Demz strike at PD

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

Should we care

Poll ended at Sun Dec 26, 2004 12:25 pm

yes
11
41%
no
16
59%
 
Total votes: 27

madozone
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Postby madozone » Tue Dec 28, 2004 7:30 pm

Donald wrote:I agree with Madozone. Political parties of all stripes: get the fuck out of these non-partisan elections. I hope everyone will join me in voting against any candidate who is endorsed by a political party. I hope candidates will run who are independent and boast of their non-endorsement by a political party. I think enough people are sick of the egomaniacal political hacks and flunkies who have their undies twisted in knots because someone doesn't kowtow to them on every fricking point.


I need to clarify my position. PD endorsed a candidate before the filing deadline, rather than waiting for the field to sort itself out and then seeing who came to them seeking the endorsement. Endorsement means that the group votes to give some funding and effort to a candidate, and I believe that right should not be infringed. Non-partisan race implies that the affiliation is not on the ballot and the literature distributed by a candidate cannot declare affiliation with a party. However, if a candidate is asked, he or she can and should state affiliation, if any. Let the voters decide if that matters to them. Completely blocking a group of citizens from acting in concert as a PAC or party seems to be counter to the principles of a representative democracy. There are campaign finance limits in place already, and they seem to work, so the financial impact of a party is limited.

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Postby Donald » Tue Dec 28, 2004 10:47 pm

Just a second. It seems to me that a candidate who runs with the endorsement of a political party automatically invalidates himself (shouldn't be placed on the ballot) because that candidate no longer can honestly claim to be a non-partisan candidate, as required by law. Now if a candidate accepts an endorsement of a party after being placed on the ballot, that person also violates his non-partisan ballot status and should be stricken from the ballot, or not allowed to take office, if elected.

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Postby madozone » Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:56 pm

Donald wrote:Just a second. It seems to me that a candidate who runs with the endorsement of a political party automatically invalidates himself (shouldn't be placed on the ballot) because that candidate no longer can honestly claim to be a non-partisan candidate, as required by law. Now if a candidate accepts an endorsement of a party after being placed on the ballot, that person also violates his non-partisan ballot status and should be stricken from the ballot, or not allowed to take office, if elected.


I don't know if the law says that the candidate has to say "I am an Independent". As I understand it, the law prevents party affiliation from limiting the number of candidates in a primary (you could have 10 Democrats or 10 PD or whatever) and the winner of the primary are the top two regardless of affiliation. It doesn't say "you cannot be affiliated with a party". It sounds to me that you want it to be that way, but I've seen no evidence that indicates it is true.

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Postby Stu Levitan » Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:11 am

I think this continues to be about the most important issue right now in local politics, so I'm going to do another segment on it Weds 5:15. This situation could actually affect a race or two, including a very important one downtown. I'm hoping to at least have both PD/DP officials (Michael/Brian/Brenda and Wayne/Andy, if you read this, let me know about your availability. Austin, too.), and any of the rest of you, both named and anonymous, who'd like to call 321-0921. Thanks.

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Postby bmasel » Wed Dec 29, 2004 8:19 am

Andy Olsen wrote:
burstingsun wrote:The intent of the proposal may not be to affect dual membership, but it sends a pretty clear message that disenfranchises dual members from the dem party.

Sorry you feel that way. That may be the message received, but it is not the message sent. The message sent is only what the message says, which is that candidates of other parties will not be endorsed by DPDC.

But according to the Cap Times story (reprinted at the beginning of this thread),
The executive board of the Democratic Party has unanimously adopted a policy that would prohibit any of its endorsed candidates from being endorsed by or belonging to another party, confirmed Wayne Bigelow, chair of the Democratic Party of Dane County.


So if I were to run for Partisan Office, as a Democrat, and win the Primary, would I not be "endorsed? What would that non-endorsement mean in practice? When I won the Demoicratic Primary for Sheriff in 1994, I was barred from participation in the "Democratic Unity Rally" held at the Concourse a few days before the general election. From what I was told by Tammy Baldwin at the time, this was at the insistence of Herb Kohl.

