Anderson tries to wrest 31st Assembly District seat from Loudenbeck
A UW-Whitewater student and the current representative are running for the 31st Assembly District on Tuesday.
Democrat Clinton Anderson hopes to unseat Republican Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, who is seeking her third term.
The 31st Assembly District contains parts of Rock and Walworth counties.
Q: Why are you running for the 31st Assembly District?
Loudenbeck: “I have unfinished business. I’m still learning. I’ve learned a lot. I feel like I’m in a really good position with my experience on Joint Finance to further engage in the budget with the transportation funding issue in particular.
“Even other areas, where I think I’m very effective in getting things done that matter to people in the 31st Assembly District. A better future for Wisconsin. If I didn’t think I had more work to do, I wouldn’t run, but I still think that I am (effective),” she said.
Anderson: He’s running “for many reasons. Wisconsin has awful roads; it doesn’t have schools properly funded; we have a drug epidemic that’s not being mentioned at all at the Capitol, and pretty much ethics has gone out the window when it comes to politics.
“Politicians have a bad reputation as it is. No one wants to brag about politicians, but I think it’s gotten out of hand. They’ve basically done a lot of things we should be upset about, but thanks to the way that they’ve been handling things, nobody knows.”
Q: Why are you the better candidate?
Loudenbeck: “I have a really good understanding of the legislative process, and that’s not just because I’m in the office. It’s also part of my work experience and part of my educational experience.
“I have degrees in political science and international relations with an economic emphasis, working in the regulatory compliance field, working in economic development for a number of years. It’s a really good skill set and background from which to draw as a legislator.”
Anderson: “I’m not going to make votes that the people in this district will be mad about, and I’m also going to be open with them. I won’t do any back-room deals, I’m going to let the people know what’s going on up in Madison, and you know, I’m actually going to do what they want. If they want something that’s against my own interests, I’m going to vote on the side of the people. I’m not going to push my own agenda.”
Q: What do you think the solution to Wisconsin’s transportation problem is?
Loudenbeck: “Everyone wants to know ‘Do you support a gas tax, do you support a registration fee or do you support tolls?’ Assembly Republicans are just saying the transportation funds need more revenues that come from people who use the infrastructure. It should be fair, adequate and sustainable—not just a one-time switch-around. Just fix it, that’s what people are saying.”
Anderson: “They need to focus on fixing the roads we have now and rebuilding the infrastructure instead of trying to expand. One of the things we need to look at is the gas tax. Obviously, we need to be looking at all options possible, but that’s one we might have to dive into. It’s not going to be a massive increase. We don’t need to do that, but pennies count when you talk about how many people will be buying gas.”
Q: Loudenbeck supported a measure to restrict open records in 2015. What is your stance on open records?
Loudenbeck: “Constituent relations is a significant part of what we do. It’s people that are saying, ‘I need help with my unemployment. I need help with my workers comp. I think my pharmacy is overcharging me.’
“We have to sift through these people’s personal stories and try to help them. In order to do that, we create a record of information. We also have information on people, like who supports gun rights, who supports abortion.
“I feel like the information we have access to through our communications with our constituents has the opportunity to be potentially used in a negative way, and that is the reason I would support more protection with correspondence.
“The things that concerned me about the open records law were constituent relations and legislative work product. There needs to be some pretty robust discussion about how we can balance people’s personal privacy without just trying to use the Legislature alone; it needs to be more collaborative.”
Anderson: Government officials should not have any secrets at the Capitol, he said.
“You know, the people elect these officials and pay the salaries of these officials. So we should have no secrets up in Madison. We have a lot of shady dealings going on, a lot of late-night bill proposals, late-night votes. That’s wrong. It’s not ethical.
“It’s something we should all be able to agree on, and until we actually get some legislation pushed through that says you can’t do these things, it’s going to continue to happen.”