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12A

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2012

VOTERS GUIDE

WWW.WAUSAUDAILYHERALD.COM

12TH SENATE DISTRICT


Paul Ehlers
Party: Libertarian Age: 59 Family: Wife Residence: Rhinelander Education: Bachelors degree, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; masters Paul degree, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Ehlers Career: Instructor, Nicolet Area Technical College, 2000 to present; owner, Community Music Centre, 1982 to 1996; sales, 1996 to 2000 Question 1: What new policies would you pursue to help get Wisconsinites back to work? Job creation is my No. 1 priority. When Harley-Davidson and Mercury Marine were in trouble a few years ago, the state lowered taxes and offered other incentives to keep them from moving out of state. Why not expand this thinking to all Wisconsin companies? To all Wisconsin residents? I would phase out the personal and corporate income tax in the next four years. This would keep existing businesses profitable and attract businesses from other states; it would probably attract entrepreneurs and create new businesses, as well. I would invest in technology infrastructure to gain a competitive advantage. I would encourage policies that reduce government regulation on goods and services provided by Wisconsin businesses. Question 2: Name at least one specific piece of legislation youll work to pass in 2013 if you are elected. I would eliminate the shared revenue program where all sales and income taxes go to Madison, get re-formulated and dribbled back to school districts and municipalities. I would let each locality keep 50 percent of the sales tax generated. This would be used for municipal services, local schools or whatever the localities decided. We elect our school boards, our mayors and City Council members, our town boards and our county boards. Lets not tie their hands behind their backs. Question 3: What should voters know about you that will help them make a decision? As a third-party or independent candidate, I will not have to work my way up through the party ranks in order to get legislation out of committee. I could work with each party and end the partisan, toxic atmosphere in Madison. I would prove that you dont need big money to get elected.

Susan Sommer
Party: Democratic Age: 52 Family: Husband, Tuck Daniels Residence: Phelps Education: Rhinelander High School, 1978; bachelors degree in journalism, Susan minor in Spanish, University of MissouriSommer Columbia, 1982; Marquette University Law School, 1987 Career: Prosecuting attorney for 10 years in Milwaukee County, 7 years in Jefferson County; joined the AmeriCorps program in 2004 to build houses with Habitat for Humanity in South Carolina; moved home to northern Wisconsin in 2008; associate attorney with O'Brien, Anderson, Burgy & Garbowicz in Eagle River since 2009 Question 1: What new policies would you pursue to help get Wisconsinites back to work? I suggest the following: 1) Encouraging and supporting nonpolluting, value-added timber processing by turning our forests into more valuable end products, such as flooring, molding, cabinets. 2) Bringing broadband to our entire district. 3) Supporting Nicolet Technical Colleges efforts with local industries to develop educational programs that train students for available jobs in those industries. 4) Restoring to its original purpose and format the Main Street Program, which helped Eagle River, Tomahawk and Rhinelander. 5) Promoting business incubator programs like the one started in Eagle River to provide small business owners with the opportunity to establish a successful business here in our district. Question 2: Name at least one specific piece of legislation youll work to pass in 2013 if you are elected. I will work on legislation to create a public option for health insurance. This option will provide an affordable alternative to the private health insurance policies now available to our citizens. Question 3: What should voters know about you that will help them make a decision? The 12th Senate District is my home. I grew up here. Now I live and work here with my husband. I value our quality of life and I want to speak on our behalf in Madison. All my life, I have been a voice for those in need; I have advocated what is right and just. Our district needs a powerful advocate and a strong voice on the Senate floor, a senator who is independent thinking and responsible. I am that advocate, that voice, that senator. I will not represent special interests or party agendas. I will represent you.

Tom Tiffany
Party: Republican Age: 54 Family: Wife, Chris; three children Residence: Hazelhurst Education: Bachelors degree, agricultural economics, University of Wisconsin-River Falls Tom Tiffany Career: Owner and operator at Wisconsin River Cruises; elected state representative in 35th Assembly District in 2010 Question 1: What new policies would you pursue to help get Wisconsinites back to work? I would pursue utilizing northern Wisconsins natural resources in an environmentally safe way through manufacturing, tourism and forestry. By reviving manufacturing, not only are tax increases unnecessary, but we also will generate additional revenue to fund schools and public services. I will work to continue expanding broadband in the north to ensure that northern Wisconsin is able to compete for jobs and business and be on equal footing with southern Wisconsin. I will also ensure northern Wisconsin receives its fair share of funding from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. I think with each of these policies, we will be able to continue moving Wisconsin forward. Question 2: Name at least one specific piece of legislation youll work to pass in 2013 if you are elected. Just like in the household budget, we all need to prioritize, which is why Ill be doing that same thing with the biggest bill we see each session: our budget bill. In the budget bill of 2013, I will remain focused on separating our states needs from wants while some things may be nice to have on a wish list, they may not necessarily be a need for the people of Wisconsin. Health care, education and transportation have been and always will be needs in our state, which is why I will ensure they are fully funded. We can continue to offer great health care thats right for Wisconsin, an enviable education system and roads we can rely on. Question 3: What should voters know about you that will help them make a decision? I am a proven leader who followed through on promises I made while campaigning for the Assembly in 2010. I ensured we balanced our states budget, put a lid on taxes and reduced red tape in the Department of Natural Resources. I also worked in a bipartisan way to ensure that things got done for my district. I worked with Democratic state Sen. Jim Holperin on a bill that removed an unnecessary mandate, saving the city of Tomahawk $250,000. Holperin and I also worked on a bill that allowed Christmas tree growers to be able to carry more of their product allowing them to be more efficient. I have proven that not only do I follow through on my promises, but I can and will work across the aisle to make sure the peoples work is done.

85TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT


Jim Maas
Party: Libertarian Age: 68 Family: Wife, Mary Beth; two adult sons, Nathan and Kyle Residence: Rothschild Education: Bachelors degree, University of Jim Wisconsin-Stevens Point; masters degree, UWMaas Stout Career: Retired as a library media specialist at UW-Stevens Point Question 1: What new policies would you pursue to help get Wisconsinites back to work? Rather than pander to favored industries with corporate welfare, Wisconsin should reduce the excessive corporate income tax for all, which would encourage $1 billion in reinvestment and new hiring. Wisconsin needs to re-evaluate its educational systems to produce graduates with the skills that match the needs of employers. Question 2: Name at least one specific piece of legislation youll work to pass in 2013 if you are elected. Rather than new laws, we need to rescind old laws which hinder individuals and small businesses. Politicians prohibit use of natural health products that wouldnt cost the government anything, such as medical marijuana, a compassionate, inexpensive alternative to pharmaceuticals, which polls indicate there is an overwhelming support for in Wisconsin. Dairy State politicians refuse to allow small family farms to sell dairy products directly to consumers who could benefit from unpasteurized milk products. It is none of the governments business what Wisconsin citizens choose to put in their bodies. Why are these natural products banned in the first place? Follow the money. Question 3: What should voters know about you that will help them make a decision? Libertarians are socially tolerant and fiscally conservative. A libertarian is in the middle between the feuding Democrats and Republicans, who are doing their darndest to pretend there is no third choice available to voters. I will return common sense to the Assembly. My underdog campaign has no corporate donors, no robocalls or attack ads and no baby-kissing or pandering for votes. Regardless of the outcome, every vote for a Libertarian counts to send a message to Madison that the citizens of the 85th Assembly District want change. Visit www.message2madison.info for more information.

Patrick Snyder
Party: Republican Age: 56 Family: Wife, Shawn; daughter Amy, 27, son Daniel, 25 Residence: Schofield Patrick Education: Bachelors Snyder degree in broadcast communications, University of Iowa, 1978 Career: Radio broadcaster for 32 years, with the last 12 years at WSAU in Wausau; director of public information, Indian Hills College, 1995 to 2000 Question 1: What new policies would you pursue to help get Wisconsinites back to work? Help our technical colleges expand their training programs with extra funding as well as programs to help high school students receive technical college credits while attending high school. Question 2: Name at least one specific piece of legislation youll work to pass in 2013 if you are elected. I would like to address the multipleoffending drunken drivers. I would work with fellow legislators on making the third or even second offense a felony. I would also like to investigate the funds used to incarcerate these individuals to be used in their rehabilitation so that they take full responsibility of their addiction. Question 3: What should voters know about you that will help them make a decision? Even though I am known as a talk show host, I did more listening to my guests than talking at them. I will listen to the concerns and issues of the voters, and because I am a strong communicator, I will relay those concerns to my fellow legislators in Madison.

