Former chair of College Republicans of WI leaves GOP

From the files of “The Republican Party is definitely veering far, far to the right” comes the story of Lora Rae Anderson, the outgoing Chair of the Wisconsin College Republicans.

In a press release issued on April 27, Anderson outlined her discontent with the direction of the Republican Party, noting that in 2008, the Republican Party was happy to announce that they had passed their “most conservative platform ever.” Anderson went on to note:

This might be appealing to current members of the Republican Party but is not appealing to the vast majority of moderate Americans. “The Republican Party is alienating a younger, more progressive generation through its new ‘conservative platform’ which ignores issues such as gay marriage. Marriage, at least as the law would put it, is a civil right. Allowing those people who want to get married to be married is consistent with the Republican Party’s ‘government hand’s off’ platform. This is an area where most College Republicans agree, but for one reason or another, stay quiet and don’t stand up to the older members of our party” said Anderson.

In her press release, Anderson also indicated she would not be renewing her membership in the Republican Party of Wisconsin for 2010, citing an incident in which the Eau Claire County Republican Chairman, Brian Westrate, used “cultural insults and racial slurs” during an argument on Facebook with some of Anderson’s liberal friends.

“Racial slurs obviously don’t sit well with me, but when somebody knowingly racially slurs my friends; I am personally insulted. While being in my position, I didn’t speak out about Westrate’s clear disregard for decency. That decision was wrong, I should have stood up for the parties insulted. Needless to say, I will not be renewing my membership to the Eau Claire County Republican Party or the Republican Party of Wisconsin for the year 2010.”

I can’t help but think that as the Republican Party continues its march towards far-right extremism, more and more rational, responsible Republicans will eschew the politics of “negativity and no” in favor of a more traditional (and rational) definition of conservatism.

The fact is, the Republican Party cannot continue to appeal to the lowest common denominator in politics if it hopes to continue to be more than a regional party, and what’s more, it can’t afford to lose moderate young Republicans like Lora Rae Anderson.

EDIT: As The Chief notes, “[i]f Lora Rae Anderson wanted a career in GOP politics — and as state CR chair she was certainly in the fast lane to reach that goal — this is a career suicide note. It’s the kind of principled stand only a young person could accomplish. This type of act took guts, independent of political beliefs or party affiliation.” Truly, Lora Rae Anderson’s actions took guys, and she should be commended for standing up for what she believed to be right.

28 comments to Former chair of College Republicans of WI leaves GOP

  • Anon

    Reading this made my day. It’s nice to see Anderson stand up and leave.

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  • Jim

    Has this got national media attention yet? I can definitely see it. So I have to bring up the possibility of this being a publicity stunt for the former chair. Thoughts anyone?

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    • I haven’t seen it go national, but it did get a little play here in Wisconsin.

      As for it being a publicity stunt, you could be right, but I try to take folks at their word.

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      • Jim

        I don’t want to sound so negative(?) Right word? But the thought definitely crossed my mind…though she must have some problems with the party if she is doing this. Hell, her goal could be to draw attention to make the party better for all I know.

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  • Lou K.

    Good for her. Apparently she grew tired of the hateful trash talk coming from “friends” she thought felt the same way she did. Young republicans…get on board!!

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  • Locke

    A college student changes the political party she supports…film at 11. I can’t imagine why this hasn’t made national news. I mean there’s gotta be what, like probably 50 members. The news is always reporting on the activities of the College Republicans, so must be censorship going on to not report on this.

    I love this positioning. If it were something positive, you guys would be belittling the organization. But because it’s a defection, it works better to build it up. I mean surely, if this position as head of this prestigious and powerful organization put one of the “fact lane to career in GOP politics”, then their list of past heads would be a who’s who, right? Or actually just, “Who?” Most aren’t even active in politics anymore, and one’s basically a congressional gopher. Which isn’t the least bit shocking – it’s college. Where most kids sit around, sipping coffee & talking about heady issues and changing the world before getting hit in the head by a brick of the real world.

    Good for her. Realizing the political parties are full of crap is a eureka moment for most people so she’s halfway there.

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    • Jim

      It’s not any college student, it’s the chair of the College Republicans. Bit of a difference there.

      As far as questioning if any media outlets are picking this up, it seems perfectly reasonable. MSNBC loves this kind of thing. I’m not suggesting a conspiracy. Media isn’t a dirty word.

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      • Locke

        Yeah she’s not just a regular student, she’s the student who was the leader of an organization of maybe a couple hundred other students. It’s about half a step up from the captain of an intramural team. I mean, we’re talking about College Republicans – almost an oxymoron unto itself.

