Evers calls for arrests in suspected arson at anti-abortion office

VERONA, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers on Monday called for arrests in the wake of suspected arson at the anti-abortion group Wisconsin Family Action over the weekend.

The governor said he had no updates from law enforcement as he spoke at a groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning. Law enforcement, including Madison police, the FBI and ATF will brief the public on the investigation Monday afternoon.

“It was a horrible incident,” Evers said. “As the state of Wisconsin, we don’t accept that type of violence here.”

Evers’ comments come after blowback from Wisconsin Family Action itself. In a statement, the group’s president Julianne Appling said Evers did not go far enough to call for a full investigation and criminal prosecution.

RELATED: No arrests yet after Molotov cocktails thrown into anti-abortion group’s Madison office

“In 2020, Governor Tony Evers basically looked the other way when violence erupted in Kenosha and Madison,” Appling said. “That kind of non-response fosters what happened to us this morning, leaving Wisconsin citizens who disagree with his policies extremely vulnerable to similar violence.”

Other politicians weighed in as well, including two of the candidates running in the Republican primary for attorney general.

“They reminded me actually of the way that they behaved during the Kenosha disaster and the Kenosha rioting,” Adam Jarchow said of Evers and AG Josh Kaul. “What [Evers] said yesterday, and what what Josh Kaul said yesterday, and I thought they were both dramatically weak for the position that they’re in.”

Jarchow is running against Eric Toney, who said the AG’s office can put more recourses into the investigation through the Division of Criminal Investigation.

“As attorney general, I would be making any of those resources available to local law enforcement,” he said.

The AG primary includes Karen Mueller, who did not respond for this story.

Evers reiterated his stance against the perpetrators during his press availability Monday.

“They should be arrested and put on trial,” Evers said of the perpetrators. “The idea that violence is going to solve this issue that we’re facing as a country relative to the potential of Roe v. Wade being not a factor — the resolve around that is not violence, it’s not going to be solved by violence.”