Too little too late? 

Assembly candidate Jeanne Tarantino issued this statement Monday, apologizing for charging that she was the victim of discrimination when she left her job as chief of he staff to Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

"Divorce proceedings are deeply personal and often painful events best handled privately. Unfortunately, during the course of an exhausting five and one-half hour deposition by my ex-husband's lawyers, I let my frustrations get the best of me and I made a comment I immediately regretted about my transfer from the Lt. Governor's office. I have felt terrible about it ever since.  The transfer was difficult at the time, as was this deposition. I have apologized to the Lt. Governor and hope she will forgive me."  

The discrimination charges were flaky from the get-go, as even her own attorney admitted. But now, essentially, Tarantino seems to be admitting that he testified falsely under oath. Or is she?

Dan Bice notes that Tarantino hasn't extracted herself from the political quagmire of her own making:

Yet, crucially, Tarantino stops short of offering a full retraction of her discrimination claims.

Conservative talk-show host Mark Belling has been calling on Tarantino to drop out of the contest to fill a seat in the conservative 98th Assembly District ever since No Quarter first reported Friday on Tarantino's statements in her December deposition.

He notes that the regrets were obviously not immediate.

But if she did feel immediate regret for her remarks, that didn't stop her from repeating the claim nearly 100 pages later in her 150-page deposition.

Under questioning, she said she believed the discrimination continued when she moved into her second state job, which she described as having less responsibility than her post with Kleefisch.

"Gender discrimination. Have you heard of that term?" Tarantino said in the deposition. "It's very common. As you advance in age, women are kind of given lesser important tasks to do and kind of pushed to the margins."

How awkward is this?

Tarantino has been endorsed by a long list of GOP officials and movers, including Kleefisch herself. Most of those endorsements, however, came before the deposition meltdown. There is obvious reluctance to pull back publicly now.

But much of Tarantino's support comes from officials/activists/operatives with close ties to Kleefisch and many seemed to have endorsed Tarantino as a favor to the lieutenant governor, who has been loyal to a fault to her former staffer. That motive has now evaporated.

At this late date, Tarantino doesn't need to drop out of the race. But Waukesha voters are savvy. And they have other choices. And I'd be surprised if they didn't take them.