Trump’s conspiracy theories have turned one state's Republican Party into a 'broken machine': report
According to a report from Politico's David Siders, Donald Trump has left the Republican Party officials in Wisconsin divided in much the same way the former president split the country into warring factions after his four years in office.
At issue, he notes, is a schism Trump created with lawmakers buying into his conspiracy theories of a stolen election on one side, and the other side insisting there was no evidence of theft and wanting the party to move away from Trump and focus on the upcoming midterm election.
Case in point, Siders wrote, was the entry of Trump conspiracy proponent Timothy Ramthun jumping into the GOP gubernatorial race which the journalist termed "a car wreck" campaign launch.
According to the report, Ramthun's "campaign is built around the preposterous idea the 2020 election could still be overturned — something even sympathetic Republicans here acknowledge is impossible. His campaign website went live, only to be deactivated. His three-hour campaign kickoff featured the appearance of Mike Lindell, the pillow salesperson and conspiracy theorist."
Politico reports Ramthun is just one problem the Wisconsin GOP is having to deal with in a state critical to the national party's future prospects.
"The entire party has been erupting on a near-daily basis here," Siders reported. "In recent weeks, several county parties have called on the state’s longtime Republican Assembly speaker, Robin Vos, to resign, accusing one of Wisconsin’s most reliable conservatives of doing too little to pursue baseless claims the 2020 election was rigged. Other local party leaders are objecting to — or considering ignoring — the state party’s endorsement process in critical midterm elections, arguing it’s exclusionary."
According to the report, another candidate vying for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, Kevin Nicholson, is battling the state party and recently claimed the current chair is part of a “broken machine.”
The internal war among Republicans in the state is also setting off alarm bells among some GOP leaders who warned the sniping and attacks are using up valuable resources and providing Democrats with an easy path to remaining in power.
“We’re going to spend millions of dollars tearing ourselves apart,” lamented Dodge County GOP chair Jack Yuds while noting Gov Tony Evers (D) is sitting on a huge campaign war chest.
Yuds added, "I don’t like it. We’ve got to focus the group."
"It’s an unusual level of dysfunction for a state party that not so long ago was regarded as a model for conservatism nationally," the Politico report states. "And it may have disastrous implications for the party in the fall of what otherwise looks like a favorable year for Republicans across the electoral map, undercutting fundraising and turnout efforts in the GOP’s bid to reelect Sen. Ron Johnson and to unseat the state’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers."
According to Bill McCoshen, a GOP strategist a party endorsement, "...could be the kiss of death because the candidate who wins that [endorsement] could become the establishment candidate or the insider, and that’s what the base is against," before adding, "In any normal year, winning the party endorsement would be a great thing. … Not here.”
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