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Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008

Andy Feldman

State Assembly District 22 Candidate

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Andy Feldman

Website: www.andyforwisconsin.com

Occupation: full-time candidate

Membership in the Democratic Party: Yes For how long?: Many years

Who has endorsed you? Thousands of voters in the 22nd district.

Why are you running for the state Assembly?

I am running because this district made me who I am, and I want to use my experience and background in public policy to give back to the community. I'm also running because I want to revive Wisconsin's progressive tradition of forward-looking, less partisan, clean government.

What are your qualifications?

· Earning a B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College and a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard, with a thesis on best practices in helping welfare recipients become and stay employed;

· Briefing the President on economic policy as Staff Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the Clinton Administration;

· Serving as point-person for a statewide effort to promote innovation in government;

· Helping implement anti-poverty programs as Special Assistant to the President at MDRC, a leading nonprofit that designs and evaluates efforts to fight poverty.

· Teaching at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government on how to improve the performance of government.

What are the biggest challenges facing your district?

The biggest challenges District 22 faces are what our entire state is facing: cuts in education funding, a slowing economy, a looming healthcare crisis, and an environment that needs continuous attention and protection. I want to work to keep not only my district a great place to work and raise a family, but help our entire state become a progressive leader in these areas once again.

How will you ensure that Milwaukee has adequate state aid at the same time the state has a large structural budget deficit?

One of the largest strains on our state budget (just like for individuals' personal budgets) is rising healthcare costs. That's why we need reform that lowers healthcare costs and expands access-two goals that can be achieved together with a comprehensive reform plan. We must find solutions to problems like heath care to reduce our deficit. I will fight to get the Milwaukee area the aid we deserve, while maintaining a clear picture of the whole state.

How will you spur job growth in the Milwaukee area?

We need to promote green-jobs in our area. We have the infrastructure as well as the workforce that could enable us to become a leader in exporting environment-related products.

Do you support a comprehensive health care plan like Healthy Wisconsin? Why? If not, what would you prefer?

I do support Healthy Wisconsin or a similar plan that accomplishes the goal of achieving high-quality, affordable care that covers everyone. We need health care reform that: covers everyone; gives people choices of plans and doctors; guarantees an excellent set of medical, hospital and drug benefits; encourage preventive care & chronic care management; get the incentives right (promotes use of lowest-cost high quality care & preventative care); and is fairly financed & simple to administer. I held a Feldman Forum with guest speaker David Riemer on the subject of Healthy Wisconsin and the future of healthcare in Wisconsin. I wanted to hear the voters' concerns and hear the experts' advice concerning this plan.

Should private insurers be required to cover autism spectrum disorders and comprehensive mental health treatment?

Insurance should cover the entire body-I support physical and mental health parity.

Do you believe that the Milwaukee School Choice Program is a success? Why? Should it be expanded to other parts of the county or state? Should it be eliminated? Do you want to change the way the program is funded?

There is now firm evidence that choice schools are not a silver bullet that will save MPS-on average, they do not have higher performance than public schools. They also lack basic accountability mechanisms and do not accept as wide a range of students, so it is not a level playing field to even compare performance. We must ensure that these schools operate under the same standards of accountability as Milwaukee Public Schools do.

Do you support a statewide smoking ban that includes bars and restaurants?

Yes.

Do you believe that the state should ease its restrictions on building more nuclear power plants?

No.

Should children of illegal immigrants who graduated from a Wisconsin high school be able to pay in-state tuition at a state college?

Yes.

If Roe v. Wade were overturned by the Supreme Court, would you vote to allow a woman the right to choose an abortion?

Yes.

Would you vote to allow Milwaukee County to raise the sales tax one cent to provide property tax relief and pay for transit, parks and the arts?

Yes.