July 14, 2012
C'mon, Mitt, you can do better
When I ran for the U.S. Senate I thought voters should be invited to read my tax returns. I must admit I did not like making my returns public. Not because something was wrong, rather it was a sense of giving up privacy. But we made them public and responded to all questions.
As executive director of the NFL Players Association we were subject to the Landrum-Griffin Act and every year we filed an L-M 2 form. That form gave detailed reports on monies earned and spent by the union. Like handing over my tax returns it was unpleasant to be so open, but in the end it was healthy to have all the information out there for public or member inspection. The Garvey-Lawton campaign in 1998 was the first in Wisconsin to put all contributions on the Internet. Not a delight to do that but a necessity. Voters should know who is contributing to the candidates. Period!
Mitt Romney won't release his tax returns. If he won't release them then he should not be president of the U.S. He has money parked in off-shore islands; he has money in Swiss bank accounts, but he won't say how much nor will he provide tax returns. Is there a reasonable explanation why he will not keep his money secure in good old U.S. of A.?
Let me see. After 1999 he says he was out of Bain, but in an SEC filing he is listed as CEO, sole shareholder and president of Bain. Yet he claims he had no involvement with Bain after he left to run the Olympics! Cut the bull, Mitt! Let us in on the good stuff. Show us your returns. We don't care if you are rich. We just want the truth.
Guess what. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has a survey that apparently is being mailed to somebody. We don't know who will get the "survey" but Mike Tate probably does.
This memo should be directed at the staff. Tell us why we lost more ground two years ago than any Democratic Party in America. We lost the Feingold seat, two congressional seats, the governor's office and both houses of the Legislature. Yikes! Mike, tell us why we lost the Walker recall. Were you in favor of the recall? Was it your decision to keep Biden and the president out of Wisconsin? Tell us about your role and your post-election thoughts!
I have some thoughts about the Democratic Party activities.
Join me in asking Mike Tate and his staff what went wrong. Mike, you are paid to help Democrats and your record is horrible. What went wrong?
As I look at the so-called survey, I am thinking of a hypothetical interview with Mrs. O'Leary, whose cow kicked over the lantern that caused the great Chicago fire.
"On balance Mrs. O, would it have been better to keep the cow outside the barn?" Mrs. O, Why did you not wait for sunrise before milking the cow?
Mrs. O, Once the fire began were you prepared to extinguish the fire? Why didn't you? Who is to blame, Mrs. O? You, the cow or the fire department?
Did you survey the fire department after the fact? What steps have you taken to make sure that another cow will not cause another fire?
Back to Mike Tate. Mike, believe it or not, you work for the Democratic Party the party does not work for you. Instead of asking undisclosed people "What do you think the Democratic Party should have done differently to change the outcome of the election?" it is time for you to share your thoughts with us. Please tell us what you and your staff could have done differently to win the recall.
Here are a few questions I would like you to answer. 1.) Who first nominated you for the chairmanship of the Democratic Party? 2.) Were you opposed by anyone? 3.) What was your starting salary and what are you paid now? 4.) List all staff members and give us the salary or other compensation for each.
We demand transparency from public officials. Seems to me that the same should apply to you. Send us the names of all who were surveyed by you and the unedited responses.
Who authorized this cockamamie survey? Did you have input from consultants? If so, name them.
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Democrats lost big because they failed to link the economic crises and crimes of Wall Street to the Republicans and conservatives who caused it. While the Republicans hammered away at public employee excesses, Democrats gave the criminals on Wall Street a free pass. Worse yet, they failed to link Republicans like Walker and Johnson with the corporate excesses that caused the economic meltdown. Republicans are wolves in sheep's clothing and the Democrats said and did nothing about it. They offered no solutions and demanded no one be held to account. Their focus on public employees simply enraged those in the private sector who lost much and were egged on by Republican sleazemeisters who want us all to be working for slave wages while they tap into the government for more corporate welfare.
