|Citizens from Wisconsin and Minnesota gathered outside |
Rep. Ron Kind’s Eau Claire office last June to urge
Kind to stop Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority
Photo: Wisconsin AFL-CIO
Not so says the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW).
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) Chair, Martha Laning, won her election in June 2015 promising to cultivate a progressive, grassroots-supporting agenda over party insiders, (Talaga, Isthmus).
It didn't take long for Laning to sell out and break promises, and in a presidential election year no less, betraying La Follette and the Wisconsin people who should be welcomed into the DPW, not shooed away.
In a year rife with congressional primary challenges nationwide, (Bland, Meyer, Schneider and Robillard, The Politico), Wisconsin's first major congressional primary challenge comes from progressive Democrat Myron Buchholz of Eau Claire in Wisconsin's third congressional district.
Buchholz quickly found the DPW is run with broken promises, outright lies and disregard to internal Party rules from Chair Martha Laning.
Laning's months-long tenure at DPW has already earned the moniker the "incumbent protection plan," protecting party insiders from the people whom they are elected to represent and progressives working on behalf of citizens against special interests.
Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin) was first elected to office in 1996 and became so immersed in Washington politics and out-of-touch with his district, Kind champions the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty.
The TPP is a give-away to transnational corporations, foreign interests, and hedge fund investors. The consequences of TPP would be the accelerated flight of American jobs and industry, and the substituting of citizens' legal environmental, labor and consumer protections with the full force of special interest law.
Think NAFTA's giant sucking sound, multiplied by 1,000 and the reality of TPP, (not voted on yet), and you'll get the picture of this potential restructuring of American society not exactly responsive to citizen voices anymore. Kind made news when he tried to explain why he received over $16,000 in money from the Koch brothers, (Craver, The Capital Times). Now there's a new kind of Democrat.
Democratic Party Obstruction to Grassroots Challenge
Myron Buchholz decided enough is enough and launched his run in February.
So what does DPW Chair Laning do?
She tells this Democrat in good standing 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).
Laning's reasoning. She has no reasoning, saying she must control the VAN because if Democratic incumbents believe it will be sold to primary challengers the incumbents won't update the VAN and the voter information contained in the VAN will suffer.
Buchholz' and other Democratic Party volunteers are taking to Facebook and other social media saying if they believed incumbents had a proprietary hold on the information volunteers gather, they wouldn't have volunteered in the first place.
An email by supporters of Buchholz circulating reads:
The current DPW by-law language regarding VAN access is this:
The Wisconsin voter file which is administered by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) will be made available to all the following individuals/groups in good standing with the DPW and legislative caucuses: all incumbent Democratic Party officeholders, Democratic nominees for public office, Democratic legislative campaign committees, and county, local unit, and Congressional District affiliates of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Voter file will be made available to non-partisan candidates who are in compliance with the membership requirements detailed in Article 1, Section 6(e), contingent upon the recommendation of their county party leadership. In the case of multi-jurisdiction or statewide races, such recommendations will be made by the State Chair, subject to review by the Executive Committee. Multiple recommendations for a specific office are allowed. All other requests made by individuals, candidates, groups, organizations, or political committees not specified above, must be approved by the State Chair, subject to review by the Executive Committee. All appeals for reversals or exceptions are subject to review by the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin voter file and other Democratic Party list access fees will be determined by the Executive Committee established fair market value, as required by state regulation.
The DPW County Chairs Association is meeting this weekend in Stevens Point. The discussion on changing Laning's new protect-the-incumbents-against-grassroots citizens policy should begin in Point.