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St. Croix GOP refuses to remove 'prepare for war' post from website

St. Croix GOP refuses to remove 'prepare for war' post from website

St. Croix GOP

This message is at the top of the St. Croix County GOP website. The county party has refused to remove it despite a request from the state GOP.

A local Republican group in northwestern Wisconsin is refusing to take down an online message urging conservatives to “prepare for war” despite urging from the state GOP and the violence last week at the U.S. Capitol.

The St. Croix County party’s chairman, John Kraft, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the message went up before right-wing extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. He did not say when it was posted and he didn’t respond to messages from The Associated Press on Monday.

The Capitol attack left five people dead including a police officer and has prompted widespread calls for unity and toning down inflammatory rhetoric. Andrew Hitt, chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party, said in a statement Monday that the party suggested to the county party that the message should be removed, but the county party refused.

The message begins with “if you want peace, prepare for war” and “welcome to the digital battlefield.” It goes on to say that President Donald Trump changed the Republican Party, and conservatives have watched for four years as Democrats “in concert with the Marxist left and a complicit mass media has done everything possible to overturn the 2016 election through any means necessary.” It also repeats false claims that the 2020 election was rigged against Trump.

“It’s time to stand and be counted as a conservative warrior in the on-going fight to preserve our Constitutional Republic,” the site says. “Please join us. We need to start local by removing leftist tyrants from all local and County (sic) positions in the future April elections.”

Kraft told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he can’t help what “twisted inferences” Democrats draw from the message.

Democrat Joe Biden defeated Trump nationally by about 7 million votes in the Nov. 3 election. Trump maintains Democrats stole the election from him, though no evidence exists of any widespread fraud.

Kraft posted on his Facebook page Saturday that “it’s never been clearer that we are absolutely at war with the left.”

Year in review: The top Madison-area stories of 2020

Year in review: The top Madison-area stories of 2020

It started out well enough. The Badgers were making a late-in-coming run at the Final Four. Hometown insurance behemoth American Family announced it was boosting its starting minimum wage to $20 an hour. Madison East Siders welcomed a new Pinney branch library.

The first two and a half months of the year feel like a different era, when news of a strange new virus infecting people in China was safely tucked away in the back pages of the newspaper and the heart-breaking images of a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of a 46-year-old Black man had yet to go viral.

Then came March and successive waves of closures, cancellations, lockdowns, furloughs, layoffs, infections and deaths. If the subsequent uprisings over the killing of George Floyd weren't enough to remind America that it has plenty of work to do to overcome racism, the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha tragically emphasized the point. And a divisive presidential election carried the tone of the year at the end.

While it may not be a year to look back on with particular fondness, 2020 no doubt is one to remember. Here's a look back at some of the top stories in the Madison area as they occurred.

breaking topical

With the Green Bay defense failing to lay a hand on 49ers running back Raheem Mostert for much of the first half and the Aaron Rodgers-led offense committing two turnovers and failing to convert a third down yet again during a scoreless first 30 minutes, the Packers dug themselves a 27-0 halftime deficit on their way to a demoralizing 37-20 loss.

topical alert

As a Dane County public health order requiring face coverings in all indoor spaces outside the home took effect Monday, businesses offered mixed views on mandates, though for many retailers it was business as (the new) usual.

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