WI-Sen: Race gets ugly as Leah Vukmir, Tammy Baldwin go on the offensive

WI-Sen: Race gets ugly as Leah Vukmir, Tammy Baldwin go on the offensive
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and challenger Leah Vukmir (R-Wis.) traded barbs this week over health care and Tomah VA scandal. (Image source: YouTube screenshots)

The Wisconsin U.S. Senate race is heating up, with incumbent Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and challenger Leah Vukmir (R-Wis.) taking shots at one another this week over their records.

What are they saying?

Sen. Baldwin launched an ad Monday, attacking state Sen. Vukmir’s 2014 vote against mandating insurance coverage for oral chemotherapy. The clip, titled “Ashamed,” features a cancer patient who relies on oral chemotherapy for her treatment.

The patient says, “I was glad Republicans and Democrats made the insurance companies in Wisconsin cover oral chemo. Who would say no to that? Leah Vukmir. She was just about the only legislator who stood with the insurance companies instead of the people.”

“Leah Vukmir, you ought to be ashamed,” the patient says.

The legislation covering chemo pills was signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) in April 2014. Vukmir was one of two senators who voted against the measure when it first passed the upper chamber in March of that year, saying  she opposed it because she is against putting mandates on insurers.

Throughout her campaign, Vukmir has criticized Baldwin for the senator’s handling of the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s opioid scandal. Baldwin was the only member of the Wisconsin congressional delegation whose office received a 2014 report from the VA Office of Inspector General, which raised concerns over opioid abuse at the Tomah VA hospital.

Baldwin was accused of sitting on the information for months and taking action only after it became public that an in-patient veteran died from an overdose at the facility.

Vukmir told TheBlaze in July, “Nothing gets this military mom’s blood boiling more than Tammy Baldwin running around the state embracing the opioid addiction crisis.”

Acknowledging Baldwin’s forthrightness about her own mother’s struggles with opioid addiction, which the incumbent discussed in an ad titled, “Knock” in May, Vukmir told TheBlaze, “I’m sorry she went through that, but that should have made her even more concerned for our veterans. How dare she.”

What now?

On Thursday, Vukmir took to Twitter to drive home her point, posting an image of Baldwin mimicking Nike’s recent Colin Kaepernick ad with the words: “Do nothing. Even if it means sacrificing veterans. Tomah. Just ignore it.”

Vukmir and Baldwin will face off in the Nov. 6 general election.