With the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s 2015 convention fast approaching, there’s been a lot said and written about each of the five candidates for DPW Chair, including some not-so-nice attacks on some of the candidates.

What I wanted to do is take a few minutes to outline the vision each of the five candidates has on how to move the Democratic Party of Wisconsin forward, based on plans taken from their campaign websites/Facebook pages. Each candidate is listed in alphabetical order, along with a link to their plan (when available) as well as a synopsis of the plan itself.

Martha Laning

Former Democratic State Senate candidate Martha Laning recently released a YouTube video outlining her four point plan for a stronger Democratic Party, which you can watch below.

You can read more about Martha Laning’s ideas on how to build a stronger party and how to improve the party’s messaging by visiting her campaign website.

Jason Rae

Democratic National Committee member Jason Rae has a four point plan on how to regroup, refocus, and reenergize the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Here’s a synopsis of Rae’s plan, with links to more detailed descriptions of some of the points in his plan.

  • We’ll Strengthen the Democratic Party Infrastructure and Build Our Bench – Rae’s “Operation Mainstreet” would see the DPW supporting candidates and parties in local races around the state, while his Constituency Plan would introduce a huge recommitment to organizing all across Wisconsin.
  • We’ll Regain a Digital Advantage – Rae has a comprehensive Digital Plan that would seek to regain the DPW’s digital advantages over the Republican Party.
  • We’ll Reclaim Our Progressive Values – “We need to stop making excuses for not standing up for our values and be proud to be Democrats and progressives. We need to start talking about what we stand for and not simply what we stand against.”
  • We’ll Win Elections– “By investing in county parties and strengthening the party infrastructure, reclaiming our progressive values, and creating a digital advantage, we will win elections and take back the State Senate, State Assembly and the Governor’s Mansion, and elect a Democrat to the United States Senate and Presidency in 2016.”

You can about Jason Rae’s vision for the DPW in more detail by checking out his campaign website.

Jeff Smith

Former Democratic State Rep. Jeff Smith has a five point plan outlining his vision for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Here’s a synopsis.

  • Messaging – “Our messaging must begin by reminding ourselves that we are the progressive liberal party. We need to take direction from Progressives around the state.”
  • Member Support – “The key to our success lies in the strength of our local county parties.”
  • True Campaign Coordination – “We need to mean what we say, and truly coordinate efforts. I will do all in my power to enforce truth in coordination from the bottom of the ballot to the top. The top of the ticket will only benefit when our year-round field coordinators build the base of volunteers and those volunteers are collecting data that hones in on the Democratic message. No more urban-only campaigning. Wisconsin will only be blue once again when we reach and retain rural voters.”
  • County Structure – “We ought to call a conference to examine the possibility of re-structuring our system that it might be built more along the lines of the political lines in place around State Senate and Assembly districts or some other regional model that would be more manageable and make political sense.”
  • Value Our Caucuses – “I propose that the rules are revisited so there is more time given to the caucuses at convention. This way, members have a more substantial opportunity to sit in and learn.”

You can read more about Jeff Smith’s full vision for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin by visiting his website.

Stephen Smith

I was unable to find former Democratic State Representative Stephen Smith’s plans on how to move the Democratic Party of Wisconsin forward his campaign Facebook page, but if I become aware of Smith’s plan I will provide an update.

Joe Wineke

Former DPW Chair Joe Wineke has a five point plan outlining his vision for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Here’s a synopsis.

  • The Role of the State Party – “Nearly everyone has a notion about exactly what the State Democratic Party should be about. After all, we have a platform that talks about our agenda; candidates who run as Democrats; nearly 70 local county parties and all kinds of media presence. These are all important…but at the end of the day, the most important thing the Wisconsin Democratic Party can do is win elections.”
  • Candidate Recruitment – “The most important job of the DPW is winning elections. There are a number of components that go into a winning race, but none are as important as having the right candidate in the right race.”
  • Message Matters – “The DPW needs to develop a message that goes beyond the Platform of the Party and is aimed at developing simple and coherent ideas that relate to the average Wisconsinite.”
  • Collective Bargaining – “We have to stand for core principles. Support for public education, equal rights for all, standing with the middle class, protecting Social Security and Medicare, are all critical…so is the right to be in a union.

    As long as I am in a leadership role in the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, I will never back away from the right to be in a union. Some Democrats want to hide from this issue, thinking we have already lost. It won’t happen if I am Chair.”

  • Winning Matters – “The only way that we can reverse these actions and restore integrity to our great state is to start winning elections again. We have done it before and we can do it again. I have proven in the past that the DPW can win elections. I refuse to believe that we cannot win back majorities in the Legislature and elect a Democratic Governor.”

You can read more about Joe Wineke’s full vision for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin by visiting his website.

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