1. Steve Krieser (right) was fired by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (left) after writing on Facebook that he sees Satan when he looks at undocumented immigrants.
Krieser was the third-highest ranking member in Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation.
2. The conversation was sparked when Gordon Hintz, a Democrat in the Wisconsin State Assembly, posted a photo of an “illegal immigrant hunting permit” sticker.
“Can we not sell these stickers in 2013?” he asked, noting that it was in a Mobil station in Wisconsin.
3. Former Wisconsin Republican Rep. Joe Handrick got involved and compared undocumented immigrants to Jesus.
4. Krieser sounded off:
Sorry Joe, but I’m not with you on this one. The sticker is probably over the top, and while some people are undoubtedly motivated by racial animus, I think you err in insinuating that opposition to illegal immigration generally is driven primarily by racism…The illegals themselves have bred the animus that many American citizens feel toward them. You may see Jesus when you look at them. I see Satan. And if they don’t like it here, hey, the door they came through to get here swings both ways.
5. Josh Zepnick, a Milwaukee Democrat with a heavy concentration of Latinos in his district, called Krieser a moron for his comments in an angry response.
“Why should it be so difficult for ordinary, hard working Mexicans to become an American? I represent one of the largest number of Hispanics in the State Legislature and find your entire rant not only offensive, but irresponsible for someone who should have better things to do with their time at WisDOT!”
“Overwhelming majority of undocumented immigrants have ITINs, which means they pay income taxes you moron. While owning homes and paying rent, they pay property taxes. And, of course, everyone pays sales taxes. Here in Wisconsin, we have dairy farms that could not survive without immigrant labor, other agriculture which depends on seasonal labor, and many manual labor jobs that others refuse, like cleaning toilets, changing hotel bed sheets, landscaping, food service, washing dishes, etc…I am just shocked you serve in Wisconsin government.”
6. Walker’s office released a statement condemning the remarks.
“These comments are repugnant, completely unacceptable, and have no place in Governor Walker’s administration,” said Tom Evenson, spokesman for Walker. “Governor Walker condemns his views, and they do not represent the governor or his administration in any way.”
7. Krieser attempted to explain himself to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:
Reached Thursday before his firing, Krieser explained that he had taken down his Facebook post. He emphasized that he had not written the item or posted it with a state computer or on state time. As for likening illegal immigrants to Satan, Krieser reluctantly apologized, explaining that he had used “a poor choice of words.” He eventually said he was sorry for what he said. “If I had it to do over, I would not have put it up,” Krieser said. “I certainly didn’t mean any offense.”
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