I’ve never been one to endorse a candidate or publicly lean towards one during a primary election. And in Wisconsin, we could be headed for one next fall.  But there are some things which need to be addressed about our current situation.  A lot of people are questioning the state party and are asking why Mary Burke should be getting into this race at all.

Well, if you really think about the Burke candidacy, it actually makes a lot of sense. This race isn’t about you, or me and how we can invigorate the liberal base. This race is about removing Governor Scott Walker and the destructive path that he has lead our state upon. He’s demolished a public employee’s right to collectively bargain; has slashed education budgets across the state; hurt communities that are hurting and has yet to deliver on his promise of 250,000 jobs for the State of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin doesn’t need more naysayers. What we need is simple: people to come together like and say YES. Republicans have developed a way to say NO NO NO to everything. They’ve shut down the government over health care, they’ve held up the credit rating of our country over the debt ceiling, they’ve shut down the wages of public employees over their choice to collectively bargain for wages and now they are choosing to sit here and go against everything we stand for in, well, everything.

My friends, we are in this together. I get that we don’t always get the perfectly liberal candidate that is pro-choice, pro-union, anti-death penalty, and everything liberal. But hey, that’s not how the world works.  And realistically neither Mary Burke nor Kathleen Vinehout fits this description.

We should be celebrating the fact that someone is willing to come out of the private sector and run as a Democrat and face the uphill battle that is defeating Walker.

I realize not all my fellow bloggers here on Blogging Blue even agree with me on this stance, but as we perpetuate this attitude of separation we are no better than the Tea Party. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been disappointed in a candidate or an outcome of an election. But this time, near anyone different than Walker would be a step up. Mary Burke is a progressive businesswoman from Wisconsin who will no doubt come out in support of many of the principles you and I believe in. And if she moves on to a general election, I will stand by her.

Imagine if the Democrats had not come home in 2008 after the brutal Obama/Clinton primary where we would be sitting.

If or when Senator Vinehout decides to run, I will also celebrate her decision of her candidacy.  But until that day comes, I remain loyal to the Democratic process, the Democratic Party and the State of Wisconsin on this issue; because I believe that Scott Walker is a slap in the face to all of those things that I hold so dear.

And I’ll give you my formal endorsement on August 13, 2014 after the primary.

 

38 Responses to Defeating Scott Walker

  1. Aaron Camp says:

    To call either Mary Burke or Kathleen Vinehout “progressive” is highly inaccurate. Burke plays the same job-poaching game that Republicans play, supports charter schools, and thinks that teachers are overpaid, and Kathleen Vinehout sabotaged a proposed contraception rights bill back in 2008.

    Burke is completely ignoring progressives in every way possible. She bashed Madison and bragged about poaching jobs in her introduction video, has refused to give definitive statements on where she stands on the issues, and she, and especially Mike Tate, have argued against a competitive primary (which, in my opinion, is highly undemocratic and goes against progressive values).

    You can’t win a statewide race in Wisconsin by completely ignoring your party’s base, and that’s exactly what Burke is doing. If Burke either clears the Democratic primary field (Kathleen Vinehout is considering a primary challenge to Burke) or wins a competitive Democratic primary, I’ll endorse her, but I won’t endorse her unless one of those two things happen.

    • Aaron,

      Here’s Kathleen Vinehout’s stance on women’s issues. It’s well worth a read and you may want to correct your comment about her sabotaging a proposed contraception bill back in 2008. Make sure you read the entire piece. I look forward to your correction.

      http://kathleenvinehout.org/2013/10/what-is-sen-vinehouts-position-on-abortion-contraception-and-other-womens-health-issues/

      • Stan says:

        There is not correction needed. In her first term, Vinehout took several anti-choice votes and voted against ensuring everyone has access to contraception. Just because she has moderated her stance in the last couple years her history is not erased.

        • Stan,

          What matters is where she stands now, unless, of course, your aim is to discourage a primary, which, according to other DPW loyalists commenting here would put you in the same category as me, i.e. grumpy old man who can’t stand change, which, in your case, may well be true.

      • Aaron Camp says:

        Vinehout noted that she “voted with Planned Parenthood and NARAL in 2009 to resolve this issue at the beginning of the 2009 Session”. What Vinehout referred to by “this issue” was her amendment of a contraception rights bill the year before.

