Thursday, October 17, 2013

There's Nothing About Mary

For months before Mary Burke eventually made her formal announcement that she was going to run for governor, there was a not too subtle whisper campaign to promote her.

Image courtesy of
Madison Times
People were ready and then some for someone - anyone - to be the people's champion against the corporate sockpuppet, Scott Walker.  When talk of Burke started to spread, the people got excited and was eager to embrace their new hero.

But time went on.  Everyone knew that the presumptive champion was going to be Burke, so why delay revealing the obvious?  As time went on, people starting looking at things for themselves.

What was seen was not very comforting.

It was seen that Burke donated $2.5 million for a charter school that never even opened its doors.

It was seen that she spent $120,000 for a seat on a school board, more than ten times her opponent, who is a union man.  While in her very expensive school board seat, she voted against the teachers.

Democratic party members would tout Burke's business expertise and how she helped make her family's company, Trek, a global success.  Well, that's great.  But it is also almost irrelevant.  Government is not a business.  And when it is run like a business, things fail, like the state is doing under Scott Walker and Milwaukee County is doing under Chris Abele.

We were told to be patient.  It was pointed out that she hadn't even declared her candidacy.  We were told to wait to see what she had to say.  I was skeptical, knowing that talk is cheap and that actions speak louder than words.

Finally, and without any fanfare, Burke suddenly announced her candidacy.

And it started out stumbling, with her campaign failing to get the obvious domains for her webpage before the Republicans swiped them.

Questions were raised and concerns were expressed.

We were again told to wait.

And if anyone continued to ask question or express doubt, they were insulted or even threatened or blackballed.  That did not go far in building confidence in Burke or her campaign.

Ten days after her announcement, Burke finally started talking, coming out with her first campaign promise.

That promise was that she wasn't promising anything:
Democrat Mary Burke is only making one promise as she launches her campaign for governor: no promises.

Burke, in an interview with The Associated Press, said she will not commit to making specific commitments on some of the biggest issues in the race, including whether she will undo Gov. Scott Walker's law that effectively ended collective bargaining for public workers.

Burke also said she won't make any specific job creation promises, like Walker did in 2010 when he pledged to create 250,000 private sector jobs over four years. He's only about a quarter of the way there after two years.

"I get into this race not making any promises," Burke said in the Tuesday interview. "The only promise I'm going to make to the people of Wisconsin is that every single day as governor, I would wake up 110 percent committed to the priorities that are important to them, which are creating good paying jobs. That's how I come at things. There's a lot of pieces that go into that. I'm not going to make any promises with regards to specifics people want to see."
The reporter pressed her on Act 10, to which she gave a response that was notable for its unresponsiveness:
Burke said this week that she does support collective bargaining for public workers, but she stopped short of saying she would change the law to give it back to them.

"I would work with the Legislature to make sure we're able to put in place the mechanisms that are going to accomplish that mission of having an engaged workforce that has a voice at the table and is committed to the work that we need to do," Burke said.

Burke said her approach both on collective bargaining and creating jobs is "to make sure we get people at the table, we put all the options out there and we evaluate them based on what are the best practices and what is most likely to move us forward."

Burke did make one promise about her unknown job-creation plan: "As we move through the campaign, I'll certainly get into more specifics."
Not exactly the firebrand people were hoping for, is she?

And don't bother going to her website for any answers.  The only thing you'll find there is her uninspiring video and a chance to give her campaign any money you might have left.

The strangest thing about the campaign though has nothing to do directly with the campaign.

The odd thing, to me anyway, is how some people are getting upset because others are questioning Burke's fitness and her campaign. They said that it's bad to criticize the only candidate to have announced so far.

That's so much garbage.

We, the voters, are looking for a new employee.  The one we have now is inept, corrupt and a compulsive liar.  As we search for our new employee, we aren't necessarily going to just hire the first person through the door, especially when that person might be just as bad or worse than the employee we are replacing.

Fortunately, there are still several months to find a viable candidate that can appeal to the people, which is what is going to be needed to win against the special interest money that Walker will be receiving.

And if, heaven forbid, we can't find such a candidate, we will need to find a new staffing agency.

In summary, after months of hype, we have our first Democratic gubernatorial candidate, who appears to be anti-union and anti-public education.  Furthermore, her government experience comes from two years serving as Doyle's Director of Economic Development and serving on a school board because she bought the seat. To top it all off, she won't give us any promises - or much of anything at all - that would inspire us to vote for her.

We are being told - not asked, but told - that we should just blindly support Burke, despite all of her problems.

Well, let's just say, we'll take it under advisement, but no promises.


  1. When I read the headline (paraphrasing) "Mary Burke Promises Not To Make Any Promises" I almost spit my coffee across my keyboard.

    And you think you can win with tripe like that?

    Cripes! From shady campaign managers to weak roll out to outright laughing stock.....

    Mike Tate- WTF are you thinking?!!!!

    Short on time. More later. Good gawd, I pray, PRAY Vinehout gets into the race.

  2. Vinehout won 4% of the primary vote after the recall.

  3. I think it's obvious that she doesn't want to say anything that can be used to attack her. Is that a good strategy? Maybe not, but when your opponent and his surrogates have essentially unlimited amounts of money it might be the smart play. And anyone still holding a torch for the repeal of Act10 can go and commiserate with those that want to repeal ObamaCare - ain't gonna happen. The Assembly will be Republican for the next 7 years. As for the charter school -- at some point maybe people will figure out that the status quo doesn't work and maybe it was actually a good idea. Last time I checked Kaleem Caire was not a member of the Tea Party.

    I like Kathleen Vineout. Wish she would have won the recall primary, she would have been a much better candidate than Barrett. And she shouldn't stay out because the powers that be say she should. I'll vote for here if there is a primary. Here's the problem though. The hand picked candidates of the Democratic establishment have done an amazingly poor job running their races. Retreads, and those that only run because it's expected. Given that, Burke already has a strike against her with much of the base, BUT she has the one thing that any Democrat needs to compete - money. How much and whether she's willing to spend it is still unclear. Resources win elections.

    I think many are pushing so hard for her because they think she might be the center candidate that is able to win - but not if a substantial part of the left stays home.

    1. 1) Public education does work. Wisconsin has had a top 10 education ranking for the last 50 years, if not longer. The problem is inner city poverty. If you want to try and compare the education of a kid on the south side of Milwaukee to a kid in Spooner, WI, you are comparing apples to oranges. Thinking that putting all those poor inner city children into private schools will somehow fix the problem is ignoring the reality of the situation and proving that you have no idea what you're talking about.

  4. Pretty good analysis but a couple things.

    1. I agree we wont be repealing ACT10 but we need to figure something out because our economy cant survive when we perpetually take so much money out of it. \

    2. Kaleem caire is not tea party he just has the same funders. His prep school was a horrible idea and would have seriously hurt the kids in Madison. Yes we cant keep going status quo, but we have to realize that status quo has been to keep cutting money for schools and demand they do more. thats not sustainable.