To the Editor:

The Republican Party now has a single candidate for the 9th Senate District, the seat currently occupied by Senator Joe Leibham. That person is Devin LeMahieu.

Over the last 10 years, LeMahieu has experienced the ebb and flow that is typical of business ownership. He has felt the heavy hand of the govern- ment regulators and can bring some common sense to bear on state law making. His business experience and conservative upbringing has also prepared him for the difficult task of differentiating between peoples’ needs and wants when allocating our tax money. It is easy to make statements in favor of a candidate and assume that his business and life experiences automatically qualify him for a legislative position but in this case LeMahieu has a record as a county supervisor that solidly backs up my statements.

Unlike his opponent, he has actually had to work with office holders from the other party to get things done or in some cases to prevent bad things from happening. He played an important role in combining and streamlining many county departments and blocking the ½% county sales tax that is regularly proposed. Plus, he participated on downsizing the number of county supervisors from 34 to 25. Compare that with his Democrat opponent whose biggest accomplishment is raising money. Think seriously about that! Imagine sending to Madison a Democrat whose area of expertise is raising money. That is a recipe for a Jim Doylesque money grab from the working people of Wisconsin.

With confidence, I am able to assure you that the Republicans have a candidate that will fill Senator Leibham’s shoes. Devin LeMahieu will provide leadership that will reflect the expectations of the 9th senate district taxpayers; not the union or any other special interest groups.

Dennis Gasper
Vice chair
Sheboygan County Republican Party

Readers Comments

At first I was giving Dennis
Submitted by dpatric2@gmail.com on Tue, 2014-06-10 05:31.
At first I was giving Dennis Casper’s letter some legitimacy when he started to describe Devin LeMahieu qualifications for the 9th Senate seat. I was interested in learning about LeMahieu’s life experiences, accomplishments, and views to see if he would be a worthy candidate. Casper did give some minimal facts about LeMahieu’s career and government experiences that gave us a hint at his qualifications and possibly, like Gasper says…”With confidence, I am able to assure you,” makes him a worthy candidate to oppose Martha Laning. I do look forward to learning more about him and Laning as the campaign moves forward. But I “gasped” when Gasper ended his letter by going on to say…”With confidence, I am able to assure you that the Republicans have a candidate that will fill Sen. Leibham’s shoes. Devin LeMahieu will provide leadership that will reflect the expectations of the 9th Senate District taxpayers; not the union or any other special interest groups.” Here is why I “gasped”… Joe Leibham is a nice guy but my many contacts with him through email contacts, personal interactions, many hours of watching him live on WisconsinEye, and his record shows that he has truly become a classic career politician who did not represent ALL of his constituents. Joe gave the appearance of representing ALL of his constituents through his listening sessions and communications with district residents, but once in Madison he succumbed to the pressure of leadership and the influences of special interest groups like ALEC. Examples of Joe’s lack of representing ALL of his constituents are many. Let me start with how he participated in fiscal extremism when dealing with the 2010 structural deficit. This deficit mainly resulted from the global recession that caused deep financial problems for all governments. Joe fully participated in the divisive Walkeresque “divide and conquer” governance strategy that focused on destroying political foes instead of doing what is right for Wisconsin and using a reasonable approach to dealing with the financial challenges facing our state at that time. Instead Joe helped to demonize public employees, who are a large segment of his constituency, and voted for massive cuts in preK-12/UW/Technical school funding along with inadequate funding for our local units of government. After making those deep cuts and giving big tax breaks to the wealthy including businesses and corporations, Joe participated in the Walkeresque double-talk about “responsible budgeting” and “deficits to surplus” that was actually done on the backs of workers, students, families, and local units of government who made the real sacrifices without any thanks from our leaders. The “deforms” enacted and supported by Joe stressed a fragile Wisconsin economy resulting in our state not fully participating in the nation’s economic recovery. We even continue to be near the bottom in our economic recovery efforts when compared to neighboring states. Joe participated in the passage of so much flawed legislation that ended up being challenged in the courts. Besides spending millions of taxpayer money to implement the legislation (after he and Walker said Wisconsin was broke), millions has been spent defending the flawed legislation in the courts. Redistricting is one example. Joe signed on to a secrecy agreement during the time redistricting was being considered. Instead of the public having knowledge of the process of redistricting, high priced lawyers worked secretly with Republicans to gerrymander a redistricting plan that ended up in the courts. After being fixed by the courts, it was implemented, but the public continues to favor a better system for redistricting that Joe and his colleagues continue to ignore…again he did not represent ALL of his constituents. Women’s issues, issues to protect consumer rights, election and voter suppression issues, and so many other issues that resulted in flawed laws, supported by Joe, are evidence of a legislator who truly did not represent ALL of his constituents. The campaign over the next five months will spotlight detailed examples of Joe’s lack of true representation. Joe Liebham fully participated in the Walkeresque “deformed” approach to dealing with issues. The extreme partisanship has so polarized our state. Why would we send Joe to Washington to continue the “same ole, same ole” approach to governance that has given us a “do nothing” Congress that is held in such low regard by U.S. citizens? Wisconsin citizens should also have serious concerns about any candidate who “will fill Sen. Leibham’s shoes.” We need a “new direction” if Wisconsin is truly going to move forward!
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