        I stand corrected, although Blogging Blue apparently doesn’t allow comments to be edited.

  2. Beth Urban says:

    THANK YOU.

  3. John Casper says:

    Dustin, “Oligarchy exists inside our democracy”

    http://my.firedoglake.com/masaccio/2013/03/29/oligarchy-exists-inside-our-democracy/

    is a post about national politics, but imho it’s a more granular view of the state processes you’re trying to describe.

  4. John Casper says:

    There are plenty of exceptions, but as a general rule, price is the primary interface with customers. Democrats/unions have lost control of all three branches of state government, because they’ve been branded as the party of higher state taxes, that’s the price state voters associate with the cost of state government.

    The low hanging fruit for Dems is to put the legalization of marijuana on the ballot. I would never encourage anyone who did not have a serious illness to use it, but the job-killing-government-regulations/prohibition against alcohol didn’t work either. The increased tax revenue and lower law enforcement costs would be seen as at least a path toward lower state taxes, without sacrificing collective bargaining.

    I doubt the GOP could stand against it. Too much of their base wants it legalized.

    Per the link in my 8:31, I don’t think it’s going to happen. IMHO, Big Pharma has bought off both parties, because they want more time to develop a synthetic pot so their share price will go through the roof.

    If you accept that the real enemy is the oligarchs (who fund the GOP and to some extent DINO’s), I think collective bargaining is beyond crucial. I don’t think I have to worry about a candidate who vigorously supports collective bargaining being anti-choice. The primary WIGOP/ALEC strategy for bludgeoning collective bargaining is “divide and conquer.” It’s working great. They’ve just about vilified the public sector unions out of existence. Once AFSCME and WEAC are defunded, they’ll finish up on the private sector unions. IMHO, the other real tough straddle for folks supporting collective bargaining is with greens. That’s why the oligarchs love to lie that sustainable solutions are too expensive. They ignore the overwhelming evidence that the debt our children and grandchildren face is the climate debt.

    • Rich says:

      Not sure where you’re getting to with the comment about pharma corporations and synthetic pot, because synthetic cannabinoids already exist. The problem for pharma is if they want to get into that business they have to put a product up for FDA approval that actually works on something. This whole notion of needing to patent something to make money is wholly fallacious. After all, Bayer continues to make piles of money making aspirin.

      • John Casper says:

        Rich, thanks for the correction. Yep, synthetic pot already exists. Users appear to very strongly prefer the plant.

        W/R/T to intellectual property I think recording artists and a whole lot of other folks would disagree with your position on intellectual property. John Schmid’s “Patents Pending” series http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/113830084.html is strong on how the oligarchs have destroyed the engine of U.S. meritocracy, the Patent and Trademark office. It’s a topic with which I’m sure Ms. Burke is very familiar.

        Economics professor Dean Baker has written extensively and proposed sector-based solutions.

        http://www.cepr.net/index.php/component/option,com_issues/issue,13/lang,en/task,view_issue/

        • PJ says:

          John,

          You’ve twice mentioned meritocracy in your comments, and I’m confused by how and to what you’ve applied it toward especially given your apparent distaste for oligarchy. Are you suggesting meritocracy is something we should strive toward? Given the potential in a meritocracy for the elite to assume all aspects of governance? Strictly speaking, Meritocracy is de facto oligarchical rule – at least in terms of its historical usage. Granted, and excuse the pun, meritocratic principle has merit when purposefully applied to a republican democracy – and this is certainly one structural aspect our own republican democracy was founded upon. But you seem not to be applying meritocracy in quite this founding-principle manner.

          You’ve also suggested that oligarchy has destroyed the U.S. meritocracy engine with respect to patents but you reference an article that entirely points to Congressional failure and strategical failure – starving the beast that is the U.S. patent office. The article doesn’t address or even hint at your instantiation – that oligarchy has destroyed meritocracy. The JS editorial doesn’t seem to speak to your concern for creative artists either. With all due respect, what you intend to mean by the U.S. meritocracy engine seems misapplied. You don’t seem to be referring to “the U.S. meritocratic engine” as the Confucian (also Roman) principle of bureaucratic governance of the educated and internally trained to which Jefferson and a number of founding thinkers subscribed. The U.S. meritocratic engine is best exemplified by the expansion of the public sector with the creation of the civil service.

