Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wisconsin's DPW Chair Race and Controversy

I would like to share with all of you two of the single most insightful items I have found so far which tell you basically all you need to know about the race in Wisconsin for the very important position of Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.  The first is an article which is being run by multiple blogs and internet media sources.  The second is a comment to that posting which is equally well researched, insightful and a must read.


May 27, 2015 at 10:22 pm
There’s an element of the DPW that would rather control a losing party than share power in a winning coalition. You can see that in the online posts and comments saying that “we’ll never change the stupid rural voters’ minds, so to h*** with them”. You can see it in the efforts by the Dane County party to take over the DPW Rural Caucus at the upcoming convention. You can see it in the veiled threats that the winner in the DPW Chair’s race will retaliate against those who voted against him (the ballots are not secret, people, and I’ve heard that anyone who votes the “wrong way” has no future in the party).
Thad Nation has donated lots of money personally, all of it to Democratic causes (according to state records), which makes him look like a good guy. The problem is that he heads various astroturf nonprofits which funnel money to far right / Koch organizations. Rae is associate director of one of these, “Wired Wisconsin”, (…/) which advocates against competition in broadband. In the year Rae was appointed associate director of Wired Wisconsin (Midwest Consumers for Choice and Competition), the “nonprofit” donated $190,000 to “60 Plus Association”, a member of the Koch family of organizations ( and $60,000 to the Discovery Institute (the “intelligent design” people). All of this can be seen in the 2010 IRS filing –…/26-3476004_990O_201012.pdf
Rae can scream all he wants to about how his politics are perfect, that he’s being smeared, and that he “won’t tolerate these kinds of attacks on Democrats”. But the IRS filings don’t lie. And Thad Nation’s assertions that they don’t give right wing organization work to Jason contradicts the press release from Wired Wisconsin itself.
Rae could win this election. But if he’s elected, I think that there will be a counter-revolution from the grassroots – and the bylaws will be changed so this doesn’t happen again. Of course, we’ll still lose one more election in the meantime (2016), and who knows what additional damage the republicans will do.
On the optimistic side – There are over 2300 delegates expected (only had 800 last year for an election year – why ? – for the chair’s election). People are organizing buses from across the state, and housing for those how can’t afford the hotel. Both Jeff Smith and Martha Laning have vowed that they will not, under any circumstances, violate the secrecy of the ballots. And Laning has stopped efforts by other county parties to screen their delegates – I’ve heard her say that she won’t play those kind of games to win

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