By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul released statements condemning the attempted firebombing of a prominent pro-life office in Madison — after they stoked the fires of radical rage in the wake of the Roe v. Wade draft decision leak, Republican lawmakers say.
“Today’s Democrat Party seems intent on maintaining a ‘safe space’ for political violence. It’s become a pattern of behavior with leaders on the Left: fan the flames with highly-charged rhetoric, then tweet out a weak statement only after death or destruction takes place,” Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) said Monday in a statement to Empower Wisconsin. “Whether pro-abortion groups, BLM, or environmental extremists, there is no justification for violence in our American political discourse.”
Madison police are investigating an arson that occurred early Sunday morning at the headquarters of Wisconsin Family Action on the city’s north side. Suspects threw Molotov cocktails though the building’s windows but the bottle bombs did not ignite, according to the incident report. A fire was set, damaging a corner office and burning books and carpeting before firefighters doused the flames.
The criminals tagged the exterior wall with an anarchy symbol and an anti-police code, according to reports. Scrawled beneath was a clear threat: “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.”
It took him a while, but Evers finally did condemn the Mother’s Day act of terrorism, tweeting, “We reject violence against any person for disagreeing with another’s view.”
Kaul later tweeted the “incident must be fully investigated” and the responsible party should be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
But such comments came days after Wisconsin’s attorney general said he wouldn’t commit any resources of the Wisconsin Department of Justice to investigate or prosecute violations of Wisconsin’s anti-abortion law should Roe v. Wade be overturned. He made his declaration of lawlessness after Politico published a draft of a U.S. Supreme Court majority opinion penned by Justice Samuel Alito that would strike down the constitutionally suspect 1973 decision that nationally legalized abortion.
Going further, Kaul advised district attorneys and law enforcement in Dane, Milwaukee and Sheboygan counties (where abortions are presently performed in Wisconsin) not to enforce the 1849 law prohibiting abortion in most cases in the absence of Roe v. Wade.
Evers was quick to condemn the U.S. Supreme Court draft, firing off heated tweets even before the court confirmed the validity of the draft.
“Our work to defend access to reproductive healthcare has never been more important. Before I became governor, I promised I’d fight to protect access to abortion and reproductive rights. I’ve kept that promise, and I will fight every day as long as I’m governor,” Evers wrote, using the leak as a means to campaign. He subsequently lied, insisting Wisconsin’s anti-abortion laws would “make criminals out of women.” The law does not penalize women for having abortions.
Sen. Andre Jacque (R- De Pere), a staunch advocate of pro-life laws and policy, said the incendiary comments Evers and Kaul made last week only light the fuse on the destruction and violence the radical left has so extensively employed. He noted Evers’ controversial statements before the Black Lives Matter riots that burned down sections of Kenosha, and the governor’s failure to swiftly deal with mob violence in Kenosha, Madison and Milwaukee.
“It is a shocking level of vitriol being focused on individuals trying to offer life-affirming care and support and it really is excusing violence by some pretty dangerous folks,” Jacque said. “For people who want to talk about ‘insurrections’ (at the U.S. Capitol), when you see the actual violence taking place from the left, (the condemnation from Evers and Kaul) really is extremely reserved.”
An aide for a legislative leader said Kaul “picking and choosing” what laws he will enforce sends signals to the militant left that they can get away with violence in the name of laws they don’t support.
“They get the message that the idea is saying it’s open season, ‘We can do whatever the hell we want,’” the aide said.
State Sen. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) said the rhetoric from leaders on the left has created an environment that condones violence as a justifiable end to disagreement.
“And then you have a governor being incendiary (for political purposes) and an attorney general saying, ‘I’m not going to enforce the law,’” Felzkowski said.
“Tony Evers is running on bringing people together. If he’s really bringing people together why would he be making remarks like this that are so partisan and driving people apart?” the senator added. She asks the same of Democratic leadership in the legislature.
Jacque pointed to what now, in light of the apparent act of terrorism in Madison and the rage-filled protests at the homes of Supreme Court justices, was U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer’s chilling threat fulfilled. The New York Democrat a little more than two years ago spoke at an abortion rights rally warning conservative justices —Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh in particular — of what would happen if they roll back abortion protections.
“I want to tell you Gorsuch. I want to tell you Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions,” Schumer shouted.
“That idea is echoed on what was scrawled on the Wisconsin Family Action building on Mother’s day, the idea that ‘you have to capitulate to us politically or you will pay the price physically,” Jacque said.