Something for you disaffected, disillusioned progressive types out there

I know there’s a lot of progressive-minded grassroots activists here in Wisconsin who are fed up with the current state of Democratic politics, not only in our fair state but nationally as well. I’ve read Facebook posts criticizing the current leadership of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and the rest of the Democratic establishment, and I’ve also read many posts wondering how progressives can take back the Democratic Party.

While wresting control of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin from the Democratic establishment may be a daunting task, there may be another way progressive-minded activists can use their skills as activists and organizers to challenge the status quo. Instead of fighting from within to change the Democratic Party here in Wisconsin, perhaps the answer lies in a third party – namely the Justice Party. Organized by former Salt Lake City (Utah) Mayor Rocky Anderson (himself a former Democrat) in 2011, the Justice Party was born out of a desire to challenge the duopoly of the two major political parties in our country.

According to its website, one of the major goals of the Justice Party is removing corporate influence and other concentrated wealth from politics, and the Justice Party’s platform certainly has a lot of appeal for progressives.

The Vision of the Justice Party is:

A peaceful nation and world where social, economic, and environmental justice prevails:

Social Justice: Every person’s civil and human rights are protected. Everyone has the opportunity to obtain an excellent education from early childhood through college or trade school. Affordable and high-quality healthcare is available for everyone. Government is not controlled by wealthy corporations and individuals, but is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Economic Justice: All people are provided opportunities for prosperity. Poverty is eliminated. The “middle class” is thriving. Economic protections are provided so that all members of society are secure and treated fairly.

Environmental Justice: The earth’s inhabitants are safe from catastrophic, human-caused climate disruption. Nature is protected and preserved through sustainable practices. Our air, water, and land (and food supply) are clean and healthy.

The Mission of the Justice Party is to “Raise awareness, inspire, organize, and mobilize people of broad diversity in collaborative movement-building and achieving electoral success in order to realize our Vision of a peaceful nation and world where social, economic, and environmental justice prevail.

In addition to a website, the Justice Party has Facebook pages for both the national party as well as its presence here in Wisconsin.


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21 thoughts on “Something for you disaffected, disillusioned progressive types out there

  1. The Justice Party is great but in a 2 party system they have no chance of being effective. They would have to completely replace the existing Democratic Party to get a ‘seat at the table.’ The Tea Party has had a huge influence within the Republican Party and we could do the same thing as Progressives within the Democratic Party. Progressives need to get organized and start running candidates in Democratic Primaries. There is no reason why we don’t have a Progressive running against Burke in the Democratic Primary. The candidate doesn’t have to be someone who is well known at the out set. As Progressives we can get the word out. We need someone who doesn’t have to give up their seat in the Legislature to run. We need someone with a strong voice that isn’t affair to speak truth to power. Barbara Lawton and Mark Harris come to mind right off the bat. Yes, it will take a lot of work but we all know what the alternative is. The best part is it’s not too late to do it.

  2. Zach, thanks.

    Joe, thanks to you too for an excellent comment. I would add that imho both DPW and WIGOP will conspire to keep 3rd party candidates off Wisconsin ballots and to make primaries as tough as possible. If a progressive Dem “primaries” a DPW

    IMHO, opposition to the national Democratic party makes more sense and gets more to the core of the problem. In local and state elections, the Democratic party, is the only counterweight to WIGOP.

    “Wisconsin Senate to take up bill limiting judges’ authority to block state laws”

    Also, imho, it’s the national Democratic party that’s captured DPW. To make matters worse, Organizing for America, Obama’s PAC, is siphoning off contributions to Mary Burke, DPW, and local Dems. Maybe I’m wrong, but I doubt very much of that cash finds its way back to Wisconsin candidates.

    As long as we still have the corrupt electoral system (as opposed to using the popular vote) in the Presidential election, the only votes that “count,” are in swing states. In 2012, I thought the only major difference between Romney and Obama was voting rights. It’s a critical issue and it’s why I sent Obama $100. But the night before the election, I saw Nate Silver picking Wisconsin for Obama with confidence. That freed me up to cast my vote for Jill Stein, the green candidate. All my other votes were for Dems. I was trying to use my ballot to send a message to the national Democratic party and DPW.

    I will probably at some point send Burke some money and she’s clearly an improvement over Walker. Another option for the disaffected, however, is a ballot initiative. I’d love to see marijuana legalization on the ballot in November and would contribute to such an effort.

    Over the years, I’ve spent too much money trying to elect “progressive” Dems. In most cases, my candidate lost. In the few that won, imho as soon as they got into office, they became nearly as “corporate” as the person they replaced. 🙁

    continued below

  3. The excellent piece below is why I think DPW’s GOTV message that we go out and register voters isn’t firmly anchored in reality.

