Courtesy of the Washington County Insider.
In general, all of the candidates largely agree on the issues. Here are a few interesting (it may be a generous use of the word “interesting” for some folks) nuances and observations as we go:
1st question about support for the 2nd Amendment.
- All of the candidates support gun right. Shocking, I know. Zimmerman had a lot of comments about crime coming out of Chicago.
2nd question about taxes
- Gundrum doesn’t support tax increases at all and cites example of Washington County
- Stanek thinks efficiency in government is the way to reduce spending and reduce taxes
- Koehler praises Walker for moving WI in the right direction
- Zimmerman seems to have microphone problems a lot. He wants toll roads so that Illinois folks can help pay for WI roads. He would have tolls at the borders that only pull from cars with out of state plates. He seems to have an ax to grind with Illinois.
3rd question on Dark Store taxation
- Zimmerman wants level playing field with sound appraisal practices
- Gundrum agrees that it needs to be a level playing field. Gundrum had some stats specific to West Bend and the property tax impact of the issues. He also testified in Madison regarding Dark Store legislation.
- Stanek wants fair taxation specifically to make sure that small businesses don’t get penalized compared to big box stores.
- Koehler mentioned that there is legislation moving through Madison now and she supports it. There’s a lot of pressure and movement happening around it.
The feed dropped out and I missed the 4th question. Sounds like it was about transportation.
- Missed Koehler answer.
- Zimmerman touted a Great Lakes Basin railroad project to help commerce and theft in Chicago rail yards (he mentions Chicago and Illinois a lot). Also touted Embridge line pipeline.
- Gundrum not running to support tolls or tax increases. Believes there is way too much bureaucracy in transportation. Would like more local input because locals can be more efficient.
- Stanek doesn’t support any tax increases or new taxes, but doesn’t want to borrow anymore. Thinks the way to fix it is to make entire state more efficient and redirect savings into priority transportation projects.
5th question about opioid crisis.
- Stanek says we need to focus on education and the proper prescribing of legal opioids. Also need to punish dealers harshly. Says it contributing to crime creeping up from Milwaukee
- Koehler spent many years dealing with mental health issues with various organizations. The answers are in the addicts and understanding their specific circumstances. Cites a shortage of mental health professionals and crisis prevention services in the state and Washington County. Says the State needs to set up the infrastructure to accept and treat addicts. Also supports tough on crime enforcement.
- Zimmerman says we need another War on Drugs like Nancy Reagan advocated. Problem with gift cards being used to buy drugs and then pivoted to slamming Washington County for using surplus to buy gift cards for employees. Hinted that unused gift cards might be used to fuel drug problems.
- Gundrum had stats for increase in overdose deaths. County joined lawsuit against Big Pharma for business practices that contributed to problem. Also… education.
6th question about drug testing for welfare recipients and welfare as a whole.
- Gundrum supports drug testing and welfare reforms.
- Stanek also supports Walker’s reforms. We’ve made it too easy for people to stay home and not work
- Koehler supports it, but says problem is that it is a questionnaire and not an actual drug test. Says it needs a real test of bodily fluids. Says she knows how people game welfare system from her time working in Milwaukee and has a unique perspective to know how to fix it.
- Zimmerman supports and says we need to redo Welfare to Work. Touted Tommy Thompson and mentioned that he met TOMMY! last month. Claimed that Reince Priebus encouraged him to run for Assembly – clarified that this was not an endorsment.
7th question – yes or no, favor legalizing pot?
- All said “no”
8th question asked how elected officials should listen to Conservation Congress, etc. when making decisions about DNR and conservation issues.
- Koehler said that she would have to look it but said that elected officials need to listen to the people before making decisions and be careful about special interests.
- Zimmerman said we should abolish the DNR (jokingly). Generally said we need to limit the DNR and its power.
- Gundrum wants more local input and control over environmental issues.
- Stanek talked about being a hunter and fisherman. Thinks that hunters and fishers have a vested interest in conservation and the DNR should listen to them.
9th question about business development. How would the state address attracting business and creating a skilled labor force to fill the jobs?
- Stanek said that the state is already moving on those issues with schools encouraging trades and college paths. Also thinks that jobs will attract people to migrate into state.
- Koehler says state needs to lower the cost of doing business in WI by reducing taxes and streamlining regulations. Need to invest in education and worker training. Need to end welfare benefits cliff so that people can gradually get into work without losing all of their welfare at once.
- Zimmerman supports Welfare to Work. Invest in education – particularly tech schools. Support foreign investments from countries that are allies of US. Doesn’t support Uranium One deal, but supports Foxconn deal. Talked about railroad project again.
- Gundrum supports education. Need to improve teacher recruitment and streamline license process for teachers. Talked about counties sharing transportation services to help people get to work. Need to get infrastructure in line to support greater business.
10th question. Lightning round. Closing statements of 1 minute or less.
Boiler-plate stump speeches.
Gundrum and Koehler touted their pro-life position.
Zimmerman touted his early and strong support for Trump (not sure if that’s a winning point in Washington County where Trump lost the primary handily).