Gay Wis. GOP Campaigner Lied About Hate Crime
A man who has been volunteering in the campaign for a Madison, Wis., Republican House candidate is recanting his story that he was physically assaulted at his home last week because he is gay and a Republican, Wisconsin’s the Daily Page reports.
EDGE recently reported that Kyle Wood claimed he was beaten in his home Wednesday -- a week after his car was vandalized with the words, "house trained republican faggot," "traitor," and "ur like a jew 4 hitler." Soon after he noticed the slurs, he took to Facebook, where he wrote that the incident would "only make me work harder" and "I will not be bullied into voting for a gay man simply because I am gay."
Wood said the vandal’s slurs were in reference to his being gay and a Republican who volunteers for Republican Chad Lee, a straight man. Lee is running against Democratic opponent Marc Pocan, an openly gay man. They are vying for the seat being vacated by Tammy Baldwin, a gay Democrat who is in a tight race to become the first out-gay United States senator.
Then, last Wednesday, Wood claimed he was physically assaulted for his political views.
"I was getting ready for work and there was a knock at the door," Wood told the Daily Caller. "I opened it, and a guy wrapped a ligature around my neck, slammed my head into the doorway, and smashed my face into a mirror, telling me ’You should have kept your fucking mouth shut.’ He then kidney-punched me, while at the same time saying I was ’warned,’ and continued to beat me," he added.
The Daily Caller also noted that Wood said he could not move the right side of his body, his eyes were swollen shut, and he suffered a concussion and neck and head lacerations as a result of the attack.
On Monday, however, Wood admitted he lied about the hate crime and that he faked the attack against himself. The Daily Page reports police from Madison, Wisconsin’s capital, said the campaign volunteer is recanting "his statements about being assaulted and choked at his home on Oct. 24." The commander of Madison’s south district, Captain Joe Balles, confirmed that Wood has retracted his statements but would not go into much detail.
"I updated that press release because I felt it was imperative we get something out there because of the politically charged background this was happening in," he told the newspaper. He said that he would talk with the district attorney’s office to see if any charges will be filed against Wood.
"We’re in the victims business," Balles said. "We really need victims to come forward. We don’t take matters like this lightly." A spokesman for Pocan and an attorney representing his partner, Philip Frank, said they may sue for libel over claims Frank threatened Wood.
When the story first made headlines, the co-founder of GOProud, LGBT organization for ultra-conservatives, Jimmy LaSalvia, defended Wood and used his attacks to show the "hate and vitriol directed towards a gay conservative from gay liberals," as he told the Daily Caller.
Balles told the Wisconsin State Journal that Wood could face criminal charges, including obstructing police or filing a false police report. The newspaper also reported that Wood was arrested in 2008 for threatening his then-boyfriend with a butcher knife. He pleaded no contest and had to pay a $275 fine.