Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

It’s time WI started paying attention

On November 4, 2014, Wisconsinites will have the opportunity to take back our state and undo a terrible mistake made in November 2010.

Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice? WI won’t be fooled again.

In a low-turnout midterm election, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker (R-Talk Radio) was elected governor of Wisconsin. He ran with money from national Republicans – including the Koch brother’s Americans For Prosperity (AFP) – and ideas from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), quietly promising his donors that he would do their bidding and destroy unions (and the family supporting jobs they represent), despoil our natural resources (and sell what’s left to the highest bidder), and defund our educational systems (and use that money to pay for tax breaks to the wealthiest): all things that Wisconsinites would never have consented to had they known.  

The deception was uncovered pretty quickly. Walker ran for governor promising to create 250,000 new jobs in Wisconsin by 2015 yet he began his reign of error by giving a big sloppy kiss to the tea party extremists outside of the state of Wisconsin by turning down federal money earmarked for building a high-speed rail system to serve Wisconsin citizens. Not taking that money, of course, did not save taxpayers a penny; it was sent to California where they are building a high-speed rail system to serve their citizens. But it did burnish Gov. Walker’s credentials with the national Republican party, the guys who also pumped millions of dollars into Wisconsin in 2012 (possibly illegally, to exactly no one’s surprise) to fend off a recall. That same group is now buying ads to go after Walker’s opponent, Democrat Mary Burke, by shamelessly claiming that she was part of a “failed” Jim Doyle administration, an administration that actually added jobs in Wisconsin until George W. Bush and national Republican policies led to the Great Recession and the worst job losses since the 1930s.

All of this outside money is being funneled into Wisconsin for one reason: to re-elect Scott Walker in order to launch his 2016 presidential campaign. His re-election is needed to demonstrate the popularity of teaparty policies and to plump up his resume, a resume that already shows how he crushed working people, defunded education in order to shovel money into the pockets of the 1%, and turned our natural resources over to mining companies and others who don’t care one whit for Wisconsin.

Let’s make sure that Scott Walker’s resume reads like this, instead:

2011-2015, Wisconsin Governor, defeated in November 2014 for not representing Wisconsin values.

The latest Marquette University Poll (pdf) shows the race between Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke at 47% to 41%. Given that Walker has been the governor for 3+ highly contentious years, it is unlikely that there are many voters who don’t know him and what he stands for … and who he owes his allegiance to. So I would suggest that 47% (47%!!) is pretty much his ceiling. Mary Burke, on the other hand, is a relative unknown (64% in the poll said that they don’t know much about her) and she starts at 41%. She will only add to this as she introduces herself while traveling around our state … a state she was born in and whose family has been here for 4 generations … a state she loves and wants to serve as governor.

For those of you who don’t know Mary Burke, here she is.

(Donate and Volunteer here:


And, from a speech to Dane County Democrats, here is what she stands for:

Why I’m running is pretty simple: I love Wisconsin. We’re a great state, we have great people, and we have incredible potential. And we deserve a lot better. (Applause)

We deserve a better economy with more good paying jobs. If you look right next door in Minnesota, they’ve gotten back all of the jobs that they lost in 2008, and more. And yet, we’re still clawing our way back. We’re growing our economy at a rate that’s half the national average. So we deserve a better economy and more jobs.

We deserve a stronger commitment to public education. (Applause) All of us here know how important our K12 system, our technical college system, and our universities are. They are the fabric of our communities, and they are the foundation of our economy. […]

As governor, I will work to ensure women’s freedom to make their own health care choices and to ensure all people’s freedom to marry who they choose. (Applause)

I will work to restore collective bargaining rights for our public sector employees (Applause) along with the respect they deserve for the job that they do every day. (Applause)

I will work to roll back the statewide voucher expansion and to hold all schools accountable. (Applause)

I will work to protect our natural resources, including our air and water, and not let mining companies write our environmental regulations. (Applause)

I will work to raise the minimum wage so people who work hard can support themselves. (Applause)

And I will work to ensure every child has access to quality, affordable, public education, and that our schools have the funding to thrive. (Applause)

There is a lot of work to do. But if we stand together, we can bring back the pride that we all feel so deeply in Wisconsin.

Let’s bring back that pride. I am proud to be a Wisconsin Democrat ready to reclaim our state and return our governance to those who care about Wisconsinites and Wisconsin values. And I am proud of Wisconsinite Mary Burke for taking on this fight. It is time WI stand together … with her.

Elections Matter. And when WI vote, WI will win.


Click to Donate: Act Blue – Official Mary Burke Page


  1. princesspat

    Are they as committed to his agenda as they once were? Do you sense any state wide regret re the recall vote?

    I worry that he is still being propped up behind the same ideological curtain that allowed Chris Christie to gain national prominence.

    I hope a strong Democratic candidate and campaign won’t just harden the ideological divide in Wisconsin. It’s puzzling and alarming to watch what has happened to governance in your state.

  2. GOP governor’s association launches ad against Mary Burke

    The 30-second TV ad blasts Burke, a former Wisconsin commerce secretary, for job losses during the administration of former Gov. Jim Doyle.

