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Duffy, Westlund seek 7th District seat

Voters head to the polls Nov. 4 to decide the future direction of representation for Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District. Kelly Westlund of Ashland, a former Ashland City Councilor, is the Democratic challenger who would like to unseat U.S. Re...

Voters head to the polls Nov. 4 to decide the future direction of representation for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District. Kelly Westlund of Ashland, a former Ashland City Councilor, is the Democratic challenger who would like to unseat U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Weston. Duffy, a Hayward native who spent eight years serving as Ashland County district attorney, joined Congress in 2011. Westlund, a graduate of Emerge Wisconsin, a program to help Democratic women become more engaged in the political process, said as part of that education she was encouraged to ask if she could make decisions better than the person representing her. For Westlund, the answer was “yes.” It’s been the least effective Congress in the history of the country, she said. It’s a frustration Duffy shares. He said the House of Representatives has passed numerous bills, but the Senate refuses to take them up. If re-elected, he would be serving his third term in the House of Representatives. “When I travel the district, I always ask people the same question,” Westlund said. “‘What would you like to see Congress working on?’ The most common response is that people would like to see Congress working.” “So, when I go to Congress, two things … my background in conflict resolution and in coalition building, I feel as though I bring a skill to the table that will help me bring together some of those coalitions,” Westlund said. “We have a lot of serious issues facing this country and we can find common ground if we make the effort to do that and we can work our way out from there. The other thing is I want to do everything in my power to get that big money out.” She said people are frustrated with the least productive Congress in history and big money influence on the government. “I’m taking the values of a Northern Wisconsin guy out to Washington,” Duffy said. “I’ve done a number of different bills.” Before introducing it to the House, he said he works with a Democrat to work out the details, making changes as needed to come up with something both parties can agree to. That makes it easier to gain concurrence in committee before it gets to the House. “I think this is a little unfair because we’ve passed so many bills out of the House and the Senate doesn’t pick any of them up,” Duffy said. Duffy too would like to see the gridlock in the Senate to end “to move the ball down the field” in a way that is good for constituents and the country. “I think people are responsive to their constituents and I think if Senators who are part of that problem needed to be held accountable,” Duffy said. He said the Senate should at least take up the bills, and change them and send them back to the House if they don’t like them. That would get things moving again. Westlund earned a degree from Northland College in Ashland in peace, conflict and global studies with a minor in sociology. “Citizens’ voices ought to speak louder than campaign contributions, and right now, that’s not what’s happening,” Westlund said. Westlund said her goal as the representative of the largest Congressional District in the state is to be open and transparent, and travel to every corner of the district - not just the major population areas - because every citizen has something to contribute and something at stake, and they should have a voice in that. “It’s about accountability, making sure voters know that I expect them to let me know that they don’t like a decision that I’ve made,” Westlund said. Duffy acknowledges that people in the district don’t always agree with the things he’s done, but one of his strengths is his willingness to listen. “I think people appreciate that I listen,” Duffy said. Westlund sees the role of Wisconsin’s 7th District representative as one in which she goes out to Washington D.C. to fight for the things the district needs - adequate funding for infrastructure, education, health care and all the things that assure citizens have the opportunity for success. “I know Dave Obey took a lot of heat for the earmarks, but the fact is he brought a lot of resources to this district that employed a lot of people and laid the foundation for people who are still employed today,” Westlund said of Duffy’s predecessor, retired Congressman Dave Obey, a Democrat. Duffy has stood against earmarks because it’s government spending that doesn’t face the scrutiny of Congress. Jobs and the economy remain a top priority, Westlund said. “Middle class families are struggling to stay in the middle class,” Westlund said. “Working class families are struggling to get into the middle class. I don’t believe that anyone should work full-time and still in live in poverty.” Duffy said he is working on issues that would advance economic opportunity in a district that largely relies on small business as an economic engine. “If you look at our part of the country, we don’t have big, multinational companies,” Duffy said. “Most of our families are employed in small businesses.” And those are the businesses that struggle in the face of regulations that are cumbersome, he said. The Congressman said while large multinational companies have the economies of scale to navigate the regulatory environment, small businesses do not, and that is something he is working on. After all, regulations intended to reign in Wall Street banks are having a negative effect on community banks and credit unions, prompting closures and mergers, Duffy said. “I’m not saying we don’t need any rules and regulations; I don’t believe that,” Duffy said. “We need smart rules … for small businesses the amount of time that goes into compliance is debilitating.” Westlund said people shouldn’t be denied access to health care or education just because they cannot afford them. “We have the means in this country to do better, to expand those opportunities to everyone wherever they come from, but we lack the political will to make that happen.” The nation’s success comes down to the success of the middle class, Westlund said. It starts with things like raising the minimum wage, addressing the costs of health care and education, and strengthening Social Security. “I have a proven track record in building coalitions and solving problems,” Westlund said. “Those are skills I want to take with me to Washington, but its important that we have citizen engagement. We will never as a country have the government that we want unless we take an active role in shaping it. Your vote is your voice and it’s important that you use it.” “I’m a Northern Wisconsin boy, born and raised in Hayward, and it’s been an honor to represent the place that I love and the people I care about,” Duffy said. “I’m going to fight every day to take their values to Washington, and work on policies that are going to make the economy work again. For information about the candidates, visit www.kellywestlund.com and www.duffyforcongress.com.  
