Over at The Apollo Report, Aaron Camp opines that the one Democratic challenger incumbent Gov. Scott Walker should be afraid of is Lori Compas.

Her name is Lori Compas. She’s a wife, a mother of two, a small business owner, the executive director of a progressive business organization, and a progressive-minded Democrat.

Currently, Wisconsin Democrats are divided over what kind of candidate they should run against incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker in 2014. Some prominent Wisconsin Democrats are in the mindset that Democrats can no longer win statewide races by relying primarily on support by labor unions, which is the mindset of those who support potential gubernatorial candidates like Madison School Board Member Mary Burke. Other prominent Wisconsin Democrats are of the mindset that one must tie themselves to organized labor in order to fire up the Democratic base in Wisconsin, which is the mindset of those who support potential gubernatorial candidates like Wisconsin State Assemblywoman Chris Taylor.

Judging by her first (unsuccessful) run for public office, as well as some of the things she’s said as the executive director of her business organization, Lori Compas, if she were to run for governor, wouldn’t fit either of those mindsets. Compas’s political philosophy seems to be based on the idea of selling progressive ideals to a broad coalition of voters.

While I’m a huge fan of Lori Compas, I simply don’t see her being able to raise the kinds of money necessary to run a viable statewide campaign against Scott Walker. What’s more, I’m not convinced Compas wants to run a statewide campaign in 2014, given what a massive undertaking a statewide campaign is.

Having said all that, I think Lori Compas has a bright future – whether in politics or not – and I’d certainly welcome her perspective as Democrats try to find a candidate who will be able to beat Scott Walker in 2014.

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24 Responses to The Democratic challenger that Scott Walker should be afraid of?

  1. Duane12 says:

    I $upported Ms. Compas’ challenge of the GOP Senate leader in the recall election, but I believe there is an equal, if not superior candidate for governor in 2014.

    Her name is Katheen Vinehout and is my state senator. She is a former college teacher, farmer, and holds a masters and doctorate in the health field as stated at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Vinehout

    I have been impressed by her alternate budgets and her many detailed analyses and exposes of the Walker/GOP flawed policies, programs, and practices.

    Here is one of Senator Vinehout’s latest works:

    • Paul says:

      I think Vinehout is a smart woman and like the idea of a candidate from outside Madison and Milwaukee, but I really think she needs more polish. When I saw her speak publicly she came across as rough around the edges in a way that would not go over well in a debate with Walker. Maybe she was just having a bad night, maybe I was wrong but it does have me worried in the same way I worry about Compas

      • Duane12 says:

        I agree with you that Senator Vinehout is a political novice and relatively new to public speaking compared to a mud slinging, lifelong lying, con artist and professional deceiver such as Walker. I find her passion and honesty and energy and logic and moral outrage refreshing. That should be more than enough to meet and beat the most incompetent governor in the history of Wisconsin.

      • Sen. Vinehout has cast a number of votes that give me cause for concern. In 2008 Sen. Vinehout sided with anti-abortion Republicans in voting against a bill that required pharmacists to fill birth control prescriptions, and she also voted for concealed carry here in Wisconsin. If memory serves me, she also voted for the Castle Doctrine here in Wisconsin.

  2. anon says:

    Lori is not ready for prime-time. She fell-on-her-face in her only chance to debate fitzgerald, not her fault — she is not a politician.

    It would be a disaster to run compas — she was convincingly defeated in her district — she is not going to generate more support across state. She’s a nice lady and could probably work herself into a strong position to be a good politician.

    But she hasn’t, isn’t likely to, and has not done anything to earn the credentials to run for governor.

    • Rich says:

      To say she was convincingly defeated in the recall election is only telling half the story. In one of the reddest districts in the state, she performed better than the democratic challenger from the previous general election.

  3. Jack Craver says:

    Who do you think should run, Zach? (Sorry if you’ve already discussed this in a previous post)

    What do you make of this talk of Mary Burke –– Madison school board member and philanthropist — running?

    Anybody else is free to chime in … interested to hear what your thoughts are.

  4. John Casper says:

    IMHO, the Dems are getting killed, because GOP paints them as the party of high taxes.

    @deficitowl (Economics professor at UMKC) is excellent at defending Richard Nixon taking us off the gold standard. Unfortunately, all Republicans and most Dems are acting like Nixon was wrong. He wasn’t.

    Article below is very accessible and lays out options I hope the Dems pursue.

    “How High Should Taxes Get on the Wealthy?”


    Think the link below is excellent.


