By Scott Schneider
Energized by an awakened electorate and a drive to elect a new CR president, members of the Republican Party's youth movement amassed State Street and the Capitol as delegations of Wisconsin College Republicans descended upon Madison this past April 23rd and April 24th for the annual Wisconsin Federation of College Republican Convention. The festivities kicked off officially on Friday, April 23 at 7:30 PM with a reception and social event at Brocach's Irish Pub, a short walk from the Best Western Inn on the Park Hotel, where the group had set up accommodations for the event. Wisconsin Attorney General JB Van Hollen addressed a packed, standing-room-only crowd on the second floor of Brocach's, giving inspiration and encouragement as well as an update on the process he has been undertaking to enact legal action to repeal ObamaCare in the State of Wisconsin, action that has recently been denied by Doyle Administration. Van Hollen appeared on Greta Van Susteren at another location shortly after giving his speech, much to the delight of the many who had gathered at Brocachs. On Van Susteren, as he had told the CRs at Brocach’s, the likelihood of a shift in the House, Assembly, and Governorship in 2010 would give the Republicans a renewed chance to quickly pass through this legislation starting in January 2011.
Members of the Eau Claire College Republican Group (top) and the Riverfalls and Beloit College Republican Groups at the dinner Saturday afternoon.
After a night of fun and acquaintanceship, the Wisconsin CRs turned their attention to the State Capitol where a continental breakfast was served at 7:30 the next morning in the Assembly conference room. The important business of the day ensued at 9 AM in the Assembly Chamber where the Federation came to order for the day. Candidates David Westlake and Terrence Wall, both running against Russ Feingold in the November 2010 Senate race, addressed the chamber; official executive board reports were given, nominations and votes were taken for "Big Tent Republican" and "Old Guard Republican". Lora Rae Andersen, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire member and also outgoing chair, won the Big Tent Award; Bobby Hamill, also of UW-EC, won the "Old Guard Republican". Speakers for the Log Cabin Republicans, Campus Reform, and Young America's Foundation introduced their groups, several amendments were debated and cantankerously voted down, while groups caucused together to discuss the implications of each decision. Elections were also held for Vice Chairman, Treasurer, and Secretary. But the most important business of the day was the election of a new Chairman. In a spirited and competitive battle, Charlotte Evans, from Marquette, beat hometown UW-Madison CR member Johnny Koremenos to replace outgoing chair, Lora Rae Andersen.
Members of the UW-Whitewater CRs
After business in the Capitol was finished, the last major event of the weekend was a banquet luncheon held at Zander's Capitol Grill. Gubernatorial candidate Mark Neumann, Lt Governor candidates Brett Davis and Rebecca Kleefisch each spoke to the CRs just before the buffet dinner. CR of the Year award was given to Bobby Hamill from UW-Eau Claire, and UW-Milwaukee won Chapter of the Year. Once decadent chocolate cake slices were served for desert, the weekend wrapped up as various groups said their goodbyes and proceeded to return to their real lives. After nearly 24 hours of fun and fellowship, the Wisconsin Federation of College Republican Convention adjourned, and students returned to their respective schools to once again carry on the vital process of spreading the conservative message across the State of Wisconsin.
A SPECIAL THANKS TO THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MADISON COLLEGE REPUBLICAN GROUP FOR PUTTING ON SUCH AN AMAZING CONVENTION!
Crystal Lee (Chair of the Madison CRs) and candidate Johnny Koremenos
Chair: Crystal Lee
1st Vice Chair: Emily Monske
Second Vice Chair:
Secretary: Lucas Moench
Treasurer: Brian McCulliss
Public Relations Chair: Stephen Duerst
Social Chair: Lauren Peterson
Fundraising Chair: Neil Isono
Community Service Chair: Jerad McHenry
Alumni Relations Chair: Joe Antolik
Director of Web Development: Johnny