Purported Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairperson candidate Martha Laning ran ad praising Republicans during failed state senate campaign

If you thought the consultant class’s candidate for Chairperson of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Jason Rae, was bad, it’s being reported that, believe it or not, a candidate who is arguably as bad as Jason Rae is going to enter the race for DPW chair.

Martha Laning, who lost a Wisconsin State Senate race in the Manitowoc/Sheboygan region of the state last year by a huge margin to far-right Republican and corporate media hack Devin LeMahieu, reportedly intends to announce a bid for DPW chair sometime later today at the DPW County Chairs Association (DPW CCA) meeting in Plover, Wisconsin, and that political fundraiser Mary Lang Sollinger will drop out of the race at or around the same time Laning announces her bid for DPW chair. This is being reported by two authors of the Wisconsin-based progressive blog Blogging Blue, citing unnamed sources.

During her failed state senate campaign, Laning ran a campaign that was completely out of touch with reality. Despite all of the damage that far-right Republican Scott Walker did in his first term as Governor of Wisconsin, including busting unions, forcing Wisconsin women who wish to have an abortion undergo a forced ultrasound, repealing Wisconsin’s equal pay law, giving out corporate welfare to political cronies, and gutting public education, Laning ran a TV ad for her state senate campaign in which she praised Republicans and bizarrely claimed that Republicans have good ideas:

Having watched the ad on YouTube at least once during her state senate campaign that I can remember (I don’t live in Wisconsin, so the only way I can view Wisconsin-based political ads is if the candidates themselves upload them to a website where non-Wisconsinites can view them), watching that ad nearly made me vomit, to be honest with you. I’ve never seen a Democrat run an ad that was as out of touch with political reality as the one Laning ran in her Wisconsin State Senate campaign last year.

Steve Carlson of Blogging Blue reported that Laning moderated an event that was billed by Laning and 3rd Congressional District of Wisconsin Chairwoman Lisa Herman as a Democratic forum in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and it appears that someone was pulling quite a few strings for Laning:

What’s interesting about this impending announcement is that Laning made an appearance not quite two weeks ago in Stevens Point, not far from Plover, at what was billed by both her and 3rd congressional district Chair Lisa Hermann as a Democratic Forum, ostensibly held to chart a path forward for democrats across Wisconsin. But here’s where it gets curious.

Laning moderated the event the entire day, which lasted maybe seven hours. Not Lisa Hermann, a long time democrat and CD Chair, not Penny Bernard Schaber, who was in attendance, nor any of the other long time democrats who were in attendance, but Martha Laning, a woman whose engaged involvement with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, as far as I know, consists of a single run for state senate over the last couple of years. And she was up in front of the crowd the entire day. Hmmm.

And what’s even more curious is that all of the announced candidates for Chair of the DPW were encouraged to attend, and most of them did, but they were informed in advance that they would not be allowed to speak to the assembled gathering, nor were they to hand out any literature regarding their respective campaigns. Hmmmmmm.

Furthermore, Zach Wisniewski of Blogging Blue reported that Laning’s yet-to-be-announced candidacy for DPW chair is backed by the “money people” within the DPW who want a chairperson who will serve them and not rank-and-file Wisconsin Democrats, and that Laning herself is not strongly progressive when it comes to labor unions, economic policy, and abortion:

According to my source, Laning’s candidacy would represent efforts by the “money people” within the party to elect the DPW Chair they want. “They want to make someone chair who has been a member for less than two years and is totally unreliable on labor, economic issues, abortion rights, etc. It’s unbelievable,” said the source, noting Joe Wineke, Jeff Smith, and Jason Rae are all reliably progressive while in the opinion of my source Martha Laning isn’t as reliably progressive.

Corporate Democrats like Mary Burke and Martha Laning tried a strategy in 2014 of praising Republicans and running away from progressives, labor unions, and the middle class at nearly every opportunity, and it failed miserably in Wisconsin and many other states because it did nothing to win over persuadable voters while turning off progressives to the point that many of them didn’t vote in the November 2014 elections. Either Jason Rae or Martha Laning would be as big of a disaster, if not even more of a disaster, as DPW chair than Mike Tate has been for the past six years. Given how important Wisconsin is to the 2016 elections, Wisconsin, and, for that matter, America, can’t afford a DPW chair candidate who would run the same failed strategy or an even worse strategy.


8 thoughts on “Purported Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairperson candidate Martha Laning ran ad praising Republicans during failed state senate campaign

  1. “Either Jason Rae or Martha Laning would be as big of a disaster, if not even more of a disaster, as DPW chair than Mike Tate has been for the past six years.”

    I agree! Don’t listen to Blogging Blue when it comes to corporate Dems. They have a long history of backing Milwaukee County Exec Chris Abele who has continued and expanded on the anti-worker policies of Scott Walker.

    The fact that they haven’t come out and officially endorsed Jason Rae for Chair shows how much they can be trusted. Don’t let their false independence confuse you! Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blogging Blue is a blog comprised of a number of individuals, one of whom is publicly supporting Jeff Smith for DPW Chair.

      As to which candidate I’m supporting, I haven’t made up my mind because I’m not certain the field is 100% set yet. Nice try though!


  2. Great article. I was very annoyed by Blogging Blue’s articles smearing Martha Lanning when they are unabashedly supporting the other corporate dem candidate in the race, Jason Rae.

    Chris Abele is the problem with the Wisconsin Democratic Party and Blogging Blue has consistently protected his corporatist reforms. FYI


    1. “I was very annoyed by Blogging Blue’s articles smearing Martha Lanning when they are unabashedly supporting the other corporate dem candidate in the race, Jason Rae.”

      That’s funny, considering not a single person who writes for Blogging Blue has publicly announced support for Jason Rae. Look, if you want to trash Blogging Blue, that’s your right, but at least try to have your facts straight.


  3. Aaron, while I understand why many are skeptical of Jason Rae, having met and talked with him at length, I do think he’d be a change from Mike Tate in several important aspects. First of all, he absolutely agrees with criticisms of the DPW’s poor messaging, and while he understands why people are skeptical of him given his “insider” status, he did make a point to tell me he thinks there needs to be some serious changes within the DPW itself as far as staffing goes.

    Those are just two points, but I have more. Keep in mind I haven’t made a decision on who to support in the DPW race, but the sense I get is that Jason Rae isn’t “Mike Tate Jr.” like so many want to portray him as.


    1. My biggest problem with Jason Rae is that his campaign seems to be overemphasizing the digital aspect of political party management. While I obviously understand that political parties’ online and social media presence is very important in the 21st century (in fact, the state Democratic Party in my home state of Illinois lacks an official Facebook or Twitter page and has a website that looks straight out of the late 1990’s), I’m guessing that a lot of people in rural Wisconsin don’t have any kind of internet access, so using internet and social media to try to reach rural voters would probably be of very limited use, because many of them probably don’t have internet access.

      I’ll probably write a detailed blog post about the use of the internet and social media by political parties without mentioning Jason Rae or the DPW Chair’s race in a couple of days.

      Liked by 1 person

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