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Monday, August 1, 2011

 5:18 PM 

State GOP files complaint over Pasch's relationship with Citizen Action

The state GOP today filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board suggesting Rep. Sandy Pasch may have colluded with Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

Pasch, D-Whitefish Bay, sits on the board of Citizen Action, which has worked to oppose GOP candidates in the Senate recall elections -- including Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills, Pasch's opponent in next Tuesday's 8th SD race.

Pasch told the Milwaukee Press Club that she has had no contact with the group about political activities or plans.

"I've cut off contact with them," Pasch said, adding she had only been involved in the non-profit component of it.

The GOP complaint asks the GAB to investigate Pasch and Citizen Action, arguing that Pasch's position means she consulted with the group on a series of independent expenditures targeting Darling. RPW Executive Director Stephan Thompson added that Pasch's campaign treasurer also serves as the treasurer of Citizen Action, and argues that CAW has "taken a particular interest in that race."

"One of our guys could not get away with this," Thompson said.

Pasch, a nurse, said she joined the board of the group because it fights to increase access to health care for the elderly, disabled and poor.

"For (Republicans) to try to paint this as something is political posturing and shows they are afraid of what is going to happen a week from tomorrow and they are trying to detract from their own issues," Pasch said.

In an earlier interview with WisPolitics, Pasch said she has not worked with the group since she joined the race. She said her last board meeting included a discussion about who the group may endorse and she decided to leave at that point.

"I thought 'This was getting too close, I need to leave,'" Pasch said. "I left."

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Executive Director Robert Kraig said the complaint is "frivolous" and "much more related to getting into the media cycle" than any substantive legal issue. He said Pasch left the May board meeting when endorsements came up.

"We very well know the law," Kraig said. "We run independent campaigns every election cycle."

See the GOP release and complaint

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