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Election 2016: U.S. Senate race

Russ Feingold, Ron Johnson and Phil Anderson vie for the Wisconsin U.S. Senate seat.

With the 2016 Fall Election slated for Tuesday, Nov. 8, we here at the New Richmond News are providing profiles of the candidates running for office.

In addition to the 30th Assembly District candidate profiles below, you can follow the links for the 7th Congressional District here; the 29th Assembly District here; and the St. Croix County District attorney's race (View forum here)and the 28th Assembly District here ...

The following is a look at each of the U.S. Senate candidates:

Sen. Ron JohnsonRon Johnson

Republican

Age: 61

Address: PO Box 1159 Oshkosh, WI 54903

Occupation: Plastics Manufacturer

Education: Accounting degree

Family: Wife Jane of 39 years, three children, two grandchildren.

What Senate Committees have you served on/are currently serving on? Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (Chairman), Committee on Foreign Relations, Committee on the Budget, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Q. What is your plan for ensuring U.S. national security?

A. I remain focused on keeping our local communities safe, and I’ve passed legislation into law to help keep terrorists out of the United States and to improve our cybersecurity defenses. I’ve also supported strengthening our military and called on the administration to lead by assembling a committed coalition and develop an effective strategy to actually defeat ISIS, and I staunchly oppose the Iran Deal. It’s clear that economic and national security are inextricably linked, and that’s why we need a strong economy, so we can strengthen our military, defeat terrorism and secure our border.

Q. What is your stance on gun control and how do you navigate the friction it causes among opposing groups?

A. I am a strong defender of our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to protect our families. I have supported reasonable proposals to help keep guns out of the wrong hands. I proposed legislation to give authorities the ability to keep guns away from people on the “no fly” and “selected” watch lists, that still would have provided due process to anyone who might mistakenly be on one of the lists. Additionally, I have supported reasonable proposals to help stop straw purchases and provide more resources to law enforcement to enforce existing gun laws. I am attempting to find common ground on common sense solutions to keep Wisconsinites safer and more secure.

Q. Do you believe climate change is a real issue and if so, how do you propose we address it?

A. The climate has always changed, and it always will. I am just not an alarmist. I believe we can and will adapt to whatever climate change actually occurs. We all want a clean environment — it’s a goal we all share. We need a strong economy to afford a clean environment, which is why I’m working to reduce the burden of over regulation and an uncompetitive tax system. I will also oppose policies that President Obama is implementing that even he admitted will: “necessarily cause electricity rates to skyrocket.” Those policies make Wisconsin workers less competitive and strangle economic growth.

Q. The AP reports Wisconsin has lost 75,000 jobs since 1993, when the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect. How do you propose we prevent more Wisconsin jobs from going overseas?

A. As an accountant and an Oshkosh manufacturer, I spent my career building a company and creating good-paying jobs. I know how hard it is to start and build a successful business, and how much harder the government makes it for workers and business leaders to succeed. That’s why we need tax and regulatory reform that creates more opportunity for Wisconsin workers, helps them stay globally competitive and allows them to keep more of their hard-earned money.

Q. In your eyes, what are the three top concerns Wisconsinites have today?

A. We need stronger economic and national security, and these two priorities are inextricably linked. A stronger economy will create more jobs, boost wages and increase opportunity for all. That in turn, will provide more resources for building a strong military, securing our border and maintaining America’s role as a global leader.

One of the most pressing issues that I’ve led on is the opioid epidemic. Drugs have affected so many Wisconsin families — including my own — and it must be addressed because of the crime, broken families and broken lives that are the result. There are many steps we need to take, but one thing is clear, we need to secure our southern border to keep drugs from flowing into the country. I introduced the PROP Act (Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing) which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognized as important enough to implement using their regulatory authority.

Also, as I talk to folks in Pierce County and across northwest Wisconsin, I hear their frustration over not having access to Wisconsin news and Packers games. As a result, I authored and passed legislation that allows Wisconsin-based broadcasters to petition the Federal Communications Commission to fix this so that Wisconsinites can watch Wisconsin programming — including Packers games.

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Russ FeingoldRuss D. Feingold

Democrat

Age: 63

Address: Middleton, WI

Occupation: Candidate for U.S. Senate

Education: University of Wisconsin-Madison, BA; Oxford University, BA; Harvard Law School, JD

Family: Wife: Christine Ferdinand; Daughters: Jessica and Ellen

What Senate Committees have you served on/are currently serving on? Foreign Relations Committee, Intelligence Committee, Budget Committee, Judiciary Committee

Q. What is your plan for ensuring U.S. national security?

A. I’ve proposed a smart, tough plan to defeat ISIS and secure the Middle East, including more human intelligence, smart deployment of special forces, targeted strikes to take out ISIS leaders, and strong measures to cut off their access to oil, arms and cash. We owe it to our nation, and those who serve and protect it, to have a smart and realistic plan for our security and not repeat the mistakes of the past.

