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The Latest: GOP lawmakers say Evers didn’t lead on issue

September 5, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Wisconsin governor’s race (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

Republican legislative leaders say there’s no evidence that state Superintendent Tony Evers led the charge to change a state law making it easier to revoke licenses of problem teachers.

Evers has said he worked with the Legislature to fix a loophole in the law that he says prevented him from revoking the license of a teacher who viewed pornographic images on his school computer.

Republican Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke says Evers never visited lawmakers to ask for their support. The bill had no Democratic co-sponsors but the Legislature passed it unanimously.

Evers did not testify at the public hearing, but a representative of the agency he leads did.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says Evers was “hiding in the shadows” because the teachers’ union didn’t want the bill.


10:20 a.m.

The Republican leader of the Wisconsin Senate says that the state’s juvenile prison has “been a mess for some time” but it’s difficult to know how much Gov. Scott Walker knew about the problems.

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald spoke Wednesday on a conference call with reporters where he argued that Tony Evers has failed to lead on changing state law to make it easier to revoke licenses of problem teachers.

Fitzgerald was asked whether Walker had done enough to address reports of inmate abuse at the Lincoln Hills prison. Walker’s administration had been sent a letter in 2012 by a judge warning him of problems there, but Walker says he never received it.

Walker, Fitzgerald and other argue that Evers failed to do enough to revoke the license of a Middleton teacher who viewed pornographic images in the classroom when students were not present.


6:04 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker’s first attack ad of the governor’s race refers to a sex act while criticizing Democrat Tony Evers for not revoking the license of a middle school teacher who viewed pornographic images on a school computer.

The ad released Wednesday continues the argument that state schools chief Evers didn’t do enough to remove Middleton teacher Andrew Harris from the classroom. Evers contends he didn’t have the power to do that and worked to change the law so he could.

The ad quotes from the school investigation report that found Harris had suggested that one female student “brush up on her sex skills.” The narrator also says the teacher “commented on the chest sizes of middle school girls.”

Harris was fired in 2010, but an arbitrator determined he should have been suspended. State courts upheld the arbitrator’s ruling to give Harris his job back.

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