Burke taking donations from companies that got Dept. of Commerce - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Burke taking donations from companies that got Dept. of Commerce money

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Democrat Mary Burke has raked in over $40,000 in donations for her run for Governor from companies she awarded money to as Secretary of the Department of Commerce, which preceded the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

Burke held that position from January of 2005 to November of 2007 and awarded financial incentives to at least seven companies that have since donated to her campaign.

In a statement, Burke campaign spokesperson Joe Zepecki said the following. 

"As the only candidate for Governor who has actually created jobs, met a payroll, and balanced a budget in the private sector - it should come as no surprise that business owners who know Mary Burke are supporting her.  It is widely known that Mary never even considered running for statewide office until last year, for anyone to suggest otherwise if a bald faced lie."

In 2005, the Dept. of Commerce gave awards to Miller-St. Nazianz Inc. ($103,000), The Brewery Works ($300,000) and Renovar Inc. ($330,000).  Burke's Commerce Department also made awards to Center For Technology Transfer ($20,000), Quintessence Biosciences ($250,000), Wausaukee Composites ($1 million) and Astronautics Corp. ($250,000).

Those companies have donated a combined total of $42,950 to the Burke campaign. 

"Please keep in mind the looser structure and lack of transparency that existed during that time," said Alleigh Marre, spokesperson for Gov. Scott Walker's campaign.  "So, these correlations are far more directly tied to Burke, compared with WEDC, where the awards are determined by a bipartisan group."

The Walker campaign noted that several of those companies had also donated to Governor Jim Doyle in the past.

27 News reported earlier that Gov. Walker's campaign had received over $24,000 from companies that received WEDC financial awards, only to outsource jobs overseas later.

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