Here’s a new read from Scott Conroy at Real Clear Politics: Does Mary Burke Have What It Takes to Topple Scott Walker?
It covers a lot of ground rather nicely. I was particularly taken by the fundraising part.
According to unnamed sources who spoke to Conroy, there has been a “misunderstanding”. Burke has donated $400K – – not enough to “self-fund” her campaign. To run a competitive race against Walker Team Burke needs from $15 million to $20 million, say the “national Democrats” consulted.
Maybe Burke really is a fiscal conservative.
“A crucial reason why Burke was such an appealing recruit was her perceived ability to self-fund. And while the total extent of her fortune is unknown, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last year that state income tax figures revealed Burke took home an adjusted gross income of at least $6.8 million between 2008 and 2012, even though she was officially retired during those years.
“I had no idea she was worth that much,” one excited state Democrat told the newspaper at the time. “Wow, just wow.”
But though Burke did contribute $400,000 to her campaign soon after it launched, she has emphasized recently that she “can’t self-fund” her entire bid and will need to rely on traditional fundraising efforts.
According to the Burke camp, anyone who assumed she would delve more deeply into her personal fortune had a “mistaken expectation.”
“She’s never answered the question any other way than ‘I’ll do what I can, but it’ll be a fraction of what it takes,’” said one Burke aide. “But people sometimes hear what they want to.”
National Democrats privately estimate that it will take somewhere in the range of $15 million to $20 million for Burke to have a legitimate shot at defeating Walker, and outside groups appear to be waiting for a better indication from the candidate as to how much she is willing to spend before getting involved more deeply.
If polling continues to show a race as close as it is now, and the prospect of booting Walker from office becomes more enticing, it is difficult to imagine that Burke won’t have enough funds to stay competitive.”
I don’t think we are getting the full picture here by a long shot.
I just have to note that the “self-funded candidate” line wasn’t plausible last year and it’s still not plausible. Mary Burke would have to be richer than the Kochs and all funds Eric O’Keefe could illegally muster for her to completely self-fund a run against Walker.
Perhaps this was the most kindly story everybody could agree on.
Another thought: If they’re short on money for slick ads, they need that John Doe 2 investigation to proceed. Even if it stays stalled, it’s an investigation into a “criminal scheme” starring Scott Walker. Can’t afford to turn up a nose at that and who would want to? Those were OUR ELECTIONS they were playing loose with.
Wisconsin can’t let corrupt assholes like that walk — even if all we have to convict them with at the moment is the court of public opinion.