My thoughts (negative) on Mary Burke running for governor of Wisconsin

Here’s the feel-good-low-on-details soft launch video. (Soft as a down comforter.)

There’s plenty of imagery of farming and the focus is on her dad’s creation of the Trek bike company in Waterloo and her expansion of the company and on making jobs.

I expect a nice lady campaign a la Tammy Baldwin but with the non-statement statements of a Tom Barrett. But I admit it’s early in the game and candidates always start soft like this.

She can’t stay soft for long. Look at this:
bought her domain

Burke is not exactly attractive to those of us who occupied the streets and Wisconsin’s Capitol building in 2011. First off, the way Dems have tried to both choose Burke and keep their choice under wraps is an insult to our intelligence.

Then there’s the matter of Burke’s politics. They’re in some kind of virtual swaddling clothes, they’re THAT tightly under wraps.

As far as I can tell, what Burke has going for her is
* having some money
* being the Dem Party’s chosen one
* being a “job creator”
* being female [lots of resentment is built up over Walker’s gyno-governing]

Her other asset is that she has almost no political past – except for donating some money to a charter school in Madison. That “asset” becomes weaker the closer you come to Madison where she’s already branded as “neo-liberal” among those who were closer to that school fight.

In the liability column is the fact Burke will surely see Trek’s manufacturing process foreign and domestic torn apart by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

I’ve already made it clear that I think Senator Kathleen Vinehout should run for governor. Sadly, I believe she’s made it clear to reporters that she probably will not run if Burke runs.

Senator Vinehout has in the past suggested that if Mary Burke ran for governor, she might not run, but her tone changed in August. (See the August 5th WPR piece titled “Kathleen Vinehout Says Democratic Primary For Governor ‘Not A Bad Idea'” for more.)

If- – –that is IF – – Senator Vinehout won’t run then we’re going to need somebody else to jump in the ring and force the parade to focus on the complete sham that Wisconsin’s government has become under Tea Party rule AND focus on the rape of Her resources.*

I’m certain there are some tongues clucking out there in concern – – thoughts that this left winger is throwing the Burke out with the bathwater.

Sorry cluckers. I simply need more information before I can have any excitement for Burke let alone lift a finger for her.

1) I need to know if any contender for Gov will take advantage of the power Walker has consolidated in the executive branch and become just another king (or a new queen).

2) I need to know if any and all contenders plan to keep the state on Walker’s ‘open-for-business-and-damn-the-environment-and-the-people’ track.

In other words, it is just as easy for cronies of Democrats to come in and swoop up private contracts at county homes and open up voucher schools and let the miners removes the hills as it is for Walker’s GOP cronies to.

For Comparison’s Sake
Just for kicks, I dug up the video Tammy Baldwin released when she announced her run for the U.S. Senate.

I remember at the time I felt it was wayyyy too soft. Now that I’m viewing it again and comparing it to Mary Burke’s, I have to admit that at least Tammy expressed a variety of opinions and concerns in it – such as that she felt that we should bring troops home from Afghanistan, that she fought the overturn of Glass-Steagall, and that she said ‘no’ to war in Iraq.

To focus on the open pit mine, on the privatization plan set up for our public schools, on the loss of freedom of speech and association that WI endures without full union rights, on the degradation of our sand hills and the manure running into our streams and on our wolves being slaughtered under a toothless DNR – – just one painful disgusting reality exposed after another full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes.


17 thoughts on “My thoughts (negative) on Mary Burke running for governor of Wisconsin

  1. There is no viable reason to believe that experience at running a business translates to an aptitude for governing. We are deeply experienced here, and should know well by now that business and government have vastly different functions and goals, or at least they should have.

    I will not get behind any “job creator” campaign. Jobs are created by employer and worker, each having a need and a contribution to forming a mutually profitable work relationship. Respecting jobs, government’s role is limited to creating an atmosphere in which both business and worker can thrive and, probably most important, ensuring their rights and the rights of the community around them are protected from being exploited by their employment relationship.

    So, what is it that qualifies Mary Burke to govern Wisconsin? Please don’t say jobs!

  2. Mary Burke is running on empty. In her video she ties herself to her father’s company, which apparently has significant overseas production. She then claims two jobs creation schemes from her time as Commerce Secretary. 1) A tax give away from you and me to the wealthy to raid jobs, not create, from Illinois. They are only distribution jobs anyways. If they didn’t exist the same employment would exist somewhere else shipping the parts. 2) A loan to keep open the paper mill in Park Falls. Good idea, if it worked. Apparently the loans aren’t being repaid, meaning the business plan she ratified, and is running on, is flawed. There is nothing here with this candidate, only the pathetic notion that she is going to donate her wealth to buy back our democracy.

