by Daniel Bice, Journal Sentinel
Julia Taylor, executive director of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, said last week that it was “premature” to start discussing a fundraising effort to promote a measure to cut the pay for Milwaukee County supervisors.
“We believe there would be a strong groundswell of support for making the board part-time, as evidenced by the 2012 referendum,” Taylor told No Quarter. “It’s premature, however, to discuss plans for a campaign to support a referendum question that hasn’t even been presented to the Legislature, let alone approved.”
Consider it premature no more.
The GMC’s front group, Smart Government Inc., is holding a fundraiser at 5 p.m. Jan. 24 in the offices of baseball commissioner Bud Selig on the 30th floor of the U.S. Bank building at 777 E. Wisconsin Ave., according to an invitation.
The event is being hosted by a murderers’ row of Milwaukee’s business leaders, including retired Northwestern Mutual CEO Ed Zore, Fiduciary Management CEO Ted Kellner, private investor Sheldon Lubar, Badger Meter President Rich Meeusen and Selig – and each of their wives.
Smart Government is pushing legislation, still being drafted, to let voters decide in April whether to cut the pay for Milwaukee County’s 18 supervisors from $50,679 to $15,000 a year.
Smart Government is a 501(c)4 nonprofit, meaning donations to the organization are generally not deductible but also are not capped and do not have to be disclosed publicly.
UPDATE: This isn’t the first time that Selig and his wife, Sue, have used the commissioner’s office to raise money for a local political cause.
In 2011, the Seligs hosted a fundraiser for Chris Abele as part of his successful bid to become Milwaukee County executive. Abele is vigorously campaigning in support of the bill to trim the pay of county supervisors.