BREAKING NEWS ON THE CALL: Leah Vukmir set to attend national ALEC Gala and ALEC-hosted fundraiser in Washington, D.C. today;
Wisconsin nurse and cancer survivor responds to Vukmir letter: “very insulting and very offensive”

MADISON — On a media call today, an ALEC expert and Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions highlighted Leah Vukmir’s ties to ALEC, a shadowy corporate special interest group. Listen to the audio of the call here.

On the call, Wisconsin State Rep. Chris Taylor, who has attended ALEC annual meetings, broke news about Leah Vukmir’s plans in Washington, D.C. today:

“According to reports this morning in the Associated Press and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Leah Vukmir is in Washington, DC tonight to attend the 45th ALEC Anniversary Gala at the Trump International Hotel,” said Rep. Taylor on the call today. “And I also have some additional breaking news: According invites that have become public, Leah Vukmir is not only attending this ALEC Gala at the Trump Hotel, but she is also attending an ALEC fundraiser with these very powerful special interest donors, including ALEC CEO Lisa Nelson. This is so important, I think, because it does demonstrate where Leah Vukmir is getting support, and who she is really obligated to.”

Following Rep. Taylor, Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions who’ve been featured in two recent Tammy Baldwin for Senate ads (watch here and here) shared their stories and explained what it means for them when Leah Vukmir sides with powerful special interests over Wisconsinites.

One of those Wisconsinites was Shannon Thielman of Wausau, a nurse and breast cancer survivor. Last week, Leah Vukmir sent a letter accusing Shannon of perpetuating a lie. Shannon responded on the call:

“Leah Vukmir wrote a letter to me, saying I wasn’t smart enough to know what our health care system is like and that I was spreading lies. I find that very insulting and very offensive,” said Shannon Thielman on the call. “I want her to know that I do not lie and I’ve also paid enough attention to the nursing code of ethics to understand that a nurse’s responsibility is to fight for the rights of all patients, be they rich or poor.”

Kirsten Jome-Robley of Manitowoc also commented on Leah Vukmir’s vote against requiring insurance companies to cover oral chemotherapy, which Kirsten relied on in her battle against brain cancer:

“One of those lonely votes was Leah Vukmir. Why? Leah Vukmir said it was because she doesn’t believe we should place mandates on insurance companies. Mandates like covering oral chemo. Or mandates like covering pre-existing conditions,” said Kirsten Jome-Robley on the call. “That is who Leah Vukmir is: More concerned about insurance companies than cancer patients like me.”

In addition to today’s breaking news, last week, HuffPost published a new report on Leah Vukmir’s career of introducing legislation based on ALEC’s corporate lobbyist-influenced model policies.

Audio of the call is available here.

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