November 3, 2020 is Election Day. With the day quickly approaching, the Baldwin Bulletin reached out to candidates for their take on some key issues.

7th Congressional District: Tiffany VS. Zunker

Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua (incumbent)

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Tom Tiffany

R-Minocqua (incumbent)

1) What is the role of the federal government during a global pandemic?

I believe the first and most important role of the federal government is to protect the safety and security of its citizens - this includes not only health, but also protection of our economic opportunity and livelihoods. This is no different during a global pandemic. The federal government should be focused on protecting the most vulnerable among us while also helping mitigate the damage of the pandemic on our families, workers, and small businesses. This should be done by providing them with the bridge necessary to get us through these tough times safely, while taking a targeted, surgical approach to controlling the spread of the virus in a way that does not destroy our livelihoods.

2) Do you support another round of stimulus checks for Americans? Why or Why not?

I believe the most important thing we can do right now is provide assistance to struggling small businesses by unlocking nearly $140 billion in unspent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds, along with enacting common-sense liability protections for small businesses, schools, and health care providers. Unfortunately, Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi are proposing a wide-ranging $2.2 trillion package that included several controversial measures that have nothing to do with pandemic relief. Providing help to workers and small businesses that have been devastated by government-imposed lockdowns is bigger than election year politics.

3)How will you represent Northern Wisconsin in Washington D.C.?

I will represent Northern Wisconsin in Washington D.C. the same way I did in our State Capitol - by being a relentless advocate for my constituents. Using the work ethic my parents taught me, I fought for more funding for Northern Wisconsin roads, helped expand rural broadband, and authored legislation to expand access to healthcare in our rural areas. I worked with my colleagues to cut taxes and get more Wisconsinites back to work than ever before. Now, as we face a public health crisis and its ripple effects, I will continue working harder than ever to help provide Wisconsin families with the bridge necessary to get us through these tough times and back to prosperity.

Tricia Zunker, (D-Wausau)

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Tricia Zunker

D-Wausau

What is the role of the federal government during a global pandemic?

The federal government must take greater action to protect people during this pandemic. We need more PPE for front line workers, increased testing that is free and accessible, hazard pay for essential workers, extended unemployment benefits for workers who have lost income due to the pandemic, and support for small businesses and family farmers so they can stay afloat during this pandemic.

Do you support another round of stimulus checks for Americans? Why or Why not?

I support another round of stimulus checks for people whose livelihood has been impacted as a result of the pandemic and they need extra support to make it through. We must look out for one another during this pandemic. No one should go bankrupt or lose their home as a result of this avoidable pandemic.

How will you represent Northern Wisconsin in Washington D.C.?

I’ve been a hard worker my whole life and will work hard for the people of Wisconsin in Congress, whether you vote for me or not. My votes will actually represent the desires and needs of the people here. I will fight for pandemic relief efforts, accessible and affordable health care, protection for preexisting conditions, protection for your hard-earned social security, fully-funded USPS, help for our family farmers, environmental protections and rural broadband expansion.

Assembly District 29: Clint Moses VS. John Rocco Calabrese

Dr. Clint Moses (R-Menomonie)

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Clint Moses

(R-Menomonie)

Discuss and expand on why your visions and plans for State Assembly 28 are better than your opponent:

My passion for helping people and serving my community. As a life-long resident of the 29th Assembly District I know the area and have a much more in-depth understanding of the needs of all people living in it. I am a great listener that can listen to all people, including those with opposing views and work on real commonsense solutions to the problems facing many of us. Some people forgot where they came from, I never left.

Responding to Covid-19 and bouncing back. We’ve all had to adjust how we live our lives due to Covid-19, and keeping our communities and families safe is a top priority as we get our economy moving again. As a doctor, small business owner, father of 4 daughters and school board member, I know how important it is for healthcare professionals to have the resources they need to care for their patients, businesses have the ability to open safely, and our students to get the quality education they need. Fighting for rural Wisconsin is also a top priority for me. Our region needs better access for issues from Broadband to mental health.

Outside of COVID-19, what challenges are Wisconsin residents facing in the next 5-10 years that you would like to tackle?

