It all started with this offhand comment by candidate for governor Mary Burke’s father.
In an interview with Inc. magazine, Burke's father, Dick, talked about founding Trek Bicycle in a barn in Waterloo back in 1976. "It's a rule: If you're a family member, you're entitled to a job," Dick Burke said in the 2006 interview.In comes the guy who makes Reince Priebus look like a genius, GOP leader Joe Fadness:
Joe Fadness, the head of the state Republican Party, cited the remarks by Burke's father as further proof that the 54-year-old Madison multimillionaire is out of touch with most Wisconsin residents. Fadness said. "This is another in a series of examples showing how far from reality Mary Burke really is."
Burke’s campaign very wisely saw an immediate problem with Fadness’ comment:
Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki said the criticism is misguided … family members learn the values of hard work and success when farms and businesses are passed from generation to generation. "Trek is a proud Wisconsin example of that," Zepecki said. "Perhaps Scott Walker and his allies should spend more time lifting Wisconsin out of 45th place in projected job growth and less time attacking a successful Wisconsin family business."
Zingggg. Ouch. And that’s what the WISGOP said, point blank, and should become part of the Burke campaign. Even better, this was discovered:
In a 2011 interview with The Capital Times, Mary Burke said her father initially rejected her request to join Trek once she finished graduate school. Here is what she told the Madison paper:
"When I was graduating from business school, I talked to my dad (Richard Burke, founder of Trek Bicycles) and said, 'You know, Dad, I'd really like to come back to Wisconsin and work for you.' He said, 'Well, let me get back to you …' And then, a couple weeks later he said, 'You know, I don't really have anything for you.' That's how we were brought up — you didn't have things automatically handed to you. But later there were some opportunities for me and I was able to join Trek and work with my dad…”