In interviews with the Journal Sentinel over the weekend, two experienced political hands who have worked with the host committee described it as having a toxic culture rife with power struggles, backbiting and mismanagement.
They accused the top two officials, Gilbert and Alonso, of giving contracts to their friends in New Jersey, calling meetings and then failing to attend them and being more focused on accumulating power than promoting Milwaukee.
A New Jersey firm with strong ties to the New Jersey Democratic Party, for instance, developed the website for the host committee and manages its email platform. Both Gilbert and Alonso are top-ranking Democratic operatives in that state.
These assertions come at the same time that Alonso is being accused in his home state of New Jersey of shaking down campaign contributors for his personal consulting business.
“It’s one of the worst — if not the worst — I have worked on,” the first official said of the host committee.
The second official said they would become sick to their stomach when working with the host committee, the first time they experienced a toxic work environment, despite working on numerous campaigns. “You know it when you see it, when you feel it,” the second official said.