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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

The GOP's Bill Kramer Problem: No One Was Surprised.

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Posted at RightWisconsin.

The first thing to understand about the allegations against Assembly Majority Leader Bill Kramer is that no one is surprised.  No one.

Back in October, in a piece headlined,  13 Things That Should Scare Conservatives This Halloween, I wrote this: 

"Given the Dem strategy of running against a "War on Women" count on the media to magnify any gaffes, blunder, or incidents of insensitivity to women. Here in Wisconsin, this means that the single scariest politicianmay be Assembly Majority Leader Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha), who is always one joke away from a headline."

I think it is safe to say that the warning was ignored, maybe because it was old news.

There is likely no woman in state politics who was unaware of Kramer’s pattern and practice of conduct.  Sometimes it was simply inappropriate humor aimed at colleagues, staffers, lobbyists, or wives. But sometimes, including on out-of town-trips in which he was representing the state, it crossed the line into offensive and embarrassing.  The stories were legion. Alcohol was often involved.

As one political insider wrote me this morning, the headline:  "Assembly Majority Leader Bill Kramer accused of sexual harassment" was "the least surprising headline ever."

According to news reports and my own sources, Kramer’s conduct last week went beyond tasteless jokes, and included physical contact that could be construed as sexual assault.


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