luther olsen
Press Release
October 27, 2016

What Else is Luther Olsen Hiding?

Despite Moderate Rhetoric, Senator Olsen’s Record Shows He Votes for Extreme Republican Agenda at Expense of Kids & Veterans

MADISON, Wis. — In response to a question from the audience at a local candidate forum, longtime Senator Luther Olsen made it clear that he wants to hide his vote in the presidential race from voters. But that’s just the latest in a long string of votes Sen. Olsen has attempted to hide by saying one thing while doing another when he’s in Madison.

“Sen. Olsen’s track record shows he is willing to vote for every extreme piece of legislation put before him,” said Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now. “Olsen may talk a good game about being a moderate, but at every turn he has rejected common sense measures to help Wisconsinites and gone along with his party in passing laws that hurt us.”

Sen. Olsen’s extreme record of lies and hypocrisy includes:

  • Olsen claims to be a strong advocate for public education, but he has gone along with the Republican attacks on public education, voting to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from public schools and then topping off his hypocrisy by backing a 2015 state budget that siphons taxpayer dollars from public education to pay for private, taxpayer-funded voucher schools. Schools in Senate District 14 have lost $8.5 million in state aid since 2010.
  • Olsen called the University of Wisconsin System “one of the best things in the State of Wisconsin” and said “We are fools if we go around bashing [it].” He then went along with his party and voted to cut $250 million from the UW System in the 2015 budget, on top of cuts he had already voted for in 2011. He’s also spent his most recent term blocking action to address the growing student debt crisis, voting against a bill that would allow you to refinance your student loan just like you can a mortgage.
  • Olsen said he doesn’t believe voter fraud is a reality, yet he went along with his party and voted for the most restrictive voter ID law in the nation. The Olsen-backed law is so bad that a federal judge recently called it “a cure worse than the disease.”
  • Olsen claims to be an advocate for Wisconsin kids, but after benefitting from spending by a group that received at least $750,000 from the owner of one of the largest manufacturers of lead in paint, he went along with his party and voted for special, retroactive immunity that benefited the donor, making it more difficult to get justice for kids harmed by lead paint.
  • Olsen voted for a costly Republican-backed tax giveaway projected to give an average break of $120,000 to the millionaire Wisconsinites who claim it, leaving Wisconsin with less money to fund our schools, roads, and other priorities.
  • Olsen voted to raid tens of millions of dollars from veterans homes, including the veteran home at King in his own backyard. Olsen couldn’t even find the time to tour the King facility, canceling a planned inspection tour to judge a baking contest, instead.

“Luther Olsen has demonstrated time and again that he puts the Republican party before the people of Wisconsin. He has voted for the most extreme aspects of the Republican agenda, regardless of whether that hurts middle class Wisconsinites, kids, or veterans,” concluded Ross.

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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