On campaign finance: Mary Burke isn’t the problem – the system is

Over at The Prairie Badger, blogger Aaron Camp thinks Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke is the biggest threat to democracy in Wisconsin since Scott Walker.

I’ll just flatly say what I think about Mary Burke: She is the biggest threat to democracy in Wisconsin since Scott Walker. Even though Burke herself said in this interview that she wishes that Wisconsin had a different system of campaign finance, Burke herself could have been that different system if she wanted to. She could have chosen to be that different system of campaign finance. She could have chosen to not self-fund more than $100,000. She could have chosen not to accept campaign contributions larger than $250. Instead, she chose to take the low road by playing the same big-money politics game that Republicans like Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, and Ron Johnson are notorious for.

As I noted in a comment responding to Camp’s blog post, I think it’s horribly misguided to think that running a candidate who can’t raise money is going to somehow magically change our flawed campaign finance system.

There’s absolutely no denying that our country’s campaign finance system is fundamentally flawed, but it certainly appears to me that changes to that system aren’t going to come about simply by running candidates who refuse to raise the kinds of money that our current flawed system requires in order to run a viable campaign.

What’s more, I think it’s more than a little over the top to categorize Mary Burke as the biggest threat to Wisconsin’s democracy since Scott Walker, given the absolutely awful direction legislative Republicans want to continue to move our state in. The real threat to Wisconsin’s democracy are Republicans like Robin Vos, Scott Fitzgerald, and Glenn Grothman, and working to elect a Democrat governor in 2014 is the only way Democrats can hope to slow down the direction Republicans are trying to take Wisconsin.


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