Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sen. Kathleen Vinehout Speaks Out On DPW Chair Race

As I sat through the Joint Finance Committee's budget listening session on Friday, I could not help but reflect on how we got to the point where people were begging the state legislature not to use our children and our most vulnerable citizens as chattel on an auctioning block, where workers rights were a thing of the past, where people are afraid for their future.

During my day, I had a chance to briefly meet and observe State Representative Chris Taylor in action.  I've always been a fan of hers and came away from the day even more impressed with her.  I still can't help but wonder what the results would have been if Mike Tate and his fellow big money sycophants hadn't manipulated the situation and clearing the field for Mary Burke.

True, Taylor isn't a millionaire like Burke, but that turned out to be a non-factor when Burke decided to withhold her cash anyway.  But Taylor has something that Burke cannot buy - popularity.  I still believe that Taylor - or someone like her - would have been able to do what Tate and his hand-picked candidate failed miserably at - turning out the vote.

Over the weekend, I was alerted by several readers and friends of Senator Kathleen Vinehout's interview with Wisconsin Eye.  Vinehout spoke about the problems with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and what she saw as the solution for these problems:

While I don't necessarily agree with her endorsement of Martha Lanning, I do agree with her that the Party needs to invert itself and let the people control its direction instead of a handful of corporate Democrats.  It's at about the 14:55 mark where she really nails it, where she is discussing Tate's heir apparent, Jason Rae:
"He represents the corporatization of the Democratic Party.  He represents the power of money to control what I believe is the power of the people.  The party of the people, the little guy, that guy is not represented."
She's hit the nail right on the head with that.  When you have people like Tate and Rae praising and supporting the likes of Boss Abele, who are about as unDemocratic as they come, you are going to lose the people and keep losing elections.

If Rae wins the DPW chair, the Democrats will have conceded the state for the rest of the decade, if not longer.  The Democrats cannot beat the Republicans by being Republican Lite, which Tate has made the Party into and which Rae would only continue.  And even if the Democrats win, the people that they promote, like Abele, well, you might as well have the Republicans anyway.

As I wrote above, I'm not too sure about Lanning.  The shady way they manipulated her entry into the race raises red flags for me.  That's is as sketchy as the way Tate tried to set it up for Rae.

If I had a voice in the matter (I don't because I won't join a group that supports those who attack me and my union brothers and sisters), I would say that the ticket of Jeff Smith and Stephanie Deena Findley is the most interesting and the most desirable for the Party.  This ticket can connect the urban and rural members, as well as help address the poor treatment that women and minorities have received from the Party elite.

ADDENDUM: I just learned that Findley had hitched herself with the education privatization vultures.

My recommendation is now the Working Families Party.


  1. The DPW should just merge with the RPW and become the Democratic-Republican Party of Wisconsin. Then there would be no need to find a new party head, since the RPW is currently steamrolling the DPW, we will just let their bigshots keep their jobs.

    Abele can then publicly back Scott Walker and the rest of that criminal cabal and the rest of us could build that third party.

    Does anyone have any connections with the powers-that-be to convince them to merge with RPW?

  2. Capper, nice catch. IMHO, corporate Dems weren't prepared for the pushback against Tate/Rae. My guess is that accounts for the sudden, "fresh face," Martha Laning. How long has she been a registered Dem? How long has she been a member of the party. What's her voting record? Whether you vote or not is public record info. Has she been been voting in primaries and other elections that do NOT happen in November?

    1. I campaigned for her in her 9th Senate bid against Lemahue. I give her good marks though she is no where near as firey as I am and probably wont come down hard on the DINOs like I would like to see. Here in Manitowoc we have had the same kind of Abele thing going for a long time now and the party is broken because of it.

  3. I don't think a characterization of Findley " hitching herself to the education privatization vultures" is fair or accurate. She has a long and strong record as a Dem and with labor. As a rural old progressive white guy I won't pretend to understand the concerns of urban African Americans and the support for charter schools that apparently exists within urban communities of color, but I'm certainly willing to hear them out and maybe learn something new.

  4. Martha Laning, is smart, tough, and dedicated. I believe she would be a great State chair.