MADISON (WKOW) -- A state business group backtracked late Thursday from its reinforcement of support for embattled republican lawmaker Roger Rivard.
State director Bill Smith of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business says the chapter's board of directors voted Tuesday to maintain the group's endorsement of Rep. Rivard (R-Rice Lake), despite Rivard's remark to a reporter, "some girls rape easy," to describe his father's advice about girls engaging in consensual sex, but later claiming rape to cope with the pressure of a pregnancy or some other issue.
Late Thursday, Smith issued this statement:
" NFIB/Wisconsin is reviewing and continuing to discuss our organization's endorsement of Rep. Roger Rivard. Although our board did meet to review the endorsement decision, I wanted you to know that the earlier decision to retain the endorsement is continuing to be reviewed, and I expect there will be a final decision over the next few days."
Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, Governor Scott Walker, other political leaders and interest groups have withdrawn endorsements of Rivard in reaction to Rivard's comment.
MADISON (WKOW) -- A state business group has issued a vote of confidence for Republican lawmaker Roger Rivard, as other, previous supporters dissociate from Rivard's candidacy over his controversial remark about rape.
State director Bill Smith of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business says his group's nine-member board of directors voted Tuesday to stand by the organization's endorsement of Rivard's bid for reelection.
Rep. Rivard (R-Rice Lake) has been criticized after his December 2011 remark to a newspaper that, "some girls rape easy," was more widely circulated this month.
Rivard says he was passing on his father's, years-old advice over the potential for girls to consent to sex, only to claim rape later, to cope with a pregnancy or parental pressure.
"We condemn the remark," Smith says. "But the endorsement is based on legislative performance. He has been supportive of small business, the small business agenda."
In recent days, the Wisconsin Grocers Association, the Tavern League of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Restaurant Association have followed vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and Governor Scott Walker in withdrawing endorsements of Rivard.
Even though Rivard's campaign web site claims to regularly update information, and added this week's endorsement by the Wisconsin Family Action PAC, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association remains listed as an endorsing group.
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