The effects of Donald Trump’s presidency on the Republican Party of Wisconsin are continuing, and no speaker at a state GOP event appears to be beyond the pale.
Allen West, the current chairman of the Texas Republican Party, will be a featured panelist in a forum at the Republican Party’s state convention on June 25th in the Wisconsin Dells.
In repeated interviews, West has falsely claimed that the state of Texas could secede from the United States as it did in 1861. In addition to making those claims, West has expressed support for legislation in Texas allowing secession and even expressed support for secession after the U.S.Supreme Court ruled against a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
“Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution,” West said in a statement. “The Texas GOP will always stand for the Constitution and for the rule of law even while others don’t.”
Ironically, West’s appearance at the Wisconsin GOP convention is part of the launching of the Wisconsin branch of the Frederick Douglass Foundation. Douglass, of course, was the escaped slave that was an activist for the abolition of slavery and supported the Union effort to put an end to the secessionist Confederate States of America.
Cindy Werner, a former GOP candidate in Wisconsin’s fourth congressional district, is part of the effort to bring West to Wisconsin. She said she was unaware of what West specifically said about secession.
“I am not aware of that but I will read up on it and the Texas Constitution allows for such,” Werner claimed. Actually, the Texas Constitution allows for the state to be divided into smaller states and it does not allow secession. “I wouldn’t dictate to any state what their constitution allows them to do.”
Asked if she considered it ironic that the Frederick Douglass Foundation was responsible for bringing a secessionist to speak in Wisconsin, Werner defended the decision.
“I have not read his statement, but once again I am not going to dictate to anyone if they’re following their constitution,” Werner said. “I mean, that would be just like me going and telling Georgia what they should and should not do.”
Werner also said that it’s not necessary for Republicans to agree upon everything and said the national Frederick Douglass Foundation did not have an issue with scheduling West. “My national chair does not have an issue with the speakers,” Werner said, referring to the foundation’s chairman Rev. Dean Nelson.
Joining West on the panel is Black Guns Matter founder Maj Toure and civil rights activist Clarence Henderson.
West is not the only controversial speaker coming to Wisconsin for Republican Party events. The Outagamie County Republican Party is bringing activist Scott Presler to Appleton to speak on, among other issues, “election integrity” on May 15. Ironically Presler, who was at the January 6 violent protests to overturn the presidential election at the Capitol, described President Donald Trump’s rally as, “The largest civil rights protest in American history.”
The title of Presler’s address is “The Future of the Republican Party is an America First Party.” The origin of the “America First” slogan was during the late 1930s when Charles Lindbergh and other isolationists opposed American intervention in World War II. A proposed “America First” caucus in Congress was recently proposed, but it was quickly scuttled when it was revealed that many of the so-called principles of the group were undisguised white nationalism.
Saying he supports “America First” candidates, Presler supports primaries for Republican officials who did not vote for decertifying the presidential election results on January 6 and is opposing Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) for opposing Trump’s efforts to undermine the election there. Presler is also opposed to Wyoming Congressman Liz Cheney (R) who voted to impeach the former president.
If Presler sees the January 6 riot as “a civil rights protest,” another speaker at a GOP event is denying the violence was committed by Trump supporters.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting Daniel Marcon, owner of Marc-On Shooting in Lake Hallie, will be the featured speaker at the Chippewa County Lincoln Day luncheon on April 24. Marcon believes the violence was “staged” to discredit Trump supporters, and also believes a number of recent mass shootings have also been “staged” to undermine the legal right of gun ownership.
Speakers like West, Presler and Marcon would have been vetoed by party chairmen in the past. However, as an increasing number of Lincoln Day dinners or Lincoln/Reagan Day dinners are becoming Lincoln/Reagan/Trump events, such as the annual GOP dinners in Waukesha and Waupaca County, it’s clear that the state GOP won’t be going back to “normal.”