Rep. Anderson: Gov. Walker needs to relegate white supremacist voices, not elevate them

Contact: Logan Vidal logan.vidal@legis.wisconsin.gov (608) 266-8570

Madison – Today Governor Walker has agreed to speak at a conservative Super PAC’s conference, Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit 2017. Governor Walker is the only elected official currently scheduled to speak at the event in West Palm Beach Florida in December. Joining Governor Walker are not just your run of the mill conservative media personalities, but a series of white nationalist speakers who traffic in racist memes including Sebastian Gorka, Ben Shapiro, Tomi Lahren, James O’Keefe, Charlie Kirk, and Jesse Watters among others to be named. In response Rep. Anderson released the following statement:

“As elected officials, we are expected to exemplify leadership through example. For many conservatives, that test of leadership has come in the form of those in their base that support racist, misogynistic, discriminatory, and even at times, sympathy for Nazis and white supremacists. For those Republicans who wish to be leaders, it is their responsibility to try to prevent the most extreme and sometimes dangerous voices in their party from gaining prominence.”

“Unfortunately, Governor Walker’s decision to speak at this event elevates voices that ought to be relegated to the extreme fringe. These are not policy analysts or former Congressional aides discussing conservative principles or policy solutions. These are members of the alt-right who traffic in hate and discrimination and represent the very worst of the Republican Party. Governor Walker’s attendance gives these speakers clout and unearned legitimacy, and he ought to know better.”

“I guess I should not be surprised. Governor Walker has often failed to meet what I would consider basic standards of decency. Walker failed to repudiate Trump after audio came out of him bragging about sexual assault, he failed to unequivocally condemn the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, and he was one of the last Republicans to reject Senate candidate and alleged child molester Roy Moore. I know it is difficult to criticize those that may seem like allies but isn’t that the definition of being unintimidated?”

“By speaking at this event, Governor Walker will signal that he not only condones the voices of the alt-right, but is willing to entertain their ideas as political strategy and governing principle. He cannot take the path of political expediency, especially when that path endorses voices that appeal directly to our worst demons. Ultimately, this is about doing what’s right even when it’s difficult. It’s what we teach our children and what is expected of us as leaders. Governor Walker cannot speak at this event.”

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