Vet's daughter not happy with VA changes under Sen. Johnson - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Vet's daughter not happy with VA changes under Sen. Johnson

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Tomah, WI (WXOW) -

The daughter of an Army veteran who died after visiting the Tomah VA in January of 2015 said Senator Ron Johnson did not do enough to help her family, although documents show he pressed the VA to look into his death.

Candace Baer's father Thomas, suffered two strokes at the VA Medical Center and was not given anti-clotting medication or a CT scan because staff at the VA told her the machine wasn't working.

MORE: Associated Press article 

 She said shortly after her father's death, she went to Sen. Johnson for help launching a separate investigation.

"We knew the Inspector General was corrupt and we knew we weren't getting a fair shake after they found no wrongdoing on behalf of the staff," she said. "But what he did was launch an overall investigation and the only changes that have been made since my dad died was they closed the mental health unit and shortened hours at urgent care."

Sen. Johnson's campaign said he did launch a separate investigation into Baer's death, as is evident in the report released in May by the Senate's Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. There is a section of the report dedicated to Baer and the report lists several shortcomings in the Inspector General's attempts to substantiate the family's allegations.

The campaign also provided a letter written by Sen. Johnson to the Department of Veterans Affairs pressing them to look into Baer's death.

"Sen. Johnson is in the position to help, he's in the position to make a difference," she said. "But right now, he seems more concerned about nothing more than getting re-elected."

She says she took exception to Sen. Johnson talking about her family during a debate with challenger Russ Feingold on Friday.

"I feel like he's using my family for political gains," she said. "If you're going to use my family as a feather in your political cap, have your facts straight and have some sort of success."

Johnson's campaign insists he did everything in his power to help the Baer family and other families who experienced loss at the VA. The campaign also sites recently released documents it says shows Russ Feingold failed to respond to VA personnel in 2008.

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