11-8-19 senate leaders react to pfaff firing

The senate Democratic leader says the firing of state ag secretary Brad Pfaff was petty politics.  The senate majority leader says the governor’s nominee wasn’t doing his job.   The state senate this week voted along party lines not to confirm Pfaff  to the post.  Senate minority leader Jennifer Shilling says Pfaff was very qualified for the position.   “Brad is undeniably the most qualified candidate for that position,”  Shilling told WFDL news.  “Brad has worked tirelessly for family farms.  He grew up on a family farm.”    Senate Republican leader Scott Fitzgerald says perhaps the biggest factor was Pfaff’s support of new livestock siting regulations that Fitzgerald says would have harmed the state’s dairy industry.  “We begged the secretary-designee to back off on this rule.  Ironically after I talked to the governor on Friday morning suddenly they pulled back the rule,”  Fitzgerald told WFDL news.   Fitzgerald says Republicans were also upset when Pfaff criticized the Republican controlled Joint Finance committee for not releasing money for farmer’s mental health programs.  Shilling says Pfaff is passionate about farming and shouldn’t be afraid to speak out on issues he feels strongly about.   Fitzgerald says he was surprised to see governor Tony Evers on the senate floor watching the debate and vote.  “It was bizarre, I got to be honest with you.  It was very uncomfortable for the legislature,”  Fitzgerald said.  Shilling wonders what this means for some of the other cabinet nominees who are still waiting confirmation.   “It’s kind of dangling that confirmation out in front of the governor on those secretaries and kind of like to make sure they remain in line.  They have to watch their Ps and Qs.”