Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D)
Elected 1998; 7th term
Baldwin is one of the most liberal members of Congress, and her seat on
the Energy and Commerce Committee positions her well to promote her
interests in health care. A persistent critic of President George W. Bush, she
now has a president in Barack Obama whose politics are more to her liking,
but finds herself with less clout in a Republican-led House.
Baldwin came to Congress with the overriding objective of providing
universal health coverage, and saw her quest fulfilled — somewhat — with
enactment in 2010 of the Democrats’ health care overhaul. But that law does
not include either the government-run insurance option preferred by many
liberals or the Canadian-style single-payer system backed by Baldwin. When
the House passed the final version, Baldwin called it “the first of many
improvements” and said, “Our work is not done.”
She is the first woman elected to Congress from Wisconsin and the first
openly gay woman to win a seat in either chamber. She exchanged marriage
vows in 1998 with Lauren Azar, a lawyer, though same-sex unions are not
legal in Wisconsin (their partnership was later dissolved). With Democrat
225-2906 Barney Frank of Massachusetts, she founded the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
tammybaldwin.house.gov and Transgender Equality Caucus in 2008.
2446 Rayburn Bldg. 20515-4902; fax 225-6942
She backs legislation — bound to go nowhere in the GOP-led House — to
Energy & Commerce
repeal the 1996 law known as the Defense of Marriage Act, and applauded
when Obama’s Justice Department said it would not defend the law in court.
Madison As a Judiciary Committee member in the 110th Congress (2007-08), Bald-
Born win was a cosponsor and vocal advocate of legislation expanding hate crime
Feb. 11, 1962; Madison, Wis. laws to cover crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation. The
Religion House passed the bill in 2007, but it failed to win enactment. Baldwin and
other supporters were back again in the 111th Congress (2009-10), winning
Dissolved partnership swift House passage of their legislation. “Americans across the country,
Education young and old alike, must hear Congress clearly affirm that hate-based
Smith College, A.B. 1984 (math & government); U. of violence targeting gays, lesbians, transgender individuals, women, and
Wisconsin, J.D. 1989 people with disabilities will not be tolerated,” she said.
Career She no longer serves on the Judiciary panel.
In 2007, she joined Frank and Republicans Deborah Pryce of Ohio and
Madison City Council, 1986; Dane County Board of Christopher Shays of Connecticut in sponsoring legislation to outlaw
Supervisors, 1986-94; Wis. Assembly, 1993-99 employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
ELECTION RESULTS The House passed the bill after removing workplace protections for trans-
2010 GENERAL gender individuals. The Senate did not call up the measure. Baldwin said
Tammy Baldwin (D) 191,164 61.8%
Chad Lee (R) 118,099 38.2%
she was pleased the House had passed the bill for the first time but unhap-
py transgender individuals were “carved out.”
Tammy Baldwin (D) unopposed In September 2010 the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee
2008 GENERAL approved her bill to require the Department of Health and Human Services
Tammy Baldwin (D) 277,914 69.3% to ask about an individual’s sexual orientation if they participate in HHS
Peter Theron (R) 122,513 30.6%
programs or surveys. Baldwin said the information was “vitally needed to
Previous Winning Percentages
2006 (63%); 2004 (63%); 2002 (66%); 2000 (51%); protect the health of all Americans — including LGBT Americans,” but the
1998 (52%) measure never moved any further.
In the 110th, Bush signed into law two health bills she had sponsored. The
first, which she considers one of her most significant achievements in Con-
gress, reauthorized and expanded a screening program for breast and cervi-
cal cancer. The second expanded benefits for veterans with impaired vision.
Baldwin also takes pride in several provisions she helped draft during
committee action on a 2007 energy law that raised vehicle fuel efficiency
standards and promoted energy-efficient appliances. One required con-
w ww.c q ro l l ca l l .com 1067
sumer appliances to have a standby mode using no more than one watt of 2010
electricity, while another promoted new technology to use excess steam Overhaul the nation's health insurance
from industrial processes for energy purposes. system
A member of the Progressive Caucus, Baldwin was one of six House Allow for repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" YES
Overhaul financial services industry
members who cosponsored a 2008 resolution calling for an impeachment regulation
inquiry of Bush. She said Bush should be held accountable for alleged Limit use of new Afghanistan War funds to
abuses of power by members of his administration. troop withdrawal activities
But she also seeks common ground with Republicans when it will help Change oversight of offshore drilling and
lift oil spill liability cap
her achieve her goals. She has worked with Georgia Republican Tom Price
Provide a path to legal status for some
— former chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the House’s most children of illegal immigrants
conservative faction — on legislation to allow states to use federal grants in Extend Bush-era income tax cuts for two
a variety of ways to help provide health insurance. She and Iowa Republican years
Tom Latham also teamed up on a measure aimed at reducing a nationwide 2009
nursing shortage. Expand the Children's Health Insurance
Baldwin was a bipartisan hit in 1999, her first year in office, with a speech
Provide $787 billion in tax cuts and spend-
at the annual Congressional Dinner of the Washington Press Club Founda- ing increases to stimulate the economy
tion. “I’m one of the first elected officials who represents a group histori- Allow bankruptcy judges to modify
cally discriminated against,” Baldwin said. “A group that has been kept out certain primary-residence mortgages
of jobs, harassed at the workplace. A group that’s been unfairly stereotyped Create a cap-and-trade system to limit
greenhouse gas emissions
and made the object of rude and base humor. Of course, I’m talking about
Provide $2 billion for the "cash for
blondes . . . especially blondes named Tammy.” clunkers" program
Born and raised in Madison, home to the University of Wisconsin and a Establish the government as the sole
hotbed of liberalism, Baldwin reflects the views of her constituency and the provider of student loans
passion for politics of her upbringing. Her maternal grandparents raised her Restrict federally funded insurance cover-
age for abortions in health care overhaul
while her mother attended the university and participated in civil rights and
anti-war demonstrations. Her grandfather was a biochemist, and her grand-
CQ Vote Studies
mother worked at the costume lab at the university theater.
