Scott Walker surges to lead in Wisconsin as former colleagues accuse opponent Burke of lying about her career

Scott Walker’s reelection campaign as governor of Wisconsin got double good news yesterday. In the latest poll, done by Marquette University, he has surged to a 7 point lead over challenger Mary Burke. Ms. Burke is heiress to the Trek Bicycle fortune, and champion of the government employee labor unions that resent the need to actually ask their members to join, instead of being able to force them pay dues, as they had done before Walker’s reforms The Real Clear Politics average of polls, still shows Walker with a slim lead of two points, but the Walker trend is unmistakable.

Perhaps even worse news for the Burke campaign comes from some of her former colleagues when she worked at Trek. Her major claim to competence as a Democrat candidate for an executive position is that she was effective in the private sector. The company was founded and built up by her daddy,  and is privately held, so there are no public reporting requirements, making evaluation of its and her performance difficult for outsiders. Stephen Gutowski of The Free Beacon reports on the controversy.

“It was here, in an old red barn, that a great American bicycle company was born. The one Mary Burke helped turn into a global powerhouse,” an October ad for the Democratic nominee for Wisconsin governor said.

“She led strategic planning at Trek, helped grow European sales from $3 million to $50 million a year.”

Strategic planning is a staff position, meaning it has little or no direct effect on sales or operations. It may or may not contribute to effectiveness. “Helped grow” sales is pretty vague, too. But beyond that is a basic issue of truthfulness.

A new report from M.D. Kittle of the Wisconsin Reporter reveals a number of former Trek employees disagreed with that claim. They said Mary Burke was fired by her own family for poor performance.

“Burke apparently was fired by her own family following steep overseas financial losses and plummeting morale among Burke’s European sales staff,” the publication said.

“She was not performing. She was (in) so far over her head. She didn’t understand the bike business,” longtime Trek Human Resources Director Gary Ellerman told Kittle. “I was there. This is what went down.”

To be fair, Ellerman is now a Republican official chairman of the Jefferson County party. But:

Another former employee, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “Mary Burke was made to return to Wisconsin and apologize to a group of about 35 Trek executives for her treatment of employees and for the plummeting European bottom line.”

The source said employees had developed several unfavorable nicknames for Burke.

“She never made money in Europe when she was there … Germany was gushing blood and it would take profitability from everywhere else,” the source told Kittle.

The employees Kittle spoke with said Burke’s claims to have increased European sales while at Trek are “lies.” Instead, they said sales were “at least $10 million lower” under her leadership.

It looks like there is some substance to these claims. Most revealing is the fact that Burke had claimed:

…she left Trek in 1993 because she needed a break after handling a stressful job.

“This had been a very demanding job and as a result, I decided I needed some time off,” Burke wrote in a note to a Doyle administration official in 2005, the Journal Sentinel reported. “I joined some Spanish friends of mine and moved to Argentina to snowboard for three months.”

Now that is a rich girl’s cop out. And, faced with the truth, the Burke campaign is backtracking, claiming that her position ws elimianted in a reorganization. That is exactly how a family-owned firm disguises the firing of an incompetent family member.

 

Mary Burke tells mainstream media she wasn't fired, Trek just "reorganized and eliminated the position that I had."

— Wisconsin Reporter (@wisconsinreport) October 29, 2014

This is not going to go down well in Wisconsin, a state I know and love. Pretentiousness is not a virtue, nor is shading the truth by a spoiled rich kid who gets fired and goes on an extended glamorous holiday.

 

I have my fingers crossed that Scott Walker will opull off a decisive victory, and another phony Democrat will be discredited.

Scott Walker’s reelection campaign as governor of Wisconsin got double good news yesterday. In the latest poll, done by Marquette University, he has surged to a 7 point lead over challenger Mary Burke. Ms. Burke is heiress to the Trek Bicycle fortune, and champion of the government employee labor unions that resent the need to actually ask their members to join, instead of being able to force them pay dues, as they had done before Walker’s reforms The Real Clear Politics average of polls, still shows Walker with a slim lead of two points, but the Walker trend is unmistakable.

Perhaps even worse news for the Burke campaign comes from some of her former colleagues when she worked at Trek. Her major claim to competence as a Democrat candidate for an executive position is that she was effective in the private sector. The company was founded and built up by her daddy,  and is privately held, so there are no public reporting requirements, making evaluation of its and her performance difficult for outsiders. Stephen Gutowski of The Free Beacon reports on the controversy.

“It was here, in an old red barn, that a great American bicycle company was born. The one Mary Burke helped turn into a global powerhouse,” an October ad for the Democratic nominee for Wisconsin governor said.

“She led strategic planning at Trek, helped grow European sales from $3 million to $50 million a year.”

Strategic planning is a staff position, meaning it has little or no direct effect on sales or operations. It may or may not contribute to effectiveness. “Helped grow” sales is pretty vague, too. But beyond that is a basic issue of truthfulness.

A new report from M.D. Kittle of the Wisconsin Reporter reveals a number of former Trek employees disagreed with that claim. They said Mary Burke was fired by her own family for poor performance.

“Burke apparently was fired by her own family following steep overseas financial losses and plummeting morale among Burke’s European sales staff,” the publication said.

“She was not performing. She was (in) so far over her head. She didn’t understand the bike business,” longtime Trek Human Resources Director Gary Ellerman told Kittle. “I was there. This is what went down.”

To be fair, Ellerman is now a Republican official chairman of the Jefferson County party. But:

Another former employee, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “Mary Burke was made to return to Wisconsin and apologize to a group of about 35 Trek executives for her treatment of employees and for the plummeting European bottom line.”

The source said employees had developed several unfavorable nicknames for Burke.

“She never made money in Europe when she was there … Germany was gushing blood and it would take profitability from everywhere else,” the source told Kittle.

The employees Kittle spoke with said Burke’s claims to have increased European sales while at Trek are “lies.” Instead, they said sales were “at least $10 million lower” under her leadership.

It looks like there is some substance to these claims. Most revealing is the fact that Burke had claimed:

…she left Trek in 1993 because she needed a break after handling a stressful job.

“This had been a very demanding job and as a result, I decided I needed some time off,” Burke wrote in a note to a Doyle administration official in 2005, the Journal Sentinel reported. “I joined some Spanish friends of mine and moved to Argentina to snowboard for three months.”

Now that is a rich girl’s cop out. And, faced with the truth, the Burke campaign is backtracking, claiming that her position ws elimianted in a reorganization. That is exactly how a family-owned firm disguises the firing of an incompetent family member.

 

Mary Burke tells mainstream media she wasn't fired, Trek just "reorganized and eliminated the position that I had."

— Wisconsin Reporter (@wisconsinreport) October 29, 2014

This is not going to go down well in Wisconsin, a state I know and love. Pretentiousness is not a virtue, nor is shading the truth by a spoiled rich kid who gets fired and goes on an extended glamorous holiday.

 

I have my fingers crossed that Scott Walker will opull off a decisive victory, and another phony Democrat will be discredited.