Meet Shannon Zimmerman.
Zimmerman is a Republican Wisconsin State Representative who is running in a special election for the state senate. He's also a businessman who owns a translation business.
While giving a speech at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls about three years ago when he put his foot into his mouth:
Toward the end of the 2013 lecture, an audience member asked Zimmerman what language is most difficult to translate.
Zimmerman, a founder of the translation services company Sajan, said all languages are challenging and then joked that sometimes his employees’ language can be tough to translate.
Then he said, “It’s woman, right? Sometimes she says this, but she means this.”
His comment drew initial laughter and a loud “Whoa!” from one audience member, video of his lecture shows. Zimmerman clapped his hands together and laughed.
I reckon his service could have translated that as Republicanese for "I'm a make chauvinistic pig!"
While the incident happened four years ago, it's alarming given the current events, where women are finding their voices and calling out the men who preyed on them sexually.
Zimmerman proceeded to make things worse for himself by trying to excuse his comments as humor:
Zimmerman on Monday said by text message said his remark was "a lighthearted attempt to address the communication barriers that exist, both in professional language translation and between the sexes." He said he was mainly directing his comment to his wife, Angel, a Sajan co-founder who attended the lecture.
"By responding in the manner I did, and as was the featured point in the best-seller, 'Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus', it helped the audience understand that the same thing being said, can mean different things," Zimmerman said in his text message.
"Anyone who knows me knows I have the highest regard and respect for woman," he added.
Not once did he take responsibility for his crude remarks.
Just to help the representative out, I would point out something that his father should have taught him long ago, just in case he needs it: When a woman says no, she means no!
But as I have repeatedly told the gentle reader, there's more. There's always more.
It also came out on Monday that Zimmerman had boasted about voting for the recently passed state budget:
“I am proud to have voted for the recently approved Wisconsin state budget, a budget that provides the largest increase in K-12 funding in state history and directs funds to training that will close our skills gap, all while keeping property taxes in check and our financial house in order, including a substantial increase to Wisconsin’s rainy day fund,” said Zimmerman.
Zimmerman is also a strong proponent of the agreement that will lead to FoxConn establishing a high-tech manufacturing presence in Wisconsin.
Why anyone would want to boast about voting for a state budget that is already in deficit, kills instead of creates jobs, weakens the already anemic environmental protection laws and leaves our public schools starving to death.
But here's the thing. He didn't vote for the budget. He didn't vote against it either.
The fact is he didn't vote on the bloody thing at all:
The 45-year-old businessman was stuck at the airport in Amsterdam, where he had gone on a business trip for Sajan Inc., his language translation business. Many flights had been grounded in Holland's capital that day because of poor weather conditions.
On the roll call for final passage of the budget in the Assembly, Zimmerman was recorded as the only state rep to be absent for the vote. The bill passed on a 57-39 vote.
In other words, he was too busy jaunting all over Europe for his personal business instead of being in the Capitol taking care of the people's business. Then he has the gall to lie about it!
Zimmerman shouldn't be too worried about whether these stories will hurt his chances in the election. With a resume like that, he's a shoo-in for the Trump administration.