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Kenosha Republicans Resign Despite 2022 Successes: Opinion

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Since the primary election, nearly half of the Executive Board of the Republican Party of Kenosha County resigned.  It’s strange, given that this was one of their most successful years yet in terms of fundraising, recruitment of poll workers, and the election of Republicans to office.  The Republican Party of Wisconsin regards them as one of the most effective and high-performing counties in the state, perhaps the highest of all, and their former Chair, Erin Decker, has been decorated with awards throughout her tenure. After speaking with a few of the officers who resigned, they all told the same story: a significant number of members, many under the banner of “America First,” had turned on them.  This division of the Republican Party speaks not only to their own weaknesses, but more quietly, to newfound strengths of the Democrats.

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For the last two years, Republicans have been scrambling to restore election integrity, and rightly so.  I don’t know a single person who doesn’t believe some level of cheating occurred during the 2020 election, and I admit, much of the evidence seems damning.  The Republican Party understands that without free and fair elections, America is no longer a functional democratic republic.  In an attempt to restore faith in the election process, Republicans across the state of Wisconsin and the nation have admirably redoubled efforts to re-legitimize elections in the form of recruiting poll workers, voting only in person, voting only on paper ballots, eliminating ballot dropboxes, etc.  But sadly, they’re still experiencing a dangerous amount of lag and haven’t yet grasped the necessity of so-called 4th generation warfare.  The Democrats have already deployed new social and emotional weaponry, while the Republicans haven’t even figured out their pants are around their ankles yet.  In true guerilla warfare style, the Dems hit hard and fast with whatever illegitimate practices they employed in 2020, and have already launched a new tactic leaving the Republicans reeling and several steps behind.  They sabotaged the Republican Party itself, and they did it beautifully.

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Most Democrats largely don’t care about election integrity.  It’s never been a talking point or a critical issue for them (which perhaps speaks to their culpability? Who knows.). Assuming that there were at least a few instances of slimy goings-on, they would also have known that cheating in the 2020 election would make people angry, and it did. I believe they were banking on it. Republicans are not stupid or irrational—but angry people are.  It was the political equivalent to brake-checking someone; it’s impossible to really prove you did it, but it’s sure to spark instant rage in your victim.  The person driving behind you will likely then accelerate and begin to drive erratically, switching lanes to catch a glimpse of his bully or tailgating to try and assuage his anger somehow.  Just as driving with road rage is irrational and hazardous, so is voting with voter rage. Either by grand design or accident, the emotions churned up by Democrats in the 2020 election has morphed into a cannibalization of the Republicans’ own leadership, as we see clearly in instances like what happened with the RPKC Executive Board. In Kenosha County there have been coup attempts to overthrow the county party board, public demonization of board members, and coordinated trolling attacks on social media.  The officers that resigned report that they were called RINOs, liberals, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and a smattering of other less gentle insults for merely conducting business the way that had always worked.

In addition to simply stirring the pot, Democrats also seem to have launched more elegant and subversive techniques with great success: shill candidates.  In Wisconsin, a huge swath of Republicans were duped into believing in a propagandic effort to eliminate endorsement from the state party.  The charge was led by Kevin Nicholson, the gubernatorial candidate and admitted “former Democrat” who has tanked promising Republican candidates in the past. As a part of his schtick, Nicholson convinced voters to blame “the establishment” Republicans, and touted the ideal of “giving the power back to the people.”  Such language sounds quite similar to liberal objectives like redistribution of wealth or white privilege—both revolve around the principle that there is a small group who’s holding power over the heads of another, less fortunate group.  The aforementioned angry Republicans impulsively latched onto this idea and vowed to take their power back, although nothing had actually been stolen from them.  They rallied enough people to eliminate endorsements for candidates across the board, including those for Governor.  Rebecca Kleefisch, a promising gubernatorial candidate, held a massive vote lead at the RPW convention where endorsement is voted on by the members themselves. However she failed to reach the threshold thanks to those who voted “no endorsement.”  Having successfully eliminated the opportunity for Kleefisch to be endorsed, Nicholson suspended his campaign a short time later.  While it can’t be proved, this seemed suspiciously like another step in the very successful initiative to split the Republican vote, ensuring a Democrat win for the Governor’s seat.

