Wisconsin Republicans are sprinting to the extreme right—which raises the stakes if they win the governorship, but creates an opportunity to defeat them and reelect Governor Tony Evers.
Read on and help hit our midnight goal of 50 new monthly donors.
The Republicans have been wild in Wisconsin for a long time. But over the last few weeks, they’ve gotten even wilder—and scarier.
Two weeks ago, Wisconsin’s leading conspiracy theorist state Rep. Timothy Ramthun (aka #TrumpyTim) announced his candidacy for governor, sending the GOP primary—already reeling from Kevin Nicholson’s announcement—spiraling even further into chaos.
Despite the multiple recounts, court cases, audits, and even an investigation by Trump's own Department of Homeland Security having confirmed that the 2020 election was safe and secure, #TrumpyTim Ramthun’s focus is still on somehow reversing Trump’s loss.
#TrumpyTim’s attempts to overturn Wisconsin’s election are a dangerous threat to democracy—not only does he want to make voting more difficult, but he’s also STILL trying to pass a resolution overturning the last election. Learn more at trumpytim.com
And given #TrumpyTim’s strong connection to Trump’s base, his entrance into the GOP primary is throwing Rebecca Kleefisch and Kevin Nicholson’s campaigns into disarray. Their response? Both announced their own plans to destroy democracy in Wisconsin.
#RadicalRebecca Kleefisch, now facing down a swath of primary challengers, is doing everything she can to compete in this divisive and competitive primary. She released a plan to make radical changes to our election system.
Moreover, Kleefisch, who previously acknowledged that Biden won the 2020 election, now says he didn’t win fairly. She also won’t even say if Wisconsin’s 2020 votes should’ve counted.
Meanwhile, #AntiChoiceKevin Nicholson came out swinging against Kleefisch’s plan, calling it “an attempt to grab headlines”—while proposing his own dangerous plan to abolish the Wisconsin Elections Commission & shift the duties to the partisan office of the Secretary of State.
In Wisconsin, the Secretary of State hasn’t run elections in nearly 50 years. For many years, election oversight was under a nonpartisan board of former state judges; then the GOP shifted it to a bipartisan board of appointees. Now they want a partisan elected official in charge.
Trying to get noticed, Kevin Nicholson now acknowledges that Biden won, and is now blasting away at Ramthun and Kleefisch for “not telling the truth,” but called 2020 a ”messy, sloppy, messed up election” to hide his attacks on the voting system.
All of this primary infighting comes in the midst of a prolonged and outrageous “investigation” into the 2020 election led by extreme right-winger and former Wisconsin state Supreme Court Justice with a penchant for untruth, Michael Gableman.
Gableman, appointed by Robin Vos, could compel people to testify publicly. Instead, he’s issuing illegal subpoenas demanding private interrogations—and now asking a judge to order the jailing of the mayors of Green Bay, Madison, and Racine for non-compliance.
To top it all off, one of the GOP members of the Wisconsin Election Commission—Bob Spindell, who was also a 2020 fraudulent elector—is now arguing that 2020, while legal, was also “rigged” for Biden.
Oh: and last week, Republican state legislators just passed another raft of anti-democracy bills and sent them to Governor Evers, who already stopped six anti-voting bills last year.
This GOP crack-up, combined with an obsession for re-litigating their last loss and battling about who can hurt voters more, has yielded a crop of disastrous stories for Wisconsin Republicans. Let’s review them.
The GOP continues to spread its Big Lie about the 2020 election. Career Republican politicians figured they could feed the conspiracists and ride their rage to power. But now the conspiracists run the show, and the party is fracturing.
What’s particularly fascinating about the whole thing is that it’s the exact opposite of the kind of unity that the Wisconsin GOP prided itself on when it took power twelve years ago. In 2010, the WisGOP credited its success to a “unite or die” mentality.
In 2010—a year that, like 2022, involved a brewing GOP effort to capitalize on backlash against a new Democratic president—the Wisconsin Republican grassroots and insiders were all on one team. Scott Walker, Rebecca Kleefisch, Ron Johnson, & the Tea Party worked together, hand in glove.
Sure, behind the scenes, the Walker team scorned Rebecca Kleefisch as “radioactive,” but publicly they said “We are excited to have her on the ticket.” WisGOP chair Reince Priebus (yes, that Reince Priebus) had a party singing from the same hymnbook.
Fast forward to now, and the GOP is in complete disarray. As Kevin Nicholson puts it, it’s a “broken machine.” The grassroots don’t trust the leading candidates, and the candidates are responding by lunging even further to the extreme.
This offers Wisconsin a huge opportunity for Democrats to reelect our governor, oust Ron Johnson, and win key races up and down the ticket.
This opportunity only turns into victory if we do absolutely everything in our power to seize the moment. That means organizing in every corner of the state—in rural Wisconsin, cities and suburbs—with *everyone.*
That also means building our voter protection operation, to ensure Wisconsinites know exactly how, where, and when to vote despite constant GOP attempts to make it harder for eligible Wisconsinites to vote.
And it means communicating, consistently and clearly, exactly what Democrats are for, and why Republicans are doing what they’re doing. Demonstrating that Democrats have delivered, and that Republicans are in disarray.
We’re looking for 50 new monthly donors to join us by midnight on February 28. Monthly donations are our financial lifeblood—they give us predictable support so we can hire the staff to do the work. Help us hit our Feb goal and sign up to become one of them.
Governor Evers wakes up each day focused on doing the right thing. GOP politicians wake up each day trying to find new ways to rip up our democracy in order to benefit the few. The contrast couldn’t be more jarring, nor the stakes higher. Chip in to help us win.
Democracy is not a spectator sport. We’ll win if we work for it. Help make that possible.
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