Democrat Burke discloses financial interests

  • Article by: SCOTT BAUER
  • Associated Press
  • May 30, 2014 - 6:25 PM

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke on Friday reported owning at least $150,000 in stocks and bonds, a rough estimate required by state law that doesn't come close to revealing her true net worth.

On her statement of economic interested, Burke listed owning U.S. Treasury bonds worth more than $50,000, stock in Trek Bicycle Corp. worth more than $50,000 and stock in Roth Corp., an appliance distribution business her late father partially owned before spinning off Trek, worth more than $50,000.

Burke's father, Richard Burke, founded Trek and she worked for the company as an executive in the 1990s. She is also a former state commerce secretary.

Officeholders, candidates and others in state government must list investments, income, business activities, real estate, creditors and other financial information. However, the form requires filers only to check the value of investments as being either between $5,000 and $50,000 or above $50,000.

Burke's campaign spokesman Joe Zepecki declined to disclose her total net worth. Burke, who is challenging Republican Gov. Scott Walker, already has loaned her campaign more than $400,000. She spent more than $128,000 of her own money in her 2012 successful run for the Madison school board.

Walker filed his statement of economic interest in April and, like Burke, disclosed only the minimum required. For example, Walker reported receiving a payment of more than $1,000 for writing a book last fall, but not the exact amount.

On her report, Burke also said she made a loan of between $5,000 and $50,000 to Madison business Quince and Apple, which makes jam and fruit syrups.

Burke also reported owning property in the Village of Troy in Sauk County, which Zepecki said was a family cottage. She also owns a home in Madison, which is valued at $244,000 for taxing purposes, but the form does not require that to be reported.

Burke also listed owing more than $50,000 to the bank BMO Harris, which Zepecki said included her home loan.

Wisconsin Republican Party executive director Joe Fadness said in an emailed statement that, "With a second home and significant financial holdings in her family company, Millionaire Mary Burke's personal balance sheet sets her far apart from the hard-working folks living on Main Street."

Burke reported receiving income from both Trek Bicycle Corp. and Roth Corp. last year of more than $1,000. Zepecki said that was income distributed to shareholders. He would not say exactly how much she received.

Burke listed the Madison school board as her only employer. She receives a $4,200 annual stipend as a board member.

Walker reported having two mutual funds each worth between $5,000 and $50,000, in addition to similar investment ranges in a pair of state retirement funds.

Walker reported owing more than $50,000 to both Bank of America and Green Tree, a home loan company based in South Dakota. Walker and his wife, Tonette, own a home in Wauwatosa and have two sons in college.

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