You know your campaign has hit a rough patch when your most memorable line at a candidate forum is your denial that you lied under oath. James Wigderson reports:
At a candidate forum for the special election in the 98th Assembly District, the candidates were asked if they ever lied under oath or been arrested. In front of the approximately 100 people in attendance, Jeanne Tarantino gave a simple, "no."
Tarantino is a former aide to Lt Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. Tarantino left the office for a different position in state government before deciding to run for the open Assembly seat. In a recent divorce proceeding, Tarantino said under oath – twice – that her transfer from the Lt Governor’s office was the result of discrimination. The story was reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel before the divorce hearing records were sealed.
Tarantino has since apologized to Kleefisch for making the charge, which blamed on the stress of the divorce deposition.
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."
As we previously wrote: "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?" As Dan Bice and others have pointed out, her apology stopped short of a full retraction. Wigderson reports:
On Monday night, when given a chance to explain herself, Tarantino instead chose instead to leave the accusation against Kleefisch uncorrected.
The question that is now posed to Kleefisch, will she withdraw her endorsement of Tarantino, or will she allow Tarantino continue to publicly attack the Lt Governor’s reputation with a very serious charge?
Will Kleefisch say Tarantino lied to an audience of over 100 people, or is she willing to allow Tarantino to stand by the smear of the Lt Governor?
Potentially another problem for Kleefisch was her comment that seemed to question Gov. Walker's proposal to tighten work and job training requirements for Food Stamp recipients. From the Waukesha Patch's live blog:
Carl Engelking - Patch:
Tarantino: "I do agree with the able-bodied proposal. However, I am concerned that it is tied to food and I think that is essential."
Jeanne Tarantino took some moderate stances on immigration, schools and helping the unemployed in Monday's 98th Assembly GOP primary forum, while Adam Neylon often took the most conservative line....
But Tarantino questioned the idea of tying benefits to food, "because that's a basic necessity for life."...Tarantino told WisPolitics that she thought some of her opponents "were awfully hard line up there." She said she does not think most issues should be considered on partisan basis.