Monday, April 2, 2012

Pérez Responds To Allegations Of Engaging In Racist, Dirty And Sleezy Campaigning Against Alderman Witkowiak

José G. Pérez

Candidate Pérez is "not proud" about his supporters engaging in negative campaigning, but seems to condone their actions as a last resort to oust Alderman Witkowiak from office, according to south side Latino residents that support Witkowiak, who has a large base of Hispanic following.

By H. Nelson Goodson
April 2, 2012

Milwaukee - On late Sunday, candidate José G. Pérez running in the 12th Aldermanic District released a statement and responded to Facebook supporters negative online discussions. Pérez sated, "I am not proud that some of our supporters have been goaded into saying things they shouldn’t have. The use of a derogatory term is never okay, even as a response to a threat of violence...Those in the community who are fiercely resisting change have made racist, libelous and violent accusations against our supporters in recent days. Their accusations about our supporters have no merit, and ignore the racist comments they themselves have made, and the violence they have threatened." Pérez came short of saying, he didn't condone their actions, but seems to actually accept such negative action and behavior by his supporters as a quest to oust Alderman James "Jim" N. Witkowiak from office.
Witkowiak has been singled out by Pérez campaign manager Sachin Chheda and his supporters for being "White." Pérez is of Puerto Rican descent.
Chheda has also been accused of making false allegations that Witkowiak has been taking money on deals and that the Milwaukee County District Attorney is conducting an investigation, which Chheda has failed to provide any proof to substantiate his allegations. He even exposed the felony record of Witkowiak's campaign manager Natalia Santamaria as an attempt to discredit Witkowiak for providing a high profile job opportunity to a felon. Chheda later apologized three times for doing so. Chheda is also the Chairman of the Milwaukee County Democratic Party and faced a backlash in Facebook after he blatantly targeted Santamaria for being a felon and for having a job.
Chheda apparently targeted Santamaria after he became upset when he was identified as a non-Hispanic managing candidate Pérez' campaign for Alderman in the 12th District. Chheda later apologized to Santamaria in Facebook for bringing up her past. "I admit when I'm wrong. It was a cheap shot and I don't know her, so I apologize," Chheda wrote.
Santamaria was convicted after her domestic partner Madison attorney Victor M. Arellano filed charges shortly after they broke up their relationship. Arellano accused Santamaria for signing his name on checks to pay his bills for almost three years. Arellano allowed Santamaria to sign his name on personal checks to pay his bills off during the relationship. If they would have been married, she would have never been charged for signing his checks to pay bills, according to Santamaria. She pleaded guilty after a plea agreement was reached to move on with her life. Santamaria was given probation by Dane County Judge Daniel Moser. Moser apparently appointed Arellano as a Dane County Court Commissioner and during Santamaria's trial Judge Moser failed to disclose his conflict of interest by knowing Arellano. Moser since Santamaria's case has retired.
She claimed that the domestic relationship with Arellano was an abusive relation for years. Santamaria had tried to get a restraining order against Arellano after she and her son were being stalked by Arrellano. But a judge who knew Arellano didn't believe her allegations and refused to grant the restraining order against Arellano, Santamaria said.
The investigating officer from the Dane County Sheriff's Department in the Santamaria check forging case was Deputy Dave J. Mahoney, who knew Arellano for years. Arellano personally sent the Santamaria case to Mahoney to investigate, which the county had no jurisdiction to investigate, rather the case should had been handled by the Madison Police Department, in which a Dane County District Attorney confirmed, it wouldn't have been prosecuted due to the domestic living arrangements Arellano and Santamaria shared.
Arellano even contributed campaign funds to Mahoney several times totalling $1,500 to $2,000 between April 2006 to October 2006 when he ran for Dane County Sheriff in April 2006. Mahoney was elected as Dane County Sheriff while investigating Santamaria, according to Santamaria.
On January 3, 2012, Santamaria and three other women filed a misconduct complaint against Arellano with the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR). The OLR filed a 14 count disciplinary complaint against Arellano with the state Supreme Court. The complaint revealed and alleged that Arellano targeted Hispanic women, who were experiencing divorce, other legal issues and were vulnerable at the time when he took advantage and engaged in sexual relationships while he represented them. He got one of the victims pregnant and filed a false INS application seeking legal residency and excluded the fact that she was having his child. A DNA test proved Arellano was the father, according to the OLR complaint. (Complaint (PDF) copy at link:
The OLR is seeking to revoke Arellano's law practice license. The victims testified in court and are now waiting for the Judge's decision whether to revoke Arellano's law license, which the decision could come within the next 15 days.
The race issue was initiated by the Pérez campaign in an attempt to use race as a factor to get elected instead of experience and economic development accomplishments in the 12th District, according to Witkowiak.
Witkowiak says, "I think from the beginning of this campaign, I have been defending myself for not being Latino. I sincerely do not believe it is a relevant point to take up. I think this has been racist. I have shown a consistent record of bringing positive change to the 12th Aldermanic District: new development, beautification, new jobs, cleaner and safer streets. I know that in these challenging economic times, I can still bring more to OUR community.
"I am offended and angered that José Pérez's #2 person, Felix Questell publicly used RACIAL language associated slavery (n----) on FB last night; and that Pérez's public statement addressing this issue (and other recent negative acts by his campaign) was to say that these awful acts were a result of his people being baited to use offensive language (Of course not!!). This is just one more example on Pérez's personality traits and of avoiding responsibility and avoiding the tough questions: We have all heard Pérez's long list of complaints, but he has never given any direct plan on how to address these - I have a firm history of bringing positive change. I support a parent's choice to choose the best school option for their children. I support and have experience in development and job creation. I have the suppor of our Council Leaders and Mayor. I have already established a great positive working relationship with our new District 2 Police Captain. I have established experience and proven results."
The General Election is Tuesday, April 3rd.

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