By Chris Vetter
Democrat faces Republican Duffy in race for Obey's seat
A tough economy does not mean the U.S. can turn its back on veterans and small-business owners, congressional candidate Julie Lassa said Thursday.
At a campaign stop in Chippewa Falls, Lassa, a 39-year-old Democratic state senator from Stevens Point who is seeking the 7th District seat, said more must be done to help veterans, from providing them with better medical care to helping them start their own businesses.
"We need to make sure (veterans) receive credits if they are going back to school," Lassa said at the Democratic Party office to a crowd of about 20 people. "We also need to make sure we are taking care of their health care needs as well. We want to focus on mental health needs for our veterans."
Lassa, whose Republican opponent is former Ashland County District Attorney Sean Duffy, said Congress needs to create a level playing field by closing tax loopholes that encourage businesses to send jobs overseas. Independent candidate Gary Kauther of Poplar also is seeking the position.
Lassa called for eliminating capital gains taxes on small businesses and a "payroll tax holiday" for them.
"I think it's important to talk about what is the right policy to get people back to work," she said.
Lassa said any future federal stimulus bills should focus on jobs.
"We need to make sure they are targeted toward job creation," she said. "That's how the unallocated stimulus bills should be spent."
Duffy, 38, who made a campaign stop in Chippewa Falls last month, said he represents the kind of change citizens want in government.
Duffy has been critical of stimulus spending, saying it represents the kind of runaway expenditures that are bankrupting the U.S. He has proposed freezing government spending at 2008 levels, using unspent stimulus money to pay off the deficit, prioritizing cuts, ending bailouts and avoiding tax increases.
The 7th Congressional District seat has been held by Democrat David Obey of Wausau for 41 years. Obey is not seeking re-election. The sprawling district covers all of northwestern Wisconsin and much of the central part of the state.