Radically Wrong and divisive
Wisconsin can’t afford Rebecca Kleefisch’s radical record. Whether it’s supporting a disastrous economic agenda for Wisconsin or her history of divisive remarks, it’s clear where she stands.
Radical, Violent, and Divisive Comments
You won’t believe some of the divisive and outrageous things Kleefisch has said over the years. She has made radically dangerous statements, like calling on Republicans to “hire mercenaries,” insulting rape victims, and equating gay marriage to bestiality.
Radically Wrong Policies That Hurt Wisconsin
Rebecca Kleefisch’s policies are dividing our state and threatening our progress. She’s proud of her record of stripping funds away from schools, jeopardizing health care for Wisconsin families, and refusing to take any action to stop the pandemic.
Kleefisch is an Economic Disaster for Wisconsin
Instead of supporting working families, Radical Rebecca has consistently helped the wealthy and big corporations. She even negotiated a disastrous $4.5 billion tax giveaway to a foreign corporation, while underfunding critical infrastructure projects across the state. Her economic vision is radically wrong.
Watch our TV ad introducing Wisconsinites to Rebecca Kleefisch’s divisive comments:
Rebecca Kleefisch’s radical and violent comments will only make political division in Wisconsin worse. You won’t believe the outrageous comments she has made.
#RadicalRebecca says we must hire “paid fighters” and “mercenaries”—will her “army” act like the January 6th traitors?@RebeccaforReal will only make things worse. She is too radical and too divisive for Wisconsin. Read more at https://t.co/VSiOUdVStO. pic.twitter.com/L5jkTpJ6T9— Wisconsin Democrats (@WisDems) January 5, 2022
“Hire Mercenaries” To Help Win the Election
Kleefisch Told A Group Of Republicans In Door County “We Must Hire Mercenaries” To Help Her Become Governor In 2022. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Rebecca Kleefisch over the weekend told Republicans they needed to ‘hire mercenaries’ and engage in ‘ballot harvesting’ to help her win next year’s race for governor — a practice she has said she wants to ban.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/26/21]
“Because Our Army Must Be Bigger”
Kleefisch Spoke To A Wisconsin Group Of Republicans And Told Them “We Have To Pay Mercenaries … Because Our Army Must Be Bigger.” According to Rebecca Kleefisch at the Wisconsin Patriots ‘Help Protect Election Integrity Event’ in Kenosha, “KLEEFISCH [07:34]: Guys, we can’t simply depend on sweet little volunteers to do this. Their army is bigger, our Army must be bigger. We have to pay mercenaries.” [Wisconsin Patriots Help Protect Election Integrity, 11/14/2021]
“Are We Ready? Knives Out?”
Kleefisch Asked The Crowd At A County GOP Event “Are We Ready? Knives Out?” According to Rebecca Kleefisch at the Winnebago County GOP Christmas Party, “KLEEFISCH: It is going to be a 12-month long knife fight in a phone booth. Are we ready? Knives out?” [Winnebago County GOP Christmas Party, 12/9/2021]
“One Throat to Choke”
Kleefisch Called For The Wisconsin Elections Commission To Be Dissolved So Voters Have “One Throat To Choke.” According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in a radio interview last week said she wants to dissolve the Wisconsin Elections Commission and hand over its duties to elected officials so voters have ‘one throat to choke’ if something goes wrong.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/1/22]
Equating Gay Marriage to Bestiality
“Can we marry dogs? This is ridiculous”
– Rebecca Kleefisch
Kleefisch holds intolerant and divisive views on the LGBTQ community that have no place in Wisconsin
In 2010, Kleefisch went so far as to suggest that allowing gay marriage could be a “slippery slope” that could lead to people marrying “dogs” or “inanimate objects” such as a “clock” or a “table.”
Encouraged Death Threats to School Board Members
“I would love for these folks to have gone through what Gov. Scott Walker and I went through during the recalls: The vuvuzelas and the drums, and the death threats”
– Rebecca Kleefisch
Instead of bringing people together, Kleefisch has encouraged death threats and harassment of school board members. According to the Associated Press, Kleefisch said, “imagine if school board members felt something like that.”
