Live Candidates Forum for 21st Senate District Race Set for Tonight

Patch and WGTD are hosting and broadcasting live a candidates forum for the recall election in the 21st Senate District on Thursday.

State Sen. Van Wanggaard and former state Sen. John Lehman will participate in a live candidates forum Thursday, May 24, in the .

Sponsored by the Caledonia and Mount Pleasant-Sturtevant Patch sites, with help from WGTD Radio, the at the , 8811 Campus Drive.

WGTD will broadcast the forum live on 91.1FM, and Patch will do a live blog of the event.

against Tamra Varebrook, the "protest" candidate tapped by the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Our moderator for the evening will be Patch Regional Editor Mark Maley, and our timekeeper will be Bob Haggarty, president of Haggarty Insurance and Financial Services in Kenosha.

The format will go as follows:

  • Candidates will each have two-minute introductions
  • They will then answer six questions prepared by Patch and WGTD
  • Candidates will alternate answering questions with three minutes for their primary answer
  • Each candidate will get an additional minute for rebuttal and response
  • Upon entering the auditorium, audience members will be asked to write questions on notecards, which will be delivered to the moderator
  • Moderator will choose fo questions that are different than what has already been asked
  • Candidates will each have three minutes to answer, again alternating who answers first
  • There will not be rebuttals during this portion of the forum
  • Candidates will each have two-minute closing statement

We hope to see you there.

