Mary Burke decries Act 10

I am no longer going to make it a secret that I believe the blogging community is doing a disservice to the State of Wisconsin and Democrats alike when we sit here and bash candidates for anything and everything during a time when we don’t even have an announced primary.

I am a Democrat. I am proud to be one. I once wrote a story for the Pointer newspaper as a student at UW-Stevens Point about how I came to be a Democrat and am today reminded why I remain with the party I have come to love and hold very close to my heart.

“I am a Democrat. I am a liberal; a progressive. I am a student; a minority. I am the middle class. I am a pre-existing condition. I am a citizen. I am a voter. I am everything this country is supposed to be about: moving FORWARD.”

So today I’m going to show you something that affirms what my beliefs are and post for you something positive about a strong, educated, female candidate that has entered into this race against the most notable Republican governor in perhaps decades. She is encouragingly supportive of our causes, she is a strong woman, and candidate and we should welcome anyone into this race that should choose to challenge Mr. Walker to his spot in the gubernatorial mansion.

TOMAH — Democrats are good for business, a Democratic candidate for governor said Wednesday during a campaign stop in Tomah.

Trek Bicycle executive Mary Burke said policies that encourage education and infrastructure investment are good for business and boost the state’s economy. She pointed to Minnesota, which has a lower unemployment rate than Wisconsin but didn’t implement many of the controversial policies of Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

“Not only has (Minnesota) gained back all the jobs it lost during the recession, but their per-capita incomes are higher than Wisconsin by $5,000,” Burke said. “I think that’s tied to education. We have to make sure we value education and make sure that it drives jobs.”

She criticized Act 10, a bill signed by Walker that stripped collective bargaining rights from public employees except for police and firefighters.

“Act 10 left our state divided and weakened,” Burke said. “As governor, I would have taken a different approach. I believe we could have firmly and fairly negotiated the changes needed to balance the budget but in a way that left our state strengthened and together.”

She added, “I believe the public employees in our state have the right to collectively bargain.”

Burke criticized Walker’s budget for increasing spending by $4.6 billion and still leaving a deficit. She said it was foolish for Wisconsin to opt out of expanded Medicaid funding, which she said would have brought $4 billion into the state.

She opposes a bill that would make it more difficult for local units of government to regulate sand mines.

“We have seen too many instances where politicians in Madison are telling local communities what they should and should not do,” she said. “Those decisions are best left in communities … In this particular case, we need to balance job creation and economic creation not just with protection of our natural resources but also with safety and health issues.”

Walker, a Republican, is widely expected to seek re-election to a second term. He was elected in 2010 and survived a recall attempt in 2012.

Burke could be challenged in a Democratic primary by state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout of Alma, whose district included the city of Tomah until 2011.

Vinehout said Thursday that a campaign for governor is still “doable.” Vinehout will travel the state and speak with people about the possibility of her getting into the race before making a decision early next year. She would have to give up her state Senate seat to make the run.

I believe the article speaks for itself. Those wishing to have a purity contest need only ask themselves one question: where are my comments getting me, and what impact will they have on Wisconsin come 2014.

I know where I stand.


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18 thoughts on “Mary Burke decries Act 10

  1. It was never a ‘purity’ issue. Many Democrats are frustrated because the DPW puts up a candidate and tells us to support her/him. Burke may have won a Democratic primary but we will never know because the DPW tells everyone she is the best candidate because she is a millionaire and primaries are bad. Under these conditions is Kathleen Vinehout going to give up her state senate seat to challenge Burke? Probably not. Has the DPW influence helped Burke in the long run? Probably not. Will Burke defeat Walker? Probably not.

    1. Horse Hockey Joe.

      this wasn’t about purity? Then you haven’t heard half of the stuff people here and anywhere else are saying about it.

      You may think it’s about DPW picking and choosing, and you may not be saying stuff that calls into question her liberal credentials, but a majority of those talking bad about her are.

      Open your eyes dude.

