With the Republican Party of Wisconsin playing dumb, and Rep. John Jagler staying mum, let’s set the record straight and make this perfectly clear:
The Wisconsin State Journal editorial board did not endorse Jagler, R-Watertown, for state Senate in the April 6 election, no matter how much the state party wants to pretend we did.
The party recently sent a devious campaign flyer to voters in the 13th Senate District featuring the State Journal’s logo next to glowing praise for Jagler. The obvious implication was that the State Journal was backing Jagler and encouraging others to support him.
But the words were Jagler’s, not ours. The Republican Party took sentences from a candidate questionnaire that appeared in the State Journal and changed some of the wording to third person. That way, instead of Jagler saying nice things about himself, it sounded like the State Journal was touting his record.
We weren’t. And the party didn’t have permission to use our logo. Nor should it have misrepresented our editorial board’s views.
When asked to remove the State Journal’s logo and issue a public statement clarifying that the State Journal had not endorsed Jagler, state GOP chairman Andrew Hitt ignored our inquiries. Instead, his spokesperson sent a lame statement claiming nothing was wrong with the flyer.
So much for Republicans being the party of personal responsibility.
Even if Jagler didn’t know about the misleading flyer, which is doubtful, he should have publicly called on the party to stop using it after we called his attention to it. Instead, he has ignored our concerns for days, hoping the embarrassing episode would blow over.
The other candidates in this special election for a vacant Senate seat are Democrat Melissa Winker and independents Ben Schmitz of the American Solidarity Party and Spencer Zimmer, who is running as a “Trump Conservative.” The 13th District includes most of Dodge County, the northern half of Jefferson County, and the edges of northeastern Dane County.
Please vote April 6 knowing that the State Journal has not endorsed Jagler. His silence is reason enough to favor someone else.