“It’s about looking at Wisconsin’s future:” Burke makes final appeal to voters in one-on-one with Mike Lowe

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Hours before the voters make their voices heard in the November 4th General Election, we're hearing one last time from the candidates in Wisconsin's gubernatorial race. FOX6's Mike Lowe had the chance to sit down one-on-one with Governor Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke. Mary Burke is a 55-year-old retired businesswoman, a former Wisconsin commerce secretary and a philanthropist. She's now a member of the Madison School Board, and wants to make the leap to the Governor's Office.

Mike Lowe: "What qualifies you to be the governor of Wisconsin?"

"My leadership experience, first and foremost and whether it was running the Commerce Department as secretary of commerce, whether it was leading Trek's business as part of Europe or in Wisconsin, seeing how a great Wisconsin company in a very competitive industry can grow and prosper and thrive. It is about bringing people together," Burke said.

Mike Lowe: "You said bring people together, and obviously this state has been divided during Governor Walker's first term. Is that your main objection to Governor Walker?"

"It's just one of them, but no -- he and I differ on a lot of different policy areas as well. He believes that somehow, the way you drive an economy is to give tax breaks to those at the top and special interests. I'm a business person. That's not how you create jobs," Burke said.

Mike Lowe: "Do you believe -- as he does -- that tax cuts can ever improve a sluggish economy?"

"You have to have a competitive tax climate, but it's not going to grow jobs," Burke said.

Mike Lowe: "The governor has no authority over the economy. You have authority over fiscal matters -- if you're elected -- yet we've spent the majority of this campaign talking about who can create jobs. Have we wasted this campaign talking about something the governor has no authority over?"

"No. I think it's a very important issue. I would disagree with you, Mike. I think actually the governor does have a large role. It may not be control, but it's an important role. I just talked about education. Education is one of those areas. Jobs in the future will require higher levels of education and training. If we don't increase affordability of technical colleges and universities, we're going to be left behind," Burke said.

Mike Lowe:  "Jobs are the byproduct of a healthy economy, not the cause of a healthy economy. What do we need to do to treat the disease and not the symptoms? In other words, not worry about unemployment once it's here, but worry about the causes behind it?"

"The things that create the ecosystem of economic development. It's access to capital. It's great education. Those are things that play a large role in whether new companies can start here, and existing companies can grow," Burke said.

Mike Lowe: "As you know, in this campaign you've been portrayed as a plagiarist, an out-of-touch millionaire. Is there a myth about Mary Burke that you would like to see eradicated?"

"You know when you get into these things, Mike, unfortunately, the character assassinations are part of the political landscape. I was brought up by my parents to believe that I could do anything as long as I could do the hard work," Burke said.

Mike Lowe: "If you have one closing thought for people as they head to the polls Tuesday, what would it be?"

"It's about looking at Wisconsin's future, and the vision that we have to be a leader in this country in terms of the economy and understanding that the way of doing that, is that everyone gets a fair shot to get ahead, as long as they're willing to put in the hard work," Burke said.

Burke has run a close campaign, and despite the last Marquette University Law School Poll showing Governor Walker with a seven-point lead among likely voters, Burke says she believes the race is much tighter, and will come down to voter turnout.


  • Flipper

    Why the heck are we deigning to listen to this woman!? She is completely unqualified for the job of governor. I get so frustrated by people overlooking or forgiving that fact. I wouldnt even ley her babysit my kids, let alone run our entire state.

  • Devo

    Why is it that Liberals never get real jobs? They stay in school all their lives, they live off welfare, work for the broken education system or in other words. They take from the system, never give to the system and vote for people like BHO and MB, people who are unqualified to run a candy store much less a nation or state…

    • NeutralPolitics

      Speaking in hyperbole like that isn’t the way to get problems addressed. Of course Liberals are just as likely to have “real” jobs as conservatives. The fact that you don’t consider education important is a little disheartening though. An educated population drives innovation which fuels the economy by creating “real jobs.”

      I do agree with your observation about Burke’s experience though. She’s definitely underqualified. Though, with the way politicians conduct themselves lately, I’m tempted to say that career campaigners shouldn’t be let anywhere near the political arena.

  • grunt

    She says she should be governor because of her experience at Trek (daddy’s company) and as Commerce Secretary.
    Daddy fired her from Trek, and her democrat Commerce Secretary predecessor said she was a disaster.
    What has she done the last seven years?

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