  2. I’d love to see the statement that came out saying that the DPW thinks Burke is the best candidate.

    1. How naive can you be. When the chairman of the party posts a message to get on board with the Burke campaign it is pretty obvious that he thinks she is the best candidate. I don’t want to take the time to look for this and forward it to you. I have nothing against Burke per se. Just the way she was chosen. I will work for her and vote for her. However, she is not my first choice and I don’t like being told what to do. Do you? I like to make up my own mind. It would be a good thing if everyone had a choice. You can argue that the DPW has not endorsed Burke but you will never convince me that such posts don’t discourage others from getting into the race. I believe competition is good and the winner of a Democratic primary would make that person a stronger candidate going up against Walker.

  3. For Joe and all of the others that think the Democratic Party Chair is by himself powerful enough to anoint who the next candidate for Governor is, knows nothing about how the party functions and how candidates make decisions on races. Mike Tate has not endorsed anyone. He should be making positive statements about any Democrat that runs for office (and he does). Having been Chair of the state party, I know damn well that elected officials and candidates for office don’t care that much what the Chair thinks. Mike’s job is to build up the base of Democrats in this state and in that he is doing o.k. Most of the people who bitch the most about the Party ran for office once and did not get as much help as they thought they deserved. Races are about priorities, however, and candidates need to show that they are viable before limited resources can be expended. In the case of Mary Burke, she has already proved she is viable and deserves the help of Democrats to beat the Governor. If someone else jumps in, fine. Until then I wish all of my utopian friends to cease and desist.

    1. Joe,

      Chris Abele campaigned on supporting collective bargaining rights for public sector workers.

  4. Dustin: “…the article speaks for itself…”

    I don’t believe everything I read of a unknown source unless attribution is provided with a link. In other words, who said it and when?

  5. Mary Burke said essentially the same in Eau Claire, Dustin. She was very well received and answered questions well, including one on her Trek China labor force. Her answer was that Trek had 1800 employees and 1000 of those were in the United States. As a global company, Trek would not have been able to compete in China or Europe without Chinese production and without that production Trek would not be able to employ 1000 people in the United States.

    Kathleen Vinehout also spoke at the same venue two days later, and her comments were restricted to the Republican bill 349 to restrict local control of air, water, trafic and crop control in Wisconsin villages and towns. Not one word about Burke’s endorsements or candidacy.

    IMHO Burke’s candidacy would not arouse as much Republican fear and voting motivation as Vinehout’s, and she could stand up to Walker in a debate, but she would not make as fine a governor as Vinehout nor be able to call out Walker as well on various issues.

  6. Disagree, Joe. The purity issue seems to be pretty pervasive nationwide in terms of what it means to be a Progressive in 2013 as is the developing divisiveness in the direction the Democratic Party should take in terms of platform and policy – valid concerns from a variety of perspectives in that regard. Ideological purity and its potential for dismantling Democratic electoral outcome is a vital concern, I concur with Dustin on that point.

    As to the DPW, I still haven’t seen the uber-authoritarian impulse imputed by so many. If there is to be a primary more candidates have to jump into the race. Doesn’t seem to me to be a factor under DPW control. Of course the DPW is going to support a declared candidate as it has with Burke. If Vinehout chooses to run I’m sure they will support her too. I assume because supporting and promoting Democratic candidates would be the purpose and function of the party. If Vinehout chooses to run and the DPW promotes Vinehout too it wouldn’t mean it was forcing her on the voting public.

    It seems to me there’s a fine line between “purity” and “principled.” I suspect We the People as individuals (no matter our relative position along the political spectrum) would probably prefer to view ourselves as principled rather than pure. Yet, I think there is a distinction no matter how hairline it may be at times.

