Thursday, May 31, 2018

8 Things To Look For At WisDems Convention

By Jeff Simpson

This weekend is the Wisconsin Democratic Convention, in this important election year, there are many storylines that need to be followed. 

The senior producer for WisconsinEye, came up with 6 questions that the Democrats need to answer, to see if the Democrats can have a successful election season.

The problem is there are actual real questions to be asked.   Let's take a look.

1.   Have the wounds of 2016 healed? 
We all know that there are two Democratic parties in Wisconsin, the one that supported Hillary for President and the one that supported Bernie. 
Many party insiders jumped on the HRC express early on, and many people who supported Bernie were grassroots members on the ground who do not belong to the party. 
Both sides need each other but I have not personally seen anything that says the wounds have healed.   Team HRC think they are the star bellied sneetches, and paying their $25 makes them part of a private club that automatically knows more about politics than anyone in the state.   Team Bernie, has no trust of the members of Team HRC thus no trust of the Dem party.  They can totally overblow the riff and have trouble distinguishing between full blown support for HRC and those who voted for her in Nov as the lesser of two evils.
Neither side can win alone.  So it is important that a leader steps up to bridge the gap and pull these two sides together.

2.  What is the number one priority - Being a member of an exclusive club or being part of the party in charge? 

With just over 1000 total members, and many less attending the convention this weekend will the convention be portrayed as the pulse of what is happening in WI or will it people more accurately understand that this is a nice weekend for free publicity and a way to introduce ourselves to people of WI and the unofficial kick off of election season.

Will Mike McCabe and his supporters be treated as lepers because he did not pay the $25?  Will Kelda be treated as royalty because this closed group is her people?  Will Mahlon getting endorsed by AFSCME propel him to the top or hurt him the way it did Kathleen Falk? Will Matt Flynn's role as lawyer for the Catholic church be resurrected yet again?  Will Kathleen Falk get the cold shoulder from the party faithful that she has always gotten?  Has Andy Gronik changed his position on public education from one that Scott Jensen would be proud of, to one that could get him elected as a Democrat?  Will anyone know who Dana Wachs is?   Does Paul Soglin even know or care that there is a Democratic Convention this weekend?  Will Josh Pade wear his name tag at all times and a very bright colored tie so people can see him? 

3.  With Ten Candidates for Governor Speaking, who will emerge and how? 

This is a very important question.  Everyone has their favorite(s) and every candidate appeals to different subsections of voters.  As stated earlier, a couple hundred loyal party members will have a straw poll and that will show who the hard core party members favor.  Nothing else.

It will take about 1.3 million votes, throughout the state of WI, to beat Scott Walker.   It is vitally important that every candidate, and every candidates supporters, feel that they have gotten a fair chance so they will get behind, whatever candidate comes through the August Primary. 

As we get closer to the primary, the dirty tricks(which have already started) will get more and more and more intense.  My recommendation is, before you start with some faux outrage towards a candidate, spreading a rumour or a whisper campaign against someone, ask your
self if you would like the same things said about the candidate you support.

4.  The Year of the Women.

There have been a very high number of women filing to run for office, and two running for Governor.  We have never had a female Governor before in WI and we are desperately in need of more diversity within our legislature.   I look very much forward to brand new faces being sworn in to office, January 2019. 

What are we doing to promote the diversity?  My suggestion would be to get a group picture of every single Democrat on the August 14th ballot as a Democrat up and down the state.  Show the diversity and the amount of women we are welcoming to our party.   Then I would challenge the GOP to do the same, knowing there is no real diversity on their side. 

5.   Up and Down The Ballot.

While it is imperative that we change faces in the Governor's office, it is just as imperative that we pick up enough seats to make a difference within the Senate and Assembly.   We have to treat every single race as winnable and we have to treat every single seat of the utmost importance.

That starts with Martha Laning this weekend and ends with the last voter to the polls at 8pm on November 6th.  Every vote matters in every single race.   What are the plans to reach them, and make our presence known all over WI? 

