• WisPolitics

Thursday, August 28, 2008

 1:50 PM 

Wineke has no regrets over dumping Clinton delegate who's backing McCain

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Joe Wineke said he has no regrets about how the party handled a former Clinton delegate-turned-McCain supporter.

The party revoked Debra Bartoshevich's credentials as a Clinton delegate for the state after she publicly stated she was supporting McCain. She showed up at the convention this week anyway to appear at a McCain news conference and is now featured in a TV ad designed to appeal to former Clinton backers.

"How can you say you are a strong Hillary Clinton supporter and life-long Democrat and then make an argument that John McCain -- who is completely opposed to Hillary's agenda -- is a better candidate?" Wineke said this morning, adding there is "universal support for our action" to revoke her credentials.

Wineke said he was not worried that Bartoshevich's appearance in a new McCain ad would cause other Clinton supporters to follow suit.

"People here are united. If she wants to be in the McCain camp; go for it," he said. "I think that the McCain campaign thinks that they're going to fool all of the Clinton supporters and it isn't going to happen."

Wineke also spoke about former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman's appearance in front of the delegation Thursday. He said Siegelman's story is an important one because it highlights failings of the U.S. Justice Department.

"It's overzealous prosecutors perusing what -- by all indications -- is a political prosecution," he said. "How can you be handcuffed and put in jail for nine months because you appointed somebody who gave you a contributing to an unpaid board?"

Calling it a "clear case of Karl Rove trying to change the political process," Wineke said there was no doubt about the similarities between Siegelman's situation and that of Wisconsin's own Georgia Thompson.

Thompson was convicted of steering a state contract to executives who gave to Gov. Jim Doyle's re-election campaign. But it was overturned on appeal in a case that one judge said was "beyond thin."

"The parallels with Thompson are identical," he said.

-- By Matt Clark


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