Rep. Brett Hulsey, D-Madison, has returned to the spotlight after a report surfaced that said he scared one of his female staffers when he brought a box cutter to the Capitol and asked her to train in self-defense.
Hulsey brought a box cutter and thought about bringing a gun to the Capitol, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Tuesday.
Hulsey did not respond to requests for comment, but he told the Journal Sentinel he was trying to train his aide on how she could protect herself from a box cutter, although he would have taken the blade away for the training.
A Feb. 17 police report said the aide emailed that she was “terrified,” the Sentinel reported. Hulsey, however, told Sentinel reporters he meant no harm.
The aide also said Hulsey wanted to carry a gun to the Assembly floor, but he said he never did so and does not have a concealed carry permit, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Hulsey did, however, ask whether he could bring in an officer’s rifle to the floor, a request the officer denied because rifles are not allowed on the Assembly floor.
People can have handguns on the Assembly floor and gallery as well as in the Capitol, so Hulsey told the Journal Sentinel he was trying to show how “irrational” policies like that are.
Melanie Conklin, spokesperson for Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, confirmed in an email to The Badger Herald that Barca had talked to the aide, but Conklin added Barca did not tell the aide Hulsey talked about harming her, as she had reported to the police.
She said because the situation involved staff and an Assembly member, Barca discussed the matter with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch and Assembly Chief Clerk Patrick Fuller.
Jonathan Dedering, who lost to Hulsey in last November’s election, said although he had not read the reports, he thinks people should expect things like this to continue to happen with Hulsey.
“I wish the voters had chosen someone that didn’t make those types of decisions,” Dedering said. “As far as the next step, I really feel like you get what you pay for with him.”
Hulsey did not respond to requests for comment at press time.