Viewpoint letters ~ Week of May 4
Reader: Tricia Zunker will fight for our local interests
For the May 12 special election for the U.S. 7th Congressional District, will we choose Tom Tiffany, who has demonstrated that he does not care about our local interests and is beholden to the large corporate interests who fund his campaign? Or will we choose Tricia Zunker of Wausau, who is running a grassroots campaign because she does not want to be beholden to special interests?
As state senator for the past seven years, Tom Tiffany has pushed through legislation that dismantled environmental protections of our waterways, forest lands and air quality. In 2017, Tiffany sponsored Act 134, known as the “Mining for America” bill, which lifted the state’s 20-year moratorium that protected us from giving permits to mining companies with lousy pollution records, and limited citizens’ rights to participate in the permitting process. In 2018, when Oneida County held a referendum asking citizens whether or not they wanted a sulfide mine in western Oneida County, adjacent to the Willow Flowage – a state-designated Outstanding Water Resource for its clean water – Tiffany lobbied vigorously for sulfide mining. Fortunately, the citizens listened to their hearts and not Tiffany, and voted 63 percent against allowing a sulfide mine.
With Tricia Zunker, we have an opportunity to elect someone who cares about a clean environment. As president of the Wausau School Board and as a justice on the Ho-Chunk Nation Supreme Court, her actions have demonstrated her commitment to environmental, social, and racial justice. In Congress, she will advocate for legislation that will protect our right to clean air and water and address the climate crisis. She will advocate for lowering the cost of prescription drugs, access to affordable health care, and funding for public education. She will advocate for support to Wisconsin’s family farmers, providing access to broadband, timely loans and ending predatory lending practices.
Tricia Zunker will not represent large corporate interests. She will represent us, the people of North Central Wisconsin, who want to preserve our lakes and forestlands, who value our working families, our farmers, and quality education for our children.
Sarah Juon, Rhinelander
Reader asks ‘Who is Tom Tiffany’
Who is the real Tom Tiffany? Is he the nice country gentleman and family man promoted by his 7th Congressional District campaign materials? Or is he someone else? Let’s take a look.
He is among the Republican leadership of the Wisconsin Legislature that declined a federal government offer to fund the expansion of the Wisconsin Medicaid program to everyone up to 133% of the poverty line. They turned it down even though there would be absolutely no cost to us! They have rejected over $1 billion in federal funds (and $324 million in state savings) that would have provided critical resources and jobs in the rural health-care system. Most important it deliberately denied health care to our most vulnerable neighbors. How many lives would have been saved by $1 billion worth of health care? Instead those funds (including our own federal tax dollars) and those jobs and that health care go to our neighboring states.
The only apparent rationale is the ideological purity of right-wing, anti-government pols like Tiffany who have splendid healthcare plans funded by the taxpayers of Wisconsin. But, rigid Republican orthodoxy can and does have life and death consequences. People die because they cannot get critical healthcare. That blood is on Tiffany’s hands. That’s who pro-life Tom Tiffany is! Pro-life until living!
Let’s take another look. Tiffany and his Republican cohorts refused to postpone the recent election here in Wisconsin. We are in pandemic conditions, under a Trump-declared national emergency, and without urgency to elect a Supreme Court Justice or vote in an already settled primary election.What was the hurry? Their motive was blatantly political – they thought (wrongly, as it turned out!) that the pandemic conditions favored their side.
The result was to bring out crowds of voters and courageous poll workers, highly concentrated in the most densely populated areas, to fulfill a civic duty in acutely infectious conditions. Moreover, these areas typically are residence to our most vulnerable populations. If even one infection occurred, to say nothing of even one death, that blood is on Tiffany’s hands. That’s who pro-life Tom Tiffany is! Pro-life until living!
Theron O’Connor, Bayfield
Reader supports Zunker
Tom Tiffany voted to limit early voting. He didn’t think it was important to require mining companies to show a track record of protecting water quality before they are granted permits. He voted to give away Great Lakes water to Foxconn via the city of Racine – up to seven million gallons per day. He voted to drop state protections for wetlands, which will lead to more flooding and loss of wildlife habitat. He pushed for eliminating the Science Bureau at DNR, specifically targeting DNR staff who had spoken out about the effects of climate change.
Vote for Tricia Zunker if you want a better environment, fair voting laws and protections for our Great Lakes water.
Jane Banning, Rhinelander
Reader: Vote Tiffany for sound fiscal policy
In the May 12, 2020, special election for 7th District Congress, vote for Republican Tom Tiffany.
I am convinced that if we had 435 doctors serving in Congress who were spending our tax dollars, we would have cured cancer long ago. I also believe if we had 435 business minded people serving in Congress and spending our tax dollars, we’d have a huge surplus instead of a $20 trillion deficit.
We have elected too many lawyers, which means we have inefficient government with too many laws, regulation and bureaucracy. President Trump is a businessman who’s been draining the Washington D.C. swamp. In his next term as President, he’ll need the kind of business minded experience that Tom Tiffany will bring to Congress.
Tom Tiffany has over 20 years experience as a Northwoods businessman. He also knows how to work with fellow legislators to balance our state budget and create a surplus. Tom Tiffany worked closely with Governor Walker to solve our state fiscal problems and he will work closely with President Trump to solve our national fiscal problems.
Tom’s opponent, Tricia Zunker, is a liberal Democrat attorney. She represents the problem we already have in Congress and a problem we don’t need more of.
