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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Republican Party of WI Votes To Support Dems

WIGOP Votes To Support Congressional Democrats

May 25th, 2011
WISCONSIN DELLS – The Republican Party of Wisconsin held its 2011 State Convention at the Wilderness Resort on May 21, 2011, in Wisconsin Dells, WI.  With a record amount in attendance at a convention taking place in an off-election year, the Convention held its regular business and included a large slate of speakers, supported with a lot of grassroots enthusiasm.
Brian Schimming, the State Party First Vice Chairman, acted as Convention Speaker and introduced all business and speakers, in addition to giving a rally speech of his own.  Schimming’s primary message was to continue to defeat Democrats and stop them from winning.  Also included in the list of speakers, most of which congratulated the Party for successfully turning Wisconsin “red” again, was all of the members of the Wisconsin Republican Congressional Delegation, Senator Ron Johnson, Governor Scott Walker, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, and top ranking party officials.
Once all the awards for Party member contributions were handed out and the speakers concluded with their dialogue, the “Resolutions” portion of the Convention took place.  Fourteen resolutions, which were pre-approved by the State Resolutions Committee prior to the Convention, were put to a vote on the Convention Floor.  Two additional resolutions, which were entered in from the floor, were also added to the list of resolutions.  Resolution 2001-16 just happened to be the “Unwritten Rule” Resolution.
 The “Unwritten Rule” Resolution’s Background
First brought to public light back in October 2010, by the Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin, with contributions from the Dan Sebring For Congress Campaign, helped expose the “Unwritten Rule”.  The “Unwritten Rule” is an agreement between ALL incumbent members of  Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation who agreed will not campaign against each other. In Wisconsin, there are three Democrat incumbents and five Republican incumbents, none of whom will mention each other by name (except in a positive light) in the 2012 election cycle as a result of this unwritten agreement.
RLC-WI Chairman, Michael S. Murphy, who also sits as the Chair for the Republican Party of Milwaukee County – South Branch, authored the “Unwritten Rule” Resolution, which gained unanimous support within his Branch earlier in the year.  The Resolution went on to the Milwaukee County Caucus, shortly after the Branch Caucus, and passed with a large majority support there too.  Once passed at the County Caucus, the Resolution continued its way, again being largely supported in the 4thCongressional District Caucus.  Winning its way throughout the resolution process, many officials within the WISGOP started to take serious notice.
After the resolution made it way on to the State Resolution Committee’s list, it became quite clear that certain insiders within the WIGOP were not too happy with the resolution’s momentum.  Efforts to stop the resolution dead in its tracks were underway.  Milwaukee County Republican Party Chairman, David Karst, approached Murphy and informed him that the rule was going to be struck down in committee and that the only way the resolution would make it onto the floor, would be through a motion from the floor.  Karst continued to point out that he would not recognize Murphy for the floor at the Convention to motion the resolution because, despite the overwhelming support garnered with the County body, Karst felt that this resolution may “embarrass” Representatives Paul Ryan and James Sensenbrenner.
Eager to stand up for the members of his County Party, Murphy sought out several County Chairs who would be in support of the resolution and help fight to get the resolution to the Convention Floor.  Adams County Chair, Richard Church, who also is a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus, accepted the task to introduce the resolution without hesitation.  Needing two more chairs to second the motion, Murphy recruited Jerry Sweeney (Jackson County), Bill Berglund (Door County), and Mike Herl (Dane County).
While the recruitment was being conducted on Murphy’s part, several county chairs had expressed that they would be afraid to endorse such resolution because they were knew they would receive admonishment from the top echelon of the WIGOP for doing so.  Bully tactics were found to have been conducted with several county chairs by insiders within the Party structure.  Those county chairs requested to remain anonymous and declined comment.
On the Convention Floor
Prior to the Convention kicking off, Murphy submitted the resolution, which was approved for vote by WIGOP Secretary, David Anderson.  When the resolution was called, Richard Church led off discussion with the argument in support of the Resolution.  Several members from other Counties made counter arguments against the resolution.  One member even attempted to negate the existence of the “Unwritten Rule” itself, by stating that several Republican Congressmen came to the aid of Dan Kapanke, who ran for Congress in the 3rd Congressional District against Democratic Rep. Ron Kind.  Immediately after the skeptic statement, several members from all over the Convention Floor shouted, “Who?” in response.  Prior to any further comments in-favor of the resolution were allowed, the motion was called to a vote.  The resolution to end the “Unwritten Rule” failed in a voice vote, which appeared to be, from those in attendance, “a very close margin”.
After the Resolution’s defeat, RLC-WI Chairman, Murphy said,
“It truly is disheartening that after all the championing and rallying on defeating Democrats that was present in speeches just minutes before all resolutions went to vote, that the majority of the Republican Party of Wisconsin still voted against a resolution calling for the elimination of a rule that protects and helps the campaigns of Congressional Democrats and disenfranchises Republican voters.”
Murphy continued,
“I guess the current atmosphere within the Republican Party of Wisconsin is that the majority of members would rather have politicians and select party leaders dictate agreements that operate counterproductive to the Party’s intended purpose. This is a clear indication of who really controls the WIGOP, and it’s not its general membership.”
After the convention adjourned, Murphy confronted Congressman Tom Petri regarding the “Unwritten Rule”.  Congressman Petri declined comment.  Congressmen Ryan and Sensenbrenner were no longer present on the convention floor for comment.  Congressmen Duffy and Ribble are new and have yet to display whether or not they will condone this agreement.
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin stands against the Congressional “Unwritten Rule” on endorsements.  The RLC-WI believes that this type of practice is ruling class protectionism and hinders fresh Republican candidates who attempt to eradicate Democrats from office.
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin was founded in 2009 to promote individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise within the Republican Party. Learn more about the RLC-WI at
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect official positions of the RLC.

