Republican Party’s Executive Committee said the chairman acted without their approval.
St. Croix County Republican Party leader John Kraft resigned Friday, days after refusing the Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman’s request to take down a post on the party’s website advocating that members “prepare for war” against political opponents.
Members of the county Republican Party’s Executive Committee said in a statement they asked Kraft to resign after the county website gained national attention because of his inflammatory language in posts there, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The website was taken down on Wednesday.
“The website was created and posted by our chairman, without consultation, review, or approval of the Executive Committee,” the statement says. “We reject the language used and have taken down the website. The resignation of the chairman was requested and received.”
Kraft was not available for comment.
The controversial website post—published prior to the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol that left five people dead—began with a Latin phrase meaning “If you want peace, prepare for war.” The message noted “the digital battlefield” and stated the “Marxist left and a complicit mass media” worked to ensure Biden won election “through any means necessary.”
State Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt asked that the post be removed because of its references to war and other controversial rhetoric in the wake of the attack on the Capitol. Kraft refused to do so.
Three days after the takeover of the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, Kraft posted to his personal Facebook page about a gathering of “patriots” at a county Republican Party event the previous evening in which he continued language with war references.
“It’s never been clearer that we are absolutely at war with the left,” Kraft said in that post, “and they are now making the full frontal assault on the First Amendment.”
In its statement, the county Republican Party’s executive committee said it will communicate its ideals in a less-controversial, incendiary manner.
“While we remain committed to forthright discussion of political ideas and differences, that discussion must be within the confines of civil discourse, without the perception of intimidation, accusation or threats. We oppose violence as a method to achieve political goals,” the statement says.
The statement goes on to call on other organizations to condemn references to violence.
“To maintain any credibility, ALL political parties should immediately join us in condemning the violence of the past year, ongoing violence and the incitement to it,” the statement reads.
A story published Thursday by UpNorthNews noted Kraft’s controversial messages as one of many similar instances by conservatives in Wisconsin who are using threats of violence in posts making baseless claims that the Nov. 3 presidential election was rigged to oust President Donald Trump from office.