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?
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 6:102014 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, ...you 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 · MikeT@wisdems.org
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!