Policy Paper #2: The Road Back to Fiscal Responsibility

As an independent-minded Democrat, I am a rural progressive reformer who understands the importance of fiscal responsibility. Truth be told, practicing fiscal responsibility is completely compatible with a progressive political outlook. After all, working families make similar decisions for their household finances every day and expect the same from their government officials whether or not they have a “D” or an “R” after their name. Continue reading

Rural Recovery Plan In Brief

Fellow Wisconsinites, I firmly believe that rural places are the soul of our state and the engine of our economy. There can be a bright future for Wisconsin’s small towns and rural Main Streets, but getting there will take grit, attention to detail, and a commitment to address the real struggles of everyday folks out here among the pastoral landscape of family farms, towering ridgelines, and beautiful river valleys. My campaign team and I have worked diligently over the past few months to put forward good ideas which not only improve the quality of life for rural Wisconsinites, but that also have the necessary appeal across the breadth of the political spectrum to become law. The fruit of their labor is my rural recovery plan. Solving the Root of the Problem: Rural Routes to Wisconsin’s Post-Pandemic Recovery is a sensible, multifaceted policy prescription plan for stabilizing Wisconsin’s struggling farms, bolstering the rural economy, and preserving our state’s rich natural heritage for generations to come. Continue reading

Policy Paper #1: Move Forward on Clean Energy from the Rural Routes to Wisconsin's Post-Pandemic Recovery Plan

  Clean energy is good for the earth, good for the economy, and really good for rural Wisconsin. Wisconsin utilities already know this and as a result are on track to meet a 40% reduction in aggregate carbon emissions by 2026 (1). Nevertheless, energy costs in Wisconsin remain some of the highest in the nation, largely due to the more than $12 billion sent out of the state each year to import fossil fuels (2). That’s why I support creating and expanding cost-sharing incentives here in Wisconsin for solar, wind, and otherrenewable energy technologies at every farm, small business, and home. Continue reading to see my “Moving Forward on Clean Energy Plan."   Continue reading

Assembly Leaders Make November Predictions

MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) — Republicans likely won't be getting the veto-proof majority they hoped for come November, according to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester). Vos and Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) shared their early predictions for Election Day during a virtual WisPolitics event Wednesday. All 99 seats in the Wisconsin State Assembly are up for re-election at the same time a presidential race dominates the national spotlight. Democrats like Hintz say that's a good thing, while Vos says it's important for candidates to have their own identity. “We certainly think it helps us,” Hintz said. “Every 12 years you have a cycle where there's only one statewide race, neither U.S. Senator is up, no Constitutional offices, and the fact that you have a divisive president where we're seeing traditional Republicans either voting for Joe Biden or having to make a decision on actually turning out.” “We know rural Democrats have a hard time standing next to Joe Biden, some of our suburban seats, people have a more difficult time standing next to Donald Trump,” Vos said. “I mean that's just the challenge we have right now, so I think that's why it's important that we in the legislature have always had the opportunity to have our own brand in addition to running with the top of the ticket.” Running a campaign in 2020 has been unlike any year before. Republican candidates have been more apt to do in-person events and go door-to-door amid the coronavirus pandemic, but it's not a tactic Democrats are ruling out. “Probably more than ever, people want to have a conversation, they want to talk about issues, they've been home by themselves only talking to, perhaps, their relatives or a few close friends so they want to have that political conversation in a way that maybe would not traditionally be the case,” Vos said. “So I feel very strongly, as we've gone across the state I can say less than a dozen times has someone been offended that we knocked on their door.” “I've been doing sort of a hybrid where I do doors depending on the neighborhood and demographics and drop other times,” Hintz said. “Certainly, going to events where you can be outside and socially distance, and I think the speaker is right. If you have a mask on and you can keep distance, you know people don't have to answer the door even if they're home.” Republicans want to flip three seats in each chamber this November to give them a veto-proof majority to pass anything they want, but Vos isn't confident that will happen especially given how much money Democrats have raised. “I don't think it's likely only because of the environment that we're in,” Vos said. “When you have, literally, two or three times the money that Republicans do, Democrats have been trying to buy this election in this cycle in a way that they did last cycle when they spend more money against Governor Walker than he did himself.” “The opportunity is there, obviously the national political environment is volatile,” Hintz said. “I don't try to make predictions in August and September, but if you said a year ago this is the position that you're gonna be in I would say I am happy with that.” Still, leaders on both sides of the aisle are confident they can flip seats across the state. “Kriss Marion, who ran a very competitive race against Howard Marklein in that senate seat, is a great candidate that fits the district that we think is going to offer a contrast that exposes Todd Novak as really being a rubber stamp in the 51st,” Hintz said. “Deb Andraca, who's been engaged as anybody in her suburban community, against Jim Ott offers a real contrast.” “We have four of the best potential pick up opportunities,” Vos said. “I think we're going to beat Robyn Vining. We have an excellent candidate in a woman named Bonnie Lee. She has been working harder than almost any candidate we have. In Northwestern Wisconsin, James Bolen almost beat the Senate Minority Leader Janet Bewley by two points in a Democrat year in 2018. He is running really strong.” https://spectrumnews1.com/wi/madison/news/2020/09/17/assembly-leaders-make-november-predictions

