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Sens. Johnson and Baldwin: Waukesha tragedy should not be exploited for political gain

In the wake of last Sunday’s Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy in which six people were killed and dozens were injured, U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., on Saturday afternoon issued a statement denouncing the exploitation of the incident for political gain.

According to a statement made Saturday:

“It has come to our attention that outside individuals or groups may attempt to exploit the tragedy that occurred last Sunday in Waukesha for their own political purposes. As the U.S. Senators representing Wisconsin, one from each political party, we are asking anyone considering such action to cease and desist.”

Tammy Baldwin

Baldwin

Ron Johnson

Johnson

The senators did not specify any outside individual or group who may allegedly be exploiting the incident.

The senators expressed having respect and full confidence in the local officials who responded to the incident with “extraordinary professionalism, competence, integrity and compassion. They have many difficult duties to perform in the coming days, weeks, and months, and they should be afforded the respect and support they deserve to undertake their responsibilities without outside interference.”

Waukesha's fire chief, mayor and school district superintendent speak during a press conference Monday, a day after an SUV plowed into the community's Christmas parade, killing at least five people and injuring 48.

They said the top priority of local officials is to begin the healing process in Waukesha in the wake of the tragedy, providing “comfort and support to surviving family members of the deceased, and those injured both in body and spirit.”

“They must also conduct a thorough investigation and afford the accused full due process. These will not be easy tasks, and will be made even more difficult if conducted within a politically charged atmosphere,” according to the statement.

The senators urged communities to continue to support the victims, their families and the community of Waukesha. They also pointed to the “United for Waukesha Community Fund,” established by the Waukesha Community Foundation and the United Way of Great Milwaukee & Waukesha County.

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