-Nick | Milwaukee, WI | July 14, 2012
Mittens is not fit to be president, but neither is Obama. Mittens should disclose his financial records, Obama should disclose details of his secret kill list; neither one of these wall street politicians is an acceptable choice, we must demand better.
-Ron | SoCal | July 14, 2012
About that survey - I received two invitations to participate. One directly from Mike Tate, evidently because I'm a Democratic Party member, and a second one forwarded by Jon Erpenbach.
I started to fill it out and then had the same reaction you did, Ed. Why the heck is Mike Tate asking ME what went wrong? Those of us who worked our keesters off for 18 months should instead be asking Mike Tate WTF happened!
The county parties did amazing things on the ground with the tools at hand, but Mike and the other wall leaners in Madison are paid to have their poop together and...well...be LEADERS gosh durn it.
Nice analogy to the Chicago Fire. How much hotter does it have to get before Tate gets out of the kitchen and...hey, here's a thought...let's bring in an organized woman executive to run the show for awhile. Hmmmm. I can think of one or two strong women living within walking distance of the Dem office in Madison with the necessary moxy to do a public intervention. Can't you?
-Northwoods Nellie | Hazelhurst, WI | July 14, 2012
Lest anyone be mistaken, surveys are essential to forming good messages. Obviously too many times, politicians of all kinds, of all positions, and of all parties, make the mistake of thinking that they have all the answers. The public proves them wrong over and over.
However, this survey should have been done PRIOR to forming an election message and PRIOR to choosing a candidate, and PRIOR to endorsing a candidate. Checking the pulse all over the state might have produced a message with which we could have WON. Don't leave surveys out. But, again, timing is EVERYTHING!
-hmj | madison, wi | July 15, 2012
Let's face it Progressives, the Right has succeeded in shifting the entire political landscape toward the right. Right-of-center Dems like the Clintons and Obama are similarly beholden to the Wall Street skimmers and scammers who brazenly bribe both parties to choke the regulators and DOJ. Why should the electorate believe that the state-level Democratic leadership is any different? The moneyed class has won. Even the working class and the middle class have bitten the far right hook, baited with right-wing social issues and distortions about public sector workers and unions. The Dem-Rep / Left-Right divide has become the Dem-Rep / Right-Far Right divide.
There is a massive working class that has been cast aside. The right has roped them in while the Dems stood by counting their piles of union cash...And intelligent people expect the current Democratic leadership to assert Progressive principles?
The Progressives are stewing about their Democratic Party which has left them to join the moderate Right. Unless they are willing to pass their 'tin cup' or GOTV, the Democratic Party has long kissed-off the Left. As union influence and funds decline, what makes the Left think that today's Dems are inclined to defend working people on principle? The glitter of the oligarchs' fortunes and the choke hold of our openly corrupt re-election process has overcome both parties and dealt the Left and Progressives out of the game. The formerly principled party of Proxmire/Nelson/Finegold/... struggles to create a beer engine to power Barrett and Baldwin while a far-right champagne streamliner powers the puppeteers of Ryan/Walker/Neuman/Johnson/...
As the Progressives seek to get back in the game, we must recognize that we stand at a crossroad. This is a La Follette moment. Do we follow the money or stand on principle? The electorate is becoming weary of the staged left-right confrontations (with production assistance from the corporate media). Take a long, hard look at how Obama is burdened by the Wall Street cash that helped him gain office. Cash from other industrial sectors push profitable agendas for the wealthy and stifle statesmanship.
Be careful not to be drawn into reading too much into simple symbols of progress. Many of us were rightly joyed by the sign of social progress symbolized by the election of our first black president. Many of us may ascribe our current malaise to the predominate gender of the moneyed elite rulers. Shifting the race or gender of the leadership does not necessarily assure the advance of progressive values.
-Woodruffian | Woodruff, WI | July 15, 2012