MESSENGER -- Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, and challenger Rob Zerban, D-Kenosha, hope the large turnout for their two debates is an indication of the interest in the race for the 1st Congressional District.
This is the second election the two have faced each other. Zerban first ran against Ryan in 2012 when Ryan also was the Republican nominee for vice president.
“This is a very important election,” Ryan said. “I think people are upset with the direction of the federal government. They’re worried about the future of the country and they like problem solvers. Of all the comments I get as I travel the district, it’s mostly, ‘I don’t agree with you entirely, but I’m happy you’re putting ideas out there for solutions.’ That’s what people want.” Read the current edition here: http://www.server-jbmultimedia.net/CSI-JanesvilleMessengerSunday
Zerban said he also was pleased with turnout for the most recent debate Oct. 20 at the University of Wisconsin-Rock County and has enjoyed having the opportunity to meet with potential voters.
“It’s a great experience. I’ve really enjoyed (campaigning), and the neatest part is getting to meet people from all across the district and hear what their concerns are,” Zerban said.
The debate, which was attended by about 200 people, was moderated by WCLO’s Tim Bremel.
Ryan said if re-elected he would like to help improve the economy by creating more jobs, lowering tax rates and reducing poverty.
“Too many people are slipping through the cracks. There are too many things that need to be done to get people from welfare to work, so they can get back to a better life,” Ryan said. “I think there is an area of bipartisan support to make a difference in poverty and this is what I’m going to strive for.”
Zerban said if elected he also would like to work to improve the economy and to protect programs such as Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.
“These programs are so vital to Americans...,” Zerban said. “Medicare, if it’s changed to a voucher program it doesn’t do anything to address the cost of health care in this nation. It just asks senior citizens to pay more, and it puts more on the backs of senior citizens who can least afford it.”
During the debate, the candidates answered questions related to various issues, including how to reduce student debt and how to make it more affordable for students to continue their education.
Zerban said one method would be to reduce the high interest rate on student loans. He said his wife originally is from Germany and education in that country is provided through college.
“If a country that is the third of the size of the United States can provide an education through college, we can do it here, too, and I think we need to,” Zerban said. “We need to make an investment in education for the next generation of Americans, because if we don’t, not only are we selling them short we’re selling America’s future short.”
Ryan said he would like to reduce tuition inflation to make it more affordable for students to continue their education.
“If you can get a good loan and a decent education, you could make a big difference in your life,” Ryan said. “What kids are learning today is borrow, borrow, borrow. We have to get to the root cause, tuition inflation. I put legislation and proposals on that this July. We need to bring more transparency to what kind of education you get from this tuition.”
The candidates also were asked about some of the reasons why people are dissatisfied with their elected representatives.
Ryan said one of the reasons is “big government.”
“We have ‘big government’ in progress right now. You can think about Ebola or the website crashing of ‘Obamacare’ and look at the fact that we have 92 million Americans, able-bodied adults, who are out of work,” Ryan said. “The problem is when you make government so big, government does everything poorly. What we should have is limited government that does what it’s supposed to do effectively. That’s what I’ve been focusing on all my time in Congress.”
Zerban said people are dissatisfied with government because, “it’s not doing the people’s business.” He also said people are tired of partisanship and that ideas could be taken from both parties.
“Good ideas don’t come with a party label,” Zerban said. “You take the best offers and incorporate them and address the problem that you need to have solved, and that’s the approach I would take, and I don’t think there’s been enough of that attitude in Washington, D.C., and I would like to go there and try to do that.”
STATELINE NEWS -- At local police training sessions, participants often are asked to introduce themselves to the class with their names, the agency they work with and how long they’ve been on the job.
STATELINE NEWS-- When Veteran’s Day arrives next month, the country will again renew its pledge to our armed forces to never forget the sacrifice they’ve made for our country. While the day is marked to observe our many living veterans, sometimes the best way to do that is by helping them honor those that served beside them that didn’t make it home. This is the goal of the Wall of Faces project.
ELKHORN -- Linda Godfrey, a noted local investigator, author and artist, has written 16 books on strange creatures, phenomena and people. Residents will have the chance to enjoy a spooky, pre-Halloween evening with Godfrey at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, in the Matheson Memorial Library community center.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Six-year-old Jacob Schuenke’s Facebook request on Sept. 9 for 100 fire department patches for a school project netted him almost 1,000 colorful patches -- and an equally colorful collection of stories from fire departments stretching from small Wisconsin towns to communities as far away as Africa and Australia.
The project asks students to collect 100 items of their choosing and display them in celebration of the 100th day of the school year, and it was created in part to give families time together to work on it, said Barbara Breytung, Jacob’s first-grade teacher at Our Redeemer Lutheran School in Delavan.