State Rep. Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva, faces Democratic challenger Kim Peterson and Libertarian David Stolow in the 32nd Assembly District — a Walworth County-centric district that also includes the town of Wheatland in Kenosha County.
The election is Nov. 6. To find your polling place, call your municipal clerk or go to kenoshacounty.org. Click on Elections on the left side of the homepage, then click on Where to Vote.
Below are their written responses to questions posed by the Kenosha News.
Note: Peterson had not returned her responses as of press time.
Tyler August Party -- Republican.
Age -- 29.
Residence -- Lake Geneva.
Education -- Attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and UW-Madison.
Occupation -- Full-time legislator.
Elected experience -- State Assembly, 2011-present.
David Stolow Party -- Libertarian.
Age -- 49.
Residence -- Lake Geneva.
Education -- Bachelor of science in biochemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook; doctorate in biochemistry, Baylor College of Medicine.
Occupation -- Retired.
Elected experience -- None.
Kim PetersonNote -- Kim Peterson, a Democrat from Spring Prairie also seeking the 32nd District seat, had not returned her responses to the Kenosha News as of press time.
QuestionWhat can the state do to grow jobs?
August -- The top issue has to be the economy and putting people back to work. We have laid the groundwork in Wisconsin for economic success, but we aren’t done yet.
Government needs to get out of the way and let small businesses do what they do best: create jobs. A lot of different ingredients go into making a successful business climate including regulatory certainty and lower taxes.
We have to maintain a competitive climate. We are not only competing against 49 other states, but worldwide. Taxing workers and the companies they work for will put us behind the curve on attracting new business to Wisconsin, instead of moving the state forward like our recent reforms have done.
Stolow -- The role of government is not to create jobs. Government can do two things to create the right climate for job growth in the private sector: tax and regulatory reform.
Tax reform means simplifying codes for businesses and citizens, eliminating waste and graft and tying tax rates to deficits and debit. Wasteful spending hurts all of us and makes us uncompetitive. Why do business in a state that is poorly run?
Regulatory reforms remove unnecessary paperwork and rules and allow Wisconsin businesses to compete and reduce their costs. It does not however mean allowing pollution of our water and air.
QuestionIs bipartisanship possible in the state Capitol? If so, what issues provide the most potential?
August -- I think it happens more than people realize. Over 90 percent of the bills we passed had bipartisan support, but those aren’t the issues people hear about. The rest isn’t really up to me. Time will tell if my friends on the other side of the aisle decide to stop the political bickering in the capitol and the “gotcha” votes.
Its unfortunate that the left hates Scott Walker so much that they tried to turn everything into a way to try and get rid of him. A lot of good things unfortunately didn’t happen because of recalls, senators fleeing the state, and daily singalongs in the Capitol.
These are not productive ways to move Wisconsin forward. I truly hope that the other side of the aisle is serious about working together to move Wisconsin forward, and to that end, my door will always be open.
Stolow -- Bipartisanship is improbable because of our two party system. The goal has become serving a party and not the people. This was evident in the passage of the Affordable Care Act at the federal level and Act 10 at the state level.
Without more independent legislators, the two parties (whichever is in the minority) are in the business of blocking progress. We need to elect people who represent all their constituents. Do we really want this quote to be true, “Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49 percent”?
QuestionWhat should be the state’s role in funding K-12 education?
August -- The state’s K-12 funding formula is one of the most complicated parts of state government.
A popular benchmark people talk about is the two-thirds of K-12 funding should come from the state, but what does that really mean? I think many people believe that means that two thirds of their local school’s budget is being paid by the state, which is certainly not the case. Areas like our communities see far less funding from the state than other areas like Milwaukee do and that difference is made up on the property taxes.
Proper school funding is important, and I think there needs to be a larger conversation about how we fund schools in our state because, frankly, many of the school districts I represent get the short end of the stick far more often than not.
Stolow -- This is a very complex question. Government is a monopoly and no competition. Without competition (e.g. free markets), there is no pressure to provide the best services for the lowest cost.
I support transitioning to a laissez-faire approach when it comes to education and many other government services. This would remove the monopoly on education choice. Competition would reduce costs and reward educators based on merit much like the model in the private sector.
I believe this would be a win for parents, students, teachers and taxpayers.