Mary Burke and the 99%

I wish this was a post about Mary Burke’s stated positions on issues that matter to those of us in the 99%. You know: living wages, workers rights, fair taxation of corporations and the wealthy, an end to predatory student loan and mortgage lending, etc.  But this is not that post. I wish it was, but it’s not.

Last week John ” Sly ” Sylvester reported on his radio show that 99.5% of Trek’s bicycles are made in either China or Taiwan. Yes, you read me correctly: 99.5% of them. You can listen to that particular segment from a podcast on Sly’s website titled ” Mary Burke Better For China “.

Apart from a two and half year stint as Jim Doyle’s commerce secretary, Trek Bicycles is the entirety of Mary Burke’s resume’. In her launch video she’s sitting in what appears to be a bicycle manufacturing shop, which I assumed was in Waterloo, WI, but maybe not? Maybe it’s Beijing?

Someone help me understand this. Did this 99.5%  fact get overlooked in the vetting process? Was Progressives United aware of this when they made their endorsement of Burke?

This is beyond comprehension. I cannot understand how anyone could think Mary Burke can defeat Scott Walker in the governor’s race when the crown jewel of her relevant experience is with a family business that, reportedly, manufactures 99.5% of their product in China and Taiwan. I mean, at least Walker rides a Harley Davidson, for Chrissakes, which are mostly made in America. The attack ads practically write themselves. Walker on a Harley and Mary Burke photo-shopped onto a Rickshaw, maybe?

God help us all.


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61 thoughts on “Mary Burke and the 99%

  1. Just go to the Trek Website, FAQs, and the question, “Is my bike made in the U.S.?” Like most U.S. and Wisconsin manufacturers the top-label is made here and the lesser elsewhere – with the exception of the German label. Once you dig into the supply-chain it may get even murkier. What’s the problem here though with Burke’s candidacy? This is well-known information. Trek is a pretty typical biz school case study. Is Walker (or Van Hollen as that very interesting CapTimes article suggests) suddenly going to come out against free-trade and American consumerist demands for low, every day pricing? Every manufacturer in the state tries to hang onto the jobs here as long as they can until their private equity masters or corporate shareholders squeeze them dry or their competitors and distributors drive down price. Republicans attack this and there is a veritable treasure-trove of failed GOP and neo-liberal policy to cast into the light of day not to mention Walker’s own boneheaded moves. Burke should and I have no doubt will further develop how she will attract and keep well-paying jobs to the state. I think it’s valid even to state that she’s slow to do so. But what you have here is no smoking gun.

  2. Emma,

    I had a long conversation with a staunch DPW/progressive activist friend yesterday and when I told her about the 99.5% figure she initially refused to believe it, she was that shocked. When I told her that it had been broadcast all over Madison by a well known radio personality she was mortified.

    But I guess you’re probably correct. Walker/Van Hollen and their independent expenditure friends would never, ever indulge the kind of hypocrisy it would take to blast the livin’ be-freewheelin-Jesus out of Mary Burke over the fact that 99.5% of the product her family business made their wealth from is manufactured by underpaid workers in China and Taiwan. Naaaaaaaah!

    1. Steve, all the non-Trek label bikes being made overseas is a direct result of U.S. trade Policy and U.S. Tax Policy. If Wisconsinites cared more about keeping manufacturing jobs versus low, everyday prices, why did they vote for Clinton twice and why does the current congressional contingent now include virtually all free-trade, anti-tax reform types? The Governor of Wisconsin can direct funding to start up’s, improve education, encourage innovation, and develop state tax incentives to attract new business. Nothing about this suggests Burke is somehow unfit for that role. Walker’s people make this an issue then I’m suggesting there are many, many ways the Burke camp can fight back. I’m also suggesting that most of Wisconsin just may not care as evidenced by our federal representation. And that is unfortunate – we should be irate with NAFTA and current tax policy.

      1. Emma,
        I agree with your synopsis is correct regarding Trek or any other manufacturer’s need to stay competitive. I am not an authority but I am familiar with Trek, in the early 80’s a high percentage of Trek bikes were made in Waterloo, WI. As time and policy changed so has the ratio of imports. The 99.5% is total BS. Current estimates are closer to 85%. Still lopsided, but as you say, more of a product of international trade policy.

