Community
Candidates


A Forum For
Candidates & Voters

In this uncertain world with Covid19 around us, there is one thing for certain regarding our elections in November… there will be limited, if any, in-person forums or town halls for our local candidates. To confront this challenge, a number of area community members and organizations have come together to provide this strictly informational and non-partisan website to ask questions and hear from candidates in this important election year.

ASK THE CANDIDATES QUESTIONS

  • The site currently will focus on state legislative candidates representing the following areas: Ozaukee County, Northern Milwaukee suburbs, Southeastern Washington County and Northeastern Waukesha County.
  • If you live outside of these areas, please contact your candidates directly by finding their websites at https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/ .
  • Questions must be received, in order to give the candidates enough time to respond to voters’ questions. We hope to have responses available.

    Details about questions and answers

    • All questions will be reviewed by a non-partisan steering committee to minimize duplication of similar questions. Therefore final wording will cover similar questions.
    • Questions should be issue oriented and not personal.
    • Due to a limited amount of space, all questions may not be answered. Issues with the highest number of questions, will be selected first for candidates’ responses.
    • All candidates will be asked the exact same questions for their responses. Candidates’ responses will attempt to be posted on this website.
    • A candidate’s non-response to any question will be noted.

    Please feel free to send us any other districts or candidates you would like us to contact in the future at contact@communitycandidates.com.

    FIND YOUR CANDIDATES AND THEIR RESPONSES

    • To find your candidate and what’s on your ballot, link to the section of my vote “What’s on my Ballot
    • To find your candidates with your address, go to: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/.
    • To find your candidates, see the candidates for your State Senate and Assembly districts below. The general municipalities included in their jurisdictions are listed below each district. If you have questions or want an exact answer, contact your municipal clerk.

    SENATE DISTRICT 8

    (Includes: OZAUKEE COUNTY: Mequon, Grafton, Thiensville, Bayside. MILWAUKEE COUNTY: Whitefish Bay, Fox Point, River Hills, Brown Deer. WASHINGTON COUNTY: Germantown, Lisbon, Erin, Colgate. WAUKESHA COUNTY: Menomonee Falls)

    Candidate Position Statements

    Republican – Alberta Darling

    My Position Statement is pending…

    Democrat – Neal Plotkin

    After a long career in business, I spent three years as a public school substitute teacher, who saw unfulfilled needs in our district. Now, I am running for you, the voters, with 3 promises

    1. To be a representative who listens to voters – not one who talks at them.
    2. To address fair representation and Fair Maps for all Wisconsin voters. Your votes have been manipulated in gerrymandered districts for too many years
    3. To represent all citizens’ needs for legitimate shared funding in Wisconsin, specifically on:
      1. Badger Care Expansion and Covid-19 relief, by following the science and not ignoring the reality.
      2. Infrastructure/Road and Bridge repairs; by not ignoring these to the point where we are all endangered, as it has been ignored for the last 10 years.
      3. Public education needs, such as broadband access, where Wisconsin ranks near the bottom in the US.

    As your State Senator, my commitment is to go to work, listen and respond. Not talk at you.

    Your Candidates Answers To Your Questions

    QUESTION #1

    Taxes and Programs

    It appears that the Covid virus and its results on our communities and our state will have a heavy financial impact on our state’s finances. In the past, the legislature has done a good job of getting our budget into balance and maintaining it, while lowering property taxes. How do you foresee the way to handle the budget challenge in the coming year? Should there be a cut in programs, increased taxes or can we stay the course?

    Republican – Alberta Darling

    No response at this time.

    Democrat – Neal Plotkin

    First, Wisconsin’s legislators must be in-session to do their jobs. They are wasting taxpayers’ money and not getting anything done. The incumbents have not been in session since April 15 at full salary and with full paid staffs. Wisconsin’s legislature has been out of session for the longest period of any state, with crisis going on around the state from the pandemic, to social injustice protests and to major election issues.

    From the past issues like Foxconn being a tax giveaway that should not have occurred to facing enormous challenges post-pandemic, the question is not necessarily about raising everyone’s taxes – but how and who should pay? Not providing unnecessary tax breaks and giveaways will provide Wisconsin with the tools to recover. Our new legislature must scrutinize all programs, costs and tax exemptions. In addition, vendor negotiations with Wisconsin’s suppliers must be reviewed for cost-saving opportunities. Prudent budget moves need to happen so we do not legislate economic problems, but Wisconsin cannot neglect the needs of our citizens.

    We will be facing a new reality in the coming years. Legislators need to be willing to do the necessary work to make Wisconsin healthy, safe and growing.