More info on the "unwritten rule:"

Republican Congressmen Sensenbrenner and Ryan Admit to Shady Backroom Deal with Democrat Moore

October 25th, 2010
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin has recently learned of an ongoing backroom-style deal, which goes against the best interests of Wisconsin’s Republican voters, involving top ranking Republican Congressmen James Sensenbrenner and Paul Ryan, and Democrat Congresswoman Gwen Moore.
In a revealing and testimonial email submitted to the Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin by Michael Strautmann, Campaign Treasurer for WI-4th Congressional Republican Candidate Dan Sebring, outlines a specific event where both he and Sebring’s Campaign Manager, Jessica Strautmann, were present with Congressman Sensenbrenner, when Sensenbrenner admitted directly to Sebring, that he would not endorse Sebring’s candidacy because of an already made deal with Congresswoman Gwen Moore; not to help defeat her in a general election.  Dan Sebring is the Republican Challenger trying to unseat Congressional incumbent Gwen Moore on November 2nd.
Michael Strautmann writes…
“On Friday, August 6, 2010, the Waukesha County GOP held a ‘Pints and Politics’ event at Weissgerber’s Seven Seas Restaurant. Jessica and I were present in an attempt to set up a fundraiser for Dan Sebring at that same location.  At one point during the evening, Dan approached Sensenbrenner, asking him for five minutes to speak with him, so he could obtain Sensenbrenner’s endorsement as Dan goes after Gwen Moore’s seat. Sensenbrenner’s exact response was “Both Congressman Paul Ryan and I have an ‘agreement’ in place with Gwen Moore and we will not endorse her opposition.“”
Strautmann continues…
“It took many aback that evening, including those around him, showing us that regardless of how much they (Ryan, Moore, and Sensenbrenner) don’t like each other, they will continue to support each other to maintain the status quo. Sensenbrenner’s statement really went on to show the deals that incumbent congressmen in this state, regardless of which side of the aisle they’re on, will make to save their own seats. Based on the non-reaction from other patrons at this event, it showed the cronyism and hypocricsy amongst GOP insiders at the local, county and state levels.”
Sebring’s Campaign Manager Jessica Strautmann also commented on the incident…
“I was surprised and extremely disappointed at hearing Congressman Sensenbrenner’s reply to Dan’s request for an endorsement.  As a lifelong constituent of the 5th District myself, and someone who has continually supported him through my votes, I did not feel that Congressman Sensenbrenner’s response was in keeping with how a fellow Republican should be treated.   As hard as our campaign has worked to unseat Gwen Moore over the past two years, his endorsement should not have even been an issue.”
To verify this account, the RLC-WI placed several calls to all campaigns requesting official comments on the matter.  The RLC-WI spoke with Congressional Candidate Dan Sebring personally.  According to Sebring, the event as described by Strautmann did in fact occur.  Sebring stated that what Congressman Sensenbrenner had stated was true and correct.
In a call to Congresswoman Gwen Moore’s campaign, Moore For Congress, Moore’s Campaign Manager, Brenda Moore, stated that she was unaware of any deal made by Congresswoman Moore with both Sensenbrenner and Ryan.  Brenda Moore went on to say that it is the official statement of ‘Moore For Congress’ that what Sensenbrenner had said is “completely untrue.”
