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4th Congressional District Candidates: On the Issues

(First of a series on the upcoming elections) Eight candidates are competing to replace Democratic U.S. Rep. Gerald D. Kleczka, who is not seeking re-election. The 4th District includes all of Milwaukee, Cudahy, St. Francis, South Milwaukee, West Milwaukee, and part of West Allis. Riverwest Currents and storyhill.net asked 4th Congressional District candidates to respond to questions about issues relevant to Milwaukee-area voters. The questions and candidates’ answers will run in August and September Currents and on the storyhill.net website. Republican and Democratic primaries will be held September 14; the general election is November 2. Democrats State Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Wisconsin — Madison. He served in the Assembly from 1984-2002, when he was elected to the Senate. Attorney Matt Flynn moved to Milwaukee when he was 15. He attended Yale University on a scholarship and, after a stint in the Navy, attended the University of Wisconsin Law School on the GI Bill. He now is a lawyer with the Quarles and Brady law firm. Flynn is the former chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. He was a co-chairman of Sen. John Kerry’s Wisconsin campaign for the presidency during the primary. State Sen. Gwendolynne Moore (D-Milwaukee) received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Marquette University. She served in the Assembly from 1989 to 1992, when she was elected to the Senate. She was the first African-American woman to serve there. Republicans Gerald “Jerry” H. Boyle is a lawyer with Boyle, Boyle, & Boyle. He is an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the Iraq war. He received his law degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, in 2002. Corey Hoze worked from 2002 to 2004 as Midwest Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Before that, he managed corporate affairs at Miller Brewing Co. and was Administrator of the Division of Economic Development at the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. Hoze holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a bachelor’s degree in religion from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Hoze did not respond to the questions Independents Tim Johnson served as Milwaukee County supervisor for the 15th District from 2002 to 2004, when he decided not to seek re-election. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, and served in Iraq War I. Johnson has a Ph.D in theology from Marquette University where he is an adjunct professor. He also teaches at Lakeland College in West Allis. Independent candidates Colin Hudson and Robert Raymond could not be reached for comment. Would you support or oppose federal legislation to allow Great Lakes water to be shipped outside the Great Lakes basin to Waukesha or other communities? Why or why not? Gerald “Jerry” H. Boyle Any legislation should only allow water to be shipped to communities adjacent to the Great Lakes. I think it would be fair to allow other communities to petition for use of the water; however, it should be decided on a case-by-case basis. The Great Lakes, and specifically Lake Michigan, is a natural wonder and should be preserved as much as possible. Tim Carpenter I would not support legislation to allow the diversion of Great Lakes water out of the Great Lakes Basin. Though seemingly large, the Great Lakes Basin is a fragile ecosystem. Reckless demands by developers out of the Basin to draw down this wonderful natural resource to supply endless new suburbs could cause irreplaceable damage. Further, allowing diversion of this water out of the Great Lakes Basin to even nearby Waukesha would set a dangerous precedent; once done, such a diversion would most likely have to be granted to any other state who requested Great Lakes water. The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters has given me a 100% voting scorecard in the State Senate. My legislative record for 20 years in the State Legislature has earned me numerous Clean 16 awards. I am a proud member of the Sierra Club. As a congressman, I pledge to continue to fight to keep protect our natural resources for the responsible use and enjoyment of our children and future generations. Matt Flynn I would oppose federal legislation to allow Great Lakes water to be shipped outside the Great Lakes basin. The Great Lakes water resources are one of Milwaukee County’s most important assets. I think it is environmentally and economically unwise to view Great Lakes water as something to be sold or shipped elsewhere.Tim JohnsonA commission of U.S. governors that is currently chaired by Wisconsin’s Governor Jim Doyle has jurisdiction over these matters. I would therefore resist initiating legislation that did not first take into full account the recommendations of the commission. Having said that, I believe that the decisions of the commission must balance at least two critical concerns. First, some communities in our own state are in need of fresh water for various reasons, and it seems rather selfish for a neighbor to deny them access to a natural resource. On the other hand, diverting water to suburbs might contribute to further urban sprawl, which itself can have negative economic impacts on residents of Milwaukee through a reduced tax base, etc. Should the commission agree to ship water to other communities, I would be more likely to support such efforts if the receiving community were able to replenish at least part of the water through the return of treated water. Gwendolynne Moore Diverting water outside of the basin will eventually result in serious damage to one of the nation’s great natural treasures and Milwaukee cannot afford the loss of development nor the increase in sprawl across the region that would likely accompany this policy. I believe that we must focus on conservation as a means to meet the water needs of communities rather than the diversion of water from the Great Lakes basin. Do you support the current military action in Iraq? If so, why? If not, what would you do differently? Gerald “Jerry” H. Boyle I Support the War ABSOLUTELY – As a captain in the Marine Corps and as a veteran of the most recent conflict in Iraq, I understand the over arching goal of the War on Terror and how the war in Iraq is facilitating the “bigger picture.” I was shocked when I returned from my voluntary tour of duty with the Marine Corps and heard the slanted and biased reports from the media and the Hollywood elite.I saw first hand the great things we were doing over in Iraq and how the Iraqi people embraced our efforts.I get daily updates from my friends over in Iraq and the same sentiment continues.If we fail in Iraq or allow terrorists to dictate our political process (i.e. the effect of the Madrid Bombing or the pullout of the Philippines