Family upset over how Burke staffers treated the disabled during Michelle Obama's campaign stop
MILWAUKEE-- Tony Snell surprised his parents with tickets for First Lady Michelle Obama's appearance in Milwaukee Monday.
My parents are lifelong Democrats,\" said Snell, \"and they adore the president and first lady, so they were just elated, and since they are both elderly, one is 78, one is 82, that made it even more significant in their lives.\"
Both of his parents are disabled.
\"Those in wheelchairs, did not have equal access,\" said Snell, \"and they deserve to be on the same level, not pushed to the back of the room.\"
As the first lady took the stage to show her support for Mary Burke-- this was their view.
\"Even my father, who has problems walking, who's a retired veteran, was told-- they could not bring him a chair,\" he said, \"that maybe he wanted to go to the back of the room, find one, and sit back there.\"
Snell says at one point-- a Burke staffer walked up to the group of disabled attendees and said they had the best seats in the house.
\"For us-- that would be a pretty good view, but had he been sitting, where they were sitting, if he sat in their chairs and felt their pain-- then he would have seen it from a different angle,\" said Snell.
Snell says his family attends political events regularly, but this was the first time they weren't given equal access.
\"On stage-- they talked about access, they talked about representing all the people,\" said Snell, \"yet what they were practicing on stage and saying on stage, was not happening off stage.\"
During another campaign stop in Milwaukee Tuesday, Mary Burke says her staff can and will do better.
\"You learn from that and next time will make sure we address it,\" said Burke.
Burke also emphasized there will be a place at the table for the disabled if she's elected into office.
\"We don't want to have anything standing in the way for the disabled, to function and contribute to our society,\" said Burke.
Despite Burke's remarks, that doesn't change how Snell's parents felt when they left Monday's event.
\"They left this event with sadness in their heart, and they're lifelong Democrats,\" said Snell.