Sunday, February 28, 2016

AFSCME Takes A Stand For Democracy

As Jeff reported the other day, The Democratic Party of Wisconsin doesn't believe in democracy too much and are refusing to allow Myron Buccholz, who is challenging the corporate sellout congressman, Ron Kind, to have access to their VAN list.

AFSCME supports American jobs and American workers.  Because of that, AFSCME was opposed to TPP.  However, Kind voted for it.  Many people agreed that Kind was wrong for supporting the bad trade agreement, so it's not surprising that a progressive Democrat would want to challenge him.

However, DPW doesn't see it that way and has taken steps to protect their establishment politicians by hindering anyone who would challenge them.

In light of this most undemocratic action, AFSCME DC 32 has taken the strong stand of refusing to attend the DPW's Founders Day Dinner unless DPW allows Buccholz to have access to the VAN list.

I personally hope that our brothers and sisters in the other unions will join us and take a stand for American jobs and for democracy.


  1. Just to be clear, this is not a knee-jerk reaction to a challenger to Congressman Kind. This is a written policy that has been in place for years.

    The Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s bylaws outlines the policy we follow for voter file sales. Under Article 1, Section 6(f)

    The Wisconsin voter file which is administered by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) will be made available to all the following individuals/groups in good standing with the DPW and legislative caucuses: all incumbent Democratic Party officeholders, Democratic nominees for public office, Democratic legislative campaign committees, and county, local unit, and Congressional District affiliates of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin...All other requests made by individuals, candidates, groups, organizations, or political committees not specified above, must be approved by the State Chair, subject to review by the Executive Committee. All appeals for reversals or exceptions are subject to review by the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin voter file and other Democratic Party list access fees will be determined by the Executive Committee established fair market value, as required by state regulation.

    Given that incumbent Democratic officeholders have paid into the file to help make improvements, and added their own data, we do not sell that data directly to their competitors. However, given our commitment to ensuring that Democrats in this state do have the tools they need to run campaigns, we have been connecting any interested parties with two other excellent voter file options.


    Or Nation Builder

    We will continue to reach out to Mr Buchholz and any other candidate challenging an incumbent with an offer of whatever resources we can provide under the rules of our party.

    Lisa Herrmann
    Chair, 3rd CD DPW

    1. Nowhere does it say that other candidates cannot have access in any specific way.
      Can we assume from that that DPW chair Laning has refused to grant the access?

    2. DPW Chair has refused in a conference call with the Myron Buchholz campaign committee. I challenge Ron Kind to encourage

  2. Thanks Lisa. I appreciate your hard work as 3rd CD chair, and what you've done in the state party.

    As an active party member in the 3rd CD, I understand that VAN access needs to be restricted to serious candidates who are Democrats in good standing. Filing papers to run isn't enough to show you're a serious candidate.

    However, should Mr. Buchholz qualify for the ballot, then the DPW needs to give him access to VAN. Not doing so would be shortsighted - should he win the primary he wouldn't have the time to integrate VAN into his general election campaign. As a result, we could lose the 3rd CD.

    I hope that this issue will be a matter of discussion at our upcoming convention.

  3. Thanks, Bob. Should Mr Buccholz win the primary he then becomes the Democratic nominee and, as noted in the bylaws, would be afforded full access. Unfortunately, gaining ballot access is not a high enough standard, as a number of Republicans signing on as Democrats did just that in the recall elections.

    1. In a state where we have a hard time finding people to run and we finally have someone willing to put their name and beck on the line and the dem party us making them jump through hoops! Seriously?

      Now one f the main allies that the party has left is threatening a boycott unless you allow Buchholz access and the party is stubborn and shortsighted enough to not relook at their ancient policies

    2. Well, they're only threatening to boycott a dinner. Not a big deal in the long run and mostly a symbolic gesture. Now, if they decide the Party can do without their money and their volunteers, it gets more interesting. If the money and the volunteers go to some organization like the Working Families Party it gets even more interesting.

    3. On the other hand if I were Mr. Buccholz and I were clever enough to figure out a way of winning the primary without the DP's help, I'd start to wonder if there might be a way to win the general without the DP's help. Then I'd start to wonder if the DP was much good for anything at all.

    4. Sorry Lisa but using a rule that was meant to keep Republicans from running in Democratic Primaries is not a good reason to deny Myron Buchholz. I'm appalled if there is any implication to be drawn from that so you'd better come up with something better. -saw-

    5. Lisa, it's easy to understand your need to secure the data base. I also understand that this puts you in an awkward situation, especially when someone chooses to challenge a popular candidate like Congressman Kind.

      But, it should not take much effort for you to determine Mr. Buchholz authenticity as a viable candidate. Please... get on the stick, make your determination soon. The integrity of democracy and our party is in question if you are not pro-active in this matter.

      Provide a list of acceptable criteria that can be used to vet potentially new candidates.

      Larry C

  4. Is this what Democrats support? Does it follow our party platform?(<--Key)

    Or are we becoming Democrats in name only everywhere? I'd be interested in feedback from the District Chairs.

  5. Myron Buchholz is a DPW member, former advisor for several years to the Young Democrats at Eau Claire's Memorial High School, knocked on doors for John Kerry in 2004, was present at the initial meetings debating the need for a year round Dem office in Eau Claire back in 2004, was a delegate to the 2015 Dem convention and traveled to Milwaukee to vote for Jeff Smith in the Chair's race, sits on the board of the Chippewa Valley ACLU, was active with his late wife Janet (AFSCME) in the Act 10 uprising in 2011, traveling to Madison to attend worker rallies, is a steering committee member of $15 Now Northwest Wisconsin, and has stood with peace activists monthly/weekly in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls for ten plus years, in no small part because his daughter Amanda is a Captain in the US Army who served two tours of duty in Baghdad.

    Just sayin'

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  7. DPW? Seriously? How about GROWING the PARTY in a STATE that badly needs MORE Democratic and democratic leadership and participation. Shortsighted Indeed. And how about some Voter Registration drives? Those grow the Party too. Political Party or clique?

  8. Personally, I’m only giving money to Democrats who are actual Democrats-on a case by case basis. Ron Kind gets nothing from me, nor does the DPW get funds from me to spend as they see fit. They have demonstrated that they can’t be trusted to do that.