A radio ad launched for Leah Vukmir by the Wisconsin Republican Party touts that she’s a “blue star mom” because her son is in the military.
But the claim is in direct conflict with the constitution of the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., which states that the organization cannot be “used for personal or partisan purposes.”
Vukmir might be using her association with BSM because her opponent for the GOP Senate nomination is Kevin Nicholson, a decorated Marine. He fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he’s made his military service a central focus of his candidacy. Nicholson uses the tag line “Send in the Marine.”
Vukmir might be trying to nullify Nicholson’s military advantage.
Vukmir could also be at odds with BSM’s position on hate groups. The organization’s website denounces “any involvement or support of Identity Evropa or any similar organizations.”
Identity Evropa is a white supremacist hate group.
While there’s no evidence that Vukmir has been involved with racist groups, she’s tied to the Family Research Council, which has been designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The group’s mission is to vilify LGBTQ people and to actively undermine their civil rights.
Statements from FRC include:
“Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed. It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects.”
“While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. … It is a homosexual problem.”
“They are aimed at persuading kids that although they'll face struggles and perhaps bullying for 'coming out' as homosexual (or transgendered or some other perversion), life will get better. …It's disgusting. And it's part of a concerted effort to persuade kids that homosexuality is okay and actually to recruit them into that lifestyle.”
Vukmir has a strong relationship with Wisconsin Family Action, a statewide group whose mission is outlawing abortion as well as LGBTQ civil rights. Emails showed that Vukmir opposed an anti-bullying bullying law after consulting with WFA’s anti-gay president Julaine Appling.
The Republican establishment has endorsed Vukmir and is trying to help her defeat Nicholson in the Aug. 14 primary. She also has the support of Scott Walker and Koch-brother funded groups.
Vukmir aligns herself politically with Donald Trump and says she wants to help him build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin paid for the recent radio ad for Vukmir. It cost $29,000 and was the party's first ad in the race.
The winner of that primary will advance to face Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin in November.
The national GOP believes it can unseat Baldwin, and third-party groups have already spent $11.7 million on the effort, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
It is the most expensive Senate race in the country so far.