A Wisconsin nonprofit asked district attorneys in Milwaukee County and Rock County Tuesday to start an investigation of state superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz for allegedly using public resources for his campaign.
One Wisconsin Now, a liberal advocacy organization, is basing their call for an investigation on three campaign-related emails Holtz sent during his time as superintendent of Whitnall School District.
The emails include content that shows Holtz was working and talking about his campaign from his administrative email during the middle of the day. The use of government resources to support a political campaign is against state law.
The group said the emails demonstrate a pattern of Holtz’s frequent disregard for the law.
“There is a clear pattern of behavior that raises serious questions about Lowell Holtz working to advance his personal political ambitions on the public dime,” One Wisconsin Now Research Director Jenni Dye said in a statement.
Holtz is currently running for state superintendent, the state’s highest education official, against incumbent Tony Evers. While the campaign is officially nonpartisan, Holtz's supporters are mostly conservatives and Evers’ are mostly Democrats.
Hotlz denied the allegations against him and asked Evers' to dismiss the investigation request.
“As I’ve stated previously, if I have done anything inappropriate in my time as superintendent of the Whitnall School District, I will name it, own it, and fix it…” Holtz said in a statement. “I call on Dr. Evers to reject One Wisconsin Now’s slimy antics and commit to making this race about our kids.”
Evers faced a similar allegation in 2009, when it was believed he violated the law by sending campaign-related emails from a public email address. Evers paid a fine of $250 and admitted that five of his private emails broke the law by asking for campaign donations to public emails of employees.
One Wisconsin Now has not officially endorsed in the state superintendent campaign, but they are heavily attempting to put down Holtz. Holtz has stated he has not violated the law with the use of his emails.
The general election for state superintendent is April 4.