Uses dues of hard-working firefighters to fuel his political ambitions
January 22, 2018
[Madison, WI] — Union boss Mahlon Mitchell is putting his own interests ahead of those he claims to represent. Instead of advocating for hard-working Wisconsin firefighters, he’s using Union money as a slush fund to fuel his own personal political ambitions.
Check out the latest from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Mahlon Mitchell’s slush fund here, or find excerpts below:
Bice: Firefighter leader Mahlon Mitchell would take pay cut if elected governor
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
January 19, 2018
To hear him tell it, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mahlon Mitchell is a regular guy who splits his time between fighting fires and fighting for his fellow firefighters.
But here’s one big way he is not like your average Wisconsinite:
Mitchell would have to take a pay cut if he’s elected governor later this year.
Records show Mitchell was paid a total of $200,000 in 2016 from his job as a lieutenant in the Madison Fire Department, including overtime, and his post as president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin.
By contrast, Gov. Scott Walker earns $144,423 annually. That would be a 27% salary reduction for Mitchell.
Told the figures, state Republican Party spokesman Alec Zimmerman accused Mitchell of using his union as a “slush fund to line his own pockets” instead of advocating for firefighters in Wisconsin.
Since taking the union’s helm, Mitchell has seen his pay jump from $54,500 in 2011 to $90,600 in 2016 (plus another $6,787 in other income) — a 66% bump, according to federal Department of Labor filings. His predecessor made about half what Mitchell does.
Along with that, Mitchell collected a salary of $88,631 from the city of Madison in 2016 as a full-time firefighter, and he took home another $13,819 in overtime and other compensation, said Cynthia Schuster of the Madison Fire Department.
That puts Mitchell’s total income at $199,837 for 2016.
Along with the increased spending, Mitchell’s union decided in 2014 to start pumping money directly into liberal and Democratic groups, which could be crucial in Mitchell’s quest to become governor. Among the beneficiaries of One Wisconsin Now, state Democratic Party, Greater Wisconsin Committee and Wisconsin Progress.
Since 2011, the firefighter union’s political action fund has donated a total of $129,250 to state candidates and PACs, with 98% of the cash going to Democrats
But Zimmerman, the Republican staffer, said the record showed more than that. Mitchell, he said, has been running the union with an eye on a statewide political run.
“He put his own political ambitions and personal interests ahead of the men and women serving as firefighters,” Zimmerman said. “Why should hard-working Wisconsin families believe he would behave any differently as governor?”
Read the full story online here.