MADISON — State Rep. Jon Richards and DPW Membership Director Sean Berger welcomed outgoing Wisconsin College Republicans Chair Lora Rae Anderson, a UW-Eau Claire Senior, officially into the Democratic Party. 

Anderson spoke at a brief event at the Organizing for America Office in Milwaukee on the eve of the Republican Party of Wisconsin's State Convention. Anderson, who spoke last year at the Republican Convention in La Crosse, blasted the state party, calling it too "extreme" and saying that it is "alienating a younger, more progressive generation." 

"While Republicans are busy narrowing their party to meet the approval of the extreme Tea Party, Democrats are happy to welcome young people like Lora Rae Anderson to the party," said Mike Tate, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. "As Republicans continue to offer more and more extreme slogans, but no solutions, we expect more young people and working families to follow Lora's lead and abandon the Republican Party."

Anderson said she was motivated to join the Democratic Party after seeing Republicans work to repeal health care reform that would take away the ability of young people to be covered on their parent's plan until they turn 26, and to take away tax cuts for thousands of Wisconsin businesses to offer health insurance and take away $60 billion in additional student loan funding created by ending government subsidies to big banks. Anderson said she also was motivated by Sen. Russ Feingold's strong history of aggressively fighting to cut spending and reduce the deficit created by eight years of Republican rule. 

"Republicans complain a lot about taxes, but actions speak louder than words and I noticed recently that under Democrats, Wisconsin's tax ranking has dropped to its lowest level in almost 50 years," said Anderson. 

Republicans’ march toward Tea Party extremism began early this year when reality tee-vee star and Congressional candidate Sean Duffy agreed to appear at a Wisconsin Tea Party rally where white supremacist "Col." John Eidsmoe had been scheduled to speak.