Stephanie Deena Findley announces run for First Vice Chair of the DPW


Findley Campaign: Announces candidacy for 1st Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin

Contact: Jeff Smith 715-579-9811

Milwaukee, WI- Former 4th Congressional District and Black Caucus Chair Stephanie Findley announced today she is running for First Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin with Jeff Smith, candidate for Chair

“ I’m pleased and excited to announce my candidacy for the position of First Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, running alongside Chair candidate Jeff Smith, “ said Findley.

“ With a combined ten years as Chair of the DPW’s 4th Congressional District and its Black Caucus, I’ve had a seat at the table as important decisions were made within the DPW. Now I’m eager to take the next step and serve as First Vice Chair so that we can begin the hard work of rolling back the extremist right wing agenda that has left so many urban and rural Wisconsin families and individuals struggling to just get by. I’ve had the opportunity over the last several weeks to get to know Jeff, and while we come from markedly different backgrounds I’ve found we share a common set of values: fairness, a commitment to equal opportunity for all, a deep concern for the plight of the voiceless and disadvantaged among us, and a determination to forge the urban/rural relationships that will be crucial to restoring Wisconsin’s progressive tradition.“

For over 20 years Findley has made civic engagement a central part of her life, serving as Chair of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Milwaukee, and as Chair of the City of Milwaukee Elections Commission. She is both an AFSCME member and the CEO of her own construction company, Midwest Construction.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with Stephanie’s decision, “ said Smith. “ I know I can learn a lot from her and together I strongly believe we can steer the party in the direction we need to go to start winning elections again. For too long rural and urban party members have not understood the challenges that the other faces, but with this partnership I know we can start bridging that gap and forge a mutual understanding that will make us successful going forward. “

The election for State Party Chair will take place during the Wisconsin Democratic State Party Convention on June 5 and 6, 2015 in Milwaukee.


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38 thoughts on “Stephanie Deena Findley announces run for First Vice Chair of the DPW

  1. According to my reliable labor sources plus a brief Google search, Findley is pro-charter schools and not supportive of MPS during a time when we really need to ensure the current political oligarchy does not gut our public school system and replace it with private entities. Also, even though she was an AFSCME member, she was not supported by labor and later blamed labor for “not getting it” in supporting the voucher system locally and nationally. (Google: “not the whiteman’s bitch”) Furthermore, there are claims that she accepted money during her 2010 campaign from voucher supporters, later returned the check, and it bounced. The advice? Check her campaign finance reports.

    1. The WPRI story in the link above is well worth the time it takes to read. A lot of us white, rural progressives don’t understand issues in urban Milwaukee, especially in the African American community, and while I don’t trust the motives of the author of the piece it does give a somewhat detailed glimpse into a world mostly outside of my experience.

  2. Thanks for the links researcher.for truth. I had the same problem with my comments not showing up, thus the duplicate post.

    @ Steve Calson, I concur.

    In addition, the voucher/charter school program that was rolled out in urban WI is a completely different animal than what our current legislator has expanded. Same name, but comparing apples to oranges.

  3. so-called researcher for truth,

    I can understand how raising the charter school issue is relevant, even though it’s clear that a lot of people in the African American community support them including, obviously, a great many democrats, but I don’t understand why you encouraged readers to google on ” not the white man’s bitch “. Given that Findley didn’t actually run against Independent candidate Ieshuh Griffin but was, rather, up against Beth Coggs and Sherman Hill in the Dem primary, how is that relevant? Unless, of course, you’re indirectly trying to imply something?

  4. @Steve- You wondered that too?

    Whisper campaign. Obvious ploy. Straight out of the Lee Atwater playbook.

    Have the administrator check Google analytics to see if RFT and DJ are coming out of the same area. My guess is researcher for truth and DJ are working together.

    1. @Steve Carlson
      Because I was busy, and left the googling up to you. The daily show post was accidental…I did not find that relevant but confusing as well without more info but I couldn’t retract it. Sorry about that. With regards to that, what it looks like is Findley was being called out with the slogan “Not the whiteman’s bitch” for the following reasons in my secondary post, which are her accepting of campaign money from several members of the Walton family, of Walmart, and other exclusively pro-charter school right wing groups to forward their school privatization agenda. I’m only guessing that though, from talking to my source and my still somewhat brief Google research.

