Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.
I was driving to a friend’s wedding a few weeks ago and in every town I passed through, I saw similar things: roads needing pavement, poor cell service, even worse data, and a trickle of internet service. We don’t need to go too far from Wausau or Weston to see the same things; townships within Marathon County already struggle with the exact same things. Municipal and County governments are increasingly strapped for cash and will get to the point in the next few years where there’s going to have to be serious discussions about service levels and triaging needs. That shouldn’t be the case, but 2011’s Act 10 has imposed that upon local governments and Robin Vos keeps cutting local government assistance.
I looked at the records for what Mandela Barnes and Ron Johnson have done to support infrastructure in our communities and quite honestly, it was striking.
Ron Johnson voted against the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which gave Wisconsin $235,000,000 to improve roads, bridges, internet access, and the like. Governor Evers and Mandela Barnes invested almost $400,000 for increasing broadband access in Marathon County alone, not to mention millions in road construction, water quality standards, and other infrastructure needs over the last four years.
Ron Johnson voted against healthcare for veterans as a political stunt-the Senate had enough votes to end discussion-before voting for it the next day on passing the bill itself. He’s also tried to put Social Security on the chopping block for years. Governor Evers and Lt Governor Barnes have tried to expand Badgercare, stood up for a woman’s right to make her own medical decision (Wisconsin’s current law does not allow exceptions for abortion in case of rape or incest-and Ron Johnson hasn’t said he wants to change the law), and heavily invested in expanding rural mental healthcare.
Ron Johnson has sided with the Wall Street investors that have bought up and sold off mills and factories to make a buck, including personally benefiting from investments in Chinese companies. Governor Evers and Mandela Barnes have sent out over 2400 small business grants to Marathon County alone to keep doors open and help them expand. They’ve also cut taxes for 86% of Marathon County residents under their tax plan, while Ron Johnson used his Senate office to double his own wealth.
For all his talk about caring about the middle class and working class, it seems that all Ron Johnson brings to the table is culture wars and they don’t put food on the table or lower the price the of gas. I’ll be voting for Mandela Barnes in November. He’s actually supported our home county and followed up his words.
Nate Fiene, Weston