[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1255232","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"214","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]]Voters head to the polls Nov. 4 to decide the future direction of representation for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District. Kelly Westlund of Ashland, a former Ashland City Councilor, is the Democratic challenger who would like to unseat U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Weston. Duffy, a Hayward native who spent eight years serving as Ashland County district attorney, joined Congress in 2011. Westlund, a graduate of Emerge Wisconsin, a program to help Democratic women become more engaged in the political process, said as part of that education she was encouraged to ask if she could make decisions better than the person representing her. For Westlund, the answer was “yes.” It’s been the least effective Congress in the history of the country, she said. It’s a frustration Duffy shares. He said the House of Representatives has passed numerous bills, but the Senate refuses to take them up. If re-elected, he would be serving his third term in the House of Representatives. “When I travel the district, I always ask people the same question,” Westlund said. “‘What would you like to see Congress working on?’ The most common response is that people would like to see Congress working.” “So, when I go to Congress, two things … my background in conflict resolution and in coalition building, I feel as though I bring a skill to the table that will help me bring together some of those coalitions,” Westlund said. “We have a lot of serious issues facing this country and we can find common ground if we make the effort to do that and we can work our way out from there. The other thing is I want to do everything in my power to get that big money out.” She said people are frustrated with the least productive Congress in history and big money influence on the government. “I’m taking the values of a Northern Wisconsin guy out to Washington,” Duffy said. “I’ve done a number of different bills.” Before introducing it to the House, he said he works with a Democrat to work out the details, making changes as needed to come up with something both parties can agree to. That makes it easier to gain concurrence in committee before it gets to the House. “I think this is a little unfair because we’ve passed so many bills out of the House and the Senate doesn’t pick any of them up,” Duffy said. Duffy too would like to see the gridlock in the Senate to end “to move the ball down the field” in a way that is good for constituents and the country. “I think people are responsive to their constituents and I think if Senators who are part of that problem needed to be held accountable,” Duffy said. He said the Senate should at least take up the bills, and change them and send them back to the House if they don’t like them. That would get things moving again. Westlund earned a degree from Northland College in Ashland in peace, conflict and global studies with a minor in sociology. “Citizens’ voices ought to speak louder than campaign contributions, and right now, that’s not what’s happening,” Westlund said. Westlund said her goal as the representative of the largest Congressional District in the state is to be open and transparent, and travel to every corner of the district - not just the major population areas - because every citizen has something to contribute and something at stake, and they should have a voice in that. “It’s about accountability, making sure voters know that I expect them to let me know that they don’t like a decision that I’ve made,” Westlund said. Duffy acknowledges that people in the district don’t always agree with the things he’s done, but one of his strengths is his willingness to listen. “I think people appreciate that I listen,” Duffy said. Westlund sees the role of Wisconsin’s 7th District representative as one in which she goes out to Washington D.C. to fight for the things the district needs - adequate funding for infrastructure, education, health care and all the things that assure citizens have the opportunity for success. “I know Dave Obey took a lot of heat for the earmarks, but the fact is he brought a lot of resources to this district that employed a lot of people and laid the foundation for people who are still employed today,” Westlund said of Duffy’s predecessor, retired Congressman Dave Obey, a Democrat. Duffy has stood against earmarks because it’s government spending that doesn’t face the scrutiny of Congress. Jobs and the economy remain a top priority, Westlund said. “Middle class families are struggling to stay in the middle class,” Westlund