A Wisconsin Republican candidate says that his comments were taken out of context when he recently accused his Democratic opponent of “murdering” his grandchild.
Earlier this week, the Green Bay Press-Gazette asked County Board candidate Jason Wisneski about a 2008 conviction for animal mistreatment for breaking his cat’s legs. Although Wisneski denied breaking his cat’s legs, he spent three days in jail after pleading guilty.
In response, Wisneski pointed to a 2007 tragedy, when his Democratic opponent, state Senator Dave Hansen, accidentally killed his 23-month-old granddaughter while backing out of the driveway.
“It’s funny how they never bring up Dave Hansen murdering his grandchild though,” Wisneski wrote in a post on the Press-Gazette‘s website.
Wisneski’s wife, Monica Podgurski-Wisneski, added: “Hanson is a murderer but because of who he is and his money he got away with it. Yet liberals forgive the child killer. Can you say hypocrisy?”
In a statement on Wednesday, Hansen said that Wisneski and his wife had “caused great pain to our family.”
WBAY also caught up with Hansen on Wednesday, who choked up while trying to hold back the tears.
“It is something we live with as grandparents everyday,” he said. “It’s almost 7 years — it will be 7 years in July when we lost Elliana — and something you remember of every second of every day.”
“For a non-partisan election to turn against a sitting senator in his 14th year on an accident that happened many years ago is really sad and tragic, and really question where the civility is in government when it gets to stoop that low.”
For his part, Wisneski told WBAY that the whole thing was “being blown way out of proportion.”
“In no way am I calling Mr. Hansen a murderer,” he insisted to WLUK. “I understand what happened was an accident. I was just more so pointing out the hypocrisy of the press in not, it seems like they don’t want to bring up any tragedies when a liberal has one, but if something painful happens to a conservative, they’ll do that two weeks before the election.”
The Brown County Republican Party has called on Wisneski to resign from his leadership position with the party.
“We were extremely disappointed to learn of comments made recently by candidate Jason Wisneski in reference to Senator Dave Hansen and his family,” party Chairman Mark Becker said in a statement. “His comments are beneath the character standards we have set and we denounce them wholeheartedly.”
“And effective immediately, I have requested the resignation of Mr. Wisneski from affiliation with the Brown County Republican Party.”
Watch the video below from WBAY, broadcast March 27, 2014.