HUDSON, Wis. —
The Republican Party of St. Croix County, Wisconsin, is standing firm on a controversial post on its website, even after the state Republican party asked that the post be removed.
Nearly a week after an insurgency at the U.S Capitol that left a police officer, and four others dead, the post on the party homepage proclaims in Latin and English, "If you want peace, prepare for war."
Dan Myers, chairman of the St. Croix County Democratic Party, says he’s been fielding calls from upset people in and outside his party.
“I think when you see the video and the pictures coming from the Capitol,” Myers said, “and then you read that kind of language on the site where they're talking about getting ready for war.”
The post instructs readers, “It’s time to stand up and be counted as a conservative warrior.”
It calls for the removal of local and county “leftist tyrants” in the upcoming April elections.
John Kraft, the chairman of the St. Croix County Republican Party, did not return messages left by KARE 11.
Earlier, Kraft defended the post to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, writing he "can't help what twisted inferences local Democrats choose to attribute to it."
St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson posted a message on the department's Facebook page, saying he was "shocked and disheartened" by the tone of the website post. The sheriff strongly condemned the "prepare for war" comment, and urged his constituents to stay together and not divide.
"We’re a better society when we settle our differences in a civil manner and set inflammatory rhetoric aside. Talk to your neighbors. Agree to disagree," Knudson wrote. "Remember: We are neighbors, not enemies. That’s how we’ll get through these trying times – with a little bit of understanding and respect. I still believe in this country, and the good people that we call neighbors."
On the political front, it's not just Democrats who object to the notion of preparing for war.
In a written statement, Andrew Hitt, the Chairman of the Wisconsin Republican party, cited both last year's violence in Kenosha and last week's insurrection in Washington.
"Especially in light of recent events" he wrote" "it's an ill chosen phrase to express their sentiments.”
Hitt said the state party does not dictate what local parties do. But Hitt said the state GOP tried. “We suggested at an earlier date they remove this, but they declined to take our advice."