I haven’t had the stomach to watch the campaign next door in Wisconsin. I can’t think of a more deserving candidate for reelection than incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker, but my approach has been to keep my eyes closed and pray for his success. I admire his cool, his political courage, and the record he has compiled as governor while working in his fight against the goon-led effort to recall him. He has stood in there like a man against the assaults of the Democratic thugocracy. What haven’t they thrown at him? Long may he run.
In Mary Burke, the Democrats fielded a plausible candidate to run against Walker. Burke has staked her campaign on her experience as an executive of the Trek bicycle business, where she worked until 1993. It’s not only homegrown, it’s her own family’s business. Democrats specialize in the art of camouflage and Burke seemed to have the camo nailed down.
However, Burke’s resume has a two-year hole in it after she left Trek in the 1990′s. According to her, she had burned out in her position with the company and left to recharge her batteries.
Yesterday, however, I tuned into the race when M.D. Kittle reported in the Wisconsin Reporter: “Trek sources: Mary Burke’s family fired her for incompetence.” It’s a terrific story, to which WISN/Newstalk 1130 reporter Dan O’Donnell added in “Former Trek president and CEO confirms Mary Burke was fired” (audio below). Quotable quote from Tom Albers, former Trek Vice President and COO: “[S]he just couldn’t handle the position.”
Today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel rushes to Burke’s rescue in “Ex-Trek execs with conservative ties say Mary Burke was forced out.” The Journal Sentinel throws a team of reporters at the story and they go into overdrive to impugn the sources quoted in the stories above. Quotable 2006 quote from Burke’s predecessor as Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce: “She’s a disaster.” Please do read the whole thing and draw your own conclusions.
One has to read deep into the Journal Sentinel story to ascertain Burke’s response. She wasn’t fired; she didn’t burn out. She just departed involuntarily when her position (reminder: in the family business) was eliminated. Cue the laugh track:
“The truth is that after getting five additional offices up and running and managing seven operations, we decided to restructure and there was no need for my position and two of the people reporting to me could directly report to people in the United States,” she said. “I was part of that decision to restructure and did that and then decided to leave.”
The dead giveaway here is the preface: “The truth is…” That’s even a bigger tell than “Frankly,…” My conclusion, the Journal Sentinel to the contrary notwithstanding, is that she was lying then (about burnout) and that she’s lying now (about her voluntary departure). She was let go.
I’m closing my eyes again until Tuesday night.
UPDATE: Via Stephen Gutowski/Washington Free Beacon, below is one of Burke’s ads featuring her experience at Trek.