A link to the city's Web site in an Oshkosh mayoral candidate's online web advertisement has resulted in a complaint to the Winnebago County District Attorney's office and changes to other candidate Web sites.
Oshkosh resident Jef Hall filed a complaint this week about an ad for mayoral candidate Paul Esslinger on The Northwestern's Web site. That ad for Esslinger, a current member of the city council, linked to Esslinger's biography on the city's Web site. Hall's complaint questioned whether the link meant that Esslinger was using city resources for campaigning.
They go on to explain that the link has changed (click here to read my take on that). Then there is this gem:
Esslinger said he consulted with the Wisconsin State Elections Board about the legality of the link before making the link part of his ad.
A spokesman for the State Elections Board said Thursday that there is no definitive answer about this issue.
(bold emphasis mine, not in the article)
That seemed odd to me. Kent Monte, who's blog is hosting the new Esslinger Bio link stated that:
Yesterday afternoon, it was pointed out that there may be an election violation with an advertisement on the ONW website front page. After confirming with the City Attorney and the SEB that although it COULD be considered a violation it would be difficult to prove that 50 hits came directly from that link. Rather than take a chance, I set up a biography on this site to allow the ONW to link to it rather than the city site.
The seems 100% contradictory to me. Mr. Esslinger claims, in a statement to a Northwestern reporter, to have called the SEB before making the link (which happened last Sat - Mar 24), while Monte claims they did not call them until after I filed my complaint, Wed - Mar 28.
So, I called the SEB back... I spoke to Kyle Richmond, the same person that Bethany Warner from the Northwestern spoke to for her story. He indicated to me that Mr. Esslinger did call in and speak with Richard Bohringer, the gentleman I spoke with previously and also with their Legal Council, George Dunst.
But, those conversations took place this week, after I made the complaint.
Once again, Paul Esslinger lied to cover-up.
Mr. Richmond stated he heard of no call to an SEB staff member about the Oshkosh Mayor's race inquiring about this issue before my call this week.
Mr. Esslinger, it falls to you... Did you make this call you claim? When? To whom?
Or are you trying to deceive Oshkosh voters for just long enough until the election Tuesday?