  3. Mary Burke is against Act 10, but won’t commit to repealing it, and that sums her up perfectly — not necessarily middle-of-the-road, just unwilling to take a stand, I believe for tactical reasons. That’s why I’ll support Vinehout if she runs. KV was pretty new to most Wisconsinites last year, and there are lots of other factors in why she didn’t win the May 2012 recall primary. In my opinion, she has a better shot at beating Walker than Burke does.

    Trek makes almost all of its bikes (frames) in Taiwan, or rather has them made there, as most “American” bicycle companies do. Just a few of their top carbon fiber models are actually made in the USA. Trek is kind of the GM of bikes, and owns a lot of other names: Bontrager, Gary Fisher, Klein, to name just a few. Mary Burke did play a role in building Trek into what it is today, but that hasn’t translated into very many American jobs.

  4. For supporters of Kathleen Vinehout, this is what a friend of hers from Alma advised me today: Mary’s announcement today doesn’t affect [Kathleen’s] activities or plans, she is seriously considering a run, that a primary might be a good thing, that people want a voice in who gets elected, and she will continue moving around the state over the next three months talking and listening and will make a decision sometime after the first of the year.

    In the meantime…we should spread the word to as many of her supporters as possible to spread the message – and keep spreading it – to 1) send a run Kathleen, run message to or to Voters for Vinehout, P.O. Box 1274, Eau Claire, WI, 54701 with 2) a donation of $20 – twenty dollars because the face on the 20 dollar bill is Andrew Jackson, our first grass roots president who came from the rural west. That is something tangible that everyone can do. It is a lot easier to ride a wave that has already started to move.

  5. There is a whole year for her to sharpen the contrast and make it clear what the choice is between her and Scott Walker. She is simply introducing herself to people in this video. Lighten up, folks; this is a marathon, not a sprint. If the GOP buying some domain name is the worst thing that happens in this race, we should count our blessings. I don’t know Mary Burke, have never seen her, am not a supporter (yet, at least) but will listen to her and give her a chance to make her case. Please join me.

  6. Kathleen Vinehout already showed what kind of statewide support she could muster in the last primary. It’s time for Blue Cheddar and the rest of the hardcore progressives to swallow a mega-dose of reality instead of sinking the ship (again) by crying and whining for a candidate with sterling progressive credentials but who has ZERO chance winning in a statewide election.

    Cry and whine about Burke’s shortfalls all you want, but I call it like I see it. The only way to win today is to fight fire with fire – that means $$$ and a candidate with moderate positions who might not always be everything you had hoped. If you insist on ideological purity you are no better than the Teahadists who are currently holding our nation’s government hostage.

    Get a clue and fight the battle on equal terms – not in some progressive fantasyland where elections are clean and there’s roses and flowers everywhere.

    • Really Stan? What’s in it for you that you want to steamroll and insult? Huh. You should be more careful with your political image. A lot of people have already had it with the party.
      Incidentally she doesn’t have enough money to do it on her own really. There’s enough $ to bury Dems last year and there will be in 2014. Kochs will not go gentle into that good night. Anyway – one of my key messages in here was I need more information.
      Provide that, Critic, or go pound sand.

  7. Kathleen Vinehout has been too big of a supporter of Family Care, even when she knows how badly it is screwing people with disabilities, the elderly, their families and their care-givers. It was a sham at the start and it’s even worse now — a for-profit venture on the backs of the vulnerable.

  8. Thanks for the honest rundown of your thoughts. Trek has outsourced to other countries how much of their manufacturing (?) and under who’s corporate auspices did it happen would be of interest to me, and something I am not educated on yet. Having better public access to a potential sitting governor, meaning someone being more responsive to we the people, I’m leaning heavily toward Vinehout.

  9. Is there any way of convincing Mike Tate to state he hates Burke, Vinhout, or whomever the Democratic nominee will be in September 2014?

  10. NO!!!! Kathleen Vinehout will decide in January whether she has enough statewide support to run, regardless of Mary Burke. She is in the process of meeting with people around the state, at small parties, at county meetings, etc., to determine whether the grassroots network developed during the uprising will support her.


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