Here's what Progressives United had to say in their endorsement of Burke:In an early sign that liberal activists will coalesce around Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke's candidacy, the organization Progressives United announced Tuesday it will support the Madison School Board member against Gov. Scott Walker.
The organization, founded in 2011 by former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, conducted a poll of members in Wisconsin to determine whether to get in early behind Burke. Of the more than 3,000 responses, more than 75 percent favored backing Burke now.
The poll was conducted amid criticism from several liberal activists and bloggers around the state that little is known about Burke other than that she is a multimillionaire, former executive at Trek Bicycle, a nonunion company, who had supported a controversial charter school in Madison. She also was commerce secretary for two-and-a-half years under Gov. Jim Doyle, which Republicans are harping on as a way to link Burke to the high unemployment and job losses at the end of Doyle's term. - Wisconsin State Journal, 10/22/13
As mentioned above, Feingold's group will be able to provide Burke's campaign with a strong grassroots movement and campaign funding. Strong fundraising will be key to unseating Governor Scott Walker (R. WI):"Wisconsin members of Progressives United want to support Mary Burke for governor now and begin the work to beat Scott Walker in 2014," wrote Progressives United Executive Director Cole Leystra in an email to members. "By a 75.2%-24.8% margin, thousands of progressives voted to start organizing right away, so Burke can build a grassroots organization early."
An endorsement was far from guaranteed, and backing from the group will provide Burke with not only grassroots support and fundraising dollars, but also progressive credibility. Burke is so far the only Democrat in the race to unseat Walker, a Republican, but others may jump in.
State labor leaders have so far remained largely silent on Burke's candidacy, and some progressives have been upset that the Democratic Party has seemed to discourage other candidates from running.
So far, Burke has refused to endorse the repeal of Act 10, Walker's collective bargaining law that sparked massive protests in Madison in 2011 and the failed recall election targeting the governor and Republican state legislators.
"I believe that collective bargaining is a right for public sector employees, but we should also be looking at how we move forward," she told reporters recently when asked about repeal. - Huffington Post, 10/22/13
If you would like to get involved with Burke's campaign, you can click here to do so:"We're simply getting more interview requests than we can fulfill at this time," says spokesman Joe Zepecki, who fielded questions in her stead. He won't elaborate on Burke's personal wealth or how much she might spend, but says she'll be contributing "a fraction of what it takes to do this."
As for the incumbent's financial firepower, Zepecki declares, "No amount of spending by Walker and his deep-pocketed special interest allies is going to change the harsh reality that Wisconsin families understand all too well — we're falling behind when it comes to creating jobs and growing our economy."
Burke is stressing her successes at Trek and as state secretary of Commerce. She's blasted the state's poor performance on job creation and ripped Walker for not accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage for state residents. - The Cap Times, 10/22/13