Walker using potential Burke gubernatorial run to raise money - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Walker campaign using potential Burke gubernatorial run as fundraising tool

MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison millionaire Mary Burke hasn't officially announced that she will challenge Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) in 2014, but the incumbent's campaign is already fundraising based on that prospect.

In a letter dated and signed by Gov. Walker on July 18 and sent out to donors last week, the Walker campaign solely uses the possibility of a Burke gubernatorial to raise $150,000 by August 10th. You can view the two pages of the letter by clicking on the images accompanying this story on the left side of your monitor. 

The letter never mentions Burke by name, but identifies the person who will "most likely by my opponent next year" by saying "she's as liberal as you would expect a Madison Democrat to be."

The letter goes on to say that "she's so rich she could pour millions into her own race" and "she's so out-of-sync she'll return to the Governor Doyle policies she embraced as his Commerce Secretary."

Burke served as Secretary of the former Department of Commerce under Gov. Jim Doyle from February of 2005 through October of 2007. 

The letter goes on to make a fundraising appeal by stating: "I hope I can rely on your renewed strong support today because this ultra-wealthy, uber-liberal opponent will have enthusiastic financial backing from the Big Government Union Bosses, Emily's List and out-of-state radical extremists from coast-to-coast.  Please write your check for $25 today."

The letter concludes by stating: "Yes, I take her candidacy very seriously and that's why I'm asking for your generous help today."

News that the Democratic Party of Wisconsin was doing polling on a possible Burke run was brought to light by the Republican Party of Wisconsin in late June.  RPW filed a complaint on the polling with the Government Accountability Board, claiming DPW didn't disclose who was paying for it.

Mary Burke is the daughter of Trek Bicycle's founder Richard Burke and formerly oversaw the company's operations in seven different countries before taking over as Commerce Secretary under Gov. Doyle.  She currently serves on the Madison Metropolitan School Board.

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