I would highly recommend that the ADCC and the SSDC, stay as far away from candidates in close elections as humanly possible.   I would also recommend showing up at events, working your free social media hard(use your social media not only to push your campaign but to be a community resource), get letters to the editor in your local paper.  When you do doors, scrap the VAN and just go talk to people.   

6.  Will the Media Continue as Stenographers for the GOP?

One of the questions that Steven Walters asks is "Will Democrats justify GOP's "angry,haters" label.  The problem with that question is that nothing justifies repeating that ridiculous claim by Scott Walker.   Yet the media repeats it over and over, while ignoring reality.   Scott Walker headlined a white power conference in Florida, his son stole a state van and there is over a billion dollar structural deficit coming and yet he has never been asked anything about any of this. 

When the GOP refuse comment, then put out a press release, and the press runs it, they are just an arm of the GOP public relations campaign.   If they continue to be at the behest of the WISGOP then what are the plans of the Dems to reach the public?

My recommendation is to have people pick different reporters and follow them on facebook and twitter, and everytime they write an article that is not fair, balanced or truthful, call them out on social media.  It is called "working the refs" the WISGOP have been doing it so long that it is second nature to them, while the WISDEMS just complain to each other. 

7.  What About Scott Walker? 
The easy thing to say is "we can not just be against Scott Walker, we have to be for something."   The reality is we have to be both.  The Burke campaign, while run as badly as the Hillary campaign in WI, was never against Scott Walker and rarely actually for anything.   

America is on the verge of a Blue Wave (tm), Wisconsin has serious Scott Walker fatigue and desperately want to move on.  Scott Walker, will have a blank check, to rewrite history and tell us all of the amazing things he thinks he has been doing. 

It is important to point out what a failure he has been, and how we will do things differently.  With a billion dollar structural deficit, each budget larger than the last, and record setting borrowing any idea/policy the Democrats have will be spending less money than the GOP have. 

My suggestion, do not secede ANY issue to Scott Walker.  He has not been successful in any area or any issue since he has been Governor. 
* He added more money to education, yet it is still not even close to what he cut and we are sharing the smaller pie with voucher schools. 
*  Unemployment is low, yet wages are down, and he still has not accomplished his 250,000 job promise.  We have a serious brain drain, with our young college graduates leaving town after graduation and to counter that he is spending millions advertising on high speed rail in Chicago to get people to move back here. 
You get the idea. 

Another thing is we need to stop caring who and where voted for Trump.  Trump came to WI and really played up his outsider status.  The actual economy is not doing very well for people all over WI.    There is no way that the career politician who has presided over WI for so long should receive their votes! 

8. Money Changes Everything. 

Breaking news:  Scott Walker and the WISGOP are going to be much more well funded than the Democrats.   Hell, America's Pac has probably already spent more on ads for Kevin Nicholson than the Dem candidate for Governor will raise. 

That being said stop obsessing over money.  We start out losing the money game, so when we look at the worth of a candidate strictly by dollar signs, we are setting ourselves up for failure. 

Work hard, be aggressive, kick ass, be personable, talk to everyone.....the money will come.

1 comment:

  1. I heard a lot of talk about health care, broadband, education and other value-based language. Other than Gwen Moore and a few mentions from Mark Pocan, I almost never heard the name "Trump."

    McCabe was treated fine (his fans are quite...enthusiastic), Flynn got booed by some for defending pedophile priests. Most of the speeches for Guv candidates were good.

    Roys is definitely in the race, and there's a lot more to her candidacy beyond "I'm a woman and it's our time." She had great, issues-based stuff and is a much better communicator and people-meeter than the mushy candidates Dems have previously put against Walker. She just needs to put away the white suffragette suit and be Kelda Roys.

    Wachs helped himself, and has gained a personality to match his endorsements and campaign staff. Evers is still doing OK, and Mitchell and Gronik have their respective constituencies, while we will see if McCabe or Vinehout can get a bigger share of the voter type that they seem to share.

    Soglin got 1 VOTE in the straw poll. It's time for his 70-something self to enjoy retirement.