The Republican Party of Wisconsin asked the Wisconsin Ethics Commission on Thursday to investigate Democratic congressional candidate Thomas Palzewicz regarding alleged campaigning while conducting a seminar for the Milwaukee County Department of Aging.
First reported by WISN’s Mark Belling on August 1, Palzewicz allegedly asked Milwaukee County employees to vote for him during the seminar. Palzewicz is the Democratic candidate in Wisconsin’s Fifth Congressional District, a seat currently held by Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.
The Republican complaint to the Ethics Commission alleges Palzewicz violated state campaign finance law by asking county employees for contributions when they were working on official county business. The complaint also alleges Palzewicz violated state public employment laws when he engaged in political activity while working for the county.
“Tom Palzewicz still hasn’t given voters any explanation for his blatant violation of the law and this total misuse of taxpayer dollars – his silence speaks volumes,” said Executive Director Mark Morgan. “Since he won’t offer an explanation, the Wisconsin Ethics Commission must immediately investigate this matter and hold Palzewicz accountable for his actions.”
According to the report by Belling, Palzewicz is a partner with an Elm Grove consulting firm named Action Coach. Palzewicz was conducting a mandatory training session for Department of Aging employees when he asked them to visit his website and vote for him in November. The department’s Director Holly Davis sent an email to the staff apologizing for Palzewicz’ conduct and then reported it to Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, who then notified the state Ethics and Elections Commissions.
When it was first reported, Republicans called upon the responsible agencies in Milwaukee County to investigate.
“The Milwaukee County District Attorney and the Milwaukee County Board of Ethics must immediately investigate the Palzewicz campaign to determine if the law was broken, and Tom Palzewicz should explain to the voters of the Fifth Congressional District why he thinks it’s alright to campaign on the taxpayer’s dime,” said Morgan. “This is completely unacceptable, and Palzewicz must be held accountable for his actions.”
However, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat known for his role in the unconstitutional John Doe investigation of conservatives in Wisconsin, has not announced any investigation into his fellow Democrat’s conduct.
Palzewicz’s campaign did not respond to email and a phone message asking for a comment.