Wisconsin Family Action PAC responds to insinuation of “religious extremist”
Madison – Today, the Wisconsin Family Action PAC (WFA PAC) rescinded its endorsement of Steve Whittow, candidate for the 83rd Assembly District. WFA PAC director Julaine Appling issued the following statement:
“Wisconsin Family Action PAC vets as thoroughly as possible the candidates we endorse. In this instance, new information has very recently come to light. Steve Whittow used the term ‘religious extremists’ on his official campaign Facebook page (posted August 2; recently deleted). In context he was referring to various people who have come into the district to help one of his primary opponents, Chuck Wichgers. Steve wrote, ‘I’ll be loyal TO YOU, NOT SPECIAL INTERESTS and religious extremists.’ (Emphasis in original)
“We have learned that those coming into the district or giving money to help Chuck Wichgers, another WFA PAC-endorsed candidate, are State Representatives Joe Sanfellipo, Janel Brandtjen, André Jacque and Pro-Life Wisconsin. In an email to Steve, WFA PAC sought to clarify just who he was referring to but received only a statement that he was saying anything about WFA PAC. However, all 3 of the state representatives are WFA PAC-endorsed candidates; and Pro-Life Wisconsin is a front-line partner for us on pro-life issues. We would by association be included in that term—a term we categorically reject in reference to these staunchly pro-family, pro-life, pro-liberty elected officials and our friends at Pro-Life Wisconsin.
“Steve also seems to be disparaging of our core issues of marriage, family, life and religious liberty. In another Facebook post (dated July 29), he touts the endorsement of Wisconsin Realtors and says, ‘A candidate supported by them [WRA] must understand the plethora of issues facing state government not just the emotional ones.’ We asked Steve to clarify what issues he was referring to as “’emotional ones.’ We assume, based on context, he must be referring to the issues of life, marriage, family and even religious freedom. Steve did not respond to our request for clarification. As we categorically reject and condemn the term ‘religious extremists’ as applied to those supporting the pro-life, pro-family position, we also categorically reject the idea that the foundational issues of marriage, family, life and religious freedom are ‘emotional.’ In the context in which Steve used this term, it is disparaging.
“We do not endorse lightly and we definitely do not take the drastic action of rescinding an endorsement lightly. But in this instance we believe reconsidering and ultimately rescinding our endorsement of this candidate is the right thing to do. We will never knowingly endorse a candidate who holds and publicly states these opinions about pro-life champions and about the critical issues of marriage, family, life and religious freedom.
“WFA PAC urges voters in the 83rd Assembly District to vote for Chuck Wichgers in the primary election this coming Tuesday, August 9. If a candidate is known by the company he keeps and those who support him, then we are doubly proud to have endorsed Chuck in this race.”
Authorized and paid for by Wisconsin Family Action PAC and Wisconsin Family Action Federal PAC, Leslie Harrison, Treasurer. Not authorized by any candidate or by any candidate’s agent or committee.
Copy available online here.