        If this gets picked up by anything resembling MSNBC, it must be a really slow news day.

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        • Jim

          If I had nothing else to do I would drag up what passes for “news” on a slow day at MSNBC (or any cable channel really). Kids spraying Axe body spray on themselves and lighting it on fire comes to mind.

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        • liberalssavetheworld

          I find it interesting that locke is attacking her importance instead of commending her for standing up for her beliefs, i.e. against “cultural insults and racial slurs”. More often than not young adults go with what is popular in order to fit in. This isn’t the case here.

          I am glad to see the republicans still consider themselves the part of “family values”, so long as it includes “cultural insults and racial slurs”.

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          • forgotmyscreenname

            But Locke is right, you are only commending her for standing up for beliefs because this time it suits your interests. Let’s see you commend someone when they happen to disagree with you.

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          • Locke

            I find it interesting that locke is attacking her importance instead of commending her for standing up for her beliefs, i.e. against “cultural insults and racial slurs”. More often than not young adults go with what is popular in order to fit in. This isn’t the case here.

            Guess you only read what you want to read:

            Good for her. Realizing the political parties are full of crap is a eureka moment for most people so she’s halfway there.

            I wasn’t attacking her importance in the least – I’m belittling her former organization in the context of this being framed as a big story that deserves national attention. Seriously, you guys want to prop up the Wisconsin College Republicans as some powerful organization? Really? When I was in school, I think it was comprised of 4 guys who couldn’t get a date one Friday night.

            If you want to talk about standing up for beliefs being on a college campus and actually joining the CR would probably apply.

            I have no idea who the idiots were who said mean things about her or whatever. There are idiots an @ssholes all over – thinking it has something to do with their political ideology is illogical. If anyone honestly believes either party has a monopoly on hateful @ssholes let me know so I can add you to my “ignore list.”

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          • Anon

            I was thinking the same thing. She’s not important enough to care about…apparently.

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            • liberalssavetheworld

              You are correct Locke. I take back what I said.

              Most of the people I knew who were republicans in college were some of the most conservative people I knew. Most of them would almost be considered hard line republican. So yes, imo, this is surprising.

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  • [...] the Republican base continues to insist on moving right,  young conservatives will continue to leave the party. That don’t confront me none, but Democrats — take note. Be progressive, but [...]

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  • forgotmyscreenname

    I think you are a little misleading. She didn’t say she was leaving the GOP or was going to stop voting that way, she is just simply not going to participate in a county party because of one jerk (as she perceives it). So what. If everyone left a party because of a jacka–, there would be no one left. After all some of you are in the same party as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Joe Biden, etc.

    When Ms. Anderon get a job in a few years and her fiscally conservative instincts kick in, I wonder which party she is going to turn to.

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    • liberalssavetheworld

      From the article, “…I will not be renewing my membership to the Eau Claire County Republican Party or the Republican Party of Wisconsin for the year 2010.”

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      • forgotmyscreenname

        Yep, thanks for reaffirming my point.

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        • liberalssavetheworld

          Except she mentioned more than the “county party” which you seem so proud to incorrectly state.

          “…she is just simply not going to participate in a county party because…” So does her saying she will not renew for county AND state mean she is only not renewing for county?

          I would suggest you don’t pat yourself on the back so quickly.

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          • forgotmyscreenname

            My point was you don’t need to be a paying member to vote and identify with a party. How many people do you know who are official members of a party? I’m not, are you?

            But I don’t know anything about this woman. She appears to be affiliated with Fair Wisconsin so maybe she will embrace their endorsed candidates, continue voting Republican, or something else entirely. But then again, who cares?

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  • I covered this too… Lora Rae was pretty shitty at her job and pretty much an idiot (her press release confirms she dumb as hell) and from my understanding she was planning on leaving in January, no one is surprised by this.

    The Door to the Party’s exit is on the left, I’m not bothered she’s taking it.

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  • [...] Former chair of College Republicans of WI leaves GOP « Blogging Blue document.getElementById("post-2493-blankimage").onload(); [...]

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  • [...] Chief and Blogging Blue have covered this pretty [...]

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    • From the Sunshine Empire:

      “I was a registered Republican at the height of the Gingrich revolution, and a registered Democrat in the age of Pelosi and Obama”

      Not exactly a lifelong Democrat who decided to switch, Fred.

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  • Jim

    Just want to point out that I called this whole ordeal getting bigger, and probably something to benefit the the former chair.
    I need some attention today.

       0 likes

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