Mary Burke gets solid progressive endorsements to battle Walker in 2014 election

With a floundering Wisconsin economy, tired job growth, several bubbling scandals and more attempts with more extremist policies on the horizon, Scott Walker and his campaign figure their witless paranoia of anyone on their McCarthyistic Recall Blacklist within their secret operations will somehow make up for snowballing failure and incompetence. There is competition gathering up for next year’s chance to take Wisconsin off the plank of Walker policies. So far, at least two solid progressive groups have endorsed Mary Burke for Governor to run against Scott Walker in the important 2014 Wisconsin gubernatorial race.

Emily’s List, who endorsed Tammy Baldwin in her victorious 2012 Senatorial race against Tommy Thompson, endorsed her on October 24, 2013:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, endorsed Mary Burke for Governor of Wisconsin.

“Mary Burke is an insightful problem solver who has worked in the private, government, and nonprofit sectors to grow Wisconsin’s economy and increase educational opportunities,” said Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY’s List. “Mary has an impressive commitment to economic justice and improving the lives of children and working families. Her intense and selfless commitment to her community will make for a striking contrast with Governor Scott Walker’s extremist agenda. Mary’s been quietly changing the world for the better for years – by breaking barriers herself and by making opportunities for others to get ahead. The EMILY’s List community – now more than two million members strong – is thrilled to support Mary Burke’s campaign to become the first woman governor in Wisconsin history.”

Mary Burke is a 4th generation Wisconsinite. She is a former executive of Trek Bicycle, a company her father began in a Waterloo, WI barn. Mary worked to expand Trek’s sales and distribution operations to seven new countries, supporting manufacturing jobs and growing Wisconsin’s economy. Mary became state commerce secretary in 2005, and promoted economic development and job creation in Wisconsin by helping attracting investment to the state, giving assistance to entrepreneurs and start-ups, and working to promoting minority and women’s entrepreneurship. During her tenure, Wisconsin’s exports grew by nearly 50 percent, outpacing national growth, and the unemployment rate was 4.8%. Mary also has a track record of success in the nonprofit sector. From tutoring students to serving as board president with the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County to founding an innovative public-private partnership aimed at narrowing the achievement gap, her commitment to supporting and improving public education has improved the lives of students. Mary has served on the Madison School Board since 2012.

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They have compiled Twelve Times Scott Walker Was Terrible. There are many more reasons why Walker needs to and will be defeated.

Progressives United, lead by former Senator Russ Feingold, endorsed Mary Burke:

Progressives United, the political action committee founded by former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), jumped into the Wisconsin gubernatorial race on Tuesday, endorsing Democrat Mary Burke despite apprehension about her candidacy from some liberals.

Progressives United polled its Wisconsin members last week about whether to back Burke, a member of the Madison school board. After hearing from more than 3,000 of its members, the group decided to endorse her.

“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.”

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Not everyone who wants to defeat Walker are convinced Mary Burke is the ideal candidate for various reasons, as indicated in a recent Progressive Magazine interview.

Some are looking for an alternative or a Democratic primary before the final candidate comes out, as some saw as a mistake during the 2012 Recall season where the final winner had to spend resources before facing Walker. That would certainly favor Walker in the 2014 election.

Facing what could be an uphill battle for support, funds and grassroots mobilization statewide, State Senator Kathleen Vinehout has shared that she might considering running and is making a decision in early 2014. She did run the 2012 Democratic Special Primary and placed a very distant 3rd place with 4% of the vote. Vinehout would have to give up her Senate seat if she decided to run, thus taking her voice out of the ongoing onslaught from the Fitzgerald-Vos-Walker-Koch Machine.

Governor – Dem Special Primary – May 9, 2012 – 8:16 AM CDT – Wisconin – 3423 of 3423 Precincts Reporting – 100%

Name Party Votes Vote %
Barrett , Tom Dem 390109 58%
Falk , Kathleen Dem 228940 34%
Huber , Gladys Dem 4842 1%
La Follette , Doug Dem 19461 3%
Vinehout , Kathleen Dem 26926 4%


Here is a video that Vinehout released during the 2012 Recall season where she was asked why she wanted to run for governor against Walker at that time.