      Not only is the charter issue relevant it is crucial, as the current biennial proposed budget seeks to gut MPS and replace it with private schools, for one.

      Also, she was not endorsed by the union even though she is/was an AFSCME member.

      Take care,

      1. You ” accidentally ” posted the Daily Show link. Riiiight. So, being unable to retract the Daily Show link you further” accidentally ” encouraged people to google on the phrase ” not the white man’s bitch “. Gotcha. Lots of keyboard mistakes for someone with 20 years experience doing marketing for Fortune 500 companies, wouldn’t you say?

        1. @Steve
          Yes, accidentally. Like I said, I was busy, as I’m not working right now. I’m trying to help, because I do care so much about the truth. But because it seems that my personal credibility is being called into question rather than looking into the information, I clearly don’t belong here as I most certainly do not have time for this.

  5. With all those links you think this is a conspiracy? I took the extra time to do the research for you CJ, as I was just passing on info from, as I said, a reliable source. If the Shepherd Express article and the Walton donations don’t do it for you, good luck to the Dems.

  6. Also, RFT, in the campaign finance report you link to it shows greater financial support from Labor and other left leaning groups/people than it shows from the Walton’s. So is this a contributor profile that might confuse someone not familiar with the complexities of these issues within the metro Milwaukee, African American community? Is that a possibility?

  7. @researcher for truth-

    I appreciate the extra time you took to research those additional links for me. Thanks. I now have a better understanding as they relate to your first post comment.

    Charter/voucher schools were originally pitched as a vehicle for low income families in poverty riddled school districts as an option to attending private schools with the voucher/charter program. Since that time, the program has been expandanded and bastardized so that the majority (80%) of students that attend private schools with state vouchers already were attending private school. In addition, they now receive more money per student than public schools. Private schools can turn students they don’t want away. They are not held to the same standards for staff or accountability that public schools are held to. And public school funding has been drastically cut with more cuts onthe way.

    Although I do appreciate you making us aware, I have to say that 2010 was a long time ago in Wisconsin private voucher school politics. As I said before, it is comparing apples to oranges.

    You mention the Walmart family tree. I’m pretty sure that with 8 degrees of separation, I could connect anyone to that tree.

    In regard to the WPRI article, accepting money from AFC was probably not in her best judgment. They, along with their incestuous, interconnected network of monied interests play a long game and she did not see it coming. They know how to play all sides. Her quote says it best, “.“Beth Coggs, bless her heart, she played lowball with labor on the voucher issue,” says Findley.”

    But as Steve Carlson mentioned and I concurred, what’s the deal with the daily show link? I’m asking you flat out.

    It’s one thing to share pertinent information. It’s another to pull an Atwater. I’m pretty ure you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, I’d be happy to share a link or two myself.

  8. Steve I responded to this on CJs thread; thanks. Not really important, but maybe it helps find the links…I really don’t know but that’s not the issue. If I would have done the deeper googling off the bat I likely may not have included that phrase, as it is pretty irrelevant and, as my source says, shows how stupid some political races can get. Would MUCH rather focus on Findley’s record, and everyone’s record. I just happened to have background on this particular candidate due to my source so I shared. As she was/is in AFSCME, I inquired to my source in long-time Milwaukee labor.

  9. oh….one more thing. Just told my source about this weird interchange. Got some more info: Apparently, you, Steve Carlson, are friends with both Jeff Smith and Stephanie Findley. Now I get it. Guess I should have googled YOU.

    1. Weird interchange? Are you typing while on the freeway? That might explain all the keyboard mistakes, eh?

      I’ve never met Stephanie Findley, I’ve never even spoken to her on the telephone, and I’ve never made any attempt to hide the fact that I support Jeff Smith for DPW Chair. And for years I’ve contributed to Blogging Blue and commented under my real name, and I’m listed in the telephone book under that same name too. Google me all you want. Here’s some of what you’ll find.

