An Alabama attorney with alleged ties to a white supremacist group has been dropped as a speaker at an upcoming Tea Party Convention in Wausau next Thursday.
Party organizers found attorney John Eidsmoe, who was set to speak with other rally supporters, could have views that may be questionable, and he was immediately dropped from the event lineup.
There was considerable negative reaction to the selection of Eidsmoe, as his ties to white supremacy were not in good public interest. The news about his background was divulged by Tea Party organizers and taken into strong consideration right away, Meg Ellefson, a volunteer organizer for the Tea Party event said.
Ellefson said she had heard about Eidsmoe from a friend who had heard him speak previously on the Constitution.
“We started this group — a nonpartisan, grassroots citizen movement in April 2009 — focused on fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets,” Ellefson said. “We certainly do not want controversy surrounding this event.”
Ellefson said she was warned of potentially disturbing background information regarding Eidsmoe last Thursday. After looking into his background, she decided it would be for the benefit of the event to drop him as a speaker.
Democratic Party of Wisconsin representative, Graeme Zielinski, said he was outraged over the fact that Eidsmoe was even being considered to be part of the Tea Party Convention.
“It is outrageous that the Wisconsin Tea Party invited him in the first place. They are passing this off as though it were a little ‘whoopsie,’” Zielinski said.
Eidsmoe reportedly spoke at an Alabama Secession rally, Zielinski said. He covered topics touching on slavery and the Constitution.
Eidsmoe’s speech in the rally claimed God ordained slavery, and Jefferson Davis was a much better President of the Confederate States than Abraham Lincoln ever was for the United States.
“He’s a pseudo-intellectual racist who belongs to the League of the South and whose writings happen to pop up on neo-Nazi websites,” Zielinski said.
Zielinski was unclear as to whether Eidsmoe dropped out of the event on his own accord or was asked to resign his spot, but he was very upset that any group would even have the possibility of a latent white supremacist speaking at their event.
Zielinski said it was just bad coverage for an event intended to educate citizens on the Constitution and government and that a Confederate bias should not play a role in the process of the social movement on any level.
“The Wausau Tea Party is committed to educating the public about the Constitution at our upcoming event and ensuring that our elected leaders follow the Constitution,” Ellefson said.
Eidsmoe will not be speaking at the Tea Party Convention, and all other related events are still on the same schedule as before.
It still remains unclear if Eidsmoe withdrew his speaker position or if he was dropped by the Tea Party Convention staff. The event is to be held April 15 and organizers are hoping the controversy surrounding Eidsmoe is quieted by then.
Eidsmoe was not available for comment as of press time.