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A touch of Wisconsin College Republican Drama [Updated]

April 28, 2010

OOOOH!

about the recent departure of College Republican Chairwoman Lora Rae Anderson who’s term ended a weekend or so ago was the WICR convention with the election of new leadership as it does every year.

Following her term’s end, Lora Rae put out this rambling, virtually incoherent press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

24 April 2010

CONTACT: Lora Rae Anderson FORMER WISCONSIN FEDERATION OF COLLEGE REPUBLICANS CHAIRMAN CALLS FOR REFORM

Today, 24 April 2010, there was a new group of students elected to lead the Wisconsin Federation of College Republicans into this upcoming campaign season. The out- going Chair, Lora Rae Anderson has been eager to share her thoughts for some time now about the nature of the Republican Party and her experience this year,

“There have obviously been issues with members of the Republican Party, as there are with members of any group. However, when a member of a political party says or does something inappropriate, it has become common practice to either stand by it or ignore it for the sake of promoting the party,” said Anderson, “The way we put partisanship on a pedestal in this country is a gross disregard for the idea that most Americans have diverse thoughts and ideas; there are more than two political paradigms in the United States.”

In 2008, the Republican Party was happy to announce that they had passed their “most conservative platform ever.” This might be appealing to current members of the Republican Party but is not appealing to the vast majority of moderate Americans. “The Republican Party is alienating a younger, more progressive generation through its new‘ conservative platform’ which ignores issues such as gay marriage. Marriage, at least as the law would put it, is a civil right. Allowing those people who want to get married to be married is consistent with the Republican Party’s ‘government hand’s off’ platform. This is an area where most College Republicans agree, but for one reason or another, stay quiet and don’t stand up to the older members of our party” said Anderson.

A few notable individuals in the Republican Party and in the Conservative Movement (which the Republican Party bows to), have gone unchecked in the past year. One such example was Pat Robertson and his comments on the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Others include those Republicans who voted against Senator Al Frankin’s amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriation Bill, condemning rape. Also to be included would be Glenn Beck, who, in his speech at CPAC this year criticized all government spending and was hypocritical enough to express that he was self taught in his paradigm, and learned at a public library.

One incident which hits closer to home for Lora Rae is that of Eau Claire County Republican Chairman, Brian Westrate’s remarks. In a facebook argument with some of Anderson’s friends who respectfully subscribe to leftist politics he used a cultural insult and racial slurs to argue. “Racial slurs obviously don’t sit well with me, but when somebody knowingly racially slurs my friends; I am personally insulted. While being in my position, I didn’t speak out about Westrate’s clear disregard for decency. That decision was wrong, I should have stood up for the parties insulted. Needless to say, I will not be renewing my membership to the Eau Claire County Republican Party or the Republican Party of Wisconsin for the year 2010.”

Another local example close to home is Juneau County DA, Scott Southworth threatening prosecution to any teacher who teach sex education because of his clearly skewed and extreme interpretation of law. It has been proven time and time again that sex education reduces abortion rates, and has helped society. Anderson’s comment was “I understand that there is always need for progress and reform in sex education, but trying to abolish it all together is simply not the answer, many students don’t have the luxury of having parents around to properly teach them values or safety concerning sex.”

This weekend at WICR convention there was good spirited debate and the Log Cabin Republicans had a standing ovation after their speech. However, the state of the Republican Party right now needs to improve. Anderson had some final remarks , “I understand that the issue of ‘promoting the party at all costs’ exists on both sides of politics, but at this point I wish to call out the Republicans as I have supported them and worked with them and they have yet to attempt to bring justice to a diverse group of Americans. Extremism has never done anything productive for any majority in history. I ask that members of the Republican party open their minds but more importantly open their hearts. To those individuals who have held ‘unpopular’ opinions in the party, I ask you to speak out, as I regret having not about numerous issues. You may not make a difference right away, but eventually we can make real progress for Wisconsin and the United States and help political activists to understand that sensible moderates can bring progress to America.”

I want to analyse Ms. Anderson’s press release before getting farther into this story.

Lora really assumes a lot when she thinks this generation is more progressive and the new conservative platform is alienating. Considering I’ve attended a few tea parties, I’ve seen people of all ages there, but besides that if the platform was as alienating as she suggests it is, College Republican numbers would be down, if not unnoticeable. Which they aren’t.  Furthermore Lora Rae must think it’s November of 2006 still. Regardless of my personal opinion, she must have forgotten that in fall of 2006, Wisconsinites voted OVERWHELMINGLY to constitutionally ban gay marriage while voting OVERWHELMINGLY to grant Jim Doyle a second term. States like California that lean consistently to the left have also issued bans on gay marriage.  In fact, 37 states ban marriage between two people of the same sex, and ever state that has had a ballot initiative on banning same sex marriage has passed it. For her to suggest that only the most conservative Republicans favor banning gay marriage indicates that she’s at the least ignorant, at the worst delusional.

