|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Wisconsin's 6th district
January 3, 2015
|Member of the Wisconsin Senate|
from the 20th district
|Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly|
from the 58th district
|Born||July 3, 1955|
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Education||University of Wisconsin-Madison (BA, JD)|
Glenn S. Grothman (born July 3, 1955) from Glenbeulah, Wisconsin is the Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin's 6th congressional district. He was first elected to represent that district in November 2014.
Grothman served in the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing the 58th Assembly District from 1993 until 2005, served as the vice chair of the Assembly's Republican caucus from 1999 to 2004, and as a member of the Wisconsin Senate from the 20th district from 2005-15, and Assistant Majority Leader of the Wisconsin Senate from 2011-15.
Grothman graduated from Homestead High School in Mequon in 1973. In 1978, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor of business administration degree. He received his J.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1983, was admitted to the bar, and became an attorney with a firm in West Bend, Wisconsin.
Grothman was elected to the Wisconsin 58th Assembly District in a special election held in December 1993, and was re-elected five times, from November 1994 through November 2002. From 1999 to 2004, he was the Assembly Majority Caucus Vice Chairperson.
In 2004, Grothman ran for the state senate seat in the 20th district, challenging State Senate Majority Leader Mary Panzer in the Republican primary. The district included the city of West Bend, other parts of Washington County, and parts of Fond du Lac, Dodge, Sheboygan, and Ozaukee counties.
Grothman ran well to Panzer's right. He won the nomination in a rout, taking 79 percent of the vote to Panzer's 21 percent. He was unopposed in the general election in the heavily Republican district. Grothman was re-elected in 2008 and 2012.
From 2007-08, Grothman was the Senate Minority Caucus Chairperson. He became the assistant Republican leader in 2009, serving as assistant minority leader from 2009-10, and as assistant majority leader from 2011 through January 2015.
Grothman was a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Grothman was a vocal proponent of SB11, a controversial bill proposed by Governor Scott Walker in early 2011. He said he supported the so-called budget repair bill because it was fiscally responsible. In a press interview, he said that he did not "find it impressive" that over 70,000 protesters marched on the capitol.
During the protests, Grothman was cornered by almost 200 pro-union protesters yelling "Shame! Shame!" outside the state capitol building. Grothman said he was not concerned about violence at the time, adding that, "They're loud, they'll give you the finger, and they yell at you, but I really think deep down inside they're just mostly college kids having fun, just like they're having fun sleeping with their girlfriends on air mattresses. That's the guts of that crowd." He also described the protesters as "a different breed of person" and "a bunch of slobs taking up the building."
During this time, Grothman also advocated the hiring of more business-friendly individuals to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. In doing so, he went out of his way to single out one of the University of Wisconsin campuses as a target: "Maybe you (should) look to hire those people who know what the real world is like, rather than a recent graduate from UW-Stevens Point who doesn't know what the real world is like." This was only days before appearing at UW-Stevens Point with the Joint Finance Committee for a day of hearings on Walker's budget bill.
Grothman was subject to a recall effort in the spring of 2011, but the effort failed, collecting only 75% of the required signatures. During the recall, Grothman supporters gathered hundreds of signatures for a giant "Thank You" card for Grothman.
On April 3, 2014, Grothman announced he would run in that year's Republican primary for Wisconsin's 6th congressional district against 17-term incumbent Tom Petri. He positioned himself well to Petri's right; in his campaign announcement he called Petri a "decent, genial person" who lacked the "sense of urgency" to put more curbs on "a federal government that seems to be out of control." Grothman did not have to give up his state senate seat to run for Congress; Wisconsin state senators serve staggered four-year terms, and he was not up for reelection until 2016. Petri announced shortly after Grothman entered the race that he wouldn't run for reelection.
Grothman's longtime home in West Bend was located in the 5th District, represented by Republican Jim Sensenbrenner. However, his state senate district included much of the southeastern portion of the 6th congressional district. In the summer of 2014, Grothman moved to Campellsport, a suburb of Fond du Lac, which is located in the 6th District.
In the general election, Grothman defeated the Democratic nominee, Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris, getting 57 percent of the vote to Harris' 41%.
In November 2016, Grothman won re-election against a challenge from Democratic nominee Sarah Llyod getting 57% of votes to Lloyd's 37%.
