Five Democratic campaign staffers who allegedly slashed the tires of 25 Republican get-out-the-vote vans on Election Day in Milwaukee will stand trial on felony charges.
The defendants, who include the sons of a congresswoman and former acting mayor, face a maximum three and a half years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of vandalism.
The vans were rented by the GOP to drive voters to the polls.
On Election Day, the five left Milwaukee just after 3 a.m. and returned shortly thereafter, according to the pretrial testimony of two Democratic presidential campaign workers, Levar Stoney and Opel Simmons.
Simmons said the five “seemed to be excited, excitable, kind of gleeful, laughing and kind of joking,” according to the Associated Press.
Two of the defendants, Michael Pratt, son of former acting Milwaukee Mayor Marvin Pratt, and Sowande Omokunde, son of Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore, talked about the vandalism, according to Stoney.
But Stoney and Simmons were included in an alleged plan to plaster the Republican office with Kerry Edwards signs and bumper stickers, according to defense attorneys.
Meanwhile, a former Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee staffer, Roger Chiang, pleaded guilty yesterday to mail fraud in the theft of $360,000 in donor checks.
The committee is the main fund-raising arm for Senate Democrats.
Most of the money was recovered before the November elections, but about 10,000 still is missing, the AP reported.
Mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.