31st Assembly challenger keeping Nass honest
Craig Peterson said he doesn’t expect his bid for the 31st Assembly District to be much of a race, he just wants to keep Rep. Steve Nass honest.
The Jefferson County supervisor is Nass’ lone challenger in the Sept. 14 primary. Both agree Wisconsin is facing a difficult time as the economy struggles to get back to its feet and unemployment remains high.
They promised to stand against a proposed high-speed rail connecting Madison to Milwaukee and any financial burden it has on their district.
Nass said he’s spoken with Peterson on two occasions, and the young Sullivan native expressed admiration for his nearly 20 years of service in the assembly.
“He told me, quite frankly, he agrees with everything I’ve ever done,” Nass said. “It’s kind of a quandary as to what he’s doing, but it’s a democracy and certainly everyone is free to run.”
-- How would you balance the 2011-13 state budget?
Nass: “One of the things we need to do is just look at all the agencies … all of them need to share the burden. We need to review programs that are no longer serving the people. That may mean eliminating them, that may mean reinventing them,” he said.
“There are a number of audits we need to go back and look at and the recommendations they made on spending money. It’s going to be far-reaching, but we must look at all the departments, including the Wisconsin state legislators.”
Peterson: “I’d put a freeze on spending in particular. We’re just going to have to live within our means. I think we’re just going to have to make cuts across the board the way it’s looking,” he said.
-- What are the major issues in your district?
Nass: “The train is a terrible idea and more wasteful spending. We don’t have any true facts and figures on what the spending will be.
“The biggest (issue) is generating an atmosphere where the private sector can create jobs. Unemployment truly is the problem, and we need to make Wisconsin a friendly state to do business once again.”
Peterson: “We have to get the economy back on track and get this empty subsidized train stopped. The local taxpayers are going to be on the hook for maintenance and all the crossings.”
-- What makes you more qualified than your opponent?
Nass: “I think I have gained a lot of credibility among legislators on both sides of the aisle when I expose reckless spending … I’m not afraid to expose those things because taxpayers need to know what’s going on with their money.
“I will lock horns with people to do what is right. I told the (legislators), ‘You don’t vote for me. The people back home do. I’m not afraid to go to bat for them.’”
Peterson: “In particular, I started two businesses, so I understand how to balance budgets and how regulation works with small business. I have a world of private-sector experience.
“I have a lot of respect for Steve. The reason I’m running is to remind him who he works for. It’s business as usual that got us into this mess, and I don’t think business as usual will get us out.”