Dan Kapanke - Wisconsin Senate

Wisconsin Senate

Kapanke won election to the Wisconsin State Senate twice, first in 2004 against LaCrosse County Board Supervisor Brad Pfaff, and again in 2008 against La Crosse County Supervisor Tara Johnson.

Kapanke served as chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Higher Education, and was also a member of the committees on Energy, Biotechnology, and Consumer Protection, on Financial Institutions and Rural Issues, and on Workforce Development, Small Business, and Tourism. He was also co-chair of the Joint Survey Committee on Retirement Systems.

Kapanke has been criticized for ethics violations, including using $32,000 from a lobbyist-funded charity to pay off personal debt, and violating the state's open records law, causing taxpayers to pay $38,000 in legal bills. According to Kapanke, the violations were unintentional.

During the 2011 Wisconsin protests, Kapanke reported that he had received death threats from his vote, and claimed that the windshield of his car had been vandalized, causing him to cancel public appearances. However, a police report had previously concluded that the damage was instead caused by a stray rock. Nevertheless, Kapanke persisted in publicly blaming it on protesters; according to PolitiFact, "Kapanke allowed the myth of the smashed windshield to run wild and uncorrected for almost three weeks after he knew it was not true."

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