    Another key factor in 2014 could be an initiative to legalize pot. Would be awesome if a Republican in favor of legalization would primary Walker. An added benefit is that it’s a big boost to GOTV.

    FWIW, national democrats are dead set against legalization because of the money from Big Pharma and the law enforcement unions.


  5. Cat Kin says:

    I totally agree with John Casper about how Democrats have been painted. It’s a principal of economics that you need investment to develop business, yet every time the Democrats propose investment of any kind, the Repubs shout “more taxes from free loaders.” Perception is reality and the repubs control reality with Fox news, etc. But even Fox news is hiring new media consultants with Democratic backgrounds these days. The Repubs have oversrepped once too often with Romney. So 2014 should be a change of the guard in Congress if we get someone truly professionl at PR to establish a better relationship with business independents. Labor should begin a professional and creative PR campaign as well–now, before election promotions really begin. Independent businesses depend on local support from churches and community organizations. So we need to redirect the abortion blasting and profanity to civilized discussion. Get out of the streets! Redirect the wails against debt rising because of “entitlements” to debt from the main economic killer…healthcare. But MUST present Obamacare as the only current path to controlling healthcare costs. Let’s put some capable people to work on this. It might be our last chance.

  6. Paul says:

    I’ve heard some floating of Joe Parisi, but I am obviously on the deep outskirts of the Democratic Party at best so not sure if he has a chance or if people want another Madison pol in the race.

    • Why anyone would want a Madison pol in the race is beyond me. At this point I think we’d be better off without someone who can’t be tagged with the “Madison liberal” label, whether fair or not.

  7. Paul says:

    So the problem then is where do I find a candidate with socially and economically liberal policies but who can’t be tagged as a “Madison liberal”? I’m not knocking doors, making calls or writing checks for corporate Democrats ever again

  8. Paul says:

    Honestly Zach? I like Chris Larson and Christine Sinicki. Mandela Barnes has potential. LaTonya Johnson too. The problem is the new, young blood that might be good haven’t been in power to be really tested. It is easy to be in the minority.

    • I like all the folks you mentioned, but I don’t know how many of them would be able to run a viable statewide race. Mandela is a great guy and will serve his constituents well, but I think his best bet would be to run for Sen. Taylor’s seat in a few years.

  9. Paul says:

    That exactly my point. The Democratic Party has been drifting right for a good long time and the ones who resist that trend are the ones considered “not viable” with the fund raisers and the party establishment. It’s why I find myself more and more voting third party.

    • Paul, some of the names you mentioned aren’t viable for reasons other than the fact that they’ve resisted drifting to the right. However, your comment does have some merit on a larger scale, because Democrats seem to prefer “safe” candidates who are somehow connected to the party machine rather than outsiders.

  10. DairyQueen says:

    Let’s think about what it is about Lori Compas that frightens the GOP. Perhaps it is her integrity, her common sense and her independence from party apparatus. Maybe it is her list of actual accomplishments as a business person, wife, mother and community member as opposed to Walker’s titles. If Compas is not the candidate this time around, we should look for someone with similar qualities.

    It also should be said that the skills needed to govern a state are not at all like the skills needed to run a business. The talk of running Mary Burke or anyone else who has only a track record as a successful business person is foolish. We need someone who understands how government works, what makes policies successful and how to create consensus and cooperation.

    When I think of someone who might make a fine governor, I think of the late Ag Secretary, Rod Nilsestuen. He understood how government can work best and how to get people working together for the common good. Who else might have that understanding and those skills?

    • John Casper says:

      Duane, thanks for the link.

      IMHO, Wisconsin Dems should look real hard at Foley Lardner partner, Marc Marotta (50). I don’t think Marc wants it, which means he’s sane. In terms of convincing him, I think you sell him on the possibility of a Presidential run in 2020, half-way through his second term as Governor. Marc understands that Governor’s have an easier path to the White House than Senators.

      Glenn “Doc” Rivers will tape a few commercials for him. Gov. Doyle will campaign hard for him. Could Mary Burke be persuaded? Madison School Board is a pretty thin resume for Governor. Helping Marc get elected might be a better plan. Because he’s been so instrumental in trying to keep the Bucks here, imho the JS really likes him. “Harvard Law,” and D-1 basketball at Marquette are a good contrast to Gov. Drop-out.

      Mark’s from Pittsburgh, which makes me suspect that deep-down he bleeds union.

      One of Marc’s practice areas is wind energy, which Wisconsin desperately needs.

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