The Assembly clashed over two competing version of resolutions honoring Black History Month shortly after gaveling in for its second floor session of the year.
Neither of the differing resolutions were brought up for a floor vote after some in the Republican caucus expressed disapproval of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s inclusion in the Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus’ version.
Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke told reporters ahead of the floor session today that while both parties usually work together “to make sure there’s agreement on who we’re honoring,” disagreement over certain individuals resulted in the separate resolutions.
The Kaukauna Republican said Kaepernick drew the “biggest” concern in the GOP caucus “for obvious reasons.”
The GOP resolution removes both Kaepernick and “controversial reverend” Greg Lewis, a Milwaukee pastor, and replaces them with with Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Vel Phillips, the first African-American woman to hold statewide office.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus Chair Rep. David Crowley slammed the GOP resolution as “a slap in the face” to the caucus.
“The biggest issue that we have as a black caucus is people choosing to pick our leaders for us, as black people,” he told reporters this afternoon.
The Assembly last February passed two competing resolutions honoring Black History Month.