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Postby Nick Berigan » Wed Dec 29, 2004 8:26 am

How could this be the "most important local political issue" as measured against the minimum wage lawsuit, the question of whether or not November voters and activists will be organized for April elections (by anyone!), whether we continue to let the funding of social services and education degrade, to name a few?

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Postby Stu Levitan » Wed Dec 29, 2004 8:54 am

Well, I think the relationship between PD and DCDP could affect a couple of very important council races this spring, which would affect everything the city does the next two years. That's why I think it's the most important topic as we head into the election. It's also a good topic because both sides have articulate and passionate advocates. Finally, as something which is totally in the control of local forces, it's an issue that can actually be affected by public discourse (unlike, say, Iraq or the Ohio recount). The minimum wage lawsuit is certainly important, but its impact is pretty much limited to those who are paying or receiving it. It's also not a good talk show topic because (a) most everone who listens to the show supports the raise, (b)the policy vote has already been taken, and (c) the legal merits of the litigation are immune to debate.

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Postby Michael B Jacob » Wed Dec 29, 2004 11:20 am

Lascow wrote:if it's the voters who decide who is good for their area, candidates like Ken Golden have nothing to worry about.... Right?


Exactly right, Lascow. No matter who is backing Chris Kratochwill, he still has to garner more votes than Ken Golden on April 5. Chris has sought endorsements, yes, but most of what he has been doing is talkig one-to-one with voters in the district. He's hearing the very complaints that makes his candidacy appealing to PD: Ken's just not there for us, he's missing meetings, his energy is low, he's non-responsive to constituents. In these ways Ken is failing to serve Dist 10 well, especially given how active and progressive that district is. Chris's job is to get himself in front of as many voters as possible, present the alternative that he offers, and convince them that infusing some fresh blood onto the council through their district is a good way to go. PD will help him get out that message, but PD's support means nothing unless it is built on passion, action, and commitment from the candidate. Seeing PD's name on Chris's lit - if he even chooses to include it among his list of endorsements - will certainly not be the deciding factor for most voters.

madozone wrote:My beef is with the repeated statements from Michael Jacob that PD running a candidate in District 10 is justified because Ken Golden is "not representing his district". How did Michael and PD come to that conclusion? The election itself will of course tell the tale on whether they are right


Madozone gets one correct here. See above for rationale on PD endorsing Chris Kratochwill and comment on whether the endorsement means anything more than adding to the foundation Chris himself has put together for his campaign.

madozone wrote:, but in a non-partisan race is it appropriate for PD to announce that *they* are running a candidate?


PD doesn't run any candidates. We support excellent candidates who want to bring progressive, active representation to their districts. Chris Kratochwill is running his campaign, with the help of dedicated volunteers. PD is endorsing and supporting that effort along with many others. That is absolutely appropriate.

madozone wrote:That PD endorsed a candidate several weeks before the filing deadline says to me that they had a plan to target Ken Golden. I don't see how that is non-partisan. Perhaps other candidates would have decided to seek the PD nomination in that district, but now they are frozen out.


PD makes endorsements pre-filing deadline in limited circumstances. We get behind candidates if they are working very hard, if there is limited/no talk of other possibilities, if we think we can assist the campaign (namely add some value to a solid candidate with a solid team around him/her that they build themselves), and if there is disatisfaction with the incumbent/other challengers. Lori Nitzel (15), Lisa Subeck (1) and Chris Kratochwill are all fabulous candidates, the clear progressive choice among those expressing interest in running, well organized, and commited to both a progressive set of ideals and serving their districts actively. Sure there's a risk that some greater candidate will emerge between the PD endorsement vote and the filing deadline, but that's a risk PD takes in making these early endorsements. A practical consideration that also comes into play is that PD's general membership meets at the end of the month, so waiting until the filing deadline really means waiting until the very end of January to assist candidates. Especially for those headed toward a primary, that's too much time to lose helping candidates that will clearly be the membership's choice no matter who files or doesn't file.

