Legislator defends councilman who resigned

GILLETTE — Former Gillette City Councilman Shay Lundvall isn’t the only elected official to express support for a group of social media posts that prompted Mayor Louise Carter-King and the rest of the council to ask for his resignation last week.

Lundvall resigned at the urging of the mayor and council after the city received a pair of complaints that he had “liked” several social media posts that support potentially sexist, violent and racist views.

State Rep. Scott Clem, R-Gillette, said in a 20-minute Facebook video Wednesday that he also “liked” some of the same posts Lundvall did and called out Carter-King and the council for overreacting and overstepping their authority.

Clem said he’s a longtime friend of Lundvall and went to high school with him, along with Bob Vomhof, who wrote the posts in question.

When contacted by the News Record, Vomhof declined to comment, but said he may do so in the future.

Clem also called out the two people who complained to the city in the first place.

Lundvall “was targeted by some lowlifes, and I have no problem calling them lowlifes,” he said. “There are people out there who will try to dig up dirt on a political candidate or someone in political office and try to ruin them for political reasons.

“These people are lowlives (sic), there’s no way around that.”

Clem said he’s also an elected official who liked some of the posts.

“I have no qualms about saying that, by the way, because I think the post was valid," he said.

While he understands that in today's social climate “people are hyper-sensitive," he said what happened to Lundvall was blackmail and “thought-policing” to air “all of this dirt publicly."

He also said the mayor and council should reinstate the former councilman and apologize.

Clem said that along with agreeing with the idea behind the posts, he also “liked” them because they were meant to be sarcastic and poke fun at political correctness, not be offensive.

“I liked at least one of them, maybe I’ve liked even more of them,” he said. “What this gentleman is good at doing is poking fun at the identity politics crowd. That’s essentially what these posts were. They were facetious, they weren’t serious.”

In a lengthy Facebook post made Friday, Lundvall admitted he was wrong for liking the posts, apologized and said that he agrees an elected official should be held to a higher standard. He also said he felt pressured to resign after being presented with a choice to do that or be called out in public.

Since Friday, supporters of Lundvall have been calling for him to be reinstated to the City Council. Dozens of people also peacefully protested Tuesday’s council meeting, and several people addressed the mayor and council, many calling for them to apologize or resign themselves.