How The Dems Have To Run Locally In Wisconsin

I have seen any number of suggestions around the internet about the state party platform for the Dems in the Fall 2016 local elections. Most of them focus on the big ideas that are the big ideologies of the party. But Wisconsin has elected Governor Scott Walker three times and handed him a Republican majority in both houses under the dome in Madison. So running on the repeal of Act 10 and Right to Work etc…aren’t going to play in most of the state and the Democrats may continue its role as the minority party.

So on the eve of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s state convention, let me suggest a couple of planks that should be hammered home across the state…things that will read as less partisan and more Wisconsin.

JOBS: one of the things that the GOP has promised to provide and said they were laser focused on the past two election cycles is jobs. And they have failed miserably to produce any…Wisconsin lags almost every state in job growth and is far behind many of our Midwestern neighbors. So the GOP is particularly vulnerable there.

INFRASTRUCTURE: There is no county or community in Wisconsin that isn’t hurting for help in repairing or replacing infrastructure. Local roads, bridges, sewers, parks, you name it…are begging for upgrades. Yet all the GOP has managed to produce is major interstate expansions that waste money and in some cases are boondoggles…complete sops to their road building contributors. Wrap the JOBS issue around this as well.

EDUCATION: the last round of budget cuts to public education (local elementary and high schools) along with the expansion of the statewide voucher program has even rural districts in red counties crying foul. Get behind supporting local public schools again in a way that makes local sense. Build on the issues around state interference in local controls as well.

CLEAN WATER: From the blind eye as private wells and spring fed bodies of water dry up due to high capacity commercial wells in north and central WI to fecal contamination of wells from huge industrial livestock farms in Door and Kewaunee counties to the demands for Lake Michigan water from Waukesha and eventually surrounding environs to the under-response to lead pipe issues throughout the state (and the incredible underfunding in Milwaukee) …there is plenty of opportunity to unite local governments in working for the right to fresh water throughout the state.

The other issues can come later…we have to win first!


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9 thoughts on “How The Dems Have To Run Locally In Wisconsin

  1. Great points. I can’t add much, other than to say these are major issues that people of all stripes throughout our state can get behind.

  2. All fine issues, Ed. But Martha Lanning has continued to disappoint me much as Mike did in that she has not inculcated a new Democratic culture in the State. And most Dems are failing to find good people to run for posts in the state.

    I read that Wisconsin has two of the most monied and influential women in the country,1 a lady who took over her husband’s software company and another lady who runs a healthcare business. Why can’t we recruit these women and other entrepreneurs to help support a club of “Wisconsin’s idea” people throughout the state. And develop some of the progressive social unity in Wisconsin that disappeared after the recessions of 2010 and before. Obama has been successful by any measure, so now is the time to press for a progressive future that will mean a better life and economy for all social classes.

    1. I saw the article you mention about the ‘monied Wisconsin women’ but if I remember right at least one of them is a Trump Tea Partiest who supported Governor Walker.

    2. I dispute the point about finding good people to run. I have personally been part of some recruitment in my area, and we have some very good assembly candidates running this year. All of our surrounding districts have a Dem running this time. No free passes like in 2014.

      Can I say the state party has been a big help in this, though? Not really. Though we all have to remember that, “We are the party.”

  3. Cat Kin,

    Sorry to bring bad news but I think one of those wealthiest women was Diane Hendricks, known for being anti-union and supporting Scott Walker. She and her husband built a roofing company before he died several years ago and I think she inherited a good part of his portion of the company.

  4. Ed (or Mr. Heinzelman if you prefer)

    I would like to point out 2 things.

    1. The people of Wisconsin did not hand the GOP control of both houses of the state legislature. The main reason the GOP had control both houses since then is because of GOP gerrymandering so that in spite 54% of the people of Wisconsin voting for Democrats to represent the in the State Assembly the majority of seats in the legislature went to the GOP. This is not the GOP being given power in the state legislature from the people but holding on to it regardless of whatever the people think.

    2. Even if they don’t make opposing Act 10 the primary part of what they do I think Democrats should continue to oppose it and be ready to point out some of the bad effects that resulted from it.

    1. Ed works just fine.

      I am not saying that the Democrats should abandon repeal of Act 10…just that they don’t need to run on it…the governor didn’t run on it either…as a matter of fact his campaign promises said he would work with the public unions…night can fall on a Democratic session too!

  5. Good article, Ed. Dems should constantly point to how WisGOP has chosen.the wants of campaign contributors over the needs of the people. The revelations in that LAB audit about how DNR looks the other way on Big Ag polluting groundwater and streams should anger everyone.

    Also note how much money us wasted on failed handouts like WEDC while they defund public investments like schools, leading to higher property taxes and a lack of economic competitiveness.

    Dems can clean up in 2016 the way things are imploding in WisGOP World, but they have to RUN HARD ON DEM VALUES and make the public aware of the damage.

  6. We are mostly well aware of the issues, but a nice summary. The trouble with down-ticket state races is in the form of little to no money or help coming from the abject failure of the DPW getting beyond being Republican-lite corporatist whores. Some of you, who still belong to the DPW may have had the out-of-thin-air representatives from the Hillary Victory Fund float into your county meetings and explain how they have enough money to hire a half-dozen locals for that campaign.

    Same thing happened with OFA in 2012. Outside operatives who knew nobody locally had one purpose and one purpose only. Doing the bidding of the neoliberal national, “Dems,” acting as if they were speaking for all progressives and independents.

    Organizing for America was immediately swallowed up by corporate PACs became Obama for America after the Nov election and the local groups were again, after being used, left to fend for themselves. Unless Martha or Brandon or somebody has the balls to give the actual figures, I doubt there are more than 15K registered Dems in the entire state dictating the whole program.

    Pick your state candidates to directly support and work for, the party is out to lunch and not listening to most of us that they claim to be speaking for.

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