Trek Bicycle Corp., which makes bikes for everyone from children on training wheels to competitors in the Tour de France, has found itself in the middle of an entirely different kind of race — the one for Wisconsin governor.

Democratic challenger Mary Burke has proudly touted her ties to the company founded by her father and where she was once an executive. When she launched her campaign in October, she talked about the family’s business starting “in a red barn in Waterloo,” the 1,000 people it now employs in Wisconsin, the $100 million it generates for the state economy every year and the millions more it has given to charities over the years.

But Republican Gov. Scott Walker has focused on the company’s decision to send jobs to China after receiving grants funded with Wisconsin taxpayers’ money. He emphasizes that the company that made Burke a millionaire is building bikes in China, a country where Walker says women and children are paid as little as $2 an hour.

A television ad that Walker released last week switched the governor’s race into high gear, with Burke’s supporters rallying to her defense and Walker refusing to back down from his claims.

Walker took a “very calculated risk” by going after Trek, said Felicia Miller, a former Procter & Gamble brand manager who now teaches marketing at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

“I’m sure they’ve done some research and found that’s going to play well with whatever constituency you’re trying to reach,” Miller said. “It’s a tightrope and it can definitely backfire.”

Trek, the world’s second-largest bicycle maker, is known globally not just for manufacturing but for innovation and marketing, said Tom Schuler, a 1980 Olympic cyclist who runs an athlete management business in Milwaukee and organizes a series of professional cycling races in Wisconsin every June.

Even though it does some manufacturing overseas, Trek still makes more bikes in the United States than any other company, Schuler said.

“It just seems like most people in Wisconsin would think Trek is a great asset to the state of Wisconsin,” he said.

Walker insisted he is just trying to give voters the facts.

“We’re not criticizing Trek; we’re pointing out that voters deserve to know the full record,” Walker said Friday. Walker’s criticism amid the heat of the campaign comes just two years after his administration lauded Trek and made it one of five companies at the center of a marketing drive to attract other businesses to Wisconsin.

In 2012, Walker’s administration described Trek as“world-renowned manufacturer of bicycles and related products” and a company that embodies the state’s “pioneering spirit and heritage of innovation, key attributes of our state’s business climate.” Trek was chosen for that marketing campaign even though it had already outsourced jobs overseas.

Now, with polls showing Walker and Burke in a tight race, Walker’s campaign has released an ad accusing Trek of “making millions of dollars sending jobs overseas that could have been done in Wisconsin.”

Mary Burke’s brother, Trek president John Burke, called the ad false but did not provide specifics on how much the company pays or who it hires in China. He took out a full-page ad in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Sunday noting that Trek has nearly 1,000 employees in Wisconsin and makes bikes in Wisconsin, Germany and Holland in addition to China.

In response, Walker’s campaign tweeted, “A full page ad ran in the newspaper today. Nowhere in the letter did it dispute the facts of our television ad.”

With one ofBurke’s key credentials — a job creator for an iconic Wisconsin brand — under attack, her supporters rushed to her defense.

“In a million years, I don’t know why a governor of a state who has stated his goal is to create jobs would go after one of the finest companies in the state,” said Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences, a Madison-based biotechnology company that’s grown from three to 300 employees in five years.It doesn’t help any of us who are out there fighting every day to add jobs to the Wisconsin economy every day.”

Conroy helped Burke write her economic development plan for the campaign, and his wife works as Burke’s campaign treasurer.

Walker’s Trek ad also offended Richard Gallun, a prominent former Republican fundraiser who now calls himself an independent Burke supporter. Gallun, 78, of Milwaukee, said he knew Burke’s father and was surprised Walker would attack such a well-known Wisconsin business.

“I think that’s a bad strategy,” Gallun said. “I can understand trying to tarnish Mary ... tarnishing the company, I think, is a real error.”

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(134) comments

iponder
iponder

Walker has not created one single job. Businesses like Trek do that. Walker is nothing more than a career politician. Its time for him to create one job in the private sector.

Umgwana
Umgwana

Scott Walker was for Trek before he was against it.

Maerzie
Maerzie

Walker's ad is so typical of the Teapublican hate and evil, riling up so much dissension among uninformed voters, but, that's their objective! They can't accomplish ANYTHING positive for our country, so they rile up hate in the people who never pay attention to facts, the only thing they're good at. The ad will work well for the uneducated, who always vote against themselves, and FOR the super-wealthy, 2%, anyway because they don't understand the games the haters play! Walker has never been seen as having too much in the brains department, so he'll use whatever evil is suggested to him, cutting his own throat. He doesn't seem to understand how the majority thinks. If people voted against everything associated with jobs being sent out of the country, Walker would be the FIRST to go, as he has survived on the Koch wealth, which was largely gained by VERY sleazy deals in foreign countries. in fact, MOST of the Teapublican corporations depend on ripping off cheap labor in the slave -labor countries! Like I said, Walker just is not a very intelligent person!