Healthy Communities: Affordable Access, Mental Health, Clean & Sustainable Environment. Taxes: Ensuring responsible use of our tax money for roads, public safety and schools in Western Wisconsin. Protecting Constitutional Rights of ALL Citizens.

What should be the state’s role in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic?

It is crucial to get our economies moving again, so that people can get back to work safely and provide for themselves and their families. It is important that our communities have the tools and resources necessary to take common sense precautions to reduce the spread of the virus while also ensuring that businesses can operate effectively. Government needs to give recommendations not mandates, support not sanctions and trust that the consumers and businesses will make responsible choices that are beneficial to all concerned.

John Rocco Calabrese (D-Menomonie)

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John Calabrese

(D-Menomonie)

Discuss and expand on why your visions and plans for State Assembly 28 are better than your opponent:

My vision for the 29th Assembly district starts with the people. I've been holding virtual open forums/discussions every week and when I am in office I will hold at least 29 Town Hall listening session events in the district each year. I will speak for the people not for the party. My opponent has refused to participate in long standing, traditional public campaign forums.

My Vision for the future involves ending the corruption that inhibits and strangles local governments. Property taxes will be lower if the State government stops handing all our money and giving tax breaks to their wealthy friends. My vision sees beyond the political parties. My vision is not Left vs. Right it's Local.

My opponent has given every indication that he plans to do what he's told by party leadership just as the last two District 29 representatives have.

The 29th should not be led by the elite in Madison. It should be led by the people.

Outside of COVID-19, what challenges are Wisconsin residents facing in the next 5-10 years that you would like to tackle?

Wisconsin Counties are struggling, local government budgets are strapped. This leads to cut services, broken roads, closed nursing homes. If we do not change levy limit laws, bring back local control, take the medicaid expansion; things in Wisconsin will get even bleaker. There is a nursing shortage in Wisconsin. We must expand the nursing programs in the UW System. Small farms are vanishing and we must address the needs of those that remain and incentivize the creation of new ones.

Public Schools will continue to struggle if we do not scale back and then end the school choice program that steals public tax dollars to give to private institutions.

What should be the state’s role in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic?

The State Government should do its job. We have been propogandized over decades to believe government is the enemy. A corrupt, hyper partisan government is the enemy. Not "government" in general.

An effective government helps to take care of the people it governs. We need to trust scientists, health experts and remove the partisan lense from a global pandemic. Simultaneously we need to envision and begin to plan for a different future, There is no "back to normal" it is time to Turn The Corner with new food systems, education systems, health care systems. If the government was not owned by corrupting influencers and industries the trust would return. We need to have trust.

State Senate District 10: Schachtner VS. Stafsholt

Patty Schachtner, D-Somerset (incumbent)

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Patty Schachtner

D-Somerset (incumbent)

Give a little background information about yourself, including age, hometown, education, job history and how long you’ve been in office (if you’ve been the incumbent):

Age: 61

Hometown: Somerset, WI

Occupation: State Senator since 2018, and Chief Medical Examiner of St Croix County

Education: Graduate Somerset High School, 1978; Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (EMT Basic, EMT Intermediate, EMS Adult Educator)

Other civic engagement: Former Health Care Provider, Somerset High School; Medicolegal Death Investigator, St. Croix County; EMT, New Richmond Ambulance and Rescue; Town of Star Prairie Town Supervisor (2010—14); Board member of Turningpoint Wisconsin; Board Member of Somerset Community Food Pantry; Former Somerset School District School Board Member (2015—18); Member of Rotary Club of New Richmond; Member of Wisconsin Coroners and Medical Examiners Association; Former Member of Western Saddle Club Association; Former Member of St. Anne’s Parent Group; Member of St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice; Former President Championship Pulling Series; Former Director Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce; Co-founder Suicide Prevention Task Force of St. Croix County.

What should be the state’s role in the recovery from a pandemic?

The state legislature needs to get to work to address this pandemic and support local governments in their work. I’ve heard time and again from school board members, town supervisors, and city council members, that they are swamped under the burden of this pandemic. They need Legislators to show up for work and take a vote to provide the funding, flexibility, and other resources they need to keep our communities afloat. We have to do more to support small businesses, stock food shelves, distribute PPE, and keep schools safe. I’ve been ready to come into work and vote on these bills since April, and now it’s up to the Legislative leadership to hold a session.

