Brett Hulsey drops plan to distribute Klan hoods

2014-05-03T04:45:00Z Brett Hulsey drops plan to distribute Klan hoodsMARY SPICUZZA mspicuzza@madison.com, 608-252-6122 madison.com

MILWAUKEE — Madison Rep. Brett Hulsey did not follow through on his vow to distribute Ku Klux Klan hoods to Republicans gathered for their annual state convention to protest what he described as Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin GOP’s “racist record.”

“Sometimes even I have to pull back from the edge,” Hulsey said Friday, admitting to reporters he never seriously intended to hand out the three handmade hoods he left folded on the front seat of his car. “My goal here was to get press attention, and I got it,” Hulsey said.

Republicans and Democrats have strongly condemned the stunt. And Friday the Assembly’s Democratic leader further distanced the party from Hulsey.

“Brett Hulsey has not been considered a member or actively caucused with the Assembly Democratic Caucus for some time now,” said Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha.

An African-American GOP delegate called Hulsey’s approach “extremely racist and offensive.”

Pam Stevens, from Kenosha, said Hulsey is trying “to use black people” to get attention for himself and his campaign.

After speaking with reporters, Hulsey, a Democratic candidate for governor, walked backward through the streets of Milwaukee to the hotel where Republicans had gathered. He wore a makeshift Confederate soldier uniform he put together with the help of thrift store finds, including a gray suit jacket and wool slacks, yellow tape, a yellow sash, sports medals, a bolo tie and a straw hat that also serves as a solar cellphone charger.

Hulsey was escorted away by security officers when he tried to enter the Hyatt Regency, the main hotel for GOP convention-goers. Then, at the neighboring street corner, he tried to engage attendees.

“Taxes are lower,” one woman called to him, as she hurried away. “Get over it.”

“We’re not racists,” a man said. “It has nothing to do with racism.”

Tom Brew, a Madison Republican who supports Walker, stopped to talk with Hulsey and signed his nomination papers.

“I’m signing to get him on the ballot. If someone wants to run, let him run,” Brew said. “It’s not everyday we get a true Democrat in Confederate uniform to run for governor.”

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(20) Comments

  1. CW Griswold
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    CW Griswold - May 03, 2014 10:23 pm
    Where is Burke in general? Somebody wake her up!
  2. Hogzilla
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    Hogzilla - May 03, 2014 9:16 pm
    That's funny, most of the people meet out and about in the state are as friendly and down to Earth as can be. It's usually just in Madison that I run into a bunch of snobby, smug, self entitled nitwits.
  3. Hogzilla
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    Hogzilla - May 03, 2014 9:13 pm
    I read enough of your posts over the years to know that Hulsey represents exactly the way you think.
  4. Hogzilla
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    Hogzilla - May 03, 2014 9:07 pm
    You just keep thinking that, buddy.
  5. snootyelites
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    snootyelites - May 03, 2014 3:30 pm
    If Husley plays his cards right, he could be the Campaign Manager for Hillary Clinton. Too bad Burke is not taking advantage of his skill set!
  6. jrclen
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    jrclen - May 03, 2014 3:06 pm
    A gold star for you goldennugget. Bret would fit right in on MSNBC.
  7. Lancer
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    Lancer - May 03, 2014 10:07 am
    Brett Hulsey is the only Democratic that's effective in making an issue out of the state Republican party's consideration of a proposal to secede from the union and people call Hulsey a nut job?

    How about them Republicans?

    Where is Mary Burke?

    Hulsey is doing a much better job of poking at foolish Republicans than Burke and for only the cost of a few scraps of fabric and some old clothes.
  8. willhogoboom
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    willhogoboom - May 03, 2014 8:06 am
    Our democratic process is to have all parties represented on the ballot, Republican, Democrat, Progressive, and Nut job.
  9. number6
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    number6 - May 03, 2014 7:56 am
    “My goal here was to get press attention, and I got it,” WSJ, etc., he's playing you like a fiddle.
  10. ButSiriuslyFolks
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    ButSiriuslyFolks - May 03, 2014 7:44 am
    Richert has a tendancy to, in his efforts to appear moderate, pull out examples from both sides that ticks both sides off.
    But, in this case, I think he pulled it off. Hulsey is a nutter, but there are more than enough examples of histrionic, attention-seekers on both sides of the aisle.

    Wouldn't it be nice if we stopped giving the extremists and nutters the attention they do crave and focus on the legislators that just quietly do their job...well?
  11. epic
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    epic - May 03, 2014 7:38 am
    Brett Hulsey is just saying the things that the rest of the progressive cabal would like to say. He hasn't ditched his Che t-shirt or his beret to try to fit into mainstream America. I think we can all appreciate the honesty of Brett. Mary, keep working on your Jim Doyle glower since that is about all you have going for you right now.
  12. JoeDaPlumber
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    JoeDaPlumber - May 03, 2014 6:07 am
    WTF was Mary Burke yesterday? Hulsey was near the top of the news in all 72 Wisconsin counties yesterday, and Burke had nothing to say, even when the Republican Party gathering includes consideration of an extremist secession resolution and will support the continued dismantling of public education in our state. With the extreme factions that now dominate the GOP, is Hulsey just a bit too close for comfort to exposing some of those extremists who are included in the Republican's way-too-big tent?

    What I lament is that the delegates at the GOP convention who embrace the extremes in their party don't need hoods anymore, endorsing policies that make the racial divide in our state worse in the nation.



  13. MadCityYokal
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    MadCityYokal - May 03, 2014 6:03 am
    Hulsey is not a Progressive. He is a Pro-Hulsey show boat dressed in language he thinks is Progressive catching.
    If he were a TEA Party candidate, he would be dressed as a Hippy and outside of the Dem Convention.
  14. MadCityYokal
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    MadCityYokal - May 03, 2014 5:58 am
    TEA Party has Grothman and Libs have Hulsey. Crazy has no one political stripe.
  15. bluffsinview
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    bluffsinview - May 03, 2014 5:53 am
    Hulsey is not representative of the Progressives or Democrats, he's more like a left-wing Rush Limbaugh or Michele Bachmann who will do or say anything for attention, including making a fool of himself.
  16. Reply
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    Reply - May 03, 2014 5:50 am
    Too late, damage done. Instead of pulling "back from the edge," the smarter choice would have been to not go that close to the edge in the first place. Anyone ... especially someone his age running for the State's highest office ... who hasn't figured that out has absolutely no business running for office.

    Entertaining as he may be, his crackpot antics are making a reflection on the Democrats as a pack of buffoons. On top of the party's struggling campaign, that's the last thing they need right now.
  17. ammoman
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    ammoman - May 03, 2014 5:08 am
    He's going to make this campaign season fun to watch
  18. Akklia
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    Akklia - May 03, 2014 5:02 am
    .WI_expat.... Corporate democrat, maybe...Progressive, no. The Progressives I know are just as disgusted with the neoDemocrats as they are the neoRepublicans.

    And, if you had ever taken time to read gas and electric meters in Madison, and met the natives, you would find them just as conservative, base and mean as the rest of Wississippi.
  19. WI_Expat
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    WI_Expat - May 03, 2014 12:01 am
    Brett Husley is finally the first Progressive to show exactly what they are....no wonder Madison WI is the South Africa of old in the Midwest!!!

    Way to go Brett! Make the 77 Square proud of the fine tradition that the Democrat Party started in the south to retaliate against freeing slaves.

  20. goldennugget
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    goldennugget - May 02, 2014 11:50 pm
    Maybe MSNBC will hire him as a pundit. Move over Rachel.

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