• WisPolitics


Monday, December 19, 2016

 10:20 AM 

Protesters gather at Capitol ahead of electors' meeting

Protesters gathered at the Capitol today ahead of the meeting of the state’s electors, asking them to “do the right thing” and select someone other than Donald Trump.

They moved in and out of the Capitol to avoid sub-zero temperatures, holding signs asking electors to “please vote your conscience,” saying Trump does not have a mandate and that “this is not OK.”

“This isn’t the season to be quiet,” said Mary Schnelzer, a 56-year old from Madison.

Trump, she said, is the “most inexperienced and dangerous” political candidate to ever be on the ballot. And she said “in my worst dreams” she couldn’t imagine someone as president who’s spoken about women, immigrants and Muslims the way he has.

Most of the protesters were from the liberal group Democracy Spring, though some were part of the Hamilton Electors group that wants a “qualified Republican alternative.”

Joel Besemer, the state organizer for Democracy Spring, acknowledged the difficulty of getting the Republican electors to decline to formally cast Wisconsin's electoral votes for Trump, though he said “miracles can happen.”

Besemer, who runs a homeless shelter in Stevens Point, said they wanted to “tarnish [Trump’s] legitimacy” by pointing out he lost the popular vote.

“You can’t come in talking about a mandate,” Besemer said.

Jim Hudson and his son Daniel came from Wheaton, Ill., Madison is closer to their home than their state Capitol in Springfield.

Daniel Hudson, a 22-year old student at Wheaton College, said he’s bothered by Trump’s “narcissism” and “impulsiveness,” as well as the “racist rhetoric” he displayed throughout the campaign.

And Jim Hudson, a 58-year-old translation consultant, said the Electoral College should be a stopgap against dangerous candidates.

“It’s sort of like the last line of defense,” Jim Hudson said.

-- By Polo Rocha


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