March 30, 2008

Democrats honor three; 'November is our turn'

Diane Lange receives Phyllis Dresen Spirit of Democracy Award
from Doug Dresen, and Phyllis' granddaughter

Racine County's Democratic Party held its annual banquet Sunday night, honoring three long-time members and declaring, in the words of keynote speaker Rep. Cory Mason, "November is our turn."

The dinner was a combination pep rally, campaign meeting and celebration, as some 200 Democrats heard brief speeches from a number of candidates while honoring County Board Supervisor Diane Lange with the first annual Phyllis Dresen Sprit of Democracy Award, for making a positive impact supporting democratic principles; Michael Corona with the James Arena Award for long and continuing contributions to the county party; and Judy Van Koningsveld with the Democrat of the Year Award for Party-building activities during the past year.

Some of those who spoke included:

Ken Lumpkin, county board supervisor also running for city council, noted: "It's exciting having two sharp candidates on the ticket, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama."

Lisa Neubauer, running for a full term on the Appeals Court to which Gov. Jim Doyle appointed her in December, noted that hers has turned into "the most overtly political race," especially unfortunate since judges are non-partisan. "What people are looking for," she said "is someone who is hard-working, competent and has integrity.'

Doug Dresen, who with his son, Scott, and two granddaughters, honored Diane Lange with an award named after his late wife, pointed out "how pleased she'd be" to see the award go to "such a force for positive activism, someone who does what's right even when the cause is unpopular."

For her part, Lange noted, "a woman is like a teabag; she never knows how strong she'll be until she's in hot water." She said, "Politics is serious work; it matters, it affects the whole world... and the world is ready to welcome us back."

Racine Mayor Gary Becker said, "Lord knows, this country needs the Democrats to take control."

Paulette Garin, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, said "every issue can be tied to the economy...we need fair trade over free trade." She also noted, "we are so past due in creating universal health care."

One of her opponents, Marge Krupp, said, "We have a real chance at taking this seat back. Tax breaks for big oil does not work to create jobs here."

Rep. Bob Turner agreed with both of them, hoping "we can remove that old rubber stamp Ryan from Congress." Turner also pointed out that the state is just a few votes shy of having a Democratic-controlled Assembly, "and it's a big difference being part of the majority. We need it to bring the bacon home." He noted that the Assembly has spent $24 million so far this session, but met only 23 days -- far fewer than in previous years.

Mason, a freshman legislator with just 15 months in the Assembly, said "a freshman legislator in the minority party is humbled pretty quickly." The situation is "unreal," he said, noting hours of debate for such no-brainer questions as "should children under five who are deaf get hearing aids, or should autistic kids get health insurance?"

"These are the things we spend our time on; universal health care? Not so much."

But "the long political winter of our discontent" is nearly over, he said hopefully. "We say this every two years, that 'this is the most important election ever.' But this year it's true."

Ray DeHahn gives Michael Corona the James Arena Award;
at right, his wife Carol

Democrat of the year Judy Van Koningsveld,
given her award by Brent Nance

Michael Shields, Jeff and Lisa Neubauer, Bob Turner


  1. Love it! Now I know why I must keep voting GOP!

  2. I guess Becker can call himself a Dem without acing like it. BUT, why was he invited to speak? Are the Dems so hard-up for members? Where are (what were) the party values?

  3. Watching the debacle that is the Racine County Democrat party is almost as fun as watching their national primary.

    I think Rush got the idea for Operation CHAOS by watching the Racine Dems several years back.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. I missed your report on the GOPs annual function...

    Oh yeah, that's right you didn't cover it.

    When will you admit to this blogs bias?

    Pretending to be objective makes you look silly.

  6. Former Reader of the Racine (Partisan) Post3/31/2008 9:53 AM

    Nice of Pete to show up and take pictures. Where are the shots of the Republican Lincoln Day Dinner, Pete?

  7. We linked to Fred Dooley's extensive coverage of the Lincoln Day Dinner. We also give more press to Paul Ryan than any other news source we can find (see our big headline), run everything we get from Robin Vos and link to as many local conservative blogs as possible. If we're biased, we're not very good at it.

  8. Dustin, Your coverage is fine, hardly leaning in one direction. I was even going to email you at one time and ask how come so MUCH Ryan coverage!
    You print everything that Vos puts out even though he knows it is JUST a press release and nothing will come of his wind.

    Fred gave great coverage and pictures of the GOP so what's the big deal. Don't let anyone get under your skin, the Racine Post is great!

  9. No Dustin,

    You linked to Dooley's report, you did not cover it, bit difference.

    When Clinton and Obama were in the area you covered them both, when McCain was in the area you ignored it.

    You even discussed how torn you and your wife were between supporting Clinton and Obama. You did not cover McCain because you didn't want to. Serb Hall is no further from Racine that the Brat Stop is.

    The majority of Ryan releases have negative spin. Take the recent piece that inferred Ryan was bad as he voted conservative 80% of the time yet much less play was given to Baldwin and Moore for their 95% liberal voting record. (I'll grant you that Ryan is the local guy but the way they are treated is starkly different.)

    Running a Vos release is not lack of bias, he puts out a ton of them. My guess is you run with most releases you get, that is fine but it doesn't say anything about your bias.

    Your bias shows through no matter how much you want to pretend that it does not.

    And you know what, it is ok to admit it.

    You and Pete are miles ahead of the paper and the other left leaning internet sites in your willingness to cover the other side with some amount of fairness, but it is fine to be biased.

    It is not so fine to pretend that you are not biased when you so clearly are.

  10. Good grief, get over it. I don't think this is biased coverage, hell, I thought it was pretty darn equal. Linking to Dooley's site is about the same for us readers, I like Fred's site and for most of us, the news is just a click away.

    Chill out, get over it. Don't read the Post then. The Post is the best thing to come along for Racine, it covers the nice social events with pictures and it covers the dirty laundry battle which many of us who have family at Ridgewood found very very interesting.

    Don't like the coverage? don't read it.

  11. Seriously, the PHYLISS DRESEN award???!!!! While I have sympathy for the family because of her passing, let's get real here. Phyliss Dresen's name should not be used as something to attach to a democratic award. During the Smith mayoral races, Dresen consistently and very strongly supported Smith, above all other democrats running. She supported other Republican candidates in Racine County as well while I knew her.

    Is this award meant to be an honor or is it a notification that perhaps you aren't being democratic enough and you need to get your act together?

  12. Golf Addict, Pete & Dustin admitting their biases up front would only go to improve Racine Post.

    I said they were miles ahead of the paper and the other left leaning sites and I meant it. For me RP is a daily read, I'd just like it to me more honest.

  13. Sorry, don't see bias.

    Dresen award = democrat who supported Jim Smith - republican.

  14. Just for the record, I am Phyllis' grandaughter from Florida... I can see why many people might be offended by this award being named for her, but come on show a little respect and get over it!!!!