The RLC-WI then contacted Congressman James Sensenbrenner’s office in Washington DC.  In a telephone conversation with an aide to Sensenbrenner, who wished to remain annonymous, the aide vehemently denied Sensenbrenner ever making the statement whatsoever.  When asked if the aide would go on record with the denial, the aide declined and referred the RLC-WI to Sensenbrenner’s campaign, The Sensenbrenner Committee.  In a phone call placed to The Sensenbrenner Committee, a representative explained that James Sensenbrenner has entered into an agreement with all members of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation to not endorse any candidate looking to unseat a sitting Congressional incumbent.  The representative went on to say that this is, and has been, an “unwritten rule” amongst all Wisconsin Congressmen for quite sometime now.
The RLC-WI placed a final phone call to Congressman Paul Ryan’s campaign, Ryan For Congress.  A representative who returned the RLC-WI’s initial call, stated that she was speaking on behalf of Paul Ryan and Ryan’s campaign manager.  The representative stated that the RLC-WI needed to take up the matter with the Sensenbrenner Campaign to find out exactly what was said on this particular night.  The representative then went on to explain about the same “unwritten rule” amongst Wisconsin Congressman -not to oppose each other- as Sensenbrenner’s people described.  When asked if this was an official binding agreement or an official rule outlined somewhere, Ryan’s representative stated that she could not comment on the validity of the so-called “rule”. 
The RLC-WI is angered to have learned of this “unwritten rule” amongst the Bi-Partisan Elite Ruling Class.  In an official statement released by the RLC-WI, Chair Michael S. Murphy had this to say… 
“The Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin is shocked and appalled to have learned that Republican Representatives James Sensenbrenner and Paul Ryan have made a deal with their Democratic counterpart, Gwen Moore; that they shall not endorse any candidate who would oppose her in any election.  In an dual effort to selfishly save their own seats, Sensenbrenner and Ryan have not only sold out the conservative mission to advance a Republican stronghold in the Halls of Congress, but they also violate the very Platform, and it’s Resolutions, of the Republican Party of Wisconsin; an organization, which saw to it that these two individuals took seat in the first place.”
Murphy continued…
“It is the mission of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Wisconsin to be the ‘Conscience of the Republican Party’ and we shall not support, nor will tolerate such a power syndicate to exist and operate so surreptitiously against the best interests of the Republican voters of Wisconsin. We applaud the courageous members of the Sebring Campaign for coming forward and exposing Rep. Sensenbrenner’s vile admittance of participating and conspiring in this unsavory agreement.  In placing his campaign in harm’s way to expose the truth, Dan Sebring proves that he is truly a TEA Party candidate and a defender of Liberty.” 
The RLC-WI hopes that all Congressmen and women of Wisconsin will cease and desist this preferential treatment for one another.  The RLC-WI believes that this type of deal brokering only ensures the stability of Wisconsin’s Bi-Partisan Ruling Class and goes against the best interests of all Wisconsin’s citizens.

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