When Martha Laning ran for chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin back in 2015 she touted as one of her greatest strengths her ability to raise money. In fact, it was really the only strength she brought to the table. In January of 2014, when Laning was approached by party operatives to run for state senate, she didn’t even know that the party had members that paid dues, so experience and knowledge weren’t her long suit.
A political party needs money, to be sure, but the leader of any political party must possess the qualities of character that define true leadership, like integrity, courage and honesty. Those are the qualities that inspire people, and ones that Laning is, apparently, lacking.
The single most striking example was Laning’s full flip flop on how she would cast her superdelegate vote at the DNC convention last July. In November of 2015, Laning told the Associated Press that she’d be casting her superdelegate vote for whichever candidate won the Wisconsin primary. By mid-March of 2016, when it likely started to dawn on Laning that Wisconsin’s Democratic Party primary voters were going to hand the state resoundingly to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, she changed her tune. Any reasonable person might well conclude she did so in order to be able to cast her vote instead for Hillary Clinton, which would suggest that she was quietly supporting Clinton all along.
Laning should have either stated right upfront who she was likely supporting, Hillary Clinton, or she should have stuck to her word and cast her vote for Bernie Sanders at the convention. Flip flopping on major issues, via the use of dubious explanations, is not a quality people care for in elected officials.
And now Laning has presided over an election worse than anything Mike Tate was ever involved in: Wisconsin turning red in a presidential election year.
Time for Martha Laning to do the right thing and step down.