A Wisconsin Democrat offered up an apology Monday for comments he made on the Assembly floor last week immediately following a vote on Gov. Scott Walker's contentious budget repair bill. Rep. Gordon Hintz apologized to Republican Rep. Michelle Litjens for shouting a threatening obscenity that a number of witnesses heard amid the loud uproar after the chamber's GOP majority successfully passed the bill.
According to local WTMJ news radio, a number of witnesses heard Hintz shout "You're f***ing dead!" at Litjens.
Litjens says she has accepted Hintz's apology, but has asked the Assembly leadership to discipline him. “Everyone was exhausted. We were on the floor 58 hours. (But) there is still no excuse for his comment,” Litjens said.
Hintz was one of many outspoken Democratic state lawmakers who also loudly chanted "Shame! Shame! Shame!" following the vote, pointing to the Republican members exiting the chamber.
The Assembly Democrat also delivered fiery remarks on the floor, condemning the state GOP's decision to press forward with the budget measure, despite objections from some Democrats:
Meanwhile, Litjens says she doesn't believe Hintz's comments were personally aimed at her, but reflected the Democrat's frustration with his Republican colleagues. “We should be able to civilly discuss issues we are passionate about without feeling threatened,” she said.
“I believe my response was shock," Hintz said Monday after phoning Litjens to apologize. "The only way they were going to pass this bill was by ignoring and shredding rules of the Assembly,” Hintz said. “I apologized when I learned my comments may have been taken personally by someone.”
Just one week earlier, Hintz had been cited in connection to a busted prostitution ring and for violating a city sexual misconduct ordinance in Appleton.
“I am willing to take responsibility for my actions,” Hintz said in the statement at the time. “My concern right now is that my personal situation is distracting from the much more important issue facing our state. We have tens of thousands of working people at the Capitol every day and that must remain our focus. I will continue to do my job and stand up for Wisconsin’s working families.”