Sunday, October 13, 2013

An Open Letter To Mary Burke

Dear Ms. Burke: 

A while back, Cap Times columnist Paul Fanlund, correctly pointed out, that in the Governors race of 2014, the high road is WIDE open.  

Asked before the recent Democratic state convention what he expected to hear from that event, Walker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “What they are going to do, because they have nothing to offer in response, they are going to attack and attack and attack and attack, and then attack again.”
So Walker uses the word “attack” five times, which sounds like pretty much all of the chapter titles in Scott Walker’s complete guide to governing.
Beating Walker is possible. This isn’t Alabama. It is a swing state that elected Tammy Baldwin.
In the end, I think there is a critical mass of voters who are not active combatants who yearn for a new path, one that the right Democratic candidate could chart.
Put another way, when it comes to taking down Scott Walker, the high road is open for business.

Anyone who has read CogDis the last few years know that this is the place to come for Walkergate coverage. While Scott Walker, thanks to a well funded "legal defense" fund, was never charged,  many of his closest advisors were convicted or granted immunity.   One of common threads between all of these thugs, besides lack of ethics and morals, is that many of them were knee deep in the original Caucus Scandal.

We have established that the High Ground is a winning strategy and one that is completely wide open.  Unfortunately somewhere along the way Mary Burke has decided to take a different path.    Check out Team Burke

Burke’s campaign team includes fundraiser Katie Boyce, a Doyle fundraiser and deputy chief of staff in his second term. Her treasurer is Sheila Conroy, who led the Office of State Employee Relations for Doyle (and is married to Madison biotech CEO Kevin Conroy, who was mentioned as a possible gubernatorial candidate before Burke got in the race).

Burke’s senior political adviser is Tanya Bjork, whom Doyle hired as national liaison. The appointment was controversial partly because Bjork was convicted of two misdemeanors related to the caucus scandal for campaigning on state time and trying to cover it up. She also was senior adviser for President Obama’s Wisconsin campaign in 2008 and 2012.

Whoa!  Hit the brakes.  

Did she really hire Tanya Bjork has TOP POLITICAL ADVISOR?   What will Tanya Bjork advise? How to campaign from the Capitol and illegally change records?   Just because Scott Walker does it, does not mean it is OK!

Tanya Bjork, 38, was convicted of two misdemeanors in 2005 for her role in the largest political scandal in state history. Bjork served as a chief of staff to former Sen. Brian Burke (D-Milwaukee), who was convicted of a felony and misdemeanor in 2005 as part of a widespread investigation that uncovered political campaigning using taxpayer resources. Before she worked for Burke, she worked for the Assembly Democratic Caucus.

Bjork pleaded no contest to charges that she altered records and illegally solicited campaign funds in the Capitol.

Why would anyone think, that hiring someone who was guilty in the last Caucus Scandal, was a good idea?   I have criticized the way that  Mary Burke has run her campaign to date, saying that she has gotten really bad advice.  I did not know at the time that she was getting really bad advice from a bad apple! 

Who was the last democrat to hire one of these people to their staffThis Guy! Is that who we want to emulate?  

Speaking of Walker supporters.

 No, just because Tanya Bjork did not sign the recall petition, does NOT mean she supports him, I am sure she was busy that day!  You know she loves the Democratic Party!

There is also a possibility she was busy hanging out with her partner and his good friend:

See her husband is head of (irony alert ahead) a lobbying firm called Capitol Navigators. Scott is such agreat lobbyist that he was elected by his peers(we know what a fine upstanding group of people they are) as    Scott was also elected by his peers to the board of the Association of Wisconsin Lobbyists.  No word if Bob Ney or Jack Abramoff sent him letters of congrats!   Heck as  amember of the Lobbyist board, his hit and run misdemeanor conviction is a feather in his cap.

For the record, I would NEVER suggest that because the current batch of republicans are so vindictive, that they would punish Mr. Tyre, if his partner Ms. Bjork went after Scott Walker with the vigor needed to win the election.   Nor would I suggest that she would let something like the very lavish lifestyle they are accustomed to, get in the way of doing the right thing,   I also would never ever suggest this would be the reason behind the candidate, that she is the top political adviser of  to let such amazingly unethical scandals such as United Sportsmen, fall by the wayside unchallenged.   I also want it clear that I would never suggest that, as top political adviser to one candidate, and her partner being a well paid lobbyist playing both sides, that she wins no matter who wins the election. 

That would be just crazy for me to point out that if we lose next November, while you are here:


She will be here:

I would NOT suggest any of that so I hope you do not think it either!

I have met Mary Burke and find her to be very intelligent, friendly, smart and passionate for making Wisconsin a better place.  Mary Burke is ethical and full of integrity.  The last thing that Mary Burke needs,  is the dead weight of the Capitol Scandal on her back.  

