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Fake David Koch Endorses Real Republican in Wisconsin Governor Race

“I am a Republican, a black, dyed in the wool Republican, and I never intend to belong to any other party than the party of freedom and progress.”
-Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass would not recognize today’s Grand Old Party. The forward-thinking likes of Lincoln and La Follette have been usurped by backward psychopaths like Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, and [insert Republican here]. And if reanimated in the modern era, Zombie-Douglass would fight like hell to bring the Republican Party back to its progressive roots.

Lucky for America, and the great state of Wisconsin, there’s a non-zombie Republican fighting that noble fight. His name is Arthur Kohl-Riggs, and he’s challenging Scott Walker in the May 8th Republican primary for Governor.

Kohl-Riggs, 23, is a Madison protest fixture. Seeing all the shit Scott Walker was doing to his state last February, he got involved, slept in the Capitol, slept outside of the Capitol, videotaped everything he could — and set up the well-trafficked Facebook page “Shit Scott Walker Is Doing To My State.”

He “became a journalist out of necessity,” and was arrested for it. He wanted to “help tell the stories the mainstream media wasn’t talking about,” like the scoop that a Wisconsin State Assemblyman committed blatant fraud. Kohl-Riggs shot the infamous video of Rep. Joel Kleefisch casting multiple votes on behalf of absent colleagues through a window. In that instance, however, the MSM took notice. Keith Olbermann even dubbed Kleefisch “The Worst Person in The World.” The Assembly responded, not by disciplining Kleefisch, but by blacking out the windows.

Arthur was student body president in high school, and “had as much of a higher education as Scott Walker,” he says. “Although I left in good standing.” (Walker left Marquette University shortly after his failed, and epically dirty, run for student government.) Art then cut his activist teeth with Green Peace. Not very Republican, you say? Staunch environmentalist, creator of 5 national parks and 150 national forests, and 26th President of the United States Teddy Roosevelt would strongly disagree. And then kick your ahistorical ass.

Like many Wisconsinites, Art was disappointed that Democratic Assemblyman and progressive champion Peter Barca didn’t throw his righteous hat into the ring. Outside of former Senator Russ Feingold, who also refused to run, “Barca would’ve been the perfect candidate to unite the big Party players and the grassroots base,” says Kohl-Riggs. Frustrated by a Democratic field of candidates unwisely inflicting damage on one another, and ostensibly incensed by a rotten crop of GOP plants running as fake Democrats in the recall elections, Art got the idea to run for Governor himself. Well, it was actually his girlfriend’s idea.

He’d already requested time off from work at the Madison Children’s Museum, where he dishes pizza and scoops ice cream, to “focus all his energies on seeing Walker out of office.” So what the hell? In Wisconsin, citizens can cast a vote in either the Democratic or Republican primaries, regardless of party affiliation, which is why the GOP planted fake Democratic recall candidates. Well, Arthur Kohl-Riggs sees your “Operation Chaos,” and raises you a Lincolnesque beard. One blog’s even speculated that “Wisconsin Democrats May Sacrifice [the] Primary Election to Oust Gov. Walker Early”. Is that likely? Probably not, but Arthur’s move may have the beneficent effect of keeping the postmodern Republicans honest — no small feat.

In very short order, Kohl-Riggs and his decidedly energetic cohorts collected and turned in the 2,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot — with a few hundred to spare. So there is support for what he’s doing. But like any “fringe candidate” (a principled Republican, in this case), Art’s nemesis is a familiar one: the mainstream media. It’s possible that Walker could lose the Governor’s Mansion in the primary. The numbers are theoretically there. But, so far, Wisconsin’s corporate press hasn’t yet sunk its teeth into the David versus Goliath narrative.

Whether quietly wielding a camera, literally calling “bullshit” on gerrymandered districts at public hearings, or running a rogue primary campaign, Art draws no distinction between politics, journalism, and activism. “They’re just different ways of telling the truth,” he says. Smart, well-informed, and articulate, he’s pretty damn good at it, too — whatever you call it. And for that reason, the Fake David Koch is proud to endorse Arthur Kohl-Riggs for the office of Governor of the State of Wisconsin.

I — he was so inspired by Art’s candidacy that I –he drew up this campaign poster:

(murphy[at]buffalobeast.com for high-res print version)

“I’m writing my platform tonight,” Art told me, so by the time this is posted, you should be able to check that out at his website. And if you’re a fan of truth, go ahead and like his Art 4 Gov Facebook page.

Since gaining a line on the ballot, Kohl-Riggs already has one major campaign promise to keep: to dress up like Honest Abe, to whom he bears a lanky and bearded resemblance, and chastise Walker to his face for being the kind of depraved, brainless, postmodern Republican who’d leave Zombie Frederick Douglass famished.

Follow me on the Twitter Machines. And go, Art, go!


  • Adam

    He’s got my vote! He’s sticking it to the cloudy Dems while eliminating Walker. That’s just about the best plan I’ve heard. It would be a real “people’s” win!

  • Pingback: A real Republican to challenge Walker in the primary for Governor | Defend Wisconsin

  • RobThomas

    Growing my Lincoln beard now in support as I type this.

  • Mike

    About time Progressive Republicans grew a pair and stopped hiding from right-wingers.

  • robert van bakel

    Think I’ll become a US citizen, move to Wisconson, and vote for this ‘little engine that could’? But then again when the craziness of Palin was in town I wanted to become a US citizen to promote a Palin/Bachman ticket: heh!

  • Louis

    Teddy Roosevelt was a staunch environmentalist, but he also was an even more staunch imperialist and had as much of a hard-on for war as George W. Bush. Kohl is determined, at least.

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