        1. IG,

          Sly says the figure of 99.5% came from Trek’s own spokesman and that it squares with figures from the National Bicycle Dealers Association regarding the percentage of bicycles manufactured in the US. If you’ve got other, verifiable information please share it with us.

          1. SC,
            I am a cyclist, ride Trek bikes, work for a cycling company and the guy who sits a few feet away from me recently joined us after 15+ years at Trek. I asked him for a ball park percentage in his opinion for domestic vs. import Trek bikes. Seems like a simple enough question. It is not. Percent of product or percent of sales? Completely assembled bikes? Bike frames? Bikes and components? Frames done domestically, components domestic or import? Anyway, after some back and forth I got an answer of about 85/15.
            We don’t know exactly what is incorporated in the 99.5% number either, but I think the point is the import number is very high. I’m not saying that is good, I don’t think it is, but, it is the nature of the beast as Emma points out.
            I don’t condemn Burke, Trek or my own employer for that matter for going off shore to remain competitive. Until the U.S. employs some kind of border trade restrictions I’m afraid once one sheep jumps the fence, the others generally must follow suit or be left behind.

  3. So has Tate and his fellow conspirators provided us with two outcomes?

    1. No primary and Walker is reelected.

    2. A primary and Senator Vinehout has a 50/50 chance of being elected Governor.


  4. CK, Steve et al.,

    The home at which Burke was feted is a large, old inner city home used for several local Democratic events in recent times. It was packed with hopefuls that a new day was dawning for all the hard working but discouraged liberals here in Eau Claire, including quite a few from the UWEC Young Democrats.

    Burke took questions and comments from the crowd but nobody mentioned the China workforce. She did say that public workers should have the right to negotiate their conditions and benefits which got a huge response. She said her reason for running is that she grew up in this state and hated to see the direction that it was going as of late. She feels that she can help heal differences and raise Wisconsin job pay and standards to match that of surrounding States, while attracting new businesses and helping developing businesses. The latter is an important demographic that we have lost over the last few years.

    Didn’t see many labor people there. Older liberals and young student democrats.

    We need a primary with Vinehout running as well! Somebody send her some money and encouragement.

    1. When you lunched with Vinehout did you ask why she hadn’t begun her campaign the day after the recall? Seems to me if she had begun to quietly make the connections, media contacts, and set up a fundraising apparatus, she’d be in good shape today if she’s the astute politician you all portray here. I am perfectly prepared to listen to her if and when she runs but I was mightily surprised to learn so little groundwork has been prepared by someone who’s already run.

  5. It is widely known that the majority of Trek bikes are manufactured in China. When I purchased one two years ago the made in China sticker was the first thing I removed. The blue fisters found themselves in a pickle here with Burke, but they’re in a constant state of spin and lies. Oh the horror, supporting someone who directly outsources jobs to China. Oh the horror Scott Walker as governor. This should be a fun year, enjoy the Chinese ride.

    1. Not much marching in lock-step in Democratic or Progressive politics. Pull up a pew and learn what dissent, questioning, and compromise look like. Enjoy the freedom ride!

    2. SteveTRADEMARK,

      A Dem primary on outsourcing is a nightmare for the GOP. Do you have any poll numbers about how much Tea Party support the GOP nominee will lose to a “FAIR Trade” Democrat?

      If not, check out how Tommy did in his race with Sen. Baldwin.

      When she was in the House, Sen. Baldwin had a lot of success sponsoring protectionist legislation with wingnut Reid Ribble.

      “Tammy Baldwin and Reid Ribble introduce CHEATS Act”

      “Concerned that the U.S. paper industry will suffer when trade sanctions expire on a certain class of Chinese imports, two members of Congress from Wisconsin have introduced legislation to keep the penalties in place.
      The legislation, introduced Friday, follows a December decision by a U.S. Court of Appeals, …”

      How big do you think that was in her victory?

      “FAIR trade, not FREE trade.” That’s code to Big Ag and Wisconsin farmers, that she’ll continue to fight for their exports.

      Gov. Walker’s made it easy for Sen. Vinehout in the primary to link Ms. Burke to his efforts with China

      This also has traction nationally with “NAFTA on steroids,” the Trans Pacific Partnership.

      IMHO, Steve Carlson’s right on target with “deal breaker.”