said. “Working class families are struggling to get into the middle class. I don’t believe that anyone should work full-time and still in live in poverty.” Duffy said he is working on issues that would advance economic opportunity in a district that largely relies on small business as an economic engine. “If you look at our part of the country, we don’t have big, multinational companies,” Duffy said. “Most of our families are employed in small businesses.” And those are the businesses that struggle in the face of regulations that are cumbersome, he said. The Congressman said while large multinational companies have the economies of scale to navigate the regulatory environment, small businesses do not, and that is something he is working on. After all, regulations intended to reign in Wall Street banks are having a negative effect on community banks and credit unions, prompting closures and mergers, Duffy said. “I’m not saying we don’t need any rules and regulations; I don’t believe that,” Duffy said. “We need smart rules … for small businesses the amount of time that goes into compliance is debilitating.” Westlund said people shouldn’t be denied access to health care or education just because they cannot afford them. “We have the means in this country to do better, to expand those opportunities to everyone wherever they come from, but we lack the political will to make that happen.” The nation’s success comes down to the success of the middle class, Westlund said. It starts with things like raising the minimum wage, addressing the costs of health care and education, and strengthening Social Security. “I have a proven track record in building coalitions and solving problems,” Westlund said. “Those are skills I want to take with me to Washington, but its important that we have citizen engagement. We will never as a country have the government that we want unless we take an active role in shaping it. Your vote is your voice and it’s important that you use it.” “I’m a Northern Wisconsin boy, born and raised in Hayward, and it’s been an honor to represent the place that I love and the people I care about,” Duffy said. “I’m going to fight every day to take their values to Washington, and work on policies that are going to make the economy work again. For information about the candidates, visit www.kellywestlund.com and www.duffyforcongress.com.  [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1255233","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"480","style":"line-height: 1.538em;","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"262"}}]]
Voters head to the polls Nov. 4 to decide the future direction of representation for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District.Kelly Westlund of Ashland, a former Ashland City Councilor, is the Democratic challenger who would like to unseat U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Weston.Duffy, a Hayward native who spent eight years serving as Ashland County district attorney, joined Congress in 2011.Westlund, a graduate of Emerge Wisconsin, a program to help Democratic women become more engaged in the political process, said as part of that education she was encouraged to ask if she could make decisions better than the person representing her.For Westlund, the answer was “yes.” It’s been the least effective Congress in the history of the country, she said.It’s a frustration Duffy shares. He said the House of Representatives has passed numerous bills, but the Senate refuses to take them up.If re-elected, he would be serving his third term in the House of Representatives.“When I travel the district, I always ask people the same question,” Westlund said. “‘What would you like to see Congress working on?’ The most common response is that people would like to see Congress working.”“So, when I go to Congress, two things … my background in conflict resolution and in coalition building, I feel as though I bring a skill to the table that will help me bring together some of those coalitions,” Westlund said. “We have a lot of serious issues facing this country and we can find common ground if we make the effort to do that and we can work our way out from there. The other thing is I want to do everything in my power to get that big money out.”She said people are frustrated with the least productive Congress in history and big money influence on the government.“I’m taking the values of a Northern Wisconsin guy out to Washington,” Duffy said. “I’ve done a number of different bills.” Before introducing it to the House, he said he works with a Democrat to work out the details, making changes as needed to come up with something both parties can agree to. That makes it easier to gain concurrence in committee before it gets to the House.