Chief Mukwonago
Chief Mukwonago

They can take all of Trek and move it to China for all I care. Who would buy a bike that is associated with a democrat and a woman to top it off.

bucky1again
bucky1again

What a true American. Who don't you hate?

Northwoodsvet
Northwoodsvet

Why are you opposed to capitalism? I try to buy the best possible product, not one associated with a particular ideology.

BRS
BRS

What a brain dead comment . And I suppose you would say republicans don't have a war against women .

freddiebell
freddiebell

CM: Do let us all know which stores sell a "Republican Bike" versus a "Democrat Bike." I'm sure you'll find more than a few takers in either category, as long as they are labeled correctly and color-coded for accuracy.

When Trek, and other companies, leave for greener pastures because of people who think like you, be ready for the property tax increase that you'll see, as the rest of us have to pick up the slack for the loss in revenue. You've taken that into account in your "let them rot" analysis of the situation, no?

gorman
gorman

Somehow I get the feeling that your bike riding days are far past you. Do you own a car? Tell me one car that has all its parts made in America.

MadMan
MadMan

"Who would buy a bike that is associated with a woman"

Well Chief, I don't really need to say anything here, you just pretty much discredited yourself to anyone not a bigot, all on your own. Grats.

MadMan
MadMan

This could be a great opportunity for Burke. Point out that the governor who has made his main election platform creating jobs in Wisconsin, doesn't realize that major manufacturing corporations like Trek can only support the 1,000 high paying, "good" jobs they have here by making it part of a larger internal workforce. Suggest that maybe this is why Wisconsin is lagging all our neighboring states in job recovery, that Walker just doesn't understand these things and is doing it wrong.

The question is, can this message be delivered in a way the few undecided voters can wrap their heads around. Such people more often than not aren''t that tuned in, may not take the time to sort out the nuance of international manufacturing possibilities and pitfalls. Otherwise the only other receptive audience would be traditional business Republicans who aren't already cynical enough to vote for Walker regardless because they figure he doesn't really mean anything he publicly says anyway.

Beingbucky
Beingbucky

I have no idea how many Trek bikes are made in China vs. in Waterloo. The one I own and the three my brother own were made just up the road. I also own another Made In USA road bike that is pretty junky, unlike my bulletproof Trek.

But that is hardly the point. The point is that Mr. "How could we love Wisconsin business owners more" Walker said in 2012 that Trek was the epitome of Wisconsin business and now he vilifies the same company. I call that sleazy on Walker's part. You have to at the least call that flip flopping. Hence the risk.

John_Galt
John_Galt

How many Trek bikes are made in Waterloo versus outsourced?
I'd love to know that number.

koala
koala

It's the parts that are outsourced. The assembly is done here.

notakers
notakers

Don't liberals see the hypocrisy of someone wanting a minimum wage of $10.10 when that same someone made a fortune off the backs of $2 an hour foreign labor? Not to mention, many of the Wisconsin workers might not be US citizens.

Nav1
Nav1

notetakers,

Do you know how business works?

Mary Burke supports workers in WI get at least $10.10 per hour. She is on record with that. What corporations pay Chinese employees IN China is not relevant. is this so hard to understand????

notakers
notakers

You couldn't even get through my handle, let alone my post.

bucky1again
bucky1again

Which is why many liberals were against the Free Trade Agreements put forward by businesses that lowered the bar to the lowest common denominator.

Bootman
Bootman

Liberals?

What about all the economists? You're just wrong.

barefoot
barefoot

I challenge you to name a single businessperson in this state whose livelihood isn't somehow connected to products made in other countries.

John_Galt
John_Galt

Not by choice in many cases. Paper I used to buy in WI is now made in China. It sucks.

pete
pete

@53703 & freddiebell -

to your discussion above and the fall of American Manufacturing. try to follow this if you can, my monday brain is a bit fuzzy.

We're told that the children from Central America are lining up at our border to escape the horrible living conditions in their own country and often corrupt governments, for a chance to come here and live in poverty. If we can be honest, they will be competing for MN Wage jobs for the most part. And for the most part, the left applauds the humanitarian approach we are taking and are willing to give $billions$ today to those in need.

Now lets jump to manufacturing. The left often criticizes when companies take advantage of the labor markets overseas. What's the reason those labor markets even exist? Is it the horrible living conditions in their country? Is it a horrible/corrupt government they are forced to live with?

My point is this, the left will support people coming here illegally and are willing to give them the handouts they need in the name of "koombaya - we're all in this together" approach. However, if a company wants to ship labor overseas to a job market that obviously exists due to the economic conditions in those countries and give those people jobs, it's evil capitalism.

I'm guessing the response from the left and people like 53703 will be about the good jobs leaving the country (see above): " Are you willing to pay more for goods made in the US at a reasonable wage? I am, but I am by far in the minority."

Doesn't a statement like that wreak of "American Exceptionalism"? Haven't we been told by those on the left that we are not exceptional over the years? It also sounds very exclusive rather than the all-inclusive approach the left usually takes.