On Tuesday, May 12 vote for sound fiscal policy. Vote for business and legislative experience. Vote Tom Tiffany for Congress.
Joyce Bant, Hazelhurst
Reader: Zunker will represent the people of 7th CD
Does anyone remember when Sen. Tiffany’s number-one priority was an iron mine in the Penokee Hills? His dream was to create a low-cost producer of iron ore by leveling the Penokee Hills and filling in the headwaters of the Bad River with the waste material. He “authored” a new law, largely written by the mining company. After repeatedly lying about the law,
Sen. Tiffany admitted that the law was deliberately designed to allow damage to Wisconsin’s natural resources.
Undoubtedly, Sen. Tiffany thought his legacy would be an iron mine in the Penokee Hills. Instead, his name will be forever stamped all over one of the most corrupt and destructive chapters in Wisconsin’s history.
Most recently Sen. Tiffany’s dream came true when he was able to repeal the popular Mining Moratorium Law. The law was not a real moratorium, but contained the “prove it first” provision that required the applicant to show that a sulfide mine operated and closed for a few years without polluting the environment. Tiffany’s repeal of the law weakened environmental and economic protections and restricted public process. There have already been serious repercussions from Tiffany’s action because counties were threatened into removing protections from their mining ordinances. In Oneida County, metallic mining was allowed as a permitted use in areas zoned 1-A Forestry, where the Lynne Deposit is located, and in areas zoned General Use, where Badger Minerals is exploring three small deposits at the headwaters of the Wolf River.
However, Sen. Tiffany did not receive the “public license” for his scheme to turn the Northwoods into a mining district, when more than 62% of voters in Oneida County voted NO to a mine in the Town of Lynne, just upstream of the Willow Flowage. Counties, the Sokaogan Chippewa, and the Menominee Nation are mobilizing to fight a sulfide mine in the Town of Shoepke near the Wolf River, with Langlade County, just downstream, passing a resolution opposing it
If Tom Tiffany goes to Washington, he will continue to cater to big-money special interests at the expense of those who live and work here, and at the expense of our water resources.
When Tricia Zunker goes to Washington, she will be a dedicated public servant and truly represent the people of northern Wisconsin.
Karl A. Fate, Crescent
Reader: Zunker’s values represent Northwoods
Tom Tiffany, during his seven years as state senator, has not demonstrated that he cares about local interests. His efforts to take away local control and dismantle carefully thought-out environmental regulations have been particularly disappointing. Oneida County, with its 1,129 lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers and streams and thousands of acres of wetlands, is a unique area of the world. Tom Tiffany is willing to exploit these natural resources in an unnatural, non-renewable fashion.
Now he wants to go to Washington D.C. to represent us.
The May 12 election is an important opportunity to elect Tricia Zunker whose values and interests will better represent us. Please vote on May 12.
Marilyn Norden, Rhinelander
Reader responds to letter backing Tiffany
I have to laugh at people who state that someone like Tiffany would be great for our economy (Star Journal May 6) and that “if more business minded people were elected, we wouldn’t have a $20 trillion deficit.” Like our president for example, who ran on his business acumen? It’s under his watch that this deficit happened, NOT because of Covid-19, but because of gigantic tax cuts for the wealthiest.
His complete mishandling of the crisis has only deepened economic woes. The coming depression is not going to be helped by those tax cuts he handed out to the richest among us. How about McConnell? The only person that got wealthy in Kentucky under his watch was HIM!
She states that Tiffany worked “closely with Walker to solve our state’s fiscal problems.” On what planet did that happen? I would like some specific examples. Walker did NOTHING to solve any fiscal problems. He gutted our schools, our highways were neglected, he drove businesses like Oscar Meyer out of our state, and FOXCON was just that, a total CON. He sacrificed our environment, our water, air and future health, which will cost us in the long term.
And before you tout Tiffany’s business prowess, maybe you should ask yourself why he got rid of his business to run for political office. If that’s who you want to vote for, I can’t stop you, but don’t say it’s because he or any of the GOP buddies are doing anything to balance budgets or help working people in our state. It’s simply not true and never has been. If the GOP was so great for America they wouldn’t have to suppress our voting rights to win.
Wake up and smell the coffee, sister. Wealth didn’t trickle down to us when Reagan was in office and it sure as heck doesn’t now. No amount of magical thinking is going to change that.
Lori Duchrow, Rhinelander
Reader: Vote for Zunker May 12
At a time when we are all trying to keep from infecting others with the coronavirus, we certainly don’t want to be sending the cause of a lot of our local problems to infect our national government.
Wisconsin has suffered thru most of a decade of decline under the likes of Tom Tiffany, while state services and infrastructure have intentionally declined, while big corporations have gained more & more power over our personal lives, and while executive agencies and our local governments have been prevented from serving us adequately. They’ve even whittled away at our right to vote!
And we’ve endured a similar period of not having a Congressman to represent the people of this district, with Sean Duffy just blindly supporting Trump. We really need someone to work for us, not for the special interests.
Now we have an exciting opportunity to elect Tricia Zunker to Congress — a person not tied to big business, not striving for personal power, not blind to the needs of ordinary people.
Tricia is the one to help improve our health-care system, protect our environment, get us back on track to deal with climate change, and stand up for our rights and liberties. Please make a point of voting for Tricia Zunker in the May 12 election.
Gerald Anderson, Rhinelander