A Wisconsin lawmaker’s plan to distribute Ku Klux Klan hoods Friday at the state’s Republican Party convention turned out to be all talk and no walk.
State Rep. Brett Hulsey, who is up against businesswoman Mary Burke for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, boasted Friday afternoon to the Capitol Times about the national attention he attracted with his plan to highlight Wisconsin Republican’s “racist record.”
“I’ve made clear I’m using racist as an adjective, not a noun,” Hulsey told the Capitol Times, in reference to the state’s Republican Party. “I’m talking about the bills they signed, not them as people.”
Both Democratic and Republican state officials condemned Hulsey’s idea to hand out KKK hoods as a “stunt.” The lawmaker also told the Capitol Times that he received hate mail and threatening phone calls from people across the country after he announced his plan.
Ultimately, he didn’t follow through.
“Sometimes even I have to pull back from the edge,” Hulsey told reporters later Friday, as quoted by the Wisconsin State Journal. He also admitted that he never seriously considered taking the hoods out of his car.
At one in the day point security officers escorted Hulsey away from the Hyatt Regency hotel, where most convention-goers were located, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. And when he tried to engage attendees outside, he was met with little enthusiasm.
“Taxes are lower,” one woman shouted at Hulsey, according to the newspaper. “Get over it.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.