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Some fired-up Republicans were motivated to run for office themselves, also preaching ideals to defeat “the establishment.”  Many of these candidates ran on the promise of “de-certifying” the 2020 election, which is not only unconstitutional but also impossible (there is no provision to do such a thing).  Small but scrappy groups of conservative voters championed these oddball candidates, but as any political analyst will tell you, if a candidate is perceived by a large portion of the population as radical or somehow a bit crazy, they have virtually no chance of success in an election.  Many rejected the progressive platforms of these Trumpian campaigns, resulting in virtually all of them tanking nationwide.  Unfortunately for Republicans, those small but scrappy groups still managed to divide the Republican vote even further, driving a wedge between those who wanted revenge and those who wanted to win.

It’s not unlikely that Democrats may have utilized other simultaneous tactics as well.  They may have placed saboteurs on the county party boards themselves.  Given how the board was ganged up on in Kenosha County, it’s likely. Some members of the Democratic Party of Kenosha County knew about the resignations less than an hour after they occurred and posted about it on social media, despite nothing having been publicly announced.  Have the Kenosha County Republicans unwittingly handed over their entire organization to liberal control? It’s not impossible. In other parts of the country, liberal PACs sent out mailers to encourage votes for Republican candidates in the primary election…the worst Republican candidates, that is.  They’re clearly employing a multi-pronged, manipulative approach, whereas the Republicans are still relying on good old-fashioned logic that no one cares about.

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Some (probably most) will read this article and cry “conspiracy theory.”  And perhaps they’re correct.  But one thing is certain: there are now four major political parties.  From left to right: the wild progressive leftists, the classical liberals, the regular old Republicans, and the unhinged right-wingers. The battle being fought is between those on the fringe.  Those stuck in the middle of this spectrum are purely along for the ride.

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56 Responses

  1. It’s amazing how many conspiracy theories have been coming true lately. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the newest board members are plants.

  2. OK….Clue me in. How does this all play into what some of us viewed as “victories” in Kenosha County politics?

    Kerkman….Nedweski…The new Sheriff…

    Some of us are not that hooked up with social media and the inside skinny on Republican Party goings on…….

  3. The county and state GOP organizations are no different than the democratic organizations. Two wings, same bird.

    Good riddance, it’s time for some new, non-establishment blood.

  4. She should resign from the county board, as well. She’s clearly not an ethical individual. She is the one out there calling people RINOS, slandering individuals who are more conservative than RPKC.

    1. Erin Decker had fought for us on the County Board for a decade, and was instrumental in flipping it red, you ungrateful piece of shit. Do you think that’s fun?

      1. “You ungrateful piece of shit” says a lot more about you than it does me.

        Flipping it red is unimportant if the red members are as sleazy as Decker. Flipping it to “ethical” would be a start.

        1. Sleezy? Decker has been working for us for years both on rpkc and also the county board. I guess you don’t like that Decker sniffs out corruption. Corruption has nothing to do with conservatism. Plenty of corrupt people who call themselves conservatives.
          As for the County Board, feel free to run yourself so you can make a difference. Sounds like they could use an ethical person like you that would never call out others wrongdoings. It’s a really fun job with great pay!

  5. LOL. Just like this article, the recent board resignations had nothing to do with Joe. He’s not telling the whole story about his initially proposed settlement, how ‘bout you share it, Joe? A screenshot will suffice.
    Also, how about you share all the defamatory posts you made on FB about the very people you sued, including Erin? Talk about a hypocrite. hahaha
    This is quite entertaining.

    1. even more entertaining is in his current FB ramblings, he can’t even remember all the people he named in the lawsuit lmfao

  6. Republican ? Democrat ? Who really gives a shit. They are both working behind the scenes to piss on everyone. I have made and saved millions of dollars, but what does it matter if everything turns to shit anyway ? America is coming apart at the seams and the red generals in China are just sitting back and waiting it out. Trump unfortunately has ZERO sense of compassion for any other human beings and because of his big mouth and insane ego will most likely step on his own dick once again. If a miracle happens and China somehow collapses we better get our heads out of our asses and find a reasonable way forward. It begins with sincerely trying to help every American that has worked his/her entire life and is still neck deep in shit. How to obtain food, clothing, shelter and proper medical care needs to be taught and engrained into every single American child from birth through age 21. We cannot allow our elderly to rot alone with no emotional support in nursing homes. We can not allow children and working families to labor their entire life and retire in poverty.
    Please for the love of God let us stop fighting each other and move forward !!!!!!

  7. Imagine if the democrats held their own responsible. I mean joe cardinali, berg, and countless others arrested, sued, and they have the nerve to complain. The left is the most hypocritical of all

    1. Yeah for real!
      Didn’t Joe Clark catch a domestic recently too? He’s worried about people calling him crooked, and ruining “his good name”. Seems like pretty good at ruining it himself.