      SteveTRADEMARK, could this issue help Dems re-take the Assembly and the Senate?

      OT, if “Son of Doe,” takes down Walker, Vos, and Fitzgerald, is Kleefisch your choice?

      1. SteveTRADEMARK, was remiss in not mentioning above that “greens” tend overwhelmingly to prefer buying from local producers. It’s why so many are so upset with the WIGOP. After preaching relentlessly about “living within your means,” they’re trying to take away LOCAL control. In a post 9/11 world, LOCAL control and self sufficiency are at the root of food security, water security, and energy security.

      2. Protecting a particular industry isn’t quite as brave as fighting the treaties on the floor of the Senate. We’ll see where Baldwin lands on TPP. You’re correct in that U.S. Trade and tax policy can be impacted by Wisconsin’s federal delegation. I don’t see how Wisconsin voters would be much influenced by a trade debate in a primary for governor and if the the low-information types were influenced, wouldn’t that be rather cruelly setting them up for a great deal of disappointment?

  6. Emma — 11:24

    Respectfully, if you are paying attention, you KNOW that walker and his cronies will come out with any statement and even bold-faced lie that promotes what they are doing.

    YES — scott walker will make hay out of reports that TREK’s success is not actually Wisconsin-based.

    And even worse — the media across the state will pick up this talking point and catapult it across badgerland.

    I doubt you thought mitt romney had any experience creating jobs in the U.S. in the run-up to his overwhelming defeat — after late votes were totaled, the fact is that, for a second-term president, Obama was credited with a margin-of-victory that approached historic levels — most Americans don’t know that.

    By the same token — who is going to tell the truth if walker exploits TREK’s outsourcing? Certainly journal communications (all media assets they own) is not going to prevent walker from lying. Heck, they will make record profits in the next election cycle — money that will overwhelmingly be out-of-state multinational interests and pro-walker.

  7. Emma — 11:24

    Respectfully, if you are paying attention, you KNOW that walker and his cronies will come out with any statement and even bold-faced lie that promotes what they are doing.

    YES — scott walker will make hay out of reports that TREK\’s success is not actually Wisconsin-based.

    And even worse — the media across the state will pick up this talking point and catapult it across badgerland.

    I doubt you thought mitt romney had any experience creating jobs in the U.S. in the run-up to his overwhelming defeat — after late votes were totaled, the fact is that, for a second-term president, Obama was credited with a margin-of-victory that approached historic levels — most Americans don\’t know that.

    By the same token — who is going to tell the truth if walker exploits TREK\’s outsourcing? Certainly journal communications (all media assets they own) is not going to prevent walker from lying. Heck, they will make record profits in the next election cycle — money that will overwhelmingly be out-of-state multinational interests and pro-walker.

    1. I don’t doubt any assertion that it might be used. I doubt very much whether it a) will matter to Wisconsin voters who by and large vote for politicians who support free trade; nor 2) can’t be deflected. I don’t really understand the thinking the past couple of days on the site that seems to assume Burke can’t criticize or at least critique Trek. In this case she may not even have to criticize them, but rather talk about the jobs in Wisconsin Trek may have worked to save. The fact that there’s a bicycle manufacturer still making some product here and headquartered here is remarkable. Here’s my question to all the anti-Burke types. Wisconsin voters have been choosing low prices over Wisconsin jobs for quite some time now. Do you think that changes in any way for this election for a state governor?

      1. Emma,

        You can’t be serious with your arguments? This is a fucking deal breaker. I’ve talked with three stalwart Dems in the last 24 hrs., one of them a county party chair, and they were somewhere beyond flabbergasted at this news. It’s pretty obvious that this fact WAS NOT poll tested. You can’t launch a campaign with a video conjuring an image of bicycles being manufactured in a little red shop in a small Wisconsin town and then segue into an explanation of how free trade is the culprit and nobody really gives a shit anyway that most of Mary Burke’s job creation has been in China. Jesus Christ.

        I’m going to write in Rod Serling for governor in 2014.

        1. Now I’m flabbergasted. Are WI Democrats so uneducated about manufacturing trends, supply chain management, trade policy, corporate tax policy, not to mention basic facts about one of Wisconsin’s manufacturers? Or at least too emotional to evaluate dispassionately? Hope not.

