Friday, July 19, 2013

Hail Mary!

By Jeff Simpson

What I feared he most with the Mary Burke potential candidacy floating around is happening!   

  Two Democrats who've expressed an interest in running for Governor say they might stay out of the race if former Trek Bicycle Executive Mary Burke gets in.  

   Burke has not talked publicly about running for Governor, but it surfaced last month that someone was conducting polling on her behalf.  State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma), who ran for Governor in last year's recall, says she's seriously considering running again in 2014.  But Vinehout says she might not run if Burke does.

As I pointed out recently, I think that the Democratic party needs a primary with a full slate of candidates!  The strategy of the party though is to hold off as long as possible before we have a candidate.  

One thing that was lost in the WPR story is this:

Vinehout says Burke reached out to talk to her.  She says Burke's ability to potentially self-finance a campaign would be a factor.

Burke has not talked to anyone but is making the inner circles trying to dissuade other people from running?  

The one thing I know for certain is that if the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, anoints a candidate, and does not let the people decide(ignore the base at everyone's peril).....I can tell you who our next Governor will be! 


  1. JS.
    Respectfully, I understand your concern; howerver, I am of the opinion that the Dems- I am independent- won the US Senate race because they were very wise to quickly rally behind Tammy Baldwin. Meanwhile, the repubs were falling all over themselves spending millions of wasted dollars to push Tommy Thompson to the front of their line.
    We know Walker won't spend a nickle on his primary and he has $30 million in his bank. Dems need every dollar they can get AND could unify the party faster with a viable candidate rather than a prolonged primary battle.

    Since anyone is better than Walker (except for Vos) this election should be about beating Walker not about who has the best ideological solutions to the multiple issues facing our great state. That person might be unelectable.

  2. The election is about beating walker and he does have a gazillion dollars which is why the candidate is so important!

    IF Money is such a concern and a problem, lets get someone out there meeting people NOW. That way the press goes to them everytime there is a story on Walker. Ask Rob Zerban it worked very well for him. He was underfunded and vastly overperformed. had Ryan not redrawn his district we would have Congressman Rob Zerban now!

    Dems have tended to perform well after primaries BECAUSE they have to cater to their base. The dem base is not batshit crazy like the repub base!

    bring on a primary and let the people decide.....otherwise as i said get ready for walker to double down!

  3. The reason Tammy didnt have a primary was because she was a clear front-runner for the seat since Russ didnt want to run. This is not the case for Guv in 2014, and it certainly is NOT Mary Burke, whose main attributes are a decent heart, money, and insider connections, and her ne recognition outside of Madison is near ZERO.

    The last thing we should be doing is using money as the main reason for choosing a candidate. Any Dem will be outspent by Walker, but a Dem with IDEAS AND INTEGRITY will be the one who beats Scotty.

    In 1992, Dems had a 3-way primary against the well-funded Bib Kasten. A guy named Feingold rose to the top, and I think it worked out. Why can't the same work now?

  4. Ok, Ok.
    I agree with both of you and certainly respect your positions so of course we require our candidate to have well thought out opinions and ideas that can repair our state. I mostly want 50.1 % of us to unify behind the best candidate as quickly and as completely as possible. And, to date, I am left wanting for the perfect candidate.
    Personally I'm determined to vote for 'not Walker' as long as his opponent is reasonable, insightful and ready to repair some of the damage that reps have caused.

    Can't imagine how bad we will be with 5-6 more years of Walker, Vos, Darling and the rest of those hypocritical 'Christian Conservatives'.

  5. Has anyone, anyone considered Mark Harris, Winnebago County Exec? He's a hard worker, a straight shooter and doesn't have baggage.

    Walker has a big till and unlimited funds lurking in reserve from the brothers and others.

    Do not under estimate the tool.

  6. I worry that a business owner is prepared for the political buzzmill. I realize Ron Johnson won. But I thought Russ Feingold ran a poor campaign by not telling Johnson how he was full of it. However Johnson's own millions went a long way and Burke has the cash to counter Walker's corrupt lucre. Is Burke ready to go against the Republican Hate Machine? I like Vinehout.

  7. Anon at 4:04,

    Tammy Baldwin's just like Obama, a mildly pro-choice Republican.

    Both play "identity politics." Obama uses his ethnicity. Baldwin uses her sexual orientation. Low information voters like you assume they're libs.

    Baldwin's last vote in the House was on the "Fiscal Cliff" in January 2013. She supported Obama in handing over 100% of the leverage Dems had to increase taxes on the 1% to the GOP.

    The economic reality of the fiscal cliff vote was that, like always, the oligarchs won. The media (controlled by the oligarchs) ) praised Obama for a deficit cutting tax increase on the wealthy. The reality was just the opposite. Obama and the Dems gave away more tax breaks to the 1% than the incredibly regressive increase on the PAYROLL tax brought in.

    As you know Reagan capped the PAYROLL tax for everyone making more than $110,000. Search on federal revenue sources 1950 - 2010. Both parties have succeeded in gradually shifting the burden of government off of the elites and more onto the 99%.

    continued below

    1. You think Baldwin's "pro-choice," think again.

      During the Obamacare debate, Barack needed every single Dem vote in the House. Just like with the fiscal cliff debacle I described above, House Dems, especially those in supersafe Dem districts such as Baldwin had enormous leverage.

