Twenty-nine year old Charisse Daniels appeared to be ready to challenge incumbent Republican Wisconsin Assembly Representative John Jagler in the 37th district. Except she couldn’t get the simplest things right in establishing her campaign.

First she started accepting campaign contributions before she had set up a campaign account. That is a particularly big miss. And it caused the Republicans to file a complaint…which made it a sure thing that they would challenge the signatures turned in later.

And then she turned in 201 signatures on her nomination papers for an office that requires a minimum of 200. Every novice candidate gets it drilled into their head to submit twice the minimum to account for occasional duplicates, the funny guys who sign Mickey Mouse or people who mistakenly sign when they are out of the district. It is usually easy to find a handful of names to challenge or for an election board to declare a few invalid. So 201 is cutting it too close for anyone’s comfort.

But it didn’t stop there. It is alleged that more than a few signatures on her nomination papers were forged. The signatories when asked said they never signed her papers and some said they didn’t even know who she is. And those alleged forgeries were on nomination papers that Ms. Daniels herself had collected.

[For those of you who haven’t solicited nomination papers, besides a signers signature, name, address and date signed, the person circulating the papers has to also date and sign each page they collect. This provides a trail on who is collecting the signatures.]

And although a rookie candidate, Ms. Daniels did complete training via Emerge Wisconsin, a group that trains prospective Democratic women candidates. So Ms. Daniels had the knowledge and tools at her disposal to run an effective campaign, and I imagine a lot of new friends and associates who would have helped with the details and the ground work as needed.

Well, it looks like Ms. Daniels is not going to dispute the issue.

Daniels, a 29-year-old Watertown resident, missed the deadline for responding in writing to a complaint accusing the first-time candidate of submitting dozens of forged signatures on her nomination papers.

“I have no comment,” said Michael Maistelman, attorney for Daniels.

This is too bad on a number of levels. Ms. Daniels probably won’t have another opportunity to run for office. And this assembly district will not have a challenger to the incumbent, essentially handing the district back to the GOP and Rep. Jagler.

7 Responses to Democrats Behaving Badly: Rookie Edition: Charisse Daniels

  1. Edward Susterich says:

    It should be obvious that an Emerge-trained candidate needs substantial support from the “leaders” of the Democratic Party. It takes coordinated effort by many “leaders”, volunteers, and contributors to be successful in any campaign. These inept” leaders” need to be replaced, or expect more sorry failures like this to repeat.

    • Marilyn says:

      When I ran for school board, I enrolled in a special course presented by a private progressive organization. It is not the state party’s responsibility to provide this training. Also, there are detailed instructions online at the Wis. Elections website for financial reporting.

      It is common sense to get as many signatures as possible. It is also common sense not to defraud the public with fake signatures.

  2. Jefferson County resident says:

    I know for a fact she was offered help multiple times by folks within the Democratic Party of Jefferson County. She chose not to take any of this help, and she was not responsive to inquiries on how her campaign was going. People are always so quick to cast stones at the DPW, but this embarrassing fuck up is on Daniels alone.

    • Ed Heinzelman says:

      Jefferson County resident: thank you for your reply. I am happy to learn that the DPJC reached out to Ms. Daniels. In the original post, I laid out my belief that Ms. Daniels bears the brunt of her mistakes.

      But I also know Mr. Susterich. He is a long time reader and supporter of Blogging Blue. And he is a political activist in Milwaukee County and has been a signature solicitor for quite a few local campaigns (including my MPS school board campaign in 2011). If he perceives a problem with the DPW and its leadership…even if there is no actual issue…please pay attention. The DPW message isn’t reaching the electorate if it isn’t reaching those who are politically active.

  3. Ed Heinzelman says:

    Ms. Daniels was removed from the ballot. So now we do not have a Dem challenger to the incumbent.

    • Jefferson County resident says:

      Unfortunately, yes, that is the case. Hopefully folks in the area will consider supporting other quality Dem challengers from nearby districts, like Melissa Winker and Brandon White.

  4. Zach W says:

    This really is unfortunate but it goes to show that all the training in the world doesn’t matter if the individual involved isn’t receptive to being offered help. I know from experience a campaign – no matter how big or small – can’t be a solo effort.

    If she did in fact forge signatures then she should be held accountable beyond just not being on the ballot, because that kind of thing has no place in politics.

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