KCE was tipped off on November 17, 2022 that Gateway Technical College was holding a “woke” event. The College’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion hosted a party for staff of the college and students. While on the clock, the teachers went to Cinemark movie theater in Kenosha to watch “Wakanda Forever.” All tickets were paid for by the college and so was popcorn and food. In total, the college, funded by taxpayers, paid $1,195.09 for this event. But how is watching a Marvel film helping the diversity, equity, and inclusion cause? According to Gateway spokesman Lee Colony, “The Wakanda movie experience was a student life experience, designed to bring students together for an activity….It really wasn’t a [Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion] activity. It was more like an overall student experience.” To contrast this statement, here is an email that was leaked to KCE.
We also asked the college for a copy of a political debate video that WGTD produced in reference to the a local election. WGTD is another taxpayer funded entity, and often attempts to influence elections by holding “forums.” They invite candidates to answer questions and taylor the questions for their agenda. WGTD employed a man who incited violence in Kenosha. He left in 2022. We asked for a copy of the recent video, and they denied our request, saying that the event was hosted by WGTD’s Len Iaquinta, and since the video was on his computer – it wasn’t a public record. Wrong. Of course, we threatened to sue Gateway. Maybe they saw our recent win in court against UW Parkside and got nervous, so they re-considered their denial. They hired Quarles and Brady, a high-priced Milwaukee law firm, to attempt to uncover a loophole so they didn’t have to turn over the video or receipts from the Wakanda movie outing. The law-firm billed the taxpayers $1,170, only to tell Gateway that they had to turn over the records to KCE. Here is the bill from the lawyers:
With all of the intellectuals at Gateway, you would think they could make decisions about public records without shelling out that kind of case. After all, most governmental organizations do.
Gateway isn’t new to spending a lot of money on lawyers, they spent more than $135,000 to the same law firm, fighting a student with autism about a B- grade.
We asked the new Gateway president about the waste of money. She had no comment. Her predecessor was the one who wasted the money, as she is new.
We asked failed county executive candidate and Gateway Board of Trustees Chairman Rebecca Matoska-Mentink (D) what she thought of the spending. She also had “no comment.”
KCE also reached out to every other trustee. Only one would speak to us, Ram Bhatia. He was pleasant and there was a nice conversation. He didn’t want to make any comments on the record, as he says the board speaks with one voice.