State Sen. Tim Carpenter has apologized to Senate candidate Nada Elmikashfi for a Twitter exchange over the weekend that the chamber’s top Dem and the state party say devolved into online bullying.
The Milwaukee Dem’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended over the weekend after he repeatedly sent a message to Elmifaski, who’s running for the open 26th SD in Madison. The exchange began over a bill he’s co-sponsoring to make it a felony to deface or destroy monuments of historical significance on government property.
Carpenter, who was injured during a Capitol protest that toppled statues, wrote on Twitter yesterday afternoon that he has been taught to “respond to disagreements with dignity, thoughtfulness and patience.”
“My actions over the last few days show that I lost sight of those values,” he wrote.
Following the announcement of the bill that Carpenter is co-sponsoring with Rep. Rob Hutton, R-Brookfield, Elmikashfi via Twitter urged people to elect her to the Senate “so I can block this absolute bullshit.” She referenced Carpenter being assaulted at the late June protest that turned violent, “but that doesn’t mean you get to block our civil rights movement.”
The two then began an exchange over the course of the weekend with Carpenter writing Elmikashfi didn’t “have a clue” and he was “already an ally.” As the exchange continued, Carpenter repeatedly posted to Elmikashfi’s Twitter post and Facebook page a screenshot of a private message she sent him expressing “the utmost respect for you.”
Elmikashfi declined to be interviewed about the incident, but she released a statement saying the harassment she received from Carpenter “must turn our attention to the work we still have yet to accomplish in intersectionality.” She said Senate Minority Leader Janet Bewley and state Dem Party Chair Ben Wikler pledged to improve the party and caucus’ commitment to racial justice.
“We must treat each other with respect and the understanding that in order to better each other, we must first seek to better ourselves,” Bewley said.
She thanked Carpenter for his apology after he posted it to Twitter.
“Nobody should be subjected to online bullying, which disproportionately harms women and people of color — not during this moment of long-overdue reckoning with racial justice, and not ever,” said Wikler, urging Carpenter “to ensure that it does not happen again.”
Bewley said she spoke with Carpenter and “he recognizes that his behavior crossed a line, and that he behaved inappropriately.”
Elmikashfi is one of seven Dems running in the Aug. 11 primary for the open 26th SD, where Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, has served for more than 50 years.
See Carpenter’s apology:
See the Dem Party’s tweet:
See Bewley’s tweet:
Listen to a candidate interview with Elmikashfi: