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Baldwin campaign: Ahead of first debate, Leah Vukmir under fire for record of selling out Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE – Ahead of the first debate in the Wisconsin U.S. Senate race tonight, Leah Vukmir is under fire for her record of selling out Wisconsin to corporate special interests.

“Tonight, Leah Vukmir will have to answer to the people of Wisconsin for her record of putting corporate special interests ahead of Wisconsinites,” said Scott Spector, Tammy Baldwin for Senate Campaign Manager. “This debate will showcase that Tammy Baldwin puts Wisconsin first and stands up to special interests and insurance companies, while Leah Vukmir does their bidding and sells Wisconsin out.” 

Over the past several months, Leah Vukmir has been pressured to answer for her history of siding with insurance companies — voting against oral chemotherapy coverage and supporting efforts to gut pre-existing condition protections — and taking orders from the shadowy corporate special interest group ALEC.

Here is a preview of what Leah Vukmir will be hard pressed to explain tonight:

Pre-Existing Conditions: Leah Vukmir supports repealing the Affordable Care Act and gutting pre-existing condition protections:

  • Vukmir is campaigning on a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Vukmir supports the Graham-Cassidy and AHCA repeal plans that would allow insurance companies to charge sick people higher premiums and gut pre-existing condition protections.
  • Vice President Pence said in Wisconsin that if Leah Vukmir wins, they will try to pass those repeal plans again.
  • Vukmir supports the Trump administration’s junk insurance plans, which allow insurance companies to deny people coverage if they have a pre-existing condition.

Oral Chemotherapy: Leah Vukmir was one of the lone votes to twice oppose a bipartisan bill, supported by Governor Walker, requiring insurance companies to cover oral chemotherapy, including the only form of treatment available for brain tumors. Similar laws were already in place in a majority of other states, but Leah Vukmir moved to kill the bipartisan bill to lower costs for cancer patients and ignored calls from cancer advocates for even a single hearing. When pressed to explain, she defended her vote.

ALEC: Leah Vukmir is on the national board of ALEC, a shadowy organization where lobbyists and big corporations get friendly legislators to introduce their pre-packaged bills. Leah Vukmir has taken tens of thousands of dollars from ALEC members and pushed their agenda in Wisconsin, including letting the phone companies jack up Wisconsinites’ rates, fighting against paid sick leavefor Wisconsin families, and allowing nursing homes to conceal records of neglect and abuse.

Leah Vukmir tried to hide that she was taking instructions from ALEC corporate lobbyists. She hid dozens of emails, including messages from ALEC lobbyists with instructions to block Medicaid expansion and help insurance companies. Leah Vukmir was sued and forced to release those emails, sticking Wisconsin taxpayers with $15,000 in legal bills.

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