Wisconsin State Dems Tried to Sandbag DNC Election of Jason Rae

I had the opportunity to talk with Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy about this on Monday night and totally blanked on the importance of this story. I apologize for not getting it out front before this evening.

But Wisconsin Democratic stalwart (the hardest working Dem that I know) and incumbent member of the Democratic National Committee, Jason Rae (the youngest person ever elected to the DNC), ran for DNC Secretary and won (see my previous post). But Mayor Kennedy explained some of the shenanigans that occurred during the election process and how several DNC members from Wisconsin withheld support for Mr. Rae. Here’s the lowdown from Dan Bice at JSOnline:

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairwoman Martha Laning and Vice Chairman David Bowen opted to back candidates other than Milwaukee activist Jason Rae on the first two ballots for Democratic National Committee secretary.

Only when it became apparent that Rae, 30, was going to be elected secretary on the third ballot at the DNC’s annual winter meeting in Atlanta last month did Laning, Bowen and another Wisconsin delegate, Andrew Werthmann of Eau Claire, decide to cast their ballots for Rae for the powerful political post.

“Martha and David sought to support candidates for secretary who would best support state parties,” said Brandon Weathersby, spokesman for the state Democratic Party. “They both voted for Jason Rae on the final ballot, and they’re both supportive of Rae as DNC secretary.”

During the recent campaign for DNC secretary, Rae ran on a platform stressing the need for transparency in Democratic Party affairs.

Now there is some back story on this. Martha Laning defeated Jason Rae for the chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin in 2015. And at that time there was some backlash against Mr. Rae for being an establishment party guy. A 28 year old (at the time of the 2015 election) out gay man is party establishment? Pulleeeze…but I don’t know if there is still some left over issues from 2015.

And for Blogging Blue to be completely transparent. Mayor Kennedy is interested in this because he intends to run against Ms. Laning for DPW chair at the state convention in June 2017.

Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy, who is challenging Laning for state party chairman, lashed out at her for trying to block Rae for the DNC slot. Kennedy said the vote shows Laning is “not about bringing the state party together.”

“I find it absolutely appalling that not only did Martha Laning not vote for Jason Rae but she was actively campaigning against him,” Kennedy said. “To have a national officer who is from Wisconsin is a big step for us as a party. And to be actively working against him just comes across as incredibly petty.”

So once more, congratulations to Jason Rae on your election as Secretary of the Democratic National Committee!

And I am looking forward to the race for DPW chair this June! See you in Madison!!


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