Senator Tim Carpenter
(MADISON)—Today, Senator Tim Carpenter issued the following statement regarding Speaker Robin Vos’ ethical failure by his disrespectful treatment of Representative Jimmy Anderson:
“I have witnessed many troubling injustices in the State Legislature during my time in Madison, but few have been as dumbfounding as Speaker Vos’ mistreatment of Representative Jimmy Anderson recently.
“Representative Anderson’s simple request to participate in Assembly committee hearings via conference call is not complicated, doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime, and it is very easy to compassionately understand why he sought that accommodation. Speaker Vos’ response to his request should have been just as straightforward: all that Speaker Vos needed to do was direct the Assembly Sergeant at Arms to make this accommodation for Rep. Anderson and it could be fulfilled quickly and easily. I firmly believe no committee members would have objected.
“Instead of respectfully trying to accommodate Jimmy, the Speaker decided to stubbornly patronize Representative Anderson, making up bogus reasons for denying a simple request and then proceeded to hide from the media because he knows he’s totally wrong!
“Speaker Vos’ disregard for a colleague is frankly embarrassing. He is treating Representative Anderson like a second class citizen, and disenfranchising the citizens of the 47th Assembly District.
“As legislators, we come here to bring the many voices of the people of Wisconsin together and improve our society. Any person, whose abilities require them to participate in society differently, should not have any fear that they are not welcome in the Wisconsin State Legislature, or that they cannot be a part of the process. Jimmy Anderson is the only member of the Legislature who brings this perspective with him to our discussions, and the way he is being treated speaks volumes.
“Speaker Vos’ silence is deafening and his actions are disrespectful to people with disabilities, and his disenfranchisement of Representative Anderson’s 60,000 constituents is undemocratic. All of this will be long remembered as Speaker Robin Vos’ moral failure.”