Mary Burke: Helped Craft Irresponsible Budgets That Left Wisconsin in a Bad Place

[Madison, Wis.] – While Millionaire Mary Burke has called Walker’s tax relief plan “irresponsible,” the reality is she helped construct some of the most irresponsible budgets and policies in our state’s history. Burke promoted budgets that raised taxes by billions, created high structural deficits and raided funds to finance huge spending hikes.

“Only Madison Millionaire Mary Burke would call returning a surplus to the taxpayers ‘irresponsible,’ ignoring her record of drafting and sponsoring budgets that set Wisconsin on a downward spiral,” said Joe Fadness, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “Burke’s record clearly shows she wants to go back to the days of irresponsibility: double-digit tax increases, billion dollar deficits, and economic uncertainty.”

Burke not only helped draft the disastrous policies of the Doyle-Burke Administration, she was a primary salesperson. She even went so far to say that she supports “Gov. Doyle’s policies entirely.”[1] Is Burke suggesting these policies are responsible?

Burke’s record of irresponsibility:

  • Burke’s last budget in 2007-2009 left the state with a shortfall of $5.4 billion, a budget which she called “a smart, responsible budget” and further said it was “fiscally responsible”[2]
  • The Doyle-Burke Administration raided $1.3 billion from the state’s Transportation Fund, $200 million from the Injured Patient Compensation Fund, and diverted more than $2.1 billion from segregated accounts to pay for their mismanagement[3]
  • At the end Doyle’s final term, 133,000 Wisconsinites had lost their jobs and 27,000 businesses had fled the state as it faced some the largest deficits in its history

“Mary Burke had the opportunity to build responsible budgets for Wisconsin, but her record shows that she was never part of one,” continued Fadness. “Under Governor Walker, we’ve responsibly balanced the budget, and now over 100,000 jobs and over 13,000 businesses have been created. We can’t afford to go back to the failures of the Doyle-Burke Administration, which is the only direction Mary Burke would take us.”



[1] (“Q&A With Mary Burke Commerce Department Secretary,” Wisconsin State Journal, Tom Sheehan, April 1, 2005)

[2] (“State budget proposal is smart plan for business,” Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter, Secretary Mary P. Burke, April 2007)

[3] (Jason Stein, “Court strikes down raid on malpractice fund,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7/20/10)

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