CONTACT: Melanie Conklin, 608-260-2409
MADISON — Today, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is calling on Rep. Dale Kooyenga to reimburse Wisconsin taxpayers for the $30,000 we were forced to pay on his behalf to settle the lawsuit Kooyenga incurred after he stole personal property in the Capitol.
“On Kooyenga’s campaign website, he talks about advancing personal responsibility and describes himself as a fiscal conservative,” said Melanie Conklin, Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson. “However, if he actually believes in personal and fiscal responsibility, Kooyenga will repay Wisconsin taxpayers who should not be forced to pay $30,000 for his illegal behavior.”
Kooyenga’s theft came to light in May of 2017, when a protest sign went missing from the Capitol rotunda. When it’s owner complained, security footage revealed Kooyenga, the chair of the “Certified Public Accountants” caucus had stolen the sign. Capitol police searched his office and recovered the sign, which Kooyenga said he removed because he was offended by its content despite claiming to believe in freedom of speech.
Shortly thereafter, Kooyenga falsified the details of the incident to the press, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“When the incident became public last summer, Kooyenga initially told The Associated Press the sign said “damn all Republicans” and called multiple Republicans gropers, but the sign did not say those things.”
“The First Amendment is something every American, especially our elected officials, should uphold. It makes no expectation for whether or not Wisconsin Republicans are offended by the message,” concluded Conklin. “Kooyenga’s constituents deserve better than a hypocrite who would rather take their hard-earned tax dollars than take real responsibility for the crime he committed.”