Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lora Rae Anderson

Lora Rae Anderson is a young woman who has recently stepped down after serving a year as the Chair of the Wisconsin College Republicans. Ms. Anderson recently made the news, at least here in Wisconsin, when she issued a press release in which she expressed concern about the direction her party was headed.

Among her concerns was the extreme conservative stance the party was shifting to as well as specific incidents such as racial comments and cultural slurs by the Eau Claire GOP Chair, the ignorant stance by Juneau County DA Southworth, and the antics of infamous hypocrite and attention-seeker, Glenn Beck.

The Chief and Blogging Blue have covered this pretty well.

Even though I seriously doubt that Ms. Anderson and I would necessarily agree on many subjects, I do salute her for standing up for what she believes in.

As one might have anticipated, the party faithful and closed-minded people, who Ms. Anderson was referring to, chose not to use the moment to look at themselves but to attack Ms. Anderson with all of the vitriol they could muster.

Ms. Anderson showed herself to be even more impressive by taking them on again in a second press release:

“I don’t apologize for anything I mentioned,” said Anderson “I believe it was the right thing to do.”

Anderson expressed interest in personally responding to a few comments and issues that have come up. “The Chairman of the Eau Claire County Republicans made some inappropriate comments that I wished to address because those comments had not been apologized for properly. However, that apology is clearly not coming, and the last thing I want is for this to turn into a ‘he said she said’ battle. The press release quite obviously addressed a bigger issue, the direction of the Republican Party. That is what discussion should be about; we should be concerned with making political parties more inclusive for people who feel they don’t have a place in politics. If we involve these people, we can have a more representative electorate. The way the Republican Party is operating simply does not allow that progress to happen.”

Anderson was next concerned with responses in a few blogs and other press releases relating to her own, “I understand that everyone has their own respectable opinions, but the sentiments expressed in some ‘right wing’ blogs only prove my point that the party is purposefully pushing out moderates. When moderates are forced out, political parties are not going to have the dialogue which allows their policies to be open- minded and accommodating to constituents. I also ask that everyone try to allow this conversation to remain pointed, and thus, I request that when someone comments about what I have had to say, that they keep to the subject and not call out specific people that I haven’t unless it is obviously pertinent to the topic at hand.”

Questions, mostly privately, were asked about Anderson’s motivations for publicizing these issues in the manner that she did. “I have spoken to members of the Republican Party about moderating our platform. I have at points also suggested we maybe just do an event catering to more moderate Republicans. This whole year I have either been denied, or, when individuals found out about the subject of our potential meeting, the meeting never even happened,” Anderson explained, “Numerous people have told me that as I chaired the Wisconsin Federation of College Republicans, I might have some sway. I thought I might as well, but as it turns out; that sway was very limited. After greatly improving the efficiency of the Wisconsin Federation of College Republicans, I was under the impression I might be allowed to hold people accountable.”
As I said above, I don't know if I would agree with her on many things, but I do salute her for her courage to stand up for what she really believes.

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