WisPolitics is holding a luncheon for Rep. Kind to discuss policy issues at The Madison Club, 5 East Wilson Street in Madison at 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on March 29 next Tuesday.
Rep. Kind is facing a tough primary challenger in retired teacher Myron Buchholz (D-Eau Claire).
Kind is chair of the corporatist New Democrat Coalition and a champion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) 'trade' agreement now before Congress.
Buchholz opposes the TPP and is making the loss of manufacturing jobs and campaign finance the centerpiece of his campaign. Buchholz launched his congressional run in February.
One would think in progressive Wisconsin, in the tradition of Bob La Follette, voters should pick their representatives, not Party bosses.
Candidate Buchholz found out the Democratic Party bosses protect entrenched incumbents like Kind, who has received over $16,000 from the Koch brothers, (Craver, The Capital Times).
Money Talks, La Follette Walks
Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) Chair Martha Laning is protecting Kind and the special interests funding his six-figure gig as a nine-term member of Congress.
Laning tells the Democrat in good standing, Myron Buchholz, that the DPW's voters' list, (Voter Activation Network (VAN)), will not be made available to Buchholz for his challenge to Rep. Kind, (Blogging Blue), (Cognitive Dissidence).
It's about money.
The money from the Koch brothers is nothing compared to the top four special interest sectors forking over money to Kind—Insurance, Pharmaceuticals/Health Products, Health Professionals and Securities and Investment—who have collectively donated over $391,000 in the 2015-16 election cycle alone, (Open Secrets, Center for Responsive Politics).
As of Dec. 31, 2015, Kind had over $2 million on hand and raised well over $1 million in 2015-16.
Name of the Game Is Money from Special Interests
Kind and the DPW are not unique. Shutting out, and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hopes shutting down, grassroots challengers is a national phenomena.
"The Florida Democratic Party will not allow me access to our party's (voters') database and software because I am running against an incumbent Democrat," said Florida congressional candidate, Tim Canova (Fulton, Common Dreams). Sounds familiar.
Canova is mounting a grassroots challenge against the six-term congresswoman and chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida).
Message from the DNC, Schultz and the Party insiders' favorite, Hillary Clinton, to challengers fighting special interests is clear: Get lost, (Iannelli, Broward-Palm Beach New Times).
[Note: Breaking news out of Florida: "After being denied access to an important voter file that could help his campaign, Democrat Tim Canova, who is challenging incumbent Debbie Wasserman Schultz this August, will now get access to a campaign tool called the Voter Activation Network (VAN)," (Perry, Florida Politics).]
Missouri and other states report similar challenger obstruction by the state's Democratic Party.
"(N)ews outlets in Missouri reported last month on the fight over VAN access in that state, 'several Democratic candidates—who are also Ferguson movement leaders,' were blocked from the files by the state party. As one of the candidate's campaign managers put it, 'The sign almost says, 'Newcomers need not apply.'"
The DNC has become a funnel for special interests and Myron Buchholz and Tim Canova are not the right kind of special. The kind with a dollar sign and six figures to donate for services rendered.
This begs the question of Kind, posed by Myron Buchholz, which side are you on, Ron Kind?