Baldwin got into politics while she was still in law school. In 1986, at age UNITY SUPPORT
24, she won election as a Dane County supervisor. She says she was inspired SUPPORT OPPOSE SUPPORT OPPOSE
in part by the Democrats’ nomination two years earlier of Geraldine A. Fer- 2010 99% 1% 85% 15%
raro for vice president. After four terms as a county supervisor, in 1992 she 2009 99% 1% 96% 4%
2008 99% 1% 14% 86%
was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly, where she served six years.
2007 99% 1% 3% 97%
With her own impressive fundraising and help from EMILY’s List, a political 2006 99% 1% 13% 87%
action committee that supports Democratic female candidates who back abor- Interest Groups
tion rights, Baldwin edged out two well-known opponents in the 1998 primary AFL-CIO ADA CCUS ACU
for the House. She then beat former state Insurance Commissioner Josephine 2010 100% 100% 13% 0%
Musser by 6 percentage points. In 2000, she eked out a 3-percentage-point 2009 100% 95% 45% 0%
victory over Republican John Sharpless, a history professor. She has prevailed 2008 100% 100% 56% 0%
handily since, winning with 62 percent of the vote in 2010. 2007 96% 100% 45% 0%
2006 100% 95% 20% 0%
Wisconsin 2 “Little Switzerland,” in Green County in the district’s southwest. The Wis-
consin Dells — ancient natural limestone formations along the Wisconsin
South — Madison River — attract visitors to the district’s north, which also features many
Once described by former GOP Gov. Lee Dreyfus as “78 square miles sur- commercial waterparks.
rounded by reality,” Madison has long been Wisconsin’s liberal centerpiece. The 2nd generally is divided politically into Madison vs. everywhere else,
The capital city is the 2nd’s political heart, although growing numbers of with residents of the university- and government-dominated capital
socially liberal, ﬁscally conservative young professionals in the suburbs may standing in contrast to social conservatives and residents of area farming
have a future impact.
Dane County — which gave Barack Obama his second-highest percent-
Located on an isthmus between two lakes — Mendota and Menona —
age statewide (73 percent) as he took 69 percent of the district’s 2008
Madison’s high quality of life is diminished only by its biting winters. The
presidential vote overall — gave incumbent Democratic Sen. Russ
state university system’s ﬂagship campus has a major inﬂuence on the
Feingold his highest percentage (70 percent) in his unsuccessful 2010
city, and an educated, white-collar population fuels the local economy.
University graduates, resources and expertise have boosted associated
industries, such as biotech. The Madison area’s relatively stable economy Major Industry
based around the university and government jobs have largely insulated Higher education, agriculture, government
the district’s housing and job markets. Other large employment bases Cities
include light manufacturing ﬁrms. Madison, 233,209; Beloit (pt.), 36,942; Sun Prairie, 29,364; Fitchburg, 25,260
Outside of Madison, the 2nd resembles most of the rest of Wisconsin. Notable
Strong milk and grain production make the 2nd the state’s top agricultural The Ringling Brothers started their circus — which later merged with
region. Tourists are lured to the district by New Glarus, touted as America’s Barnum and Bailey’s “Greatest Show on Earth” — in Baraboo in 1884.
1068 w w w. cq press. com
Rep. Sean P. Duffy (R)
Elected 2010; 1st term
Duffy’s résumé includes roles as a bus driver, lawyer, lumberjack and
reality television personality. To the role of congressman, he promises to
bring a vastly more conservative outlook than his predecessor, 20-term
Democrat David R. Obey.
Duffy — previously best known for appearing on the TV show “The Real
World” in 1997 — has said he ran for Congress in response to the 2009
economic stimulus package, shepherded in part by Obey, then chairman of
the Appropriations Committee.
Indeed, like many in the GOP freshman class, Duffy saw much of the
work of the 111th Congress (2009-10) as doing more harm than good.
“We’re at a point where we have to get serious about the fiscal problems
that we face,” Duffy said on CNN in April 2011.