  10. “If I would have done the deeper googling off the bat I likely may not have included that phrase, as it is pretty irrelevant and, as my source says, shows how stupid some political races can get.”


    “Just told my source about this weird interchange. Got some more info: Apparently, you, Steve Carlson, are friends with both Jeff Smith and Stephanie Findley.”

    Ok, things just got a lot weirder.

    researcher for truth,
    Did you initiate the first two posts above because you care so much or were you prompted by your source? Why have we not seen you comment on posts relating to Jason Rae, Joe Wineke, Jeff Smith, Mary Solinger and Martha Laning? If you think your credibility has come into question, it may be. You have an opportunity to reverse that.

    The race for DPW chair is not stupid. It is critical to the future of Wisconsin. This isn’t a game. If you care, I hope to see you participate more on this and future threads.

  11. Are you all through kicking this horse? Someone I respect is speaking truth to power.

    Try a different tactic, listen to former almost gubernatorial candidate Sen Kathleen Vinehout.

    1/2hour interview from Wisconsin Eye, what’s wrong and why she is supporting Laning.

      1. Listen to her reasons for loss of the recall, hand-picked by upper echelon candidate lost. Any similarity to Burke’s choice or choosing to run and circumstances in 2014, maybe?

        Senator said she fully supports Laning but toward the end of the interview said she expects one of the male candidates will still win. Could she be fighting the “fix,” that she is already aware is in place for the eventual winner?

        1. Fighting ” the fix ” by suggesting one of four male candidates might win? Sounds like a reasonable prediction to me. What’s really telling is that she openly admits she was behind the Feb 28th event in Stevens Point, which was rigged in favor of Laning. Why? What is going on here? Are we to just trust that Kathleen knows what’s best?

          1. Don’t let your favorite get in the way of seeing the larger picture here. The power brokers are circling the wagons to protect their influence and control, and in that statement I am not referring to Vinehout.

            She may be seeing Rae as the “chosen,” winner, we don’t know, but she didn’t lie about making the arrangements for Laning at the Chairs convention in Plover and she is also deep in deciphering the budget at this point to.

            What I see going on here is a WARNING about the corporatist wing of the party more than anything.

            Laughing a bit at how we are both typing comments at the same time. Do you have keys to the blog to post a new thread and embed the youtube? Thanks for conversing on this.

  12. nonquixote- She’s most;y right about what’s wrong. But show me where Jeff Smith has gone negative. I love Kathleen Vinehout and would love, love, love to se her run for governor. So would she. Everybody has ambitions. Statements made reflect that with end goals in mind. Thank god she didn’t endorse Rae, good Democrat that he is.

    You still have to consider Maratha’s roll out. “She” “I”,website weirdness. after hyper controlled forum.
    Place card holder Maryu Solinger who pulls out, then endorses.
    All the rest of the shenanigans is social media.

    You guys… *RME*

    It’s not that hard to look at it all if your are connecting dots.

    1. I am not reading her mind, re Jeff Smith, better ask Kathleen. 😉 A website roll out has nothing to do with what the good Senator is talking about.

      Feeling vindicated with my take on DNC corporatist “leadership,” being the DPW’s statewide downfall especially referring to the recall.

      No current ability to push-back against singular consolidation of DPW power with a few individuals.


      1. I was a Vinehout fan until she refused to endorse Burke last fall, and a lot of Eau Claire Dems feel the same way. And her assertion that Jeff Smith hurt her campaign is absolutely absurd, and I’d challenge Vinehout to provide some evidence to back up that claim. We have a graph that shows that Jeff did better, running our own campaign, than 10 other targeted assembly candidates who were supported by the ADCC. The numbers tell the tale. If Kathleen wanted to run for DPW Chair then that’s what she should have done. I think there’s a whiff of megolamania in the air.

        1. I’m not doubting your word nor am I taking her word nor do I understand what is behind her comment about Jeff Smith. I don’t have a particular favorite in the race, I am not a Democrat.

