Talk Amongst Yourselves: - Democratic Convention

Russ Feingold

It's the second day of the Democratic Convention, and the day of the long-awaited/dreaded vote on DPW chair.  I've not expressed an opinion on this since I could actually understand the reasoning of anyone who would have voted for any of the candidates, and unlike some of my fellow bloggers, did not see any of them as evil incarnate. My preference was for Jeff Smith for a number of reasons, but it appears that ship has sailed.

I note that Russ Feingold gave a rabble-rousing speech last night, and has placed himself firmly in the race, which is a great thing. I could not make the Convention this year for a number of reasons, but am trying to keep up from home.  The vote for chair happens in the early afternoon today.

So -- what do you all think?  Chip in your opinions in the comments.

Jeff Smith asks supporters to vote for Martha Laning

A brief while ago Jeff Smith sent out an email to his supporters asking them to vote for Martha Laning. This is somewhat surprising, but the whole DPW chair race has been a little surprising this time around.

Dear friends and supporters,

This campaign has been an extraordinary adventure. I recognize that together we’ve been able to propel the conversation in the direction it needs to go. I am confident that our party can heal and unify. Together, we can be the progressive agents we should be. If we rally around each other and embrace our strength through unity, we will win back our state.   
In a recent letter, I stated how important it is that we unite. It is crucial that the leader of this party has majority support of all our delegates. We need to be able to restore trust and build confidence to make the Democratic Party of Wisconsin effective and return to the path of success.
My message has never wavered. It is a message of grassroots regional county party building and placing our faith in you, our members, over those of money changers.
Together with you, I will do all I can to fight for what is right for this great state and for our party. Therefore, I ask my supporters to join with me in casting their vote for Martha Laning for the next Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. 
I am excited for the potential that a new leadership style will bring to our party and to working with a team dedicated toward a true progressive Wisconsin.


Scott Walker and ‘The L Word’

Bill Lueders at The Progressive

It was the label that dared not speak its name. The assembled scribes reached for euphemisms, none more artfully than Matthew DeFour, state government reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.

DeFour, at a panel discussion Monday night, was responding to audience questions about the Wisconsin governor and Presidential aspirant’s record of saying things that aren’t true. He used an analogy, involving a media description of Walker holding a blowtorch and working with metal. “Are you looking for us to say, ‘Oh, he’s a welder?’ ” DeFour asked. “I don’t think you’re ever going to see the newspaper call him a straight-out welder. We’re not going to be like, ‘Governor Walker, he’s a giant welder.’ We’re not going to do that.”

- See more at:

And let me just say it --- Scott Walker is a welder!

New Research Exposes Folly of Wisconsin's Prevailing Wage Repeal Proposal

Monday, June 1, 2015
Contact: Todd Stenhouse, (916) 397-1131, [email protected]

 New Research Exposes Folly of Wisconsin's Prevailing Wage Repeal Proposal

Repeal will cost Wisconsin thousands of jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars

Madison – Just completed research by Colorado State University Economist Kevin Duncan and Smart Cities Prevail Researcher Alex Lantsberg reveals that Wisconsin’s proposed prevailing wage repeal (AB 32) will cost the state nearly 9,000 jobs, $1.2 billion in economic output, $77 million in tax revenue, and will export an estimated $500 million in construction investments out of state.

The report, entitled “How Weakening Wisconsin’s Prevailing Wage Policy Would Affect Public Construction Costs and Economic Activity,” is the latest in a series of studies completed by Duncan and Lantsberg that model the effect of prevailing wage policy changes on the economies and construction industries of states where such changes are under consideration.

Rep. Lisa Subeck questions fast-track abortion bill hearing


DATE: June 2, 2015

CONTACT: Zach Madden, 608-266-7521(office) 920-627-5773 (cell)


Representative Lisa Subeck Questions Fast-Tracked Hearing on Proposed Abortion Ban

Republicans play politics with women’s health, taking options away from pregnant women in medical crisis

MADISON –Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) released the following statement in response to a joint Senate and Assembly hearing scheduled on AB 237/SB179 less than 2 weeks after introduction of the bill.


“Republicans are playing politics with women’s health, inserting themselves into decisions that should be made privately between a woman and her doctor. We must protect a woman’s freedom to make her own health care decisions without interference from politicians.

I'm Counting on You

Kathleen Vinehout
June 3, 2015
“I’m Counting on You”
Removal of Teaching Standards Fires Up Folks
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“I’m counting on you,” Tracy from Mondovi wrote me.
The architects of the Joint Finance Committee’s education budget package wrongly assumes that anyone can teach by allowing those with minimal qualifications and little more than a high school diploma to educate our children.  Their action will degrade the quality of teaching in Wisconsin and represents a race to the bottom.”
Tracy was one of many constituents who recently contacted me about a big change in the state’s teaching standards.
In late night budget action, after freezing the school revenue limit and allowing no increase in aid, the Republican majority voted to strip away teaching standards.

Rep. Chris Taylor on UW Budget Cuts


OK $250 mil cut to UW System while gutting tenure, shared governance


Madison—Late Friday, The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee continued to ignore the people in the state of Wisconsin by cutting and gutting Wisconsin’s nationally renowned public education system.  Republicans on the JFC unanimously approved a $250 million cut to our UW-System, elimination of tenure protections and gutting of shared governance which requires that faculty, academic staff and students have a voice in governance and policy issues.

Want to Win? Vote Wineke

I was Russ Feingold's communications director for his tough 1998 re-election campaign.  While all supporters offer well-intentioned advice, few offer quality advice.  It's kind of like when your car is making a funny sound-- ask 10 people what the problem is and you'll get 15 different answers. 

Joe Wineke was the guy that could quickly diagnose the funny sound the car was making, and more importantly, knew the smartest way to fix it.  

Later, I often got a first-hand look at how Joe kept the car running as DPW Chair from 2005 to 2009.  Obviously those were good years for Democrats, but a skilled party chief knows how to help maximize gains in good years and minimize losses in bad years.  And Joe did just that:  Making unprecedented gains in the Wisconsin Senate, Assembly and Governor's office.

Ron "Deficit Hawk" Johnson: "I'm Not Totally Opposed to Some Deficit Spending"

Today, the Republican Party of Wisconsin launched a website attacking Russ Feingold for teaching a course at Stanford; supporting President Obama; and the budget deficit. 

I hate to give the RPW pointers, but these attacks are all barking up the wrong trees.  


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