An ad released by Tony Ever’s campaign for governor shows former President of the Middleton-Cross Plains School Board Ellen Lindgren supporting Ever’s defense that there was nothing he could do at the time to revoke the license of Andrew Harris, a school teacher who was caught viewing pornography at the school. However, Lindgren’s defense of Evers stands in stark contrast to her harsh criticism of Department of Public Instruction (DPI) actions at the time of the Harris case.

Media Trackers previously reported on the Harris case, in which the DPI failed to revoke the license of a teacher who had watched pornography at school. Harris was fired in 2010 after he and other teachers looked at sexually explicit images at school. Evers has claimed that the law in place at the time didn’t allow for Harris’ teaching license to be revoked.

In the new ad released by Evers’ campaign,  Lindgren defends Evers by saying that they tried to fire the Harris. However there was nothing that they could do, and that, “Tony Evers worked with both parties to change the law.”

Republicans have argued against this, as the La Crosse Tribune reported, “Republican Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke says Evers never visited lawmakers to ask for their support. The bill had no Democratic co-sponsors but the Legislature passed it unanimously.”

Governor Scott Walker made a similar case in a recent interview with Media Trackers.

Furthermore, the school district — with Lindgren as its school board president at the time, issued a statement highly critical of Evers:

 “The MCPASD Board of Education took a stand against viewing pornography in school and requested a review of this case four years ago. Our state superintendent clearly doesn’t believe viewing pornography in school over a long period of time justifies license revocation. Thankfully, the legislature clarified this law to make certain that no other school district will have to deal with a similar case again. Our school district is abiding by the ruling of the arbitrator, and will provide the best possible environment for our students and our employees.”

Her change in tune may stem from her liberal background, as evidenced by her signature on the the recall Walker petition in 2011. Lindgren also ran and lost as a Democratic candidate for State Assembly in 2012, and has donated to many liberal candidates, such as in 2016 when the Wisconsin Campaign Finance Information July report shows she donated to to three Democratic candidates and the Democratic Party.

 

Sam MorateckSam Morateck is a reporter with Media Trackers. Reposted here with permission.