    “Too poor for pop culture
    Where I live in East Baltimore, everything looks like “The Wire” and nobody cares what a “selfie” is”

    A lot of the people who DPW is depending on to vote Walker out have little access to media. They might get TV via antenna or radio, because their primary concern is not freezing to death and getting enough to eat.

    I agree with DPW that GOTV is absolutely critical in November 2014, but the other side of the equation is that it has to give people a reason to vote. The rural poor will gravitate to armed militias. The urban poor will gravitate to drug gangs. Marijuana legalization is something both those constituencies understand.

  4. The sentence I failed to finish in my first comment.

    If a progressive Dem “primaries a DPW endorsed candidate, within DPW, it’s a huge black mark against them. Even if they win, it will be tough for their political future. That’s why it’s so tough for progressives to convince qualified Dems in districts that vote heavily Democratic. When you don’t have a vigorous primary, it only increases the pressure on the “disaffected,” to send money, support to a third party.

  5. “…removing corporate influence and other concentrated wealth from politics.”

    The above can only be accomplished if a majority of our elected representatives acquire or have three humane conditions; a conscience, common sense, and courage.

    In my State and Congressional District, Walker, Johnson, and Duffy instead possess a false conscience, a blind ideology, and cowardice.

    They, and other representatives, willingly serve at the pleasure of the merchants of greed who practice “unfettered capitalism” and “tyranny.”

    How do we reverse the inhumane effect of selfish wealth and its bribed agents? By a majority of the people one election at a time.

  6. My son’s basketball coach in High school, who also played on Memphis State’s first National Championship runner-up against UCLA, married a Walmart heiress and has been supporting Missouri University sports. That support has been mostly responsible for pushing Missouri into the top echelon of college sports.

    How consistently knowledge, support and money are used is paramount to success. The Democrats don’t have that consistency or knowledge that billionairs and ALEC give to the GOP. The Dems are way too fractional, like OPEC used to be before the Saudis took it over by attacking the USA 9/11/2001. The Arab Spring has just unified anti-democratic forces worldwide. A recent demonstration of that is on display with the universal media crowning of Vladimir Putin at the Sochi Olympic games.

    It’s no secret that I view the populist “Move To Amend” movement, , to be the unifying force for progressives, Democrats and moderate Republican patriots in this country. Right now dictatorships, monarchies and billionaires are using corporate legal entities to divide and conquer America and ultimately all world democracy.

  7. The Justice Party, the Green Party, the Socialist Parties, the Labor Party and even the Pirate Party need to come together and pick two names; One candidate to run in the Democratic Primary and one guy who will run third party with each groups backing if the primary tactic doesn’t work. No more third way, corporate Democrats. We should never let them run unopposed

  8. During the primaries we need to get a write-in campaign for a corporation. If the corporation won the election the courts would have to decide if it really is a person.
    This is something we could do. If we wait for the politicians who benefit from the system to change it, may be a long wait. Don’t expect the corporate media that profits from the system to make it an issue. Don’t expect those who bought our politicians to change as they are receiving a better return on investment this way than they could from doing business honestly.

    1. Would “Citizens United,” or the “Koch Brothers,” or “Walton Family” be eligible as a write in for a Republican primary?

      Just asking!

  9. Great idea guys, lets split the Dem vote in an election that will be a dog fight in the best case scenario. It worked out so well in 2000 with Nader, that really showed them! You guys know that Mike Tate is elected right? I’m not his biggest fan, but a little bit of grassroots organizing could have thrown him out of office. This infighting that has plagued the party here in WI makes me sick. If we can’t come together to defeat Walker, we deserve another four or two years if he runs for and becomes president, which is a real possibility if he is re-elected. Who do you think will be more responsive to your concerns as Governor, Burke or Walker? We have a candidate who is willing to pour millions of her own money into this race, and all I hear is negative comments trashing her 24/7. Here’s a fact: money wins elections. You can either accept this or stick your head in the sand, and if you chose the latter don’t complain about Walker if he wins. That’s not how it should be, but it is the truth. If we have any chance of changing it we need to work together to elect Dem candidates.

    1. Tek, please, let us know all the issues on which you disagree with Mike. Why don’t you rank them in order of importance.

      If Peter Barca gave the Democratic response to Walker’s “State of the State,” shouldn’t he be the candidate for Governor? Why didn’t Ms. Burke deliver that?

      Why isn’t Ms. Burke coming out in favor of a federal job guarantee?

      Why isn’t Ms. Burke talking about all the butter Wisconsin dairy farmers could be exporting to Iran and other countries?

      “Iran’s double-digit inflation woes worsen”

      “…Butter, for example, is increasingly scarce in Tehran and, where available, its price has doubled in the past few weeks, from 11,000 rials ($0.44) for 100 grammes to 22,000 rials.