Kleefisch to Rape Victims: Turn lemons into lemonade
Kleefisch stood by Sharron Angle’s comments that rape victims should “turn lemons into lemonade” saying Angle was “telling it like it is.”
Jeopardizing Fertility Treatments, Contraception
Kleefisch has spoken about her support for protecting “personhood” legislation. Extreme “personhood” legislation not only criminalizes a woman’s right to choose, it jeopardizes infertility treatments such as IVF and limit forms of contraception.
Helping the Wealthy and Big Corporations
Kleefisch’s economic beliefs are radically wrong. Instead of supporting working families in Wisconsin, Rebecca Kleefisch and Scott Walker did everything in their power to support the wealthy and help big corporations get ahead.
In fact, The Kleefisch-Walker administration passed tax cuts that were found to disproportionately benefit the wealthy, and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue Data showed that millionaires, who represented .2 percent of all tax filers, received 78 percent of benefits from Kleefisch-Walker’s 2011 manufacturing and agriculture credit.
Kleefisch even praised efforts at the federal level which would have ballooned the deficit while delivering tax breaks to those at the top.
In December 2017 Kleefisch praised the GOP tax bill, saying she was “grateful” for the GOP’s “ambitious” tax plan. The CBO estimated that the tax bill would increase the federal deficit by $1.9 trillion. Data showed this plan would cost over $1 trillion over the next decade and “deliver windfall gains to wealthy households and profitable corporations,” further widening the gap between the wealthiest and the rest of the country. As a result of this bill 60 Fortune 500 companies avoided paying federal income taxes in 2018 – more than three times the number of companies that avoided paying corporate taxes on average from 2008 to 2015.
Giveaways to Foreign Company at Taxpayers' Expense
Despite running on cleaning up government waste, Kleefisch negotiated a massive piece of corporate welfare for the Taiwanese company Foxconn, which could have cost Wisconsinites $3 billion, and later escalated to $4.5 billion – a billion more than the original deal. Kleefisch’s Foxconn deal was radically wrong.
Although Governor Evers was able to renegotiate this disastrous deal, taxpayers have already been on the hook for millions in infrastructure improvements and the state diverted tens of millions in road funding to build a highway near the Foxconn site.
Experts on the political left and right alike said the rewards were not justified by the cost of the tax breaks.
“The size of the subsidy was stunning. It was far and away the largest in Wisconsin history and the largest government handout to a foreign company ever given in America.”
Recklessly Blocked Hundreds of Communities from Broadband
The Walker-Kleefisch administration recklessly rejected $23 million for broadband in schools and libraries for partisan reasons.
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “State giving back stimulus funds intended for broadband expansion“
The money could have boosted broadband connections in 380 Wisconsin communities, including 385 libraries and 82 schools. It also could have been used to improve police, fire department, and hospital communications in rural areas.
The Pothole Administration
While they had no problem granting major tax breaks to foreign companies, Kleefisch and Walker defunded transportation and infrastructure, and left Wisconsin’s roads in dangerously bad condition.
“The Wisconsin Department Of Transportation reports that total funding across all state transportation programs has fallen since Gov. Scott Walker took office in 2011” – Capital Times, 2018
A 2017 state audit found the percentage of state highways in ‘fair, poor or worse’ condition more than doubled between 2010 and 2015, which isn’t surprising given funding levels during the Kleefisch-Walker administration, including:
Decrease in funding for major highway development
Decrease in highway improvement funding
Decrease in funding for southeast WI freeways
Decrease in local road funding (in 2017 dollars)
#RadicalRebecca can’t get her own opinions straight, and that’s because she’ll say anything to divide Wisconsin. Is this someone Wisconsinites can trust? pic.twitter.com/9jflYytSLf— Wisconsin Democrats (@WisDems) January 24, 2022
The Lying LG
As lieutenant governor, Kleefisch lied to Wisconsinites about her record on everything ranging from health care to the economy. “Mostly false,” “false,” “ridiculously false,” “pants on fire,” and the “lie of the year” all phrases that have been used to describe claims made by Kleefisch.
Kleefisch spread several “lies of the year.”
