PAUL SOGLIN

Wisconsin’s Choice Candidate Questionnaire (for 1st Round)

BACKGROUND

Name: Mayor Paul Soglin

Previous experience (what professional experience have you had that is relevant to the job of governor):

Mayor of Madison, elected eight times; extensive private sector experience, as a practicing attorney, a financial advisor, and as the Administrator at Epic; has taught at the Lafollette School of Public Affairs at UW Madison and was a fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Hometown:

Madison, Wisconsin

THE ISSUES -- For each of the issues below, please provide an overview of how you’ll approach the issue and your specific priorities within each realm. Please limit your response to each question to 150 words.

 Environment and energy 

  1. Restore the DNR’s independence. Convene previous DNR directors and environmentalists to meet and make recommendations to rebuild its integrity and credibility. Everything would be on the table – reorganization, return to civil service so that corporate tools would not be employed and dedicated civil servants protected.
  2. Commit to unpolluted, uncontaminated lakes, rivers, streams and deep water aquifers free from pollutants – salts (chloride), phosphorus, nitrates, and organisms like cryptosporidium. Rescind all waivers and change to regulations and laws adopted since 2010; that includes Foxconn.
  3. Reaffirm the Paris Climate Accords and implement an energy plan that calls for 50% renewables by 2030. Provide tax credits and other incentives to expand solar and wind energy. Meet the goal of generating half of our electricity by renewable energy by 2030I will establish a task force on statewide sustainability.
  4. Reintroduce the terms ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ to Wisconsin.

Healthcare 

  1. Adopt all requirements to make Wisconsin eligible for the federal Affordable Health Care Act, particularly, Medicaid.
  2. Expand Badgercare to ensure no family is left behind when it comes to health care as a first step to Universal Healthcare
  3. Ensure that healthcare coverage includes:
    1. Behavioral health. Inadequate mental health treatment is costing Wisconsin hundreds of millions of dollars and incalculable heartbreak and sorrow. Experts tell us than while some may overcome physical addiction, they may not overcome psychological addiction to opiates. That may require lifetime treatment and counseling; to ignore this tragedy will be too costly.
    2. Nutrition. Implement a state Food Policy Plan designed to make sure no resident goes hungry, every school provides nutritious lunches year around, and we implement a farm to table economy that links producers to markets to the markets and the consumer.

Education (all levels)

A community is only as strong as its public schools. We need an education governor – one committed to public education. From our smallest communities to our largest cities schools need proper funding which is not dependent upon the local property tax base.  I am prepared to raise taxes in Wisconsin to properly distribute funds based on school population and the limitations of the local property tax base.

We know enough about early child development to realize that the state that founded the first kindergartens must commit to 4 year old pre-K education.

In recent years Scott Walker turned the state upside down and now our Department of Corrections, not the University of Wisconsin System is the largest part of the state budget. We must right this by funding faculty salaries, restoring faculty rights, and reducing the cost of tuition and books for our students, giving them incentives to stay in Wisconsin.

 Voting rights and campaign finance

 Legislative districts should follow natural boundaries and be as compact as possible.  District boundaries should not be drawn to allow elected officials to select their constituents, or to avoid putting two incumbents in the same district, or to diminish or enhance the political influence of any group. I will push for the creation of a bipartisan commission responsible for districts established on fair principles not gerrymandering.

People gave their lives in the 1950’s and 60’s to obtain the right to vote. Down came poll taxes, unreasonable identification requirements, and testing designed to thwart freedom. As governor I will work to repeal the obnoxious and dangerous laws designed to destroy our democracy. We will repeal identification laws and work to expand registration, early voting, and voting hours. We should consider weekend voting.

We must adopt public financing of all campaigns. Corporate campaign funds must be outlawed; until United Citizens is overturned, the donor must be disclosed.

Public safety, policing, and mass incarceration

The first step is to release those sentenced for marijuana possession and other non-violent drug offenses related to addiction.  All prisoners who have served enough of a sentence that entitles to them to parole should be released immediately.

Adopt a Discharge Policy. That means that someone is released from any state institution – prison, mental health facility – will have appropriate provisions for housing, healthcare, jobs and appropriate counseling.

Police departments should be trained in community policing. Resolution dispute mediation available to communities

The following reasonable gun regulations should be adopted:

  • Waiting periods and Background checks with no gun show exemptions
  • No assault rifles
  • All property owners allowed to post “No Conceal and Carry.”
  • No high capacity magazine
  • No ownership under the age of 21 – parental supervision

 Wages and workers rights 

  1. Restore collective bargaining, prevailing wage, and project labor agreements
  2. Set a three-year plan for a $15 an hour minimum wage
  3. No public funding or tax exemptions for employers who fail to pay $15 and hour, provide health insurance, and a retirement plan
  4. Fund a program to establish worker owed cooperative businesses like Union Cab and Isthmus Engineering. That will end runaway plants.
  5. Open state retirement plan to all workers.
  6. Establish a state affordable housing program as Minnesota, Arizona, and and Utah. Working people should be able to afford to live in a reasonable distance to where they are employed.

Infrastructure 

Proper investment in infrastructure is what built this nation and Wisconsin. Examples include our schools, clear water supplies, roads and public transit systems, electrical grid and land line telephone system. Some more modern forms of public investment in infrastructure include sports stadiums, conventions centers, and access to natural areas like forests, parks, and hunting and fishing recreational areas. It is public investment in infrastructure that promotes private investment. It is public investment in infrastructure that enhances our health and safety.

