Over the last couple of weeks I’ve received a number of emails from delegates to the DPW convention suggesting that Martha Laning and I form a partnership in order to take the party back from the professional consultants and insiders who seem determined to maintain their control. I’ve also seen quite a few discussions on social media suggesting that a Smith/Laning coalition is the surest way to see that the DPW takes the direction it needs in order to start winning Wisconsin back from the conservative onslaught of the last several years.
After discussing this idea with several of my closest supporters I’ve decided that a coalition would be in the best interests of the DPW and, ultimately, Wisconsin.
So I’m pleased to tell all of you that if I am elected Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin I will offer Martha Laning the position of Executive Director.
I think Martha has the skills and experience necessary to analyze how the DPW has functioned over the last several years and to implement the changes that are necessary to make it work more efficiently and successfully. I don’t, however, think she has enough experience in politics to lead the party. This is not an attack on Martha, rather it’s simply a fact.
If we’re going to implement the kind of field plan we need to reach out to new and sporadic voters we’re going to have to draw marginalized progressives back into the party and my campaign has done that. In order to keep them engaged we need a progressive face and vision as a rally point.
If we’re going to influence how the Assembly and State Senate campaign committees recruit candidates and run campaigns with less reliance on consultants who too often have no connection to districts outside of Dane and Milwaukee Counties, we need a party chair who has done that, and I have.
If we’re going to start turning Wisconsin from Red to Blue in rural Assembly and Senate districts, we need a party chair who knows how to win in Red, rural Wisconsin. I am the only candidate who has done that.
And if we’re going to bring the DPW together after five years of major electoral setbacks, and unprecedented divisions in what has been the most contentious intra-party race in living memory, we need a chair that has the support of at least 50% of the voting delegates on
I’ve always maintained that I don’t have all the answers to what ails us. I recognize that others have strengths and talents that I may not possess. I’m more than willing to put together a team that can produce results, and I think Martha Laning would make an outstanding member of that team as Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
I urge all of you reading this to consider my proposal and to cast your vote for me, Jeff Smith, on June 6th. The future of our party and the future of our state will almost certainly depend on how well we can work together going forward.