Assembly Democrats Elect Hintz as Leader

Wow. What a statement about the character and direction of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Rep. Gordon Hintz was elected Tuesday by his colleagues to replace Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, who announced earlier this month he was stepping down as Assembly minority leader after many of his members tried to remove him.

Hintz, a member of the Legislature’s budget-writing committee who also had been considering a run for governor, urged his colleagues on Tuesday to stop focusing on divisions within the party and present a united front against Republican-backed policies and Gov. Scott Walker.

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Hintz, 43, has been in the state Assembly since 2006 and is a vocal critic of Walker and the Republican Legislature’s approach to road funding, K-12 education and tax policy. He entered the Assembly the same year he appeared in the documentary “Air Guitar Nation,” which documented the first time the U.S. competed in the Air Guitar World Championships.

State Republicans have criticized Hintz for a 2011 citation he received during a sting at an Appleton massage parlor while he was unmarried, and also for telling then-Rep. Michelle Litjens, R-Winneconne, “you’re (expletive) dead” during a contentious debate over Walker’s collective bargaining measure that same year known as Act 10.