|Mary Burke campaigns|
from an undisclosed
Update: A reader comments, "If this is Mary Burke's idea of transparency and openness, why the hell should we even consider electing her as governor?"
"There were, into the month of May (2014), no signs in the front windows of Mary Burke’s campaign office across the street from the state Capitol in Madison, nothing to broadcast her name to the many people passing by," reports Bill Lueders in Wisconsin Watch.
Lueders underplays his lede.
Ms. Burke's campaign is in worse shape.
I phoned Burke's campaign office this morning located somewhere on the Capitol square, and the phone was answered by a woman named Lizzie, who identified herself as the office manager.
I wanted to confirm Lueders' fact about no signs being in Burke's Madison campaign offices.
Sure enough, Lueders is correct.
I asked Lizzie for the street address of Burke for Governor on the square.
"Is this a particular reason you would like to come to our office," replied Lizzie.
"Due respect, that's my business," I replied.
Lizzie explained that the Mary Burke headquarters' Madison address is "confidential" information.
"Why," I replied.
Lizzie explained that Burke staffers are fearful of "disruptive" visitors, and "we're trying to limit that."
What if passersby on the Capitol square just want to drop by. Lizzie explained that they cannot, and the location remains undisclosed, hence no signs in the windows.
Bill Lueders continues in his piece:
"That’s an odd missed opportunity (no signs) for a candidate struggling to make herself known. A Marquette Law School poll in March found that an astonishing 59 percent of respondents did not have either a favorable or unfavorable impression of Burke," Lueders concludes.
Yes, secret headquarters and no signs are odd for a political candidate.
This is also emblematic for the Burke campaign running for statewide office against an incumbent who has been running for the governor's office since 2002, often illegally from a public office. Emblematic of incompetence by Burke.
Missed opportunities, yes.
But it is Mary Burke's failure to engage the Wisconsin public in almost a mirror image of Scott Walker's campaign that will underscore the bad news for Wisconsin in November when Walker is reelected.
It is Burke's contempt for retail campaigning and the Wisconsin people that demonstrates that though she would not be Scott Walker, well that's all Burke shows.
I visited Scott Walker's website looking for a phone number to see if Walker keeps his reelection headquarters a secret. No luck there, no contact info.
In 2012, Scott Walker kept his campaign headquarters location a secret, using roughly the same justification that the Burke campaign espouses.
Alleigh Marré, press secretary of the Walker campaign, contacted by phone says the campaign keeps its headquarters secret as well, though Ms. Marré allows the headquarters is in Madison.
She said "field offices" opening soon across the state will be the locations where voters can get literature and bumper stickers for example, in person, or just drop by.
Now, Wisconsin is no longer Iowa with retail campaigning still of paramount importance.
But I thought we were better than this.
The days of dropping by the offices of candidates for political office; browsing the campaign literature; maybe picking up a bumper sticker, or catching the candidate in person and exchanging pleasantries and expressing concerns appear to waning in Wisconsin.