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Blank ‘for your community’

My name is Tim Baxter, Crawford County district attorney from southwest Wisconsin.

I was first elected in 1990, and attended "new prosecutor school" with Dan Blank. We become friends through the Wisconsin District Attorneys’ Association, and numerous state prosecutor conferences.

An important part of the role of the district attorney is prosecuting criminals. Most prosecutors, including the elected DAs, carry more than a full caseload. That means serious violent felonies, financial and property crimes, misdemeanors, traffic offenses, juvenile delinquents, child abuse and neglect, drug offenses and many other matters. The more senior and experienced prosecutors handle the more serious, complex, sensitive and time-consuming crimes. There’s more.

The DA also "reports to" the county board of supervisors and administrator on budget and personnel issues. The DA provides victim’s rights, represents the public, works with local law enforcement and other interested agencies. DAs hire and train new staff. Many assistant DAs come from out of the area and leave after a couple years for the lure of more lucrative, less stressful opportunities, or to another DA office closer to family. This puts extreme pressure on the elected DA, as crime never stops. Your DA, Dan Blank, has the experience, dedication, smarts and common sense to get the job done under difficult circumstances.

The district attorney’s job is to pursue justice, not just convictions and punishment. Daily decisions need to be weighed from many points of view. These decisions often result in a person involved being disgruntled.

I understand that some members of your local law enforcement have endorsed Dan’s opponent. After being in his position for 25 years, that is somewhat expected. They have probably seen many changes in their leadership and ranks; change is part of their culture. DAs should work with, but be independent of, law enforcement. That supports our U.S. Constitution’s principle of separation of powers. If Dan made every decision to please law enforcement, he wouldn’t be doing his job. You should be proud of Dan’s integrity.

Dan has dedicated his legal career to public and community service to Douglas County. Dan’s leadership has been proven by years in the trenches, fighting the good fight, day in and day out.

I can testify personally as to the respect Dan Blank has within the prosecutor community statewide. I can’t imagine anyone being more "for your community" than Dan. I strongly encourage you to re-elect Dan Blank on Aug. 9.