It’s time for the people of Wisconsin to take back their state from the lobbyists and power brokers who appear to have been in charge of policy since Scott Walker was elected governor in 2010.
So says Boscobel’s Chad Henneman, who is running for the 49th Assembly District against Rep. Travis Tranel (R–Cuba City).
“They rewrote the legislative rules to get big donations from lobbyists without talking to the people in their district,” said Henneman of the current Legislature. “We have people making minimum wage at places like Walmart and then needing to receive state and federal assistance just so they can live. I’ve seen a lot more of that coming from the Republican leadership.”
Henneman said Wisconsin needs good jobs that can support families. “We’ve all worked jobs that don’t pay much,” he said. “Nowadays, those jobs are still paying little, but prices are going up. We need to change this. A fair minimum wage is the responsible thing to push for in our community.”
A 1998 Boscobel High School graduate, Henneman has a bachelor’s degree in communications from UW–Platteville, as well as an associate degree in culinary business from Southwest Wisconsin Technical College.
In order to run for Assembly, he is currently on unpaid leave from the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility in Boscobel, where he has worked as a Food Service Leader 2 since 2008.
“Having worked at the prison for six years, we are no longer treated as equals,” said Henneman. The Department of “Corrections has said ‘no’ to spending money to better retrofit the prison as more general population inmates are added, which it was never designed to house. That just increases the possibility of bad things happening.
“Guards are also working more overtime due to a staff shortage. That means more people working tired, which increases the chance for accidents. You can’t expect 16 hours of work in an eight-hour shift.”
Two of Henneman’s priorities are education and the environmental reform, as evidenced by his campaign photograph, which was taken on the Boscobel High School track with the football track and solar panels in the background.
“Sports will be the first to go if we don’t start increasing public education funding, especially to rural schools,” said Henneman. “Wisconsin schools should be some of the best in the country; we have that ability. Instead we cut state funding for public schools and give it to voucher schools. I’ll fight for our public schools and oppose voucher schemes that send our tax dollars to unaccountable private institutions.”
As for the environment, Henneman said we need to find alternatives to frac sand mining.
“I have heard too many complaints, not only about the environmental issues these mines entail, but also on how they have degraded property values, ruined areas, and gone around local control,” he said.
Henneman said instead of haphazard development and environmentally damaging mining, Wisconsin needs a longterm economic plan.
“We need to look long term, both debtwise and program-wise,” he said. “We have to stop thinking budget cycle to budget cycle and election cycle to election cycle. The $900 million in tax breaks given away by the Legislature to big business could have been spend on education and transportation. Now we have to borrow $800 million just for transportation.”
Henneman said if elected he will be a man of the people, not the lobbying machine.
“I will be accountable to the people I represent, not the lobbyists that try and make appointments,” he said. “The people of the 49th don’t have the money to hire a lobbyist on their behalf, but they do have the ability to vote for someone who will.”