A member of the Financial Services and Joint Economic committees, he
backed the catchall bill trimming $40 billion from fiscal 2011 spending that
became law, as well as an earlier GOP-backed version that would have cut
225-3365 Duffy has spent much of his life in heavily wooded northern Wisconsin,
duffy.house.gov where he grew up the 10th of 11 children. Lumber is a big part of his family’s
1208 Longworth Bldg. 20515-4907; fax 225-3240
history, going back to his great-great grandfather, who worked for the North-
western Lumber Company. Duffy has followed in that tradition by competing
Joint Economic in — and winning — numerous lumberjack competitions. The money he
Residence earned from such events helped pay his way through college and law school.
Ashland While in law school, Duffy appeared on MTV’s “The Real World.” He says
Born that the best part of the experience was that he met his future wife, Rachel
Oct. 3, 1971; Hayward, Wis.
Campos, who had appeared on an earlier season of the program.
Roman Catholic After a stint in his father’s legal practice, he became a special prosecutor
Family and later a district attorney.
Wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy; six children Duffy was initially seen as facing a steep climb in his bid to oust Obey,
Education but the veteran announced in May 2010 that he would retire after 40 years
St. Mary's College (Minn.), B.A. 1994 (marketing); in the House. That left Duffy to face state Sen. Julie Lassa, whom he defeat-
William Mitchell College of Law, J.D. 1999
ed by about 8 percentage points.
County prosecutor; lawyer; bus driver; professional
timber sports competitor; reality show personality
Wisconsin 7 The tranquil lifestyle in the small towns
Political Highlights appeals to senior citizens, and the 7th’s
Ashland County district attorney, 2002-10 Northwest — Wausau, hundreds of lakes in the north are a natural
Superior, Stevens Point draw for tourists. The University of Wisconsin
campuses at Stevens Point and Superior at-
Sean P. Duffy (R) 132,551 52.1% Wisconsin’s 7th, the state’s largest and most tract young people to Marathon and Doug-
Julie Lassa (D) 113,018 44.4% rural district, stretches north and west from the las counties, while Polk County capitalizes
Gary Kauther (I) 8,397 3.3% central counties to the Apostle Islands in the on its proximity to the Minneapolis-St. Paul
waters of southern Lake Superior. Small towns metropolitan area. Many Hmong immigrants
checker the district. have settled in Marathon County.
Sean P. Duffy (R) 41,032 66.1%
Daniel E. Mielke (R) 21,075 33.9% Farming sustains the economy, although Blue-collar regions around Stevens Point and
cold weather in the north shaves a full along Lake Superior in the north still back
month off the growing season. Democrats, but descendants of Scandinavian
Dairy farms are the agricultural heart of immigrants and a Christian Right contingent
the district. Centrally located Marathon form the Republican base.
County leads Wisconsin in dairy production.
The nutrient-rich soil in the Central Sands Major Industry
Agriculture, paper, manufacturing
country in the state’s midsection produces
seed potatoes, cranberries, vegetables and Cities
ginseng. Wausau, 39,106; Superior, 27,244
Some metalworking and paper factories still Notable
produce their goods, although the district The American Birkebeiner, from Cable to
has lost blue-collar jobs. Stevens Point and Hayward, is North America’s largest cross-
Wausau are local insurance hubs. country ski marathon.
www.c q ro l l ca l l .com 1077
Sen. Ron Johnson (R)
Elected 2010; 1st term
Johnson, a business owner and accountant who had never served in
public office before winning election to the Senate, has little good to say
about the business practices of the federal government or the way it
accounts for its money.
Dubbed an “Ayn Rand-loving, pro-life Lutheran” by the conservative
Weekly Standard magazine, Johnson was criticized during his victorious
campaign against 18-year incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold for being
vague on how he would reduce spending and spur job creation. “I don’t
think this election is about details,” he responded at one point, according
to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Once in the Senate — and as a member of both the Appropriations and
Budget committees — he signed on as a cosponsor of legislation by Ten-
nessee Republican Bob Corker and Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill
that would limit all discretionary and mandatory spending to a declining
percentage of the gross domestic product.
He praised the proposal written by fellow Wisconsin Republican Paul
224-5323 D. Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, calling it “a serious
ronjohnson.senate.gov proposal that takes the discussion from talking about billions of dollars of
386 Russell Bldg. 20510-4904; fax 224-2725
deficit spending to the trillions of dollars that is really the issue.”
Johnson, who also sits on the Special Aging Committee, voted to repeal
Budget the health care overhaul law enacted in 2010. And he urges reduced regu-
Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs lation and lower taxes.
“The Small Business Administration estimates that government regula-
Oshkosh tions cost our economy $1.7 trillion annually,” he said in the Republican
Born response to the president’s weekly radio address in late January 2011.
April 8, 1955; Mankato, Minn. “According to the IRS’s own figures, it cost taxpayers 6.1 billion hours to
Religion comply with tax code just last year.”
