Tim Michels’ campaign says it will correct a false claim in a new mail piece that he’s been endorsed by the NRA even though the group hasn’t backed anyone in Wisconsin’s guv race.
A Michels spokesman said the error was unintentional. But the campaign of GOP rival Rebecca Kleefsich ripped him for lying to Wisconsin voters.
The mailer includes a line that Michels is “standing up for our gun rights” along with another that he’s endorsed by the NRA-ILA, which is the group’s Institute for Legislative Action. It is the group’s lobbying arm, not its political operation.
The NRA-Political Victory Fund issued a statement to members yesterday noting it hasn’t endorsed in the race.
“Misrepresenting our ratings or our position in any election contest does a disservice to you and all our members, as well as other gun owners to whom protection of their liberty and firearm freedoms is a factor in how they vote,” the group said.
The NRA Political Victory Fund’s website gives Kleefisch and state Rep. Tim Ramthun “A” ratings. Those are for candidates who have supported the group’s positions in elective office or through “a demonstrated record of support on Second Amendment issues.”
Michels has an “AQ” rating for candidates whose grades are based solely on responses to the group’s questionnaire and don’t have a voting record on Second Amendment issues.
Michels spokesman Christopher Walker said the mail shouldn’t have indicated the rating was an endorsement and said future communications will make clear he has an “AQ” rating from the group.
“Too many people and shady organizations have been lying about him and his positions on the issues, it’s imperative that we set the record straight,” Walker said.
But Kleefisch campaign manager Charles Nichols ripped the excuse.
“Tim Michels was caught lying to Wisconsin voters, and now he’s desperately trying to cover his tracks,” Nichols said. “Add this to the laundry list of mistakes Michels is running away from like opposing right-to-work legislation and trying to increase Wisconsin’s gas tax.”
See the NRA’s grades for Wisconsin candidates here.