What am I missing here? the left is fine with handouts and bringing people across the border who are not citizens of the US, to directly compete in our labor market in the name of "giving someone a chance at a better life". yet they are opposed to a hand up when someone is given a job overseas and a chance at a better life because of it?

bucky1again
bucky1again

Oh my, where do you get your history and facts from? Throughout history we've accepted people into this country due to conflicts, oppression, evading "communism" or numerous other situations. We even have a standing policy to accept any Cuban who puts foot on U.S soil. This isn't some "lefty" thing. In the majority of all cases, it's a humanity thing.

And, these children coming across are being held here due to a law signed in by Bush so that they all receive a hearing on their predicament. Mexican kids are sent immediately back. Because our court and temporary holding situations are so lacking due to the influx, it's trying to be addressed by adding additional funding to add more resources which is being held up in Congress.

I, being a "lefty", don't wish them to come here, but at the same time I'm cognizant of the reasons why it's happening due to what is going on in the countries they are fleeing and unfortunately due to some of the policies we put in place long ago that has destabilized that region. Nobody really wants to just give a free handout, but let's be real on the situation.

Muchmaligned1
Muchmaligned1

These children aren't competing for any jobs. They are children! By the way, America is still the largest manufacturer of durable goods on the planet and China is a distant, but gaining, second. Clinton told American workers who were accustomed to high paying manufacturing gigs despite their lack of formal education to get educated because those jobs weren't coming back. Did they (you?)listen?

pete
pete

I listened and I'm not the one beeching that people w/a highschool education should be entitled to a 40 hr work week and a pension cause they got a factory job.

53703
53703

First you are mixing up issues that are distinct. I said nothing regarding my opinion of what to do with children at our border.

The reality is that whether it is cheaper food on the backs of migrant workers or cheaper bikes on the backs of foreign workers, Americans do not pay the real cost of what it costs to produce what we consume.

So, keep whining all you like about the "illegals" or whatever. The reality is that those cheap tomatoes you get at Trader Joe's are thanks to them. Anyway, keep trying to have it both ways.

pete
pete

@53703 - do you want what's best for the children at the border? Do you want them to have things that maybe were otherwise unaffordable? what's the difference between them and the children who work for Trek? Isn't trek providing people with resources that were out of reach?

53703
53703

Do you want to stay on topic? Shall we talk about Benghazi now?

magnum1
magnum1

All of us taxpayers should vote to send Walker to China to work there if that's how he want's to help us!

barefoot
barefoot

Trek sells globally. It makes sense to manufacture globally. It's no different for Harley Davidson, Bemis, Johnson Controls, Kohler, GE medical, etc. Trek should be commended for expanding it's high-skill manufacturing right here in Wisconsin.

What's next? Will Walker tie Burke to doping scandals and Lance Armstrong?! Or maybe to the loss of revenue from fuel taxes?

eclectic
eclectic

Oh o.k., I understand. Since she only sent some of the jobs to China, that's acceptable.

S54k
S54k

I don't think she sent any jobs to China. They expanded to China and jobs were created there. Anybody know how many additional jobs were created in Wisconsin after the China expansion occurred. I have a feeling if there wasn't an expansion in China that created Chinese jobs, there would fewer Wisconsin employees working for Trek. Expanding world-wide is how local companies become global companies. Why is this so hard to understand?

koala
koala

Bottom line: Trek employs 1000 people in Wisconsin, generates $100M in income, is one of the finest and most innovative companies in the state with one of the best international reputations. It employs more people in the US making bikes than any other US company. It has to outsource some parts to China (just like those smartphones most of you have in your pocket right now). Without the outsourcing, the Wisconsin and US jobs go poof.

For this, Walker criticizes Trek. Again, he's sliming a Wisconsin institution for his own pathetic political career. Real Eagle Scout, real pastor's son! Why vote for this career politician?

pete
pete

actually koala, they not only get "some" parts from China, most of their models are made there. The one's built in WI are not the ones we see locked in the racks on campus or any school for that matter.

I think you're also missing the point, I don't think (I can't speak for him obviously) that walker is criticizing Trek as much as he is pointing out the hypocrisy that is coming from the left. If Burke's first name was Mark and he was running as a Republican, I highly doubt you would be calling Trek a "Wisconsin Institution." You would be screaming from the mountain tops about how he made his fortune off the backs of $1.50/hr employees over seas. Just be honest about it and then we can continue this discussion.

do me a favor, if you wanted to buy a Trek bike in Madison, where would you go? Just curious

53703
53703

Maybe the Trek bike store? Two Madison locations to choose from. Eagan Rd on the east and Mineral Point on the west.

Nav1
Nav1

Pete thinks he is being clever.

Or maybe, just maybe, he and the Gotch are planning to go vote for Mary Burke on their new Trek bikes on November 4th!

pete
pete

did you know there used to be locally owned mom and pop bike shops in town that sold Trek before the Trek stores were built? Yup, Trek used them to build their brand only to come to town and compete for their business. (translation, take their money and livelihood).

pete
pete

@nav1 - don't overthink it....I never thought I would say that to you

Cornelius_Gotchberg
Cornelius_Gotchberg

@Nav/Nav1 (below);

"Or maybe, just maybe, he and the Gotch are planning to go vote for Mary Burke on their new Trek bikes on November 4th!"

