• WisPolitics

Thursday, May 26, 2011

 5:03 PM 

Dems point to convo attendance as sign of passionate activists

The state Democratic Party says its members are so charged up that its annual convention next weekend in Milwaukee needed a bigger space.

So the convention, originally slated for the Hyatt Regency in downtown Milwaukee, will now take place at the Frontier Airlines Center after the DPW said its allotment of 1,600 spots had been filled.

Those delegates and guests will see a slew of state officeholders, candidates and national party leaders as Dems gear up for as many as nine state Senate recall elections later this summer.

Following a series of meetings next Friday afternoon, the weekend kicks off in earnest with the opening of the convention at 6 p.m. Newly elected county executives Chris Abele of Milwaukee County, Tom Nelson of Outagamie County and Joe Parisi of Dane County will be among the first to address delegates.

DPW Chairman Mike Tate will deliver his report to the convention, followed by speeches from Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca and Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller, the Dem members of the congressional delegation and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Friday's program also includes special guest speakers, a group that is set to include new DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and outspoken New York Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Saturday begins with a breakfast event hosted by retiring U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl of Milwaukee. Kohl will address the delegation later in the morning, along with U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who represents part of Chicago and the city's northern suburbs.

Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, touted by many as the best candidate to keep Kohl's seat next year, won't be speaking, having declined the invitation. But he'll be at the convo hosting his traditional hospitality room fare of sloppy joes.

Former state Sen. Pat Kreitlow, D-Chippewa Falls and announced challenger to freshman GOP U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy of Ashland, will also speak Saturday, as will Kenosha County Supervisor -- and challenger to House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan -- Rob Zerban.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

The party also says the convention will include a tribute to the "Wisconsin 14" -- the members of the Senate Dem caucus that left the state to stall a vote on the budget repair bill.

See more on the convention:

-- By Andy Szal


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