The Big Tent Party

Great news everyone! I’m told there are still hotel rooms available at the Potawatomie Convention Center in Milwaukee, where the Democratic Party of Wisconsin will hold their annual convention in June, for only $159.00 a night!

So if you’re driving to the convention from northern Wisconsin, like I am, and you can take Friday off from work and sacrifice the $150.00 to $200.00 in lost wages, it’ll only cost you another $159.00 to rent a room for Friday evening but that doesn’t include, of course, the 650 round trip miles you’ll put on your car and the $50.00 or so in gas that will take, along with the 14 hours of driving those 650 miles which, if you were getting the federal mileage rate would total roughly $325.00 in reimbursement which you won’t get, of course, because this isn’t your job!

But not to worry! If you can’t afford to take Friday off, or the $159.00 room rate, you only need to get up at 4:00 AM on Saturday to get to Milwaukee in time to vote for our next state party Chair! Not a big deal. And you’ll probably be home by 9:00 PM Saturday evening so it’s only a 17 hour day!

When the DPW is electing a new state party Chair why isn’t the convention held in a central location? Why aren’t there cheaper motel rooms made available, or money for buses so people can travel economically?

Big tent, my ass.


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14 thoughts on “The Big Tent Party

  1. I wouldn’t mind a central location. But the DPW does move the convention around. It’s not like they have it in Milwaukee every year. As for $159, that seems pretty close to what I paid in Middleton and I didn’t stay in the same hotel as the convention…and that was in 2010.

  2. I have suggested for years that the party chairperson be elected by the party membership and not just the delegates. Many times I did not attend the convention because I could not afford it. Talk about pay to play. I am planning on bringing an amendment to the state constitution that will allow all members a voice. It will not affect this election but will be in place for the future if approved. All dues paying members should be allowed to vote for chair.

    1. Yeah. My credit union lets me vote for board members by mail. And food co-ops do too.
      What sense does it make for the party to be less inclusive/accommodating than a business? Especially since we’re the party that doesn’t like it when polling locations are closed or voting hours are shortened in any other situation.

    2. Joe I like the idea. I do in theory like people having to show up to cast votes especially for congress or the legislature, but we live in the modern era and we have to evolve accordingly. I do like going to state convention and I think they do try to put it at a time that will work for most people, but people have a lot more going on today than they did in the past. Work, Family, Vacation makes a convention not what it use to be. In a lot of ways sites like blogging blue are leading the public discourse, so I think members would make an educated decision on who they choose just as delegates that attend the convention.

      I do like the idea of a caucus system for electing endorsing candidates just as the DFL does in MN, because its good for party building. Party members casting a ballot is more inclusive and party members should get to vote.

  3. It is a day trip for people from Kenosha to Green Bay and from Milwaukee to Madison. That is over 60% of the state. It is less than 90 minutes for over 30% of the state. By contrast, Stevens Point is a pain in the butt for almost everyone.

  4. I’m with lufthase. Why can’t we vote by mail? And Ed, at the end of my post I asked why, when we’re electing a new state chair, we can’t have a central location. And Tosa Badger: how about Wausau? Not a pain in the butt for anyone. Expressways from every corner of the state practically take you right to it.

      1. Yes, you did Ed. My bad. Does anyone know when the vote for Chair takes place. Could they at least hold it at 1:00 pm Saturday afternoon? I called Sean Berger at the DPW to get some information on when the vote is but I can’t seem to get a call back.

  5. Do you have to stay at the Potawatomie Hotel if you’re going to the convention? $159/night doesn’t really sound that out of line for a nicer hotel on a weekend in Milwaukee.

    1. No one is required to stay at the convention hotel. You can stay wherever you want. The convention has traditionally been held in Milwaukee in the year before a presidential year, for whatever reason. I’d also point out that there are a lot of Democrats in Milwaukee, many of whom can’t afford to take off work and travel to outstate locations (and many don’t even have a car).

      The idea of having all members vote for the chair, by mail if they wish, is a really great idea! It’s time to make a change from the way things have always been done.

  6. Steve, there is no set time for the vote. It all depends on how long it takes to go through the resolutions that are presented. Most people are itching to go home by the time the election is held. When I ran against Tate 40 percent of the delegates had already left by the time they got around to voting.

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