Republicans poised to oust Kramer as Assembly majority leader - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Republicans poised to oust Kramer as Assembly majority leader

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Republicans have planned a Tuesday vote on removing Rep. Bill Kramer from his role as majority leader in the Assembly.

Kramer faces allegations he sexually harassed at least two women last week while in Washington D.C. for a fundraiser. His office has declined to comment, other than to say he was entering unspecified treatment.

On Monday, Republican Rep. Joan Ballweg said Kramer allegedly touched a woman inappropriately following the Wednesday-night fundraiser and verbally abused a woman the following day on his flight back to Wisconsin.

When addressing the effort to remove him from the post, Ballweg said on Monday, "He was aware that we felt he would be our representative and we expected him to portray himself in a manner that would not embarrass the caucus."

Speaking at an event in Green Bay, Governor Walker said Kramer's leadership post, and place in the assembly should both be considered in question. Walker said he's waiting for more information on the claims of sexual harassment. "But if it is true, I don't think there's any place for someone in a position of public trust to be in office, if they've done these things," Walker said

Assembly Republicans have scheduled a caucus meeting for Tuesday morning to vote on removing Kramer from his majority leader post, the second most powerful in the Assembly. After that, Republicans will decide whether to fill the post for the remainder of the year.

Republican Rep. Dean Kaufert, of Neenah, said it's "vitally important" to have someone perform the majority leader's job of keeping track of where bills stand in the busy final days of the session. The Assembly planned to wrap up its business for the year later this month.

Kaufert also said Republicans would likely want someone to fill the post before election time, since the majority leader typically helps candidates in his or her party raise money and campaign. Republicans hold a 60-39 majority in the Assembly, but all 99 seats are up for election this fall.

Kramer was elected majority leader in September, taking over when Scott Suder left the Assembly to take a job in the governor's administration. Kramer, who was first elected to the Assembly in 2006, defeated Republican Rep. Dean Knudson, of Hudson, in the election to replace Suder.
Knudson issued a statement saying he was not interested in the position and would not run for it now or next year if he wins re-election.

27 News has learned one of Kramer's suspected victims is a legislative staff member; the other, a 33-year old lobbyist. The lobbyist declined comment on her accusation, when contacted by 27 News.





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