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Saturday, June 08, 2013

 12:50 PM 

Tate, Kallas offer visions for party

In a speech before delegates, party chair candidate Joe Kallas contrasted his planned approach with current Chair Mike Tate's, while Tate focused on successes and pledged to work hard to build on them.

Kallas said the Democratic Party of Wisconsin cannot afford to wait any longer to see if Tate can do better, given the electoral losses the party has suffered.

“We cannot wait another two years to see if Mike can do better,” Kallas said. “We don't have that luxury anymore. We are in bad shape.”

He said that while Tate has been good at raising money, the party has lost a lot under him and questioned whether the outcome would have been any different if the money were not spent.

“The buck stops at the top,” Kallas said. “If Mike doesn't want to take responsibility for the losses he can't take credit for the victories.”

Kallas said that as chair he would not support fundraising limits for party support, not charge for voter lists, include all candidates in lit drops, recruit a gubernatorial candidate now and put a strategy in motion to win 12 more Assembly seats.

Tate told delegates he was running for re-election because he knows the party is moving forward.

He noted that under him, there are now party offices open year round, membership has doubled and the party has raised $35 million that was invested not only in Milwaukee and Madison, but all over the state.

He said as chair he also held 76 listening sessions and expanded the party's social media presence.

“Never before has the party been so solvent,” Tate said.

Tate pledged to never settle and to “fight like hell” to continue to grow the party and ensure Democratic victory in 2014.

-- By David Wise

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