Vukmir campaign: Baldwin fires top staffer over Tomah and attempts to buy her silence

Contact: Jessica Ward, (608) 213-5939
Baldwin Fires Top Staffer Over Tomah And Attempts To Buy Her Silence  
Brookfield, Wis. — After learning about the abuses at the Tomah VA, failing to release the report and admitting there was wrongdoing, Senator Baldwin proceeded to fire her deputy state director who she claimed Senator Baldwin was culpable.

After firing her staffer, Baldwin proceeded to offer her a taxpayer-funded settlement, which would have come with a gag order preventing her from discussing anything about the Tomah VA with the public.

Baldwin’s decision making begs the following questions: What did Tammy Baldwin know? Why did she fire a top aide? And why did she offer a taxpayer-funded settlement to keep her staffer silent?

“Senator Baldwin let our veterans down and fired a high-ranking staffer in her office in an attempt to shift the blame onto someone else,” said Leah Vukmir campaign manager Jess Ward. “Then after the fact, she attempted to bribe her staffer to keep her quiet. Senator Baldwin should be ashamed of her unwillingness to take responsibility for her own failures — all to protect her political career.”

BACKGROUND …

Days after initial reports that Baldwin failed to act on the issues at Tomah, she fired her Deputy State Director, Marquette Baylor, “without explanation.” “Under fire for her office’s inaction over alleged overmedication at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin abruptly ousted one of her top state staffers late last week. Marquette Baylor — deputy state director for Baldwin and chief of her Milwaukee office — was let go on Thursday without explanation. Baylor has been offered a cash payout as part of a severance package if the former aide agrees to keep her lips zipped. ‘It looks like they’re trying to pin the blame on her,’ a source said of Baylor’s dismissal by Baldwin.” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel1/26/15)

Baldwin offered a top staffer a taxpayer-funded settlement, but it required silence regarding Tomah.  “A former top staffer to U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has rejected a proposed severance deal that would have required her to remain silent regarding what she knew about the problems at the troubled Tomah VA Medical Center. … ‘The deadline has passed, and Marquette rejected the offer,’ said one source close to Baylor.  A second source said the issue is now ‘in the senator’s court.’  ‘Marquette didn’t want to be hogtied by the deal,’ the second source said. ‘She can now move on without any restrictions.’” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 1/26/15)

Baldwin wouldn’t even disclose that she fired a top aide or that she offered her a taxpayer-funded settlement.  “Baldwin and her staff won’t even acknowledge terminating Baylor. More important, they won’t disclose the proposed five-figure severance deal offered to Baylor that would have required her to keep quiet about the Tomah mess.”  (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 1/26/15)

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