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Letters to The Platteville Journal for July 30
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Then and now

I read with joy and sadness Sen. Dale Schultz’s essay on same-sex marriage in the July 13 Journal.

Ten years ago, as the debate and battle against same-sex marriage built, my partner and I fought on the losing side against the amendment. I spoke often and loudly to community and university groups, sharing personal bits of my life with my long-time partner and now, in Iowa, legal spouse. I explained how my life isn’t that different from most heterosexual families: I love my partner, we own a home, two cars, two dogs and two cats. We also co-own a successful business on Main Street and work hard for our community.

Ten years ago, Sen. Schultz didn’t have time to listen to my personal story. His staff was not welcoming when I stopped in to talk with them. It was a very sad time.  Today, I am pleased to call the senator by his first name, shake his hand and talk about other pressing issues like the economy and healthcare.

In 1981, Wisconsin passed the first law banning discrimination against gay and lesbian people. In 2006, a different Wisconsin passed the same-sex marriage ban. In 2011, fear started to subside and legislation passed allowing state employees to register their same-sex domestic partners. This gave many gay or lesbian couples the ability to share in the many benefits that married heterosexual couples enjoy. In 2013, Jayne and I were legally married in Iowa.

Today Sen. Dale Schultz speaks publicly on marriage equality while Jayne and I hope one day to be legally recognized in Wisconsin. History is happening and we are part of it.  And really, after 22 years together, it won’t change who we are: a happy couple sharing our lives with each other.

Robin Timm

2 votes for Wittwer

It is important that voters participate in the upcoming Aug. 12 primary. If that date doesn’t work for you, absentee ballots are available in the city clerk’s office.

Before marking those ballots, voters also need to inform themselves about the issues and about the candidates.
Ernie Wittwer, who is running for the Senate in the 17th District, will be a strong advocate for Southwest Wisconsin. Born and raised on a family farm in Southwest Wisconsin, Ernie understands the issues affecting our agricultural area.

Also, having worked in government for 40 years, Ernie has first hand knowledge of how it works. As the senior career person in the Department of Transportation, he had a background of management responsibility for an agency of 400 people and oversight of a $2.5 billion budget.

Finally, as an educator with a degree in secondary education and advanced degrees in Public Management and in Continuing and Vocational Adult Education, Ernie is aware of the problems our rural schools face. With dwindling enrollment and the funneling of our tax dollars into voucher programs, our rural schools need a strong advocate in the legislature.

Marilyn Gottschalk

With Sen. Dale Schultz announcing his retirement, the 17th Senate District is getting a lot of attention.

Dale won the trust and respect of many in this district, including Democrats like me, casting tough votes that put him at odds with his party but reflecting the will of this district. I didn’t agree with some of his votes, but it saddens me that we will be losing him as a senator. He’s been clear that he has little respect for the current 51st Assembly representative, the Republican running for his seat.

The Republican hoping to replace Dale Schultz can pull in lots of cash from big money donors, but consistently votes against his constituents. He tells us he’ll fight fraud, waste and abuse, but has been silent on numerous scandals and millions of taxpayer dollars being squandered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. He panders to private school interests at the peril of our public schools, then tells us that spending money on vouchers has no impact on public school funding.

Everyone knows there is just so much money in the tax revenue bucket, and if you increase spending to private schools, you’ve got to take it from someplace else. Having served on the Mineral Point School Board for six years, I’ve seen our public schools take hit after hit since he’s been in office.

That leaves us with two very disparate options on the Democratic side. Just as Dale Schultz showed political courage in speaking up when his party leadership was wrong, I feel compelled to break the “play nice in primaries” rule and break with some of the party leadership in Madison, because this one is just too darned important.

If you value elected officials who say what you want to hear and can raise lots of money from people who don’t live here, you should consider the tall young guy who started running for state office shortly after moving here from Milwaukee a few years ago. Is he a better option than the fellow who is selling us out to the highest bidder and has a mountain of cash on hand to influence your vote. Yes, he is. Is that good enough? No, it is not.

will be proudly casting my vote for Ernie Wittwer in the Democratic primary. I’ve gotten to know him personally and not only will he stand strong for our public schools, women’s rights and local control, he is also an unassuming man of integrity. I’m tired of the “that’s politics” excuse for behavior we wouldn’t accept from other professions. We deserve better than “politics as usual.”

