Democrats need to spend more time cultivating future leaders in the legislature and less time turning the place over to retreads like Peter Barca, Fred Kessler, Jim Holperin, and Tim Cullen. Now Joe Wineke may well be on his way back, which would be a huge benefit to the rudderless ship that is the Assembly Democratic caucus but again fills the need for real leadership with old blood instead of new blood. And no, whiners and screamers like Kelda Helen Roys, Gordon Hintz, and Chris Larson are not leadership, any more than Tom Nelson holding sleepovers in the Assembly chamber was leadership.
While I disagree with the Recess Supervisor putting Sen. Chris Larson in the “whiners and screamers” category, I do think his larger point bears discussing.
So do Democrats in Wisconsin’s legislature need to work on deepening their bench?
While I don’t profess to be an expert on the inner workings of the Democratic caucuses in the Assembly/Senate or the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, it would seem to me that there needs to be more of a concerted effort to move away from supporting “safe,” “electable” candidates (i.e. candidates who can essentially self-fund their campaigns) and move towards recruiting the kinds of candidates for elected office who can actually connect with the voters they hope to represent. While I understand money is unfortunately an important part of any credible campaign for elected office, I’m firmly convinced that with the right candidate, money will come – with Democratic State Senate candidate Lori Compas as a perfect example. Throughout her effort to gather signatures to recall Republican State Sen. Scott Fitzgerald – and then as her campaign began – Compas found herself lacking the formal support of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Sure, she was able to raise money largely on her own, but Lori Compas strikes me as exactly the kind of person Democrats need to be supporting as much as possible, rather than holding her at arm’s length.
So again, what do you think? Do Democrats in Wisconsin’s legislature (and in more general terms) need to work on deepening their bench? If so, how do you think they do it?