Lutheran He was among a number of conservative GOP candidates who signed the
Family “Contract From America,” the platform inspired by the 1994 “Contract With
Wife, Jane Johnson; three children
America.” The new contract calls for a moratorium on earmarks until Con-
U. of Minnesota, B.S. 1977 (accounting), attended gress balances the budget; a two-thirds majority in Congress to pass ear-
1977-79 (business administration) marks and tax increases; a flat-tax system; and limits on federal spending.
Career Johnson was named ranking Republican on the Homeland Security and
Plastics manufacturing company owner; shipping
supply company machine operator; accountant
Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Manage-
ment, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia — a position he says
No previous ofﬁce gives him another spot from which to keep close watch on federal spending.
ELECTION RESULTS He is a social conservative, opposing abortion rights and federal fund-
2010 GENERAL ing of embryonic stem cell research. “My basic belief is you don’t want to
Ron Johnson (R) 1,125,999 51.9% get in a situation where you’re creating life though destroying it,” Johnson
Russ Feingold (D) 1,020,958 47.0%
Rob Taylor (CNSTP) 23,473 1.1% told The Associated Press in October 2010. He also supports gun owners’
2010 PRIMARY rights, winning the endorsement of the National Rifle Association.
Ron Johnson (R) 504,644 84.8% Johnson is a skeptic on man-made climate change, saying “it’s not set-
Dave Bond Westlake IV (R) 61,633 10.4% tled science” and speculating that sunspots create natural changes in
Stephen M. Finn (R) 28,929 4.9%
Earth’s temperature, a position backed by some scientists. “We certainly
should not penalize our economy to the tune of a trillion dollars when we
have this weakened economy,” he told Fox News.
Johnson was born and raised in neighboring Minnesota. To earn money
as a kid, he mowed lawns, shoveled snow from driveways, delivered news-
papers, baled hay and worked as a golf caddie. In his teen years, he was a
dishwasher and night manager at a Walgreen’s Grill.
To earn extra money, his family worked in its basement to produce soap
w ww.c q ro l l ca l l .com 1063
balls to sell to a local bath factory, according to a profile in the Milwaukee
Johnson lived at home and worked full time while attending the Univer-
sity of Minnesota. He says he was able to graduate from college debt free,
with $7,000 in the bank. “The greatest compliment my parents would ever
give somebody is, ‘That person is a really hard worker.’ It’s a part of who
you are,” Johnson told the Journal Sentinel.
He began working as an accountant for Josten’s, which sells school rings
and yearbooks, then moved to Oshkosh, Wis., in 1979 to help launch a
plastics manufacturing firm with his brother-in-law. The company, Pacur,
produces a specialty plastic used in medical device packaging and high-tech
In a rare venture into the political world before the Senate race, Johnson
testified before the Wisconsin legislature in opposition to a bill that would
have extended the statute of limitations for civil liability in child sexual abuse
cases. The law was aimed primarily at the Roman Catholic Church. Johnson,
a Lutheran, was active in the Green Bay Diocese Finance Council and in
financially supporting Catholic schools in the region. He feared the law would
bankrupt the diocese and possibly force the closure of area schools.
“I think its a valid question to ask if the employer of the perpetrator should
also be severely damaged, possibly destroyed, in a legitimate desire for
justice?” he told the lawmakers. At the same time, he called for the diocese
to cooperate fully in any investigations. The bill was not approved by either
In the autumn of 2009, Johnson was invited to speak to a group of tea party
activists in Oshkosh. His scathing dissertation on the health care overhaul
inspired some of the participants to urge him to get into the Senate race.
By spring 2010 he was seriously considering it. In April, the leading poten-
tial Republican candidate, former Gov. Tommy G. Thompson, announced
he would not enter the race. A month later, Johnson got in.
He swept to the GOP nomination, winning both the state party endorse-
ment at a May convention and the support of tea party activists like those
he had impressed the previous fall. He easily captured the nomination in the
September primary, winning 85 percent of the vote over small-business
owner Dave Westlake.
A poll conducted the day after the primary showed Johnson running
ahead of Feingold, 51 percent to 44 percent.
Having never run for office before, though, he stumbled out of the gate,
making a number of verbal gaffes — at one point he said he was running
because he heard Dick Morris say on Fox News that “some rich guy” was
what Wisconsin Republicans needed to beat Feingold.
But Feingold also made a few unforced errors. Known throughout his
career as an advocate for tighter regulation of campaigns, he had to pull an
ad that included a clip from an NFL game without permission.
Feingold also accused Johnson of supporting drilling for oil in the Great
Lakes — he doesn’t — and of backing the licensing of handguns; Johnson
used that term, but actually meant permits for carrying concealed weapons.
He ran a radio ad to clarify that point and to distinguish himself in another
way from his opponent: “I’m not a slick politician, and I made a mistake. It
wasn’t the first time, and it probably won’t be the last.”
And, despite Johnson’s “rich guy” tag and Feingold’s career-long reputa-
tion as an advocate for stricter campaign regulations, the incumbent out-
raised and outspent Johnson about 3-to-2, according to the Center for
Responsive Politics. About two-thirds of Johnson’s money was his own.