          You seem to associate merit with the non-governing sphere of patent holders and by extension individual citizenry success and career innovativeness, but also industrial competition. I would caution that this usage doesn’t comport with what meritocracy actually refers to. This imprecise characterization also edges toward the innovation economy which is dependent upon the financialization of the economy as a whole. I find that a curious acknowledgement even tacitly if one opposes oligarchy. While your Dean Baker link looks informative, what is to be precisely gleaned from it you haven’t made clear with respect to meritocracy, oligarchy, Burke, Vinehout, and defeating Walker. I understand it as a response to Rich, but I don’t understand why Baker’s sector-based solutions apply to meritocracy – either to an historical understanding of meritocracy or even meritocracy as you seem to be redefining it – there are an awful lot of articles in that Baker link. Do you have a suggestion on where to begin – one of Baker’s articles that encapsulates what you are attempting to convey?

          I’m not coming to Burke’s defense with this, but…. you’ve also kind of fudged meritocracy in your description of Burke – because Burke inherited a lot of money and she spent her entire career working for her dad aren’t germane to meritocracy or whether or not Burke is a meritocrat. Your critique speaks to privilege. Not meritocracy. And privilege, to some extent, is a component of meritocracy by virtue of preference for quality and qualification. Altogether you seem to imply some sort of populist property inherent within meritocracy which would be a misapplication altogether.

          As applied to Burke – at Trek she could very well have achieved success for the company on her own merit in any number of demonstrable or intangible ways including acquiring valuable personal skills applicable to governance. Trek may have been a meritocratic system, it may not have been. Given that it would be the internal workings of Trek we would need to examine, there is no public accountability factor that would allow us to evaluate Burke within her private sector context save the opinion of an outsider oligarch with dubious motivation. To my knowledge nothing about Trek has been established yet. And to be clear, I’m not suggesting that private sector experience is transferable to public service governing. But I concede that private sector experience can have the potential to be transferable to public sector governance.

          I do appreciate your state-level campaign analysis. You’d make a fine campaign manager in your own right.

  5. John Casper says:

    Dustin, I suspect you wrote this as an attempt to find a “safe” and “moderate” place for Dems and that’s always a worthy goal. Unfortunately, I’m not sure such places really exist.

    “Poll: Record demand for third party”

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/third-party-candidates-democrats-republicans-poll-98170.html?hp=r3

    My experience on Twitter and national blogs is that when the Dems abandon collective bargaining (really the only way to fight income inequality) a lot of younger folks don’t see much difference between Dems and the GOP. Dems win on abortion/GLBT rights, immigration, and voting rights. The GOP wins on taxes and the economy.

  6. Duane12 says:

    Assuming Senator Vinehout will run, does anyone think she can match the personal wealth of Queen Mary in the expenses of a Primary? Will the biggest spender win the Primary? And who do you think is the best qualified candidate?

    My answers:

    No
    Yes
    Senator Vinehout

    • Chad Black says:

      “Queen Mary”?

      Misogynism much?

      Come on man, we’re better than that kind of crap.

      • John Casper says:

        Chad, where’s the misogyny?

        It’s the same argument we made against Ron Johnson and Chris Abele. Ron married the daughter of a billionaire, Chris inherited all his money.

        GOP’s pointing out that she has zero record outside her Dad’s business. It’s a legitimate concern that puts even more scrutiny on how she manages her campaign. In case you missed it, she just released a three-minute video over which she had complete control. A few days later the GOP took HER video and hit her campaign over the head with it.

        Part of that imho is the media being pissed that that Dems waited so long bring out a candidate. The media runs on advertising dollars and subscriptions. That means they want/need advertising and narratives that will attract readers. If the Dems don’t want to buy advertising, they have to drive narratives. That’s why the Solidarity Singers got so much press. They were the only game in town.

        Scott Walker track record is indefensible. He won elections with oligarch’s money saturating the media with “lower taxes and get government out of the way.” I wouldn’t bring up his not having a college degree, but I sure would mention his “leaving Marquette.” Except for the Red Cross, his only paychecks have been from government. Barrett did a nice job of painting him as a rock star.

