Friday, September 21, 2012

Milwaukee Police Identified Two Individuals Caught Passing Out Campaign Flyers Defaming Former Alderman Witkowiak

Juan Carlos Ruiz

Two individuals admitted they were paid to pass campaign flyers in Milwaukee's Southside deemed defamatory against Alderman James Witkowiak. In an effort to get Witkowiak ousted from office and elect José G. Pérez as Alderman in the 12th District.

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 21, 2012

Milwaukee, WI - After an open records request by Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA), the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) released a Memorandum filed by Second Police District Station Sergeant James Bunker regarding electioneering complaint in the last April elections. The memorandum by Sgt. Bunker stated, that he met up with Officer Doug Lemke on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 7:55 p.m. in 1300 block of W. Greenfield Ave. to investigate an electioneering complaint by several people who were allegedly placing illegal flyers on vehicles in the area.
The complainant was identified as Khaled A. Abidalrahim who worked for then Alderman James "Jim" Witkowiak. Witkowiak was running for re-election in the district. 
Two individuals, Richard N. Lopez and Anna Macias were identified by Sgt. Bunker who were passing out flyers for a group called Citizens for a Stronger South Side (CSSS) with an address of 523 W. Mitchell St. That address was not a listed address, according to Sgt. Bunker. But the address was a property belonging to Alderman Witkowiak, city records show. 
The literature in the flyers accused Alderman Witkowiak of taking money from business owners and also alleged corruption, which was deemed defamatory and untrue by the Witkowiak campaign.
Both Lopez and Macias admitted to Sgt. Bunker that Juan Carlos Ruiz, who was known to support Candidate for Alderman José G. Pérez had paid them to pass and place the questionable CSSS flyers on vehicles. Pérez had never admitted or commented to accusations that he actually knew the CSSS flyers were going to be distributed by Ruiz.
Neither Lopez, Macias or Ruiz were ever cited for passing out the CSSS flyers in April, according to Anne E. Schwartz, Communications Director for MPD.
In April, police confiscated about 120 orange flyers for inventory at District 2, after hundreds had already been distributed in the 12 Aldermanic District. The defamatory CSSS flyers might have cost Alderman Witkowiak his seat.
There are about 65,000 residents, including 15,000 registered voters in the 12th Aldermanic District. Pérez won by 1,290 votes compared to Witkowiak who received 1,204 votes.

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