Brown Co. Supervisor pushing for proposal to thwart campaign finance violations

Author wants change in wake of Schmitt, Wery cases
Posted at 11:08 PM, Oct 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-06 00:08:11-04
Critics of Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt are upset over a two-month delay in a criminal case, charging him with campaign finance violations.
In the meantime, one Brown County leader is pushing a proposal that he says would help keep corruption out of local government. He says it's in response to the series of alleged campaign finance violations being investigated on the City of Green Bay level.
Mayor Jim Schmitt tells NBC26 Wednesday he'd rather his plea and sentencing hearing be resolved now, than pushed back to December 5th.
It's a sentiment echoed by Alderman Guy Zima, who was also in court Wednesday as the Mayor's attorney entered a "not guilty" plea on Schmitt's behalf.
Zima is part of a group of Green Bay aldermen that called for the initial investigation into Mayor Schmitt's alleged violations. 
"But, one way or another, there are a number of us who are going to seek justice," says Zima, after court.
But finding justice in a political landscape that, from local to the state level, seems to come with endless accusations--and in some cases proof--of illegal campaign finance violations isn't shaping up to be easy.
"I think we can be leaders here, in Brown County," says Dist. 5 Brown Co. Supervisor Staush Gruszynski. "We can move forward with good government, and transparency." 
On the County level, Gruszynski is introducing a proposal that would change the way candidates submit campaign finance reports.
"The proposal would ask Supervisors to also put in a copy of their bank statement with that [submission]," explains Gruszynski, "so, we'd want to cover the scope of contributions that a candidate would receive throughout that time." 
While the proposal only impacts county elections thus far, its author hopes it would have a ripple effect.
"Whether you have candidates looking into other candidates' bank accounts," says Gruszynski, referring to a recent investigation into Green Bay Alderman Chris Wery, "or you have candidates that are reporting different numbers on their finance reports than what's actually on their bank statements," he adds, in reference to Mayor Schmitt's current case, "I think there's a lot of different things we can do to have some steps towards transparency in this process."