          1. Emma,

            Yes, I believe they’re too emotional to dispassionately evaluate Mitt Romnney in drag running for governor of Wisconsin. Yes, I believe they are too emotional to do so. Yes. I believe the answer is yes.

            1. Awfully irresponsible to compare a private equity manager with a manufacturing executive/owner as they have dissimilar objectives to increase and disseminate revenue. Much of the damage private equity afflicts could be stopped with changes to the federal tax code, of course. Are there policies Burke shares with Romney?

        2. Oh, and nice mash up of the Burke video and my comments into some kind of scary Frankenburke out to get Wisconsin workers. Sheesh. Get a grip and pour the frustration into defeating Walker – you know, the guy who actually did deliver a beat down (his supporters would say epic beat down) to WI workers.

            1. Deliberate isn’t how I’d characterize what you wrote. You seem utterly enraged by Burke. Let’s just assume now you told me to go to hell and call it a day.

                1. Yep – I never spend too much time trying to convince someone stubbornly, blindly dug in. Why bother?

        3. So you are voting for Walker then? Why did we get Bush? People voted for Nader in Florida. Those that stand by and do nothing are just as culpable for the crime. And four more years of Walker is a crime.

          1. Bill, not sure who your comments are addressed to but I’m clearly a Progressive who wants to see real reform of US Trade and Tax Policy and that means a very different congressional delegation than we have now from Wisconsin. For Governor, I’m getting to know Burke like everyone else and I’m clear in comments below that we must beat Walker. I am not evaluating the gubernatorial candidate the same as I do for Congressional office in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Why on earth would anyone do that given the different skill sets required, the differences in roles, and the nature of the races and candidate pools?

  8. Does anyone forget — not only did WTMJ-AM and WISN-AM feature pro-walker programing 24/7 during the recall, BUT THEY SOLD ESSENTIALLY ALL OF THEIR AIRTIME FOR ADS TO WALKER TOO!

    The quality of the candidate, in-terms of differentiating themselves from walker does matter — I won’t disparage burke or vinehout — there are reasons to wonder if either can survive the media hyperbole that will directly attack them.

    Evidently, no one else is interested — we’ll see…

    1. It is illegal for a media outlet to pick and choose which political ads to accept. If Barrett, 3 time loser, had any money he could have advertised more on talk radio. He did have ads on WISN and WTMJ. Just like now where the Potawatomi tribe is spewing lies about the casino all over talk radio with their ads.

    1. Course you could read the entire article but I suppose that’s less fun than isolating the one stat that best supports your point. Burke is the only person to date brave enough to step up and challenge Walker. So who is this other non-ridiculous candidate I wonder? Catkin was kind enough to share with us that Vinehout has neither a campaign staff nor a plan but asks folks to share her Website and send in money. So who? Feingold? Kind? Barca? Conroy? Hmmm, could a way forward be to unite to beat Walker with who we’ve got on a broad platform of issues, re-take the legislature or at least part of it and start unwinding the damage and moving the state forward? And then in four years evaluate and either keep those same leaders in place or elect new one’s? Could that possibly be something worth trying? How about just for a week? Unite for a week and see how it goes? Or even just thru next Tuesday? Unite thru Tuesday and see what happens?

      1. Emma, you pose, excellent and fair questions.

        IMHO, an important date was October 7. That’s when news broke that Van Hollen wouldn’t seek a third term.

        If not long before October 7, every pol in Wisconsin knew something was up. Van Hollen and Vos are the GOP’s “bench” in the state. If something were to happen to Walker, either would be strong candidates for Governor.

        This is just a guess, but it now seems likely that the timing of Ms. Burke’s initial announcement of her candidacy was supposed to be quickly followed by news of the “Son of Doe.” Tate and the others running her campaign understand that first impressions mean a lot. They especially mean a lot when your candidate has zero “name-recognition,” and has zero next to political record. Their hope appears to have been that the media frenzy would be on WIGOP and Tate’s green-as-grass candidate would get to ease into the shallow end of the media pool and acclimate herself. Didn’t work that way. She announced put her three-minute video and Walker used it against her. The interval in the “Son of Doe” announcement was a lot longer than they anticipated and nature abhors vacuums. Walker hit her from the right as a Jim Doyle tax and spend Democrat. Labor hit her from the left.

