Burke defends, details jobs plan ideas
MADISON, Wis. — Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke defended her jobs plan in an interview with News 3 Friday.
Burke sat down with WISC-TV Editorial Director and “For the Record” host Neil Heinen and News 3 political reporter Jessica Arp for the show taping, which will air Sunday at 10 a.m.
Heinen asked Burke about the recent controversy over sections of her jobs plan being copied word for word from four other Democratic candidates for governor in other states and Burke’s blaming of a campaign consultant for the work.
“I have put in hundreds of hours on this,” Burke said in the interview. “Every single idea in there is an idea I believe will drive Wisconsin’s economy forward and that is good for this state.”
Burke was asked how she didn’t know the consultant had copied portions given her extensive work on the plan.
“I read through every single one of these ideas, but I didn’t necessarily read through all the plans of other governors,” Burke said. “[Campaign consultant] Mr. Schnurer was one of the people that we utilized to put together this plan. And these are some ideas and best practices he saw going on around the rest of the country and that he brought to us.”
She then was asked what in the plan was a “unique Mary Burke idea” or whether the plan was an aggregation of other ideas she thought were good.
“I would say a lot of these plans, I’m trying to think, Jessica, OK, was I the first person that ever thought of this idea?” Burke said. “Well you know, I don’t know about that. But I can tell you one thing that’s in this plan that I said I want to make sure we have in this plan is the possible use and growth of anaerobic digesters. I think it has possibilities because it helps to address an environmental problem, it can make our farms more competitive, it also takes advantage of the strong research and manufacturing capabilities we have in Wisconsin, and if we were a leader in this area I think we could benefit in three or four different areas because of that.”
Burke said she also wanted to include plans for career path programs for high school students that came from her experience on the Madison School Board.
Gov. Scott Walker has also been invited to appear on “For the Record,” but that show has not yet been scheduled.