By the same token, when there isn't a candidate who has clearly established him/herself as a good choice for PD to consdier backing, or where the field is still wide open as of mid-December, PD takes a wait-and-see approach. Two examples come to mind this spring: Districts 11 (MacCubbin) and 13 (Heidt) are open seats and plenty of people are expressing interest in running. PD will see how the field shakes out and decide on endorsements, if any, in January.

Andy Olsen will likely characterize this approach as some sort of king-making effort by PD (he'll probably also claim that simply by naming him here I am attacking him). Well thanks for the credit, Andy, but we don't deserve it. People who want to serve their communities must have the capacity to do it themselves. What they personally bring to their campaigns must be 80% or more of what it takes to get elected. PD - and other endorsing organizations - can help with the remaining 20% with our volunteer base and campaign experience. Many of the candidate we're endorsing this time around are new to local politics but have long histories of working hard for their community. Is it so wrong that they seek some experience to help them with the mechanics of carrying their vision to the voters?

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Postby zebra muscle » Wed Dec 29, 2004 12:32 pm

I give Supervisor Olsen 20 minutes to self-righteously respond. tick. tock.

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Postby zebra muscle » Wed Dec 29, 2004 1:09 pm

RANT


What exactly does this mean? Are you actually trying to claim the local democratic party works on local issues? Instead of mostly having its collective head up its ass half the time?

9 times out of 10, I vote for democrats in state an local elections. Why? Because I don't have a choice. I'm tired of being forced to only choose from Democrats and Republicans, so this will be changing in the future.

In local races, we have more choices. I'd rather vote for someone who is out and about doing the work of the people, then someone who is more than beholden to Tim Sullivan. We all know that endorsements are pure bullshit. Endorsements are NOT made by considering which candidate will best represent his/her district. Endorsements are mostly pre-determined by the dem/labor "Citizens for Dane County's Future" alliance. Endorsements by many mainstream elected officials are made based on "Who helped who in the past", not who does the most work.

In the case of the Dems, sometimes elected officials endorse candidates that they don't even know. Most of the quotes you see on campaign literature from Endorsers are completely made up by the candidate or the candidate's campaign team. Seriously. Many times when an elected official is asked for their endorsement, they reply "Use my name, write whatever you think is necessary." Even if Official A personaly thinks that Candidate B is a raving idiot, an endorsement happens if labor or other groups order the official to "do it for the good of the group".

Some democratic endorsed candidates will even list random dem party names on their lit because the party as a group voted to endorse them, even though they never got the permission of the named person. Talk about misleading behavior.


This is one reason why third parties are very necessary. This sort of electoral lying happens a great deal less, if at all.

Getting back to Supervisor Olsen's comments about "everything being done by PD...could be done within the Dem party"...How exactly would this work? PD would not exist if the dems were doing what they should be doing.

Lots of party resolutions are drafted and accepted. Great. Not much work gets done beyond a serious effort to maintain personal power.

Look at Inclusionary Zoning. This effort was led by members of PD who have an interest in the creation of affordable housing. The end goal never involved a group of out of touch party leaders sitting around and salivating over the potential to "put this on campaign material". The goals were always to advocate for people.

PD did not simply sponsor a resolution to support the creation of this ordinance. Many members worked long hours volunteering, researching, meeting with the development community, holding public meetings, encouraging citizen input, crunching the numbers, etc.

This is how PD does things. Grassroots. Communication. Representation. Inclusion. Hard work. Leadership.

Sound bites, stage shows and rhetoric are left to the dems.



Andy Olsen wrote:[quote=Everything done by PD -- with the exception of seeking the defeat of Democratic candidates -- could be done within the DPDC. It would require working with a group of people less ideologically homogenous than found in a splinter party. But that's how political math works best: addition trumps division.

