MKEpolitics for April 15
U.S. Senate

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Milwaukee Notes

Political newcomer Torrey Lauer says his lack of government experience may well be an asset in his bid for the Democratic nomination in the 24th Assembly District.

“I don't have any previous government experience, and I believe that is a positive,” Lauer told WisPolitics, adding that means he's free from ties to special interests and can be “the voice of the people” when he's in Madison.

Lauer has instead devoted himself to business, and is the owner of a travel agency called Modern Travel Services. He said he started it from the ground up 10 years ago, and it now has 26 locations in 13 states.

“I know what it takes to keep a small business running and operating effectively within budget, and that is what I plan to do if I'm elected to the state Assembly,” Lauer said.

Lauer blamed Assembly Republicans for excessive spending over the past decade and said he aims to bring fiscal restraint to Madison

“As a business owner in this district that is what I will do,” Lauer said, ”bring that fiscal responsibility to Madison.”

Lauer said he would look for ways to cut “excessive and wasteful spending” and lower taxes once the state's structural deficits are are paid down.

While he commended Senate Democrats for attempting to address the state's healthcare problems through their “Healthy Wisconsin” proposal, he said he doesn't think it's the best solution for the state.

Instead, he said he'd like to look into the root causes of the state's high healthcare and insurance costs and for ways to bring those down without affecting quality or accessibility.

He is also calling for transparency in healthcare costs. He said he's talked with residents who have tried to call around for prices on healthcare and “no one is ever able to tell them how much it is going to cost.”

Uncertainty in healthcare costs eliminates the ability for people to plan and many decide to skip procedures, making their health suffer, he said.

Lauer describes himself as a conservative Democrat.

“I'm not running as a Milwaukee or a Madison Democrat,” Lauer said. “I grew up in Menomonee Falls and now live in Germantown, so my values are those of this district.”

One of those more conservative positions is his support for concealed carry of firearms.

“I see no logical reason to prevent a law-abiding citizen, especially one who is properly trained, from carrying a concealed weapon,” Lauer said.

He adding that he'd want a provision in the law whereby a person with a weapon would have to notify police officers who approach them that they are armed, and said he'd work with other legislators to determine what restrictions on concealed carry there would be.

Lauer also said he'd like to see increased fines for criminals, as current fines rarely cover the costs of the police work and court costs involved in prosecuting the offense. Those who can't afford to pay, Lauer said, should be required to do community service.

Lauer said he's been hearing from people in the district that they're tired of Democrats and Republicans not working together.

“I'm not going to be a party-line politician,” Lauer said, adding that he'll seek input from residents and represent their views in Madison.

Lauer is 31 years old, single, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He said he's planning on retuning to finish a degree in Spanish now that he's established in his business.

Unlike his opponent, Charlene Brady, who's running what she calls a “frugal campaign,” Lauer said he has been raising money and putting out yard signs and literature. He noted, however, that he has printed his fliers himself, hasn't sent out any mailers yet, and has held on to most of what he has raised.

See Lauer's campaign Web site:

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--Compiled by WisPolitics Staff

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