Rep Sargent: Intimidated by “federal issues,” Scott Walker deflects on elections interference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 17, 2018

Contact: Britt Cudaback, britt.cudaback@legis.wi.gov, 308-440-2939

MADISON – Today, State Representative Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) again slammed Governor Scott Walker for wading into federal policy discussions about international tariffs and the Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME decision but repeatedly deflecting on issues like children being separated from their parents and put in cages, and most recently, Russian interference in the 2016 elections, chalking up his silence to “leav[ing] that up to federal folks,” because the issues are “federal policy” and “out of his jurisdiction.”

“At this point, is Scott Walker’s favorite color even under his own jurisdiction? Or is that a federal issue, too?” questioned Sargent.

Sargent’s most recent comments come as President Trump denied Russian interference in the 2016 election yesterday and Mariia Butina, a senior Russian official, was arrested Monday accused of working with to assist Russians in influencing American politics and the 2016 presidential election. Pictures of Walker and Butina at Walker’s 2015 presidential campaign launch resurfaced yesterday as Walker dodged condemning Russian election interference as “not in [his] jurisdiction.”

“Scott Walker made Russian election interference his ‘jurisdiction’ when he took a picture with Mariia Butina and slapped his presidential campaign logo on it. And it continued being his jurisdiction when he vetoed funding for staff at the Elections Commission despite reports that Russia attempted to hack Wisconsin’s election systems.

“Just because Scott Walker doesn’t want to answer tough questions in an election year doesn’t mean it’s outside of his jurisdiction, it just means he’s too scared to take a stand on anything meaningful,” Sargent concluded.

Sargent is the lead author of a 2017 bill, AB 578/SB 482, that would have reinstated provisions allocating $304,100 to the Wisconsin Elections Commission for five full-time equivalent staff positions, a provision in the 201-2019 biennial budget that was supported and approved by Republican members of the Joint Finance Committee, but was among 99 provisions vetoed by Walker.

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