Sunday, April 23, 2017


Two years ago, former DPW Chair Mike Tate did the best thing he could ever have done for the party....he decided not to run for reelection.  Tate saw the writing on the wall.  After years of failure, losing control of every aspect of the state government, people wanted a change.

So Tate slunk off to become Boss Abele's personal toady while the party's future was up for grabs between Tate's hand-chosen successor, Jason Rae, and outsider, Martha Laning.  The people voted for the only chance for change and elected Laning to be the new chair.

Unfortunately, everyone's hopes were dashed when Laning proved herself to be no better than Tate.  To be fair, Tate had sabotaged the party so much that it was going to get worse before it got better.  But the only positive move that Laning has taken in the past two years was the hiring of Jason Sidener to be the political director.

Which leads us to this year.

Another election is coming up.  Laning and her vice-chair, David Bowen, are running for reelection.  While Laning has been a disappointment, Bowen has continued to show the strong leadership that we have come to expect from him,   The second vice-chair, Jeff Christensen, has chosen not to seek reelection.

Opposing the incumbents is the ticket of BAM -  Bryan Kennedy for chair, Amanda Stuck for Vice Chair and Mandela Barnes for Second Vice Chair,

Bryan is the mayor of Glendale and is a good union man, having been president of the AFT..  He is fairly progressive in his attitudes and, more importantly, his actions match his words when it comes to these policies and attitudes.  He also has great organizing skills and a plan on how to make the DPW much more effective and to actually gain some seats.

Amanda Stuck is the State Representative from Appleton (yes, Appleton!).  I had the chance to briefly to briefly talk with her and I am very, very impressed.

First, she is not afraid to speak truth to power, such as when she called on Scott Walker to apologize for insulting single moms.
Stuck really won me over when she called out the Republicans for their most recent attack on Labor (emphasis mine):
Democrats spoke at length against the measure. Rep. Amanda Stuck, D-Appleton, said the bill will lead to lower wages for workers and lower-quality work on public projects.

Stuck said Republican lawmakers with "soft hands and round bellies" voting in favor of the bill could not do the work her husband, a steelworker journeyman, does.
She told me last night that she is frustrated at how the Party has being useless at best and a hindrance at worst for candidates.  She said that the Party needs to stop treating candidates with contempt in order to grow the base (I would add that this would help in building the bench as well).  She is disappointed that so many people have a negative image of the party but she understands why they do and wants to fix that.  She said that she is tired of having people's rights trampled because the Party can't get their act together enough to even offer resistance.

The ticket's candidate for Second Vice-Chair is Mandela Barnes, a former state representative from Milwaukee.  I've known Mandela for years and can fully attest to his positions on every issue that are important to progressives, from racial and gender equality to workers rights.  Barnes was the guy that got kicked out of Walker's presidential bid announcement when he declined to be the token African American on stage.  He also is not afraid of taking on the establishment as evidence when he went up against Boss Abele's favorite senator, the sellout Lena Taylor.  In fact, it was when Barnes announced his candidacy that I had reversed my decision to stay out of this race.

Needless to say, I feel very strongly about endorsing the BAM ticket for this upcoming election to lead DPW out of the political wilderness.  So much so that I did something that I never ever thought I would do - I actually joined the party to make sure that my voice was heard from the inside as well as out and would not be so easily dismissed by the Establishment Democrats.

I urge my fellow Democrats who are hungry for a change to join me in supporting Bryan Kennedy, Amanda Stuck and Mandela Barnes to lead our party out the miasma it is currently in.


  1. I intend to run against Grothman for the 6th district for Congress. I need the help of all Progressives. I feel the Dems are NOT impressed with my Candidacy. Please, if you would like to see a true Progressive challenge this awful man, help me.

  2. Heard Brian and Amanda speak at the 6th CD convention today. They sounded good and went after Laning hard who herself gave an animated speech about fundraising and hiring of new directors - not much about last fall's losses.
    However, since mentioning BAM Im getting some negative feedback about them. Any comments?

  3. My guess is the negative comments come from one of two groups. One would be the perfectionists that would find fault with Christ Himself if he ran for a seat. The other would be the establishment dems who are probably feeling very scared and very threatened by now.

  4. What are the reasons.

    I heard cheering for Laning last time-and against her this time.

    I went to the debate with the 4 of them and spoke with 3 of them after. Laning and Brain Kennedy seemed the best 2.

    I see little in specifics. What reasons or issues mark a difference in them?

    Sorry if this involves going back over old links but I'd like to see the details of the case to be made for or against.