So if you think Mike Tate has to go as DPW Chair, then who’s your choice to replace him?

So there’s been a lot of talk about why Mike Tate needs to “get out of Dodge” as Chairman of the DPW, but what I’d like to hear from you all is who you’d choose to replace him, along with some reasons why.



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25 thoughts on “So if you think Mike Tate has to go as DPW Chair, then who’s your choice to replace him?

  1. Joe Wineke seems to want the job (as far as I can tell from media reports) and did pretty well last time he was in charge.

    I can see why people might want someone totally new, but if Wineke actually is willing to do it again, then the new candidate needs to make a persuasive case why he or she would be better.

  2. Wineke would be just fine- he knows rural Wisconsin and has the connections.

    If you want someone new, what about Rep. Chris Taylor? A rising star that never backs down, and does the leg work on campaigns throughout the state.

    Also take a look at how the Dane Dems dominate their local offices, not just in Madison, but in the rural areas as well. Whoever takes the job might want to give a look at that model.

    1. Let’s be fair, though– the Dane Dems “model” of how they dominate local offices in rural areas (which is mainly the County Board to my knowledge) is partially by drawing the districts to favor Dems. Progressives definitely don’t “dominate” on the City Council in Sun Prairie, Verona, etc.

  3. While I believe Tate lacks communication and coordination skills based upon my personal and county level experiences, I would not attribute the last election results solely due to his shortcomings.

    My dissatisfaction with Tate’s performance including his personal bias in favoring Burke is shared by others including some county chairpersons.

    But I remain among the undecided until all the evidence is in.

  4. I’m looking for someone who will talk about the need for Dems to lead on legalizing marijuana. I would never encourage anyone, who did not already have a serious illness, to use it, but the prohibition against alcohol didn’t work either. Madison and local governments need the tax revenue, and it’s coming right out of the pockets of the drug cartels. AFAIK, about 60% of their revenue comes from pot.

    Another huge issue for Wisconsin manufacturing are the latest wave of “free trade” agreements. Those are nothing more than “NAFTA on steroids.”

    On both those issues, Dems have a lot of support on the right and the left.

    W/R/T unions/collective bargaining, Dems have to start making the argument that we don’t get better brain surgeons by paying them LESS. The same bedrock economic principles hold true for police officers, teachers, nurses, fire fighters, paramedics,….

    Are unions perfect? No. Can they be a huge pain in the neck? Yes. Are they the only counterweight to the .0001%? Yes.

  5. Joe Wineke on WPR Cardin last half hour, first said he would seek the DPW chair and then back-tracked again right before the top of the hour, qualified that with, depending upon getting his partner’s (wifes’) OK.

  6. “Oshkosh Corp. building $100 million plant in Mexico
    Announcement comes as Fox Valley’s largest manufacturer plans to cut jobs in its defense industry division in Oshkosh”

    The idea that the Pentagon/DOD would import ANYTHING connected to the national defense supply chain is in and of itself, mind-boggling.

    AFAIK, Mike Grebe (Bradley Foundation), Walker’s campaign chair, is still on Oshkosh’s Board.

  7. I think it would be a big mistake to get behind Joe Wineke early just out of desperation. And as I commented previously Wineke took the helm of the DPW just when a pair of electoral waves broke for the Dems. We’re in a brand new political landscape. Probably best to let it all rest until after the New Year. Wineke’s headlong rush to the front of the line seems mighty opportunistic.

    1. Steve, I really liked the way Joe Wineke handled being chair, he respected activists and activist candidates in primaries by allowing them to speak at the State Convention. He honestly was talking to activists every chance he could get. I would much rather look around at who else we could get first because the only successful comeback in politics is Grover Cleveland over 100 years ago. My pick is someone who understands and respects our broad and diverse coalition and can really ad to it. I want someone who will make DPW a maverick party and help build the activist core. I think the DPW depends more on a health activist core than who is chair.

      Steve you have talked about it before, we need to be bringing in new voters who are not in the Voter File every election cycle, part of it is messaging, part of it is actually sending them a letter in the mail, part of it is knocking on he door. The other aspect is that we need to look at ways to participate and promote our ideas in the public through debates and political forums for the general public.

  8. You know, I’ve never really focused much on party leadership. But after this year it’s apparent we must do something to change.

    There are a lot of good people being discussed to run for the chairmanship, but one name I haven’t seen put forth is Jason Rae. He’s one of the youngest DNC members in the country, has led the youth council and is from Rice Lake.

    Every time I’ve talked to him when he’s come up by me for our party or CD conventions he’s understanding of the concerns of people outstate. Isn’t that the very disconnect that we have with the party?

