Signor Vote Rally Turns Into Unscheduled Debate for 7th Congressional District Candidates
By Rick St. Germaine
From LCO Today FB Group Page
Sparks flew at the Signor Village Voter Rally Saturday afternoon as U.S. Congressman Tom Tiffany faced off against his opponent Richard Ausman (Lac du Flambeau, WI) in a Congressional debate that historically may be a first for Sawyer County.
Congressional candidates took turns introducing themselves, describing their positions on important issues and critiquing the weaknesses of the other.
Democrat Ausman pointed out Republican Tiffany’s absenteeism in Congressional votes, “missing over three hundred Congressional votes in the past year.”
Glancing around the small room Ausman stated to the audience, “You’re paying for a representative who has little responsibility for his obligations especially in a time of international crisis.” He added that Tiffany voted against the Affordable Insulin Act and rejects medical care for seniors.
Ausman urged legislators to return to a time when they worked amicably together to negotiate peaceful resolution to major issues across the aisle rather than with deep polarized battles.
Representative Tiffany asserted that inflation is hurting everyone, arguing that “we need to balance the budget.” He recalled the years that he served as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly and State Senate.
“I served on the Finance Committee and we had to balance the state budget,” he noted, as he then charged that run away expenditures like the federal recovery program is rife with fraudulent expenditures like those who bought homes in Nairobi with those funds.
Tiffany then cited his work with the Red Cliff Tribe on a tribal law enforcement parity bill to help control fentanyl overdoses.
“Fentanyl is coming across the border costing us lives,” he stated, then added, “just five miles from here [gesturing east of Signor] the Sheriff showed me bricks of methamphetamine that was tracked right to Mexico coming across the border.”
During the Question and Answer period, Tiffany was asked about his opposition to Social Security measures. “I voted against those Medicare provisions because they were inflationary; Medicaid is Badger Care in Wisconsin and I believe that they are state’s responsibilities to create their own programs,” he stated.
An audience member asked Mr. Tiffany to stop the right wing extremists from making threats and violence against Democrat leaders, referring to the recent brutal attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband [reportedly shouting “Where’s Nancy?” before striking Paul Pelosi in the head with a hammer]. Mr. Tiffany replied that he abhors such violence and added that leftist extremists were also responsible for attacks against Republican leaders. He reminded the audience that the shooting of House Republican leader Steve Scalise shows that both parties have violent extremists.
The exchange led to an escalated exchange between several audience members and Tiffany.
When the questions focused on women’s rights and women’s choice in Wisconsin, it again became heated in the room. Mr. Tiffany asserted that states should have the right to determine their positions on Roe. An audience member replied that Wisconsin Republican legislators are not allowing citizens to have a state referendum on the matter. Mr. Tiffany stated that he believes that State legislators will deal with this after the November 8thelection.
Audience members also argued with Mr. Tiffany about issues of environmental protection and alternative energy. One questioner stated that oil corporate greed is driving up gas prices. Tiffany responded by stating that subsidized tax credits are a problem with alternative energy sources. Several questioners argued with him then drowned him out during his attempts to respond with audible charges of mistruths and lies. Mr. Tiffany looked at the Moderator as if asking for forum rules to gave him a chance to finish his statements.
The one hour debate between Representative Tom Tiffany and Democrat candidate Richard Ausman followed a presentation by Elizabeth Riley, Hayward candidate for State Assembly 87th District who argued for universal health care for all Americans. According to Riley, “Insurance companies should not discriminate against Americans with pre-existing conditions.” Riley is a registered nurse who has served in critical care and administrative positions.
The Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe is conducting a voting drive and has held two voter’s rallies on the Reservation. A third rally is planned for the New Post community on Saturday, November 5, 2022 at 1:00 pm. Telephone 715/634-8934 for further information.
Incumbent Congressman Tom Tiffany (R), left, and challenger Richard Ausman (D).