          Another key to her interview I thought was extremely telling was her avoidance of a question at the end of the interview, not so much because of the question but because I feel she saw the clock and emphatically made the point that there needed to be a state-wide and open debate on this subject of party direction and leadership and structure. She’s right.

          Vinehout’s own party ran a candidate against her in the primary. In this interview she’s saying something is up and she wants it all out on the table.

          Attorney Christine Bremer Muggli endorsed Rae either yesterday or today. A national Dem Delegate if I recall correctly.

          1. Muggli’s endorsement was announced today:


            This absolutely doesn’t signal a greater state-wide sharing of power or direction within the DPW. IMHO this is what is behind Senator Vinehout’s call for open debate which is what I saw as the most urgent message she stated.

            Sorry for being a bit off topic with Senator KV’s interview, was hoping someone with the keys to blog would post the link to the interview and post it in a separate thread.

        2. My $0.02 is that Sen. Vinehout is running for Chair. IMHO, Ms. Laning will be her proxy.

  13. I think the most significant endorsement to date is Mike McCabe’s endorsement of Jeff Smith. If there’s an individual in the state with greater integrity than McCabe I don’t know who it is, and he doesn’t have any axe to grind with anyone.

  14. NQ- I think we ALL agree something is up within the DPW. MY opinion- It relates directly to Mike Tate, Jason Rae, Nation Consulting and the DNC funding that’s provided to the DPW.

    Jeff Smith got no love from the DPW. Kathleen Vinehout got no love when running for the Senate. The DPW put a plant in her district. They also worked hard to block her while promoting Mary Burke. They basically cut her out.

    If I were Kathleen Vinehout, I would want it all out on the table. Hell, we all do. That’s why this race is such a big deal. The big political machine inside the DPW wants Rae. Let’s be honest. Nation Consulting wants Rae as chair. The DPW and DNC funding is their cash cow.

    Kathleen Vinehout wants to be governor. I’d love to see her be governor too. I hope she runs in the next election cycle. So think about that for a second.
    If Kathleen runs, she’s not going to get the same treatment she got before if Jason Rae chairs the party.

    The DNC wants to know they are going to get exactly what they want for their money. They don’t want a progressive. They want a corporatist party chair. (Mary Solinger, Martha Laning, Jason Rae) So what does one do?

    You help bring a new corporatist into the race. (Martha). You help her get started and endorse her to become chair. That improves your end goal odds considerably. Everybody’s got something they need. Everybody’s got something to offer in return.

    Martha may have all the wonderful qualities to become a successful chair. I haven’t heard her say anything about bringing transparency to the party operations. That’s a problem for me.

    True progressive, populist Mike McCabe gave his endorsement to Jeff Smith. It said volumes, clinched the deal.

    Now Sybil (researcher, DJ, labor source) is trying to toss jacks in the spokes ala Atwater. Somebody’s worried Smith is resonating with people and exciting them enough to rejoin the party.

    1. CJ, thanks, your point about the corporatization of the Dems.

      IMHO, Sen. Vinehout linking Nation Consulting and AT&T was a step forward, but imho, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Below is something I wrote in another BB thread, but I think it’s applicable here:

      “W/R/T giving Wisconsin workers “first crack,” at state contracts, Dems should start targeting Hewlett Packard, who swallows up state Medicaid revenue, because they administer the program. My strong supposition is that most of the actual work is done by IT workers in India.

      “Accelerate your project outcomes with HP offshore resources”

      “Using the right-blended delivery model—with the necessary skills and
      framework—enables your organization to achieve effective time and cost
      outcomes for projects, while ensuring security and privacy concerns are met.”

      Those Medicaid IT jobs should be held by Wisconsin IT workers, who work FOR the State of Wisconsin. JPMorgan administers a lot of the Food Stamp programs. Not sure if they administer it in Wisconsin.

      IMHO it’s the oligopolies, fronted by lobbyists, big law firms (Reinhart, Foley Lardner,….), and accounting firms (Deloitte…) who are actually making the day-to-day decisions in Madison. And the only issue for them is how they can wring more dollars out of the state taxpayers.”

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