        This is a marathon not a sprint. She, Tate, and the others now understand that they have to drive a narrative. Walker’s photo and quotes have sold a lot of media in the state over the last few years. With Son of Doe, we all hope that’s coming to a close. Someone has to step into the void and it should be Governor Burke/Vinehout….

        “Son of Doe” sounds very serious. You’ve got professional prosecutors admitting they’ve spent YEARS on this. The beauty of a John Doe is that if you don’t think you have enough admissible evidence for a conviction, you can quietly close it down. No one wants to leak that they were investigated, so, as long as defense attorneys are paid, there’s a lot of incentive for everyone to keep it out of the public record. That’s not happening. The Doe is moving forward in FIVE counties. That means at least FIVE targets.

        If Walker, Van Hollen, Vos, and Fitzgerald are all indicted, it’s a much easier path to the Governor’s mansion.

        Haven’t found it, but one of Bice’s stories about the Milwaukee County John Doe was about the internal struggle within the Milwaukee County D.A.’s office. My take-away was that there were plenty of people who thought they had more than enough to charge Walker.

        That speculation and $4 will get you something at Starbucks.

        1. Good comments, John. I’ll rely on you for Son of Doe information – I couldn’t follow the Cog Dis post, comments, and permutations of comments at all!

  9. Emma- It’s a whole lot easier to united on a “broad platform of issues” when you have a candidate at the top that’ll fight for issues that the Dems believe in. Burke’s slowly getting better in some areas (i.e. Medicaid expansion), but there is still way too much acceptance of corporatism and milquetoast responses, and right now we’re looking for more than just “anti-Scott Walker” to MAKE US WANT TO WORK FOR DEMS IN 2014.

    I understand that you’re from the consultant/political pro world, and think staffers and other types are more important than the message. Kinda like how Hillary’s people figured their pros and their fundraising connections were all they needed in 2008. But I got news for you- it’s not, and Hillary’s staff of “experienced pros” wasn’t all that great when it came to connecting with the Dem voters.

    And Mary Burke sure isn’t close to Hillary Clinton when it comes to political chops at this point. Questions like Trek manufacturing in China need to be answered, and a primary would be a great place to see if she can answer it. Because if she can’t, and we’re stuck with her as a candidate, we have a good chance in being stuck with an absentee Scott Walker running the state into the ground. That’s not acceptable to me, and it better not be for you.

    1. You are the second commenter to tell me I’m from the political arena. Good heavens. Is there decent money in it, do you know? Questions about why any Wisconsin manufacturer is in China, Mexico, Vietnam, or a southern state, etc., are pretty easy to answer with or without Burke, really. You did read that Trek is the only US bike manufacturer making bikes in the US? You also read they employ about 1,000 people in Wisconsin? No question Wisconsin should be sending a congressional delegation to Washington to reform trade practices and tax policy. Think Wisconsinites elected the delegation to get that done? I don’t. I think we’ll be lucky if Senator Baldwin fights TPP. Senator Johnson doubtless feels it’s a good deal. Without trade and tax reform, it’ll be tough to hang onto any manufacturing jobs but those making higher margin products, using innovative, hard to replicate techniques or skills, or those needing immediate time to delivery/shorter supply chain. Sorry but you must realize this is game-over without federal action. I can’t say I see much evidence of Burke corporatism so far. She’s wealthy, worked as a business executive and refuses to make promises about Act 10 – is that what you mean? Big deal. Any governor needs a cooperative legislature and it seems a little too soon to predict. What good is a promise if she’s still dealing with Vos, Fitz, Darling, etc.? Doe 2 could change that, I suppose. As far as needing to get excited, well, isn’t excitement a bit over-rated after the past couple of election cycles? You’re right that Sec. Clinton’s advisors were terrible. Pres. Obama stepped in with hope, change, and beautifully articulate and passionate speeches. And how has that hope and change worked out for Progressives? Yet, we didn’t at least get Pres. McCain or Pres. Romney. I’ll say what I always say – let’s give Burke a chance. Let her campaign develop. Maybe Vinehout gets it together enough to mount a challenge but if not, Burke is not to blame for Vinehout’s lack of preparedness and readiness nor any other potential candidate failing to stand up and be counted. Let it go and focus on beating Walker. We have to just beat Walker – everything else is a distraction.

