MADISON, Wis. — Today, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that far-right candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court Dan Kelly appeared at an event headlined by anti-abortion extremist Matthew Trewhella. During his speech in St. Croix County, Trewhella compared public health guidance during the COVID pandemic to the Holocaust. Trewhella has previously said the murder of an anti-abortion provider was “justifiable homicide.”
Trewhella is only the latest far-right extremist to ally himself with Kelly. Last week, the Wisconsin Examiner reported that election denier and conspiracy theorist Scott Presler had arrived in Wisconsin for a month to campaign for Kelly. Kelly’s proximity to dangerous extremists and his open embrace of the far-right fringe reveal his values, making it clear that he would be a disaster for Wisconsin on the Supreme Court.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Dan Kelly appears at event headlined by pastor who advocated for killing abortion providers, compared COVID-19 policies to Holocaust
Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Dan Kelly appeared at an event Tuesday in western Wisconsin headlined by a Brookfield pastor who has called the murder of an abortion provider “justifiable homicide,” advocated for the creation of anti-abortion-focused militia and compared coronavirus pandemic-related mask mandates to the Holocaust.
The Wisconsin chapter of the Sons and Daughters of Liberty, which characterizes itself as “Christian Patriots dedicated to restoring our Constitutional Republic and defending liberty,” hosted Matthew Trewhella at an event in St. Croix County on Tuesday evening, where the pastor compared COVID-19 rules to the Holocaust and told attendees to reject mandates from government officials or else risk being forced to resort to violence.
“You cannot appease tyrants. You have to defeat them. And the sooner you decide not to comply, and to defeat them privately not comply with evil, publicly join with other good men and magistrates (to) stand against the evil, the better chance you have of stopping evil,” Trewhella told a crowd gathered at the Calvary Assembly of God in Wilson. “If you keep accommodating yourself — guess what? — you’ll be swallowed up by evil. It will be too late and then bloody revolution is the only option left.”
Kelly appeared virtually at the event following Trewhella’s speech and did not address Trewhella’s comments in the 20-minute appearance.
Kelly’s liberal opponent Janet Protasiewicz, a Milwaukee County judge, said Kelly’s appearance amounted to support for anti-abortion and anti-democracy views. The two face off in the April 4 general election.
“You may have heard me say Dan Kelly is an extremist. Well, although it’s shocking that he would share the stage with this man, it’s not surprising,” Protasiewicz said in a statement.
“Dan Kelly’s radical views defending the 1849 abortion ban, and generally stopping women from controlling their own bodies, are well-documented. And his support for disrespecting democracy and overturning elections is well-documented. We can’t let him anywhere close to our Supreme Court.”
In 1994, Newsweek reported Trewhella was one of six anti-abortion activists under investigation as possible conspirators in a campaign of violence against abortion clinics. In 1993, the news magazine reported, Trewhella signed a statement declaring, “The justice of taking all godly action necessary to defend innocent human life including the use of force” and that if an abortion provider was murdered by an anti-abortion activist, the assailant’s legal force was “justified.”
Around the same time, Trewhella advocated for organizing militias in Wisconsin for residents who oppose abortion, gun control and taxes,” according to a 1994 article published by the Knight-Ridder News Service.