On election night, Johnson topped Feingold by more than 100,000 votes,
winning 52 percent of the vote to Feingold’s 47 percent.
1064 w w w. cq press. com
Rep. Reid Ribble (R)
Elected 2010; 1st term
Ribble presents himself as a cautious lawmaker wary of federal actions
that stifle job growth. During three decades running a roofing company, he
says, he learned valuable skills that can be repurposed for legislative work
— such as knowing how to balance a budget and complete projects on time
and in order.
The federal government needs to give businesses a breather after all the
uncertainty stemming from legislation such as the 2010 health care over-
haul, he said.
“The business community has no idea what the impact will be,” Ribble said
about the law. “The regulations haven’t been spelled out. . . . Government does
one thing, and then there’s 15 unintended consequences.”
Ribble says he has talked to business owners who told him that in the
current environment, they would rather pay more overtime than hire more
workers. “There’s a cumulative effect of every piece of legislation that
American businesses have to respond to,” he said. “That’s really strangling
job creation right now.”
225-5665 A member of the Budget Committee, Ribble argues that Congress must
ribble.house.gov make a legitimate effort to balance the books. “Every single American under-
1513 Longworth Bldg. 20515-4908; fax 225-5729
stands that there’s waste in government right now,” he said, and government
officials “talk about it, but they still do it.”
Budget Ribble is a member of the Republican Study Committee, a group of the
Transportation & Infrastructure most conservative members of the House, and he backed the RSC proposal
Residence to cut fiscal 2011 spending to 2006 levels. That plan won 93 votes, and he
eventually backed the compromise plan that trimmed spending by $40 billion.
April 5, 1956; Neenah, Wis. Ribble hoped for and got a seat on the Agriculture Committee. The region
Religion he represents has extensive forests, which fall under the panel’s jurisdiction,
Baptist as well as apple and cherry orchards and vineyards.
Family Two-term Democrat Steve Kagen was something of an anomaly in the
Wife, DeaNa Ribble; two children historically Republican 8th, having won 51 and 54 percent of the vote in strong
Education Democratic years. In 2010 the district’s voters returned to form, giving Ribble
Appleton East H.S., graduated 1974
a nearly 10-percentage-point victory margin.
Rooﬁng construction company president
Political Highlights Wisconsin 8 Brown County.
No previous ofﬁce Forests and lakes in Vilas County, near the
ELECTION RESULTS Northeast — Green Bay, Michigan border, attract outdoorsmen and
Reid Ribble (R) 143,998 54.8%
Appleton nature lovers. Economic downturns affected
the market for upscale second homes for
Steve Kagen (D) 118,646 45.1% On autumn Sundays, all eyes in Wisconsin turn vacationers from Milwaukee and Chicago,
to the 8th to watch football’s Green Bay Packers. but the Door County peninsula jutting into
2010 PRIMARY Regardless of the team’s fortunes, the Packers Lake Michigan has 250 miles of shore that
Reid Ribble (R) 38,521 48.0%
represent the emotional heart of the state, lure tourists to vineyards, apple and cherry
Roger Roth (R) 25,704 32.0%
and they pull in millions of dollars. But the 8th’s orchards, and artists’ colonies. The 8th also is
Terri McCormick (R) 14,107 17.6%
Marc Savard (R) 1,968 2.4% traditionally blue-collar economy depends on home to six American Indian tribes and their
natural resources. reservation-based casinos.
The district’s northern reaches have shed A signiﬁcant and politically active Catholic
residents but host the state’s largest tracts community has contributed to a long history
of forests, historically supplying paper mills of social conservatism in the 8th, but Brown
in the Fox River Valley stretching southwest County has some competitive areas and
from Green Bay. Democrats dominate Menominee County.
Paper manufacturers here spent a decade
modernizing their equipment but now are Major Industry
Agriculture, casinos, paper, tourism
shutting down plants and cutting jobs. Fer-
tile soil in the district’s south supports grain, Cities
and the open land hosts ranches. Appleton Green Bay, 104,057; Appleton (pt.), 70,944
still has some high-skill manufacturing Notable
plants, as do Green Bay and other towns in The snowmobile was invented in Sayner.
1078 w w w. cq press. com
Sen. Herb Kohl (D)
Elected 1988; 4th term
A multimillionaire who finances his own campaigns, Kohl shuns publicity
while quietly working to protect the dairy industry, the elderly and farm pro-
grams. In May 2011, he announced he would not seek a fifth term.
Perhaps the most introverted member of the Senate, Kohl is known for
thoughtful gestures, such as sending out boxes of Wisconsin chocolates, and
providing breakfast in his office on Wednesdays for visiting constituents. But
he’s not afraid to take a tough stance.