      1. What you don’t seem to understand is that a lame, corporatist Dem gives Walker a BETTER chance of winning over someone who will inspire voters to get out in the fields and get to the polls in November 2014. There are going to be buses from all over Western Wisconsin heading to the Capitol today to protest a bill that would usurp local power on issues such as cracking and water pollution. Do you think that energy will be increased or decreased with a Burke candidacy? I fear I know the answer.

        Maybe Mary Burke is the candidate to give the Dems the best chance of winning in 2014, but I don’t but it at this time. We win with an excited base and an expanded electorate, and I think Vinehout would be more likely to do that at this time. I reserve the chance to changes mind

        1. Good luck with Vinehout. Her tweets today make it clear she’s crowd-sourcing the decision to run for Governor of Wisconsin. Cause nothing says “I intend to beat Walker and lead Wisconsin forward to a bright and prosperous future” like tweeting to get people to beg you to run. Her lack of desire, commitment and preparation add up to one big mess, I’m afraid. You excitement junkies would be better off trying your luck again with Feingold at this point. And why is Mary Burke corporatist? You didn’t explain. Or is that just a label you’re trying to affix to diminish her?

          1. E,

            Vinehout (or whomever else wants to challenge Burke) doesn’t need any luck. All the media in Wisconsin want a Democratic primary. It will boost their sagging ad sales.

            Below is nice coverage for Ms. Burke.

            “A little more on Mary Burke’s promise not to promise”

            “Well, I think what I meant to say was that, regularly, politicians throw out promises to win votes,” she said. “When I make promises, they’ll be ones that I can stand behind and keep. And they’ll be ones that are about creating jobs in Wisconsin, but also making sure that they are the ones that represent the interests of the people of Wisconsin and not special interests.”


            IMHO, it’s a sign that her campaign is moving forward. Now she has to keep that momentum. And from now on, she has to say it right the first time.

            If Ms. Burke wants to avoid a primary, she could state that as Governor she would veto any right-to-starve legislation. As long as she keeps labor at arm’s length, she’s creating the pressure for someone to challenge her. Connected to that is that Chris Abele’s an albatross around her neck. He had no background and lied to everyone about his commitment to collective bargaining. Long term, he’s done a lot more damage to Milwaukee County by eviscerating the Supervisors. He’s running a billion dollar/year county and a $1.3 billion dollar pension with almost no oversight.

            Likeability is a huge factor in elections. Scott Walker’s got it. He cultivated the personna of someone you could see yourself sitting next to in a tavern, enjoying an adult beverage. Whether that’s really Walker isn’t relevant. He carefully crafted that image and it worked. Steve Carlson has made the excellent point that media coverage of Ms. Burke has to include her in groups.

            Jake has made an excellent point that we (Dems) need to get away from the “cult of personality,” and focus on nuts and bolts policy that connect with voters. He said it better than I.

            1. I don’t dispute much of what you write. But why do you think Labor saddles Burke with Abele? I ask because I genuinely want to know – no snark. The guy never worked to build or further Boston Scientific. Heck, he didn’t even finish college. She’s got two Ivy League degrees and solid executive experience propelling her family’s company forward. It seems sort of sexist – a woman with far more educational and professional attainment being equated with him, don’t you think?

              1. I didn’t know Abele never finished college.

                It’s not important, but Georgetown’s not in the Ivy League. Harvard MBA’s come in all shapes and sizes. As long as you’re willing to pay, and have reasonable credentials, Harvard (and other “name schools,” ND does the same thing) will find a way to accommodate you. That doesn’t mean that’s the route she took, I just don’t know. Absent any evidence, I think the finance degree from Georgetown carries more weight, but reasonable people can disagree.

                The credibility of “Ivy League degrees,” isn’t what it used to be. That’s why Scott Walker has all those photos riding his Harley.

                In his chat Bice said she only worked for Trek for 9-years.

                Then she was Doyle’s Commerce Secretary. Ok, what’s she been doing with the rest of her professional life?

