Congressional candidates outline positionsOn Tuesday, Nov. 2, voters in Wisconsin’s 3rd District will elect a congressman to the U.S. House of Representatives. In preparation for the election, RiverTown Newspaper Group invited the candidates to answer two questions. Below are their responses.
On Tuesday, Nov. 2, voters in Wisconsin’s 3rd District will elect a congressman to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ron Kind, who has represented the 3rd District in Congress for 14 years, is being challenged by independent Mike Krsiean and Republican Dan Kapanke.
In preparation for the election, RiverTown Newspaper Group invited the candidates to answer two questions. Below are their responses.
What are the most important issues in your race, and how do you plan to address them?
Kind: I am committed to getting western Wisconsin back to work. One of the most important things we can do is to stimulate our small businesses and family farms — they are the backbone of the economy and are creating two out of three jobs right now. We must also concentrate on building the American manufacturing sector and developing strong worker training programs to get folks back to work.
And we must preserve middle class tax cuts. The last thing we need in the midst of a recession is to raise taxes on middle-class Americans.
Kapanke: Citizens across the district are frustrated over needless and wasteful spending and a disregard for taxpayer money. This lack of fiscal restraint is smothering our economy and preventing main street businesses from Hudson to Platteville from creating the jobs that will make our families and communities stronger.
It’s time for real changes; we can do better. If elected, I would revisit the unspent portions of the $787 billion “stimulus” bill to purge wasteful spending, oppose the expansion of the nation’s debt ceiling, and use tax cuts to spur the private-sector job growth and get money back into people’s hands.
Krsiean: Defunding and dismantling of the socialist bureaucracies of the federal government while restoring government adherence to the U.S. Constitution are my key objectives.
Our problems at the federal level are due to blatant disregard of our Constitution. Elected officials began ignoring our Constitution long ago, and the situation has degenerated. Judges rule contrary to constitutional intent without repercussions. Unelected government bureaucrats make laws when only Congress should (Sec.1, Art 1.).
Many government departments and programs are only decades old but have mutated into things incompatible with a free society. We created them. We can and must dismantle them.
How is your experience — or lack of experience – in the public and private sectors a plus or minus for the job?
Kapanke: I have spent my life in the private sector, first in the seed industry and currently as a small business owner, which has given me valuable insight into the needs and the value of main street businesses and the agriculture industry as the lifeblood of Wisconsin.
Due to the current troubled economic times, it is invaluable to bring private sector experience to the table to be able to create and keep jobs, be fiscally responsible, and jumpstart the nation’s economic engine. Therefore, I see my experience in the private sector as critical to effectively representing western Wisconsin.
Kind: I’ve been an effective and independent voice for western Wisconsin. Ranked the fifth most independent member of Congress, I’m committed to solving problems whether Democratic, Republican or independent.
I’m not afraid to stand up to political leadership, and I’m not going to rest until we get western Wisconsin working again.
Krsiean: I am finding my freshness to government service is viewed as an asset rather than a liability. The overwhelming desire of independent citizens is that the current group in D.C. should move along and give new people a chance. This thinking is not only in conservative circles but in traditionally more liberal ones as well.
I am finding growing unity and independent support among people of a wide political spectrum. It is estimated that 48 percent of 3rd District people consider themselves independent. If we independents hang together we can and will overpower the party system that is bringing us to ruin.
Hometown: La Crosse
Educational background: Harvard University; London School of Economics; University of Minnesota Law School
Professional background: U.S. House of Representatives; special prosecutor, La Crosse County DA’s office; attorney, Quarles & Brady
Previous elected office: 3rd Congressional District representative since 1996
Hometown: La Crosse
Educational background: Bachelor’s degree, political science, UW-La Crosse, 1987; Master’s of Education, UW-La Crosse
Professional background: Currently co-owner of La Crosse Loggers Baseball collegiate team; former district sales manager, Kaltenberg Seed Farms; former salesman, Pride Seed Company
Previous elected office: Wisconsin State Senator, 32nd District, since 2004; town of Campbell board member, 1981-1987, town of Campbell chairman, 1997-2004
Hometown: Town of St. Joseph, St. Croix County
Educational background: Bachelor’s degree, aerospace engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1993
Professional background: Aerospace engineer, 17 years
Previous elected office: None