Newly released documents show that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s former chief of staff, Thomas Nardelli, sent staffers an extremely offensive email while working for Walker, a Republican.
Nardelli sent the email in 2010, when Walker was the Milwaukee County executive and was running for governor, to an unknown number of recipients. The message, first posted in full on Buzzfeed, describes a “nightmare” wherein Nardelli woke up African American, gay, Jewish and HIV-positive.
“In the nightmare I found myself nude in bed, and I was looking at a mirror on the ceiling, and I discovered that I am a Negro, and I’m circumcised!” the email begins. As it continues, Nardelli refers to a gay man as a “fairy” and insinuates that all homosexuals are HIV-positive, among a litany of other uncomfortable stereotypes.
The liberal PAC American Bridge discovered the email after 25,000 pages of records were released during investigations to determine if Walker’s staff used their official positions to help his campaign for governor. Walker himself was not charged in the case, nor was targeted in the investigation. He is running for re-election this year after surviving a recall attempt in 2012.
The email was found in the inbox of Kelly Rindfleisch, then Nardelli’s deputy, addressed to “undisclosed-recipient.” This suggests that Nardelli sent the email to several other people, though there are no solid records on who else received the message. Rindfleisch pleaded guilty to misconduct for using her government job to aid Walker’s campaign in 2012.
This is not the first time members of Walker’s staff have been accused of racist statements. Last December, Walker’s deputy campaign finance director, Taylor Palmisano, was fired when it was revealed that she tweeted several anti-Hispanic statements, including "I will choke that illegal mex cleaning in the library.” In August, Walker’s aide Steven Kreiser was fired after posting on Facebook that he “sees Satan” when looking at illegal immigrants.
As of press time, Walker’s staff has not responded to any requests for comment by IBTimes.
Read Nardelli’s full email below.
In the nightmare I found myself nude in bed, and I was looking at a mirror on the ceiling, and I discovered that I am a Negro, and I’m circumcised!
Quickly I sat up, found my pants and looked in the pockets to find my driver’s license photo and it was that same color, black.
I felt myself being very depressed, downcast, sitting in a chair.
But it’s a wheelchair! That means, of course, besides being black and Jewish, I’m also disabled! I said to myself, aloud “This is impossible! It’s impossible that I should be black and Jewish and disabled!” “It's the pure and holy truth,” whispers someone from behind me. I turn around, and it’s my boyfriend.
Just what I needed!!! I am a homosexual, and on top of that, with a Mexican boyfriend.
Oh, my God .... Black, Jewish, disabled, gay with a Mexican boyfriend, drug addict, and HIV-positive!!!
Desperate, I begin to shout, cry, pull my hair, and Oh, nooooo...I’m bald!!!
The telephone rings. it’s my brother. He is saying, ‘Since mom and dad died, the only thing you do is hang out, take drugs, and laze around all day doing nothing. Get a job, you worthless piece of crap... Any job!’
Mom? Dad? Nooooo ... Now I’m also an unemployed orphan! I try to explain to my brother how hard it is to find a job when you are black, Jewish, disabled, gay with a Mexican boyfriend, are a drug addict, HIV positive, bald, and an orphan, but he doesn’t get it.
Frustrated, I hang up. It’s then I realize I only have one hand!!! With tears in my eyes, I go to the window to look out. I see I live in a shanty-town full of cardboard and tin houses! There is trash everywhere.
Suddenly I feel a sharp pain near my pacemaker.... Pacemaker??
Besides being black, Jewish, disabled, a fairy with a Mexican boyfriend, a drug addict, HIV positive, bald, orphaned, unemployed, an invalid with one hand, and having a bad heart, I live in a crappy neighborhood.
At that very moment my boyfriend approaches and says to me, ‘Sweetie pie, my love, my little black heartthrob, have you decided what you are going to wear to Washington to see Obama?’
Say it isn’t so!!! I can handle being a black, disabled, one-armed, drug-addicted, Jewish homosexual on a pacemaker who is HIV positive, bald, orphaned, unemployed, lives in a slum, and has a Mexican boyfriend, but please, Oh dear God, please don’t tell me I'm a Democrat!
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.