Did corporatist Democrats launch a coordinated attack against progressives/populists because they’re scared of…Kathleen Vinehout?
Yesterday, corporatist Democrats, who are slowly losing control of the Democratic Party, launched a coordinated attack against an emerging progressive/populist wing of the party.
The corporatist Third Way Democrats ran an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal claiming that cutting Social Security was a path to victory for Democrats (cutting Social Security would actually ruin the Democratic brand for decades if the Democrats were the ones who did so). Additionally, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, Wall Street’s favorite Democrat on Capitol Hill, compared progressives to Tea Partiers (which is a textbook example of false equivalence). Other corporatist Democrats, such as Richard Cohen, Doug Schoen, Pat Caddell, and Harold Ford, Jr. also joined in on the progressive-bashing.
Personally, I believe that this coordinated attack of progressives by the corporatist wing of the Democratic Party was not out of fear that Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachussetts, who is very progressive on domestic issues, might win the Democratic presidential nomination. As much as I’d like to see Warren run for president, Warren said earlier today that she’s not interested in running for president. This coordinated attack of progressives was probably out of fear of Democratic Wisconsin State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, a rural populist who isn’t exactly a progressive but is an ardent critic of the culture of big-money politics. Vinehout is likely to run for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Wisconsin, where she would have to run against corporatist Democrat Mary Burke in the primary.
Why would corporatist Democrats be scared of Kathleen Vinehout? As I mentioned above, she’s an ardent critic of the culture of big-money politics that is despised by the vast majority of Wisconsinites, however, she also seems to be genuinely interested in improving the lives of the people of the State of Wisconsin, unlike Mary Burke, who is more interested in trying to buy an election with her own money and holding fundraisers with D.C. lobbyists than doing anything to make Wisconsin a better place to live.
Even though Vinehout only got a few percent of the vote in the Democratic primary in the 2012 recall attempt against Scott Walker, I believe that Vinehout can win a two-way primary against Mary Burke for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. It’s certainly worth noting this: when Vinehout ran for state senate in the 31st State Senate District of Wisconsin, Vinehout won a two-way primary against Chris Danou.
This is one of the most disgusting fundraising emails I’ve seen in my lifetime.
Cognitive Dissidence’s Chris Liebenthal recently uncovered this fundraising email, sent by the official campaign committee of Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, which asked for people not to give their kids any gifts for Christmas and donate money to Walker’s campaign instead. When I read that email, I was stunned that a candidate for public office would say something like that.
Walker’s “contributions not gifts” fundraising email is a textbook example of how disgusting the culture of big-money politics in this country has become. We have a political culture in this country where candidates for public office will do just about anything, including telling people to donate to their campaign instead of giving gifts to people, to raise money.
Walker’s “contributions not gifts” email has drawn negative media attention from the international press.
The British newspaper Daily Mail ran this piece about Walker’s “contributions not gifts” fundraising email, and compared it to an “event registry” webpage that President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign ran in which they asked people not to give people birthday, wedding, anniversary, and other kinds of gifts to people and donate to Obama’s campaign instead. I voted for Obama in both 2008 and 2012, and I’ve been a vocal critic of Walker since 14 Democratic members of the Wisconsin State Senate fled here to Illinois in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent an anti-collective bargaining bill from becoming law, but I think it’s cold-hearted for any candidate for public office to tell people to donate to their campaign instead of giving gifts to their loved ones. Also, the fact that a British newspaper is providing better coverage of American politics speaks volumes about how horrible our country’s mainstream media is.
- Scott Walker Campaign: Skip Black Friday, Give Us Your Money Instead (huffingtonpost.com)
- Is Scott Walker swiping kids’ Christmas gifts? (blogs.e-rockford.com)
- Fundraising email: Skip holiday gifts for the kids, give to Scott Walker (dailykos.com)
- Governor Tells Supporters To Forgo Buying Children Presents, Give Money To His Campaign Instead (thinkprogress.org)
The office of State Treasurer of Wisconsin is one of the most insignificant state executive offices in the entire country. The state treasurer’s office has very little power, in fact, there’s even a Republican-led movement to amend the Wisconsin Constitution to eliminate the offices of State Treasurer of Wisconsin and Secretary of State of Wisconsin. I oppose eliminating both of those offices, in fact, I support transferring the power to appoint members of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) from the governor to the secretary of state, and I support replacing the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) with a North Dakota-style state economic development bank run by a board whose members would be appointed by the state treasurer.
The current State Treasurer of Wisconsin, Republican Kurt Schuller, is not running for re-election in the 2014 state treasurer’s race. Schuller ran for state assembly in the 2012 race in the 53rd Assembly District, losing the Republican primary to Michael Schraa, who went on to win the general election.
According to the GAB’s list of registered candidates for the August 2014 primaries, no Republicans and two Democrats have filed for the race. One of the Democrats who has filed is Brandon White of Madison, who does not appear to be formally campaigning at this time. The other Democrat who has filed is Dan Bohrod of Madison, who has a campaign website that has apparently not been updated since 2010 and does not appear to be formally campaigning for the 2014 state treasurer’s race at this time.
