In Wisconsin, Republican Party Elites do not like losing power; they chastise you and work to banish you if you dare challenge them or do not think as they do. Their power is like a drug, more addicting than heroin, and their elitist attitude spreads faster than Covid-19. In Wisconsin, it has trickled down into Republican Party volunteer positions throughout the state.
Since last August, we have seen those elites work harder to save control of their little piece of the party leadership than they worked to beat Tony Evers. Rebecca Kleefisch and her merry band of supporters in leadership had sour grapes after her primary loss; they then acted like spoiled children and did NOTHING to help beat Evers.
In fact, many set out to sabotage the effort altogether. They saw Michels as a threat to their power. Since his loss in November, they have been working around the clock to purge the party of any supporters in leadership and anyone else they deem undesirable or non-compliant.
Unfortunately, this toxic disease of Republican Party elitism and sour grapes we have been seeing since August is spreading. As we already know, this elitism attitude has already been lurking in some Conservative media and County Party leadership circles, like in Racine County, but it has also made its way into Dane County
If you remember, a few people showed courage and were able to beat the Party elites in Dane County. They mounted a challenge and were able to take over the Republican Party of Dane County fully; the people spoke and did so in epic fashion. The Elites were unhappy, but people wanted change and got it.
Continuing the trend, Billie Johnson mounted a similar challenge in the 2nd Congressional District. The race for the 2nd CD was not bitter and divisive, but it was convincing; 68% of attendees voted for change. Naturally, some people were unhappy, but that comes with the territory.
Billie Johnson traveled to attend the monthly breakfast of the Green County Republican Party. As the incoming Chairman of the 2nd Congressional District, it would seem like a good idea, right? Well, not according to Green County Chairman John Fandrich.
Fandrich had Johnson escorted out of the building by a local law enforcement officer. Really? Why would Fandrich do this anyway? What would be so bad to require a likable man like Billie Johnson to be escorted out, and by law enforcement to boot? It’s simple, he won. Fandrich supported the incumbent and Johnson’s victory inspired a Greta moment in Fandrich; HOW DARE YOU!
Primaries or contested party elections are fine as long as OUR candidates don’t destroy each other, making the winner less electable in a general election. But it’s time to unite when the primary or contested party election is over. Candidates unwilling to unite should be pushed aside because they demonstrate they are in this for the wrong reason.
Jennifer Dorow gave the best example of how to handle a primary defeat and rally the troops for the good of the team. Too bad John Fandrich didn’t learn the lesson she taught.
We NEVER win elections when we can’t unite; such actions make things much more difficult. Fandrich actually runs a well-organized GOP unit, a professional operation for a county party. He should know better, but as we saw last August, bitterness can be one hell of a drug.
Draconian does not even begin to describe this. And it gets much worse. A motion was passed to essentially banish the incoming leadership of the 2nd Congressional District Republican Party unless ‘invited’ by the leadership. Fandrich doubled down, effectively banished all the 2nd District officers, and urged other County parties to do the same. He is essentially trying to delegitimize the DECISIVE caucus results. Here’s the wording of the motion:
‘I make a motion that unless otherwise invited by the Green County Republican Party Chairman or Vice-Chairman, the new Second District leadership shall not attend any of our events or meetings. The Green County Chairman and Vice-Chairman reserve the right to deny admittance to anyone deemed an impediment to the stated mission of our party. We encourage all Wisconsin Republican parties to pass similar amendments to ensure the validity and integrity of their resident county party members!’
Republican Party of WisconsinRepublican Party of Dane County Republican Party of Green County Republican Party of Wisconsin – 6th District WI Republican 2nd Congressional District Republican Party of Walworth County Republican Party Milwaukee County- North Branch’
Dane County Republicans, lead by Chairman Brandon Maly and others, have issued a joint statement condemning the actions Fandrich and the motion. In response, and an apparent attempt to gaslight and hide behind his membership, Fandrich has also issued a statement denying Johnson was escorted out by law enforcement.
Someone is clearly manipulating the facts, but regardless of who escorted Johnson out, HE WAS NOT ALLOWED IN. Was outgoing 2nd District Chairman Kim Babler ever denied entrance? I’m thinking no, and I am sensing a hint of arrogance in the response. Besides, it’s important not to forget the fact that a repressive resolution was presented AND PASSED. This is a HUGE problem.
This reminds me of a column I wrote some time ago describing the Democrat Party as a bunch of compliant drones who all share the same collective thought. I also mentioned that the Republican Party is slowly working it’s way toward this ‘collective’ mentality the Democrats have. If you are a Star Trek fan, it’s just like the Borg. You must comply and resistance is futile. Just like 1984, only the party apparatus becomes ‘Big Brother.’
This Elitist Republican idea that ‘unfavorable’ people must comply or be silenced, ‘kicked out’ of the Party, or denied entrance to the ‘club,’ is draconian at best. Sadly, it’s being bantered about by people who are supposed to be Conservatives and their complicit media mouthpieces. This type of forced rhetoric would surly make the likes of Joseph Stalin glow with pride. Last time I checked, we still have Free Speech in America. This freedom includes challenging Republican Party Leadership in Wisconsin.
This will be a true test of Chairman Brian Schimming’s leadership abilities. No, he did not create this mess, he inherited it, but it falls on him to ‘herd the cats.’ I hope he can do it because this sour grapes mentality needs to stop.
Some people want to take the easy way out by saying they do not have a horse in this race. Unfortunately, this sets a dangerous precedent and affects us all. How deep or high will it go if we do not stop it now?
Actions like this go far beyond political discourse. If this continues, whoever the Republican Presidential nominee is may as well kiss Wisconsin goodbye. In the end, remind yourself who we are all fighting against and what we are fighting for.
Below is a Tweet from the Dane County Party, they shared a statement condemning the action by Green County Republicans
Statement from Green County Chariman John Fandrich