Republicans on campus and in Washington distanced themselves yesterday from controversial political activities discussed by an intern for the College Republican National Committee.

The intern, Morgan Wilkins, a sophomore at the University of Louisville, who is being paid to organize College Republicans throughout the state told The Michigan Daily on Sunday that she was considering organizing an event at campuses around the state that would have had participants shoot paintball or BB gun at cardboard cutouts of prominent Democrats like senators Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. She also said she might hold “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day,” where students would try and find a volunteer hidden on campus wearing a shirt that said “illegal immigrant” on it.

“We would never do those types of events or support them,” College Republicans chair Robert Scott said. “First, because they’re offensive to some members of our club. Second, because they undermine one of the goals of our organization, which is to include as many people as possible.”

A Daily report published Tuesday describing these events sparked a minor national uproar. An editing error that misidentified Wilkins’s employer as the Republican National Committee, not the CRNC caused much of the outcry. There is no official link between the RNC and the CRNC.

Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean sent a letter to his counterpart at the RNC, Ken Mehlman, demanding that he denounce the activities and put a stop to them. Mehlman called the events “reprehensible” in his reply to Dean. He also noted that Wilkins was not employed by the RNC, as was originally reported.

CRNC chair Paul Gourley said that while the group employs Wilkins, it had nothing to do with the proposed events.

“These particular projects were not anything that was ever discussed in our training for Morgan,” he said. “It’s not in any of our training materials that we send out to thousands of College Republicans around the country.”


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