Monday, July 15, 2013

Mary, Mary, ------ Why Ya Pollin?

By Jeff Simpson

Madison School Board member Mary Burke is the first to be considering a run for Governor against Scott Walker.

The most interesting news so far about the looming 2014 governor's race was Associated Press reporter Scott Bauer's scoop that Wisconsin Democrats have been poll-testing a run by Madison's Mary Burke. Within a day of the Dems' telephone poll, Bauer reports, someone registered six Internet domain names with different combinations of the words "governor" and "Mary Burke."

My initial thoughts - 1.  I hope they are not using a polling firm from the last two years.  That did not work out too well.  2.  If they have enough money to poll Mary Burke for Governor they must be loaded and have no need of money from you or I. (Personal Note here - IF you want to know what people think, get out and talk to them, NOT JUST the party faithful.  There are hundreds of activists, willing to work tirelessly knocking on doors etc, that have really nothing to do with the internal Democratic party and had zero interest in attending the (insiders only) convention.   Instead of paying to poll, fill your tank up and go talk to them.While I do not agree with everything in this post, there is a reason she wrote it!)

In our great democracy, I think it is great when anyone runs for office, so I welcome her run, even if she is a very flawed candidate. As my colleagues at Forward Lookout point out here and here). I will not even get into the fact that the one quote you can find of her's is wanting to cut teacher pay(which gave righty extremist and former state worker Dave Blaska a thrill up his leg.)   (Edit note - when your quotes make Blaska giddy, your probably NOT going to turn out the progressive base.)

The problem with this Burke candidacy, is the infatuation of money.   The sudden love affair with Mary Burke and the fact that she could finance her own run, are not coincidental.   The problem with that is when has that been successful?   Ron Johnson self financed Pacur financed Ron Johnson's successful run for Senate  and his lack of intelligence and emotional curiosity, combined with his poor speaking skills,  embarrasses himself and our state on an almost daily basis.   Chris Abele, self financed his run for County Executive and that led to a complete dictatorial takeover of the County Government!  Herb Kohl self financed his runs, also and while a nice guy, he had a very average Senatorial career to go along with running a mediocre basketball team!

When Dick Morris embraces the idea, its usually a very bad idea! 

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10
 2014 is an incredibly important year, Scott Walker has been a miserable failure in his two plus years of running our state.  We have plummeted in jobs, wages, test scores and consumer confidence, businesses are closing at an alarming rate,  we have Rambo wanna-be's hired by payday loan operators roaming our pristine Northwoods and the only thing they have accomplished under his reign is to arrest people for chalking and trying to end safe abortions(edit note- His even failed in both of these instances.  Walker can not even get this right).  

Under Scott Walker, the only categories we lead the nation in are - Out of State fundraising trips by a seated Governor(on the taxpayer dime) and easiest Governor to buy!  Unfortunately for the citizens of Wisconsin, while he pads his right wing resume, the people suffer. 

As Paul Fanlund recently pointed out, the high road is WIDE open in 2014.  However, I would also point out so is the ethical road, the competent road, the education road, the honest road, the jobs road, the business road, the lets treat women like equals road, the lets give the LGBT community equal rights road, the environmental road, the moderate road, the small government road, the progressive road, the bipartisan road, the 21st century technology road, I do not let out of state billionaires dictate my policy road,  the worker's rights road, the follow Jesus's Teachings road, the economic development road, get the drift.  All of these are paths to success, just waiting for someone to take them!

Scott Walker is immeasurably well funded and immensely beatable.  

So where do we go from here?

We need a few different candidates to start throwing their hats in the ring(and Mary Burke is more than welcome).  We also need the party to stay away!  (By "party" I refer to not only the state Democratic party but also party leadership (Barca/Larson and all of their lieutenants)).  The republican party tells their people who the candidates are (see Westlake, Dave) not the Dem party.  We win when we are different from them, not when we are like them.

For instance, how many party insiders would be scared to run Chris Taylor because she used to work for Planned Parenthood?  and how silly would that be?  

Let's let a few different candidates run and let the people decide.  There is plenty of time that if a few people jumped in now things would sort themselves out in due time.   Let the candidates get out and meet the people and take their message all over the state(see Baldwin, Tammy).  As John Nichols points out, SOMEONE needs to get out there and start meeting voters! 

So where do we go from here?

1.  Talk to your favorite candidate via email and/ or phone call and tell them to RUN for Governor.

2.  To help save the Democrats money, let's give the party our own poll for free - Contact Mike Tate (its not hard to find his email) at  - 

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin ·
110 King Street, Suite 203 · Madison, WI 53703
(608) 255-5172 (voice) • (608) 255-8919 (fax)

tell him A.  How you feel about Mary Burke running (yes, no or who?) and secondly leave the name of your preferred candidate!

3.  Leave a comment here on the same.

2014 is coming and we need to be prepared!



  1. I have often asked for candidate ideas for 2014 and have not been impressed by the responses. Although possible state candidates like Barca, Larson, Vinehut, et al do exist I can't imagine any of them capable of raising the $15-20 million needed to combat Walker's war chest. Others? US Rep Kind and US Sen Kohl have said no, so, Burke is a viable, well-moneyed alternative.
    Just because the wild eyed reps have turned into right wing zealots does not mean that the dem party needs to emulate their divisive behavior. A little moderation and tolerance for compromise could bring this state together. I welcome Burke's candidacy.

  2. Great. I welcome her candidacy also, I just dont welcome the dem party spending a nickel to help it at this point.

    just be careful Viable and well-moneyed are not directly related.

  3. Tammy Baldwin won in our state because she is a progressive. We don't want someone that creates a false equivalency, and loose everything that made our state great for a very long time.

    Look what Walker has done physically and emotionally to our state so far, he will be emboldened if he wins again, to sink this state in Mississippi mud.

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  5. Since you floated Chris Taylor as a potential opponent to Walker (you're not the first one who has done so), I'll tell you why she actually has more of a chance of defeating Walker than Mary Burke would: Taylor is someone who could fire up progressive activists because she is a solid progressive who won't compromise on core progressive principles, which is something that Mary Burke and Tom Barrett are unable to do. There are few swing voters in Wisconsin, so base turnout is quite a bit more important to winning statewide elections in Wisconsin than winning over swing voters.

  6. Vinehout, Jauch, Barca, or Erpenbach ( though the last 2 need to step it up a bit). The first 2 especially can fire up the base and also speak to rural voters, which neither Walker nor Barrett did a lot if in 2010 or 2012, and rural areas are getting absolutely HAMMERED in this budget. Burke is too milquetoast for my taste, and the DPW needs to stop worrying about money and concentrate on MESSAGE.

    I am assuming Kind will continue to wuss out, and Feingold is waiting to get his seat back from (mo) Ron in 2016.

  7. I've read your blog for about a year now. Like other Progressives I'm not a fan of the idea of Mary Burke running. The Democratic Party of WI is in terrible shape when it has to reach out to a rich moderate to run against Walker. Kind is not the answer. I'm in favor of someone like Chris Taylor-but lets face it-nobody will beat Walker. The DPW has made sure of that. They have built an infrastructure that consists only of Madison and Milwaukee and that is not enough to win statewide anymore. We need to have a candidate with a true vision of ideas to lead the state, just being anti-walker isn't enough. Mary Burke will be just another Milwaukee County Exec clone brought to you by more money.