Even though I support the DPW platform and find the values therein closely aligned to my own values, I am not a member of the party. I just cannot bring myself to join a party that not only tolerates but gives accolades to people like Boss Abele, who has done more to weaken and undermine the party than all of WISGOP. And since I'm not a card-carrying Dem, I obviously won't be going to the convention. (Besides, I'm not keen of giving the establishment Dems a chance to put a real knife in my back.)
I also cannot say that I was overly enthused with any of the candidates for the chair. While each candidate has their own strengths, they also each have areas that give me pause if not ruling themselves out completely.
That said, I have had several people ask for my input, so here it is.
I looked at each of the candidates on where they stood on the issues that are important to not only me but for the state as a whole. I looked at their positions on education, women's rights and, of course, workers' rights. I also looked at what they had to say about the direction the party has been going and what they would do about it.
Not only did I look at what they had to say but what they had already done about these things. More importantly, I looked at whether their actions jived with their stated positions. I didn't want to see another Mike Tate who said one thing but did another.
I also looked at who would be best able to - and willing to - break the stranglehold that corporate Dems like Boss Abele had on the party. I wanted to know which candidate or candidates were going to put the platform before Abele's pocketbook.
Finally, I considered each candidates overall approach. Were they asking for support or were the offering it? Were they worried about reaching out to people or just reaching into their wallets?
I then looked at the second candidite on each ticket (whare there was one), using the same guidelines.
The slate that I found that best matched these standards was the team of Martha Laning and David Bowen. Laning, like many of us, had felt disenfranchised from the party. However, instead of idly grousing, Laning took direct action and to be the change she wanted to be see. Laning also has the fundraising skills needed to take the party back from Abele and put it - and Wisconsin - back on a winning track.
Bowen, with whom I was familiar from his days as a Milwaukee County Supervisor, is a proven defender of our schools and a champion of workers' rights and a living wage.
So, after careful consideration, I am endorsing the Laning - Bowen ticket to be the DPW chair and first vice-chair.
After all, if there is to be a real change from the status quo, there needs to be real agents of change. Martha Laning and David Bowen are those agents.
If my opinion alone is not enough for the gentle reader to make their decision - and really, it shouldn't be enough - I would suggest checking out the endorsement by Zach Wisniewski at Blogging Blue.