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Calling out Fred Clark

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Remember the Dem Representative who was caught on tape saying he was tempted to call a constituent back and "smack her around"? Followup question: where are the women's groups? We might get an answer soon. This letter To the Wisconsin Women's Council went out today. (Tip: Don't Hold Your Breath.)

June 20, 2011
Ms. Kristine Martinsek
Wisconsin Women’s Council
101 East Wilson, 8th Floor
Madison, Wisconsin, 53702 
Dear Ms. Martinsek,

As current and former members of the Wisconsin Women’s Council, we are troubled by the recent actions of State Representative Fred Clark and ask the council to immediately issue a formal statement on the matter.

According to the Baraboo News Republic, Clark’s recent phone conversation with a female constituent ended with him telling his campaign staffer, "OK. I feel like calling her back and smackin' her around."

The fact that Clark was not aware his comments were being recorded does not mitigate the damage those comments have done.  The woman Clark’s comments were directed at works as a nurse anesthetist, a high pressure job with profound responsibilities.  Clark’s disturbing remarks left her with the impression that her state representative had no respect for her and the significant contributions she makes to their communit. In one short sentence, Clark not only revealed his personal lack of respect for women but set a terrible example for his young staff member as well.

As the elected representative for the people of the 42nd state assembly district, Clark is responsible to all the citizens of the district, not just those with whom he agrees.  To wish violence upon a constituent with whom he disagrees, proves that he feels otherwise.

This matter has received widespread attention both here in Wisconsin and across the nation.  We believe it is necessary for the state’s only statutorily created office charged with “enhancing the ability of all Wisconsin women to participate fully in all aspects of life* to issue a statement about Representative Clark’s offensive behavior.

We are all concerned about domestic violence against women. That is why this language is particularly offensive coming from one of our elected leaders.

This issue is about saying “No” to violence against all women and for all reasons, not just protecting your own.  The bipartisan Wisconsin Women’s Council needs to address this issue.  Now.

Thank you for your time and consideration.  We look forward to your prompt response to this unfortunate situation.
Mary Jo Baas (WWC member since 1992, WWC Chair 2001-2004)
Margaret Farrow (WWC member 1989-2000, WWC Chair 1991-2000)
Heidi Green (WWC member since 2007)
Deborah Jordahl (WWC member 1998-2005)
Heather Smith (WWC member 2005-2008)



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