RACINE — Officers who lost their lives protecting Racine County were honored in a memorial service Tuesday.
As a part of Police Week, which was established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, members of law enforcement, along with elected officials and community members, gathered at Hantschel Park, 5400 Byrd Ave., Tuesday to honor the memories and sacrifices of members of law enforcement agencies around Racine County who died in the line of duty, according to a news release from the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.
The officers honored at Tuesday’s ceremony included:
RCSO shared photographs from Tuesday’s ceremony.
“While the loss of any law enforcement officer’s life is a tragedy, we honor their sacrifice by continuing the mission of serving the public, professionally enforcing the law, and ensuring public safety,” Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said in the release. “Together we recognize their valor. While one name is too many on this list, I pray no more are added.”
Like all important visitors to the area, Santa and Grinch were given a police escort as they made their way through town. Shown are members of…
MADISON — Three political consultants from Wisconsin were involved in a widescale effort to use pro-police and pro-veteran robocalls to raise millions of dollars from donors — money that was largely spent to pay the companies making the calls, according to a new report.
An analysis by The New York Times published online Sunday and in print on Tuesday details a web of fundraising and spending by five nonprofits that underscore what the newspaper described as flaws in how political nonprofits are regulated. The report details the organizations’ use of thousands of vague robocalls, many with a folksy demeanor, to raise small donations aimed at building political support for police, firefighters and veterans.
Since 2014, the five nonprofits, which can raise unlimited donations to help or oppose candidates, support issues or advocate voting, raised $89 million in small donations. However, only 1% of that money was actually used to help candidates in the form of donations, ads or voting advocacy efforts, according to The New York Times’ review.
Roughly 90% of the money raised went back to fundraising contractors, essentially fueling a cycle of donations being spent to find more donors.
Another 3% of the money raised, about $2.8 million, went to companies owned by the three Wisconsin political consultants who helped organize the five nonprofits — Simon Lewis, who serves as president of one of the five groups, the National Police Support Fund; GOP consultant John Connors; and Kyle Maichle, of Precision Compliance Consulting.
The Times reports the three individuals “were all active in college conservative politics in Wisconsin about 15 years ago, when Mr. Connors was the leader of campus Republicans at Marquette University.”
Four of the five companies are still active, according to the Times.
In statements to the newspaper, the groups said they “had not sought to avoid oversight, enrich insiders or deceive donors.”
“Instead, the groups said, they simply believed in helping politicians indirectly — not by giving them money or buying them ads or mentioning their names, but by obliquely raising issues that could shift voters their way,” according to the paper.
“‘We have met, and in fact exceeded, in our mission to raise awareness of police issues, hold politicians accountable for shameful treatment of police officers, and activate grassroots supporters who demand change,’” Lewis told the paper.
James Skyles, an attorney for National Police Support Fund, in an email to the State Journal said The Times’ article was “was poorly researched and sought to discredit us because the author is against the issues we stand for.”
“The organization is proud of its record, and looks forward to making available information that will prove the NYT’s narrative completely wrong,” Skyles added. “Having gone through a full audit of its 2019 and 2020 activities and spending by the IRS, and having been shown to be in full compliance with Federal Law, the organization will continue to operate in support of police issues.”
Skyles also pointed to a recent Internal Revenue Service audit of the National Police Support Fund’s activities in 2019 and 2020 that allowed the organization to “continue operations as is.”
But The Times notes the manner in which the organizations were set up, as nonprofits, helped them avoid scrutiny from the Federal Election Commission and state watchdog groups. Officials told The Times the nonprofits limited direct aid to individual candidates to avoid triggering registration requirements with the FEC or state agencies.
Instead, the groups fall under the jurisdiction of the Internal Revenue Service, which collects and maintains records in a much less accessible manner.
RACINE — The Racine Unified School District temporarily has a new leader who will round out the school year in that position.
Soren Gajewski, RUSD chief academic officer, took over as acting superintendent on May 1 and is expected to be in the role for the next two months, as Superintendent Eric Gallien is out for a major medical procedure, according to Stacy Tapp, RUSD chief of communication and community engagement.
Tapp said Gallien is expected to return to the job in mid-July.