Opponent's contributions spike after Rivard's rape remark - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Opponent's contributions spike after Rivard's rape remark


MADISON (WKOW) -- Campaign finance reports show only eight political contributions to Rep. Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake) after his controversial comment on rape was widely reported, while his opponent drew dozens.

Reports show total fundraising for Rep. Rivard (R-Rice Lake) after October 10 as $1,820.

Reports show Rivard's opponent, Democrat Stephen Smith, raised more than $11,000 in the same period.

On October 10, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Rivard's remark to another newspaper last year, quoting Rivard, "some girls rape easy," as Rivard related his father's advice years ago on girls and women initially consenting to sex, and then claiming rape.

On October 11, both vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and Gov. Walker withdrew their endorsements of Rivard, and other politicians and organizations followed suit.

Records show the largest contributions to Rivard after that date came from construction firm owner Mark Hoffman, and his wife Amy, who both contributed $500 to Rivard, the largest individual contribution allowed in an assembly race. Amy Hoffman declined comment on her financial support for Rivard's campaign, when contacted by 27 News.

Since October 10, records show contributions to Smith included donors from California, Oregon, New Mexico, Ohio and other states. Samuel Costa of Chamblee, Georgia tells 27 News he contributed $25 to Smith because he considered Rivard's remark the product of an "idiot."

Madison's Sheila Leary says she grew up in Rice Lake and attended the same grade school as both Rivard and Smith. Leary says she does not want to vilify Rivard over his statement, but wanted to send a message with her $100 contribution to the Smith campaign. "I want to vote for people who really do get it," says Leary.

Rosalie Migas, of Madison, says her contribution to Smith's campaign was intended to convey that republicans who would diminish the circumstances of rape have to "...worry about women across the country."

On behalf of Smith, a statement from the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee says Smith's recent fundraising success appears also to be due to Rivard's positions on women's issues, including opposing restoring funding for sexual assault victims services.

Smith's campaign finance records show $3,500 was donated to his effort from other political committees after Rivard's remark was widely publicized.

Records show Smith's contributions included $200 from Barron County District Attorney Angie Beranek on October 12.

Rivard's "some girls rape easy" remark was made as he discussed a teenage boy's criminal charges, in connection with the boy's sexual encounter with a teen girl -- a criminal justice intervention that drew protest from other teens at their high school. Beranek recently defended the prosecution, stating the girl was forced into the sexual encounter.

Rivard holds an overall fundraising advantage over Smith, with records showing a campaign cash balance of more than $50,000, compared to Smith's $27,000.

When contacted by 27 News about the reasons for Smith's recent fundraising spike, Rivard demurred.

"I have been misrepresented, misquoted, twisted so much, I'm already done with that," Rivard says.

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