I would ride to the polls with @pete on my TREK under two conditions:

1-He'd be properly Spandexed
2-His BIKIE being legally registered

Because of my...um...record, I'm not allowed to fraternize with known scofflaws.

The Gotch

koala
koala

WRONG. I regard Johnson Controls, Kohler, Quad Graphics, Menasha, Harley Davidson, Gordon Flesch, and Trek (the lightweight economically in this group) all as Wisconsin institutions. Anyone with any wits will recognize that the owners of these firms range across the entire political spectrum. In Madison, I feel that Metcalfe's Sentry has set the standard for groceries and for philanthropic contributions to the community, and no one is going to argue that Metcalfe and sons are liberals! If you think that Trek is a failure, hey, say it, and tell us all why you'll support Walker praising to the sky two years ago and now running it into the ground because a principal is running against him. He's a damn hypocrite, among his failings. Are you on board for that?

Beeee K
Beeee K

Ummmmmmmmmmm.

Having grown up with Tim, and and having been lucky enough to have known Tom for decades I sincerely beg to differ. They may be/have been Democrats, but to call either one a liberal would be a gross exaggeration.

I think that they would say the same if they were both here to speak. Tim?

I completely agree that Tim has set the standard for grocers in Madison. I very much hope he survives in the current market.


Tim should run for Mayor of Madison. I think he's ready!

graefental
graefental

It's very odd if you examine the facts on their face.

Walker: a career public employee who has made a career of cutting the legs out from under his fellow public employees.

Burke: former CEO of a highly successful Wisconsin company.

Where's the grounds for criticism here? It's like you're a plumber criticizing a symphony violinist for using the wrong violin.

MadisonCitizen
MadisonCitizen

FYI - Mary Burke was never CEO of the company.

However, she was head of strategic planning, which included purchasing, at the time they made the decision to buy more bikes, not just parts, finished bikes from China.

That said, this has also created many jobs in sales, marketing, engineering and service here in Wisconsin, but the majority of bikes are manufactured in China. High end carbon bikes are made in Waterloo. Trek is a great corporate citizen. Walker is pointing out an issue that will separate Burke's different types of supporters, especially the union ones.

freddiebell
freddiebell

MadisonCitizen: Okay. But sometimes the messenger gets in the way of the message when it comes to Mary Burke's role over time. Early on, Walker supporters claimed that her role in the Doyle administration was so small and insignificant that she lacked the requisite experience and knowledge to be an effective governor of this state. Now the attack ads paint her as an insider who should take the fall for the perceived failures of the Doyle jobs record. They can't have it both ways. The whole Trek argument is starting to reek of the same disconnect -- the usual political hack jobs trying to spin something for partisan gain. That's no surprise in an electoral campaign -- par for the course. But it does make it hard for me to sit through some of the anti-Burke diatribes on these pages with a straight face, knowing that the attacks blow with the wind far more than they do with the facts.

koala
koala

Again, it's the parts that are outsourced, with bike assembly largely here.

pete
pete

Where do people in Madison go when they want to buy a new Trek?

bucky1again
bucky1again

Um,....the Trek Bicycle Store. Is this a trick question?

pete
pete

nope - you answered it (predictably) beautifully. Thanks for playing

Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird

Or Machinery Row, or Budget Bikes, etc. Treks are sold everywhere.

What's your point?

bucky1again
bucky1again

Just at Red-winged Blackbird said below,........you can get them elsewhere too. Much like one goes to buy an iPad or iPhone. I could go directly to the Apple store or I could do it at any number of places.

Thanks for playing.

53703
53703

Mary Burke isn't responsible for the fact that American consumers shot themselves in the foot. Thirty years of goods made on the cheap until the bottom totally fell out of our manufacturing base. It's easy to blame companies for being "greedy" but if the consumers weren't equally "greedy" they would have no incentive to ship jobs overseas. Are you willing to pay more for goods made in the US at a reasonable wage? I am, but I am by far in the minority. Next time you go to Walmart, remember the outsourcing came first and foremost from the consumers who wanted tons of crap in their homes more than a job for their neighbor.

freddiebell
freddiebell

53703: Good point. We have met the enemy, and he is us.

In reality we need to do a collective rethink on what our priorities are in society and how they fit into these times of difficult economic decisions. People who say they don't have the money for those quality American goods (or their school districts, or better health care, or other transportation options, ...) somehow have money for Packers gear and tickets, overpriced "gotta have it" eBay acquisitions, and all manner of unneeded and ultimately unwanted products that turn their garages into a large storage shed. Everyone has freedom of choice. But that doesn't mean that we always choose wisely.

