PR Watch: Assembly Majority Leader Bill Kramer, a stalwart of the American Legislative Exchange Council, has been accused of sexually harassing two women while in Washington, D.C. last week for a Wisconsin GOP fundraiser. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the 49-year-old Republican lawmaker physically and verbally harassed a 33-year-old female lobbyist at the fundraising event and another woman on the plane back to Wisconsin…OK, so here’s the timeline here: the Assembly GOP were warned that Kramer was a pig (and apparently a bit of a nutjob) in September of 2013. In January of 2014, they elected him Assembly Majority Leader (think Eric Cantor’s equivalent in the Wisconsin legislature). They knew that he’d been accused of sexual harassment before, but they went ahead and elected him anyway.
Kramer’s office staff released a statement indicating that the boss was checking into rehab, but a little counseling may not be enough. This is not the first time that this type of allegation has been made about Kramer. Republican State Representative Chris Kapenga warned his caucus that Kramer was a loose cannon after he engaged in similar conduct at an ALEC meeting in Chicago last August.
According to news reports, Kramer shrugged off the allegations: “I have heard that something happened at ALEC, and everybody I’ve talked to said they heard something inappropriate happened at ALEC,” Kramer said. “I haven’t run into anybody that saw something inappropriate happen at ALEC. Apparently, I had a pretty good time.”
Kramer is an ALEC pointman in the Wisconsin legislature. He supported Voter ID, telecom deregulation, anti-consumer tort legislation, the repeal of collective bargaining rights for state workers and more. He also supported radical restrictions on a woman’s right to choose, including a state mandated ultrasound before terminating a pregnancy.
The cocky Kramer, who likes to use Wisconsin’s new concealed carry law to reportedly carry a Glock semiautomatic onto the floor of the Assembly, will face a vote on Tuesday designed to strip him of his leadership position and ease him out of office.
These accusations are so serious that it’s highly likely that he’ll be removed from his leadership post tomorrow. Wait, did I say the accusations were serious? I’m sorry, I meant the bad publicity is serious.
Obviously, Wisconsin Republicans don’t take this sort of thing seriously at all. If they did, Bill Kramer would never have gotten the leadership post in the first place.