rosser said, adding there was no timetable to make a decision...

J.J. Blonien, campaign manager for GOP Sen. Tom Reynolds, told WisPolitics that although he provided photocopies of the documents to a constituent, the campaign was not involved in any attack on Sullivan.

“It’s not coming from the campaign,” Blonien said. “It’s coming from residents in the district that have concerns.”

“I was not involved in this at all other than the fact that when Stan (Zurawski) called me asked me if I had copies of the records, I just sent him copies of the records,” Blonien said.

“I’ve not sent out any material attacking Sullivan. That’s not in our game plan. Our game plans not to mention him at all. We do not plan on doing any attacks on anybody,” Blonien said. “That’s not our style.”
Still with me? OK. After I saw that story, I went back to the letter from Zurawski, which Blonien originated, and which Dohnal forwarded, to all of those bloggers and news reporters.

The letter is a Microsoft Word document, which means you can click on "Properties" to see when the document was prepared -- and by whom.

Enough suspense. You can guess where this is going. The "Zurawski" letter was composed on Aug. 14, the document says, and the author was J.J.Blonien. Let's revisit his statement:
“I was not involved in this at all other than the fact that when Stan (Zurawski) called me asked me if I had copies of the records, I just sent him copies of the records,” Blonien said.
Basically, Blonien wrote the letter, got Zurawski to sign it, and gave him the discredited documents the DA's office said were "unreliable and valueless" the first time the charges were made six years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if Blonien mailed it for him, too.

I was going to rest my case there, but then I got yet another e-mail from Dohnal Thursday afternoon. (Besides working on the Reynolds campaign together, Dohnal is the publisher and Blonien the editor of the Wisconsin Conservative Digest.) Here's part of it:
If you take a survey of what people want in their government representatives, ethics and honesty are the two most important things they site.(sic) However that is not what most legislators get elected on and those that really have those qualities, like a Sen. Tom Reynolds catch holy hell from both sides...

Locally in the Milwaukee area we have two cases of double voting of liberal democratic challengers that threatens the liberal takeover of the state senate...

Against Sen. Tom Reynolds is challenger Atty. Jim Sullivan a tool of the unions with a bad record on education and taxes. Records clearly show that he voted twice in Nov. 1996 but he claims it was his father, James Sr....

No wonder the poor GOP cannot win if all the democrats get to vote twice. Reynolds wins this one going away as any fair person will highly doubt Sullivan's story...
Dohnal's piece was entitled, "Ethics and Honesty." I wonder if he's heard of irony.

Reynolds campaign still in denial.


At 3:47 PM, Blogger Interloper said...

This is beautiful reporting work. Where are the mainstream journalists on this one?


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