Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Was Steve Kestell threatening opponents of Common Core?
Wisconsin Election Watch - By Kyle Maichle, Editor of Wisconsin Election Watch, - 4/8/2014

ELKHART LAKE – Representative Steve Kestell (R-Elkhart Lake, 27thDistrict), served as Chairman of the Assembly Education Committee.  The seven term incumbent has been Committee Chairman since the beginning of the 2011-2012 session.   On Tuesday, the Representative announced that he will not seek re-election in the 2014 election cycle after being the target of “no confidence” resolutions approved by three Congressional district Republican parties.

With fervor struck up by opponents of Common Core standards, Chairman Kestell was a target.   Two individuals who are opposed to Common Core spoke directly to Wisconsin Election Watch alleging how Representative Kestell has treated them when expressing their opposition.

Ed Perkins of Appleton is an opponent of common core standards and a member of the Fox Valley Initiative.    He feels that Common Core should be stopped because lawmakers “knew nothing about it” referring to when Wisconsin school districts started implementing the standards in 2009 up until 2013 when opposition intensified. Perkins feels that because education is the largest item in the Wisconsin budget, special consideration should be taken into account to hold back the new standards citing costs.

Perkins faced threats from Representative Kestell over e-mail communications he had with the Representative over failing to schedule a committee vote on Assembly Bill 617.  On February 20th, Representative Kestell abruptly cancelled a vote in the Assembly Education Committee on AB 617

Perkins provided Wisconsin Election Watch with a copy of actual communications between him and the Representative.  In an e-mail sent the day after the committee vote, Perkins said: “I want to share with you my great dismay at your public statement yesterday wherein you stated, “This Common Core bill will not be voted on indefinitely”.  You appear, to me and others, as though you will dictate what bills you will allow to have a hearing and if you don’t like the bill no matter how the public or your constituents feel, that is the end of it. As you know even Gov. Walker has made it very clear that he wants standards created by and for our state, not those imposed on us by the US DEPT. of Education, the NGA or the Bill & Melinda Foundation.

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