Lora Rae’s claiming that Pat Roberston, and Glenn Beck are people that Republican Party bows to indicates that not only is she no longer a Republican, but has been brainwashed by leftist main stream media propaganda. PAT ROBERSTON HASN’T BEEN RELAVANT TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY SINCE HE TRIED TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 1988!  I didn’t even remember him saying anything about Haiti! But clearly his comments can’t be overlooked by an ‘increasing number of conservative extremists’. Glenn Beck never claims to be a republican either. He’s a conservative constitutionalist. He just hates liberalism and socialism. I suppose Lora would think it’s too cliché at this point to mention Rush Limbaugh? Isn’t he listed on the Democrat talking points as “A reason why the Republican Party is going in the wrong direction”? She left out Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and everyone else at Fox News. Isn’t the liberal talking point that they are the “media arm of the Republican Party”?

Lora Rae suggesting that a random DA in Northwest Wisconsin banning sexual education is somehow closely related to the Republican Party further proves that she has completely lost it. I didn’t know that said DA controlled the policy of the Republican Party. Especially anything as important as sexual education of children/students. Few things shadow such important policy concerns as sex ed. Nope… can’t think of anything.

At this point I’m not even sure if Lora Rae wrote her own press release. I’m fairly certain that one or a few high school interns at the DPW wrote this. Unless I’m giving Lora Rae too much credit for her intelligence, I can’t see many people with a high level of intelligence subscribing to these bullshit leftist Republican bashing talking points. I figured Ms. Anderson to be above this.

Mike Tate lept all over the above press release. This was the Dems press release about it:

In a short-lived press release that the Republican Party of Wisconsin doesn’t want you to see, outgoing Wisconsin College Republicans Chair Lora Rae Anderson blasted the state party for racial intolerance, calling it too “extreme” and saying that it is “alienating a younger, more progressive generation.”

“I’m glad to see the College Republicans Chair admit what a lot of us already know, that the Republican Party today is busy catering to its Tea Party masters, offering more and more extreme slogans, but no real solutions for working families in Wisconsin,” said Mike Tate, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Last May, Lora Rae Anderson promised in a speech at the state RPW convention to build a more solid relationship with RPW and county parties. But in a press release after the new College Republican leadership was elected, Anderson announced Saturday that she is severing ties with the state party because one of its leaders “used a cultural insult and racial slurs.”

“I will not be renewing my membership to the Eau County Republican Party or the Republican Party of Wisconsin for the year 2010.”

Republicans’ march toward Tea Party extremism began early this year when reality tee-vee star and Congressional candidate Sean Duffy agreed to appear at a Wisconsin Tea Party rally where white supremacist “Col.” John Eidsmoe had been scheduled to speak.

Anderson denounces Tea Party race-based politics, singling out Sean Duffy Supporter and Eau Claire County Republican Party Chairman Brian Westrate for continuing in the Duffy Tea Party mode of associating with racial intolerance. Anderson wrote:

“Racial slurs obviously don’t sit well with me, but when somebody knowingly racially slurs my friends; I am personally insulted.”

Westrate previously defended racists in a letter to the editor of his local newspaper.

Got some information from Mike Tate Watch (which is a political blog devoted to calling out Democrat ChairBaby Mike Tate). Mike Tate Watch obtained a copy of an email exchanged between a fellow blogger and a friend of Lora Rae’s:

Lora Rae, was a good CR when i was there. I consider her a friend and still do. It is unfortunate that she has strayed to the left. I have heard these things from friends who are still at UWEC over the past year or so.

I tihnk when I was at UWEC Lora was more conservative.   She has certainly drifted moderate over the past year, some might say liberal. It is too bad to see this. I feel that she has a right to have disagreements with the party, but I can’t help but wonder if she is being used by others…. Thanks so much for alerting me. I do hope you are doing well.

[MTW added thoughts]: What we know now is that the situation was over a more moderate leader in the Wisconsin Federation of College Republicans as according to the e-mail that Maichle provided that stated Anderson was becoming more moderate to liberal during the latter part of her tenure as the State College Republicans Chairwoman.

Tough to see a young conservative drift to the left without any substantial reason. I’ve spoken to a few people inside Wisconsin state politics who were not surprised of Ms. Anderson’s defection from the party (a few even expected it to happen), but most were caught off guard by Lora Rae issuing the press release. Some suspected that Ms. Anderson issued this release because of some animosity between her and the state party, but that is mostly speculation.

Futher adding to the drama is the newly elected State College Republican Chair. Though I’ve yet to hear any comments or see any press releases from the new chair, she was by this blogger’s understanding Lora Rae’s candidate to replace. Difficult to see if that will become an issue within college republicans in the near future.

Hopefully more comes of this and we can provide you with more information in the near future. Don’t expect this to make any waves however. RPW will probably let this slide by and I don’t blame them. One random “former Republican” putting out a press release on why they’re going to embrace liberalism is something way below the good folks at RPW. It’s rare and rather tough for College Republicans to make a huge impact at the state level. And from the people I have talked to, Lora Rae had done quite a bit to marginalize herself within the organization, which was cause to suspect her defection.

But After reading her press release completely all I have left to say is: “The door to Republican party’s exit is on the left Ms. Anderson. Don’t let it hit you on the way out.”

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