MADISON)—Today, Senator Tim Carpenter is calling on Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to resign or be removed immediately as President of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL):
“Speaker Robin Vos proudly boasted and took pride that he cruelly forced hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites to choose between protecting their health and that of their families and community, and their constitutional right to vote.
“No voter should have ever been forced into this dilemma during the Coronavirus pandemic that is destroying American lives.
“Robin Vos’ gross arrogance and blatant partisanship render him unfit to continue to operate as the President of the nonpartisan NCSL. Vos has become a complete embarrassment to the great state of Wisconsin.
“Fifteen other states and the territory of Puerto Rico managed to come together in a bipartisan manner and decide to postpone their April elections. Speaker Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald’s refusal to work with Governor Evers to do the right thing has turned Wisconsin into a laughingstock and a national embarrassment.
“Robin Vos has repeatedly said that Wisconsin’s election must take place as scheduled, but he must be forgetting that in 2018, during the Lame Duck Session, he and his Republican colleagues proposed moving the date of this year’s Presidential Primary for the political benefit of Republican Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly. If elections can be rescheduled for political expediency, then they can be moved in the interest of public health.
“The straw that broke the camel’s back was the clownish pictures and videos of Speaker Vos all dressed up in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), telling voters from behind a line of caution tape that “You are incredibly safe to go out.” This episode exposes the Speaker’s vanity, and lack of common sense at a time when I am constantly hearing from health care workers who are putting their lives on the line and can’t find enough PPE to do their daily work of treating the sick and vulnerable.
“Robin Vos’ political position allows him to draw on scarce resources while tens of thousands of Wisconsinites have to fend for themselves and expose themselves to a dangerous situation that goes against the advice of medical professionals from doctors in local clinics to the Surgeon General of the United States. Although the voters came into unavoidable contact with many people at the polls yesterday, there were hundreds in line at any given time, they were not as privileged as Speaker Vos to be supplied with PPE. Some voters were even told that they would need their own pens in order to vote.
“Because Speaker Vos, Majority Leader Fitzgerald, and the Republican caucuses of the State Legislature decided to completely ignore Governor Evers’ Special Sessions to postpone this election to a later time which would have allowed us to plan for a vote by mail, it was the worst Election Day of many people’s lives.
“I would like to thank the voters whom I saw making the trip to cast their ballots yesterday, and I express my condolences to those Wisconsinites who were unable to cast a ballot whether it was to protect their health or that of others and those whose ballots were never delivered to them or invalidated despite the fact that they followed the instructions of a federal judge. I saw bravery and patriotism among the people of Wisconsin as well as our clerks and election workers, and absolute fecklessness and irresponsible arrogance among the Republican leadership of our State Legislature.
“Now we will see how the trajectory of Wisconsin’s cases of COVID-19 has been affected by the Legislature’s decision not to conduct this election by mail. My prayers are for those who may become sick and the first responders and healthcare professionals who are working so diligently to treat them.
“Speaker Robin Vos must resign or be removed as President of the National Conference of State Legislatures immediately. Vos’ actions demonstrate his lack of the character and compassion that are necessary to continue as a leader.”