Wisconsin Dem Caught Using Union As Political Slush Fund

Mahlon Mitchell would have voters believe he is fighting for Wisconsin workers, in truth he appears to be using his union as a slush fund to line his own pockets.

Democrat union boss Mahlon Mitchell would have voters believe he is fighting for Wisconsin workers, in truth he appears to be using his union as a slush fund to line his own pockets – furthering his political ambitions while bankrolling liberal special interests. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Mitchell not only received a $200,000 salary in 2016 for his union leadership position, but since becoming president of his union in 2011, he’s received a 66% pay increase. If Mitchell were to be elected governor, he would actually be forced to take a considerable 27% pay cut.

On top of paying Mitchell a handsome six-digit salary, the union has also bankrolled his past political campaigns, giving $40,000 to an outside group independently backing his failed 2012 bid for lieutenant governor. With Mitchell running in a crowded Democrat primary, he’s likely to receive even more support from his labor allies as he runs for governor. Mitchell’s union has also pumped large sums of money into local Democrat groups since he became its president, spending $129,250 on candidates and PACs since 2011, 98% of which went to Democrats.

Mitchell may claim to be fighting for working Wisconsinites, but since 2011 he’s used his union and its members’ money to give himself a generous salary while funding Democrat groups around Wisconsin to push his anti-jobs agenda and take the state backwards.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinelhas more

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…

Mitchell, 40, was named president of the state firefighters group early in 2011 in the wake of a scandal in which top union officials were filing fraudulent expense reports. He ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2012 and is part of a packed field of Democrats hoping to challenge Walker, a Republican, in November.

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.

Under Mitchell’s leadership, the union’s spending has spiked by more than 75%, with expenditures outpacing revenues in four of his six years as president. Over the same time, membership in the union has grown by some 50%.

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.

Also, during Mitchell’s 2012 lieutenant governor’s bid during the Walker recall election, the firefighters PAC gave $3,500 to his campaign, and the union itself donated $40,000 to an outside group backing Mitchell with independent expenditures.