Democrats are calling on GOP U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson to fire his campaign’s senior communications adviser more than a week after he sent out messages attacking rival Tammy Baldwin’s “heartland values” because of her sexual orientation.
After refusing to address the matter for six days, Thompson denounced the actions of Brian Nemoir on Sept. 11 following a speech to the Rotary Club of Milwaukee. He told reporters that Nemoir had been shuffled to another role with his campaign, implying that it was a lesser – and less public – role.
But on Wednesday night, Nemoir sent out e-mails negotiating debates for Thompson under the title of “senior advisor/communications” for the former governor’s campaign, showing that his role had not changed.
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Thompson also told reporters that Nemoir had apologized, but he actually told the media that he stands by his attacks on Baldwin, who would become the first out gay person ever elected to the U.S. Senate if she wins.
“Thompson needs to start telling the truth and he needs to show Brian Nemoir the door,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin chairman Mike Tate in a prepared statement. “Today we are calling on Tommy Thompson to do the right thing and take responsibility for his divisive campaign and reject the personal attacks that are out of touch with our Wisconsin values.
“It is time to hold him accountable for his record, the positions he takes and what his campaign does and says. If Tommy Thompson is afraid of standing up to his own political handlers then what makes anyone believe he will stand up for us in Wisconsin.”
During the Bush era, Republicans frequently gay-baited opponents who supported equality in an attempt to drive their hardline Christian fundamentalist base to the polls. Tate said he believed Nemoir’s attack on Baldwin reflects this divisive style of campaigning.