Sources: Wis. Assembly leader may resign post - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Sources: Wis. Assembly leader may resign post


MADISON, Wisconsin (WKOW) – Republicans in the state assembly are expected to vote Tuesday on whether to oust Rep. Bill Kramer from his role as majority leader.

Kramer, of Waukesha, was first elected in 2006 and became majority leader in September after Scott Suder resigned from the post. He's recently been accused of sexually harassing two women on a trip to Washington, D.C.

The majority leader's duties include setting the floor schedule. Which is why Dr. Charles Franklin, a professor of law and public policy at Marquette University Law School, said assembly Republicans would be wise to replace Kramer quickly should they decide to vote him out.

"There are still bills that are jockeying to try to get done before the end of March, before the legislative session ends in early April," Franklin said. "So I think having a vacuum of leadership may affect that handful of bills that are on the cusp of getting on the agenda."

Franklin added "big bills," such as those seen as major priorities of Gov. Scott Walker, have already moved through the chamber.

Franklin said Kramer's alleged actions will certainly be politicized as both parties gear up for elections in November.

He said most worrisome for Republicans are previous news reports in which members of the party questioned some of Kramer's behavior.

One member of the state Republican party hierarchy said this weekend he was not surprised to learn of the allegations.

"I think there is an issue of a party that elected this person as leader and put him in that position," Franklin said. He said Democrats could use the allegations against Kramer to try and convince voters of a broader pattern regarding how the GOP views women's issues.

But Franklin added the swift response issued by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) following the allegations gives Republicans a strong rebuttal.

"The GOP leadership has been quick to try and remove him from office, or at least from his majority leadership," Franklin said.

Vos said in a statement Saturday that, if Kramer is removed from his post Tuesday, the majority party would proceed in determining how and when to replace him.

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