Progressives United endorses Mary Burke

Earlier today Progressives United, a group founded by former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, announced it was endorsing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke and would begin raising money for her immediately.

Progressives United said the group got into the race after polling the group’s members in Wisconsin and, with some 3,000 members voting, the results heavily favored making an early endorsement in the race. The liberal group is immediately starting to raise money to help Burke.

“Progressives United is in for helping Mary Burke, and we’re in now. She will work tirelessly to restore the progressive traditions of Wisconsin, create good paying jobs for Wisconsinites, and end the nasty politics of division that have become Scott Walker’s trademark,” said Cole Lyestra, Progressives United’s executive director, in an email to the group’s members.

While I’m not surprised by the results of the “poll” conducted by Progressives United, I think the timing was certainly interesting.


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23 thoughts on “Progressives United endorses Mary Burke

    1. Timing is everything in politics, and the timing of the Progressives United “poll” speaks volumes. The establishment is quickly circling the wagons.

        1. The timing of Progressive United’s endorsement of Mary Burke. Considering it came before the primary field is set, it seems circumspect.

        2. I can’t speak for Z.

          IMHO, PU was simply waiting for the media to break the “Son of Doe,” story, which they knew about well in advance.

  1. Wow, that is a lot of enthusiasm from Lyestra and a lot of promises being made for Burke. I’ve asked for confirmation of the vote I made without saying which way I voted. As there was no confirmation page available upon voting, who knows?

    1. Finishing a project this morning and went back to PU and voted a SECOND time, cleared browser history and voted a THIRD time. I doubt Josh Orton can get off his twitter to respond to that seeming flaw in the “poll” tallying mechanism.

      What PU hasn’t said is anything about the remarks people who voted may have made in the comments. For instance, “With the question you are asking you’ve already endorsed Burke, what’s the point? PU is just wondering if they should announce it publicly?

      I have asked PU several times about staff numbers, salaries, operational expenses, never one reply. I used to volunteer with Habitat until the local decided it was necessary to annually spend the cost of a new house on a, “much needed” salaried program director.

  2. If anyone has any detail on this, I’m morbidly interested.


    Mary Burke gets a huge endorsement and then completely f@$%s up the thanks by naming an entirely different (defunct) organization.

  3. Pre-primary phony poll introducing unknown Burke + Tate’s Burke announcement + PU’s early Burke endorsement = Hamlet’s “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (Wisconsin).

    Coincidental or a conspiracy?

    1. Morning Duane12,

      I think they would call it political strategy, you know, because that’s what they get paid to do and who would not want to continue in their power-broker job. More and more I see these people as nothing more than employment agency or real estate brokers, getting their slice of the pie every time there is a transaction, adding nothing to the value of the product.

  4. What “poll” exactly? They asked their membership for a vote. The results were obvious. Moveon does the exact same thing. I don’t get the frustration over an organization asking their membership what they should do and then doing it.

    1. Melissa, other than that’s she’s an heir to Trek Bicycle, spent her entire career working for her Dad, and Mike Tate likes her, what does anyone know about the political leanings of Mary “no promises” Burke?

      Given the emergence of “Son of Doe,” the Democratic primary (here’s hoping) could be the de facto election for Governor. If Walker, Vos, and Fitzgerald are all indicted, who will the GOP run?

      Being Governor’s a tough, grueling job. Ms. Burke has a finance degree from Georgetown. That’s big. If she was dumb, Georgetown probably would have made her transfer into a less demanding major.

      Unions are a pain-in-the-neck. Unfortunately, without them, all the money goes to the 1%, which is where we’re at now. We need someone who is rock-solid on collective bargaining. I understand that does not poll very well now, but if the Democrats are ready to quit being the party of “pity-liberalism,” and get back to being the party of prosperity for the 99%, I don’t see another choice.

  5. Yep, the media [ZMP] think they can control a Burke/Walker race with lots of political promotion money coming in. Not so much money or control with a Vinehout/Walker race.

  6. Hi – Josh from Progressives United here. Wanted to respond to the comment made at 2:50am: we of course went back to weed out duplicates – it’s a pretty simple search. And the absolute truth is that removing duplicates increased Burke’s margin by a small amount.

