Wisconsin state Rep. Brett Hulsey, a Democratic candidate for governor, plans to blitz the state’s Republican convention this weekend with Ku Klux Klan hoods he refers to as “Republican Party hats,” according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
— Brett Hulsey (@BrettHulseyWI) May 1, 2014
Asked whether doling out the KKK hoods could be considered offensive, Hulsey told the Wisconsin State Journal on Thursday that “What I find offensive is Gov. Walker and the Republicans’ racist record. They’re the ones considering the resolution to leave the United States.”
When asked by the Associated Press “whether he was serious, trying to be funny or provocative” with the gesture, the lawmaker responded “All of the above.”
Democratic and Republican Party officials alike have criticized Hulsey’s plan to distribute the hoods.
“We take serious issue with the policies pursued by Republicans that disproportionately affect communities of color, but this type of behavior has no place in the public dialogue,” Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate said, as quoted by the Wisconsin State Journal.
State GOP executive director Joe Fadness told the newspaper that “If true, Brett Hulsey’s actions amount to nothing more than a reprehensible, vile stunt and everyone should be outraged.”
In addition to passing out the hoods, Hulsey plans to hold a rally Friday outside of Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) convention speech featuring participants dressed up as Confederate soldiers, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The gesture alludes to a resolution affirming Wisconsin’s right to secede from the union that is set to come up for a vote during the convention.
Hulsey has a colorful history beyond the planned KKK stunt, according to the Wisconsin State Journal: he’s been criticized for “hogging the limelight” during protests at the state Capitol in 2011 and once accused the mayor of Madison, Wis. of conspiring against him after he received a disorderly conduct citation for tipping over a child on a raft at a city beach.