    Burke for Wisconsin Communications Director Joe Zepecki issued the following statement:

    “Scott Walker’s Governors Association is clearly panicked at the realization they’re running against a proven job creator. According to the latest data, there were 84,000 more jobs when Mary Burke was Secretary of Commerce than Wisconsin has under Walker and Trek employs nearly 1,000 workers right here in Wisconsin. Over the top negative attacks don’t change the reality facing Wisconsin’s middle class – they can’t get ahead because of Walker’s failures. Wisconsin ranks 37th in job creation, 45th in job prospects and 48th in new business starts under Scott Walker.

    But number one in lies!!!

  3. Scott Walker is planning on using the $900 million PROJECTED surplus to pay for the words “Tax Cuts” on his 2016 Republican presidential campaign mailings. What could possibly go wrong?

    The state is 28th in job creation, the surplus on which Walker is basing his tax cuts is built upon a structural deficit and, well, the whole thing is a Potemkin economy and Walker’s main game plan is to be a National Figure when the whole thing collapses on some poor sod who succeeds him in office.

    Creating biennial budgets based on smoke and mirrors and then handing the deficits to your Democratic successor is a time-honored tradition in Wisconsin. Gov. Lee Dreyfus (R) mailed tax rebate checks to everyone in Wisconsin and then when the not-really-a-surplus never materialized, the next guy, Gov. Tony Earl (D) had to pay for it by raising taxes … and was a one-term governor. When Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) left office, his last biennial budget leaked within a year, leaving Gov. Jim Doyle (D) to have to pay for the REAL cost of state government by raising taxes. He won a second term but was so damaged by Republican lies that he chose not to run for a third term.

    I hope that this year our lazy lazy press reminds people of this bit of history:

    When Lee Dreyfus ran for Governor of Wisconsin in 1978, he pledged that if elected he would return the state’s growing budget surplus to the taxpayers. The maverick Republican won handily, and promptly signed into law a $976 million tax relief program. “When you recover stolen property,” boasted Dreyfus, “it ought to be handed back.” Today [1981] the surplus is gone. To keep Wisconsin from going into the red in the next fiscal year, the tax-cutting Governor says he must raise the state’s gasoline tax by 53% and scrap programs ranging from new highway construction to Milwaukee’s student bus service.

    I am not sure how Republicans got the reputation for being “fiscally conservative”. You don’t spend PROJECTED surpluses and you don’t ignore when your seed corn needs to be replenished. Five years ago, a financial crisis harmed our state’s economy and now, when we have a few extra dollars in our pockets, our response should not be a tax cutting binge but paying off the bills and then putting away some money for a rainy day.  


  4. Diana in NoVa

    Seems to me the key to getting Mary Burke elected is to (1) identify your voters and (2) get them out to vote. People have to want to vote in order to put up with the inconvenience of our voting system. (Elections on Tuesdays? Shoulda gone out with the horse and buggy.)

    I hope precinct walkers will tell the Mary Burke story and tell people why it’s important to vote. I hope Mary herself will knock on as many doors as she can.

    We on this site are political junkies, all too aware of how politics affects our everyday lives. We need to tell the voters, many of whom fall into the category of “low-information” voters, why politics affects theirs.

    And after Labor Day, focus on (1) registering voters and (2) removing obstacles to their voting. Rides to the polls, help with getting Rethug-mandated “voter IDs,” all of that.

  5. Nationally, “GOP Governors=Slimeballs” is starting to become a meme and Gov. Scott “I know nothing — pay no attention to the fact that 6 members of my staff were convicted of felonies” Walker will join Gov. Chris “I don’t know that man David Wildstein or the woman who was my deputy chief of staff or the Port Authority cop who coached my kid” Christie in the pantheon of power hungry has-beens.

    One of our local TV stations interviewed political analyst Kenneth Mayer, who suggested that it might be bad news for Walker 2016 because the over the fold headlines nationally will be unflattering:

    “That may well be the first time that a lot of people who are not political junkies and who are not deeply attentive to politics, this could be the first real story they’ve heard about him.”

    “When you’re running for president and you’re trying to establish a national reputation just about anything that interferes can be a problem and we saw that with Chris Christie.”

    Mayer suggested that for Walker’s re-election effort it would be just a “pothole” to drive around but since the national money is fueling Walker’s campaign I suspect it could be more like a road washing away. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel seems to finally care about this story (they gave it a pass when it would have mattered back in 2010 … before Walker was elected) so maybe they will commit some acts of journalism and find the smoking gun that many of us suspect is there.

    The Journal Sentinel actually took the time to call out the nonsense in the RGA’s ads against Mary Burke:

    “Burke’s campaign for governor has been based on her experience as a senior member of a job-killing, budget-busting, big government administration,” an RGA official said.

    Walker himself has tied Burke to Doyle. Last August, Walker said Burke implemented Doyle policies that, in Doyle’s second term, “saw the state lose more than 133,000 jobs.”

    PolitiFact Wisconsin rated Walker’s statement Mostly False.

    He was correct about the number. But experts agreed that Wisconsin’s economy was caught in the same economic crash that crippled the entire country — the recession was deeper and more severe than any single state’s policies, including those of Doyle.

    Fingers crossed!! High information voters will kick this guy to the curb. But we need the press to inform them.

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