  8. I am by most standards a right wing conservative, hard ass, republican, but trust me, if the republicans gain control of everything, I can almost guarantee they will simply roll over to the corporate, country club, multi millionaire asswipes that do not understand how the poor white and black underclass is truly suffering. Where will these people hide when the poor and destitute come after them with pitchforks ?

  9. Isn’t Decker the one this site pushes all the time as being good….who chose not even to vote to reprimand Beth for misusing funds?

    Republicans are embarrassed of the party’s behavior. I’ve said all along that no one running for office for either party is worth shit. We need to get rid of these clowns….including the ones this site supports.

    Get rid of all of these people…..they all are in it for their own motives.

  10. Erin Decker is incredibly immature. The Facebook page was run by children, as was much of the party. Kenosha GOP needed an overhaul. Good news!

      1. I hope Mathew Kevinson and all these other complainers step up at caucus and put the their money where their mouth is. Yall have all the answers it seems. So do it, should be an easy win now that the “children” walked away.
        Go on, do your overhaul.

  11. Thank you Joe Clark for holding Erin Decker accountable for her actions. For far too long she has been allowed to lie, cheat, and steal. Her mind is warped and she is now exposed for the lying thief that she is. I am not happy that the money I donated to the Kenosha Republican Party to support local candidates is being used as her own slush fund to pay her legal bills. Not to mention her daughter is the one that was signing off on the checks for payment. She’s big on touting ethics, but is one of the most corrupt politicians in Kenosha County. More will be coming out about her and her false filings with District Attorneys and the Wisconsin Elections Board. How uses seven different emails? People who are dumb enough to believe they won’t get caught, but eventually are found out for the corrupt pieces of crap that they are and Erin Decker is a huge piece of crap. She’s a coward and a bully. She is a cancer on our society. I wonder if ethically she can still serve on the County Board and if she can be voted out of her leadership position.

    Again, thank you Joe for shedding light on the corruption of Erin Decker and the Republican Party of Kenosha. I admire your courage and strength to take Erin Decker and for exposing her for what she truly is.

    1. You obviously don’t know what you are talking about. Erin’s daughter might be the treasurer, but she is not on the account. Large checks require two signatures and only after board approval.

  12. This is a classic case of excesses coming home to roost.

    The constitution says nothing about political parties. It’s about a framework for governance, not Packers vs. Vikings or Brewers vs. Cubs. By making governance a team sport we brought on these problems fueled by special interests.

    Does a Republican register a deed any differently than a Democrat? Does a Democrat issued a marriage license any differently than a Republican? Of course not.

    By promoting these pompous, self-aggrandizing political hacks to bodies such as the county board we are running the risk of moving away from decisions being made on the best interests of all and to doing whatever benefits a political faction. That’s not what it’s supposed to be about.

    A classic example was the race for clerk of circuit court. Mr. Rodriguez had zero experience vs. decades of relevant experience held by the incumbent. I have no quarrel with his interest in politics and service on the county board but he simply wasn’t even a qualified candidate. I wouldn’t vote for a Republican just because I am one. He or she must still be qualified. I liked some of Tim Michels’ ideas but some were off the charts. Tony Evers is far from a stellar governor but he is the one check and balance left with solid one-party control of the legislature. Ron Johnson isn’t the brightest bulb in the Senate but Mandela Barnes had more red flags than a Soviet May Day Parade.

    As for Samantha Kerkman, it’s time for her to stop acting like a vindictive asshole and do the job we elected her to do. I regret my support of her. Now that she won the election she needs to get down to business and that doesn’t include sticking pins in voodoo dolls.

    Things used to get done by the art of compromise. And tough issues in Madison were often decided after blue ribbon study committees set aside politics and opted to work for the people.

    We need a competent party up to the job of governance, especially as the Democrats are too busy arguing about pronouns and bathrooms.

  13. “Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed.”

  14. Let me remind everyone, none of this would have happened if Joe Clark hadn’t gotten his feelings hurt by being called “crooked” on Facebook. Why on earth did he decide to sue the RPKC? Because they wouldn’t delete the post? If anyone is to blame for wasted funds, it’s Joe Clark. He’s had it out for Erin for a long time and this was his way of sticking it to her…for calling him names. Talk about childish. If Erin sued every time she was called a name like “crooked” (and worse), half of Kenosha would be part of the lawsuit – including Joe Clark. Grow up. You got what you wanted. She resigned. Now shut up and get to work. Good luck LOL

  15. Kevin,
    You mentioned that you spoke to the members who resigned. Did you reach out to any of the remaining board members? There is no mention of that in your story. I am one of those members and no one reached out to me. To my knowledge, none of the other remaining members were reached out to either. I would think that as journalist, it would be important to speak to all involved to get the whole story. I would be one of the “America First” members that you mentioned. Your readers might like to hear the truth.
    There is no doubt that Erin Decker and the previous board worked tirelessly to flip Kenosha County to red. I had a front seat to witness this. Give credit where credit is due.
    However, there is more to the story…….