    Joe Wineke, though his service to the state and party is appreciated, seems like going backwards. And I don’t know if Wisconsin needs another Madison oriented party.

    Just my two cents, for what it’s worth.

  9. Me. I would rule with an iron fist. Failed conservative ideology would get no quarter in the democratic party. They have no power anyways so now is as good time as any to fight to the death. I would put up billboards like the loons on the right do. I would take out full page ads in state newspapers debunking all the incredible lies being told by the RWNJ if the press fails to do their job. I would have a team develop detailed go-to lists on every republican in this state and I would ruthlessly savage their failures at every chance.

    1. I like the way you think, conslayer. And getting visibility in rural and red areas is half the battle, as it shows others on the area that the Dems are out there.

      Wineke or others wouldn’t neglect this fact like I feel the party has in recent years.

  10. I am cautious re: Wineke called Mike McCabe a “sanctimonious idealist” and I fear that is the exact same rhetoric we currently have. Not interested in that.

    However, I like the idea of Amy Sue Vruwink from the Portage area! Former Assemblywomen (12 years) before the redistricting weaseled her out. She was on Assembly Committees: Agriculture, Rural Economic Development and Rural Affairs, and Transportation. She also sat on the Special Legislative Council Study Committees on Health Care Access, Powers and Duties of Coroners and Medical Examiners, and the Special Committee on Review of Spousal Maintenance Awards in Divorce Proceedings. She has also been named to the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board. She retains membership in the Farm Bureau. She gets issues outside the Madison/MKE bubbles, she gets rural voters, and has proven leadership. Sounds like a promising prospect!

    1. Elisa, I think you’d be a better DPW chairperson than either Joe Wineke or Amy Sue Vruwink (neither of which I’m fond of for completely different reasons).

  11. Tanya Lohr. We need a DPW that not only respects grassroots activists but is driven by the grassroots. Tanya has a wealth of experience that makes her an ideal candidate. She is currently the party chair in Washington County, where Democrats are very active and enthusiastic despite living in one of the most difficult areas of the state, and a building representative in the West Bend teachers’ union. After organizing the recall campaign against Glenn Grothman in 2011, she made a bigger impact by running against him in 2012. Tanya is not only experienced as a leader, organizer, and candidate for office but is also one of the most tireless, tenacious, and inspiring people I know. She has managed to accomplish everything I’ve mentioned in addition to being a teacher (in a district that is struggling to retain staff in the aftermath of Act 10) and parent. I respect both Joe Wineke and Amy Sue Vruwink, but neither of them would offer as much of an opportunity for transformational change in DPW leadership.

  12. I think Jeff Smith from Eau Claire would be a great DPW chair. He first won a seat in the Assembly in 2006 in spite of little or no help from Madison. He served for four years and then transitioned to a regional political directors position in 2013. He ran again this last cycle, again with no help from the ADCC, and did as well or better than any of the Dem challengers who were supported. I volunteered a lot of time with his campaign after getting to know him last year when I worked for Wisconsin Jobs Now on the Badgercare expansion campaign. He’s the only Dem candidate I know of who stated clear support for both expanding Badgercare and raising the minimum wage on his literature, and we went off the walk lists into poor neighborhoods featuring these issues in our conversations. He’s never been a party insider, he’s been a small business owner, and he’s the hardest working candidate I ever met. If I were a delegate I’d vote for him. Here are some of the youtube videos we produced for his campaign over the last few months.

      1. This DJ,

        Jeff won a safe GOP seat in 2006, much to the surprise of Madison. He lost by 74 votes in 2010, and lost by just over 500 in a completely redrawn district in 2012. Jeff is an honest, smart, hard working and determined guy, and you’ll never see him in a photo shoot with Walker or lobbying for ATT.

  13. Here is what I think now after a week of dealing with the 2014 election. Joe Wineke is the best Chair I remember the DPW ever having and after looking at his proven record as chair I have not found anyone else that would be able fund raise and grow the base Wineke can.

    What I care more about is the direction the party goes moving forward, we saw this at a National level with both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, we need to build the party from the bottom up starting with state legislative candidates. I would like the DPW to have a Caucus in every Precinct in the State just as the DFL does in Minnesota before the primary of every general election. We have to make structural changes that are bigger than party chair or candidates if we want to be a strong party moving forward.

  14. 1. Not from Madison. Not a former leggie. Not a current/former DPW staffer or Executive Board member.
    2. Has ability and integrity that Tate lacks.

    Well-connected friends in Madison say they’re looking for someone who’s not like Tate, but they haven’t identified a replacement. I say cast a wider net. Go to Minnesota, Iowa, etc. if necessary. We need someone who will transform the toxic culture at DPW. The bad attitude runs all the way down the organizational chart at DPW HQ.

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