        Dave Umhoefer won a Pulitzer for reporting about Walker’s pension (buyback) scandal. That’s different than Ament’s lump sum pension scandal.

        No one talks about the $6 million endowment the Milwaukee Public Museum lost on his watch as County Exec.

        http://county.milwaukee.gov/ImageLibrary/Groups/cntyAudit/report_0511a.pdf

        Until the Doe stuff breaks, there’s no shortage of stuff to talk about.

        I read this JS editorial as a warning to Burke, she’s gotta come up to speed on the issues every Governor has to be fluent in.

        http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/gov-scott-walker-mary-burke-and-a-phony-debate-b99116778z1-227141051.html

        Say what you want about Walker, he can answer questions from reporters with soundbytes which show sufficient familiarity with the issues. The appearance is that Ms. Burke is scared to meet with the JS editorial board and field questions.

        • Chad Black says:

          I’m sorry, but if you can’t see the misogyny in the use of demeaning rhetoric such as “Queen Mary” then I can’t help you.

          This is the kind of dissive crap that we should be better than.

          • John Casper says:

            Chad, Ms. Burke’s running for Governor. If you, or her campaign think they can deflect tough questions by hiding behind her gender, that could easily be construed as sexism.

            She inherited a lot of money. She spent her entire career working for her Dad. That doesn’t exactly scream, “meritocracy.”

            She put out a three-minute video over which she had complete control of the content. Gov. Walker’s people took HER content and effectively used it against her. I don’t see Dems rushing to her aid. The only explanation I have is that they’re too scared of Walker’s popularity. He’s under 50%, but by a wide margin, he’s the dominant political figure in the state. The media loves him, because his photo and his quotes help them sell content. Democrats need Ms. Burke to get out front of the Scott-Walker’s-a-really-bad-guy parade.

            Since it’s obviously the case, she can admit that she’s just coming up to speed on state issues. That’s what “listening sessions” are for. A bunch of people have already mentioned that she should strongly consider that option. “Campaign” is a verb. It’s work. It’s getting out at public events, shaking hands. Local media outlets are always begging for content. Radio especially. Her media folks can negotiate the framework of the questions in a short segments.

            She’s got a finance degree from Georgetown. As this wingnut outlet shows, Walker’s accounting is under scrutiny. http://www.maciverinstitute.com/videos/2013/09/rep-dale-kooyenga-politifact-tried-to-damage-my-credibility/

            If Ms. Burke wants instant credibility with voters, put out some soundbytes where she shows-off her knowledge of accounting and finance.

            GOP and Dems are doing polling on her as we speak, name recognition, which will be very low and favorability.

            If you really want to injure her candidacy, please by all means keep reminding everyone of her gender.

          • Zachary says:

            Agreed; we don’t need to resort to the kind of rhetoric we’d expect from Republicans.

    • Aaron Camp says:

      I’m not a big fan of Mary Burke, and I’m leaning toward endorsing Kathleen Vinehout in a competitive primary, but I don’t tolerate sexism against anyone.

      • Duane12 says:

        Aaron, then you approve of King Walker?

        C’mon, sexixm? Where, when, how? “Queen Mary” is my primary, political speak. I $upported Senator Vinehout big time in the last election.

  7. Jerry Hanson says:

    I think Vinehout has realistic positions on most issues and she knows the budget inside and out. She will be able to point out where Walker has fudged and lied and can quote real facts not the imaginary ones that Walker uses. My gut feeling is that the majority of Wisconsinites are ready for truth and honesty in government and Vinehout will be able campaign on what’s really happened behind the scenes in the Capitol and it would be my hope that Burke would fund Vinehout if it proved in the best interests of us all. But maybe it’s up to “JUST US” TO MAKE SURE WALKER RIDES OFF INTO THE SINSET ALONG WITH HIS CRONY FILLED GOVERNMEBT.

  8. PJ says:

    John Casper,

    In your humble opinion, would you consider Politico a Libertarian-leaning outlet?

    Perhaps for another layer of scrutiny ~ in your humble opinion, would you describe Tal Kolpan, the author of the third party article (who recently tweeted Happy Birthday to the Tea Party), reflective of, say, The Reformed LIbertarian?

