Thursday, May 7, 2015

Democratic Party Games

The Republican Party of Wisconsin has a long history of being a machine.  In 2006, party leaders (read: the establishment) decided that Mark Green should be their gubernatorial candidate.  Scott Walker, who was making his first run for governor, quickly got the point (although he said that God told him not to run) and dropped out of the race before making more of a fool of himself.

In 2010, Walker became the Republican establishment's chosen one.  So much so that Reince Priebus, then head of WISGOP, was giving Walker warnings on what the other Republican candidate, Mark Neumann, was planning on doing.  It got so bad that they even kept Neumann's supporters from entering the state convention that year.

Sad to say, this is not a partisan occurrence.

After six dismal years of Mike Tate's lack of leadership, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin finally has a chance to pull out of their downward spiral by electing a new chair.  Sadly, things have quickly turned as ugly as a Republican convention.

At first, it looked like that Tate's hand-picked heir apparent, Jason Rae, was going to walk away with the race.  Rae is obviously the establishment candidate and has picked up most of the establishment endorsements.

But when Martha Laning announced that she was running, things changed.  Laning picked up the endorsements from people like State Senator Kathleen Vinehout and former state legislator Sandy Pasch.  Laning also seems to have picked up a number of union endorsements, including AFSCME.

Dominique Paul Noth covers the race and points out the issues with Rae's candidacy better than most could:
The leader, though, in terms of inside endorsements is young Jason Rae who has groomed party connections for years and has close ties to influential PR team Nathan Consulting. He is a member and advocate for  the LBGT community (which also supports other candidates) and  according to rumor has strong ties to well-heeled sources like Chris Abele (who has officially stayed out of this). Rae has earned the backing of David Obey, Penny Bernard Schaber (with whom he’s running) and many other well-known Democratic names.

On the negative side, his supporters have gone on the attack against opponents in personal and disturbing terms on social media, where the party needs to go to attract new blood to its operations.  It has upset many traditional funders  of the party who told me they are flat disgusted with the tone of the attack – and rightly or wrongly are blaming Rae.  Perhaps to counter that he has used his future husband to promote his candidacy, almost as if daring anyone  who attacks him to realize they are attacking a gay leader (something I frankly had not even thought of till I got the newsletter using his logo from his significant other).

His supporters (I don’t want to blame him without evidence) have made their main target a woman new to  many in the party, where Rae has been an activist for years. Yet in short order Martha Laning  has earned endorsement from many union groups, progressive leaders such as Kathleen Vinehout and Sandy Pasch (and Rep. David Bowen, who is partnering with her)  and certainly from the groups that are encouraging strong progressive Democratic women to seek office (2016 looks like a good year for that, doesn’t it?).


Rae’s supporters are attacking Laning for what I regard as trivialities. Like almost everyone who votes Democratic in the state she has only been a formal member of the party for  a few years.  Anyone who runs for office under the party label must join, which she did in a senate race in 2014, but I can name several long-term party members I wouldn’t vote for even if  they were running against Scarface.  It’s what a person stands for, and how they will stand, it’s what you glean from  lifelong principles that should count, not ridiculous opposition research twisting partial statements from years ago, which I detest  when either party does this.
Indeed, Laning's sudden surge was enough to make Rae's camp nervous and made them pull some deplorable stunts. A prime example of this, and of the points made my Noth, can be exemplified by this poorly written  post that appeared on Political Heat.  While that post is heavy on grammatical errors, it makes up for it by being amazingly fact free.  The arguments made had already been debunked, if the author had taken a minute to do some research instead of regurgitating Team Abele/Rae/Tate's talking points.

I have not made up my mind on who I like yet, mostly due to other issues pressing on my time and attention, and I make no apologies for it.

That said, I do have to agree with MAL Conteds, who referred to Rae as the Karl Rove of the DPW and said:
If Wisconsin Democrats elect Jason Rae, progressives in Wisconsin should be ready to bash these idiots on all fronts.
Then again, if the gentle reader is happy with the continuous losses to the Republicans, or even worse, the backing of more corporate Dems who are just as bad, if not worse than the Republicans, then Rae just might be the one you want.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Dom Noth wrote: "...Jason Rae who has groomed party connections for years and has close ties to influential PR team Nathan Consulting."

    Close ties?

    Jason Rae is a Senior Associate at Nation Consulting.

    DPW members thought that it was a direct conflict of interest when Joe Wineke was a paid lobbyist for ATT while serving as DPW chair.

    Nation Consulting employs Jason Rae. Jason Rae is running for DPW chair. Nation does consulting work for the DPW and Democratic candidates.

    Connect those dots Appearance of or direct conflict of interest?

    1. ATT's interests are not DPW's interests, hence the conflict. Nation, as a consultant for the DPW and its candidates, serves the DPW's interests. So there is a difference. But if Rae keeps both jobs, he would be in the position of both paymaster and one of the payees... and that would be a direct conflict of financial interest.

