U.P. GOP official resigns over ‘Kent State’ tweet
Lansing — A northern Michigan Republican Party official resigned on Wednesday after landing in hot water for implying in a tweet that university protesters in California should be stopped violently.
Dan Adamini, the Marquette County Republican Party secretary, apologized for his tweet. It made national news because of its apparent call for a repeat of the Ohio National Guard’s shooting of four students at Kent State University in 1970, when nine other university students were also wounded amid a Vietnam War protest.
Adamini said Wednesday he has received hundreds of death threats over the uproar and that he resigned Wednesday because he’s hoping it will satisfy those outraged by his statement.
“Whenever you’re involved in an organization, you want to be an asset,” he said. “At the moment I’ve become a distraction, and that’s not helping anybody. I stepped aside so hopefully the people that are so angry will feel that they’ve accomplished what they set out to do, and maybe we can all get on with our lives.”
Adamini said he resigned voluntarily because of his internet posts, which he said he now regrets having shared online because he thinks social media was not the right venue to share his thoughts.
He tried to clarify what he calls a “horribly worded” tweet, stating that he was not calling for police to shoot protesters, or for a repeat of the Kent State shootings.
“My goal was to alert people that the violence was getting out of hand in this country,” he said. “My fear is if the protesters can’t stop the violence, authorities might come in and stop the violence and that would be tragic.”
The county Republican office accepted his resignation Wednesday, said Marquette County Republican Chairman Brendan Biolo.
Biolo said of Adamini’s posts, “We disavow any of that.”
That message was a stark contrast from Adamini’s Thursday tweet: “Violent protesters who shut down free speech? Time for another Kent State perhaps. One bullet stops a lot of thuggery.”
The tweet was in response to protests that turned violent at the University of California Berkeley after students called on university officials to cancel a scheduled campus speech from the senior editor of the rightwing website Breitbart, Milo Yiannopoulos.
Adamini wrote in a separate Facebook post: “I’m thinking that another Kent State might be the only solution...They do it because they know there are no consequences yet."
Kent State University President Beverly Warren criticized Adamini’s statements in a tweet Saturday.
“This is an abhorrent and painful use of our tragedy and has no place in healing the divide in America,” she wrote. “We will respond.”
Michigan Republican Party spokeswoman Sarah Anderson called the posts “inappropriate” and said he was right to apologize.
“He was speaking for himself and not on behalf of the Michigan Republican Party,” she said.