“I think this is a little unfair because we’ve passed so many bills out of the House and the Senate doesn’t pick any of them up,” Duffy said.Duffy too would like to see the gridlock in the Senate to end “to move the ball down the field” in a way that is good for constituents and the country.“I think people are responsive to their constituents and I think if Senators who are part of that problem needed to be held accountable,” Duffy said. He said the Senate should at least take up the bills, and change them and send them back to the House if they don’t like them. That would get things moving again.Westlund earned a degree from Northland College in Ashland in peace, conflict and global studies with a minor in sociology.“Citizens’ voices ought to speak louder than campaign contributions, and right now, that’s not what’s happening,” Westlund said.Westlund said her goal as the representative of the largest Congressional District in the state is to be open and transparent, and travel to every corner of the district - not just the major population areas - because every citizen has something to contribute and something at stake, and they should have a voice in that.“It’s about accountability, making sure voters know that I expect them to let me know that they don’t like a decision that I’ve made,” Westlund said.Duffy acknowledges that people in the district don’t always agree with the things he’s done, but one of his strengths is his willingness to listen. “I think people appreciate that I listen,” Duffy said.Westlund sees the role of Wisconsin’s 7th District representative as one in which she goes out to Washington D.C. to fight for the things the district needs - adequate funding for infrastructure, education, health care and all the things that assure citizens have the opportunity for success.“I know Dave Obey took a lot of heat for the earmarks, but the fact is he brought a lot of resources to this district that employed a lot of people and laid the foundation for people who are still employed today,” Westlund said of Duffy’s predecessor, retired Congressman Dave Obey, a Democrat.Duffy has stood against earmarks because it’s government spending that doesn’t face the scrutiny of Congress.Jobs and the economy remain a top priority, Westlund said.“Middle class families are struggling to stay in the middle class,” Westlund said. “Working class families are struggling to get into the middle class. I don’t believe that anyone should work full-time and still in live in poverty.”Duffy said he is working on issues that would advance economic opportunity in a district that largely relies on small business as an economic engine.“If you look at our part of the country, we don’t have big, multinational companies,” Duffy said. “Most of our families are employed in small businesses.”And those are the businesses that struggle in the face of regulations that are cumbersome, he said.The Congressman said while large multinational companies have the economies of scale to navigate the regulatory environment, small businesses do not, and that is something he is working on.After all, regulations intended to reign in Wall Street banks are having a negative effect on community banks and credit unions, prompting closures and mergers, Duffy said.“I’m not saying we don’t need any rules and regulations; I don’t believe that,” Duffy said. “We need smart rules … for small businesses the amount of time that goes into compliance is debilitating.”Westlund said people shouldn’t be denied access to health care or education just because they cannot afford them.“We have the means in this country to do better, to expand those opportunities to everyone wherever they come from, but we lack the political will to make that happen.”The nation’s success comes down to the success of the middle class, Westlund said. It starts with things like raising the minimum wage, addressing the costs of health care and education, and strengthening Social Security.“I have a proven track record in building coalitions and solving problems,” Westlund said. “Those are skills I want to take with me to Washington, but its important that we have citizen engagement. We will never as a country have the government that we want unless we take an active role in shaping it. Your vote is your voice and it’s important that you use it.”“I’m a Northern Wisconsin boy, born and raised in Hayward, and it’s been an honor to represent the place that I love and the people I care about,” Duffy said. “I’m going to fight every day to take their values to Washington, and work on policies that are going to make the economy work again.For information about the candidates, visit www.kellywestlund.com and www.duffyforcongress.com. 
