ICYMI: Democrats Dysfunction: More Dispute Over Mary Burke

[Madison, Wis.] – As the Democratic Party of Wisconsin continues to provide staff support to Madison millionaire Mary Burke and hold meetings behind closed doors to clear the field for her, Party leaders continue to cry foul over the out-of-touch candidate’s viability.

Here’s what Democrats have said so far this week about the would-be candidate for Governor:

  • “I was at an event with Mary Burke the other day…She’s got the charisma of a turnip.” [1]
    -Democrat Rep. Brett Hulsey, on Burke’s candidacy.
  • “But I have been talking with people, listening to what they have to say, and I keep hearing over and over again that maybe a primary would not be a bad ideaIt isn’t all about money. It’s about the support of people all around the state and about how hard they’re willing to work.”[2]
    -Democratic State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, on the idea of having a Democratic primary over the idea of handpicking Burke.

As previously reported, the in-fighting surfaced when it was revealed that Democratic Party officials were having closed-door meetings with Burke, against the will of the base:

  • “If the best that WISDEMS can come up with is Mary Burke, we’re screwed.”[3]
    – Chris Liebenthal, Cognitive Dissidence blogger on Burke as the Democratic Candidate.
  • “Burke is even less liked by the Democratic base in Wisconsin than Tom Barrett is.”[4]
    – Daily Kos Blog on Mary Burke’s candidacy.
  • “The Democrats have seemed alarmingly unprepared to challenge him.”[5]
    – Ruth Conniff on the Democrats’ strategy against Walker
  • “While Vinehout may determine defeating a well-financed Burke in a primary is too tall an order, Vinehout said it could work the other way if the tone of the Democratic electorate turns out to be: ‘Don’t shove a millionaire heiress down our throats.’” [6]
    – State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, speaking on her potential run for Governor and the Democrats’ strategy that is countering it.
  • “Normally, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin does not get behind a candidate until he or she has won a primary or is the only candidate for a specific office. This year the rules seem to have changed without a comment or request for input from rank-and-file Democrats.”[7]
    – Ed Garvey from Fighting Bob, on Burke being in the mix for Governor.
  • “I 100 percent disagree with it. I think it’s a terrible strategy.”[8]
    – John Nichols, Capital Times columnist on Democrats’ 2014 strategy.



[1] (“Lawmaker spends campaign funds on used convertible, triathlon,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 08/06/13)

[2] (“Kathleen Vinehout Says Democratic Primary For Governor ‘Not A Bad Idea,” Wisconsin Public Radio, 08/05/13)

[3] (Chris Liebenthal Twitter, Blogger, Cognitive Dissidence, 07/19/13)

[4] (“Mary Burke: The Mitt Romney of the Left,” Daily Kos, 07/05/13)

[5] (“Mary Burke for Wisconsin governor?,” The Isthmus, 07/03/13)

[6] (“State senator mulls over run for governor,” Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, 07/25/13)

[7] (“Who is Mary Burke?”, Garvey Blog – Fighting Bob, 07/27/13)

[8] (“Democrats wait on 2014 candidate,” WISN News, 07/27/13)

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