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State lawmakers upset over being copied in partisan e-mail feud

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Two state lawmakers have been waging an e-mail feud – and a couple of their colleagues were so upset about getting copied, they filed complaints with the Government Accountability Board.

Assembly Democrat Andy Jorgensen of Fort Atkinson sponsored a bill to give $1 million to a trade group to help small and medium-sized factories market themselves. The bill easily passed the Assembly by a 90-8 vote.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jorgensen then sent a news release about it to his colleagues – and one of the opponents, Whitewater Republican Steve Nass, called that a, “in my face” move.

So Nass sent all his Assembly colleagues a video showing Jorgensen leading chants of “kill the bill” during the massive 2011 protests against the public union bargaining limits. And they traded other e-mail barbs as well, for all their colleagues to see.

Some lawmakers, especially newcomers, were taken aback.

Assembly Freshman Dianne Hesselbein said lawmakers are not supposed to e-mail campaign material to and from official addresses – to which Nass replied, “It’s no longer a campaign matter – this is history.”

Nass told the Journal Sentinel he had no regrets about sending the protest video. Jorgensen said, “Everybody hates this kind of stuff – It’s unfortunate in every way.” 

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