Late in 2010, Kohl said he would place a hold on Michele Leonhart, the
White House’s nominee to lead the Drug Enforcement Agency, because Kohl
feels that DEA rules cause health care workers to needlessly deny painkillers
to people living in nursing homes. Heightened scrutiny of prescribing prac-
tices has resulted in elderly people suffering in pain as nurses and doctors
strive to adhere to the Controlled Substances Act, he said. He grilled Leonhart
about this at a November hearing of the Judiciary Committee.
“When I met with you in early May, you assured me that this was a priority,
and that you also would address the problem swiftly,” said Kohl, who is the No.
224-5653 2 Democrat on Judiciary and chairman of the Special Committee on Aging. “It
kohl.senate.gov appears that DEA is putting paperwork before pain relief. I would like to see
330 Hart Bldg. 20510-4903; fax 224-9787
much more progress made on this issue before you are confirmed.”
After getting assurances from the Justice Department that the medication
(Agriculture - Chairman) would be delivered to patients, Kohl released his hold.
Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs As chairman of Judiciary’s Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer
(Antitrust, Competition Policy & Consumer Rights Rights Subcommittee, he has pushed legislation to stop makers of brand-name
- Chairman) drugs from paying would-be competitors to delay the market entry of cheaper
Special Aging - Chairman generic versions of their products. The bill might save the federal government
Residence as much as $2.6 billion over 10 years by reducing its drug costs.
“At this time of spiraling health care costs, we cannot turn a blind eye to
Feb. 7, 1935; Milwaukee, Wis. these anti-competitive backroom deals that deny consumers access to afford-
Religion able generic drugs,” Kohl said.
Jewish Kohl has worked with Republican Charles E. Grassley of Iowa on that effort,
Family and also on nursing home legislation. Grassley told Milwaukee magazine that
he’s accomplished more with Kohl while talking less to him than any other
U. of Wisconsin, B.A. 1956; Harvard U., M.B.A. 1958
senator. “I’ll bet he never has done anything to harm or hurt anybody behind
their back,” Grassley said in the magazine’s 2010 profile of Kohl.
Army Reserve, 1958-64 As chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Kohl has
Career pressed for accountability while looking out for Wisconsin’s economic main-
Department and grocery store owner; professional stay — farming. In the 110th Congress (2007-08), he included in the law to
basketball team owner
reauthorize farm programs a provision to permit interstate sales of state-
Wis. Democratic Party chairman, 1975-77 inspected meat products, which he says will help smaller entrepreneurs
ELECTION RESULTS expand their markets.
2006 GENERAL Kohl joined the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in the
Herb Kohl (D) 1,439,214 67.3% 110th Congress. The financial services overhaul enacted in 2010 makes regu-
Robert Gerald Lorge (R) 630,299 29.5% lators responsible for decisions on issues ranging from determining fair charg-
Rae Vogeler (WG) 42,434 2.0%
Ben J. Glatzel (I) 25,096 1.2% es on debit card swipe fees to deciding when a risky firm should be taken over,
2006 PRIMARY and Kohl pledged to make sure the American public gets the intended benefits.
Herb Kohl (D) 308,178 85.7% “I am going to keep a watchful eye on the regulators to make sure they are
Ben Masel (D) 51,245 14.2%
given adequate resources and oversight to do the job that they have been
Previous Winning Percentages
2000 (62%); 1994 (58%); 1988 (52%)
charged with,” Kohl said on the Senate floor in 2010.
Kohl is typically a loyal party vote. Yet he considers himself a moderate who
sees partisanship as the biggest obstacle to legislating, so at times he steps
across the aisle to further his goals. He joined in 2007 with New Mexico Repub-
w ww.c q ro l l ca l l .com 1061
lican Pete V. Domenici on a bill calling for a nationwide system of background 2010
checks to identify job applicants who have criminal pasts. Pass budget reconciliation bill to modify
overhauls of health care and federal YES
In 2001, he was one of a dozen Democrats to vote for President George W. student loan programs
Bush’s $1.35 trillion tax cut, and one of 15 Democrats to back the initial version Proceed to disapproval resolution on EPA
of the GOP’s spending blueprint for the year. However, he opposed Bush’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases
2003 plan for $350 billion in tax cuts over 11 years. He voted for a two-year Overhaul financial services industry
extension in late 2010. regulation
Limit debate to proceed to a bill to
With Republicans narrowing the gap in the Senate and taking control of the broaden campaign ﬁnance disclosure and YES
House in the 112th Congress (2011-12), Kohl’s interest in reining in the fed- reporting rules
eral deficit might be revived, though he expressed no support for the spending Limit debate on an extension of Bush-era
proposal put forth by fellow Wisconsinite Paul D. Ryan, the Republican chair- income tax cuts for two years
man of the House Budget Committee. His preoccupation with the deficit Limit debate on a bill to provide a path
to legal status for some children of illegal YES
echoed that of his predecessor in the Senate, Democrat William Proxmire, immigrants
renowned for his sermons against government excess. Allow for a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" YES
Kohl was among the 53 senators who voted in January 2010 in support of a Consent to ratification of a strategic arms
bid by Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, and reduction treaty with Russia
Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the committee’s ranking Republican, to estab- 2009
lish a powerful commission to tackle the federal debt. The effort failed — 60 Prevent release of remaining financial
industry bailout funds
votes were needed — but it paved the way for President Obama’s fiscal com-
Make it easier for victims to sue for wage
mission, which in December made a set of sweeping recommendations on the discrimination remedies
budget. Expand the Children's Health Insurance
Even though Kohl said he would not endorse the commission’s entire plan, Program
particularly changes to Social Security, he praised the effort and called it “an Limit debate on the economic stimulus
important step to getting our fiscal house in order.”