Marion will bring energy to the job -- Joylynn Graham

I am concerned about the political climate of our country right now, with all the division and animosity that has grown between its citizens. In our country’s history, democracy has always worked well despite, and maybe even because, people have always had different opinions and taken different sides on important issues. We have a self-correcting system, where people express their views strongly, but then come together around shared values while showing respect to fellow citizens. But lately, we seem to have lost sight of the fact that differing viewpoints are essential for a bigger picture. With that in mind, I have considered carefully who among our local candidates will help us achieve the ability to work together again. Assembly candidate Kriss Marion has a strong grasp on the issues confronting us today. But more than that, she reaches out to all people regardless of their political positions and she appreciates the average person who is the backbone of the country. I am impressed by her energy and willingness to go anywhere to make an impact by having conversations with people. When talking with her, I understand that she is as deeply passionate about the issues I care about and would be the one to show up every day to get the job done. Joylynn Graham, Dodgeville https://madison.com/opinion/letters/marion-will-bring-energy-to-the-job----joylynn-graham/article_3034f56a-bb6b-5e1c-a212-5bd9bff29635.html

Barbara Voyce: I'm voting for Kriss Marion

Dear Editor: “After the tragic events this past week, the best way forward is not through divisive and partisan politics but through bipartisan cooperation,” per Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. This was quoted after the Kenosha rioting and was given after the governor called for a special session to address the problem Wisconsin has with racism and violence. The governor wanted the Legislature to act. Vos? He refused to hold the special session. Gaveled in and immediately gaveled out. He said they need bipartisan cooperation! Is that not the height of hypocrisy? The governor asked for a bipartisan Legislature to work together for a solution, and the Republican leader in the Assembly said a loud “NO." No wonder there is no respect for our current Legislature. They obviously are hypocrites. Then Vos created ANOTHER “look what Republicans are doing” task force that will tell us… what? Vos is patting himself on the back. He avoided doing anything constructive, and continues, by inaction, to condone racist, violent acts against people of color. But — where are the other Republican representatives? I called my representative, Todd Novak, a Republican who on rare occasions has voted in a bipartisan manner. I asked how he felt about the special session and the task force. His staffer never directly answered the question. I want a representative who is honest, open and empathetic. That is why I will vote for Kriss Marion to represent the 51st Assembly District. Barbara Voyce Lone Rock https://madison.com/ct/opinion/mailbag/barbara-voyce-im-voting-for-kriss-marion/article_fbfa54a8-23f4-56b1-982a-94d3093a5ddb.html

Conservation Voters Scorecard

https://conservationvoters.org/scorecards Todd Novak is literally running on a record of accomplishment on water quality. Yet Wisconsin Conservation Voters gave him his own page in the 2019-2020 "Lip Service File" for leading Speaker Vos' Task Force on Clean Drinking Water and wasting taxpayer money and time to achieve absolutely nothing. "After taking hours of data and testimony, the task force came up with 13 bills, none of which addressed the root causes of pollution or were taken up by the Republican-led Senate. In short, the task force was a PR stunt with no new ideas or plans." 