GearHead April 16, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Hmmm. Not much to debate. Van: I'll continue to cut taxes and spending, and improve the business climate. John: I'll continue to raise taxes and spending, selling out to the trial lawyers and public unions. Shouldn't be too many undecided voters on this election.
skinnyDUDE April 16, 2012 at 08:31 PM
That about sums it up . Van Wanggard is the Right choice. But Ignorance always seems to get support too .
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) April 16, 2012 at 08:47 PM
What questions do you suggest we ask during the debate?
upset father April 16, 2012 at 11:20 PM
How about do you think the people that illegally signed the recall petion should they be prosecuted ?
Chris Wright April 17, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Since Falk and Barrett wouldn't answer it. "What you do to balance the budget instead of the measures in Act 10?
Chris Wright April 17, 2012 at 12:31 AM
http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/barrett-falk-wont-say-how-they-would-have-balanced-wisconsins-budget_636918.html Here's the link to their nonresponse.
James R Hoffa April 17, 2012 at 05:28 AM
This should be fun - I think Hoffa just may have to attend this debate!
James R Hoffa April 17, 2012 at 05:42 AM
How about asking Lehman if he would have fled to Illinois with the rest of the Democratic senate caucus. If he answers yes or that he supports what the others did, then ask as a follow-up how he justifies having the vote of all of the constituents of those senators being officially recorded as having been 'absent' because they were more concerned about pandering to a select special interest than voting 'nay' on behalf of all of their constituents.
enicar333 April 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM
John Lehman was an educator. and also beleives in heavy taxation to support public education. I want to know - Where is the FRUIT from all the money that has been, and continues to be spent on education? Why is Racine NOT successful? Whose fault is it? In a deflationary peiod for wages and benefits, coupled with the emergence of a global economy, Americans must now share the resource/profit pie with a larger segment of the World's citizens; therefore each American now gets a smaller share of the World's resource/profit pie - why can't public education teachers adjust and do more with less? 180 days is only part time schooling, with the implementation of child labor laws and the industrializtion of farming, child labor is no longer extensively used, therefore it would make sense to expand school too a full time schedule - with students having more time for practicing skills learned thus increasing retention and knowledge - why has this not been done? IF you are going to increase funding for schools, thus raising property tax, will you support ending tax exemptions for "affordable housing", churches, 501c3 Corporations, and the myraid of other groups that own property but don't pay their fair share of the tax burden?
enicar333 April 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Should membership in public employee unions be mandatory, or voluntary? Is it OK to compel membership and forceably extract dues for membership? . Should dues for public employee unions be deducted from the paycheck and sent to union headquarters by the employer, or should the employee personally have to pay them? . Should public employee union dues be used to fund political activities - which have a direct bearing on public employee salaries, benefits, retirements and working conditions? Why is the current situation NOT a conflict of interest? . Why is it not UNFAIR that union public employees VOTE in elections where there is a direct conflict of interest - voting for those who have the power to raise/lower their salaries, benefits, and retirements? Does not Democracy demand that the TAXPAYERS, i.e. public vote on pay/benefit increases for government officials and public employees?
enicar333 April 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Most public employee pensions assume a rate of return of at least 7% or greater per annum to fully fund their pensions. This is an exponential function over the long term, and requires a doubling every 10 years in order to work. This clearly is not realistic. i.e. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, etc. Given the realities presented above - defend the current system, or propose an alternative that is based in reality.
enicar333 April 17, 2012 at 12:13 PM
The Rev. Tony Larsen and the Unitarian Universalist Church (quite wealthy church I might add) are extremely politically active - YET - they claim a 501c-3 tax exemption and do not shoulder ANY tax burden. The Rev. Larsen actively lobbies for programs and policies that increase taxes and political power - WHY is this abuse of 501c-3 status allowed to continue - Would you support legislation removing tax exempt status from Churches that wish to violate the separation of Church/State doctrine that is championed in this Nation?
enicar333 April 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Would you support legislation tying teacher pay to Community economic health - thus giving teachers a vested interest in their product - future businessmen and leaders thay have educated - i.e. IF teachers did their job well, a Community flourishes economically, IF NOT, a Community is economically stunted?
enicar333 April 17, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Would you support abolishing property taxes, reducing the size/scope of government , and instead fund government strictly through VAT and consumption taxes? If a property is assessed by a government (local taxing authority) at $50,000, and the owner doesn't pay parperty tax for 3 years, in the amount of $10,000 - the government will take that property for tax. WHY DOES THE GOVERNMENT NOT OWE THAT OWNER $40,000? Would you support abolishing Wisconsin Income Tax and institute a VAT/consumption tax scheme instead? Would you support licensing parents - requiring Proof of financial responsibility, suitability for parenting, and alcohol/drug testing of parents? Would you support, and introduce legislation requiring drug/alcohol testing as a requirement for any forms of public assistance/housing. Would you support, and introduce legislation requiring periodic inspections of public housing - to include drug and alcohol checks, cleanliness, overall conditions?
Peter Tillema April 17, 2012 at 03:26 PM
As far as I am concerned the incumbants should be allowed to complete their terms as elected in the gerneral election. I think the amount of money spent on thje recalls and the the cost to defend is obscene. I personally do not pay any attention to any of the political ads whether they are negative or not. I do not pay one cent to any candidate involved in the recall action. I'm willing to wait for the next election to changes to occur if I so deem. This whole recall business id a perversion of the electoral sysyem.
upset father April 19, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Ask Lehman to clairify his comment that teachers stop being so greedy . And why not when he was a teacher .
Keith Best May 14, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Since the sky is NOT falling and Gov. Walkers reforms are working, I wonder what Lehman would have done to erase the $3.6 billion dollar defict Wis. had? What would be his plan? How much would he have wanted to raise taxes? Would he have ran and hid in Illinois like a coward? These are all questions Lehman should have to answer.
WIwishes May 14, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Wow. Although enicar, Hoffa and Wright posed some questions, it is clear they support Van Wanggaard so imust chime in. Let's ask Van why he didn't support April's Law. Let's ask Van why he didn't bother to show up to vote on his own bill. Let's ask Van why he refuses to meet with his constituents who have questions or suggestions for him. Let's ask Van how he justifies the drastic cuts to education specifically to Racine, which was already pointed out, has one of the most severe problems in WI yet was cut the most in the state. Let's ask Van why this "shared sacrifice" propaganda that has been so harshly out on teachers does not extend to the politicians and the people they hire.....the people who have less experience and education than the previous administration, have connections to lobbyists or campaign contributors, yet in this"broke" state have been given significant raises.
GearHead May 14, 2012 at 06:55 PM
@ WIwishes. If you are going to ask a question, it should be premised in fact. Van has office hours EVERY thursday afternoon at his Ives Grove office. Lehman never met with his constituants. As far as "cuts" to education go, they were balanced by giving RUSD the tools to manage the cuts, unlike the Doyle cuts to education, where the pain was felt in the classroom. This was because of the stranglehold collective bargaining placed on 85% of the RUSD budget. You conveniantly forget that RUSD extended their contracts, and teachers finally agreed to pay a portion of their own health and pension. And do I need to remind you the cuts were in part made because enrollment has been declining. Less kids means less money for kids. Any responsible entity would recognise that, and deal with it appropriatly. As for the rest of your questions, they are no more than political rhetoric.
Stormy Weather May 24, 2012 at 12:38 PM
GearHead is right - RU$D made their own bed, when they rushed a contract through. And they still haven't bothered to come up with an exit survey for parents pulling their children from the district. The reason being, that RU$D doesn't want to see the truth in written format! Last year 860 students left our district via Open Enrollment and 210 students left via School Choice Vouchers. Less then 20 students came into RU$D via Open Enrollment! This year it appears that most of the 500 School Choice Vouchers will be filled and the Open Enrollment numbers will probably go up. And our RU$D school board sits on their rear ends and tells us that they need 60 million more to fix schools that parents are running from???
Stormy Weather May 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM
I would ask Lehman what he has been doing since he was booted out of the office by Van Wanggaard. I would also ask him, what he would have done when the other 14 senators tucked in their tails and ran to Illinois.
Keith Best May 24, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Democrats have said that Walker devasted education. I bet you will hear that from Lehman. Areas that embraced ACT 10 were not devasted Only the ones that extended union contracts were. Recently, Waukesha School Board Superintendent Todd Gray said, "We're in a very good place, with no expected layoffs nor any expected program reductions." This was after erasing a $9.3 million deficit. This is happening all over Wisconsin with over $1 Billion Dollars saved. That's why you should vote Walker/ Kleefisch Wanggaard June 5th. www.reforms.wi.gov
patchreader 123 May 24, 2012 at 02:20 PM
PLEASE ASK BOTH CANDIDATES (AT THE MAY 24 DEBATE): Do you favor or oppose Assembly Bill 303? http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/proposals/AB303


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