Thursday, June 4, 2015

DPMC's Delegate Debacle

A few weeks ago, I called attention to some of the shenanigans that were being pulled by Jason Rae's team.  I followed this up with my concerns about how the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County (DPMC) would be figuring out who were delegates to the state convention and who would be assigned as alternatives:
If the number of applicants is equal or less than the number of delegate seats allowed, there is no problem. All applicants should get a seat.

However, if the number of applicants exceed the number of allowed delegates, then the party officers decide who gets to be a delegate and who is slotted as a reserve delegate.  The problem with this is that it is rather arbitrary.

County party officials are supposed to make their decisions based on who is the most active and who are the strongest supporters of the Party - a rather subjective basis that gives short shrift to the grassroot activists in favor of the establishment members.

This is even more disconcerting when one considers that in places like Milwaukee County, party officials like Marlene Ott have come out in full support of Jason Rae.  Given the personalities of many of these officials, it is not a great leap of logic to believe that they would favor Rae supporters over others.  Or in other words, one would have to pass their purity test.
Our friend DFL did an analysis of the chair election and found that the deck was indeed stacked heavily in favor of Rae.

As we drew closer to the convention, Team Rae has become nastier and nastier, doing their best to alienate the very people that Rae is going to need if he wins the chair.

Team Rae scoffed at those of us who expressed concern about the delegate selection process as conspiracy nuts and worse.  Unfortunately, the original list of delegates and alternatives only seemed to confirm our fears to be well-founded.  Among the concerns that were found were things like these:

  • People assigned as delegates/alternatives without confirmation of where they were living.
  • People assigned as delegates/alternatives even though they were never members or had allowed their memberships to lapse - some for several years.
  • Contrary to what people were told, the level of activity appeared to be a non-factor in the decision making, unless one counts endorsing Rae as an activity.
  • People who had been told months ago that they were delegates were bumped down to alternative status. And yes, most, if not all, of these people supported a candidate other than Rae.
What I found to be particularly egregious was that while they made sure that their friends and relatives were delegates - whether they were qualified or not - they made someone as prestigious as Vel Phillips as an alternative.

Well, lo and behold, the DPW's Constitution and Bylaws Committee found Milwaukee County had in fact violated the bylaws. Some corrections were made, such as Ms Phillips being made into a delegate.  Seven non-dues paying members were taken off the list. Ten people who got bumped from their delegate status will be the first put back at the convention.  It should be noted that a judge will be making these decisions. DPMC Chair Marlene Ott and other officers have been removed from the process.

However, much of the damage to the chair election process had been done and can't be undone.  Rae stills holds a large advantage due to these shenanigans.  

But here's the real kicker - Rae was the Chair of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee until he stepped down to run for the DPW Chair.  Don't you think he would have made sure that his own county party knew the rules before this became an issue?  Or maybe he didn't want them to know...

So much for the establishment's argument that you have to be with the party a long time to know how it works.

Either way, if Rae couldn't or wouldn't make sure his county did the right thing in an area of his expertise, how will he be able to handle all the aspects of the entire state party?

On a final note, if the establishment's manipulations and delegate rigging is successful, will they put an asterisk after Rae's name?