Bruce Murphy
Back in the News

Michels Blasts Media, Defends Donations

GOP candidate for governor has supported anti-LGBT, anti-abortion, anti-contraception groups.

By - Aug 31st, 2022 12:57 pm
Tim Michels. Photo from Michels for Governor Facebook page.

Tim Michels. Photo from Michels for Governor Facebook page.

“The media has reached a new low in Wisconsin,” says an emailed message to supporters by the Tim Michels campaign for governor.

“The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and their affiliated USA Today Wisconsin papers attacked me and my wife Barbara for our charitable giving.”

Reporter Corrine Hess found that Michels and his wife Barbara “donated $250,000 to anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion groups, representing about 15% of his total donations in 2020. The Timothy and Barbara Michels Family Foundation funded organizations that oppose all forms of contraception and abortions in all cases. The foundation also spent thousands on churches with anti-LGBTQ beliefs.”

One of the groups funded by the Michels foundation is Pro Life Wisconsin, which supports a complete ban not just on abortion, but on the most common forms of contraception and birth control.

“Of course, they did not examine if Tony Evers donated to charity at all,” the Michels campaign complained. But the story notes that Evers doesn’t have a foundation, whereas Michels does and as a tax-exempt non-profit, it must file an annual 990 federal tax statement. Charitable donations by an individual aren’t reported that way.

Michels has declared that Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban, which allows no exceptions for victims of rape or incest, is in line with his personal beliefs. “I’m pro-life because of my faith, and I will not apologize for it,” he has said. For those who might have thought this was just meant for Republican primary voters, it’s now clear that’s not the case. Michels has very strong socially conservative views.

Whereas his Republican opponent Rebecca Kleefisch declared she did not support legislation to ban access to birth control, including emergency contraception, Michels declined to explain his views. Under current Wisconsin law hospital nurses and doctors are mandated to inform victims of sexual assault of their right to emergency contraception and to provide the pills upon request. Emergency contraception or “morning after pills” are legal and can halt ovulation, block fertilization, or prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus.

Michels also opposes same-sex marriage, as the AP reported in June. “My position that is that marriage should be between a man and a woman,” Michels said. He backed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage when he ran for U.S. Senator against Democrat Russ Feingold in 2004.

When asked in June whether he would take steps as governor to limit the rights of gay people, Michels said: “As a businessman, what I do is I look at what’s in the legislation and it’s all about the details. So I am very hesitant to do hypotheticals on a broadly stated question like that.”

These are not views supported by most voters in Wisconsin. According to the Marquette Law School polls, 53% of people in the state support same sex marriage and 60% oppose the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, while an overwhelming majority, including 79% of Republicans, support an exception to any abortion ban for women who are pregnant as the result of rape or incest. As for emergency contraception, it does not appear that state respondents were polled, but nationally 70% of people oppose a ban on it, including 62% of Republicans.

Back in 2019, the revelation that state Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn founded and oversaw a private religious school that prohibits teachers, students and parents from being in gay relationships did not prevent him from winning election. In fact, some believe it helped propel him to victory in the April 2019 election by driving a higher turnout of conservative Republican voters, who were angry about media coverage of his views.

Clearly the Michels campaign is hoping to use the coverage of his charitable donations as a way to stoke such anger. “Assaulting the reputations of Catholic nuns, some of the largest churches in Wisconsin, and even cancer research is shameful, and the people of Wisconsin should not tolerate this disgusting, anti-religious bigotry,” his message to supporters declares.

Beyond all the hubbub, one thing is clear: the difference between the views of Michels and incumbent Democratic Gov. Evers has become much starker.

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6 thoughts on “Back in the News: Michels Blasts Media, Defends Donations”

  1. nickzales says:

    Ha ha! What a clown. He is full of hate for people and is upset at being outed. Too bad, Timmy. When you fund hate, you reap what you sow.

  2. The media has simply revealed what Tim Michels stands for, and the people of Wisconsin better take a look at it. It is Tim Michels’ campaign that has labeled this revelation of his positions as an “attack.” Michels seeks to restrict individual rights, choice, diversity, and freedoms, all in the name of his personal beliefs. Tim Michels has been endorsed by Donald Trump. A Trump-controlled state would continue to erode our democratic institutions. Wisconsin residents want to live their lives in peace and by their own choices. They seek to work hard, put food on the table, vote freely, and not restrict the choices other people make. We do not need the drama and strife that a Michels administration and a Trump-controlled state would entail.

  3. GodzillakingMKE says:

    Another christian medicore white male rightwing facist carpet bagger businessman.

  4. ringo muldano says:

    Dim Tim is not a departure for the average PiOuS WI rCon. These are the folks pumping up the trumpster base for civil war. F’n Dumba$$e$!

  5. SFGiants58 says:

    The story was a gift to the Michels campaign.

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