    More on the Reformed LIbertarian at the following link, and a little excerpt below from their “About” page:

    “Welcome to Reformed Libertarian.  On this site, you will find that we are dedicated to both Reformed Protestantism and, at the same time, a Libertarian political philosophy.  In other words, on this site you will find Reformed Theology and Libertarian Polity.

    Here, we seek to provide resources and intellectual ammunition to all our readers to answer important questions in all those places where faith and society come together.  All our contributors are Christians and Libertarians.  Every single article and blog post is sourced in our Christian worldview.  This means that our flavor of libertarianism is based on God-given individual rights, and not one of the various secular foundations (natural law [empiricism], argumentation ethics [Kantian rationalism], or pragmatism).”

    http://reformedlibertarian.com/about/

    I found that last philosophical bit about their flavor of Libertarianism to be of particular interest, it’s worth repeating:

    “This means that our flavor of libertarianism is based on God-given individual rights, and not of the various secular foundations (natural law [empiricism], argumentation ethics [Kantian rationalism]. or pragmatism}.”

    • John Casper says:

      PJ,

      I really want Ms. Burke to be Governor. I think Sen. Vinehout could be a great Majority Leader in a Democratically controlled Senate. If Sen. Vinehout’s the Governor, we lose her in the Senate.

      If Sen. Vinehout runs in a primary for Governor, it might require positions that hurt her chances for re-election to the Senate. I’m guessing her Senate district tilts anti-choice.

      Unfortunately, what I’ve seen so far from Ms. Burke’s campaign doesn’t inspire confidence. That’s ok. It’s still early in the early stages, but what will make or break her is the ability to raise money. If she can’t raise money early, it just gets tougher.

      From the timing of the release of her video, I was hopeful that the Doe emails would be released this week. If that’s not happening in timely manner, I’m not sure where the urgency was coming from w/r/t kicking off her campaign. Again, it’s a very, very complex business. There’s a helluva lot of issues that I’m clueless about.

      • EmmaR says:

        John, I think you’re onto something. What’s important is to 1) Campaign effectively in a turnout year that does not favor Dem’s and Burke is building the machine while Vinehout isn’t afraid to go to the people and activists; 2) Amass a war chest and use it most effectively – Burke can raise from business, Vinehout from regular people and both from national organizations; 3) whomever wins must quickly and efficiently muster legislative support for large-scale rollback’s of failed Walker policy, replace huge numbers of agency staff, implement Democratic programs so as not to risk voter letdown and defeatism. So how about they both run for Gov and Lt Gov and we put two talented women in state office instead of one? In this scenario, Vinehout runs for Gov given her knowledge of the legislature and Burke runs for Lt. Gov with the understanding she runs the business and jobs initiatives. In other words, Vinehout works to create the conditions for prosperity and Burke works to develop the businesses and jobs to fuel prosperity. And take this one step further. Lt. Gov isn’t as much of a job but it brings visibility. Burke gets the job engine agencies reorganized and then challenges Ron Johnson for the US Senate. Wow, huh? Of course this only happens if folks work together, think outside the box and put aside differences for the sake of our state and people. Personally, I think Walker’s people wouldn’t know where to fire or how to respond. Every weakness in one candidate would be made up by the other. And the Democratic vote is maximized. No one stays home, no one is alienated from the base. Both Burke and Vinehout say they are collaborative. So why not build the ultimate collaboration and take back this state from the Tea Party?

        • PJ says:

          Emma,

          You’ve outlined a winning scheme for Burke and Vinehout running together. I suggested a similar scheme during the recall for Falk and Barrett. In this round a Vinehout-Burke ticket would make for one powerhouse of a campaign. I think your sense is correct – Walker and his machine would find it a formidable alliance.

          • EmmaR says:

            Barrett-Falk, that would’ve been a good idea. I suppose it’s never considered because WI hasn’t tried it before?

            • PJ says:

              Emma,

              I can’t speak to whether or not it has been tried quite like this before or at least not in a while. In the historical past (pre-20th century) I think focus on developing a ticket was probably more common.