Kriss Marion Represents Integrity and Rural Values

Dear Editor: An email from a friend recently: “I have a dream that one day Donald J. Trump will be judged not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character.” Trump/Pence vs. Biden/Harris will be for the nation to decide in November, but the 51st State Assembly District contest between Todd Novak and Kriss Marion is ours to choose. I have not questioned the character of either of them before, but now I see a major difference. Novak calls himself “an independent voice” on his website but he has voted nearly 100% of the time with Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who is well aligned on important issues with Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and the Trump national Republican agenda. Along with Vos and Fitzgerald, Novak has refused Medicaid dollars, stripped money and local zoning control from rural counties, ignored the increasing farm bankruptcies, battled mail-in voting, championed voucher schools even though we have none in our district. He risked lives with a very weak COVID-19 response. AND Todd Novak has never publicly spoken against Wisconsin Republicans or even Trump. So it’s not surprising that his previous campaigns were largely funded by Republican interests. Kriss Marion stands for Wisconsin rural values — local control of strongly supported education, clean air and water, rural broadband, small farms and small-town values. She supports the Affordable Care Act, wants to expand BadgerCare and demands responsible responses to the COVID-19 crisis. She supports the governor’s Badger Bounce-Back program and is a strong supporter of mail-in voting. It seems that anything Democrats propose or stand for are rejected by Republicans — like a knee-jerk reaction in lockstep with Republicans. It’s a national attitude in this Trump era, and Todd Novak and the Wisconsin Republicans do the same. Where is their integrity in refusing to consider the merits of any issue in open public debates? Kriss Marion represents integrity and solid Wisconsin rural values. Sadly, we have to question Todd Novak’s integrity as an independent and even his character now. Bryan Walton Spring Green https://madison.com/ct/opinion/mailbag/bryan-walton-kriss-marion-represents-integrity-and-rural-values/article_0bfb254d-45c7-5747-8178-bcc9cda302e7.html

Kriss Marion best for the 51st Assembly District

I support Kriss Marion for the 51st Assembly District race in southwestern Wisconsin. Marion, in partnership with her family, has been operating a small farm business in the 51st District producing food for local markets. I saw her citizen leadership in support of what became known as the “Cookie Bill” to make it legal to sell various homemade goods in Wisconsin. Marion and I served on the Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program board together. Its mission is to find creative ways, public and private, to serve our region’s most vulnerable populations. I learned how effective Marion can be. She is serving her third term as a Lafayette County supervisor and is now second vice chair. In that capacity, she has been involved with the Southwest Wisconsin Groundwater and Geology study known as SWIGG. Some officials threatened to draft a resolution that sought to restrict information reporters could share about this publicly funded study. Marion took a firm and courageous stance, unwavering in her support of the public’s right to know. In every instance, Marion's work has been dedicated, nonpartisan and effective on behalf of citizens of southwest Wisconsin. She is an engaged citizen and a strong public leader. I have great admiration for her. Please support Marion on Nov. 3. Dick Cates, farmer, town of Wyoming, Iowa County https://madison.com/wsj/opinion/letters/kriss-marion-best-for-the-51st-assembly-district----dick-cates/article_2cb15b1c-03ed-59c8-b683-ede94c86415f.html#utm_source=madison.com&utm_campaign=%2Femail-upd  

Kriss Marion on German News

https://www.zdf.de/politik/auslandsjournal/die-sendung-vom-19-august-2020-100.html