UPDATE: Wisconsin GOP will vote on secession resolution at state - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Wisconsin GOP will vote on secession resolution at state convention

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MADISON (WKOW) -- State Republicans will take a vote next month on whether or not to support legislation that would allow Wisconsin to secede from the rest of the United States.

It is an idea that comes from the grassroots level of the party, but those at the top aren't on board with it.

"The way that the resolution is, it says that we reserve our right to secede in extreme circumstances," said Eric Shimpach of Portage, who serves as a Republican Party of Wisconsin delegate.
Shimpach voted in favor of passing the measure out of the party's 6th congressional district caucus and then out of the Resolutions Committee, which is comprised of delegates from each of the state's eight congressional districts.

"It passed like 11-4.  It was a landslide," said Shimpach.  "There were only a couple people in the room that were really even saying anything."

"They're focused on pandering to a very far right, extreme wing of their party right now," said Melissa Baldauff, spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.  "And I think if you look at what this Republican Party believes and what they stand for, its very far out of the mainstream of what you see from voters in Wisconsin and nationally."

Governor Scott Walker says the resolution is not representative of his party as a whole.

"Both Democrat and Republican activists often have a variety of different issues they debate at caucuses and conventions," said Gov. Walker.  "Many of them are mainstream things.  Other things, like this one, are probably off from where a lot of Republican elected officials like myself are at."

But Shimpach says it would be inaccurate to say the secession resolution isn't popular with mainstream Republicans.

"Resolutions that are passed in resolution committees and then passed at caucuses, they are representative of the districts.  They really, really are," said Shimpach.

Still, the Governor says it will be a minor issue at the convention.

"Resolutions are certainly part of the debate at conventions, but I think the focal point of what people are gonna take away from our convention are those broader issues on the economy and finances," said Gov. Walker.

Resolutions passed at the state convention are non-binding.  That means even if the secession resolution passes, Republican legislators would not be required to write secession legislation in the future.


MADISON (WKOW) -- The Republican Party of Wisconsin will vote on a resolution to support the state's right to secede from the rest of the United States at its annual convention in May.

The resolution came out of the GOP's 6th Congressional District Caucus on March 22nd, according to caucus chair Dan Feyen. 

It specifically calls for the Republican Party of Wisconsin to support legislation that would authorize the state's right to secede in "extreme circumstances."

Feyen told 27 News the vote on that resolution came at the end of a three-hour meeting, when only about 45 delegates to the caucus remained.  Feyen said it was passed with roughly 27 votes, sending in on to the state GOP Resolutions Committee.

The Resolutions Committee also passed it, sending it on for a vote at the full state convention May 2-4 in Milwaukee.

According to Feyen. that Resolutions Committee is comprised of 16 members, two from each of the state's eight congressional district caucuses.

Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann is following this story and will have more on 27 News at 5 and 6.

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