              As for 2013, developing Democratic tickets rather than Democratic candidates also might kneecap the idea of a competitive primary. I guess developing a ticket rather than a candidate might be counterintuitive under our current hyper-individuated, political celebrity culture. I think it’s worthwhile reordering our thinking a little bit along those lines not only for 2014 but for future political development in Wisconsin.

              • EmmaR says:

                That’s right. And the money issue wouldn’t disappear but it would be much, much easier. One set of ads produced, one ad buy, one (or at least two smaller) campaign teams, one Website, one script for phone banks and door to doors, and two to fundraise, two to talk to the press, two to attend community events, and two to handle the opposition. One can only hope someone close to these two is thinking hey, you know how Reeses is so much better because it combines chocolate and peanut butter… Let’s send Tate a case and see if any lightbulbs go off! 🙂

                • PJ says:

                  Exactly! A ticket like that would receive national attention and cause quite a stir. By that I mean a positive buzz. I’d think it could be quite an exciting, energetic, enthusiastic race. Might be well worth sending all three a note outlining a case even if that case is just broad strokes of a plan.

      • PJ says:

        John,

        Agreed – Vinehout would make an excellent Majority Leader and I also don’t want to lose her in the Senate. I’d be interested in learning about how deep the bench is there – who might be in line to vie for her seat? That’s kind of an open question – I don’t have an answer for it.

  9. Cat Kin says:

    Wise words, Dustin. But let’s hope that there is a Democratic primary; because right now, Mary Burke is a huge unknown politically, and is from the big business society that, believe me, hates everything Obama and/or Union as a right of passage.

    • Ed Heinzelman says:

      “…Mary Burke is a huge unknown politically…”

      Yeah, but so far this fall she has gotten far more press and exposure in the MKE papers and websites than anything or anyone other than the Green Bay Packers. Although lacking credentials and policy points, etc, etc, etc, she had managed to get far more publicity than the insiders’ (and my) favored candidate Senator Kathleen Vinehout.

      • Cat Kin says:

        Yeah, but so far this fall she has gotten far more press and exposure in the MKE papers and websites than anything or anyone other than the Green Bay Packers. Although lacking credentials and policy points, etc, etc, etc

        Yes, Ed, but that is a red flag for me. It’s the corporate media supporting one of their own. Yes, this can be a good thing if Ms. Burke is a true progressive. We need a primary!

  10. Doug says:

    Primary or no it won’t matter, because the comments here already demonstrate what was hinted at in the article. The folks on the farthest part of the left will cut off their nose to spite their face and stay home because whatever candidate emerges is not pure enough. Then they will all wring their hands as Scott Walker drives this state further into a hole upon his re-election. Maybe in a dream world perfect is possible, but with Scott Walker on the ballot give me the lesser of two evils every time.

    • nonquixote says:

      You must have been skipping most of the comments. Are you a paid Republican doomsayer? Please point to the individual comments here or some other source besides your personal speculation that is informing your views. I tend to see people from the “farthest part of the left,” as you put it, to be some of the most politically well read, politically active and knowledgeable voters out there.

    • John Casper says:

      Doug, at a place like “Blogging Blue,” Ms. Burke’s looking to raise money and convince folks to organize (ring doorbells, phonebank…) for her and other Dems. IMHO, all your comment does is force some folks to rethink their party affiliation. Maybe they start looking at the Green party, or the Socialists, both of whom would love to have them.

      If you know of some other antidote to massive income inequality, besides collective bargaining, I’m all ears. If you think private sector unions can survive without support from public sector workers, please, make that argument.

      • EmmaR says:

        Economic inequality could be greatly reduced through the tax code mostly at the Federal level, although I can’t see any state government being able to sustain these breathtakingly large corporate lure handouts much longer. Tax reform could actually lead to decreased overall rates while increasing revenues but it’s hard to see how this Congress could ever get its act together to get it done (plus I don’t trust Baucus to do this in any way that benefits the middle class). The aspect of state taxes Burke or Vinehout could make an issue out of is Walker’s reckless use of state tax policy and deficit- spending. It’s probably a second-term issue but at some point, schools should be pulled off property tax and funded by the state and federal governments entirely.

    • Doug,

      It’s a little early to concede defeat and blame the ” emoprogs, ” don’tcha think?

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