When state Republicans met for their annual convention in Green Bay in mid-May, the name of the party’s presumptive presidential nominee was on few lips.
State Democrats kicked off their convention in Green Bay on Friday, and while the overall message to from party chair Martha Laning to delegates was “to unite and win in November,” Donald Trump was an irresistible target.
“Donald Trump has proven time and time again during the course of this campaign that he is a loose cannon,” and unfit to be president, said state Senator Jennifer Shilling of La Crosse.
“They’re all going to endorse the Trumpster,” predicted state Representative Peter Barca of Kenosha, who also suggested Trump would probably try to turn the UW System into Trump University.
Outagamie County Executive and 8th Congressional District candidate Tom Nelson said he and Representative Reid Ribble have found some common ground – including the fact that neither will be voting Trump.
Representative Mark Pocan played a brief quiz with the delegates at the Oneida Convention Center, with the correct answer to all the questions being Donald Trump.
“We just mentioned Donald Trump more times than the entire Republican state convention,” Pocan said.
The Madison congressman also reminded delegates that 2016 going to be a crucially important year. “We cannot be divided for even a second,” he said, in a clear appeal to supporters of both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
“Too many people are counting on us to get it right. We can’t allow Trump and the Trumpettes to win in November.”
Trump even put in brief appearance at the podium – Representative Gwen Moore of Milwaukee employed a Trump bobblehead to illustrate her “wake up call” to delegates.
Representative Ron Kind said he was appalled that the Republicans have chosen Trump to be their nominee.
Delegates also heard from U.S. Senate candidate Russ Feingold, who’s challenging Senator Ron Johnson in a rematch of the 2010 campaign.
Feingold, who said he’s put on 40,000 road miles in his campaign, said many of the issues espoused by Trump and Johnson, such as building a wall, are not things Wisconsin voters are interested in.
“Out of state interests took our unity away from us. We will now take it back,” Feingold said.