Mary Burke goes into her race against Scott Walker with the decided advantage in accomplishments, intelligence, personality, desire to help Wisconsin, business sense and many others.   Ms. Burke also has the clear advantage V. Mr. Walker in ethics, morals and integrity.  That is why it is imperative that she not sully her reputation or spoil this advantage by associating with anyone from the Caucus Scandal.  

Playing dirty politics, wasting taxpayer money and increasing your own bank account plays well on the right, but it absolutely does not on the left where people who are going to vote for you care about such things as honesty and the rule of law.    Our friends on the right, make such a mockery of justice that they treat convicted felon Scott Jensen like a serious person. That is them, that is not us! 

In a state that leads the country in incarceration of black males,  we allowed the group of caucasions involved in the caucus scandal were allowed to skate virtually punishment free, because they set the rules.  The only way to stop that is if the people say enough.  Here is a good spot to draw that line!  

 You would make an excellent Governor of Wisconsin, show us that you want to change the way we have done things and it is a new era.    Show us you are serious about the divisiveness, cronyism and corruption that has become everyday occurrences are over.  

Mary Burke please cleanse yourself of people involved in the Caucus scandal(and it was a scandal) and let's take the high road to victory in November!




Jeff Simpson,

Lifelong Wisconsin resident, public education advocate and concerned citizen!

Contact Ms. Burke here:  

Burke for Wisconsin
PO Box 2479
Madison, WI 53701
(608) 807-0602


H/T Political Capital for the pics!


  1. A big thank you for your tireless efforts at digging up the truth.

  2. Forgot to mention that I suspect changing advisers, as you have suggested, will entail the current rogues gallery receiving full compensation and some sort of severance packages if they are asked to leave or Burke risks a contentious law suit . A primary please.

  3. OR she could resign, and thus saving everyone the trouble. If she cares about WI and winning like she says then she would step down for the good of the cause.

    For her to cause problems with a lawsuit etc...would reinforce everything I have said that she cares about Tanya Bjork first, second and third.....

  4. gee....

    If I remember correctly, capper was WRONG about virtually all of his 24/7 walkergate proclamations.

    So why are you braggin' about being the "go to" place for capper's overly speculative coverage?

    If we have truth on our side, why muddy it up with innuendo and guesses?

    Surely, with hindsight, the strong opinions expressed by capper (and you and I both know you had little to add here) did not help -- so why are you trying to slime Burke with more speculation?

    Whose side are YOU on anyhow?

    1. Besides the fact that Walker used 2 of the top criminal defense firms, and the lies of his minions to escape actual prosecution, please tell me what Capper was wrong on?

      Are you saying that the two criminal defense firms did not play into getting him off as much as Capper did ?


      Im on the side of honesty, integrity and the people of WI.

  5. Also not sure where Jeff is going with this one. Yes, I don't want to go back to Jim Doyle-like sketchiness, and think Burke and the Dems should strive to do more on that front. But I also understand hiring veteran operatives that HAVE WON STATE ELECTIONS.

    The real question is whether Burke and the Dem team are the best bet to get the job done, and end the Age of Fitzwalkerstan. I think a strong, "clean government" message is a winner, and it's something Mike Tate and co should keep in mind, regardless of who the candidate is.

    1. Brickerman has never managed a statewide campaign.

    2. hiring veteran operatives that HAVE WON STATE ELECTIONS. :::

      Did these veterans take the last two election cycles off?

    3. Sure seems like it. I'll tell you this, I'd take two more terms of Jim Doyle over the disaster that's in the Capitol right now.
      I seem to recall 2002, 2006 and 2008 going pretty well for Dems in Wisconsin. Combine that experience with a clean government agenda, and a candidate that excites the base with a positive message, and 2014 should be very good for the Dems.

      The question is if Mary Burke is the one who should be at the top of such a ticket. And that's not decided for me.

  6. Veteran operatives that have won elections. Hmmm. That doesn't seem to be a good description of Maggie Brickermann now, does it?

  7. I've long suspected that many of these corporate Democrats are actually working for the other side.

  8. We can look at Bjork's employment as a social rehabilitation program and an example of what a progressive WI should be doing to help wayward citizens re-integrate successfully into society after having simply gone down the wrong path or having chosen to hang out with the "wrong," sort of people, just as we shouldn't be condemning or prosectuing teens for unsavory actions they might engage in prior to full formation of the frontal cortex.

    1. We could, BUT i dont think the place to rehab her is "top political advisor" of the biggest campaign in WI history.

    2. I should have included the tiny snark tag. Pretty much in agreement with you Jeff. But then again, like Geithner and WallSt, maybe Bjork's real value is having an inside track on those we perceive as the opposition. All kinds of angles to ponder. She could manipulate each side to her own advantage.

      Thanks again for this post.

  9. Alright Jeff, if you're going to complain about these folks and tell Burke that she needs to find different people, who would you hire?