Congresswoman, senate candidate tours northern WisconsinA congresswoman from Wisconsin making a bid for the U.S. Senate was in Superior on Wednesday on a two-day swing through northern Wisconsin. U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who represents Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District in southern Wisconsin made stops at Calumet Specialty Products’ Superior refinery and Charter Films on Winter Street to learn more about the businesses, as well as meeting with the Superior Rotary on Barker’s Island.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
A congresswoman from Wisconsin making a bid for the U.S. Senate was in Superior on Wednesday on a two-day swing through northern Wisconsin.
U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who represents Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District in southern Wisconsin made stops at Calumet Specialty Products’ Superior refinery and Charter Films on Winter Street to learn more about the businesses, as well as meeting with the Superior Rotary on Barker’s Island.
“As I launch my campaign for the United States Senate, I am very interested in jobs and growth,” Baldwin said. “I’m really excited to see a variety of business sites, educational opportunities and talk about what needs to happen to grow. That’s what I’m committed to.”
Baldwin said she was impressed with the solid commitment Calumet has to Wisconsin even after the recent change in ownership at the refinery.
Calumet Specialty Products LP of Indiana took over ownership of the refinery in the fall, but little has changed at the Superior refinery previously owned by Murphy Oil.
After a briefing in the main office of the refinery, Baldwin toured the operation, visiting with workers and learning about how the refinery operates from workers throughout the facility.
She said it was fascinating to see not only how the refinery operates, but how policies set in Washington D.C. affect jobs in communities like Superior.
Baldwin serves on the Committee on Energy and Commerce as a member of the 112th Congress. According to her congressional biography, she is equally committed to the nation’s energy independence, promoting development of renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gases.
“Middle class families are really taking it on the chin right now,” Baldwin said. “It’s not just the recession of the past couple years. It’s bad economic policy that’s been years in the making.”
She said people have seen jobs leave the state, wages go down —and that’s not the way it’s supposed to be — the American dream means each generation is supposed to do better than the last.
“I think it’s high time that we have leaders who are willing to stand up to power interests that don’t have working families at heart and as their central goal,” Baldwin said. She said special interests hold “too much sway” in Madison and Washington D.C.
Baldwin said helping working families has been her priority over her political career.
Baldwin has served Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District since 1999. Born and raised in Madison, she was elected first to political office in 1986 when she served on the Dane County Board of Supervisors, a position she held until 1994. She also served for a year on the Madison City Council to fill a vacancy.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1989, she practiced law until 1992, until she was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly. She served in the assembly until she was elected to congress.
Thursday, Baldwin continued her northern tour, heading east and south with stops Ashland and Rhineland, visiting businesses, workers and voters at the Black Cat Coffee House in Ashland during a meet and greet, and a tour at Wausau Paper in Rhinelander.
“If I have the privilege of serving in the U.S. Senate, I serve the whole state of Wisconsin,” Baldwin said. “Understanding the economy and how it differs from the south to the north is really important.”
Baldwin said one of her priorities — and legislation recently signed into law by President Barack Obama that she worked on to hold China accountable for “cheating” is going to benefit Wisconsin workers in the paper industry.
“Wisconsin workers will come out ahead if we level the playing field,” Baldwin said.