Q. What is your stance on gun control and how do you navigate the friction it causes among opposing groups?

A. I strongly support the constitutionally-protected right to bear arms, and I would not support laws that violate the Second Amendment. However, we also face a crisis of gun violence in our country, so it’s long past time to pass commonsense, constitutional measures to address the nationwide epidemic of gun violence. We need to implement solutions like ensuring background checks for all purchases, reasonable waiting periods, and doing away with unnecessary high-capacity magazines that allow would-be killers to inflict massive harm in seconds.

Q. Do you believe climate change is a real issue and if so, how do you propose we address it?

A. Wisconsin can’t afford more climate change denial and inaction. It’s time to make much-needed investments in clean and renewable energy, confront water contamination in northeastern Wisconsin, and fix our crumbling infrastructure. It’s not too late to act to better our economy and climate for future generations.

Q. The AP reports Wisconsin has lost 75,000 jobs since 1993, when the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect. How do you propose we prevent more Wisconsin jobs from going overseas?

A. I am firmly opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Deals like NAFTA, CAFTA — and now, the TPP — have gutted our manufacturing sector by allowing big corporations to ship jobs overseas without consequences. In Wisconsin alone, we lost 75,000 jobs due to unfair trade deals. I know the TPP would be more of the same: a corporate handshake that would devastate working and middle class families. We need responsibly negotiated trade deals that adhere to worker protection and environmental standards, and prioritize worker training programs for a 21st century economy.

Q. In your eyes, what are the three top concerns Wisconsinites have today?

A. I’ve heard from Wisconsinites in all 72 counties who are struggling to pay their bills, afford their kids’ college tuition, and pay for prescription medicines. That’s why my top priority is to create an economy that works for Wisconsin’s middle class and working families. I would immediately focus on passing a federal minimum wage increase, enacting guaranteed paid leave for workers, protecting the retirement security of working Americans and seniors alike, and making higher education more affordable.

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Phil AndersonPhil Anderson

Party: Libertarian

Age: 51

Address: 2318 Westchester Road, Fitchburg WI 53711

Occupation: General Manager, Green Cab of Madison

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Geography, UW-Madison; Master of Arts in Applied Theology, Balamand University

Family: Wife, 2 teenage kids

Community Involvement: Vice chairman, Libertarian Party of Wisconsin; State Chair, Johnson/Weld 2016; St. Ignatius Church, Adult Education; Grace Episcopal Homeless Shelter, volunteer; Pregnancy Helpline of Madison, VP of Board (2006-08); and Cub Scout Pack Leader, 2010-11

Q. What is your plan for ensuring U.S. national security?

A. We need a strong military to be used in defense only, and only with congressional approval, per the Constitution. Our government has made the world a more dangerous place, for Americans especially, by interfering in other countries, regime change, drone strikes and bombings. I’ll lead the fight to bring our loved ones home and end wars of aggression and violence carried out by our government, in our name, and with our tax dollars.

Q. What is your stance on gun control and how do you navigate the friction it causes among opposing groups?

A. Every individual has the right to bear arms for defense against anyone else, including the government. We need to educate on the fact that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

Q. Do you believe climate change is a real issue and if so, how do you propose we address it?

A. Climate change is a real issue, although there is still uncertainty in the scientific community as to how much of it is caused by human activity. Pollution is a property rights issue, and any time and in any way that a corporation, government, or individual, infringes on the value and enjoyment of another person’s property, government has a constitutional role.

Q. The AP reports Wisconsin has lost 75,000 jobs since 1993, when the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect. How do you propose we prevent more Wisconsin jobs from going overseas?

A. The most effective response to jobs leaving the United States is a competitive tax code that incentivized businesses and capital to stay, entices new businesses to locate here and allows entrepreneurs to enter the economy easily. I’ll fight for lower taxes and a less burdensome regulatory environment, so that there is a higher demand for American labor, and higher wages and more prosperity for everyone.

Q. In your eyes, what are the three top concerns Wisconsinites have today?

A. First, our federal government kills innocent people abroad every day, in our name and with our tax dollars. We must stop sending our loved ones to fight wars and kill people so that political cronies get rich.

Second, we need lower taxes and a competitive regulatory environment, to bring jobs back to the U.S., help create new jobs, and allow new businesses to open and thrive.

Third, we need to fight for accountable government by passing the Read the Bills Act and One Subject at a Time Act. Look them up — the fact that neither of my opponents mentions these bills demonstrates their willing participation in a totally corrupt two-party system.

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