Wisconsin Democrat cites Las Vegas shooting in fundraising

MADISON, Wis. — A Democratic candidate for Congress in Wisconsin cited the mass shooting in Las Vegas in an email that also solicits for donations.

Tom Palzewicz, of Brookfield, is running for Congress in the 5th Congressional District in southeast Wisconsin, challenging Republican incumbent Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.

In an email sent Thursday, just days after the Las Vegas attack that left 58 dead, Palzewicz describes talking to a friend who was at the concert and survived.

"He's a strong conservative, but he knows we must do something different," Palzewicz wrote.

Palzewicz also mentioned a pair of shootings in his Wisconsin congressional district before detailing his support for tighter gun control laws and criticizing Sensenbrenner for not taking action.

At the bottom of the email there's a button recipients can click to make a donation to Palzewicz's campaign.

Palzewicz's spokeswoman Mary McCarthy said the button was part of a routine email template. In a typical fundraising email, the recipient would be asked multiple times to donate, often for a specific amount, something this one did not do, McCarthy said.

"This was an email laying out a policy agenda on the issue," she said. "It's part of the campaign."

Several other Wisconsin Democrats have sent emails referencing the Las Vegas shooting but did not ask for donations in the same message.

Wisconsin Republican Party spokesman Alec Zimmerman called the Palzewicz email "sad and disgraceful."

"Democrats across Wisconsin should condemn this type of behavior and he should apologize and return any of the money that was raised," Zimmerman said.

Palzewicz is a political newcomer who co-owns ActionCOACH, a business consulting franchise. Sensenbrenner has held the seat since 2003. The district covers all of Washington and Jefferson counties and parts of Waukesha, Dodge, Jefferson, Milwaukee and Walworth counties.