      Instead of getting a "public option," competition for Blue Cross/Well Point and the rest of the health insurance oligarch, Baldwin and the rest of the Dems gave away all their leverage to the anti-choice Dem, Bart Stupak. Stupak and SEVEN House members got Obama to sign and Executive Order making it even tougher for poor women to have a choice in their pregnancy.

      If Baldwin and the other 50 - 70 allegedly "progressive" Dems in the House could had forced Obama to add the "Public option," it would have removed the need for a MANDATE, which was the MAIN thing the Republicans (and a lot of Dems) objected too. You can't have the government FORCING people to buy stuff from corporations. Obamacare has a few benefits, but it's fundamentally corporate welfare. It forces the middle class and the poor to buy LOUSY coverage. A public option would have given folks the right to buy into Medicare. Health insurance oligopoly did not want that competition. Thanks to Baldwin and a lot of other craven Dems, they were never worried.


    2. Every Dem in America needs to run against Wall Street.

      "Bank Of America Dumps $75 Trillion In Derivatives On U.S. Taxpayers With Federal Approval"

      Let's put $75 trillion in perspective.

      The Trust Fund for Social Security is around $2.3 trillion.

      Even the government admits we blew at least $6 trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan, you know that's under-reported.

      US GDP in 2010 was around $14.5 trillion.

      In capitalism, reward is supposed to FOLLOW risk. Thanks to the "duopoly," of Dems and the GOP, Wall Street can "socialize" all their risk and losses onto the taxpayers. If those derivative bets pay off, the tax payers get zero. As a bonus to the oligarchs, they get taxed at below capital gains. If the bets go south, like they did in 2008, the taxpayers are on the hook.

      "Big Lie: America Doesn't Have #1 Richest Middle-Class in the World...We're Ranked 27th!
      America is the richest country on Earth. We have the most millionaires, the most billionaires—and a increasingly poor "middle class.""

      IMHO "Oligarchy inside our democracy" is brilliant.

      "And that’s exactly how things are working out. On matters of direct interest to the oligarchy, they win. You can have your silly laws about marriage or abortion as long as they get their way on money. It’s a lousy bargain, and it doesn’t have to be that way."


    3. Dems need to run on MUCH LOWER taxes for the 99%, support for collective bargaining, and massive federal investment in green infrastructure.

      As Gov. Walker and the GOP are figuring out, the only way you pay down the deficit is with jobs that can support a family.

      America's the wealthiest nation on earth. Unfortunately, a fraction of the 1% control about 40% of it. We've evolved into a banana-republic.

  8. I love Kathleen Vinehout, truly. Her campaign as a candidate for Gov. would be dogged by leaving for Illinois. The GOP would never let it drop and it would cost her the election - maybe a few years from now when it's not as much of a factor.

    I believe Dems need someone not currently serving in Madison to attract swing voters. A business owner would be ideal - someone who can counter with the loss of jobs, tax giveaways and WEDC with some real authority in running a successful business in WI.

    Mary Burke may not be the one, but I think it's correct direction to go in.

    1. Nah, put your slide rule away and think with your guy for once. Going to Illinois seems pretty sensible given how this GOP group has rammed through stupid legislation both with Act 10 and since then. Let the GOPs try to fight the past and preach to the Sykes listeners with that crap. It'll annoy bystanders and true independents.

      Vinehout is best suited to give the "clean government" message out that the DPW needs to give in 2014. A pro-corporate Dem mutes that message.

  9. I agree with Jake. We know nothing about Mary Burke, really. We don't know whether she recognizes the complexities of the budget, we don't know what kind of feel she has for rural Wisconsin, if any, we don't know what she stands for except the Boys and Girls Club and a willingness to back financially a not-ready-for-prime-time charter school in Madison that was proposed by Kaleem Caire.

    But where is she on public education? She just started her term on the Madison School Board. Where is she on the environment? Where is she on the multitude of issues facing our cities and towns in light of the restrictions on property tax increases and failing infrastructure?

    Meanwhile, Kathleen Vinehout has been living and breathing these issues for years, has a wealth of knowledge about health care, has living experience in rural Wisconsin, has developed detailed position papers, knows the budget intimately and created a great alternative budget.

    She can explain the necessity of slowing down the process in the State Senate. She is a DYNAMITE speaker.

    If Mary Burke wants to see Wisconsin move forward, she should support an open primary, without trying to buy it, and then throw her money behind the winner. We do not need any more boughten politicians.

  10. Sad, really. Mary Burke will never be seen as anything more than another Madison candidate rather than a candidate for all of Wisconsin. To paraphrase Ann Richards, Mary Burke started on third base, she didn't hit a triple nor has she been tested. The Walker machine will grind her up and spit her out. Wisconsin has a fantastic example of what happens when a rich but unproven Democrat runs for office - Chris Abele- what a trainwreck. Take the blinders off Madison/MKE. Find a tough, proven leader and get them moving up and down the state now on a platform truly reaching out to the middleclass. Above all, get it together DPW.