Longtime Legislator Peggy Krusick Challenged in Democratic Primary
Scott Dettman draws a sharp contrast on rail and transit
the southwest side of Milwaukee and Greenfield will decide
that question on Sept. 14, when 27-year incumbent Rep. Peggy Krusick faces
newcomer Scott Dettman. Krusick, who is championing her bipartisan votes,
claiming that she “votes with her district,” stands in contrast to Dettman, who
is more in line with mainstream Democratic positions on high-speed rail and
of this matchup will face Brad Sponholz, a Libertarian running as a Republican
in the general election in November.
Krusick: ‘I Vote With My District’
Peggy Krusick says she is running for re-election based on her “independent
track record,” which includes voting against “an unaffordable $65 billion
tax-and-spend state budget that raised our taxes, fees, car insurance and
utility bills and more.” She said she is focusing on “ensuring that taxpayer
dollars are well spent, jobs and quality education.”
vote with my district,” Krusick said, the opinions of which she said she
monitors through regular home visits and constituent surveys.
includes opposing the $821 million federally funded high-speed rail line
through southeastern Wisconsin
and providing the Milwaukee County Transit System with dedicated funding via a
half-cent increase of the sales tax.
fighting to direct limited taxpayer dollars to our neighborhoods to fix
potholes, protect essential services and keep our streets safe rather than an
$800 million train to Madison
that we can’t afford,” Krusick said.
that her district is against the high-speed rail line. She acknowledged that
the federal money could not be diverted to road repair or local law
of my constituents is the ongoing cost of operation,” Krusick said. “They are
concerned about the potholes in their streets and kids riding their bicycles
and getting flat tires and damage to cars. They want basic street repairs
she opposed dedicated funding for Milwaukee
County buses because her
constituents opposed it in the November 2008 referendum. She didn’t have
specific ideas to preserve the struggling bus system, which is set to terminate
the Freeway Flyer service and five bus lines.
everyone should work together and figure out an alternative to raising taxes,”
sits on the Assembly Committee on Jobs, the Economy and Small Business, said
she votes against bills that include tax credits for businesses that do not
target the middle class or guarantee jobs. She supports promoting angel and
venture capital to start new businesses.
the state budget deficit can be addressed by “being fiscally responsible with
taxpayer dollars.” Krusick has proposed allowing local government to place car
boots on vehicles with unpaid parking tickets. The city of Milwaukee alone has $63 million of unpaid
tickets, she said. The proposal would generate nothing for the state’s coffers.
She also wants all state programs to be evaluated for waste.
opportunity, Krusick said, was her push to make the first drunken driving
offense a crime that includes jail time every time. It didn’t get a public
hearing in the Assembly. A less punitive measure passed the state Legislature
Dettman: We Need More Active Representation
Dettman, a health industry writer, said he was motivated to make his first run
for public office because he was disappointed with Krusick’s votes and said
that she votes in line with only the portion of the district she contacts.
“I feel like
we need more active representation and leadership,” Dettman said. “I didn’t
want to get angry, so I thought I’d get elected instead.”
signature issues are education, job creation and security and economic
“If there is
a silver bullet, education is it,” Dettman said. “But I don’t think we’re doing
enough to ensure that every child has access to a great education.”
would like to revamp the statewide education funding formula so that property
taxpayers aren’t burdened with funding the schools and other essential
services. He also opposes the voucher school system, which he said contributes
to the problems at the Milwaukee
Public Schools, but he
supports partnerships between schools and local businesses so that students can
hone their job skills.
creation and stability, Dettman would like to identify the qualities of
businesses that the state needs and then go out and recruit them to the area.
businesses that pay family-sustaining wages and have high job security,
businesses that aren’t going to outsource their staff to foreign countries,”
Dettman said. “We would also have to get banks and lending institutions to free
up some credit so that individuals can start new businesses.”
economic sustainability could come from taking a comprehensive look at the
local economy and enhancing the green economy and local research institutions.
“We need to
look at the resources we have in southeastern Wisconsin,
like the Great Lakes, and harness that
potential and use it to advance both our educational institutions and our
economy,” Dettman said.
to Krusick, Dettman supports the high-speed rail line and said that while
conservative talk radio dismisses the proposal, it’s in the best long-term
interests of the state.
the talk radio talking points,” Dettman said. “But what they don’t realize is
that we brought a business here [Talgo] that is going to be making trains for
everywhere else in the country. We’re harnessing this economic potential by
investing in this mode of transportation. And it’s just the first piece of the
puzzle. It’s going to connect to Minneapolis.
And when we can create this Midwestern rail transit it will be phenomenal for
development along those lines and create opportunities for small businesses to
open. It also allows for more free flow of commerce.”
he supported creating a dedicated funding source for local buses since
residents of the district and those who work in it rely on the bus system.
“We can’t make it more difficult for people to get to work or to job interviews by eliminating modes of public transportation,” Dettman said. “Milwaukee County can’t move forward and be a force in the 21st century unless we invest in public transportation.”