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Text pf the Dems endorsement resolution

Postby Stu Levitan » Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:38 pm

Not sure if it's been posted previously, but here is the new policy the Dane County Dems will be voting on at their meeting of Jan. 12.

Amend the current Rules on Endorsements (see below) by adding to them the following Rule 7:
7. An endorsement by the DPDC of, or a contribution by the DPDC to, a candidate for one or both of the elections in an election cycle shall not be made until the candidate confirms in a signed statement received by the DPDC Chair that: (a) s/he is not a member of another political party and will not become a member of another political party during the same election cycle; (b) s/he has not solicited or received and will not solicit or willingly receive an endorsement of any other political party for any election in the same election cycle, and (c) s/he (if s/he be not required to have a campaign committee) or her/his campaign committee has not received and will not accept from any other political party committee a monetary or in-kind contribution for any election in the same election cycle. "Another political party" means any unit of any political party other than the Democratic Party of Dane County, Wisconsin or the United States. "Another political party committee" means the committee of any other political party which is required by law to report contributions to and expenditures on behalf of the other political party.
(end text)

PD having endorsed a candidate against Ken Golden, Dems are now recruiting for candidate to challenge Robbie Webber.

Wayne Bigelow will be on 92.1 FM in the 6pm segment; Michael Jacob will be on at 6:30. Still scheduling Andy Olsen and Austin King. Remember, your calls welcome at 321-0921.

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Postby ShaneDog » Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:05 pm

Who gets to vote on this? If I become a member of the Dane County Democrat Party can I vote on it?

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Postby Stu Levitan » Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:08 pm

It's up for vote by full membership on 12th. Not sure of details on how to become member. I'll ask Wayne on air.

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Postby Donald » Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:46 pm

madozone wrote:
Donald wrote:Just a second. It seems to me that a candidate who runs with the endorsement of a political party automatically invalidates himself (shouldn't be placed on the ballot) because that candidate no longer can honestly claim to be a non-partisan candidate, as required by law. Now if a candidate accepts an endorsement of a party after being placed on the ballot, that person also violates his non-partisan ballot status and should be stricken from the ballot, or not allowed to take office, if elected.


I don't know if the law says that the candidate has to say "I am an Independent". As I understand it, the law prevents party affiliation from limiting the number of candidates in a primary (you could have 10 Democrats or 10 PD or whatever) and the winner of the primary are the top two regardless of affiliation. It doesn't say "you cannot be affiliated with a party". It sounds to me that you want it to be that way, but I've seen no evidence that indicates it is true.

No, the law doesn't require you to be Independent, but it does require you to run without party identification or nomination. What PD and the Democrats are/have been trying to do (illegally, in my opinion) is backdoor partisan contests into what are supposed to be nonpartisan elections. It is up to the candidates to disavow what PD and the Democrats are doing. They can do so by rejecting endorsement by either party. If they don't they should be punished at the polls, if not be excluded from the ballot.

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Postby madozone » Wed Dec 29, 2004 4:14 pm

Michael B Jacob wrote:PD doesn't run any candidates. We support excellent candidates who want to bring progressive, active representation to their districts. Chris Kratochwill is running his campaign, with the help of dedicated volunteers. PD is endorsing and supporting that effort along with many others. That is absolutely appropriate.

Semantics. PD endorsed a candidate. PD advertises for a candidate on its website. You, as a PD representative, say on the radio and elsewhere that PD has a candidate in the 10th district. Is it illegal? Not to my knowledge. Are you being disingenuous by saying that PD does not "run" candidates but rather "support" them? Yes.

Michael B Jacob wrote:PD makes endorsements pre-filing deadline in limited circumstances.

9 pre-filing deadline endorsements out of 20 races is limited? Granted, 6 of those are incumbents, but 3 hardly seems limited to me. And if I recall correctly several people filed against Brian Benford as of last week, but he already has the PD endorsement because he is an incumbent; the merits of his challengers are unknown, AFAIK. It seems like PD wanted to get out ahead of anyone else and scare them off the field. That is why you'd endorse so early, is it not? Otherwise why not have a meeting shortly after the filing deadline and do the endorsements then?