In November 2018, Grothman won re-election against a challenge from Democratic nominee Dan Kohl, getting 55.5% of votes to Kohl's 44.5%.
Grothman said the state's kindergarten program for 4-year-olds should be defunded by Governor Scott Walker, saying that any academic benefits disappear by the fourth grade. Politifact rated this as 'False', and wrote that "Some studies reached that conclusion. But Grothman is citing one small portion of a much broader debate and declaring the whole matter settled when there is considerable evidence on the other side."
An advocate of Second Amendment rights, Grothman is a long-time supporter of concealed carry legislation, but does not advocate allowing concealed weapons in taverns. He believes concealed carry laws will deter criminal behavior, with permits being given to law-abiding citizens who pass a gun safety course.
Speaking in support of Walker's decision to repeal the Wisconsin Equal Pay Act, Grothman said that the alleged pay differential is explainable: "Once you break it down by married and unmarried, the differential disappears." However, a study by the American Association of University Women in 2007 found that life choices and family circumstances explain only a portion of the difference in pay between genders. Grothman rejected that study, further claiming, "You could argue that money is more important for men. I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday, may be a little more money-conscious. To attribute everything to a so-called bias in the workplace is just not true."
Grothman opposed a provision in a 2010 sex education law that prohibited teachers from promoting bias based on sexual orientation, saying that he did not believe the topic should be discussed at all in the public schools. According to the Capitol Times, Grothman's opposition was based on the belief that instructors who lead these talks would have what he called an "agenda" to persuade students to become gay. He postulated that "Part of that agenda which is left unsaid is that some of those who throw it out as an option would like it if more kids became homosexuals."
Grothman said that he was concerned about what God might think of the United States after Secretary of State John Kerry announced plans in April 2014 to send scientists to Uganda in response to a new law against homosexuality; Grothman described Kerry's plans a way "to say how wonderful the homosexual lifestyle is." Grothman said Republicans, conservatives, and church leaders were not confronting the issue of homosexuality and were "losing the issue". He said, "We had such a great country in the relatively recent past. Now America, supposed to be the light of the world, instead we're the light going in the opposite direction."
Grothman said in a December 2012 press release that Kwanzaa is not a real holiday. He said, "Of course, almost no black people today care about Kwanzaa--just white left-wingers who try to shove this down black people's throats in an effort to divide Americans."
Grothman has argued that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day should not be a state employee holiday, calling the holiday "an insult to all the other taxpayers around the state." He has expressed doubts that "state workers would be 'checking out DVDs or reading books' about King and would probably just be out shopping or watching television instead."
Grothman was a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 19 (2011), which removes the requirement of mandatory chlorination of groundwater in municipal water systems. The bill was supported by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.
In February 2012, Grothman introduced Senate Bill 507, which would amend Wisconsin statutes to emphasize non-marital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.Politifact investigated his claim that kids living with a parent and parent's partner are "20 times" more likely to be sexually abused, and rated it True.
He also sponsored State Bill 202, which would have repealed the Equal Pay Enforcement Act, saying that the "Left and the social welfare establishment want children born out of wedlock because they are far more likely to be dependent on the government."
Grothman opposed a bill that would increase funding for anti-smoking programs from $10 to $30 million. He said that anti-smoking campaigns do not work, and are no longer necessary, writing, "Everybody knows you're not supposed to smoke!" He also voted against the ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and other small business that became effective in July 2010. After the bill was passed, he introduced new legislation to allow lodging establishments, such as hotels, to designate certain rooms as smoking rooms; the bill did not pass.. He also co-sponsored a bill to exempt electronic cigarettes from the smoking ban.
In June 2013, Grothman proposed changing the welfare system in Wisconsin, to require that nondisabled single adults to either work twenty hours per week, or attend twenty hours of job training per week to continue receiving FoodShare benefits.
In October 2016, Grothman was featured in the "People Who Somehow Got Elected" segment on HBO's program Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. The segment made reference to Grothman's controversial comments about women and race during his time as an elected official.
On July 11, 2020, Grothman achieved social-media notoriety by coughing uncontrollably while speaking at the Wisconsin Republican Party convention.
|Wisconsin State Senate|
| Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 20th district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 6th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority