March 27, 2008

City's 12th District candidates spending big

Money is flowing in the race for the City Council's 12th District.

Incumbent Aron Wisneski and challenger Joey LeGath have raised the most money among candidates for city office this spring, according to the March 24 campaign finance reports.

Wisneski, finishing his first term, raised $2,959 year-to-date and has over $2,000 to spend in the closing days of the election. He had the most individual contributions of all candidates, receiving donations from 16 individuals.

LeGath, who owns three bars, raised $6,295 year-to-date and spent $2,562.06 through March 24, leaving him over $3,700 to spend before Tuesday's election. LeGath gave his own campaign $4,000.

Ken Lumpkin has spent $2,278 so far in his race with Jim Kaplan for the council's Fourth District. Kaplan has spent $174.50 so far. Lumpkin and Kaplan are also running for the County Board.

Troy Johnson has spent $1,775 in a race for the Ninth District seat vacated by Pete Karas. His opponent, Terry McCarthy, has spent $223.53. Johnson and Wisneski had several donors in common on their reports.

And, challenger Jameel Ghuari is outspending Bob Anderson in the Second District. Ghuari has raised and spent $791, nearly five times as much as Anderson.

Local candidates are required to file a pre-election campaign finance report with the City Clerk by March 24. Another report is due after the election.

Here's a recap of each candidate's campaign finance report:

District 2
Bob Anderson

Contributions - $200
Expenses - $169.76
Balance - $30.24

Jameel Ghuari

Contributions - $791.67
Expenses - $791.67
Balance - $0
* $30 contribution from Donnie Snow
District 4
Jim Kaplan

Contributions - $418.28
Expenses - $174.50
Balance - $243.78
* $100 contribution from the First District GOP

Ken Lumpkin

Contributions - $2,278
Expenses - $2,278
Balance - $0
* Campaign finance report filed three days late
District 6
Sandy Weidner
* Reported no campaign activity
District 8
Q.A. Shakoor II
* No report filed; expected to file no campaign activity
District 9
Terry McCarthy

Contributions - $300
Expenses - $223.53
Balance - $81.47

Troy Johnson

Contributions - $1,775
Expenses - $317.25
Balance - $1,457.75
* 16 contributions
District 10
Tom Friedel
* Reported no campaign activity
District 12
Aron Wisneski

Contributions - $2,959
Expenses - $893
Balance - $2,066
* Citizens for Helding gave Wisneski $100

Joey LeGath

Contributions - $6,295
Expenses - $2,562.06
Balance - $3,739.94
* $200 from the Wisconsin Peoples Conference
District 14
Ronald Hart
* Reported no campaign activity


  1. Over $6,000?!?! The Tavern League must really be serious about getting one of their own on the city council.

  2. Just what we need a member of the Tavern League on the Council. Hard to close bars like the City Haul now.

  3. By the way, PEOPLE is Public Employees Organized to Promote Legislative Equality. It is AFSCME. This probably came along with LeGath's endorsement by Local 67. Here is a quote from their website:

    "Your ability to gain at the bargaining table is directly related to your past gains politically. AFSCME PEOPLE is our vehicle to get the job done."

    Gerald W. McEntee, International President

    In other words, buy some Aldermen and you can get a better contract. I wonder who else they endorsed...

  4. Will Lumpy have to pay a fine for being three days late?

  5. I think the most spent in any aldermanic election was by Cherri Cape. I believe it was close to $10,000.

  6. Someone should look into the Ghuari
    signs. I talked to more them one person this week who were to scared to say no when they where "asked" if they could be put up.

  7. Wisnewski should be re-elected. Local 67's bubba is Lenny Hand. Lenny Had owns a tavern, he pushes the endoresements through for his "union" but really for the tavern league.

    This sucks. I hope Wisnewski wins! I believe the Firefighters endorsed Wisnewski.

  8. You are right, both the police and firefighters endorsed Alderman Wisneski.

    I would not presume to tell residents of another district how to vote, but I will say it has been a pleasure working with Alderman Wisneski. He really does his homework. He works hard to understand all the issues before he votes on them - especially the big ones. He is not afraid to ask questions and get to the bottom of things. He looks for reasons to get things done, rather than put things off. In my view, he has served his district well and has earned another term.

  9. So who is the firefighter's "bubba"? Why is one local union (firefighters) endorsement better than that of the other city workers? And why do you take offense with the Tavern League?

    No alderman "earns" another term, that's why they have to re-apply for the job every two years and how do you know that Mr. LeGath won't serve the district as well or better?

    Joey LeGath is an asset to this community and will make a fine representative of his district. I wish I could vote for him.

  10. We do NOT need a member of the Tavern League on the council.
    We need harder enforcement of the laws to shut down the troubled bars in this City.
    I would hope that the Tavern League would want to see this too.

  11. So follow this. Lenny Hand, bar owner get caught with underage kids in City Haul, also with guns. Wisnewski is on the City Council, urges discipline of Hand??

    Hand is a member of Local 67. Hand is in "charge" of political endorsements. Local 67 AFSCME endorses a bar owner, no he owns THREE bars to run against Wisnewski.

