AP's Scott Bauer Effectively Admits That Media Didn't Vet Mary Burke

M.D. Kittle at Watchdog.org's Wisconsin Reporter scooped everyone covering the Badger State Governor's race on Tuesday when he reported that Democratic candidate Mary Burke's resumé is not what her campaign's web site says it is.

Burke's campaign bio claims that she "played a central role in Trek’s expansion as the Director of European Operations." Kittle found "multiple former Trek executives" who told him that, in Kittle's words, she "was fired by her own family following steep overseas financial losses and plummeting morale among Burke’s European sales staff." The real question to me is why it took until a week before Election Day to learn this.

The answer appears to be that the establishment press in Wisconsin, whose counterparts in Washington found Mitt Romney's alleged high school hijinks deserving of 5,400 words, made no meaningful attempt to vet or investigate Burke. The Associated Press's Scott Bauer effectively admitted as much in the final paragraphs of his report on the controversy today (bolds are mine throughout this post):

... Former Trek president Tom Albers told The Associated Press that Burke's role as head of Trek's overseas operations "just didn't work out. We were losing money."

Albers spoke to the AP after the allegation that Burke was fired was first reported by Wisconsin Reporter, a conservative website.

The claim that Burke was fired goes to the heart of her credentials as a successful Trek executive and comes just six days before the election.

... Albers, who worked for Trek from 1982 to 1997, said Mary Burke was fired by John Burke. Albers said he was told of the 1993 firing at the time by CEO Dick Burke, father to Mary and John Burke, who died in 2008.

... Mary Burke argues that her experience at Trek, the bike company started by her father in the 1970s, qualifies her to be governor and lead economic development and job-creation efforts for the state.

(final three paragraphs)

... Albers, who left Trek to take a job with its competitor Specialized Bicycles, said he had no ax to grind. Albers said he's not politically active, but campaign finance records show he gave $1,100 to Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Green in 2006. Albers said he thought he had donated $50 to Walker, but it doesn't show up in campaign records.

Albers, 73, said he only talked about the situation after first being asked by a reporter.

"I always had a lot of respect for Mary Burke," Albers said. "She was very intelligent."

The last bolded paragraph in the excerpt tells us that Albers has been out there all along, but that nobody in the state's establishment press ever bothered to look him up and get his take on Burke's Trek tenure. That is, until a guy from one of those horrible, awful, unprofessional, yucky center-right investigative journalism outlets — the same sources which Democrats on the Federal Election Commission want to regulate into silence — did their work for them.

Wisconsin's establishment press has spent the better part of the past four years "exposing" all kinds of things about Scott Walker which have collectively amounted to almost nothing except a stack of unfounded smears — but they never bothered to check Mary Burke's core claim of private-sector competence. Obviously, the state's Democratic Party also failed to vet Burke before endorsing and clearing the field for her back in May.

Kittle further reported today that Burke "now says she was a victim of downsizing at Trek Bicycle Corp." That's not what happens to super-duperstar execs, especially family members.

The AP's Bauer also indicated that it might be white-flag time for the Democrats in the Badger State governor's race (link added by me):

The accusation came the same day as a Marquette University Law School poll was released that showed Walker with a 7-point lead among likely voters, his widest of the race after months of being neck-and-neck. The poll of 1,146 voters between Oct. 23 and Sunday had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points.

Imagine that. Marquette had the race in a tie only 2-1/2 weeks ago in its October 9-12 poll. Cynics would be justified in wondering if Marquette decided to clean up their act in their final poll to maintain their reputation. Kittle's collection of testimonials concerning the truth about Mary Burke's career in business won't make things any better. The race may even be moving outside of the margin of non-citizen, mostly Democratic voter fraud.

It also looks like President Obama, who has avoided campaigning in all but the bluest of blue states, may have been snookered into visiting Wisconsin earlier this week, believing that Walker is more vulnerable than he now appears to be.

If Walker really does win by as much as or more than Marquette predicts, it seems likely that whoever convinced Team Obama to have Dear Leader visit will seriously regret having done so.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

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