39th Assembly – Richard Bennett

Questionnaires were sent to candidates in the following races:

State Senate Districts 11, 13, 15
Assembly Districts 37, 39, 42 ,43, 44, 47, 49, 50, 51, 79, 81

All candidates received the same questions. The candidate’s answers have not been edited. 

What is your background and why are you running for office?

I was born and raised in Dodge County. I am a graduate from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and the University of Wisconsin; an Army veteran and a Legionnaire. My working years were in the private sector and I am a retiree from John Deere Company.

I’m running for office because the gerrymandering of the last re-districting session left many incumbents unopposed for office. I don’t believe in anointing our leaders; they should have to state their views before the election. 

How are you different from your opponent? 

As an independent I don’t have to follow the party line. My opponent comes from a union family and is a government worker but he had to follow his party when it attacked public worker unions. I will be free to represent the people of the 39 th district.

The state is potentially facing a $1.8 billion budget deficit next year.  What areas would you cut to balance the budget?  If no cuts, how would you raise revenues?

I would stop WEDC from making losing investments via tax credits. Business expansion should be a function of the market conditions instead of government handouts. 

Transportation funding will likely be an issue the next legislature will grapple with.  Do you think the state should change the funding source for road projects?  If so, how should they be funded?

I would make the most expensive sections of the highway self-supporting via a user fee. This move would replenish the state highway fund so the 39 th District could get some road repair. 

What should the state be doing to promote job creation that it isn’t currently?

I would admit that state government can’t create jobs but it can foster conditions that will attract entrepreneurs and startup businesses. Those conditions are: 1. an educated workforce 2. modern transportation and communication system 3. quality of life 4. access to investment capital. 

Would you expand or repeal Act 10, the collective bargaining law?

The exemptions written into Act 10 certainly look like political payback so expanding the financial aspect of Act 10 to include state legislators, state administrators and police and fire unions would only be fair. 

What’s one thing on which you disagree with the majority of your party?

I disagree with the dogma of “trickle down” economics.

What would be the first bill you’d like to author?

I would change the drinking age to 19 years. If a person is old enough to fight our wars then a person is old enough to visit the local pub.