    Then again, I’m not one to advocate for a non-strategical contested primary so I wouldn’t have any problem at all with a single candidate promoted by the DPW if that candidate was exceptionally strong or if the DPW were running that single candidate as part of some other long term stratagem for deepening the bench overall. As far as choosing candidates I have no more confidence in a fractious, fickle, biased, uninformed or uneducated public than I do in the “political expertise” of the DPW. The Tea Party trend is proof in the pudding there as are the serious dangers of faux-populism that would persuade a majority to vote for interests that don’t actually represent their own.

    For my part, I don’t think Mary Burke has the experience to govern should she be elected, regardless of her position on issues that I might care about. However, I think she is deserving of a degree of courtesy as someone who is deepening the bench. She might not (and does not) possess all that I would want to see for a governor, but I’m thrilled nonetheless that she’s stepped up to the plate to challenge Walker.

  7. Dustin, being able to handle constructive criticism in a professional manor is something the executives of DPW and Progressive Organizations need to do. As far as Mary Burke, her Achilles’ Heel is Trek sending jobs from Wisconsin overseas. The ads Scott Walker runs will be powerful and full of emotion. Try telling the Burke staff and DPW this and they will view you has a threat by being the bearer of bad news.

  8. Dustin,

    I got a very wide smile with your “I’m no longer keeping this a secret,” comment, as that cat was already well out of the bag, and around the block several times with your introductory piece, and with your latest podcast at that time (which I did listen to). No offense intended in that comment.

    Listen, the more that I hear the sadly mistaken inferences that myself or anyone hoping for, working for, or who are making substantial financial contributions toward seeing a primary happen between Burke who has declared, and Vinehout, who I sincerely hope will declare, the better I feel about the chance of whichever candidate opposing Walker would actually have to beat him.

    Telling me I’m hurting Burke’s chances by not jumping on her band wagon yet, or that I’m being counter-productive to the goal by asking questions about her candidacy is exactly the behavior that DPW, by essentially giving all state and thereby D county resources over to OFA to elect our current Fascist in Chief, whom I refused to work for, vote for or support in any way, got him into office.

    Orton, over at PU hasn’t answered some pertinent questions that were presented here a week or so ago. Very progressive attitude, NOT. Mike Tate’s job as Mr Wineke states, is to build up the base of Democrats in this state, but by encouraging people to speak up instead of to shut up, so there is a thorough discussion of all possible issues in a primary, would seem logically to be the best way to do it. That begins by allowing the dissent and criticism of what in all, “appearances,” seems not to be the case coming from the D establishment so far.

    Priorities of the voters will emerge during the debate if there is one, I don’t need a party defining them for me. Telling myself or others to cool it, to back-off or to be describing purposeful and intelligent questioning as “utopian,” dreaming, and to cease and desist, tells me that the D establishment has seriously less faith in Burke than the people who are asking for some clearer definitions of the person that they are being told to shut up about. Getting honest answers makes converts to a cause better than being told to STFU, however politely that might be attempted to be done.

    Also forgotten by establishment Dems so far is that non-party lefties need to be added to the total of voters to beat Walker. The party screwed us in the recall and people don’t forget things like that too easily, and in this thread we are told we need to be mindful of our campaign resources. That didn’t appear to be much of a thought when Barrett was given the go ahead, but now it is. Sheesh.

  9. An apology to Dustin where I confused him with Eric on the ‘podcast,’ part of my comment above. I do wish to point out my mistake, but the cat out of the bag comment is valid and did give me a cause for a good-natured laugh.

  10. Dustin, thanks for posting this. I’m glad to see that Mary Burke is beginning to refine her position on Act 10 and becoming less ambiguous in that position.

  11. Dustin,

    Like the passion, but unfortunately, it’s easy for Dems to take advantage of.

    “30 House Dems Joined the GOP to Sell You Out to Wall Street”

    Ron Kind and Gwen Moore were among those 30, their votes gave wingnuts and Wall Street “cover.” The bill had “bi-partisan” support. … …

    Allegedly liberal/progressive Dems like Gwen Moore take turns pulling this. Kind’s district doesn’t vote as heavily Democratic.

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