242 years ago our Republic was founded on the idea of Representative Democracy. Unfortunately, even casual observers can see that idea has been taken away from the people. The year I was born, 1976, the Supreme Court decided that limits on political campaign donations were unconstitutional. This has led to a 42 year, almost complete takeover of our country by those with the means to purchase our lawmakers. It doesn't have to be this way.
-not take corporate or PAC donations
-only accept small dollar individual donations
I will work to:
-lower contribution limits
-lower contributions to campaign committees
-fully disclose all legislative PAC donations
-ensure there are no corporate donations to campaign committees
-eventually achieve publicly financed elections
-first and foremost always listen to the unique concerns of the people in the St. Croix, Dunn County 29th Assembly District, pledging always to be THEIR representative first.
Restore Local Control
In a 1924 statewide referendum, Wisconsinites overwhelmingly voted to adopt the Constitutional home rule Amendment. This amendment gave local municipalities the power to govern themselves.
Common sense dictates that people who live in a particular area of this diverse state know how best to manage their own affairs. Local governments, not Madison, should make local decisions.
The Republican party has long claimed to be an advocate of less government and local autonomy. But since the Republican take over of the legislature and governorship local decision making has been drastically stripped.
According to the non-partisan budget office, Republicans have passed 128 measures since 2011 that have restricted the authority of local governments. Of those, 80 were passed with zero Democratic support.
These changes are implemented at the behest of wealthy funders and big business groups who save money when they do not have to follow local laws.
I will work to:
Return local decision making to cities and towns by empowering local governments to:
- set pollution standards as they see fit
- attract the best teachers and workers by setting their own wage and benefit standards
-enact moratoriums on factory farms
-enact their own shoreline ordinaces
-enact their own insurance requirements for pipeline companies
-ban the use of plastic bags or plastic containers if they so choose.
-always listen to the unique concerns of the town boards and city councils and the people they serve in the St. Croix, Dunn County, 29th Assembly District.
Protect and Sustain our Natural Resources
There is only one Wisconsin. There is only one state surrounded by the Mississippi River and two Great Lakes. There is no place on earth that holds our unique wilderness and ecological diversity. Unfortunately Wisconsin's treasured resources are enticing to deep pocketed interests. These interests wish to exploit our resources for their own gain. In recent years we've seen a push for constant growth, mining, destruction of wetlands, rolling back of air, water, and Great Lake protections. If this is allowed to continue, this land where we all love to hunt, fish, farm and play will be left in ruin. It doesn't have to be this way.
I will work to:
-strengthen the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
-rehire DNR positions that have been slashed at the behest of corporate developers
-make sure at least one DNR biologist works in each of our 72 counties.
-ensure ground water tests in each county.
-enact strict oversight/public comment in new high capacity wells and Concentrated Animal Feed Operations (CAFO)
-enact CAFO farm size limits
-strengthen air quality standards/testing
-raise funding for DNR climate change research.
-restore local control to counties and municipalities who wish to preserve their land as they see fit
-help constituents understand and fight against donor control of our wilderness.
-always listen to the unique environmental concerns of the people in the St. Croix, Dunn County 29th Assembly District
Wisconsin Workers and Families
The vast majority of Wisconsinites are not big developers, factory farm owners, or multi-millionaire business owners. Unfortunately the people who are, have been setting all the rules in Madison for the past decade. It's time for the rest of us to have a say. The vast majority of us have seen our rights taken away, our wages kept low, and our prospects diminished. It doesn't have to be this way.
I will work to:
-first and foremost push toward a Badger Care For All health care system. Several states across the nation have come very close to implementing a State Universal Health Care System. Wisconsin, with its world class hospitals, doctors and nurses, can get there first. Nothing increases productivity, mental and physical health, and economic development than guaranteed health coverage.
-REPEAL Act 10. I firmly believe a change in perspective can convince the good people of Wisconsin that our hard working citizens deserve worker protections, and collective bargaining rights.
-invest in small farms
-raise the minimum wage. A majority of studies have shown raising the minimum wage quickly bolsters small businesses and helps communities thrive.
-restore power to counties and municipalities. Reinstating prevailing wage laws will allow local governments to hire who they want.
-always listen to the unique worker concerns of the people in the St. Croix, Dunn County 29th Assembly District
'The Wisconsin Idea' says: "Education should influence people's lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom" No truer words have ever been spoken. We need to start with those words and act accordingly. The most important infrastructure we have are our schools. We must start building back our state through our teachers and our children. An educated populace grows jobs, spurs ingenuity, and brings the wealth needed to keep our roads, bridges, emergency responders and public works systems up to speed.
At the behest of big money and big donors, funding and focus has been purposefully removed from our once great educational institutions. As they defund our education, they also defund the rest of our infrastructure. It doesn't have to be this way.
I will work to:
-push education legislation with 'The Wisconsin Idea' in mind
-dramatically strengthen our public schools
-lionize our wonderful teachers and give them all the support they need to teach our future generations.
-allow school districts to do what they see fit to attract the best and brightest teachers
-support and fund not only technical/trade schools, but push for restored funding to arts, literature and music education. States can not attract new people and new investments on industry alone.
-end the school voucher programs
-implement public works programs to help rebuild our failing infrastructure.
-always listen to the unique concerns of the educators, administrators, parents, students and citizens in the St. Croix, Dunn County 29th Assembly district.