    QUESTION #2

    Lawsuits and the Taxpayers – Our Divided State

    Since 2018, our state has gone to court multiple times with the Republicans and the Democrats fighting each other. Some lawsuits have even reached as far as the US Supreme Court, while others have been decided in lower courts. In fact, the lawsuits over our voting districts have gone to the courts for over 40 years. The taxpayers are paying the bills to the tune of millions of dollars, on both sides. The lawsuits have included such issues as gerrymandering of voting districts, postponing the primary elections, absentee ballots, wearing masks and more. How would you suggest fixing this? Or is this appropriate and something the taxpayers should just accept as a regular course of state business and another line item to add to our state budget?

    Republican – Alberta Darling

    No response at this time.

    Democrat – Neal Plotkin

    It’s significant that the lawsuit phenomenon has accelerated so rapidly since the Legislature passed the ‘Lame Duck’ laws following the 2018 elections, when a Democratic executive branch was elected to replace Scott Walker’s administration. This historically unprecedented move is occurring because the Republican majority legislature chooses to sue rather than doing their job of meeting and working together with the other duly elected branches of government to fulfill the needs of Wisconsin residents. Lawsuits happen, but these are unnecessary, because the current legislative agenda has been to gavel in, gavel out, and sue. Their job is to legislate – not whine and sue. It’s important to see that everyone in the current majority in the state Senate has stayed silent and no one has not been willing to stand up and speak out about this.

    The fair, legitimate opportunity to fix to this will happen in 2021, when the Voting District Maps will be re-drawn. I will vote for Fair Maps and stand up for all constituents, regardless of party.

    If our legislature is in competitive voting districts representative of all constituents, not gerrymandered ones which guaranty their party’s continued control, they are more likely to compromise, do their job, work for the citizens and the lawsuits will diminish significantly.

    ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 23

    (Includes: MILWAUKEE COUNTY: Whitefish Bay, Fox Point, Bayside. OZAUKEE COUNTY: Eastern and Northern Mequon, Thiensville, Grafton, Bayside)

    Candidate Position Statements

    Republican – Jim Ott

    It is an honor to represent the 23rd Assembly District in the Wisconsin State Legislature. We live in a wonderful state with great citizens and fantastic natural resources. As a life-long resident who has had an opportunity to visit many other states, I concluded long ago that Wisconsin will always be my home. I will always stand up for Wisconsin and work for: a better economy, increased public safety and especially the concerns of all my constituents.

    Of course, during the last several months we have seen dramatic changes in our lives due to the COVID 19 pandemic and unrest in some of our Wisconsin communities. These new challenges will take a renewed commitment to keep Wisconsin the great state that it is. And there are other ongoing issues including impaired driving and the opioid crisis. I believe that by working together we can address any challenges we face and continue to thrive and prosper. That is why I am running for another term.

    Democrat – Deb Andraca

    I am running for Wisconsin State Assembly to build a safer, smarter, healthier Wisconsin. Safer means better gun laws. Smarter means supporting schools and teachers. Healthier means better access to high-quality health care, stronger protections for Wisconsin’s environment, and doing everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.

    I decided to run after my opponent refused to support requiring background checks on all gun sales, even though 80% of his constituents are in favor. As a gun owner, I know that safer communities start with keeping guns away from dangerous people. As a teacher, I know the damage done by a decade of cuts to our schools. As a parent, I know how expensive health insurance is for our family. We need legislators who make decisions based on science, data, and the needs of their constituents, which is exactly what I will do if elected.

    Your Candidates Answers To Your Questions

    QUESTION #1

    Taxes and Programs

    It appears that the Covid virus and its results on our communities and our state will have a heavy financial impact on our state’s finances. In the past, the legislature has done a good job of getting our budget into balance and maintaining it, while lowering property taxes. How do you foresee the way to handle the budget challenge in the coming year? Should there be a cut in programs, increased taxes or can we stay the course?

    Republican – Jim Ott

    Question from the Patch: What steps should state government take to bolster economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic for local businesses?

    We have already done this by passing the COVID-19 response bill (Wisconsin 2019 Act 185), which the Governor signed into law in April. Going forward, continuing to reopen our economy safely is of the utmost importance. We are doing this now and should cautiously continue on this track. I have also worked for several sessions for the repeal of the state’s outdated minimum markup law. This would be particularly important to lower the cost of prescription drugs. Another bill I recently authored would specifically remove the minimum markup on drugs used to treat COVID.

    Democrat – Deb Andraca

    Will we need a cut in programs, increased taxes or how can we stay the course?

    Our state budget will likely be under enormous pressure due to COVID-19, and very tough choices will have to be made. We should start by reducing or eliminating ineffective government programs and wasteful spending. We must restore tax fairness through measures like closing the “dark store loophole” that shifts our tax burden from large corporations onto local homeowners.

