/ Opinions / For Congress: Tiffany will give northern region a strong voice
In the strongest terms we can, we endorse Tom Tiffany for Congress in next Tuesday’s election, and urge voters to cast their vote for a representative who we believe will give the Lakeland area and northern Wisconsin a strong voice in Congress — a much more spirited and forceful voice than that of any representative in recent memory.
That’s a critical reason to have Tiffany in Congress — which we will discuss in more detail in a moment — but it’s not the only one, by far.
Another reason is, while Tricia Zunker, the Democratic nominee, is an articulate candidate who we think has the best of intentions, she embraces a far-left ideology, with a pinch of moderation sprinkled in. In her beliefs, Tricia Zunker is not just out of line with most of the Northwoods, she is way beyond the pale of reasonable thinking.
One example is gun rights. Zunker says she believes in the Second Amendment, but that assertion is as far as the moderation goes. What comes out of her mouth next is anti-Second Amendment dogma all the way.
She wants to confiscate AR-15s, otherwise known as modern sporting rifles. She wants universal background checks, which sounds good until you realize that — as even Barack Obama’s Justice Department conceded — such checks are unenforceable without a national firearms registry.
Sadly, history tells us that as soon as the government knows who has the guns and where they are, confiscation is just a turn around the next bend.
Zunker supports red flag laws that subvert American justice and presume people guilty of crimes that they have never committed — all as an excuse to take their guns. It goes on and on.
This past March, Oneida County overwhelmingly passed a resolution — 16-1 — to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary County. It passed by such a large margin because every county supervisor knew what supervisor Mitch Ives said on the county board floor — if that resolution went to referendum, it would pass in a landslide.
Put bluntly, Zunker’s views on guns are out of step with the vast majority of northern Wisconsin, and she does not deserve to hide in her own sanctuary of hollow proclamations while she works actively to destroy our constitutional rights.
She also tries to dance around the phrase Green New Deal, but she has called it a good idea and her environmental policy specifics bear out the radical nature of her beliefs — beliefs that would destroy the American economy.
She supports the Paris Accords, for instance, which would let developing nations pollute while strangling the American economy with strict emission standards, the result of which would eviscerate the labor market, especially in states like Wisconsin, and encourage big manufacturers to shift their operations from the U.S., where they could no longer sustain operations, to developing nations where they could continue to thrive.
And our jobs would go with them.
It’s not just guns and the environment. It’s immigration, too. She mocks the building of a wall on the southern border, when in fact walls are effective in other nations. They are not just walls but barriers of technological prowess, but Zunker ignores that such barriers are necessary not merely to stanch the flow of illegal aliens — and the burdens they place on labor markets and welfare rolls — but to curb the flow of lethal drugs from Mexico.
And it’s not just guns and the environment and immigration, it’s health care and trade and the size of government and, well, you get the picture. Zunker has embraced the AOC radical agenda of the Democratic Party, and that’s about as far as you can get from the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
Tiffany, by contrast, is a strong supporter of gun rights, a Donald Trump ally, and a life-long conservative who holds and understands constitutional values and rights. If the Northwoods is a safe sanctuary for those values and rights — and it is — we can count on Tiffany to protect that sanctuary.
But we can also count on Tiffany to be an aggressive and robust voice for the North, and for the Lakeland area, which we mentioned at the beginning of this Our View and which is critical to our endorsement.
Simply put, Tom Tiffany’s home is Minocqua. He has represented our interests and represented them well in his time in the state Legislature. He knows our concerns, as well as our hopes and dreams, from the inside out, in part because of a decade listening to the citizens of his district and in part because he has lived all his life in northern Wisconsin.
He doesn’t just represent our district in the state Senate; he lives and breathes it. And he will live and breath it, too, in Congress. Tiffany will finally give the North a seat at the table, and that can’t be understated, especially for Minocqua and the towns of the Lakeland area.
For years, Democrat Dave Obey represented much of this district, and, if you are a conservative, there was always a lot of political disagreements to be had. But one thing Dave Obey got right was the attention he paid to his constituents. He, too, knew their needs. He, too, went to bat for the towns and communities he represented and cared about. He got a lot of things done for those communities.
To be sure, he often got those things done old school and became known as the King of Pork. It wasn’t a responsible way to deliver, but deliver he did.
Times have changed, and we’re not asking Tiffany to bring home the bacon at the expense of taxpayers, nor would he do so. But Tiffany is like Obey in one respect: He is connected to his home area. He listens, and he responds. His heart is in the right place, and we think his voice will be even stronger (and less encumbered by special interests) than Obey’s was.
Of course Obey was Wausau centered and didn’t care much about the Northwoods. But Tiffany does care, and we believe and know he will finally give our beliefs and needs the attention in Congress they have long deserved.
One need look no further than the man he seeks to replace to understand just how lacking our voice has been. Rep. Sean Duffy may have done some good things for conservatives on the national stage, but he was pretty much disconnected on the local level, at least in the Northwoods.
An illustrative example: For years now, in addition to always being accessible, Tiffany has come to our office every year for extensive interviews that can sometimes be contentious. But Tiffany comes, and talks, and listens.
Compare that to Duffy, who never set foot into the newspaper’s office in his time in Congress.
It’s pretty telling, and so was his lackadaisical efforts to delist wolves, constantly introducing legislation and promising to get tough with the GOP House leadership — and they were in the majority — but never doing so and never getting any results. We believe Tom Tiffany will push that button and make a compelling case that will be heard.
We don’t expect him to always be successful. We don’t expect — or want — him to give us unfair treatment at the expense of taxpayers.
What we do want is a voice, a vigorous voice on federal issues such as rail and economic development, wolves and property rights, small business overregulation and job creation.
We have absolutely no doubt Tom Tiffany will provide that voice. And all with a healthy respect for our constitutional rights, which long ago the Democratic Party came to loathe.
For Congress, and for our future, it’s Tom Tiffany on Tuesday.