    That endorsement smells like the smelt we used to get up on the lakeshore.

    Wisnewski deserves and has earned another term, he is owned by no one, has no hidden agenda, has to conflicts of interest.

    The owner of three taverns endorsed by a tavern owner's union, the same tavern owner who got his butt spanked by the City Council. You have to be kidding.

  12. I don't believe that the Tavern League wants poorly run or troublesome bars out there any more than you. The Tavern League is a trade association that represents over 5000 responsible business owners throughout the state.

    Mr. LeGath is an upstanding member of this community that successfully runs 3 small businesses and serves on the board of directors of the trade association that represents those businesses. Why shouldn't he be allowed to serve on the City Council?

    I say we DO need a member like that on the city council!

  13. Did you mean "two" instead of "to" conflicts of interest. The Police and Firefighters unions?

  14. Ya think?? He would be voting in liquor licenses, perhaps keeping someone from having a bar and perhaps competing with one of his three bars?

    This guy an upstanding member of the community? We haven't heard squat from this guy but he "choses" to run at the urging of Lenny Hand, against Wisnewski, who was in favor of disciplining Hand?

    Whose Hand is in whose pocket. It is all too cushy.

  15. I don't believe that the Tavern League wants poorly run or troublesome bars out there any more than you. (Then tell me why is City Haul Still open? or does the Tavern League want guns and underage kids in bars?)

    Mr. LeGath is an upstanding member of this community that successfully runs 3 small businesses and serves on the board of directors of the trade association that represents those businesses. Why shouldn't he be allowed to serve on the City Council?

    I do not know anything about Mr. Le gath, I do know this it would be a huge confilt of interest for Mr. Le Gath to vote on anything to do with bars in the City. Do we want that?
    I did find it interesting that to my Knowage the only bar I heard the league talk agest was the Hispanic Dance Club on 6th st. Why?

  16. Joey ran because he wanted to, not at Hand's urging. Joey has attended almost every council meeting and public safety meeting for almost a year. He wants to be involved.

    I don't remember hearing "squat" from Wisneski either, before he walked into the job two years ago with no opposition.

    As far as a conflict for voting on licenses, every alderman has a conflict depending on what line of work they are in. Should Wisneski be voting on Police and Firefighter contracts now that he has their unions' endorsement. Of course he should, it's no different with Joey.

  17. F.Y.I. Tavern League never opposed the dance club. You better check your sources.

  18. I hope most of you never leave your computer!!! You scare me.
    1st off, contested races are good for all of us. Nothing is worse for the avg Joe if no one ever runs against the incubents. All those in power become very chummy and it is human nature to involve your personal view into your work. Alderman of other districts SHOULD NOT get involved in endorcements!!!
    Ald Wisnewski did not earn another term either. Each term you are weighed by your constituents for your efforts and participation, and if you proved to be worthy, you are reelected.
    Who's to say a bar (business owner)
    wouldn't be good to help run a city? He obviously knows how to manage a business. And by the way, he won't be voting on any conficts of interest. I am sure that every alderman has to obstain from time to time, do to work or personal issues. That's is common practice in every governing body.
    What is with the jabs at the Tavern League? Since 1935 they have been protecting the business owners in this state from neysayers, do-gooders, & politicals
    alike. The tavern industry is a very large part of this states economy & our culture.
    What a state we would be without all those jobs. Bartenders, cooks, wait staff, wholesalers, truck drivers, food distibuters, paper product companies, .... and on and on and on.... come on people it's Billions of $$$ a year. don't let a few bad apples ruin the basket... May the Best man win!
    God bless America

  19. Donnie Snow gave money to Jameel Guari's campaign? Not a good move Donnie. Actually, it's quite a stupid move.

  20. If aldermen can't give their two cents worth for endorsements, ridiculous. Look at the judge races, look at how many judges endorse a candidate. I don't want to belittle the post of city council but aldermen can have their say.

    There are good and bad members of any organization. This businessman owns three businesses and is going to have time for committee meetings, running three businesses? He also sits

    "serves on the board of directors of the trade association that represents those businesses."

    Sorry, no way will this guy be able to vote on disciplining bar owners, okaying liquor liscenses, etc.

  21. After reading all of these comments and I was not actually interested in this race, something occured to me:

    Does the Tavern League opposes smoking ban? Who decides on the smoking ban in the city?

    Don't let the smoke get in your eyes in this race. Something is compelling this tavern owner to run and take the abuse that comes with holding office.

  22. Yes. The Tavern League opposes a smoking ban.

    In Racine, the City Council would vote to impose a ban. They could either do it directly or put it to a referendum.

  23. No more smoke!3/29/2008 1:48 PM

    Kenosha has a smoking ban and eating out in Kenosha is quite nice.

    Racine needs a smoking ban. Electing someone from the Tavern League who is AGAINST a smoking ban is unhealthy for all.

  24. City Haul alone tells me that the Tavern League could care less about bar safety in Racine
    I can see nothing but trouble if a member gets on the council