    Before COVID hit, our economy was booming but Republicans failed to use the opportunity to invest in our schools, our roads, or upgrade important infrastructure such as our unemployment insurance system. We are about to pay the price. I have spoken to so many voters who tell me that they can not afford a tax increase because they have lost their jobs. We will need to take a hard look at the budget next year, but raising taxes would be a last resort.

    QUESTION #2

    Lawsuits and the Taxpayers – Our Divided State

    Since 2018, our state has gone to court multiple times with the Republicans and the Democrats fighting each other. Some lawsuits have even reached as far as the US Supreme Court, while others have been decided in lower courts. In fact, the lawsuits over our voting districts have gone to the courts for over 40 years. The taxpayers are paying the bills to the tune of millions of dollars, on both sides. The lawsuits have included such issues as gerrymandering of voting districts, postponing the primary elections, absentee ballots, wearing masks and more. How would you suggest fixing this? Or is this appropriate and something the taxpayers should just accept as a regular course of state business and another line item to add to our state budget?

    Republican – Jim Ott

    Question from the News Graphic: How can the state draw legislative districts that promote competitive elections and avoid gerrymandering?

    Part of the problem with drawing perfect districts is that Republicans and Democrats tend to be concentrated in very defined areas, so there will always be some districts that lean one way or another: The State Constitution gives the Legislature the responsibility to draw the lines. The big challenge in developing some sort of nonpartisan commission to take over that responsibility is that both sides would have to agree to the makeup of the commission. That may be possible and something that is worth pursuing, but it would be challenging.

    Democrat – Deb Andraca

    There is nothing appropriate about taxpayers paying our legislators a full-time salary, then paying lawyers $500 an hour for our representatives to NOT do their jobs. It is outrageous. The $50 million spent on lawyers so far this year could be used, for example, to help our schools pay for COVID-19 upgrades to keep our teachers and students safe in the classroom. We need to remember this irresponsible waste of tax dollars as lawmakers face painful budget challenges next year. This abdication of responsibility will continue so long as Republican leadership puts politics before people and refuses to convene the legislature. If elected I will show up, work hard for my constituents, and do the job I am elected to do.

    ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 24

    (Includes: MILWAUKEE COUNTY: Brown Deer, Glendale, River Hills. OZAUKEE COUNTY: Western Mequon. WASHINGTON COUNTY: Germantown. WAUKESHA COUNTY: Menomonee Falls

    Candidate Position Statements

    Republican – Dan Knodl

    My Position Statement is pending…

    Democrat – Emily Siegrist

    Emily Siegrist is the most qualified candidate to represent the 24th District.Prior to becoming a nurse practitioner, Emily served five years in the Army National Guard. Her devotion to country and community is unquestionable,and as a mother of two, she is laser focused on moving Wisconsin forward.Emily believes children deserve a world-class ​education​, quality affordable healthcare​, and a robust ​economy​ so they can secure jobs with living wages when they graduate from school. She also believes our children deserve a clean ​environment​, pollution-free air, and safe drinking water.

    For far too long, the legislature has been divided — unable to adequately tackle social and economic challenges. However, Emily is committed to working beyond party lines. Her concern isn’t to which party someone belongs, but rather what solutions they offer. Alongside her colleagues in Madison, Emily will deliver the solutions Wisconsin families need.

    Your Candidates Answers To Your Questions

    QUESTION #1

    Taxes and Programs

    It appears that the Covid virus and its results on our communities and our state will have a heavy financial impact on our state’s finances. In the past, the legislature has done a good job of getting our budget into balance and maintaining it, while lowering property taxes. How do you foresee the way to handle the budget challenge in the coming year? Should there be a cut in programs, increased taxes or can we stay the course?

    Republican – Dan Knodl

    No response at this time.

    Democrat – Emily Siegrist

    Many businesses across Wisconsin have closed their doors, dairy farmers have dumped tens of thousands of gallons of milk, and families have scrambled to put food on the table and pay their rent or mortgage. The question that is on everyone’s minds is, “What can be done to alleviate the hardships families and businesses are facing until the economy can fully open again?” The federal CARES Act provided a one-time relief check of $1,200 to qualifying Americans, but didn’t go far enough. At the state-level, I support increasing Medicaid payments, deferring property taxes for residents, and giving our leaders the flexibility to respond to the coronavirus.

    constituents, which is exactly what I will do if elected.

    QUESTION #2

    Lawsuits and the Taxpayers – Our Divided State

    Since 2018, our state has gone to court multiple times with the Republicans and the Democrats fighting each other. Some lawsuits have even reached as far as the US Supreme Court, while others have been decided in lower courts. In fact, the lawsuits over our voting districts have gone to the courts for over 40 years. The taxpayers are paying the bills to the tune of millions of dollars, on both sides. The lawsuits have included such issues as gerrymandering of voting districts, postponing the primary elections, absentee ballots, wearing masks and more. How would you suggest fixing this? Or is this appropriate and something the taxpayers should just accept as a regular course of state business and another line item to add to our state budget?

