Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mary Burke is an Unusual Democratic Candidate for Governor of Wisconsin, or Is She?

Mary Burke at first glance appears to be an strange kind of Wisconsin Democrat running for governor. Scott Walker is running for reelection as Governor of Wisconsin. His first term in office was tumultuous. Conservative Republicans swept into office in the 2010 midterm elections, turning the politics upside down of the birthplace and still heart of the Progressive Movement. Governor Walker signed legislation essentially stripping most public employee unions (he excluded the police and fire) of most of their power. The state capitol was occupied for several days as the unions bussed in supporters from throughout the state. Democratic legislators fled to Illinois in a futile attempt to stop the legislation. The unions spent a fortune attempting to defeat the reelection of a conservative justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The justice survived and led a 4-3 majority upholding the legislation. Recall campaigns were mounted against several Republican Senators. Governor Walker survived a recall election. Progressive forces savored defeating him in 2014. Mary Burke will be his Democratic opponent. She currently sits on the Madison School Board. Polls show narrow leades for Governor Walker. The Harvard MBA describes herself as a “fiscal conservative.” Her family business with 1000 employees is non-union. She thinks taxes should be raised only as a last resort. Wisconsin’s progressives are outraged she’s running. Fear not. She believes taxes are not holding back business in Wisconsin. She voted for tax increases on the school board, and believes everyone should pay their fair share in taxes. She’ll raise taxes – as an early last resort. Her family business, founded by her deceased father, is the $900 million Trek Bicycle Company. It has paid no standard Wisconsin income taxes in three decades. The argument is that it is a Subchapter S Corporation so that the taxes, at a lower rate, are passed down to the owners. As a true Democrat, she believes taxes are to be paid by others. She paid no Wisconsin for a period in the 199-‘s eventhough Trek listed her as an officer and director. She now claims Trek made a typo in the listing. Others have to pay their fair share, but apparently not her or her family business. Mary served as Wisconsin’s Secretary of Commerce in Governor Doyle’s administration. Trek received a $875,000 state loan, of which $392,200 was forgiven, during her term as Secretary of Commerce. Apparently the millionaire saw no conflict of interest. Everyone should pay their fair share. Except for Democratic office holders.

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