Dems still see blue in Oshkosh
Republican-led communities full of potential
There's a bulls-eye painted on Oshkosh, and it's "blue," not "red."
State Democratic leaders preparing for a Wisconsin-wide battle for power in Madison this fall are making no bones about the fact that long, Republican-led communities like Oshkosh are full of Democrat-potential in the looming elections.
"We believe very strongly that we have a decent chance of winning Underheim's seat, and I believe we can even beat Carol Owens," Wineke told The Northwestern during an editorial board visit last week.
Wineke's tour touting the party's new "Democratic Difference" platform, also took him to Appleton and Green Bay last week. The platform is focused on the middle class and slate of fundamental issues, from wages to affordable health care to energy cost assistance.
My favorite part of theis article is Rep. Owen's response:
"I've done the right things for the right people."
Click here to learn more about the Democratic Difference.
The Capital Times Dave Zweifel covers the Democratic Difference as well.
Joe Wineke, the former state senator from western Dane County and now the chairman of the sate Democratic Party, has embarked on a whirlwind trip this month visiting newspaper editorial boards around the state to remind them that not only is his party very much alive, but it has a plan to prove that it is the "true friend of middle-class families."
I can't remember the last time that the chairman of the Wisconsin Democrats came to visit us, which either means that they've taken The Capital Times for granted all these years or they just haven't worked very hard at getting their message out. I suspect it's more of the latter.
Wineke is determined to change that and he bristles when he hears political pundits contend that Democrats don't have a message that can win elections in what those pundits insist is today's more conservative or, at least, middle-of-the-road voting climate.
"That's nonsense," he said. "All but one of our constitutional officers, both our U.S. senators, half of our House members are Democrats and Wisconsin has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in each of the last five elections. How can anyone say we don't win elections?"
He does acknowledge, though, that the party has an image problem nationally. That, he said, is because the Democrats have allowed the Republicans to define them. He recounted a recent appearance on a radio show in which a caller insisted that Democrats are "anti-family," as if just to be a Democrat means a person isn't happily married, doesn't have good kids and doesn't go to church on Sundays.
"I'll tell you who is anti-family," he fumed. "It's the party that constantly votes against providing schools with resources they need, the party that votes against every attempt to extend health care and prescription drugs to people, the party that supports continuing a questionable war that is costing our sons' and daughters' lives."
The Democratic Party needs to make that clear and quit letting Republicans and their clever marketing campaigns tell Americans what the Democrats supposedly stand for.
Wineke, who has been the party chairman since last June, is armed on his visits with a stack of literature that compares the Democrats with Republicans in Wisconsin on everything from health care to education, from the economy to the environment, comparisons that he promises will be told "loud and clear" to Wisconsin voters this year.