    Republican – Dan Knodl

    No response at this time.

    Democrat – Emily Siegrist

    Wisconsin now is the epicenter of the coronavirus in the United States. It also happens to be the least active full-time legislature in the nation since the pandemic began.

    Wisconsinites deserve better.

    I’m a veteran, nurse practitioner, and mother of two amazing kids. I’ve dedicated my entire professional career to serving my community. As a representative, I will fight for fair maps so voters choose their legislators, not the other way around. I’ll do this by calling for an independent body to draw district maps.

    I’ll also protect one of our most sacred democratic processes: voting. And I’ll do this by ensuring voters can safely cast their absentee ballot during the COVID19 global pandemic. Further I will continue to listen to the science, first as a trained nurse practitioner and second as a legislator, to lead Wisconsin families and businesses through the COVID19 pandemic as safely and sustainably as possible.

    ABOUT

    In this uncertain world with Covid19 around us, there is one thing for certain regarding our elections in November… there will be limited, if any, in-person forums or town halls for our local candidates. To confront this challenge, a number of area community members and organizations have come together to provide a strictly informational and non-partisan forum for candidates and voters in this important election year. It will be a “print forum” with all questions and answers “in print form” only.

    The Community Candidates website was created to help facilitate the voting process for area residents.

    The website is non-partisan and informational only. It will help area residents:

    • Ask questions of candidates
    • See responses of candidates to their questions and issues
    • Register to vote
    • Request absentee ballots
    • Find their candidates by legislative district
    • Create understanding on all sides of the issues within our communities.

    A non-partisan steering committee representative of different geographic areas in the district will collect the questions and collate them into similar issues, in order to minimize duplication. They will then direct the most common and important questions to our area’s candidates. The candidates’ answers will then be available on this website and in participating organizations’ newsletters and publications.

    If you know or represent an organization that would like to participate in Community Candidates, please respond with the organization’s email address and a contact name, so that we can keep you in the information loop.

    There is very little in our country more important than an informed electorate. Therefore, we are hoping that everyone can utilize this website and become an active and informed voter.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at contact@communitycandidates.com.

    Voting Options

    Find healthy, secure and safe ways to cast your ballot this year

    VOTER REGISTRATION OPTIONS

    If you’re not sure you are registered at your current address, here are your options: ·

    • On-line: Go to https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/RegisterToVote and key in your current address to see if you’re registered or to make any necessary changes from your previous registration (like change of name or address)
    • Call or contact your local municipal offices to see if you are on their current voter roll

    How to register to vote:

    • Register in person: Go to your local municipality’s offices and ask for the voter registration forms before Nov. 3
    • Register on-line: Go to https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/RegisterToVote
    • Register by mail: fill out a voter registration form and mail to your municipal office postmarked by Oct. 14.
    • Register at your polling place on election day: Make sure that you bring with you all the required documents (see https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/FindMyPollingPlace or call your municipality’s office for required documents)

    Documents needed to register to vote:

    • A proof of residency or a Wisconsin photo ID: either a Driver’s License OR a State issued ID (both can be obtained at a state DMV, Department of Motor Vehicles)
    • To see documents that are accepted as Wisconsin proofs of residency, https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/ProofofResidence

    3 WAYS TO VOTE

    • Go to your assigned polling location from 7am to 8pm on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3rd (To find your polling location, go to: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/FindMyPollingPlace or contact your municipality’s office and give them your address).
    •  Make sure to take your driver’s license or state issued ID with you for voter verification.
    • If you’re not already registered, you’ll need to take with you all the required documents for registration.
    • Go to your municipal clerk’s office location during office hours Monday, October 18 – Tuesday, November 2.
    • If you’re not already registered, you’ll need to take with you all the required documents.
    • Drop off your signed and witnessed absentee ballot at your municipal clerks’ office or an official ballot drop box (if available in your community).

    To avoid the lines, mail or drop off an absentee ballot…
    It must be received by the municipal clerk’s office by November 3 before 5PM.

    To Request an Absentee Ballot

    •  Go on-line to request an absentee ballot: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/VoteAbsentee from September 21 – November 3. But make sure the completed ballot is received by the municipal clerk’s office by 5pm on November 3, either by mail or in person.
    • Go to your municipal clerk during office hours Monday, October 18 – Monday, November 2.

    To ensure that your ballot is counted

    On your ballot

    • Indicate your vote on the front side of your ballot by using a pen.

    On the mail-in envelope

    • Make sure you include your signature and date.
    • Your must have a witness’s signature and their address
    • Leave “Certification of Assistant” blank, unless you are physically unable to fill out your own ballot or sign your name.