Wisconsin GOP fires sex offender it had hired as fundraiser

Feb. 5, 2014 at 4:20 PM

MADISON, Wis., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The Republican Party Wisconsin has fired a part-time fundraiser after media reports indicating he pleaded guilty in 2010 to a child pornography charge.

Joe Fadness, executive director of the state party, said Alexander Combs was fired "effective immediately" an hour after a reporter from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel inquired about why the party had employed a registered sex offender as a telemarketing fundraiser.

Combs, 27, a former summer camp counselor, pleaded guilty in 2010 to downloading sexually explicit images of girls as young as 9 and engaging in explicit online conversations with girls who identified themselves as underage. He served a 30-day jail sentence.

The party hired him in March 2011 and he has been paid $41,000 since then, campaign filings show.

Combs was caught on the sex charges by the state attorney general's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and his arrest was touted in a press release at the time from the state's top lawyer, J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican. Combs is a registered sex offender listed on the state's database and several media reports were published at the time of his arrest, the Journal Sentinel said.

It is the second time in recent weeks Wisconsin Republicans have been embarrassed by an association with a sex offender, the newspaper said.

During his State of the State address last month, Gov. Scott Walker called attention to Christopher Barber, a welder who had lost his job but recently found work again. The Journal Sentinel noted the reason Barber had trouble finding a job is that he is a registered sex offender.

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