(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz found herself at the center of a maelstrom of controversy as accusations of campaign finance fraud surfaced.
A watchdog group, Election Watch, formally called for a state investigation into the suspicious flow of a staggering $23 million in contributions to Protasiewicz’s campaign earlier this year.
According to Peter Bernegger, a data analyst for the watchdog, the probe is needed due to the disturbing findings of high number of repetitive small contributions from the same donors, totaling $6 million.
As reported by the Epoch Times, the complaint alleged that a substantial 234 contributors made the same donation approximately 10 times. This practice is referred to as “smurfing,” which entails the breaking of large transactions into smaller ones in a bid to hide potential illegalities. In total, she received 38,169 contributions
Among the alleged irregularities, a disabled Wisconsin voter, identified only as Mike K., was found to have reportedly made a staggering 6,812 donations. According to the Federal Election Commission, his alleged donations amounted to $97,021.
Denying any involvement in such significant contributions, Mike K. emphasized his financial limitations, stating, “Look where I am living!” as he drew attention to his modest residence.
“He stated he donates $5 at times but could never afford to donate over $90,000 in the last seven years,” the complaint said, according to the Epoch Times.
Similarly, an elderly donor named Carol D. vehemently denied making over 9,000 donations totaling $53,361. However, she declared that no such donations occurred.
“Upon speaking with the subject regarding her political donation history, she denied making 9,463 political donations as well as $53,361 in donations,” the complaint added.
“She stated that her husband allows her to make several political donations, but nowhere near $53,361. She also stated that she makes only several donations of $800 to $1,000 per year in a lead up to a big election, such as a presidential election,” it noted.
Moreover, the Election Watch report revealed that at least six donors exceeded Wisconsin’s legal limit of $20,000 for individual campaign contributions.
The accusations against Protasiewicz come in the wake of growing criticism of her partisan decisions from the bench. Her refusal to recuse from a gerrymandering case — which she previously denounced as “rigged” — has sparked impeachment threats.
She did not respond to the allegations brought forth by Election Watch. According to the Epoch Times, if the Wisconsin Ethics Commission finds wrongdoing, her campaign could be mandated to return excess donations or place the money into a public fund.