Walker will certainly get lots of out-of-state funds as well as funds already gathered in fundraisers he attends out-of-state while supposedly being governor. Expect the list to be like this, based on how he was backed by billionaires in the 2012 Recall race:

Due to a quirk in Wisconsin’s campaign finance law, Governor Walker was able to raise unlimited amounts of money to fight his recall campaign for a short period of time after the recall papers were filed, but before the official election was scheduled. Numerous people handed Walker unprecedented checks for $250,000-$500,000 dollars. Previously their limit would have been $10,000 for an individual contribution. As of May 29th, 2012 the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reports that Walker’s top five campaign donors are Richard DeVos, Diane Hendricks, Bob Perry, Jere Fabick and David Humphreys.[61]

  • Richard DeVos: DeVos of Holland, Michigan is the co-founder of Amway Corp. and owner of the Orlando Magic, DeVos runs the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, a conservative foundation and grant making body formed in 1970. DeVos has been active in the school voucher movement, and Walker expanded Milwaukee’s voucher program and established a similar one in eastern Racine County in Wisconsin’s 2011-2012 budget. DeVos donated $250,000 to Walker’s campaign. [62]
  • Diane Hendricks: Hendricks of Beloit, Wisconsin is owner of ABC Supply, a supply company for contractors of all stripes. Hendricks garnered national attention in May 2012 after a tape was released that shows her asking Walker how he would turn Wisconsin into a “red” state and if he would implement “Right to Work” legislation. Walker responds telling her he would use “divide and conquer” as a strategy against unions, starting first with a “budget adjustment bill” applying to public workers. She gave Walker $500,000 on April 12, 2012 and $10,000 on January 31, 2011, making her his single biggest contributor. Hendricks has given money to Paul Ryan, Ron Johnson, Tommy Thompson and the Republican National Committee and is worth an estimated $2.8 billion. [63]
  • Bob Perry: Perry of Houston, Texas, gave Walker $250,000 on December 4, 2011. Perry’s wealth comes from the home-building company Perry Homes, but he is most famous for bankrolling the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” which funded a blistering ad campaign against John Kerry during the 2004 presidential race. He is a big donor to Texas Governor Rick Perry (no relation), and he gave an eye-popping $7 million Karl Rove‘s American Crossroads group, one of the largest single campaign contributions ever. [64]
  • Jere Fabick: Fabrick of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is CEO of Fabco Equipment, Inc. Jere Fabick gave $250,000 to Walker in 2011 and 2012. In 2003, Fabick was fined for violations of Wisconsin’s limit on political contributions for previous Republican Governor Scott McCallum. [65]

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (WDC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that tracks money in politics. WDC’s data shows that Walker’s major contributors include a diversity of national and state-based firms, including Koch Industries, AT&T, Wal-Mart, John Deere Tractor, Johnsonville Brats, MillerCoors, Kwik Trip, Sargento Cheese, and SC Johnson & Sons (producers of Windex, Glade, Pledge etc).

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The Mary Burke campaign released this video when she announced her intentions to run for governor in 2014:

Wisconsin Public Radio did a recent poll that show indications that more people do not think Walker should be re-elected:

If the election for Governor in Wisconsin were held today, do you think that Governor Scott Walker deserves to be re-elected or does not deserve to be re-elected?
Does Deserve Re-Election 46%
Does Not Deserve Re-Election 49%
Not Sure 6%

WPR poll

If progressive pragmatism outweighs purist piety and the powerful grassroots efforts from progressives and independents mobilize against Walker’s outside forces and astroturf grassroots efforts by greedy billionaires, there may well be a Governor Mary Burke in the near future. The alternative is completely unacceptable and dangerous in countless ways.