Contact: Justin Bielinski
T: (414) 209-4160
MILWAUKEE – In order to take a firm stand against the corrupting influence of money in politics, 8th District Aldermanic candidate Justin Bielinski announced today that he will not solicit nor will he accept any form of support from the following groups (and challenges his opponents to do the same):
Fossil Fuel, Pharmaceutical, and Tobacco Executives
Independent Expenditure Committees
Bielinski released the following statement:
“Politicians should be accountable to the people, not wealthy special interests. When candidates receive money from these groups, even in the absence of corrupt intent, it tarnishes the trust that voters have in their government.
Independent Expenditure committees (IECs) pose perhaps the greatest threat to our democracy, as they allow virtually unlimited sums of money to be spent, including corporate contributions, which would otherwise be prohibited. In addition, groups who do so-called “Issue Ads” can coordinate directly with campaigns, and through the use of “Dark Money” are not required to disclose their donors at all!
This is not how our politics is supposed to work, and Milwaukee voters deserve better. I hope my opponents will do the right thing and join me in rejecting these forms of spending in support of their campaigns.”
IECs have had an increasing role in Milwaukee’s local politics. In the 2018 County Board elections, a single IEC (County Executive Chris Abele-backed Leadership MKE) spent over $508,000 on five races – nearly 10 times the total spending of 10 candidates combined. Bielinski will continue to accept contributions from individuals, as well as direct PAC contributions from labor unions (which represent rank-and-file workers), candidate committees, and advocacy groups, so long as they are consistent with his values.
The limit for both individual and PAC contributions in the 8th District is $792. The District encompasses the western half of Milwaukee’s Near South Side. The general election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 7, 2020.