Photo by Saiyna Bashir, The Capital Times

The groups that filed complaints against five Wisconsin cities and Administrator Meagan Wolfe plan to appeal the Elections Commission’s finding there is no probable cause to believe the communities committed a crime by accepting private funds to pay for election costs.

The conservative Thomas More Society and the Wisconsin Voters Alliance also plan to file a new round of complaints with the Elections Commission over the communities using the money from a group that was largely funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, their attorney told WisPolitics.com today.

Erick Kardaal said the new complaints will accuse elections officials of violating state bribery laws that bar them from accepting anything of value to get people to vote.

Kardaal has been involved in lawsuits around the country over communities accepting grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, but none has been successful. That includes a suit he filed last year on behalf of the Wisconsin Voter Alliance in federal court that resulted in a judge finding there was no prohibition on the communities taking the money.

State law gives groups that file complaints with the Elections Commission 30 days to appeal decisions in circuit court. Kardaal said the groups plan to file five separate appeals in the complaints they filed against Green Bay, Kenosha, Madison, Milwaukee and Racine.

The groups will also be working on the new complaints with the Elections Commission based on Wisconsin’s bribery statute. Ahead of the Elections Commission’s ruling, Kardaal appeared before the Assembly Campaigns and Elections Commission to lay out his argument that the private funds violated the state’s bribery statute.

“It’s a whole new ballgame in Wisconsin now,” Kardaal said.

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