State Sen. Chris Larson
Press Release

State Senator Chris Larson Issues Statement on Last Week’s Exchange with Senator Taylor

"Last Tuesday, as I was approaching the Senate chambers in the Capitol, I ran into Senator Taylor. She began yelling at me, which was followed by some heated words from both sides."

By - Mar 23rd, 2016 04:15 pm

MILWAUKEE – Senator Chris Larson, candidate for Milwaukee County Executive, released the following statement regarding an article published Wednesday in the online version of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“I want to address rumors that have been circulating over the last several days regarding a conversation I had with a Senate colleague last week.

“Last Tuesday, as I was approaching the Senate chambers in the Capitol, I ran into Senator Taylor. She began yelling at me, which was followed by some heated words from both sides.

“Since this conversation, we have made repeated attempts to meet with Senator Taylor to talk through and resolve our differences, then return our focus to moving Milwaukee County forward. We even reached out to one of my mentors, Congresswoman Gwen Moore to convene a meeting on neutral ground.

“Despite my repeated offers to meet and the requests of Congresswoman Moore, Senator Taylor has remained unavailable to meet with me.

“It seems rather than having a straightforward conciliatory meeting, our brief conversation is being used as a political distraction. Having her allies, like former Alderman Mike McGee, harass my campaign staff and volunteers, or disrupt important community events is simply uncalled for, especially given my repeated offers to sit down face-to-face and work through our differences.

“These aggressive tactics lead me to believe that this is not about working past a  personal difference, but a cynical attempt to advance a political agenda along with my opponent. This race is about the failed leadership our county has been under for the past 5 years.

“For Chris Abele to get involved with an exchange of words between two colleagues reveals this for the desperate political attack it is. We won’t allow it to change the focus of this race. Milwaukee county is heading in the wrong direction and it’s time for a change. No sideshows and none of his weird ads will change that.

“It is worth pointing out that Abele currently has two discrimination lawsuits pending against him. One is from Jonette Arms, the interim director of the Department of Aging whom Abele refuses to promote in spite of her nationally recognized expertise on aging issues. The second lawsuit concerns Abele’s gutting a federal decree involving seniority for African Americans who work for the county.

“In contrast, my campaign is based on the premise of diverse communities working together. That’s why I am proud to have earned the support and endorsements of community leaders like Congresswoman Gwen Moore, State Senator Nikiya Harris Dodd, State Representatives David Bowen, Leon Young, and La Tonya Johnson, as well as many other prominent leaders in the African American community.

“While there are those who would use any opportunity to divide people, we cannot lose focus on the fact that the incumbent is dangerously out of touch with the concerns and needs of working families and our neighbors.

“As the husband of a psychologist and a steadfast advocate for increased mental health care access and better services, I want families personally affected by mental illness to know that I am absolutely committed to improving our County’s mental health care system. As my supporters know, I am passionate about  ensuring access to services and support for our neighbors with mental health needs. We will reverse the gag order preventing workers from pointing out problems and will allow the public to weigh in at every meeting to ensure community care is working for the community.

“I remain hopeful that we will quickly get past the politics and resolve this personally.  Moving forward, I again ask Senator Taylor to sit down and talk with Congresswoman Moore and myself.

Larson for County Executive

5 thoughts on “State Senator Chris Larson Issues Statement on Last Week’s Exchange with Senator Taylor”

  1. Vincent Hanna says:

    Ugh this is weak sauce. Says nothing more than “heated words were exchanged” and takes no responsibility for what he said, pivots to attack Taylor and Abele. I feel like he comes across really poorly in all of this. I was as close to neutral as one can get in a race like this, but if he said what he’s alleged to have said and responded with this political spin and dodge, it reflects really poorly on him.

  2. Orville says:

    It is to face the facts, Larson is an arrogant jerk who has not grown up yet. It is time to send him back to the private sector.

  3. MARY GLASS says:

    March 24, 2016

    Senator/Candidate Chris Larson this is an issue between two Individuals that We, the People, have sent to Madison to represent our well-being as state legislators. You and Senator Lena Taylor should immediately find a comfortable site and fix this mushrooming fiasco. U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore is NOT the answer. She has her own WARS to fight.

    Secondly, the fact that this fiasco was able to simmer with “err and ire”, it is what it is – political, racial, open to criticism, and disrespectful of the public office both you and Senator Taylor hold.

    You said that Senator Taylor was yelling at you. This can be a point of contention. Is this what she normally does when approaching you? If so, the two of you have failed to work together for us and we have NOT received the best the two of you could do in a “senior” leadership position as Senator. If the approach is NOT a regular approach to you, have you examine the issue of confrontation (PREVIOUS BEEF, etc.) along with requiring calmness and respect for resolve – two wrongs do not make a right thinking. The rumors speak of past transgressions of yours regarding a removal of position, reference of her need of medication and insightful comment of her being removed from office. If so, these are not issues that can be dismissed easily. It requires diplomacy from you directly with her – regardless how you may feel. Welcome to rumors. Welcome to a firestorm.

    Thirdly, the quicker you can make this go away with HONESTY, the better it is. The onus is on you since the rumored issues fan the flames.

    Now, by NO means am I excusing Senator Lena Taylor, the senior Senator between the two of you. She is a fighter. She fights with the barracudas all the time in Madison. She is not thin-skinned and she knows she has to engage in dialogue to merit a successful end. Senator Taylor we ask that you meet with your colleague Senator Chris Larson and resolve your issues in this faux pas. This stench can go away.

    We, the People, expect this sophomoric issue, given your (Senator Lena Taylor and Senator Chris Larson) public Oath and the 2016 Election to be solved yesterday.

    How about a press conference showing the two of you HONESTLY moving forward with a temperament We, the People can believe, learn from and get behind on the merits?

  4. Steve says:

    Walker / Fitz / Vos ‘Divide and Conquer’ continues to erode away the last bit of what us citizens have left of this state as we once new it. Now they are pitting our own against each other … and therefore, us.

  5. Bruce Thompson says:

    It is disappointing that Larson neither confirms nor denies the quote that was attributed to him nor, assuming the quote was accurate, apologizes. Nor do we learn what she might have said to provoke him.

    Instead we get an attack on Abele, who, so far as I know, had nothing to do with this.

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