- 2018: Her claim that the Affordable Care Act was “a government takeover of health care”
- 2009: Her belief in debunked conspiracies about government “death panels“
Radical Rebecca: Dangerous Policies That Hurt Our State
Radical Response to COVID 19
Kleefisch has been radically wrong and reckless when it comes to the pandemic. Two years into the pandemic, Kleefisch admits she would’ve taken no action to keep people safe.
“Republican candidate for governor Rebecca Kleefisch has yet to release a plan to combat a contagious virus that has killed more than 8,000 Wisconsin residents, exhausted health care workers, and continues to batter Wisconsin’s service industry.”
Kleefisch even attacked hospitals and health care facilities for requiring medical personnel to receive the COVID vaccine
“But now that we have learned that we’re going to have health care workers shortage in the event of the hospital system having more cases of COVID, I think the last thing we need to be doing is mandating vaccines…”
Damaging Democracy for Partisan Gain
Rebecca Kleefisch has made her position on the democratic process clear: she will sign legislation that will restrict our freedom to vote in Wisconsin and supports moving control of our elections from a bipartisan commission to the gerrymandered Wisconsin legislature.
Kleefisch would move election control away from a bipartisan commission created by the Walker Kleefisch administration: “calls for shifting responsibility for the state’s elections from the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission, which her and Mr. Walker’s administration created in 2016, to the G.O.P.-controlled Legislature. Ms. Kleefisch declined to comment.” [New York Times, 10/6/21]
Kleefisch has pledged to sign GOP-backed bills to restrict voting: “[Evers] vetoed Republican bills to make absentee voting more difficult . . . Kleefisch promised to sign the election bills into law on her first day in office.” [Associated Press, 9/9/21]
Who Needs Health Care Anyway?
Rebecca Kleefisch is radically wrong on health care. She wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have resulted in over 430,000 Wisconsinites losing their insurance and would severely damage the state’s economy. That’s why she supported a lawsuit that Governor Walker authorized, which would have ended protections for 2.4 million Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions.
In office, Kleefisch also supported blocking BadgerCare expansion, which still blocks 90,000 Wisconsinites from affordable health care today.
Expanding BadgerCare at the time Kleefisch was in office would have:
- – Saved the state $643 million
- – Decreased the uninsured population by sixteen percent
- – Made 82,000 Wisconsinites eligible for coverage
Proudly Hurting Wisconsin Students and Teachers
- While students and teachers struggled to afford even basic school supplies, Rebecca Kleefisch and Scott Walker viciously attacked funding for Wisconsin’s public schools, making massive cuts to K-12 education and the University of Wisconsin system, which plays a key role in the state’s economy.
- In 2011, the Kleefisch-Walker agenda cut $800 million from public education.
- In 2015, Kleefisch proudly touted Governor Walker’s budget as a success – it failed to increase K-12 funding and cut University of Wisconsin funding by $250 million, impacting approximately 150,000 students and 21,000 workers.
- Kleefisch supported Gov. Walker’s legislation that led to a “historic” teacher shortage.
Radically Wrong on Public Safety
Kleefisch-Walker’s “First budget, passed in 2011, delivered the single largest cut to shared revenue in a decade — $76 million, or 9 percent.”
Cutting Services for Sexual Assault Survivors
- In 2011, the Walker administration’s DOJ announced plans to cut grants from its sexual assault victim services program by 42.5 percent. [Associated Press, 12/4/11]
- In 2018, officials said they don’t have current information for nearly 3,000 people convicted of sexual assault crimes.
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Wisconsin Corrections Officials Don’t Have Current Info For Nearly 3,000 Sex Offenders.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/27/18]
- Under the Walker-Kleefisch administration, there were only18 Department Of Corrections agents responsible for keeping 25,000 sex offenders in compliance. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/27/18]
Proposed Abolishing the Parole Commission
In 2017, the Walker-Kleefisch administration radically proposed abolishing the parole commission despite having nearly 3,000 on “parole eligible” sentences in Wisconsin.
- Cap Times: “The Parole Commission Has Operated Short-Handed During Walker’s Tenure; The Eight-Member Board Currently Has Five Vacancies.” [Cap Times, 3/5/17]
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Scott Walker’s Budget Would Shrink Parole Agency To 1 Employee.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/20/17]
PAID FOR BY THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF WISCONSIN, BEN WIKLER, CHAIR