    Also – a word about the timing of our poll: please don’t overthink it. Folks are chomping at the bit to start organizing to beat Walker. Also, fyi, we did not promote Burke’s announcement in any way – Facebook, Twitter, email, nada.

    Lemme know if there are other questions.

    1. Josh, if Sen. Vinehout wants to run, the news about Trek’s outsourcing of jobs is really, really big.

      I have the greatest respect for Sen. Feingold on many levels, but he accepted horrible, horrible advice on this one.

      A big part of Sen. Baldwin beating Tommy was her opposition to outsourcing.

      “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, …”

      PU should use the recent spate of news about the outsourcing to WALK-BACK the endorsement. You can say something along the lines of what a great candidate Ms. Burke is, and how lucky Dems are to have her, but it makes more sense to reserve judgement until PU members get a chance to know her better.

    2. Josh Orton,

      Thanks for the duplicate vote answer, how about the other parts of my comments on this thread? How about a full staff list and personel contact info, a PU operating budget, percent of donations to PU going to something other than salaries, overhead, employee health insurance etc, ON THE WEBSITE and updated regularly? Dollar amounts helpful along with a donor list of corps, small business and rank and file? Won’t that be the progressive thing to do?

      And the other big issue that I assumed you would pass on referring to, also, why not a third choice in the survey? Did you determine people were chomping at the bit through a survey too? Or was that determined within a small circle of friends?

      You endorsed Burke before you published this survey, I’d suggest you issue a statement clarifying that to the numerous media outlets reporting PU’s lie that you seem pretty complacent about correcting, that media is mostly misinterpreting the results of your 2 question poll, i.e. we are endorsing Mary Burke, should we begin now or a bit later actually going public.

      Another thought, is PU membership based on active donors or just folks who got on your mailing list somehow since PU was initiated?

      1. Well no answer from Mr Orton on any of this yet.

        Also in the twitter with WIDefender, Orton was asked, “if 3000 responded to the survey/push-poll how many had been initially asked?” and there has no answer to that question has yet been given that I have been able to find.

        1. NQ, between PU and Tate’s pre-Primary endorsement, I fear they have already lost the election. Why are they trying to shove the relatively unknown, untested Burke down the electorate’s throat before she is vetted? Are they afraid,except for her wealth, she couldn’t match up with Senator Vinehout’s skills, background, political experience, and passion in a primary?

          What’s Tate’s phone? I’d like to tell him to shape up or ship out. He’s incompetent as well as biased IMO in his handling and leadership.

        2. Windmill,
          Your single minded spinning has its moments. I really like the query on a breakdown for donations and seldom donate to any cause without seeing a 10k.

          This has been the biggest problem for me with all the “blue” leaning organizations saving the day for Democrats by supporting issues for public liberty and freedom and opposing government takeover by multinational corporations.

          I’m sure Finegold of Progressives United, like his college Jerry Green of Bold Progressives, has done some good for Democrats somewhere– Green claims to have almost “invented” Elizabeth Warren– but what are these ZMP entrepreneurs really about? And is accounting disclosure really a private matter when you’re asking for public donations?

          I adminre both Green and Finegold for being able to recognize and report corporate over-reach effectively whenever it occurs. But, as you say, I need some accounting. I don’t care for a country run by media moguls anymore than corporate executives.

  7. Happy to oblige, Duane, good luck getting a response. Met him only twice, personally, but politely engaged him for a decent conversation each time. You’ll likely get more answers with a little honey rather than vinegar. Let us in on any results.

    608 255 5172

  8. Anyone else still signed up for PU email alerts? This time around (10/2) I’m being asked to WEIGH IN. What a quaint way to get some input. Not being one to frequently fill out request forms such as the one I received, only to have my suggestions disappear after submitted, I do not submit very many suggestions to PU or similar sites under these terms. Giving bipartisan treatment, I have yet to join a US Congressional (Reid Ribble) phone link to a “town hall meeting,” when the robo-call comes in the middle of my evening meal. ;^)

    Apparently the questions asked here must have been missed, or simply ignored, or were questions/suggestions not suitable to be asked or perceived important enough to include answers to, either here or as a feature on the PU site.


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