Repeal District of Columbia ﬁrearms
Kohl, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, considers himself some- prohibitions and gun registration laws
thing of a bargain for the taxpayer. Though he has to receive the pay increases Limit debate on expansion of federal hate
given to members of Congress, at the end of each year he writes a check to crimes law
the Bureau of Public Debt for the difference between his salary (currently Strike funding for F-22 Raptor ﬁghter jets YES
$174,000) and the $89,500 he earned upon joining the Senate. He also has
returned more than $5 million in unspent office allocations. CQ Vote Studies
Kohl’s parents immigrated to the United States in the 1920s — his mother PARTY PRESIDENTIAL
from Russia, his father from Poland. They opened a small food store on Mil-
SUPPORT OPPOSE SUPPORT OPPOSE
waukee’s south side, where Kohl worked after school and on weekends. One
2010 94% 6% 100% 0%
of his childhood friends (and later his college roommate) was Bud Selig, who
2009 95% 5% 97% 3%
went on to become a successful car dealer, owner of the Milwaukee Brewers 2008 94% 6% 37% 63%
baseball team and commissioner of Major League Baseball. 2007 96% 4% 38% 62%
After earning a master’s degree in business from Harvard, Kohl returned 2006 91% 9% 57% 43%
home and, with his two brothers, set about expanding the family grocery busi- 2005 89% 11% 45% 55%
ness into a department store chain in 1962 — the same year that Sam Walton 2004 95% 5% 66% 34%
2003 94% 6% 50% 50%
opened the first Wal-Mart Discount City store in Arkansas. The Kohls eventu-
2002 84% 16% 79% 21%
ally owned hundreds of stores before selling the chain in 1979. 2001 89% 11% 69% 31%
In 1985, Kohl bought the Milwaukee Bucks NBA franchise, primarily to Interest Groups
keep the team from relocating. He was a fan, and he saw the deal as “a combi- AFL-CIO ADA CCUS ACU
nation of my own personal interest and public need.” 2010 94% 90% 36% 8%
Kohl’s first public involvement in politics came in 1975 when Democratic 2009 100% 100% 43% 8%
Gov. Patrick Lucey asked him to chair the state Democratic Party. He did the 2008 100% 95% 63% 4%
job for two years, despite his discomfort with some of its public aspects. In 2007 95% 95% 45% 0%
87% 90% 50% 16%
1988, when Proxmire stepped down after 31 years in the Senate, Democrats 2006
2005 86% 100% 67% 13%
pressed an initially ambivalent Kohl to run. He had plenty of name recognition, 92% 100% 44% 4%
and spent nearly $7.5 million (most of it his own money) on the campaign. 2003 100% 95% 35% 25%
Kohl’s total outlay was double the previous state record. 2002 92% 85% 60% 15%
He won a three-way Democratic primary with 47 percent of the vote, and 2001 88% 90% 54% 16%
defeated GOP state Sen. Susan Engeleiter by 4 percentage points in the fall.
Kohl has won with comfortable margins each time since, and his slogan in
each campaign is the same: “Nobody’s senator but yours.” (This was also a
theme used by Massachusetts Republican Scott P. Brown during his success-
ful 2010 Senate bid.)
1062 w w w. cq press. com
Rep. Ron Kind (D)
Elected 1996; 8th term
Kind tries to emulate the fiscally frugal tradition of former Sen. William
Proxmire, the Wisconsin Democrat for whom he once interned. As a mem-
ber of the Ways and Means Committee, Kind had a hand in many of the
major initiatives of the 111th Congress, some of them considered anything
but frugal by critics.
In the 112th Congress (2011-12), he has continued that trend, opposing
the GOP version of a catchall bill that would have cut $61 billion from fiscal
2011 spending, but then backed a compromise version trimming $40 billion
that became law.
On the tax writing panel, he has taken a leading role in pushing to use
the tax code to boost the health of Americans, although he once said that
he was “not a big subscriber to social engineering through the tax code.”
He backed the Democrats’ health care overhaul in 2010 — a vote that
contributed to the closest re-election contest of his career — and he has
weighed in on the issue in other ways.
The overhaul measure included a national exchange — intended to boost
225-5506 competition and make shopping for coverage easier — that is similar to one
www.house.gov/kind in legislation that Kind sponsored. “It’s exactly the type of plan I’ve been
1406 Longworth Bldg. 20515-4903; fax 225-5739
promoting for the past few years,” he said on WISN-TV in 2009.
