In the wake of Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) attack on public employee collective bargaining rights, a number of Republicans elected to the state legislature are expected to face recall elections, with at least six slated for recalls currently.
Yesterday, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel uncovered a new dirty trick that some Wisconsin Republican leaders are encouraging among their members. In a letter obtained by the paper, Dan Feyen, the chairman of the 6th Congressional District Republican Party, instructs his “fellow conservatives” to run spoiler candidates in the primaries for Democratic candidates. Referencing the recall election of Sen. Randy Hopper (R), Feyen argues that a primary would allow an extra month until the general election, which would give Republicans time to organize.
In a separate letter, Feyen also advocates for running a spoiler candidate in the Democratic primary that will decide a nominee to run against Sen. Luther Olsen (R). Here’s a screenshot of one of the letters, where Feyen is encouraging conservatives to support John Buckstaff for a “protest candidacy”:
The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel notes that Buckstaff has a “has a long history of giving modest amounts to Republican candidates, including Walker and Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. He even gave $575 to Hopper’s campaign in 2008.” In a conversation with the paper, Feyen said that his efforts are actually being coordinated by the “RPW” — the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
The revelations about Feyen’s letters come on top of a leaked recording of GOP officials in La Crosse discussing how to get a “spoiler candidate in the recall election tentatively scheduled for Republican Sen. Dan Kapanke.”