By Jeff Simpson
This weekend is the Wisconsin Democratic Convention and there is a race for chair. The race is between incumbent Mike Tate and challenger Joe Kallas. There is also a race going on for 2nd chair between Jeff Christensen and Jamie Shiner. Apparently there are not enough chairs to go around in our state so they have to fight over the 2nd one. (edit note: Full disclosure I know Mike Tate and Jeff C and only know Joe Kallas and Jamie Shiner via Facebook).
This endorsement is mine, and only reflects what I think, not @cog_dis as Capper is perfectly capable of giving us his own endorsement. Also, this is the only place where my endorsement will matter, since I did not "sign up as a delegate", I would now be voiceless at the Dem Convention(were I attending). (edit note take 2 - the fact that only "delegates" can vote is a ridiculous rule and needs to be changed. Any paid member at the Dem convention should be able to cast a ballot. Period! Its hard to have as a position on your platform, protecting the voting rights for all when internally we set up barriers that would make robin vos proud).
In Mike Tate's career, the democratic party(for various reasons) has lost control of all three branches of Government and then in the last election, lose them even further. While this is not all Mike Tate's fault, he was the one in charge. Now he has a vague but promising 72 county strategy(I need more information and guarantees) and a billboard.
Joe Kallas is someone who has been involved in the party from all angles including having run as a candidate(against Tax Avoiding Tom Petri) yet he seems sincere about focusing on the grass roots and breaking down the barriers that the party has set that discourages outsiders from getting to close to the inside(like the secrecy on Mike Tate's pay and forcing a potential candidate to travel the state However his inexperience as party chair and the turmoil a tate loss would throw the whole party in.
Add that to the fact that the Democrats have been non existent in messaging since the Graeme Zielinski fiasco, the disgusting votes by ten members of the democratic caucus for AB 110, the lack of any comprehensive plan(long term or short term), no relevance in Government despite massive vote totals that show our state is a center left state, while we enact extremist right wing zealot policies, a subservient media to the right wing, internal strife, and as of printing this no candidate for Governor and most 2014 seats.
I also feel that this is the election cycle to make a mark(despite the unethical redistricting), we have an extremist group of semi religious, bitter and unethical group of republicans, who have not only broken every promise, but also tragically and epically failed at them. We have a Governor who has a very bad relationship with the truth and his economic record puts WI in the lower 40's(out of 50).
Our friends on the right have pushed an abortion agenda so extreme that it goes beyond planned parenthoods! They have been so unethical in how they passed their dismantling of education bill, that they had to do it in the middle of the night. The fact that they handed northern WI to Gogebic Taconite with no strings attached and diminished DNR strength, They also are attempting to cut out the Center for Investigative Journalism, unconstitutionally cracked down on free speech, and have borrowed and spent us into a huge structural deficit, and enacted a devastating pay cut on hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites. And much much more to list.
With the opposition being so incredibly untalented and just plain bad, how can we not win?
Well part of it is that Peter Barca, Chris larson and Mike Tate are not all on the same page and as a party we cant go forward when someone is going solo. We cant win, when elder members of the party are telling younger members of the party, to calm down and do not be so strong willed and aggressive. We can not win when we spend more time and research on our own candidates then we do the opposition.
I do not see anything changing regardless of whoever wins this weekend.
For that reason, my recommendation is to vote
Let them know that you are sick of the games, sick of the cowardice, sick of the letting the right wing decide our tactics, let them know that there is truly a sense of urgency and it is NOW time to embrace the grassroots and the base and give Wisconsinites what they want - a Statehouse full of sane, bipartisan, intelligent, ethical, mature men and women.
If I were allowed a ballot(and I am not) my vote would most definitly be the write in candidate :
let them know there is still time to earn it back but make sure they hear you that the same losing techniques will no longer be tolerated!
Then let's build our party up from the grassroots!