Elizabeth Coggs addresses false attacks, calls for ‘Clean Campaign Pledge’ from opponents

Spencer Coggs officially endorses her as his successor

Compiled by Courier Staff

Current Senator Spencer Coggs (D-6th District) spoke at the press conference that Rep. Elizabeth Coggs called to address the dirt slinging mailers that were sent out attempting to smear her name and reputation. Sen. Coggs also used the opportunity to officially endorse Elizabeth as his successor. (Photo by Robert A. Bell)

State Representative Elizabeth Coggs along with community leaders and other elected officials held a press conference on Wednesday morning calling on all the candidates in the 6thSenate District to sign a clean campaign pledge. We owe it to the people to have a vigorous debate on the issues and to stop the personal attacks and outright political lies.

“I am very disturbed at the attacks and false allegations being directed toward me in a mailer sent out by a Waukesha group calling themselves, ‘We Are Milwaukee’. This group is attempting to discredit me, and my record as a legislator. The allegations are not true”.

The false allegations made in the mailer state that Coggs voted with Scott Walker to give away tax breaks to big corporations, and that she backed union busting.

“In an effort to defame and destroy my character, this Wauwatosa group claimed I voted for Act 10, which took away worker’s rights to bargain for better wages and affordable health care, and Act 32, which was the state budget that was so damaging to working families of Milwaukee” said Rep. Coggs.

She also stated, “This is clearly a lie, let me repeat that, this is a lie. Not only did I oppose Act 10, but I stood on the floor of the Assembly in my orange t-shirt battling Scott Walker while Senators Spencer Coggs, Lena Taylor of the Wisconsin 14 along with other Senate Democrats bravely delayed the vote for as long as they could. I also opposed Scott Walker’s state budget which hurt the people of Milwaukee.

Coggs wore the same orange t-shirt at the press conference that reads, ‘Fighting for working families’, she also wore a pair of boxing gloves around her shoulders at the press conference to send the message that she will fight against these lies. She also stated that if it didn’t stop she would sue this Waukesha group.

6th District Alderwoman Milele Coggs also spoke at the press conference, stating that she, a resident in the district, received one of these mailers, and was also greatly disturbed by it. What many want to know is why is a group out of Waukesha trying to effect an election that doesn’t represent them? Milele Coggs said “as a resident of the 6th Senate District I was disgusted at anyone who chooses to lie, distort and misrepresent information to the voters for the sake of a win.”

Senator Lena Taylor said “Representative Elizabeth Coggs is very vocal about the interests of Milwaukee and a fighter for this community in the Wisconsin State Legislature and speaks the truth; I stand with my endorsement of Elizabeth Coggs as the next Senator of the Sixth District.”

In reference to her challenge to her opponents to sign a ‘Clean Campaign Pledge’ for this election process and to ask the same of all of their supporters she stated.

“Dirty campaigns and lies distract voters from the real issues that need to be addressed. And there should be no resistance to my opponents signing this pledge”.

Also at the same press conference, Senator and newly elected Milwaukee City Treasurer Spencer Coggs officially endorsed Representative Elizabeth Coggs to succeed him in the 6th Senate District. The primary will be held August 14, 2012.

Spencer Coggs is completing his 4th term in the Senate and is stepping down to concentrate on his duties as Treasurer in January. Competing in the primary for the 6thSenate seat with Coggs is Delta Triplett, Allyn Monroe Swan, Supervisor Nikiya Harris and Supervisor Michael Mayo.

“I’ve watched Beth’s [Coggs] career for 24 years. No other candidate is more qualified. In fact, her star in the Wisconsin Legislature will surely continue to rise,” said Senator Coggs. The 6th Senate District is one of two majority African American Senate Districts in the Wisconsin Legislature. The candidates who are competing in the race assure that the seat will continue to be represented by a person of color. Senator Lena Taylor represents the other majority African American Senate District.

Elizabeth Coggs has a distinguished record in elective office, starting with her service as a Milwaukee County Board Supervisor for many years.

When she left the County Board, she had attained the position of Chairwoman of the powerful Finance Committee, where she guided funding and jobs to her constituents.

Two years ago, Elizabeth Coggs ran and won the 10th District Assembly seat; open due to the retirement of Representative Polly Williams.

Last year, when her cousin, Senator Spencer Coggs, decided to run for City Treasurer, he encouraged Elizabeth early on to run for his senate seat, should he win the spring election.

With Spencer Coggs’ success in the spring election, Elizabeth Coggs threw herself wholeheartedly into the campaign for Senate. She has conducted an extensive and exhaustive door-to-door campaign, personally visiting thousands of 6th Senate constituents’ homes. Despite Milwaukee’s scorching heat wave, Rep. Coggs continues her own torrid pace.

“The weather has been brutal, but I believe that the people of the 6th District want to see and meet their candidate at their door,” said Elizabeth Coggs.

Representative Coggs noted that she comes from an activist tradition of public service, started by her parents, Isaac and Marcia Coggs. Isaac Coggs was the first in the family to hold office in the Wisconsin Legislature and Milwaukee County in the 50’s and 60’s. Marcia Coggs made history as the first African American woman to be elected to the Wisconsin Legislature (1976). Senator Coggs said “I am proud of Beth Coggs’ accomplishments and I have full faith and confidence in her ability to hit the ground running.” For her part, Representative Elizabeth Coggs is prayerful and is taking nothing for granted. “I want to thank Senator Spencer Coggs for encouraging me and endorsing me in seeking the Senate seat. I am, and will be campaigning hard every day to demonstrate to the people of the 6th Senate District my work ethic and love of public service,” said Representative Coggs.

The community is invited to a fundraiser for Elizabeth Coggs for Senate on Monday, July 30th at the Aloft Hotel, from 6-8 p.m. located at 1230 N. Old World Third Street.

For additional information on the campaign, call (414) 916-4444.