      “It is not only butter. It is almost all kinds of foodstuffs and everything else like shampoo, toothbrushes and clothes,” says Zohreh, a 45-year-old housewife. “Prices do not cease shocking me whenever I go shopping. You see prices are rising from yesterday to today and then tomorrow….”

      Walker doesn’t want to go there, because it will cost him in the GOP primaries. Why Sen. Baldwin is advocating against the interests of Wisconsin farmers, w/r/t sanctions on Iran is something I need explained.

    2. Tek,

      Among the biggest problems Ms. Burke has is Chris Abele. Six months ago, I was tweeting with young, well educated millenials/Generation Y who were defending the County Exec. They aren’t defending him anymore. They appreciate that he’s pro-choice and pro-LGBT, but that doesn’t excuse his union busting or helping Republicans/oligarchs destroy a lot of local government in Milwaukee County. County Supervisors should have been a staging area for the next generation of Democrats to lead the state back to prosperity.

      Abele inherited all his wealth, Ms. Burke’s better educated, but she hasn’t accomplished anything outside of Trek. The fact that she can’t deliver the State of the State raises the issue of who we are electing. Abele seems as eager to please Mike Grebe (Bradley Foundation) as Walker.

      We all want Ms. Burke to be a great candidate and Governor. We all wanted Chris Abele to be a great County Executive.

    3. Dog fight, millions of her own money, Nadar was the 2000 election Achilles heel? LOL, I have yet to see the money statement except from you and you might want to check your election 2000 history. It wasn’t a Nadar problem, sorry. Regardless of who the DPW chairholder is, how many registered Democrats are there in the state to be divided? A third of the 2012 Obomba voters, maybe?

      Burke’s chances against Walker don’t depend on her money.

      Michael Leon has the ‘word,’ today. Check it out.

      I asked a couple of Team Burke questions last week, also.

      1. Burke was in Eau Claire yesterday and actually got her picture in the local rag. According to her Q&A with all the Democrats at the Dem Center, she wants to win and thinks she will win! But she’s not counting on just her money; In fact, she pleaded hard for a $10 a month commitment from each of us.

        She talked “people power,” Walker’s environmental and educational disasters and her support for the minimum wage. She claimed she knew how to get manufacturing jobs to Wisconsin and has proved her credentials with her ability to move her daddy’s business from a 5 million dollar national company to a 50 million dollar international company. She also cited some manufacturing jobs she helped save in areas around her county.

        Problem is, none of this got into the paper! The picture was of her looking at a mechanical part being tooled at a local plant and the guy explaining how it worked and asking if it would apply to her bicycle company. She said she “didn’t know.”

        I don’t know who her publicist is, but whoever needs to be helped or replaced. I nor any Democrat in this state doesn’t seem to have the same confidence in her staff as she seems to.

        1. Cat,

          Do you have a link?

          Why isn’t her media staff getting coverage of that event throughout the state?

          Her Twitter timeline has “EC Democratic Party ‏@EC_Democrats
          Full house of supporters for @Burke4WI in Eau Claire this afternoon.”

          but there’s no link to the media outlet.

          That’s a good way to anger local media who have the temerity to actually cover your campaign, don’t use your Twitter Time line to increase traffic to their site.

          1. Alright,

            Evidently they’re getting the message.

            Her Timeline includes these two examples.



            If Ms. Burke wants to be armpit deep in campaign cash from small donors, and national media, all she has to do is support the 18 House Dems who just asked Obama to reschedule marijuana.


            1. Thanks Cat.

              It’s the drip, drip, drip of consistent, high-profile publicity that matters, especially for fundraising. That’s one of the reasons Walker’s such a rock-star, his media team is constantly feeding media outlets his narrative. He cultivated relationships with reporters and their editors. He helps them sell their content.

    4. I first heard of Ms.Burke at a “secret” survey conducted by a private party taken last summer at my county Democratic group monthly meeting. It was revealed that there was high interest in a certain Madison woman (shhh, don’t tell anyone). The reaction by our knowledgeable group of Democratic activists was “Burke who?” And more importantly, “why?” Only much later did I deduce that the “high interest” was probably only felt by Tate.

      tck, no one here wants to “split the vote” but we want some passion, action, and declaration on the issues, in particular, women and labor. At present, Ms Burke gives the appearance of being a kind, gentle Independent in my opinion.

      We need a Democratic candidate! If nothing else, she should “fake it,” LOL, I have to laugh so I don’t cry.

    5. tek,

      Can you provide a link to your favorite 5 radio interviews and 5 favorite tv interviews that Ms. Burke has given in February?

      She’s got what’s left of February and March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October.

      The closer we get to November, the more advertising rates head north.

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