53703
53703

Another way to support US jobs is to buy things that can be repaired. It costs more to have a skilled US repair person fix your dishwasher than it does to buy a new dishwasher and chuck the old one out, which says volumes about how the global economy is setting consumer prices below real labor costs. The environmental impact also cannot be ignored. There is a little movie about "planned obsolescence" that really highlights how much this is harming our planet.

blockhead
blockhead

So, when do we start talking about the jobs Walker has shipped to other states with his refusals to accept train money and Medicaid expansion dollars?

davea
davea

GOOD POINT !

John_Galt
John_Galt

Not really, you are too blinded to see that however.
Short term progressive thinking without seeing the long term costs.

freddiebell
freddiebell

John_Galt: Some of the poorest people I know are dyed-in-the-wool conservatives who made bad life choices: short-term gain for long-term pain. If you're going to generalize, at least find some facts to ground it in, so that it has at least some shred of credibility.

snootyelites
snootyelites

LMAOROTF: "Scott Walker takes big risk....." Do cows produce Milk!

When did you see Scott Walker not taking a risk!

We saw Hope & Change with no risk got us no where! 100 million on dole. Mary Burke wants to stagnate the state's economy like our dear leader Obama! That simple!

bucky1again
bucky1again

More non-facts from you again? Goodness.

48 months of consecutive job growth, 5 straight months that job gains have topped 200,000, the first such stretch since September 1999 to January 2000

http://www.insperity.com/economy/

Stock market at record highs?

Get outside sometime and see the sunshine snarky. It'll do you good.

davea
davea

Plus, cows make a lot more "cow pies" then milk!

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

Here are some facts:

Fact 1: Burke was a Strategic Planner for Trek.
Fact 2: Trek outsourced jobs to foreign countries.
Fact 3: Mary Burke made money from Trek while jobs were being outsourced.
Fact 4: Burke touts her position at Trek as part of her "qualifications" to being Governor.
Fact 5: All things related to qualifications are fair game in campaigns.

All this whining about Trek the company being attacked is just hogwash, what is being talked about is Burke's record when she was at Trek as the Strategic Planner. Can it be shown that there is a bit of hypocrisy about outsourcing, sure, but that does not change the simple facts stated above.

Here are some more facts:

Fact 1: Scott Walker is Governor was videoed stating "Divide and Conquer" as a strategy.
Fact 2: There has been John Doe investigations surrounding Walkers subordinates.
Fact 3: Scott Walker has been accused (not charged) of being part of a criminal network.
Fact 4: There has not yet been 250,000 jobs created in Wisconsin since Scott Walker was elected.
Fact 5: All things related to qualifications are fair game in campaigns.

I'm not looking forward to this election cycle.

Victor_Berger
Victor_Berger

Walker and his core supporters believe in roads and big ass SUVs. They are very proud of how much they drive and how they can afford to do more than their share of damage to the environment. They are proud of the profits they make with mining, and developing exurban land that will have others driving longer distances too. Trains, bicycles, buses... not Wisconsin Republican style. Walker sucks... but many of his supporters are even worse people. Where did they come from? Wisconsin use to be known for nice people, not people who divide society "into makers vs. takers".

Deke
Deke

Since when is Walker involved in a close election...every poll has him at least 10% ahead, and that is taking into account all the left leading polls, despite the ever whinning give me everything I ask for far left the State of Wisconsin is doing quite well, If the far left were to pay attention and cease their hate mongoring I think they could see that for themselves.

Stiles
Stiles

There has not been a publicly released poll in two months

The last three were PPP (D) in April with Gov. Walker +3, Magellan (R) also in April with a tie, and Marquette in May with Gov. Walker +3.

A week is a long time in politics, so two months...

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

Deke,
"Since when is Walker involved in a close election...every poll has him at least 10% ahead..."

You obviously don't remember how polls showed that Romney was going to win the Presidential election. Political polls are hogwash, don't believe them.

freddiebell
freddiebell

Deke: You must not get out much. Lots of hard evidence exists -- if you are open to looking at it -- that contradicts your stated position. Try this one, as a simple starting point, and go from there:

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/on-politics/scott-walker-and-mary-burke-tied-in-latest-marquette-law/article_b5028a5d-8b30-51bd-914a-0bca0f589331.html

Maybe you should stick to discussing Badger sports stories. That appears to be your strong suit, not political commentary.

Bucky24
Bucky24

Scott Walker is desperate and totally intimidated by so many Wisconsinites he can't ever tell the truth. Wisconsin deserves better!

Harvey
Harvey

I guess Walker won't be looking for a photo-op at the Trek factory any time soon.

Nav1
Nav1

Harvey,

I do wonder, though, if they will give Rep. Ryan a photo opportunity to wash already clean dishes at Trek cafeteria!

freddiebell
freddiebell

“ 'We’re not criticizing Trek; we’re pointing out that voters deserve to know the full record,' Walker said Friday."

Okay. I'll take that at face value. If Scott Walker thinks that we, the voters, deserve to know the full record, then he must agree that we also should know how many of his own corporate donors have outsourced jobs, downsized or closed American operations in order to relocate elsewhere, and put money into foreign tax shelters in order not to pay taxes right here at home where the money is needed for basic infrastructure. Let's have that information, governor, so that we can make our best and most informed decision on the matter.

