Dane County GOP Resolution links RPW Endorsement to a Poll Tax

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Billie Johnson, Vice-Chair of the Dane County Republican Party, sent the Wisconsin Conservative Digest a resolution that will be proposed at its annual caucus on February 26. In a statement to Bob Dohnal, Billie Johnson said the following regarding the proposed resolution:

“One of our Dane County party members likened voting at the convention to a poll tax. You pay to attend the convention, you paid county party dues, there’s travel expenses and if because of where they live, paying for a hotel room may be necessary. I thought that was a good way to put it. That doesn’t even count indirect costs, a day off work to attend, childcare depending on the person’s job and family. The convention is also demographically challenged. It mostly white, wealthier, and older than the GOP voters.”

The Republican Party of Wisconsin Convention will be held in Dane County on May 20-22nd in Middleton, WI. The Dane County Caucus will be on Saturday, February 26 from 9am-Noon at the Marriott West in Middleton.

Here is the proposed resolution sent to the Wisconsin Conservative Digest:

Republican Party of Dane County
End the RPW Endorsement Process

WHEREAS, free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our American Constitutional Republic and, the American Republic is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, relying on the faith and trust of all voters selecting our leadership; and,

WHEREAS, once endorsed the Republican Party of Wisconsin RPW can give actual or in-kind donations to the endorsed candidate or paid for its ads supporting the candidate as well as deny non-endorsed candidates the other candidates access to party resources; and,

WHEREAS, after the 1978 gubernatorial election the party wisely abolished the endorsement process only to bring it back decades later: and,

WHEREAS, the party convention is populated by an older wealthier demographic and predominately white males, with little participation by minorities, and is not representative of the Republican base especially since President Trump brought many new supports into the party; and, 

WHEREAS, joining the local party and attending the convention seems easy to many people it is not easy or inexpensive for everyone. It is a poll tax to be paid before one can cast their vote. Attending the convention can be expensive, attendance is not free, plus there can be costly hotel and travel expenses. Single parents can’t attend without paying a full day of childcare, carpenters and other craftspeople often need to work on nice spring days, farmers plant crops, many health care workers need to work on weekends and the list goes on. The Republican Party has become a working-class party and our convention does not reflect that.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Republican Party of Dane County, in caucus assembled request the Republican Party of Wisconsin start the process of amending its constitution to end the party endorsement process before the 2026 election cycle.