Meet the new Democratic Party of Wisconsin….same as the old Democratic Party of Wisconsin

For those of you who haven’t heard, incumbent Democratic Congressman Ron Kind has a Democratic challenger for his seat. Retired teacher Myron Buchholz has decided to challenge Rep. Kind, and while Buchholz has a very uphill climb in his quest to unseat Kind, that challenge is being made all the more difficult by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

During an interview I conducted earlier this week with Buchholz, he made mention of the fact that when his campaign reached out to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin to obtain access to their Voter Activation Network (VAN), which is an invaluable tool for any Democratic campaign seeking information on voters, but his campaign’s efforts to purchase access to the VAN were completely rebuffed by Brita Olson.

According to my conversation with Myron Buchholz, his campaign was told the Democratic Party of Wisconsin does not sell access to the VAN to challengers of Democratic representatives in good standing.

While the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s efforts to keep access to the VAN limited to their preferred candidates is not surprising, it is disappointing because many of us hoped that Martha Laning’s election as DPW Chair would bring about a change from the “politics as usual” system that protects the status quo and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s preferred candidates.

Jeff Simpson at Cognitive Dissidence has his own take on this.


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7 thoughts on “Meet the new Democratic Party of Wisconsin….same as the old Democratic Party of Wisconsin

  1. While I believe that all candidates for public office should be required to build their own voter lists independently of a political party apparatus or an outside group, this proves that the Democratic Party (not just in Wisconsin, but nationally) is run by an old boys and girls network that is more interested in protecting members of their own exclusive club than fighting for anything meaningful.

  2. At one point in time that the VAN was open to any Democratic campaign who invested in it. I am disappointed in the DPW and have been for a number of years. When Joe Wineke was chair almost a decade ago, the VAN was open for campaigns and the purpose was to build from election to election. In the original training’s around the state on the VAN, the county parties were going to play an active roll. The members were going to be able to update their local knowledge into the VAN and the party was going to save a lot of time and money come election time, today the DPW does not include county parties or campaigns in building the VAN and instead purchases “modeling universes” from outside distributors that tend to be junk. At this point the VAN has flaws in that it does not include people who are non-registered voters, and those are the people that we need to get to the polls to win elections year in year out. I think Bernie is making this mistake Nationwide by instead of having young people talking to each other, they want them on the phones and canvasing older people.

  3. To be fair, Martha Laning has an Administrative Committee she answers to. I get the feeling they are the ones holding back on a lot of the reforms many of us would like to see. Now, who is on the committee? I have no idea. It’s not listed on

    1. The prior DPW administrative committee membership was listed on the site webpage. This person, apparently not promoting a particular candidate prior to the primary and eventual national convention candidate selection. Fifth Congressional District Chair Kristen Hansen for example was previously a member on the DPW Administrative Committee and is currently Team Leader for Hillary in Waukesha County.

      This should be an absolute disqualification to serve in any official DPW role.

      Several inquiries with requests for DPW to publish the names of all the current admin comm members have been ignored.

      1. Yes, I’d heard it was listed on the site previously. It doesn’t look good to no longer have it be public record. My local county vice-chair has also inquired about it, and was met with no real answers.

  4. Zach, bullseye.

    I’ve given generously to Judge Kloppenburg and Sen. Sanders. For exactly the reasons you cited, I’m not sending DWP a nickel.

    Guy, thanks for the background. I’m sorry the Administrative Committee hates Wisconsin exports and thinks Paul Ryan’s a Democrat. Ryan led the fight for NAFTA on steroids aka, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Congressman Kind supported Ryan and TPP.

    “Donald Trump: Here’s the one area where Bernie Sanders and I agree”

    “In a CNN interview Sunday, Trump pointed out that he and Sanders both opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the multinational trade agreement brokered by the Obama administration.”

    1. correction: “…sending DPW a nickel.

      Guy, thanks for the background. I’m sorry the Administrative Committee hates Wisconsin manufacturing…”

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