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Arthur Kohl-Riggs has filed a challenge to Walker in the Republican primary. Arthur is a dedicated activist and videographer who has been exposing the chicanery, lawlessness, and hypocrisy of the contemporary Wisconsin Republican Party for the past year (he was the one who caught Republican state rep. Joel Kleefisch voting for his entire row). Now he wants to take the Republican Party back to its progressive origins. Follow me below the cheesy squiggle for more.

Arthur has been accused of being a fake Republican, no different from the fake Democrats that the Republicans are running in the Democratic primary. This isn’t true, though. He actually wants to run a campaign, and he truly wants to talk about what it means to be a Republican. He sees himself as a Lincoln/La Follette Republican (as you can see from the picture at this link, he can pull off the Lincoln look). He addressed the issue of his motives on his campaign's Facebook page, Art For Gov:

One of the main concerns I have been hearing about my campaign is the comparison to the fake Democrats, here is my response:

First, I don't consider myself a fake Republican, I want to take the party back to its roots. The Republican party was founded in Wisconsin as a pro labor, abolitionist party and I plan to run on that platform.

Second, my presence on the ballot doesn't change the structure of the election at all, the fake Dems are running to try to game the system and force a primary that wouldn't have otherwise happened. This, in turn, gives the incumbents more time to campaign and raise money. My presence on the primary ballot does not force an extra election or change the timing of the primary.

Third, I have never identified with either of the two parties and it would be equally disingenuous for me to run as a Democrat. Right now my views most directly align with those of the Progressive Republican party of “Fighting” Bob La Follette.

Fourth, I plan on actually campaigning and participating in the election whereas the fake Democratic candidates are strictly holding space on the ballot in an attempt to game the system. Finally, I am not working for, nor am I receiving any funds from the Democratic party. The fake Democratic candidates are running as agents for the GOP, their papers were circulated and filled out by members of the GOP, and their presence on the ballot is simply to provide a benefit for the Republican party. In fact, I do not intend to accept money from any special interest group.

Finally on the subject of fake candidates, Scott Walker is the fake Republican. His policies and the actions of his administration out of line with the values of La Follette, and Lincoln, and the original principles of the Republican party.

I hope this addresses any issues anyone might have had about the fake Democrat thing. I am not worried about the pending legal issues with the fake candidates as it simply does not apply, I am not a fake anything.

Thanks guys,

 Art For Gov: Not Beholden To Multinational Corporate Interests

He's right about the distinctions between him and the fake Dems. They don't intend to campaign or spend any money. They're active in the Republican party and have no interest in engaging with Democratic voters. There's going to be a primary anyway, so it doesn't affect the timing of the elections or add to the cost in a significant way to have a Republican primary along with the Democratic one. It's true that Arthur's activism has generally been in opposition to the Republican Party here, but that's because they're the ones who have been trying to squelch democracy. He's never been affiliated with the Democratic Party. Arthur actually wants to have a real campaign and talk about the progressive foundations that the Republican Party has abandoned.

It’s actually quite remarkable that he’s made it this far. Normally, candidates have six weeks to get nomination papers signed and submitted, but because of the tight election schedule, the GAB only allowed ten days, while still requiring 2,000 signatures. In addition, Arthur got a late start, so he only had a little over a week. It also didn’t help that last week was spring break in much of the state, so many students and families were away (just to disclose -- I circulated a petition for him; most of the people I know were either out of town or had signed for other candidates, so I only got a page’s worth). But he and others hit the streets every day and evening, and through social media he got people all over the state to lend a hand. On Tuesday, he handed in nearly 2,300 signatures. And it wasn’t over then -- there was a problem on a number of sheets in which part of the circulator statement at the bottom was cut off, and this affected about 450 signatures. Fortunately, most of those sheets were circulated by Arthur and one other person, and they were allowed to submit affidavits to rehabilitate the signatures and get the number back up to nearly 2,200.

For now, he’s good. Unless the Republicans can figure out a way to successfully challenge enough signatures to get the number down below 2,000, they'll have deal with a Republican primary. This should make a lot of Republican voters think twice about trying to mess up the Democratic primary.

Arthur recognizes that he’s not going to get much coverage in regular media, and much of what he gets will be dismissive or will attack him (most of the places that have covered this whole thing have been calling him an “agitator”). Regardless, he approaches it all with good humor. He has promised that he will, at least twice in the next month, dress up as Lincoln and show up at a Walker public appearance to call him a bad Republican. This could be fun to watch.

Thu Apr 12, 2012 at  9:25 AM PT: The Fake David Koch (aka, Ian Murphy of the Buffalo Beast) has a great article on Arthur's quest. Check it out:

Also, WORT, a local Madison radio station has a good interview with Arthur. He explains his motivations, addresses concerns about what distinguishes his campaign from the fake Dems, points out the extremism of Scott Walker, and decries the state of democracy in this country today (esp. re: voting).

Finally, Arthur's working on his platform, so if you have any ideas, feel free to let him know at either of his Facebook sites, Shit Scott Walker's Doing to My State or Art For Gov.

Originally posted to kideni on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 08:31 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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