                I don’t really care, but as long as she doesn’t want to lead the Scott-Walker’s-a-bad-guy-parade, the media doesn’t have any other narrative. And that simply reminds people that they’re both perceived as “trust fund babies.” Since Walker can’t rip for voting to raise taxes, that’s all they’ve got, so it’s what they’ll go after. My guess is that’s not fair to Ms. Burke. I think her family got wealthy AFTER her childhood. Unfortunately, voters don’t make those subtle distinctions. She worked for her Dad. That’s not the way most people make a living.

                If she wants to keep the focus of her past (and I think that’s smart) she has to give the media something “newsworthy,” something people will want to read about/see/listen to. A problem with that is that usually when pols “go negative,” it makes people feel sorry for the other candidate. IIRC, Bill Clinton’s poll numbers went up after the GOP impeached him.

                I think she should blast Walker for not legalizing pot. JS editorial board didn’t write, “It’s time to legalize marijuana,”


                but one of their editorial writers did. That should be a big flat to both R and D that the JS Editorial board is very seriously looking at throwing their full weight behind that. It would be a huge economic boon for Milwaukee, and if the state doesn’t do it, it will lose tourism dollars. A lot of folks will schedule vacations in Colorado and Washington. Plus, she can use the old GOP talking point, “job-killing-government-regulations.”

                Right after that she should call for a federal job guarantee that over time phases out welfare and unemployment insurance. This link is very short, very detailed and excellent.

                Those two issues are what “gets discussed” in coffee shops, bars,… around Wisconsin. Republicans will be scratching their heads saying, why didn’t Scott Walker do that? Now, nobody cares who her Dad was, or that she’s rich, they want meet “Mary.” They want to meet the woman trying to breath new life into the state.

                The link below is to a nice piece Mark Neumann did on Walker when he primaried him for Governor back in 2010. Walker campaigned on the County dime.

                Barrett built on that momentum in the recall to paint Walker as a “rockstar.” AFAIK, Walker spends more time in Iowa than Wisconsin. AFAIK, the majority of his time is spent outside the state. There are ways to go negative and because that narrative’s already in place, it might be one to capitalize on.

                I’m just piggybacking on Steve Carlson here, again, but she’s got to get out in groups. She’s got to prove to herself, the campaign, and the Democratic party that she can draw a crowd. The “trust fund baby” thing won’t stick if there are visuals of her “listening” to Wisconsin voters.

  10. FYI, in this morning’s online poll by The Cap Times, Burke beats Walker 58% to 52%.

    Either Tate is voting more than once or many uninformed voters are casting their ballot based on alphabetic preference since Burke is a largely blank page only days after her/Tate’s announcement.

    I guess there is no need for a primary since “B” also precedes “V”.

      1. Sounds great, Emma!

        Think of all the money we’ll save with no elections, but just a coronation by Poll of Queen Mary I. 😉

        1. Or maybe CapTimes Democrats just don’t agree with you, Duane, and they like Burke just fine as they get to know her.

          1. Fair assumption, Emma, that “…CapTimes Democrats just don’t agree with you. Duane,…”

            But in reply, Ms. Burke’s poll popularity may be attributed to the fact she is better known in the Madison area. I can assure you she is not in my neck of the woods or is “Mary who?”.

    1. Duane,

      Are you talking about the Cap Times online ” vote ” of who people think would win the race? The Cap Times, ” Your Progressive Voice ” has an online ” vote ” question and Burke comes out ahead. What a stunner. Didn’t see that one coming.

      1. Yes, but that online vote will change depending upon when it is removed. I see nothing foreboding since early results are from the Madison area where Ms. Burke is well known. A more accurate picture will occur when and if the rural (Milwaukee) vote comes in. 😉

    2. The unknown candidate almost always wins with someone that has the negatives that Walker has. It’s after the opponent spends $20 million tearing their challenger down that things even out.

  11. The reality is the Burke will have to address how many jobs were shipped overseas during her tenure at Trek. Did Trek under Burke send jobs from Wisconsin to China? Obviously Emily’s list endorsement of Burke the organization either doesn’t care about Wisconsin job’s getting shipped to China or has found satisfying answer to this question nobody else has heard.

    1. Sure – and if you’re going to ask that then ask why weren’t all the jobs shipped over? Given the marketplace advantage is to ship labor, project management, half the engineers over and move the headquarters to the West Coast, why didn’t they do that too? Oh, that’s right this is just about cornering Burke. Forgot.

