Tea Party Extremists Cannibalize Wisconsin Republicans

Apr 10, 2014

Even as Wisconsinites reject their radical policies, the Tea Party is growing more extreme in Wisconsin, running farther to the right to pander to a small, fervent base. Their growing influence in the state Republican Party is leading to the cannibalization of long-time moderates willing to compromise and work with Democrats to foster economic growth and serve the needs of middle class families.

Just last month, retiring state Senator Dale Schultz commented he was “embarrassed” by his Republican colleagues in the state legislature who have run so far to the right that the Senator quipped he was “not willing to defend them anymore”.

And today, the announcement of retiring lawmakers Sen. Mike Ellis and Congressman Tom Petri highlights just how little room there is for moderates in Scott Walker’s Republican Party. In an interview today, Sen. Ellis commented that after 44 years in the state legislature there “isn’t room for independent thinking and compromise… There’s no room on the street anymore for people to walk down the middle of the road.”

“Tea Party Republicans’ cheap political tactic of eating their own will come back to bite them when voters reject their extreme, divisive ideas on Election Day,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate said Friday. “Whether its in the statehouse or in Congress, Wisconsinites don’t want representatives who will simply check off boxes for party approval — they want people who will work for them and always put their interests first.”