Mary Burke's No-Promises Promise, Part II

Opening Remarks

“I’d want to look at the totality. We collect revenue in a lot of different ways. I certainly wouldn’t look at raising (taxes), but I’d also want to look at it in the context of our finances, our budgets …” Burke said.

Ms. Burke, apparently the MJS E-Board

Mary Burke’s face-first march into a bandsaw continued Monday in her talk with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where she continued to make “not having a platform explicitly a platform,” as my esteemed colleague pointed out yesterday. Worse, at least for her and the Wisconsin Democrat Party, any solid policy position she whispered at taking would simply not be strong enough to bring down Gov. Walker next November.

  • She would oppose making Wisconsin right-to-work. The biggest special interest with an axe to grind with Mr. Walker is Big Labor. Even a Democrat candidate will need to bend over backward to appease them — especially a candidate like Ms. Burke, whose own Trek Bicycles does not have a robust union presence.
  • She wouldn’t consider raising taxes, because there are a ton of other ways the government can soak citizens for revenue. It’s encouraging that Ms. Burke understands that any financial decisions should be made in context of the state’s economic condition. “On big questions such as taxes, Burke remained careful with her answers and avoided big pledges, saying simply she wanted government to be accountable and live within its means,” reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in the same piece.” Since Mr. Walker’s successful reforms, this is not a point of differentiation.
  • She’s a pro-choice Madison Democrat. In the context of billion-dollar budgets, and multi-million dollar budget turnarounds, social policy takes a backseat. “Legislating morality” and “passionate conservatism” are throwbacks to the first Bush administration — especially on a national level — when the biggest threats to society weren’t overspending into oblivion. While these same threats dog social conservatives, there’s the persistent understanding that severe budget imbalance will render the Union destroyed, with no fight to be had over gay marriage or voter ID or Indian mascots. But with Ms. Burke’s failure to create real points of differentiation from Mr. Walker, and with her rejection of a solid platform, other than the “let’s get Wisconsin going again” slogan that could’ve been generated by, social issues could come to light. It’s worth wondering whether Mr. Walker would be able to speak eloquently and decisively on these issues. Certainly if he’s eyeing a run at the White House, he’s been brushing up.
  • To generate entrepreneurial growth she suggests, “We have to look at taking things to scale that are working, that are going to move the needle.” Like … tax cuts? Easing oppressive union regulations to encourage competition? Obviously Ms. Burke is pro-business. She’s part of a wealthy family, who must have at least lived on the periphery of major business decisions, though her lineage does not necessarily entitle her to the Governor’s Mansion.

With only this weak, limp, unrefined non-platform platform to paint a picture of Ms. Burke as governor, Democrats will wonder whether she even offers a difference in the general election. Mr. Walker’s policies have worked. He’s lost one competitive race in his life — losing a State Assembly race against Gwen Moore in 1990 for the 7th District. He’s likable, charismatic, and voters know what he stands for: Wisconsin.

Mary Burke’s interests are her own, and serving as Governor would merely be adding to a resume gilded by a silver spoon upbringing.

Quote of the Day

“That was hardly porn. It was a topless woman on a tractor. You know what they call that in Europe? A cereal commercial.”

-Phil Dunphy

Social Networking

This is real. Yikes:

Uff Da

This has 146 million plus views! This!


Jennifer was really a thing for a while.

Steamboat Willy was actually kinda big.

Your diet needs more meat.

About the writer: Nik Nelson is publisher of and Founder/CEO of OpenBox Strategies, where he connects political candidates and small businesses with excellent digital marketing tools and strategies.