James Burkee is a candidate in the fifth congressional district of Wisconsin for the U.S. House of Representatives, author of numerous articles relating to reform in U.S. politics, is a history professor at Concordia University Wisconsin, and is a public figure in southeast Wisconsin on national politics. He is most notably a critic of many prominent national politicians who he characterizes as disconnected from the American public in both personal and political priorities, and he frequently speaks out on issues of fiscal responsibility in government.
James Burkee was born in San Diego, California on January 11, 1968, but was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which he considers his hometown. He resided there until moving back to San Diego where he attended Lutheran High School of San Diego, graduating in 1986. Burkee’s father, who was on board the USS Kearsarge on tour in Vietnam at the time of Burkee’s birth, died in 1978.
Burkee then attended Concordia University Wisconsin, graduating with degrees in business, marketing, and history in 1990. Burkee then worked in the manufacturing sector and other jobs while his wife was in graduate school at New York University. After attending Northwestern University’s graduate school, where he earned his Ph.D. in American History in 2003, Burkee began his career of teaching.
Burkee has taught at two schools within the Concordia University System, Concordia College, Bronxville and Concordia University Wisconsin, the largest Lutheran school in the nation by enrollment, where he currently teaches.
On July 23, 2007, it was reported that Burkee intends to run for Representative in Wisconsin's 5th congressional district in 2008, a seat currently occupied by Republican James Sensenbrenner. As Burkee is running as a Republican, he will face Sensenbrenner in a primary before the general election. On July 24, Burkee launched a campaign website for the congressional race, and formally announced his candidacy on August 9.
For example, in a January 2006 article in the Wisconsin State Journal, Burkee criticized Congress for the ballooning national debt, which he says is a product of politicians failing to address important issues for the sake of pleasing their personal political interests. He has also criticized leadership that push for more entitlements, like prescription drug benefits, which he says are unaffordable.
These views have led Burkee to describe most of Washington politics as the politics of irresponsibility, bent chiefly on serving personal interests and reelection rather than the interests of constituents. On January 15, 2007, he publicly announced the launch of Americans for Responsibility in Washington, a political action campaign, but he has since taken down the Internet site and redirected it to his congressional campaign website.
- "ResponsibilityPAC Founders". Retrieved 2007-01-19.
- "1990s Alumni News". Archived from the original on September 9, 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-19.
- "Northwestern University History – Graduate Placement". Archived from the original on 2007-01-13. Retrieved 2007-01-19.
- JS Online: Campaigning across the aisle
- "A Spending Spree That Can’t Go On". Retrieved 2007-01-19.
- "Responsibility PAC Issues-National Debt". Retrieved 2007-01-19.