While we're at it, and in the same basic vein of giving voters all relevant information, there is the matter of those John Doe investigations and the legitimate questions we pose to you that you refuse to answer. On their behalf I'll ask yet again:

"What did you know, governor, and when did you know it?"

We, the voters, deserve to know the full record, governor. Your own words. Take ownership of them in ALL cases, not just the ones that are convenient to your purposes.

Harvey
Harvey

Minnesota and Illinois are already sending letters to Trek saying "We are open for business."

eclectic
eclectic

I would rather have the jobs go to Illinois or Minnesota than to China.

freddiebell
freddiebell

I think we all would rather see the jobs remain in Wisconsin -- by all companies and not just Trek.

Harvey
Harvey

Bottom line: Trek needs some bike PARTS to be made in China or they couldn't build competitive bikes here in Wisconsin. No China parts = 1000 Wisconsin workers are layed off.

eclectic
eclectic

I'm sure Wisconsin workers have the ability to make as good or better bike parts than the Chinese.

She just sent the jobs to China so she could make more money.

53703
53703

Yes, they do. The real question is whether you as the consumer will pay $100 more for a bike in that case. If consumers paid attention to where things were made more than what they cost, there would be far less outsourcing. I purposely ask where things are made and make a point to buy US-made even if more expensive.

Just wait, the next thing is importing food from China. You saw how well that worked out for pet food.

barefoot
barefoot

If a company wants to compete globally, they must source globally. That's what a global economy is all about. Kimberly Clark, Harley Davidson, SC Johnson, Placon, Kohler, Sub-Zero, all do it.

There probably isn't a single manufacturer in Wisconsin that produces everything using locally-source components and materials.

Harvey
Harvey

“We’re not criticizing Trek; we’re pointing out that voters deserve to know the full record,” Walker said Friday.

Weasel words.

davea
davea

Like Walker's "full record at WEDC"?

eclectic
eclectic

Mary should simply state how many jobs Trek created in China.

It's a fair question that deserves an answer.

TheRestOfTheStory
TheRestOfTheStory

Walker should simply state how many jobs the companies that he's given money to have created in China and not in Wisconsin.

It's a fair question that deserves an answer.

davea
davea

How about any jobs created just in Wisconsin!

Norby
Norby

Eclectic,
A better question may be how many bikes does Trek sell in China, You think that may be part of the equation?

gekkodan
gekkodan

Maybe Gov Walker want Trek to move to Minnesota, if he trashed my company like that, I would really consider going somewhere where I am wanted. The Gov should apologize or at least admit that this was a stupid thing to do. What privately owned company from anywhere else will want to relocate in Wisconsin if the Gov is going to criticize it's business decisions?

davea
davea

I was thinking the same thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ShoePolishHead
ShoePolishHead

Trek isn't owned by the benevolent Koch brothers, so it is fair to take pot shots at them.

Cornelius_Gotchberg
Cornelius_Gotchberg

@College Didn't Take/ShoePolishHead;

Welcome back!

Your involuntary exile leave you tanned, rested, & ready?

The Gotch

Nav1
Nav1

@the Gotch,

Now if we can only have tomtom33 back. I miss the "back and forth" with that extreme Conservative man. Maybe he got tired of people bringing him down to reality, and decided it was just best to enjoy the view of the Andes mountain all day long.

Polkadot
Polkadot

Hopefully Walker will step up and apologize for the millions and millions of taxpayer dollars wasted on personal security, his gigantic SUV, changing the uniforms of the Capitol Police and protester jury trials. Dink.

cubfanbudman
cubfanbudman

He wouldn't need more security if the rabid lunatic thugs hadn't threatened him, his wife, his children and other relatives simply because they were asked to contribute to their own retirement. Is it hard to breathe with your head so far up your keester?

freddiebell
freddiebell

He wouldn't need the extra security if he hadn't created the climate for it in the first place. There is cause, and there is effect. Think, cubfanbudman, think!

epic
epic

Mary said she was an "executive" at Trek making high level business decisions in the family company. John says he made the decision to manufacture in China. So, did Mary have any input in this decision? Was she a junior partner (read in "casual worker") in the family company? Did she agree with the business plan to export jobs? Did she pipe up and say something to the effect that Wisconsin residents should have first priority in jobs?

The larger question is if Mary loses the gubernatorial election, will she remain on the Madison school board (for which she spent an unheard of sum to buy) or ditch that gig and go on a European vacation. Really, I don't think the Madison school board is a focus of a trust fund baby.

Norwood44
Norwood44

epic. If you are looking to drive a car with all parts made in America, you will be walking. Manufacturing for all sorts of industries include some foreign production. You can't be competitive in your category unless you have some off shore manufacturing. It's a modern reality. To pretend otherwise is folly.

epic
epic

I understand the concept, Norwood. It just seems that Mary doesn't want to talk about off-shoring. Labor unions are a big part of the Democrat party and that beast must be fed. So, Trek is closing in on about 50% or so of its production in foreign countries now. Do they have plans to phase out more Wisconsin jobs in order to maintain profitability? Is the off-shoring philosophy playing well with the union voter? After this election cycle will Trek tell its production workers that they need to take pay cuts (ala Sub Zero) in order to stay competitive and remain in Wisconsin? Does Mary have any input at all in her family's company? Can she sway business decisions.......at all?