Michael B Jacob wrote:We get behind candidates if they are working very hard, if there is limited/no talk of other possibilities, if we think we can assist the campaign (namely add some value to a solid candidate with a solid team around him/her that they build themselves), and if there is disatisfaction with the incumbent/other challengers.

I have a problem with the "limited/no talk of other possibilities" part. Given the very small fraction of the population that is active in party politics in this town, I don't see that as a valid cover. You don't really know who is out there until the first Tuesday in January at 5pm. It is personal opinion, but strongly held, that the parties should not even consider endorsements until after the filing deadline.

Michael B Jacob wrote:Lori Nitzel (15), Lisa Subeck (1) and Chris Kratochwill are all fabulous candidates

I am sure they are. I am not questioning them. I am questioning the timing of actions by PD as a party.

Michael B Jacob wrote:Sure there's a risk that some greater candidate will emerge between the PD endorsement vote and the filing deadline, but that's a risk PD takes in making these early endorsements.

Why? Because winning is more important than helping the best candidate?

Michael B Jacob wrote:A practical consideration that also comes into play is that PD's general membership meets at the end of the month, so waiting until the filing deadline really means waiting until the very end of January to assist candidates.

That should not even be a serious consideration. Change the date of the meeting, even if it is just the endorsement meeting. Something as mundane as a meeting schedule shouldn't short-circuit the ideal of finding the best candidate.

Michael B Jacob wrote:Especially for those headed toward a primary, that's too much time to lose helping candidates that will clearly be the membership's choice no matter who files or doesn't file.

Unless that hypothetical better candidate comes along, then your membership did not endorse the person that they really wanted. I know this is splitting hairs, but the argument that "The party will pick so-and-so anyway" is not a good reason to freeze the field by putting out a candidate about two weeks after the the signature collection period begins and three weeks before it ends. It is not a reason at all, it is a justification for actions taken without knowledge of the full field.

Michael B Jacob wrote:By the same token, when there isn't a candidate who has clearly established him/herself as a good choice for PD to consdier backing, or where the field is still wide open as of mid-December, PD takes a wait-and-see approach. Two examples come to mind this spring: Districts 11 (MacCubbin) and 13 (Heidt) are open seats and plenty of people are expressing interest in running. PD will see how the field shakes out and decide on endorsements, if any, in January.

Could PD have done anything but "wait and see" in District 11? Jean announced on December 6 that she wasn't running, 9 days before the PD meeting. Unless some people already knew through the grapevine that she was not running, the field should have been wide open. Did anyone come to PD at all about Districts 11 and 13 before the 15th?

Michael B Jacob wrote:Andy Olsen will likely characterize this approach as some sort of king-making effort by PD (he'll probably also claim that simply by naming him here I am attacking him).

Why are you picking on Andy? I've been far more vocal in this thread than he has.

And I will say it again: PD endorses candidates in December in an attempt to freeze the field to anyone else who might want to run. Sure, call it king-making, call it whatever. Since nothing stops PD members from helping a candidate at any time, why does the party put its stamp on him or her so early if not to mark territory?

Michael B Jacob wrote:Is it so wrong that they seek some experience to help them with the mechanics of carrying their vision to the voters?

Nope, it is necessary. A political newbie needs help running a campaign in this town - even with relatively small districts, they are still bigger than one person can reach. They need help and support, both moral and financial. But there are a whole bunch of ways that can happen. Endorsements before the slate is even defined strikes me as a party posturing for its own benefit.


Does it ever bother anyone else that in districts with 10,000+ residents there are often only a small handful of candidates for open seats, and incumbents can often go unchallenged? Despite all the discussion about "grassroots" politics in town, participation is woefully low.
Last edited by madozone on Wed Dec 29, 2004 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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