Why are your visions and plans for your District better than your opponent?

My top priorities include ensuring access to healthcare, supporting great public schools and tech programs, and keeping our water clean for generations to come. As a former EMT and healthcare provider, I know firsthand how important it is to have access to affordable, high quality care for every stage of life. I will continue fighting for the Medicaid expansion and coverage for pre-existing conditions. I will also keep reaching across the aisle as I have my entire career to bring more mental health resources to Northwestern Wisconsin. I have a proven record of showing up for the people of our community and I am looking forward to continuing to do so as Senator.

Outside of the pandemic, what are the challenges Wisconsin is facing in the next 5-10 years you would like to tackle?

Access to healthcare, a strong educational infrastructure, reliable broadband, and clean water. These are issues that matter to communities here in western Wisconsin, and they are the issues that I’ve been working on for years. We have unique challenges here as a border community, and a diverse region of suburbs, college campuses, and rural, agricultural land. As your Senator, I’ve worked to address our needs by authoring legislation like the Interstate Medical Compact which helps ensure access to high quality healthcare providers on both sides of the border. I also authored legislation to support testing of rural wells because I believe that folks like me should have the same access to clean drinking water as those living in bigger cities. I’ve been putting western Wisconsin’s issues first since I was elected, and I’m not going to stop now.

Rob Stafsholt (R-New Richmond)

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Rob Stafsholt

(R-New Richmond)

Give a little background information about yourself, including age, hometown, education, job history and how long you’ve been in office (if you’ve been the incumbent):

I am a proud lifelong resident of St. Croix County. I’ve helped run my family’s farm for over 25 years as a fourth generation farmer. I have a teenage daughter, Maggie, who works on the family farm and in the family business.

I graduated from New Richmond High School and attended both UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls majoring in Business Administration and also Farm Management.

I currently reside in New Richmond where I farm and am owner/operator of a small business. Since being elected to the State Assembly in November 2016, I have proudly served the people in the 29th Assembly District where I have been a leader on many issues facing Northwest Wisconsin.

What should be the state’s role in the recovery from a pandemic?

COVID-19 has posed a unique challenge to both our healthcare system and our social safety net. In the COVID relief bill I voted for earlier this year, we guaranteed cost-free testing for everyone and ensured that a COVID-19 diagnosis wouldn’t stop individuals from getting health insurance.

One thing our government must do better is handling unemployment claims at the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. People who were without work due to no fault of their own have waited months to receive their unemployment. Sadly, the Governor has largely ignored the cries for help from those still waiting on their unemployment. The calls I’m getting are tough to hear and there’s no good explanation as to why their UI is being held up. This issue must be immediately dealt with.

Why are your visions and plans for your District better than your opponent?

I love our area. My family has called Western Wisconsin home for four generations. Now I want to continue to give back by serving the people of the 10th district. As a father, farmer and small businessman, I understand the challenges hard-working families are facing. That is why I’m running for State Senate. I am committed to delivering a bright future for all our families. I believe that together we can protect our communities, safely rebuild and move our economy forward, and secure our future.

I’ve worked across the aisle to deliver common sense reforms and pass legislation under both a Republican and Democratic Governor. I want to build on these successes and continue to work on behalf of the people of the 10th district.

Outside of the pandemic, what are the challenges Wisconsin is facing in the next 5-10 years you would like to tackle?

Healthcare, we need to ensure access to high quality, affordable healthcare right here in northwestern Wisconsin. Expanding mental health services, I worked with my colleagues to include over $15 million in the state budget for a crisis center in our area. This would keep those needing mental health services closer to home and their families. While Governor Evers unfortunately redirected these funds to Madison, I will continue to work with my colleagues and the Governor to ensure our communities get the support they need. We also need to make sure we cover people with pre-existing conditions. I’ve voted to cover those individuals and will continue to do so.

Broadband expansion has never been more important. Whether you are a student, a small business, or simply trying to maintain contact with family and friends; access to the internet is important. This past session I voted for $44 million in rural broadband expansion. I’ve worked to bring the State Broadband Director to Assembly District 29 to work with the local communities on applying for broadband grants. Again, I want to continue to build on the successes we’ve had and ensure Northwestern WI see’s their fair share of these resources.

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