I am an old guard fiscal conservative who values Americans first. Many of the so-called "free trade" agreements have harmed this country over the past few decades. Unfettered illegal immigration has driven down real wages at almost every level. Does Apple really need to manufacture iPhones in China to stay profitable? Are Americans too stupid to make electronics? When we get REAL unemployment and underemployment under control, then talk about using foreign labor.

freddiebell
freddiebell

In other words, epic, the problem is bigger than just Trek here and now. So why limit the discussion just to that company and that situation? Let's have full, fair, and open discourse on the entire topic, not just that which suits Scott Walker's preferred agenda for personal gain.

53703
53703

Apple needs to make iPhones in China because US consumers will not pay what it costs to make them here. When people value US jobs ahead of rock bottom prices, we will see the trend reverse.

dakref
dakref

"..... just trying to give voters the facts". Ever the lying jokester, walker and the facts have never gone together.

Harvey
Harvey

“We’re not criticizing Trek"

Sounds like it to me.

Millerbrew
Millerbrew

It's awesome a liberal democrat running from unions and higher wages to make more money by producing in China! Why doesn't someone from the left start a boycott? Where are the union demonstrations, this is hilarious.

badger313
badger313

I wonder what percentage of other Wisconsin manufacturers also produce or outsource some component of their products in China? My guess would be close to 100%.

fyrgy
fyrgy

Take a look at a high percentage of Chinese made parts on a Harley.

repubsaresheep
repubsaresheep

Miller - isn't that the republican mantra? Make as much as you can however you can. Why is Walker criticizing it??

It's like the 'hollywood liberals' are so evil……oh wait, unless they're republican. Then being all hollywood is just fine. Hypocrites.

wipolitics
wipolitics

Walker's desperation is becoming increasingly evident. His credibility is being destroyed.

davea
davea

He has to "have" credibility, before it can be destroyed.

badger313
badger313

It's refreshing in a way to learn that state employees are not the only group he is willing to trash for his own personal gain.

davea
davea

You mean state employees, young, poor, women, - - - - -

gmantwo
gmantwo

Just shows that Scooter will say anything....do anything, to get reelected. The last few years have shown the man has no scruples.

Head Goon
Head Goon

I can't vote in WI and don't think Walker has any chance on national stage. But, hey, all the guy is saying Trek received WI taxpayer funds and produces bikes in China. There is nothing wrong with this.....almost everything I buy in the US is made in Japan or China anyway. I saw a Trek bike one time on the street and I wanted to see where it was made. It said Made in China. The question is what he said....is it TRUE or not? So what if he praised Trek? I have been following this fairly close and I do not see where he is "attacking" Trek as many suggest. Take a deep breath!

madisoncabbie
madisoncabbie

You are being naive. The message is attacking an idea that has been vilified for awhile now. The problem is he is attacking the wrong target.

davea
davea

It's clear that you have never seen the ad, with a comment like this.

S54k
S54k

goon, walker's not attacking Trek? Just stating the facts? Did you see the commercial? He certainly wasn't trying to paint Trek as the Wisconsin economic engine it is. I'll state a fact as well. walker is the first Wisconsin governor ever to establish a criminal defense fund. This after people that worked for him directly were convicted and jailed. How about them facts? And there's plenty more where that came from!

Observer5
Observer5

How many jobs have Scoooter's WMC cohorts exported? Is Scooter going to go after them too?

Lynne4300
Lynne4300

The company was not "vilified" in the ad. Since Burke chose to use her "experience" at Trek as the reason to vote for her, using the facts of her leadership is a reflection on her. It does not disrespect the company, Trek.

She is running for elected office. Her lack of leadership and inability to stay at a job more than 2 or 3 years, is open to scrutiny.

Phil E Buster
Phil E Buster

Did you even read the article?

davea
davea

Lynne's already kept a job, and being paid, for more than 2 or 3 years working for Walker!

Harvey
Harvey

She IS Walker.

fyrgy
fyrgy

Walker has at lease been consistent in holding only one job in his life: Career dirty politician.

Observer5
Observer5

Scoooter's lack of ethics should be more scrutinized

MadCityYokal
MadCityYokal

Not sure, backpackmiharp, if this is a smart move on Walker's part as a base shoring. Just who is the core of Walker's supposed business base? Who has Walker been giving away our tax dollars to via WEDC? I wouldn't think this tactic would make the "job makers" very happy.
I think this article is very revealing. It shows a desparation. This is a very delicate thing Walker is doing; cutting off his nose type of thing. It just may back-fire -- particularly if they have great footage of Walker singing Trek's praises back in 2012.

backpackmiharp
backpackmiharp

Liberals hate him as much as republicans love him, and ne'r the twain shall meet in this state. This ad is rallying the GOP base, while attempting to swing some independents his way. He's had so much media attention on a national level this year, he needs to make sure and get GOP voters out, in case they stay home thinking he's got the race in the bag. There is no risk here for him. It will rally his base and draw some swing votes. Politics 101.

