One Wisconsin Now Blog

GOP Senator's Taxpayer-Financed Office Coordinating With Romney Campaign

The results of a partially filled open records request by the office of Sen. Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn) show that in the days after Kedzie conspicuously sent out a press release and photo from his state office related to an incident involving his son in Whitewater, Kedzie's taxpayer-financed office was coordinating communications between Kedzie's son and the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. 

"It is not the responsibility of taxpayers to foot the bill so Sen. Kedzie can have his office coordinate campaign strategy for Mitt Romney's political campaign," said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. "This raises not only ethical questions about how Kedzie uses his office, but also about what may have been efforts to inappropriately inflame and inject politics into an unfortunate incident involving the assault of his son."

Among the records obtained by One Wisconsin Now were two separate emails from a Kedzie staffer who used her state account to email Kedzie's son to coordinate a call between the son and the Romney campaign. They are available here and the text is below:

From: Michelle Osdene, Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 12:19PM

Subject: Sean Kedzie media

Hi Sean,

Great job today. Please let me know what your availability is to do media tomorrow and Thursday. I'm guessing we will get at least a few more requests tomorrow. The Romney camp called today, they would like to set up a time for someone to call you. They were thinking sometime within the next week. 

I told them I would follow up with a few times that would work on your end. Let me know when you will be available. For your information, I've included a list of the media that popped up on my Google Alerts (by noon) today.

Let me know if you have any questions.

From: Michelle Osdene, Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 12:51PM

Subject: Romney Camp

Hi Sean,

We got a call from the Romney office. It sounds like the will likely call on Friday, so if you see a restricted number you might want to answer. Thanks!

A right wing, Wisconsin website indicated in a post October 23 that Kedzie's son had been already contacted by then-Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, leaving questions about the intention of the Romney campaign's additional need to speak with Kedzie's son. 

"The incident with Sen. Kedzie son was unsettling and physical violence is never the answer," said Ross. "In the same vein, Sen. Kedzie needs to answer why his taxpayer-financed office was coordinating communications between his son and a failing political campaign in its final desperate days."