troops) then democracy and freedom will be in jeopardy forever. Tim Carpenter The new Bush doctrine holding that the United States can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently threatening us — but might be threatening to us in the future — is radical and troubling. In a world with perfect intelligence one could argue that the doctrine might have merit. But the fact that we went to Iraq based upon the Administration’s warnings built upon intelligence reports that were unverified, unconfirmed, and inaccurate should make us all question whether this doctrine is, or can be used, consistently with the values that have made our nation great. We may have the world’s best military, but we cannot fight a global war on terrorism without the cooperation and friendship of our time-honored allies. Therefore, the Bush administration’s unwise squandering of worldwide goodwill, trust, and support following the horror of 9/11 has damaged our nation’s ability to pursue the war on terrorism. Such a fight needs a leader and leadership team that we can trust to look out for the security and long- term interests of this country, and the Bush administration has sadly proved to not have this quality and character. Matt Flynn I believe that George Bush misled the American people to enter into that action in the first place. The war is misguided and wrong. As a Navy veteran, I am concerned about the men and women in our armed forces who are fighting and dying with no clear mission and no clear exit strategy. I do think it important to support our troops in Iraq to protect them. I am also concerned that we take steps to prevent genocidal conflict among tribal factions in Iraq as we withdraw. I think the best policy at this point is (a) to throw Bush out of office, and (b) turn over control of Iraq to a broad coalition of countries who will, in turn, transition Iraq to a coalition government that can rebuild and stabilize that country. What George Bush has done is to spend hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq that he has bled out of our economy, to divert attention from his slow destruction of our economy. I believe that he has acted dishonestly and should be removed from office for that reason. Tim Johnson As a veteran from the first Gulf War, which had widespread international support, I am very concerned about our current involvement in Iraq. In short, I believe that we are doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. We are doing the right thing because I know of the human and environmental atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein’s regime and removing him from power was the right thing to do. However, I believe we acted for the wrong reasons, with an over-hyped WMD threat and without the broad-based coalition support that we had in the first Gulf War. Our soldiers are doing an amazing job in severe conditions, and we need to bring them home in a matter of months, not years. Gwendolynne Moore I oppose the military action in Iraq, which was based on false intelligence and has cost billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. In Wisconsin, taxpayers will pay nearly $2.6 billion for the cost of the war in Iraq. Yet the even greater cost of this war is that of the lives of soldiers. I’ve had to look into the faces of mothers whose children have returned in body bags and it is heartbreaking emotionally and psychologically. This is an unjust war that hurts spiritually, economically, and emotionally. We must implement an exit strategy for our troops that does not compromise the security of the Iraqi people but also does not prolong U.S. involvement. We must also work to restore the international community’s faith and confidence in the United States as an agent of peace. The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission has recommended adding lanes to 127 miles of freeway in the region. The estimated cost, in 2000 dollars, is $6.2 billion. Federal revenue would fund a significant portion of the freeway expansion. Would you favor using federal money for this purpose? Why or why not? Gerald “Jerry” H. Boyle Highways were a federal initiative after World War II. Interstates remain the number-one mode of transportation for all goods and services in the United States. If needed, federal money should be used to fund highway improvement and expansion. Tim Carpenter SEWRPC’s plans to favor expansion of capacity over supporting the repair and maintenance of existing roadways are unwise, and need to be redone. The plans will encourage unreasonable sprawl and seem to be based upon the disproved notion that adding lanes will reduce congestion. Further, SEWRPC’s plans, especially with relation to the enlargement of the Marquette Interchange, have disregarded the harm they will cause to the local community. Matt Flynn My primary objective is to use federal dollars to improve and modernize mass transit systems, and to maintain a safe highway system. I think that freeway expansion for the sake of expansion simply leads to more traffic, urban sprawl, and bad land use practices. I want to create good jobs with good benefits in Milwaukee County, with a transportation infrastructure that supports economic expansion and an accessible workforce. Freeway expansion for the sake of expansion is counter to that objective, and I would not favor appropriating funds for that reason. Tim Johnson Improving our transportation infrastructure is an important part of helping the region’s economic stability in the future. While I support both freeway expansion and mass transit initiatives such as the Downtown Connector, I do believe a greater percentage of federal dollars needs to be dedicated to mass transit. We have a looming energy crisis and it is important that the federal government seeks the greater good by dedicating more funding to mass transit and alternative fuel research. The freeways of tomorrow will be used by automobiles that burn alternative fuels, which is far more palatable than the status quo. In short, I would be open to anything we can do to improve the region’s infrastructure for the good of everyone. Gwendolynne Moore I am concerned with the impact of this proposal on our communities. Many studies have shown that freeway expansion is unlikely to significantly reduce congestion and leads to an increase in urban sprawl and air pollution, endangering both the environment and public health. We must look for long-term solutions to our transportation problems rather than a quick fix through building up our freeways. In Congress, I will work to direct federal money to our area to fund mass transit and environmentally-friendly transportation initiatives. Answers were compiled by Storyhill web editor and Riverwest Currents writer Gretchen Schuldt. Candidates’ answers to three additional questions will be featured in the September Riverwest Currents and at storyhill.net.