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Progressive Party reborn.

Wisconsin, the state that spawned the Progressive Party in 1912, has a new third party. Efforts to build an alternative to the Democratic Party came to a head in May, when the state's Labor-Farm Party merged with Progressive Milwaukee and the New Party to form the New Progressive Party.

Labor-Farm has captured local offices in Madison, but since its birth in 1982, a strong statewide presence has eluded it.

The New Party--which merged with Progressive Milwaukee last year--champions the idea of electoral "fusion," as practiced in New York, where the Liberal Party can endorse the major-party candidates of its choice.

Cross-endorsement was the main stumbling block in merger talks among Wisconsin's alternative parties. But delegates finally agreed to affiliate, embracing an agenda that includes gender equity, development, Native American rights, and single-payer health care for the state. A draft platform also opposes the welfare-reform plan enacted by the Democratic-controlled Assembly which would end Aid to Families with Dependent Children by the end of the decade.

The New Progressive Party must now find at least one candidate for statewide office who can get I per cent of the vote, in order to defend its ballot line.
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Title Annotation:Wisconsin
Author:McCallister, Mike
Publication:The Progressive
Date:Aug 1, 1994
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