      1. The people who lost jobs when Trek decided to move their job to China are going to remember come election time.

        1. Sure, AJ, and if you know anyone who lost their job at a manufacturer, you’ll know it’s common to feel bitter but you also know who’s to blame – the rubes shopping at Walmart and other low price big boxes, the big box retailers demanding ever lower supplier prices, and the Federal government and particularly congress doing nothing to protect manufacturing through US Trade Policy nor US Tax Policy. You don’t blame an individual person who kept some production here and 1,000 jobs as you know the miracle that represents.

          1. EmmaR, In the not too distant past a lot of people blamed their job going to China on a losing Presidential Candidate.

  12. So if I read this right Burke = Walker. Really? Well based on your assumption that riding a Harley is the preferred option I guess I’ll throw all my progressive thinking and support of public employees out the window and simply vote for Walker. Seriously though, Vinehout would be a better alternative no question — IF SHE HAS ENOUGH MONEY. Likely not.

  13. I will just say this one little thing…if Trek wasn’t making products and parts of products in China at the prevailing rates…there would be NO Trek and NO Trek jobs in Wisconsin or anywhere.

  14. I don’t care what anybody says; this state has consistently gone downhill since we lost Tommy Thompson.
    The biggest overall decline this state has had, was when Jim Doyle was governor.
    All you liberals who are gonna have something to say, go ahead.
    I won’t be seeing or reading any of em.
    And don’t even TRY to talk to me about how every manufacturing company sends work oversees!!!!
    My family has had a manufacturing company in Racine County for about 100 years, and although it’s been hard to compete with China for the past 12-15 years, this family and this company HAS never, and WILL never sellout and open a factory in China, or contract our labor out to China.
    Or any other country oversees for that matter.
    Our company makes the motors for some very major brands, and although we’ve lost some business to these companies purchasing from China to save money, many of them have returned, because the order accuracy, customer service, overall finished product are much better from here.
    Unfortunately, not all of them have come back.
    For what we pay just for the PARTS, China has a FINISHED product!!!!
    How the hell do you compete with that?!?!
    In the last 10 years, two of our competitors in the area shutdown.
    Two family owned manufacturing companies that were in business for umpteen years.
    And although you might think we were happy about that, we were not!!!!
    Because, it was a sign of things to come, and a growing pattern of where this state and entire country is headed.
    Believe me, our company was at its peak in the 90’s, when both of those other businesses were still open, and both flourishing as well.
    There was plenty of business to go around.
    There was pride in keeping things in the U.S.
    There was pride in your business name.
    Now, people base their pride on the bottom line, and what their W2’s say.
    I’m sorry; but Democrats/liberals have no shame, and no scruples, about how or where their money is made.
    Just that it IS made.
    Nothing in this state, or entire country for that matter, has been the same since the days of Tommy Thompson as our governor, or Ronald Reagan as our president.
    Everybody praises Clinton for how the economy was while he was in office.
    But what all you Democrats fail to realize or remember, is that was ALL due to Reaganomics!!!!
    And Reagan was the first one to tell everybody, that Reaganomics was gonna take 20 years to work!!!!!!
    But he begged everyone to trust him and believe in his plan, and they would all see the amazing results of it.
    Well, we all did.
    Everything he said would happen, all came to fruition.
    This economy was amazing in the 90’s.
    Everyone made money.
    And if you didn’t, you had to be doing something REALLY wrong.
    The most unfortunate thing about that economy is, Democrats and liberals all wanna give Clinton the credit for it, just because he happened to be in office at that time.
    None of you can admit that Clinton just so happened to be in the right place at the right time, and literally inherited that economy.
    It was virtually handed to him.

    And, whether you like it or not, the fact is, IT WAS ALL THE RESULT OF REAGANOMICS.

    We miss you Thompson and Reagan!!!!!!!
    This state, and this country, needs you both right now, more than ever!!!!!!!
    Unfortunately, Ronald Reagan is deceased (God rest his soul), and Tommy Thompson is pretty much retired from politics.

    But boy, I wish they were both here now…..

    1. OK Rojo, take off the alias. Clueless about your boy Ronny, obviously. Quiz, which US HHS Secretary pushed the US drug cartel’s favorite rule, disallowing generic drug sales from Canada into US.

      Pay attention, agent 7070707070707.

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