Maureen “Mo” May-Grimm
Mineral Point

Editor’s note: May-Grimm defeated Democrat Pat Bomhack in the 2012 Democratic primary before losing to Rep. Howard Marklein (R–Spring Green). Bomhack is running against Wittwer in the 17th Senate District Democratic primary, with the winner facing Marklein Nov. 4.

Support for Dreckman

On Tuesday, Aug. 12 residents of Grant County will decide who will lead the Sheriff’s Department.

In 2012, Gov. Scott Walker appointed Nate Dreckman sheriff. Since that time Sheriff Dreckman has done a great job. He has improved the transparency within the department, he has been a vocal leader on the issue of heroin, and he has helped keep our families safe. However, the purpose of this letter is not just to talk about the great job Sheriff Dreckman is doing. It is to mention the experience and leadership we will lose if voters replace him.

Since graduating from Potosi High School and UW–Platteville, Sheriff Dreckman has nearly 20 years of experience with the Sheriff’s Department. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, a very rare quality to find in a county sheriff. His resume also includes serving Grant County as the County’s D.A.R.E Officer, detective and patrol sergeant.

I am not the only one who thinks Sheriff Dreckman has an impressive background. When Gov. Walker appointed Sheriff Dreckman in 2012 he said, “Given the amount of community support Nathan received, coupled with his impressive service and experience, I think he will be able to successfully lead and manage the Grant County Sheriff’s Department.”

If Sheriff Dreckman loses on Aug. 12, he is out of a job. Losing this experience and track record of leadership would be a tremendous loss for our county and our communities.

Ronald Coppernoll

Support for Breitsprecker

Thanks to Ed Breitsprecker, voices of the people from Grant County will be heard on Aug. 12 when we elect a Sheriff of Grant County, unlike 2012 when the decision was handed down from Dane County. 

As a 28-year veteran of the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, Ed recognized the right to vote that was taken away from the people of Grant County back in 2012 with the retirement of then-Sheriff Govier. He is bringing the “choice” back to the people of Grant County.

It creates many challenges placing oneself in direct competition with a department supervisor; however, if there are improvements necessary and are not being addressed by the person in charge, someone needs to take the initiative to make sure unresolved issues are addressed. Ed recognized the task at hand and is ready to step into the position of Grant County Sheriff and make improvements to better serve the officers within the department and more importantly, the people of Grant County.

Too often you step into a voting booth and unknown names appear on a ballot for you to select from. The biography on Ed Breitsprecker speaks loudly as an American, a leader and an individual who will profoundly serve the people of Grant County as Sheriff.   

He served his country and is a veteran of the U.S. Army. His career with the Grant County Sheriff Department spans 28 years with 18 years as supervisor. Ed’s other credentials include, Field Training Coordinator, Certified Firearms Instructor, Certified Diver and Supervisor of Search & Recovery Team, Graduate of Southwest Wisconsin Leadership in Police Organizations, Graduate of Southwest Wisconsin Community Leadership Alliance and currently serves as Jail Administrator for the Sheriff Department. 

It’s not all about work; Ed is a husband and father of two adult boys and is actively involved with the Knights of Columbus Council 6480 and American Legion Post 473. He has made an effort to reach out to people of Grant County throughout the past several months and is now ready to turn the decision over to the voters. 

Maxine Lane

The Platteville Journal will print most letters to the editor, regardless of the opinion presented. The Journal reserves the right to edit material that is libelous or otherwise offensive to community standards and to shorten letters the Journal feels are excessively long. All letters must be signed and the signature must appear on the printed letter, along with a contact number or email for verification. Some submitted letters may not be published due to space constraints. “Thank you” letters will not be printed. All letters and columns represent the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of The Platteville Journal.