Immediate attention must be given to our schools, transportation (roads and public transit), and a state wide broadband network that provides access to high speed internet access. I am prepared to raise and index the gasoline tax so we can properly fund our transportation system. In addition, we must invest in infrastructure to ensure fresh drinking water to all of Wisconsin and to repair the damage to our fresh water rivers, streams, and lakes.

Immigration

 Wisconsin must do all that is possible to preserve the rights of immigrants and to support a way to citizenship.  That is why, as mayor of Madison, I am active in working for immigration rights and a path to citizenship, particularly for Dreamers. The state of Wisconsin can immediately provide access to driver’s licenses, identification cards, and where qualified professional licenses regardless of citizenship status.

Every individual should have the right to access to financial services which includes banking, insurance and academic programs. Scott Walker would never admit it but Wisconsin‘s economy, particularly agriculture would collapse if all illegal immigrants were deported by Donald Trump.

As governor, I would ensure that Wisconsin’s laws were never illegally violated in an attempt by Trump to unconstitutionally detain people; I would use all of my influence to urge our congressional delegation to vote for a path to citizenship for all Dreamers.

Jobs and the economy

No matter how many jobs are out there, it does no good if the family is wanting for 1) Housing, 2) Transportation, 3) Health care, 4) Job Preparation – education and training, and 5) Quality childcare.

To fund foreign corporations, to provide massive tax cuts is to go about this ass backwards. First there must be a viable household. And housing comes First. Right now there are two limited means for funding workforce and affordable housing – federal tax credits and one year’s TIF. Missing from this is a Wisconsin Housing First initiative. Tax credits should be used for housing not Foxconn. With a state road and public transit program, universal health care, great schools, and childcare with properly paid instructors we will have created a great place for encouraging business. I know, I have done it.

We will restructure WEDAC into an agency that serves the people and then will make three types of investments:

  1. Worker and producer owned cooperatives
  2. Small businesses – the are the ones who most efficiently create the best jobs
  3. Traditional businesses that adhere to our employment standards in regards to wages, prevailing wage, healthcare, retirement funding and leave policies.

Scott Walker came into office determined to destroy public employees retirements plans and healthcare. I am determined to set that as a minimum not a standard to be destroyed.

Of the issues above, which three areas will you prioritize as governor of Wisconsin?

No matter how many jobs are out there, it does no good if the family is wanting for 1) Housing, 2) Transportation, 3) Health care, 4) Job Preparation – education and training, and 5) Quality childcare.

To fund foreign corporations, to provide massive tax cuts is to go about this ass backwards. First there must be a viable household. And housing comes First. Right now there are two limited means for funding workforce and affordable housing – federal tax credits and one year’s TIF. Missing from this is a Wisconsin Housing First initiative. Tax credits should be used for housing not Foxconn. With a state road and public transit program, universal health care, great schools, and childcare with properly paid instructors we will have created a great place for encouraging business. I know, I have done it.

We will restructure WEDAC into an agency that serves the people and then will make three types of investments:

  1. Worker and producer owned cooperatives
  2. Small businesses – the are the ones who most efficiently create the best jobs
  3. Traditional businesses that adhere to our employment standards in regards to wages, prevailing wage, healthcare, retirement funding and leave policies.

 

Scott Walker came into office determined to destroy public employees retirements plans and healthcare. I am determined to set that as a minimum not a standard to be destroyed.

In the best case scenario, what does good governance look like? Who should the governor of Wisconsin work alongside or in coalition with? (limit to 250 words)

No matter how many jobs are out there, it does no good if the family is wanting for 1) Housing, 2) Transportation, 3) Health care, 4) Job Preparation – education and training, and 5) Quality childcare.

To fund foreign corporations, to provide massive tax cuts is to go about this ass backwards. First there must be a viable household. And housing comes First. Right now there are two limited means for funding workforce and affordable housing – federal tax credits and one year’s TIF. Missing from this is a Wisconsin Housing First initiative. Tax credits should be used for housing not Foxconn. With a state road and public transit program, universal health care, great schools, and childcare with properly paid instructors we will have created a great place for encouraging business. I know, I have done it.

We will restructure WEDAC into an agency that serves the people and then will make three types of investments:

  1. Worker and producer owned cooperatives
  2. Small businesses – the are the ones who most efficiently create the best jobs
  3. Traditional businesses that adhere to our employment standards in regards to wages, prevailing wage, healthcare, retirement funding and leave policies.

Scott Walker came into office determined to destroy public employees retirements plans and healthcare. I am determined to set that as a minimum not a standard to be destroyed.

What efforts is your campaign making to recruit and engage volunteers?

My campaigns have always run on the power of volunteers and have depended on active engagement by supporters.

In this campaign, thus far we are:

  • Tabling and signing up volunteers at events where possible;
  • Providing on-line opportunities for volunteers to sign up;
  • Reaching out to volunteers from previous campaigns through phone and email; and
  • Reaching out to issue-area experts to solicit their ideas on moving Wisconsin forward.

In our campaign, volunteers are, and will be, engaged in tasks including lit dropping, issue development, grassroots organizing, phone banking, organizing and holding events (not only fundraisers but issue-focused events).