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."
Thediscrimination 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?
Yet, crucially, Tarantino stops short of offering a full
retraction of her discrimination claims.
been calling on Tarantino to drop out of the contest to fill a seat in the
conservative 98th Assembly District ever sinceNo Quarterfirst reported Friday on Tarantino's
statements in her December deposition.
He notes that the regrets were obviously not
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
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.