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.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.
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.
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.