“Derrick Van Orden is a trainwreck who doesn’t represent Wisconsin values. Since losing in 2020, Van Orden has spent his time bullying teenagers and inappropriately using campaign funds to participate in the deadly insurrection on the Capitol. This comes after he confessed to bragging about sexual harrassment. Van Orden lacks the values and temperament needed to serve in Congress. Wisconsin voters will see him for what he is – a radical extremist – and make sure he gets nowhere near serving them in Washington,” said DCCC Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney.
To: Interested Parties
From: Matt Corridoni
Date: August 9, 2022
Subject: The Case Against Derrick Van Orden
Wisconsin Republicans just nominated Derrick Van Orden, a candidate who has gone out of his way to show he won’t uphold Wisconsin values in Washington. As Democrats prepare to campaign on lowering costs for working families, Van Orden will need to spend the rest of this cycle answering for his past. This race is now a clear choice between Brad Pfaff who will be focused on delivering results, and Van Orden who would be an embarrassment and liability to the Third District.
VAN ORDEN WON’T STAND UP FOR DEMOCRACY
Van Orden was caught lying and trying to cover up the fact that he joined insurrectionists on U.S. Capitol grounds on January 6th — for which he now faces a Federal Election Commission complaint for appearing to break federal law by using campaign funds as a personal slush fund to bankroll his trip to the insurrection. Van Orden has faced blistering criticism for repeatedly pushing the Big Lie that led to the deadly Jan. 6th insurrection, insisting that “there was a tremendous amount of voter fraud in this election,” and continuing to support efforts to overturn the election results even after the insurrection. Now, Van Orden is even attacking federal law enforcement.
VAN ORDEN WOULD JOIN REPUBLICANS TO BAN ABORTION NATIONWIDE
Van Orden has said he is “100% pro-life” and he believes life begins at conception. He has even compared abortion to genocide. It is clear that Van Orden would jump at the opportunity to vote for Republicans’ push for a nationwide abortion ban.
VAN ORDEN IS A BULLY AND A MISOGYNIST
Van Orden has a deeply disturbing history of misogynistic and anti-women remarks, including bragging about sexually harassing two young female officers in his book. Recent reporting has revisited Van Orden’s disgusting boast about showing another man’s genitals to unsuspecting women. Van Orden even criticized women for working outside the home, making outlandish and offensive claims linking women holding jobs to higher murder rates. He recently got caught bullying and verbally harassing teenagers at a southwestern Wisconsin library in an altercation that was described as “very uncomfortable” and “threatening.” Van Orden “demanded” to know who set up an LGBTQ book display in the library, reportedly threatening to “teach them a lesson.” Van Orden also has a history of making antisemitic comments, including tweeting a Nazi reference at a Jewish former Cabinet secretary and endorsing a comparison between COVID-19 contact tracing and the Nazis.
VAN ORDEN: AID FOR ME, BUT NOT FOR THEE
Van Orden is also a shameless hypocrite who took COVID relief money for his businesses while publicly criticizing federal COVID legislation. Van Orden called COVID-19 relief a “disaster” and “wasteful,” but a nonprofit he works with and a business he co-owned received hundreds of thousands of dollars in relief funding. Van Orden even brazenly touted the Restaurant Revitalization Fund on the campaign trail — despite opposing and even lying about the American Rescue Plan that provided critical lifelines to working families, small businesses, rural hospitals, farmers, and seniors in Wisconsin.
It is clear that Van Orden doesn’t represent the values of Wisconsin voters. Republicans have embraced a candidate who will be an absolute dumpster fire on the campaign trail and add to the already long list of embarrassing and disgraceful incidents he’s brought upon himself.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
The Daily Beast: GOP Candidate Bankrolled Jan. 6 Riot Trip With Campaign Cash [The Daily Beast, 6/27/21]
Milwaukee Journal: GOP congressional candidate used campaign cash to attend Trump D.C. rally, Democrats allege in FEC complaint [Milwaukee Journal, 7/12/21]
Wisconsin Examiner: Derrick Van Orden called COVID-19 relief a ‘disaster,’ but the group he works with got $170k in aid [Wisconsin Examiner, 6/29/21]
La Crosse Tribune: In 2015 book, Van Orden brags about exposing a man’s genitals to two female officers [La Crosse Tribune, 9/25/20]
Huffington Post: GOP Candidate Once Bragged About Showing A Man’s ‘Ball Sack’ To Unsuspecting Women [Huffington Post, 8/11/21]
La Crosse Tribune: Library staff felt ‘threatened’ after GOP candidate complained about Pride Month display [La Crosse Tribune, 8/22/21]
Associated Press: Library worker: Candidate was irate over gay books display [Associated Press, 8/23/21]
Politifact: “Is Van Orden right about the cost of the American Rescue Plan, the primary measure that has passed since Biden took office in January? … In short, let’s say the claim is, well, inflated…Van Orden did not respond to emails from PolitiFact Wisconsin requesting backup for his claim… We rate Van Orden’s claim False.” [Politifact Wisconsin, 5/11/21]
Milwaukee Journal: Regarding health care, Van Orden supports removing “the last vestiges of the disastrous Obama Care” (the Affordable Care Act), according to his website [Milwaukee Journal, 7/30/20]
La Crosse Tribune: Former GOP candidate Van Orden apologizes to Jewish people over tweet [La Crosse Tribune, 1/26/21]
PATH TO VICTORY
In 2020, House Democrats won this seat with 51.3% of the vote in a two-way with a +2.6 D margin, and House Democrats did even better in previous cycles. Democrats have already proven they can be victorious under tough circumstances with stronger candidates, meaning this district is in play. When voters hear about Van Orden’s erratic behavior and disturbing past they will see that he does not represent Wisconsin values and will be focused solely on pushing his radical agenda in Congress, not working to lower costs or deliver results at home.