FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2018
Contact: Alec Zimmerman
Letter reveals Flynn gave priest accused of sexual abuse counsel, Mitchell cracks joke about the disabled
[Madison, WI] — The Democrats’ dangerous race to the left was on full display to start the week. First, late on Sunday night Mahlon Mitchell cracked a joke making fun of the developmentally disabled at a forum in Milwaukee – drawing rebuke from disability advocates and the governor. Then, on Monday morning, the Republican Party of Wisconsin unveiled a letter proving that Matt Flynn provided a priest accused of sexual abuse with direct counsel, something Flynn previously claimed that he had no role in. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a victims’ rights group, also went after Flynn calling on him to exit the race.
Check out the full recap the Democrats insults and dishonesty from the Journal Sentinel here or find excerpts below.
On Mahlon Mitchell cracking a joke at the expense of the developmentally disabled:
A group that advocates for people with disabilities is taking issue with a Democratic candidate for governor who during a Sunday forum compared himself to a movie character with developmental disabilities.
On Mitchell’s turn, Mitchell said: “This is going to sound good or bad, I don’t know, but at the firehouse they say that Cuba Gooding Jr. would play me but when he played Radio.”
In 2003, Gooding Jr. portrayed James “Radio” Kennedy, a man with developmental disabilities who was befriended by a high school football coach in the 1960s. Kennedy earned his nickname because of his collection of radios.
Following Mitchell’s comment, the audience laughed and the other debate participants — state Schools Superintendent Tony Evers, Flynn and former state Rep. Kelda Roys — smiled or chuckled.
Beth Sweeden, executive director of Wisconsin’s Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, said Mitchell’s attempt at humor was not productive.
“Like all traditionally marginalized groups, people with developmental disabilities do not find humor at their expense to be productive or helpful to the broader community in better understanding their unique assets and abilities as well as their priorities and challenges,” Sweeden said Monday.
On Matt Flynn giving direct counsel to priest accused of sexual abuse, despite his claims otherwise:
Meanwhile, Flynn on Monday defended his work as a lawyer for the Milwaukee Archdiocese during its priest abuse scandal, railed against what he called elites and contended he was not elite himself, even though he was able to put $140,000 of his own money into the race.
In response to the memo, the state Republican Party highlighted a 2003 letter from accused priest Marvin Knighton in which Knighton wrote that Flynn suggested in 1993 that Knighton wait to see if a complaint was filed against him and that he didn’t think the victim would do anything.
“Mr. Flynn told me that it would be too much of a hassle to do anything legally and most likely nothing would happen,” Knighton wrote. “How wrong was that?”
According to the archdiocese, accusations against Knighton were taken to prosecutors in 2002, nine years after Knighton said he met with Flynn. Knighton was charged with second-degree sexual assault of a child and acquitted by a jury.
He was later defrocked by the church and settlements were reached with two people who accused Knighton of sexual abuse, according to the archdiocese’s website.
Father Domenic Roscioli, who has been a Catholic priest for 44 years, issued a statement Monday accusing Flynn of covering up sex crimes and urging him to end his run for governor.
“Flynn and Weakland violated the deepest and most sacred ethical code of any profession, including my own: first do no harm,” Roscioli said in his statement.