[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1255232","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"214","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"180"}}]]Voters head to the polls Nov. 4 to decide the future direction of representation for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District.Kelly Westlund of Ashland, a former Ashland City Councilor, is the Democratic challenger who would like to unseat U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Weston.Duffy, a Hayward native who spent eight years serving as Ashland County district attorney, joined Congress in 2011.Westlund, a graduate of Emerge Wisconsin, a program to help Democratic women become more engaged in the political process, said as part of that education she was encouraged to ask if she could make decisions better than the person representing her.For Westlund, the answer was “yes.” It’s been the least effective Congress in the history of the country, she said.It’s a frustration Duffy shares. He said the House of Representatives has passed numerous bills, but the Senate refuses to take them up.If re-elected, he would be serving his third term in the House of Representatives.“When I travel the district, I always ask people the same question,” Westlund said. “‘What would you like to see Congress working on?’ The most common response is that people would like to see Congress working.”“So, when I go to Congress, two things … my background in conflict resolution and in coalition building, I feel as though I bring a skill to the table that will help me bring together some of those coalitions,” Westlund said. “We have a lot of serious issues facing this country and we can find common ground if we make the effort to do that and we can work our way out from there. The other thing is I want to do everything in my power to get that big money out.”She said people are frustrated with the least productive Congress in history and big money influence on the government.“I’m taking the values of a Northern Wisconsin guy out to Washington,” Duffy said. “I’ve done a number of different bills.” Before introducing it to the House, he said he works with a Democrat to work out the details, making changes as needed to come up with something both parties can agree to. That makes it easier to gain concurrence in committee before it gets to the House.“I think this is a little unfair because we’ve passed so many bills out of the House and the Senate doesn’t pick any of them up,” Duffy said.Duffy too would like to see the gridlock in the Senate to end “to move the ball down the field” in a way that is good for constituents and the country.“I think people are responsive to their constituents and I think if Senators who are part of that problem needed to be held accountable,” Duffy said. He said the Senate should at least take up the bills, and change them and send them back to the House if they don’t like them. That would get things moving again.Westlund earned a degree from Northland College in Ashland in peace, conflict and global studies with a minor in sociology.“Citizens’ voices ought to speak louder than campaign contributions, and right now, that’s not what’s happening,” Westlund said.Westlund said her goal as the representative of the largest Congressional District in the state is to be open and transparent, and travel to every corner of the district - not just the major population areas - because every citizen has something to contribute and something at stake, and they should have a voice in that.“It’s about accountability, making sure voters know that I expect them to let me know that they don’t like a decision that I’ve made,” Westlund said.Duffy acknowledges that people in the district don’t always agree with the things he’s done, but one of his strengths is his willingness to listen. “I think people appreciate that I listen,” Duffy said.Westlund sees the role of Wisconsin’s 7th District representative as one in which she goes out to Washington D.C. to fight for the things the district needs - adequate funding for infrastructure, education, health care and all the things that assure citizens have the opportunity for success.“I know Dave Obey took a lot of heat for the earmarks, but the fact is he brought a lot of resources to this district that employed a lot of people and laid the foundation for people who are still employed today,” Westlund said of Duffy’s predecessor, retired Congressman Dave Obey, a Democrat.Duffy has stood against earmarks because it’s government spending that doesn’t face the scrutiny of Congress.Jobs and the economy remain a top priority, Westlund said.“Middle class families are struggling to stay in the middle class,” Westlund said. “Working class families are struggling to get into the middle class. I don’t believe that anyone should work full-time and still in live in poverty.”Duffy said he is working on issues that would advance economic opportunity in a district that largely relies on small business as an economic engine.“If you look at our part of the country, we don’t have big, multinational companies,” Duffy said. “Most of our families are employed in small businesses.”And those are the businesses that struggle in the face of regulations that are cumbersome, he said.The Congressman said while large multinational companies have the economies of scale to navigate the regulatory environment, small businesses do not, and that is something he is working on.After all, regulations intended to reign in Wall Street banks are having a negative effect on community banks and credit unions, prompting closures and mergers, Duffy said.“I’m not saying we don’t need any rules and regulations; I don’t believe that,” Duffy said. “We need smart rules … for small businesses the amount of time that goes into compliance is debilitating.”Westlund said people shouldn’t be denied access to health care or education just because they cannot afford them.“We have the means in this country to do better, to expand those opportunities to everyone wherever they come from, but we lack the political will to make that happen.”The nation’s success comes down to the success of the middle class, Westlund said. It starts with things like raising the minimum wage, addressing the costs of health care and education, and strengthening Social Security.“I have a proven track record in building coalitions and solving problems,” Westlund said. “Those are skills I want to take with me to Washington, but its important that we have citizen engagement. We will never as a country have the government that we want unless we take an active role in shaping it. Your vote is your voice and it’s important that you use it.”“I’m a Northern Wisconsin boy, born and raised in Hayward, and it’s been an honor to represent the place that I love and the people I care about,” Duffy said. “I’m going to fight every day to take their values to Washington, and work on policies that are going to make the economy work again.For information about the candidates, visit www.kellywestlund.com and www.duffyforcongress.com. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1255233","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"480","style":"line-height: 1.538em;","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"262"}}]]

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