Given how insignificant the state treasurer’s office is in Wisconsin, I would prefer that someone who is creative, has a sense of humor, and knows how run a grassroots campaign to be the Democratic nominee for state treasurer. You may be asking yourself…why would I want someone who is creative and has a sense of humor to run for state treasurer? Since it’s very difficult for candidates to raise money for a state treasurer’s race in Wisconsin, one possible winning strategy for a Democratic candidate for state treasurer would be to run a series of funny web videos in order to get campaign donations from small donors.
I’ll be the first one to admit that I’d love nothing more to see that corrupt right-wing extremist Scott Walker be defeated in the 2014 gubernatorial election in Wisconsin. However, Mary Burke, the Democrat currently running for Governor of Wisconsin. is letting us down big time.
Earlier this week, Burke met with a group of Democrats in Fond du Lac, and she was asked several hardball questions, including whether or not she had a jobs plan. Here’s how Burke responded to that particular question:
Mary was also asked about jobs, and responded that it was a critical issue but she didn’t yet have a plan, and would be formulating one over the next 10 months. No mention of infrastructure or any other job-stimulating investments.
I could formulate a jobs plan for any state in 10 minutes if I had to for some reason.
For someone who is a former business executive who is running against an incumbent governor whose policies have caused significant damage to Wisconsin’s economy, I find it downright shocking that Mary Burke doesn’t have a plan to get Wisconsin’s economy back on track. That is perhaps the biggest unforced error that Burke has made in her campaign so far.
Simply put, if Kathleen Vinehout were to run for governor (she’s holding several exploratory events next month, and she’ll decide whether or not to run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination sometime in January), Vinehout would probably obliterate Burke in any primary debates that are held, in fact, I believe that Vinehout can defeat Burke in a competitive primary.
I’m not a big fan of applying stereotypes to people, but, to use Wisconsin parlance, if there’s anyone who fits the definition of an “inside-the-beltline” candidate, it’s Mary Burke, the Democrat who is currently running for Governor of Wisconsin.
In a meeting with the Middleton Action Team, one of many progressive organizations in Dane County, Burke explained why she decided to run for governor:
Burke said she entered the race after determining that there was a path to victory. She said she conducted polling that showed she could win and spent a couple of months traveling around the state to see how people felt about her as a candidate. Then she made sure she could put together a strong campaign team and raise the necessary money.
Mary Burke admitted to being guided by opinion polls and money in her decision to run for Governor of Wisconsin. That is two hallmarks of an “inside-the-beltine” candidate, and an “inside-the-beltline” candidate cannot defeat Scott Walker.
One of the main reasons why an “inside-the-beltline” candidate cannot defeat Scott Walker is because the mainstream media in Wisconsin has been driving a pro-Walker narrative since before he was elected governor, and especially since Walker “dropped the bomb” on Wisconsinites, stripped public-sector unions in Wisconsin of their collective bargaining rights, and tanked Wisconsin’s economy.
However, Wisconsin Republicans also seem to be falling into “inside-the-beltline” logic themselves. Looking at the Wisconsin GOP’s Twitter page, they, for some bizarre reason, seem to be promoting Kathleen Vinehout’s potential run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. They are making a huge mistake if Vinehout runs for governor. One of the main reasons why I’d like to see Kathleen Vinehout run for Governor of Wisconsin is because she doesn’t believe in the “inside-the-beltline” logic that both the Democratic establishment and the Republican establishment ascribe to in Wisconsin. Vinehout knows that the only way that a Democrat is going to defeat Scott Walker is to run against big money politics and the “inside-the-beltline” way of thinking.
It will take a strong counter-narrative for any Democrat to defeat Scott Walker. Mary Burke doesn’t seem to be willing to drive her own counter-narrative to the pro-Walker narrative that Wisconsin’s mainstream media has driven for the past few years, but Kathleen Vinehout has a strong counter-narrative to not just Scott Walker, but also to the “inside-the-beltine” culture and the culture of big-money politics.
Wisconsin Republicans run web ads calling voting a “civic duty” while enacting voter suppression measures
I’ve seen web ads, paid for by the Republican Party of Wisconsin, which refer to voting as a “civic duty”.
I strongly believe that is voting is an important civic duty for those who are eligible to vote, indeed, I am a 23-year-old U.S. Citizen who lives in the State of Illinois, and I am registered to vote in Illinois. However, I find it blatantly hypocritical for Wisconsin Republicans to run web ads referring to voting as a civic duty while the Republicans who run the Wisconsin State Legislature are enacting voter ID laws, curtailing early voting hours, and enacting other measures designed to make it harder for eligible voters in Wisconsin to exercise their civic duty of voting.
In fact, my belief that voting is an important civic duty is the main reason why I strongly oppose efforts to make it harder for people in any part of this country to vote.
- Wisconsin GOP pushes new voting restrictions (msnbc.com)