Stammering Fool
Stammering Fool

Not going to play well with real Republicans though. Walker is not a "real" Republican. Those folks believe in the free market. Attacking that is like calling Jesus a libturd....not going to work. Hey....suppose I have a business that I want to move to a tax friendly state and I see a governor change positions 180 degrees in just two years? Am I going to come to a state that treats it's flagship business that way because the governor wants a few crazy votes?

Bucky01
Bucky01

Actually Jesus would be considered a big flaming liberal hippie if he were alive today

Nav
Nav

backpackmiharp,

The Governor is "attempting to swing some independents his way" through this as? Really? That statement is devoid of logic and borders on lunacy.

If the Governor STILL does not see how he made a mistake with this ad, then he may not be as politically savvy as I thought. Those who vote blindly for a Conservative even when it is at THEIR expense are going to vote for the Governor.

Thoughtful voters see a Governor attacking one of the most popular companies in the state in order to win an election. They sense he is very desperate. In my opinion, he has turned OFF many independent voters through this ad, including some who work at TREK.


madcitydude
madcitydude

China does have a lot if bike riders. Why not make bikes there? Employs the Chinese and less shipping of completed bikes.

Harvey
Harvey

Trek does NOT make bikes there. They get some parts for the bikes they make in Wisconsin. What do you think the 1000 people Trek employs in Wisconsin do if they made the bikes in China?

MadisonCitizen
MadisonCitizen

Harvey, you are incorrect. Trek does make bikes there AND in Waterloo. The high end ones are made in Waterloo, the low end ones and lots of components in China.

MadMan
MadMan

Madison Citizen, the production assembly plant is in Fort Atkinson, not Waterloo. Only one-off prototypes are made or assembled in Waterloo, it the HQ and R&D only.

fyrgy
fyrgy

Walker is a career politician who will say anything to get elected. His 'Merica crowd of supporters hold him to no standard at all other than to hate the poor, minorities, "libturds", women, union members et al. Walker has no meaningful relationship with truth.

sebastian
sebastian

Walker might have lost the election with the Trek ad.
If a mostly apolitical company can be vilified in a political ad,
what would be the difference between a pro(?)-business Walker
administration and an anti-Walkerite Burke administration?

eclectic
eclectic

I doubt it. Walker supporters understand business and how decisions are made based on economic considerations. The importance of the ad is that it attacks the hypocrisy of Mary's position....She's a corporate executive trying to be a pro-union populist.

The fact that her company moved jobs to China isn't a big issue for the conservatives, but it will bug the heck out of the lefties who are not sure they liked her in the first place. It is a clever ad that hurts her with her base.

freddiebell
freddiebell

eclectic: Nah. Think about it. Burke's base is completely anti-Walker. They wouldn't vote for him if he were the only candidate on the ballot. And Walker's base, like you, is the same in reverse. It's all about that narrow middle-ground spectrum of voters, that five to ten percent of the electorate that is open to an alternative to Scott Walker but needs convincing that Burke will do a better job of governing Wisconsin. Walker may have a slight edge now -- not at all unusual for an incumbent -- but the candidate who successfully sways those middle ground voters stands to win the election. They both know that. Surely the battle for their votes will grow much more heated as the campaign moves into the fall.

eclectic
eclectic

You are right that Mary's hard core supporters will never vote for Gov. Walker. But when they start to see Mary as a corporate hypocrite, some will stay home rather than betray their values with a vote for her.

MadMan
MadMan

Amen. See my previous post, this could be a golden opportunity for Burke if handled right. "He wants to make Wisconsin "open for business," but he doesn't even understand how these businesses work, that the best paying Wisconsin jobs and largest employers are those that can compete internationally. No wonder he's doing so much worse than neighboring states at creating jobs."

MadMan
MadMan

This could be a great opportunity for Burke. Point out that the governor who has made his main election platform creating jobs in Wisconsin, doesn't realize that major manufacturing corporations like Trek can only support the 1,000 high paying, "good" jobs they have here by making it part of a larger internal workforce. Suggest that maybe this is why Wisconsin is lagging all our neighboring states in job recovery, that Walker just doesn't understand these things and is doing it wrong.

The question is, can this message be delivered in a way the few undecided voters can wrap their heads around. Such people more often than not aren''t that tuned in, may not take the time to sort out the nuance of international manufacturing possibilities and pitfalls. Otherwise the only other receptive audience would be traditional business Republicans who aren't already cynical enough to vote for Walker regardless because they figure he doesn't really mean anything he publicly says anyway.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/scott-walker-takes-big-risk-with-jab-at-trek/article_33bc8cb4-0673-56de-8061-3b6821874a3b.html#ixzz38IkJ1pG6

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