    1. Amy, Um, the story was written by Jack Flemming not Kevin. How can you tell? It’s well written and has correct spelling. Please, feel free to share your side here. We have a right to know.

  16. Calling Hillary crooked is just true and funny.
    Calling a local businessman crooked is just juvenile and irresponsible.
    Name calling should end in the third grade.
    We are all residents of Kenosha and all have to work and live together after elections are done.

    1. Ah yes, you’re right, no one should criticize local politicians. They’re always right and never crooked. And the words we use should be filtered through you first to make sure they’re ok.

  17. Why does the biblical phrase “you reap what you sow” come to mind when discussing Erin Decker? Besides using RPKC funds for her personal legal fees after appointing her 18 year old daughter as Treasurer, she also rigged the most recent RPKC election so she could maintain her position. All of the Board members who went along with these acts of malfeasance should be ashamed of themselves! This is corruption plain and simple. As someone who had direct interactions with the board and Erin Decker it does not surprise me that this is how things ended. They were warned!

    1. You’re not very bright, are you? Joe Clark sued the Board members of the RPKC because he was called a crook on a Facebook page. He didn’t sue Erin personally – he sued the Board. And what election was rigged to keep her in power? Exactly what power do you believe she has? Are you an election denier too? My God you people are just vengeful idiots.

  18. Samantha Kerkman, Van Waangard, Zach Rodriquez, Gabe Nudo and others participated in the corruption as well! These people only care about preserving their positions and not so much about good government and integrity. It is really a very sad state of affairs that our elected leaders would stoop to the level they have just to secure their political positions. Moreover, the Republican Party of Wisconsin (RPW) was informed of the corruption and chose to do absolutely nothing other than scold those who would point it out. As a lifelong republican I am thoroughly disgusted by what has transpired and the reaction of those in authority who knew of it.

  19. Not very accurate reporting. I’d like an example of those who resigned being bullied. It’s not uncommon to have opposing opinions that do not align with decision makers, but saying they were bullied to the point of resignation? Give me a break.
    Nobody is being “planted”. Stop stirring the pot with unfounded remarks.
    We lost for many reasons, they are not related to Kenosha county. Kenosha did the work, a lot of these “plants” you are referring to were out working for the party. Kenosha faired well Tuesday!
    I encourage everyone to do their own digging because this is a slanted piece.

  20. “A little bit crazy” Trump was/is batshit crazy and he actually won an election, and through very thorough investigation…legitimately lost another election, although somewhat narrowly (God Bless America)
    -Just like the good old days of Foosball that I used to play, politics is a game of snitches, I mean inches. Move too much in one direction or another and you are right in the thick of it. Conspiracy theorists on one end and those damn flaming liberals on the other. Wait, did I actually spell that correctedly?
    Us rinos, um I mean Republicans have been dismantling one another for far too long. We need to come together (and accept the election results of 2020, because let’s face it, Trump just lost fair and square) and display a united front (kind of like the offensive line, but not the Packers, they’ve been letting Rodgers get tossed around lately).
    All in all, great job my fellow Republicans, we are doing a great job keeping America First.

  21. I’m glad to see the Republican Party move away from the Trump Conspiracy Theorist wing. It alienated a lot of people. It seems the same is hopefully happening on the local level with these resignations.

    1. That wing also included a lot of name calling and nastiness, rather than brains and logic. I am glad to see it on the downswing.

  22. Proudly Red is a complete moron! The power to use RPKC funds to pay her personal legal fees you idiot. Which she did! The Board was not sued, individuals were.

    1. Five individuals were sued because they were the officers of RPKC only because Joey couldn’t figure out how to sue the party itself. My understanding is that a majority of the legal fees were paid by the party and the individuals insurance companies. RPKC only paid fees after insurance stopped and Decker recently settled to avoid even more costs to the party. Every payment received board approval, ask a board member to confirm if you want- I did. If you don’t think RPKC should have supported their board by paying their legal fees, then vote them ALL off at caucus. All that remain voted yes. In addition, they voted to cover the legal fees for the redistricting lawsuit against Kenosha County. Look and see who was on that lawsuit….
      Coincidentally, to the same law firm that Joey uses. ?

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