• WisPolitics


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

 7:45 PM 

Tate poised to take over as DPW chair

Mike Tate has a simple way to figure out whether his term as state chair of the Dem Party is a success.

The party has larger majorities in the Assembly and Senate, still has a Dem in the guv's office, still holds both U.S. Senate seats, GOP U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan is no longer in office, Steve Kagen still holds the 8th CD and Dave Obey is still chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

Just for good measure, Dem proposals need to turn around the economy and make it easier for people to get ahead and succeed in Wisconsin.

"If we achieve all those things, that would have been a pretty good couple of years for however long I do this job," Tate said in a new WisPolitics interview.

Tate, 30, is on the verge of becoming the youngest state party chair in the country this weekend as he runs unopposed to replace Joe Wineke as head of the DPW.

As Tate takes over, Dems next year are looking to hold onto the impressive gains of the previous two cycles in what figures to be an unstable economic environment.

They have majorities in the Assembly and Senate for the first time since the early 1990s, control the Legislature and governor's office for the first time since the mid-'80s and successfully defended the 8th CD for the first time in decades.

But they're also now dealing with a $6.6 billion budget shortfall that has required a series of painful and sometimes controversial moves that have Republicans licking their chops at the campaign fodder before them.

Still, Tate says he has no worries about GOP attacks.

"It's real easy when you're in the minority to just throw stones. They have no new ideas," Tate said, adding "there's a reason" only 26 percent of people identify themselves as Republicans in some national polls.

See more.

Listen to the full interview.

-- By JR Ross

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