Mandy Wright
Party: Democratic Age: 35 Family: Husband, Josh; three daughters, Ruby, 10, Sylvia, 6, and Lucille, 4 Residence: Wausau Education: Bachelors degree in English and Norwegian, St. Mandy Olaf College; masters degree in education, Viterbo University Wright Career: Teacher Question 1: What new policies would you pursue to help get Wisconsinites back to work? My top priorities as a state representative would be creating jobs and strengthening education. We can fill existing jobs by working with and investing in University of Wisconsin Marathon County, Northcentral Technical College and other tech schools and universities to close the skills gap and better train our workforce. We need to reverse the damage done in the 2011-2013 budget when the largest cuts to public education in Wisconsin history were made while giving more money to unaccountable private voucher schools. Finally, we need to make sure that any state incentives to businesses are directly tied to job creation. Far too often, those kinds of provisions were not included as part of business incentives this past legislative session. Question 2: Name at least one specific piece of legislation youll work to pass in 2013 if you are elected. My top priority will be creating good-paying jobs for Wisconsin families. If elected, I will propose and support legislation that has the potential to create those jobs quickly and encourage economic growth. The best way to do that is to work together with a variety of stakeholders in the public and private sector. For example, an entrepreneurial assistance program would award grants to small businesses to pay interns and for universities that advance a curriculum that supports those businesses. And expanding the wildly successful jobs tax credit would attract and retain more small- and medium-sized businesses in our state. Question 3: What should voters know about you that will help them make a decision? I was born and raised in the Wausau area, and I have deep roots in our community. My experience as a wife, a mother of three beautiful daughters, a teacher and a volunteer has given me a strong appreciation and understanding of the issues people in our area value the most. My opponent has indicated that he wants to continue the divisive path we are on and choose partisan ideology over the best interests of our hardworking families. As a state representative, I will work to bring people together and come up with creative solutions to our most pressing problems. Our citizens deserve legislators who will work across the aisle, find common ground and listen to different viewpoints, and that is exactly how I will govern in Madison.

86TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT


Dennis Halkoski
Party: Democratic Age: 59 Family: Wife, Paula; daughter, April; two sons, Luke and Ben; one grandson Residence: Weston Education: D.C. Everest High School, 1971; attended University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Northcentral Technical College Career: Weston Homes; Greenheck Fan Corp.; 32 years in law enforcement, retired December 2011 from Everest Metro Police Department as a detective sergeant Question 1: What new policies would you pursue to help get Wisconsinites back to work? My top priorities as your legislator will be job creation and education, which is also critical to helping put people back to work. This is especially important because Wisconsin ranks near the bottom in job creation and the current budget instituted the largest cut to public schools in state history. I will reinvest in our public schools, which help prepare our future workforce and make our area more attractive for businesses looking to expand or relocate here. I also support restoring cuts to our technical colleges, where job training programs are giving workers the skills they need to be successful. Question 2: Name at least one specific piece of legislation youll work to pass in 2013 if you are elected. I will support legislation that encourages reinvestment in our technical colleges, which were cut by nearly 30 percent in the current budget. We should be working together with tech schools and other private and public stakeDennis holders to find the best ways Halkoski to help put people back to work. Years ago, after being laid off from my manufacturing job, I started taking night courses in police science at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau while working two jobs. Due to the exceptional education and training I received there, I rose through the ranks to detective sergeant in my 25 years of service. I want to ensure that others get those same great opportunities. Question 3: What should voters know about you that will help them make a decision? As a retired police detective, I know the necessity of working together from my 32 years in law enforcement. We need more legislators who tackle the important issues we face in a civil and collaborative manner. We need to put an end to the partisan bickering and finger-pointing. Im ready to go to Madison, listen to differing viewpoints, find solutions to our most pressing problems and make sure everyone gets a fair shot. Thats how I did things as a police officer and thats how I will work for you in the state Assembly.

John Spiros
Party: Republican Age: 51 Family: Wife, Rebecca; children Gabrielle, Cameren, Samantha, Nicholas and Joshua Residence: Marshfield Education: Associate in applied science degree in law enforcement, with honors Career: 23 years in transportation, currently with Roehl Transport as vice president of safety and claims management; serving eighth year on Marshfield City Council Question 1: What new policies would you pursue to help get Wisconsinites back to work? Job creation for our area will be my No. 1 priority if elected. I will do this by working together with both parties to balance the state budget, cut waste, fraud and abuse in government and help maintain an educated, skilled workforce. I will fight to cut red tape in state government so that small businesses can grow and create more jobs. I also believe we need to ensure tax fairness through tax reform. Our state tax structure needs to be simplified. It makes no sense that lower-income earners in our area should have to spend their hard-earned money hiring an accountant to do their state taxes. Question 2: Name at least one specific piece of legislation youll work to pass in 2013 if you are elected. I would get to work immediately on a wel-

fare reform package which would target waste, fraud and abuse in our welfare system. Wisconsin has very generous welfare benefits but fraud and abuse waste taxpayer resources. My John reform package will focus on Spiros fraud prevention and will create tough penalties for those who are caught lying to defraud state welfare programs, and cut off their benefits entirely if they continue to cheat. My reform bill also will provide more adequate funding for fraud investigation. I will work to craft bipartisan legislation to reduce fraud and maintain funding for those that truly need it. Question 3: What should voters know about you that will help them make a decision? I have a strong record of working together to get things done. As a businessman for 23 years, I know how important it is to keep the books balanced and find more efficient ways to do things. Government needs to be more efficient, as well. As a Marshfield City Council member, I have a proven record of working together with everyone to keep our taxes low and make common-sense decisions to grow our local economy. People like state Sen. Jerry Petrowski have endorsed me because they know I will work with Democrats and Republicans alike to find real solutions to real problems and will always put our area first.