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Wisconsin Democrats appear to be set to run Mary Burke, a former executive of Trek Bicycles who was later the Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce under former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle, against incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker.

Despite the fact that Wisconsin Republicans are already trying to paint Burke as an "out-of-touch Madison activist", in reality, she's the Democratic Party's version of Mitt Romney:

...Burke is from a conservative, business-minded family and is viewed with suspicion by some Dane County progressives for her support for Madison Prep. Burke's proposed gift of $2.5 million to help start the charter school for African American and Latino kids put her at the center of the major controversy over Madison's achievement gap and whether Madison Prep was the answer. But Burke withdrew her support when the Urban League rejected school board oversight.

How does Burke regard the Republican drive to voucherize public education? She denounces it. However, she doesn't regard school "reform" as a dirty word -- which makes some public school advocates very nervous.

When she ran for school board, the progressive blog Forward Lookout asked "Who Will Mary Burke Fire?" in a post noting that Burke provided financial support for a study of cost-savings measures in the Milwaukee Public Schools that included firing teachers.

Just like her political protegé Mitt Romney, Mary Burke likes firing people!

Mary Burke is exactly the kind of person who Scott Walker wants to run against, as Burke is someone who would be downright hostile to the Democratic base in Wisconsin, and, since Wisconsin is a swing state with a highly-polarized electorate, base turnout is much more important for a major-party candidate in a statewide race than winning over swing voters. Burke is even less liked by the Democratic base in Wisconsin than Tom Barrett is.

Also, progressive political bloggers are more politically powerful in Wisconsin than in my home state of Illinois, or, for that matter, any other state. Zachary Wisniewski, one of the authors of Blogging Blue, wrote several pieces (including this one) criticizing five Democratic state legislative candidates in the Milwaukee area for taking money from the pro-school voucher group American Federation for Children. All five of the candidates Wisniewski opposed lost their primaries. Chris "Capper" Liebenthal, one of the authors of Cognitive Dissidence, has frequently criticized Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, who self-identifies as a Democrat, and has frequently compared Abele to Scott Walker.

Wisconsin Democrats shouldn't run someone who, like Mary Burke, shares the same values as Mitt Romney, they should run someone who shares the same values as Fighting Bob LaFollette!

Originally posted to Aaron Camp on DailyKos on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 03:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    "It's not enough to be in the majority, you have to stand for something." -Russ Feingold

    by DownstateDemocrat on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 03:58:54 AM PDT

  •  I don't like these anti-candidate diaries. (6+ / 0-)

    You have to run someone. Who's it gong to be, DD?

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:07:35 AM PDT

  •  When did Mary Burke engage in... (8+ / 0-)

    ...Vulture Capitalism, like Bain Capital?

    When did Mary Burke buy a company, borrow a zillion bucks against it's assets, spend it's retirement fund, then declare bankruptcy?

    When you post the links to the stories about Mary Burke engaging in such antics, then you can equate her with Mitt RMoney.

    Til then, it's just SLANDER...

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:45:09 AM PDT

    •  I have to agree (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buffie, MI Sooner, tporky, leftykook, Puddytat

      Because she has mentioned school "reform" (as a lot of good candidates have) and at one point supported a charter school until FACTORS CHANGED (not solely her opinion changing — and this comes from the evidence the diarist provides to try and fail to make his case) that doesn't make her like Mitt Romney. This diary seems overblown based on the slender and contradictory evidence the diarist gives us.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:15:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I know Burke Family members (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sand Hill Crane, leftykook, Puddytat

      They come from hard working Dem stock.  Let's be very careful about condeming with a broad brush because Dick Burke and his offspring were successful at building a business.

      One cannot raise the bottom of a society without benefiting everyone above. Michael Harrington

      by tporky on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:35:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped, recced and republished to (3+ / 0-)

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:52:39 AM PDT

  •  What's more important: More or Better? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CwV, Puddytat

    Yes, I see there are issues. They're pretty much the John Hickenlooper issues in Colorado, only with education. But if she can really get the odious Walker out of office, that's good enough for me in this cycle.

    -7.75, -8.10; . . . Columbine, Tucson, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Boston (h/t Charles Pierce)

    by Dave in Northridge on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:24:57 AM PDT

    •  Sometimes more, sometimes better (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave in Northridge, Puddytat

      More AND better is tough, but not impossible.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:48:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That would be an argument (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tporky, Puddytat

        IF the diarist addressed a wider range of issues and IF he addresses THIS issue in more depth (because he doesn't present here any real evidence that Burke i necessarily an enemy of public schools) and IF he were promoting another, stronger and viable candidate.

        Who is that better candidate with a real shot at getting elected? I don't even know if Burke has a shot at getting  elected, but the diarist offers no reason why, if she does have one, she shouldn't be the candidate.

        He needs to flesh this out.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

        by anastasia p on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:18:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Where is your evidence (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buffie, tporky, Sand Hill Crane, Puddytat

    that Burke is "downright hostile" to the Democratic base in Wisconsin? You don't offer any.

    Also this screed is based primarily on one issue, and an interpretation of it that, if it is as YOU have described in your diary, seems overblown and somewhat shaky.

    Also, nothing  in this diary paints this woman as a "Mitt Romney of the left." You don't offer any compelling evidence for that.

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

    by anastasia p on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:13:46 AM PDT

    •  Thanks Anastasia (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Jim Doyle was a damn good gov and he had her in his cabinet!  I will trust his choices rather than a downstate (IL)flamer who provides zilch .

      One cannot raise the bottom of a society without benefiting everyone above. Michael Harrington

      by tporky on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:42:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DownstateDemocrat, Puddytat

    As a Democrat and resident of rural Wisconsin, I would hope someone else would get their hat into the ring instead of decisions being made by the party bosses.  We need someone who can relate to the independents and can communicate to citizens outside of Madison.

    PS -- It's been a while since I've posted.  Hopefully time will allow me to engage more often.

    Citizen from WI-07 (Marathon County)

    by CentralWIGuy on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:18:31 PM PDT

  •  Instead of looking for a great candidate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DownstateDemocrat, madcitysailor

    they go looking for a multimillionaire self funder.  Geesh, with friends like this ....

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:28:20 PM PDT

  •  Blind spot (0+ / 0-)

    I thought that as Progressives we embrace facts and truth.  I know how constantly we harp on the failure of so called "climate skeptics" to accept scientific data.

    So why is it that we ignore facts to our detriment when it suits our narrative.  The full context of Romney's statement about firing people can be found here.  It doesn't fit the your narrative

    Taken in context, it is quite clear that he is referring to firing those who provide poor customer service.  May I assume if you are unhappy with your insurer, cable company or handyman you will fire them and replace them with someone suitable? Which brings us to your comments on Mary Burke.  Is it Progressive to support unions to the point that no incompetent union member can be fired?  Is it Progressive that an incompetent teacher can be so protected from disciplinary action that I have but no choice to either to let that teacher instruct my child or pay extra to opt out?  How do we reconcile our love of "choice" as a value in women's rights, but loathe "choice" when we are talking about parental and child rights to a quality education?

    Instead of harping on the faults of the Republicans all the time, perhaps it would be helpful to the Progressive cause if we examined our own muddled thinking occasionally

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