St. Croix County Republicans Campaigning for 'Democrat' Weix in Wisconsin Senate Recall Primary
Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate says, "Clearly, this is a sneaky, dirty trick designed to confuse voters, create chaos and delay democracy." Harsdorf campaign denies involvement.
The St. Croix County Republican Party, headed up by Chairman Jesse Garza, has begun a last-minute blitz to defeat Democratic Wisconsin State Senate candidate Shelly Moore in Tuesday's primary by backing her opponent.
Isaac Weix, who recently ran for Wisconsin State Assembly as a Republican, entered the Senate recall race last month as a protest candidate in a statewide GOP effort to delay the recall elections. Now local Republicans are going beyond the scope of that original stated intention by actively devoting resources to a candidate running in the Democratic primary. The winner will face Sen. Sheila Harsdorf in a recall election on Aug. 9.
Garza sent the following email to some of his fellow Republicans on Sunday afternoon along with an audio file of a robocall message now going out to prospective voters in the 10th Senate District:
This has been a great week in our efforts to defeat Shelly Moore, outside special interests, and WEAC. The parade in River Falls had over 100 family, supporters, and friends (even a few dogs and one horse) walking with Sheila!! The democrats are very scared that we will defeat Shelly in the Primary by asking all of you to vote for Isaac Weix. They sent out an email yesterday referencing our efforts. We need you all to vote this Tuesday. Let's get back to enjoying our summer and not having to worry if the special interests from all over the country will be taking over the Wisconsin Senate.
Imagine arriving at your polling location Tuesday and voting for Isaac Weix and taking Shelly Moore out of the election! Your vote will wipe away the millions of dollars they are spending to defeat Sheila Harsdorf.
Attached is a message that is going out to people through out the 10th Senate District share it with family and friends!
Chairman, Republican Party of St. Croix County
On a conference call Monday morning with members of the media, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate issued the following statements:
"We all know is primary day, and this is, frankly, a primary that should never have been. The Republican party, knowing that their senators were facing certain defeat if the recalls happened tomorrow, pulled a dirty trick by running fake democrats."
"Their initial and stated goal was allegedly to delay the elections. Now they are trying to flat-out hijack the entire recall process, steal these elections and silence the voices of tens of thousands of people who signed petitions to hold accountable the senators who turned their back on the people."
"Clearly, this isn't being upfront or transparent. Clearly, this is a sneaky, dirty trick designed to confuse voters, create chaos and delay democracy. They are making a mockery of their claim that they are being upfront about these fake democrats. This is fundamentally dishonest, deceitful and republicans should stop these tactics immediately. Unfortunately this has become the status quo for Scott Walker's Wisconsin and his republican party."
"This shows how low the republicans will stoop to keep their grip on power. It shows how terrified the republicans are of losing these recalls and how vulnerable their six republican senators are. Going into these recalls in the next month, the democrats clearly have momentum and we will flip the state senate in August."
Hudson Patch contacted the Harsdorf campaign for comment and spokesperson Nathan Duerkop said that despite sharing office space with the St. Croix County Republican Party, the Harsdorf campaign isn't involved in coordinating the robocalls or get-out-the-vote efforts on behalf of Weix.
"We share space in name and that's about it," Duerkop said. "I'm also on some of their email lists, so I get all the emails that everyone else is getting, but the Harsdorf campaign is in no way involved in the St. Croix County party's efforts."
Duerkop would neither endorse nor repudiate the party's recent tactics and said "what they want to do is up to them." He elaborated that Harsdorf never endorsed the tactic of running Republicans in the Democrat primary in the first place.
The 10th Senate District Recall Primary Election takes place Tuesday, July 12. Democratic candidate Shelly Moore and protest candidate Isaac Weix will be on the ballot. Polls open at 7 a.m. across the district.
UPDATE (4:05 p.m., July 11, 2011): St. Croix County Republican Party Chairman Jesse Garza sent the following statement to Hudson Patch:
"We find it interesting that Moore calls this primary effort a 'manipulation of democracy.' I think she needs to look at her role in this whole recall mess she has created. There would be no protest candidate if they waited for the 2012 election cycle."
"The Democrats have just created an environment where legislators elected will potentially avoid solving the big problems we face in this state and our country if they fear a recall and a smear campaign. This recall is a must-win fight for NEA leadership (Moore being a big part of that leadership) which is trying to maintain its power over the taxpayers and the state as a whole. This recall they got us into is not about how they are trying to help the people of the 10th Senate District or even their own membership, this is about their ability to maintain power pure and simple. WEAC's vehicle for that is the Democrat Party."
"We are asking people to vote for Issac Weix to put an end to this ridiculous effort by Moore so we can all go back to the process as it was intended to be played out."