The November elections have left us with some very interesting questions concerning the power structure of Milwaukee or lack thereof of Milwaukee area Democrats
Sen. Chris Larson has relinquished his crown as the minority leader in the Senate, Rep. Evan Goyke was unsuccessful in his attempt to become the minority leader in the Assembly and there is very little positive buzz going on.
What we are hearing is the call for a full revolution from the ground troupes amid a non responsive leadership in Madison which returned virtually all the leadership to their current positions for the next legislative session.
The head of Mike Tate, current WisDems chair is also a target. Lefty blogs, which generally speaking are on the far far left of the political spectrum have been merciless on their attacks. Even if Tate doesn't step down from his $100,000 a year gig he will face strong opposition at the next state convention. It should be a fun show this June.
This leads us back to Wisconsin's largest city.
Who's running the show here? With the rise of Sen. Larson there was a huge divide between the north side and south side Democrats, one could even say it was a racial divide. Sen. Lena Taylor was squeezed out of the loop (and the powerful Joint Finance Committee) by Larson and rumored to have her invites to the minority caucus meetings get lost in the mail. She's also up for reelection in 2016 and will face a primary opponent from the radical progressive wing of the party. She was reappointed to the Joint Finance Committee by new Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling.
Rep. Leon Young seems to have blown his opportunity to work with Republicans as the co-chair of the State and Federal Relations Committee and will continue to sit on the back bench earn his pension. The other black legislators have little experience and less power.
JoCasta Zamarripa holds the position of minority caucus Minority Caucus Vice Chairperson and during the election process it was said she does good clock. Josh Zepnick is the Sargent at Arms for the Dems Caucus.
County Executive Chris Abele is a wild card in this mess. He"s got a bully pulpit and some major cash. What he doesn't seem to have is enough support from either the right, left or middle to put together a strong coalition to move the balance of power. In fact every candidate he endorses gets slammed by Milwaukee's wild liberal left.
A group to keep an eye on in the power struggle will be the union backed Wisconsin Jobs Now. They are laying plans for a "new" progressive party similar to the Tea Party. They'll work the far left of the Democratic party during the spring 2016 elections for Milwaukee's Common Council and the Milwaukee County Board before purging the party of any perceived moderate Democrats interested in serving in the State Legislature.
It will be an interesting two year shakeout for the political left in the area and the state. I say let the games begin, but will it be checkers or chess.