    2. I don't know why everyone calls Thad Nation and Nation Consulting "Democratic". Look up the IRS 990's for the astroturf "nonprofits" Clean Responsible Energy for Wisconsin's Economy (pro-nuclear), Coalition for the New Economy (pro-big telecom) or Mobile Consumers for Choice and Competition dba Wired Wisconsin (among aliases, pro-big telecom, anti-municipal broadband). Here's the 2012 990 for CNE:

      (If the link doesn't work just get onto and search for Coalition for the New Economy)

      Note that Thad Nation is the Executive Director and the only paid officer. Note the additional payment of $104K to Nation Consulting. Note the organizations CNE donates to: National Taxpayers Union, Center for Individual Freedom, Americans for Prosperity, Freedomworks, Taxpayer Protection Alliance, 60 Plus Association (another Koch puppet).

      And we call Thad Nation a "Democrat" and Nation Consulting is somehow a Dem consulting firm?

  3. Thanks for the shout out Charles
    I look forward to seeing you at convention in June when it's time to vote.

    1. Now, why would I join a Party that doesn't support the people or its own platform?

    2. Oh, and when can we expect a correction on your woeful post?

    3. Who is this "Charles" person of whom you speak? The blog belongs to a "Chris".

  4. "The Republican Party of Wisconsin has a long history of being a machine. In 2006, party leaders (read: the establishment) decided that Mark Green should be their gubernatorial candidate."

    And in 2012 the Democratic party establishment decided Mary Burke would be its nominee. Are you sure you want to go there, Cap?

    1. "And in 2012 the Democratic party establishment decided Mary Burke would be its nominee."

      That is true. Go there if you wish.
      Nothing to debate.

  5. Waaa-aska seems to have a diminished ability to read and comprehend what he's reading... Amazing how silly the man is...yet supposedly a "wit'. After he was shit canned by the Isthmus, his fawning fans at MeadeHouse actually said: "Blaska's a terrific blogger, but it was obvious that the lefty readers of our left-leaning newspaper's website couldn't handle a sharp point of view humorously challenging their pat opinions". I wonder how he could be described as such when he can't understand what he's reading, as in this case where "pat opinions" are being challenged by liberals themselves? Also, he's never been humorous. Snarky in the way that adolescent B girls are while victimizing the unpopular girls at the 9th grade dance, maybe...

    1. WHAAAA-ska is paid to troll, existing to distract and dumb down debate.

      Mr. Triple-Dipper isn't paid to be sensible or talented. Which is good, because he is neither.

    2. He also has a rather generous pair of man-boobs. it makes a old guy angry when he himself having to shopping for a brassiere. This causes him to want rain on everyone's parade. Sad thing to see. On the bright side, I'm sure that in the case of Blaska, "the big one" is right around the corner. There is ample proof in the annals of cardiology, that angry men eventually die of their anger.

    3. Good thing you aren't angry, right?

  6. Or then Senate Democrat(ic) leader Chris Larson, D-Milw, air-dropping into SW Wis a party functionary named Patrick Bomhack as the chosen one instead of longtime resident Ernie Wittwer. Said Mrs. Wittwer:

    It was time for the Senate leadership to take control. And, that [Larson] did. He came up with a primary opponent … who had a PO Box and rented a room in the district for a little over three years. He was mentored by and worked a bit over a year for a U.S. senator who barely remembers him. He was a law clerk of questionable merit for a Republican judge. He has a law degree but has never practiced law. Aside from his university years, he lived his life in urban Waukesha, graduating from a private high school.

    Senate boss Larson and Democrat(ic) Party boss Mike Tate had the statewide convention endorse Bomhack while Wittwer was a non-person, his name never spoken from the podium or seen on political signage. The teachers and the government employees unions were directed to endorse Bomhack.

    “To add insult to injury,” Rita Wittwer tells, “we found out … that the list of supporters that we fought so hard to get was given to the chosen one [Bomhack] without our permission. How special is that?”

    This was the seat that pseudo-Republican Dale Schultz was relinquishing because he could not get re-elected. Like British Labour socialist Ed Miliband this week, Chris Larson resigned after last November's election debacle.

  7. Larson lost his leadership position for that gaffe, while reince was promoted to head of the national party(while stabbing his buddy Michael Steele in the back.

    Schultz would have won over the loom Marklein hands down, but he didnt see a reason to head back to the Capitol while the rest of his party(sans Olsen) was so far extreme he didnt rescognize them as republicans.

    1. No, Dale Schultz quit shortly after Howard Marklein challenged him. Dale knew he could not win — not as a Republican, not as a Democrat, not as in independent. Schultz endorsed Bomhack (a Democrat) but that didn't transfer, either.

      What "gaffe" did Preibus commit? ("Gaffe" btw: describes an unfortunate slip of the tongue. Larson's top-down diktat is more on the order of Boss Tweed or Mayor Daley, who were also Dem bosses.)

    2. Must be true if you say it,Waaaska

    3. Otherwise, you would contradict it if you could, coward.

    4. Dale schultz quit because there was no place for him in the party anymore. Moderates are attacked and ridiculed. It is far far far right wing zealots or nothing.

      Sorry for your reading comprehension but it wasnt Reince with teh gaffe it was larson. Reince is usually too busy voter caging to make gaffe's>

  8. Dale could have run as an independent or a Democrat; it's been done before. But he did not because he could not get elected as anything — not even with the advantage of incumbency.

    Finally, you are in no position to lecture anyone on reading comprehension. Not when you keep abusing the language. "Gaffe" is defined as "a social blunder, faux pas." That does not describe Chris Larson's attempt at Boss Daley machine politics.