Ways & Means
He also backs tax breaks for “wellness activities” that are designed to
encourage people “to increase their physical activity.”
La Crosse Even as he became a more dependable vote for the Democratic leader-
Born ship’s agenda, Kind continued to preach and practice a sort of personal
March 16, 1963; La Crosse, Wis. austerity. He donates his congressional pay raises to charity and returns
Religion about 10 percent of his office allotment to the federal Treasury each year.
In 2008, he swore off earmarks, the funding set-asides for special projects
Wife, Tawni Kind; two children in members’ districts or states.
Education And, like Proxmire, Kind isn’t afraid to embrace unpopular causes. Dur-
Harvard U., A.B. 1985; London School of Economics, ing consideration of the reauthorization of agriculture and nutrition pro-
M.A. 1986; U. of Minnesota, J.D. 1990 grams in the 110th Congress (2007-08), Kind joined forces with Wisconsin
Career Republican Paul D. Ryan to try to cut farm subsidies and redirect the sav-
Lawyer; county prosecutor
ings toward conservation, nutrition, rural development and deficit reduc-
No previous ofﬁce tion. The effort failed, but Kind praised President Obama for proposing to
ELECTION RESULTS go after the same subsidies that he had tried to curtail.
2010 GENERAL But federal protection for the dairy industry is the top parochial issue for
Ron Kind (D) 126,380 50.3% a district that includes Eau Claire, the historic center of the U.S. dairy indus-
Dan Kapanke (R) 116,838 46.5%
Michael Krsiean (I) 8,001 3.2%
try. In 2004, Kind successfully proposed several provisions aimed at encour-
aging increased milk consumption in public schools.
Ron Kind (D) unopposed Kind also would like to see more federal spending on public education.
2008 GENERAL But he lost some of his ability to influence education policy when he gave
Ron Kind (D) 225,208 63.2% up his seat on the Education and the Workforce Committee for the Ways
Paul Stark (R) 122,760 34.4%
Kevin Barrett (LIBERT) 8,236 2.3% and Means spot. Earlier in his Capitol Hill career, his amendments to boost
Previous Winning Percentages professional development for teachers and to help recruit teachers and
2006 (65%); 2004 (56%); 2002 (63%); 2000 (64%); principals were included in the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. He continues
1998 (71%); 1996 (52%) to push for schools to provide more physical fitness instruction as part of
his wellness agenda.
Representing western Wisconsin’s dairy country and raised in La Crosse
on the banks of the Mississippi River, Kind enjoys hunting and calls himself
a river rat. He is a co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and
the Upper Mississippi Caucus. He grew up hunting, fishing, camping and
biking and says his outdoor life fostered “a greater appreciation of the impor-
w ww.c q ro l l ca l l .com 1069
tance of preserving and protecting our resources.” 2010
He is one of four vice chairmen of the moderate New Democrat Coalition, Overhaul the nation's health insurance
and during his first decade in Congress his voting record had a distinct centrist system
tone. But when Democrats took over the House following the 2006 elections, Allow for repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" YES
Overhaul financial services industry
Kind began siding with his party more often than in the past — almost 97 regulation
percent of the time on votes pitting the parties against each other in the 110th Limit use of new Afghanistan War funds to
Congress. He typically had scored below 90 percent under Republican major- troop withdrawal activities
ities. In 2009, he returned to that range, voting with his party 86 percent of the Change oversight of offshore drilling and
lift oil spill liability cap
time — though he was there for his party on the most contentious and expen-
Provide a path to legal status for some
sive measures, including the health care overhaul, the $787 billion economic children of illegal immigrants
stimulus and legislation to create a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse Extend Bush-era income tax cuts for two
gas emissions. His voting record bounced back up to 95 percent in 2010. years
Perhaps Kind’s most lasting legislative legacy so far is the Veterans His- 2009
tory Project at the Library of Congress. The operation has collected more Expand the Children's Health Insurance
than 60,000 video and audio tapes, letters and cards, photographs, drawings,
Provide $787 billion in tax cuts and spend-
and other mementos from soldiers in the wars of the 20th and 21st centu- ing increases to stimulate the economy
ries. Kind introduced the bill creating the project in September 2000, and it Allow bankruptcy judges to modify
sped through Congress in less than a month. The idea for the project came certain primary-residence mortgages
to him on a Father’s Day weekend as Kind was sitting in the yard with his Create a cap-and-trade system to limit
greenhouse gas emissions
father and uncle — veterans of the Korean conflict and of World War II,
Provide $2 billion for the "cash for
respectively. He had never heard them tell war stories before, and he clunkers" program
grabbed a video camera to capture them for his children. Establish the government as the sole
Kind was raised in a blue-collar neighborhood, the son of a union leader. provider of student loans
He was a high school football and basketball star, and won an academic schol- Restrict federally funded insurance cover-
age for abortions in health care overhaul
arship to Harvard University, where he played quarterback before suffering
a career-ending shoulder injury. As a summer intern for Proxmire in 1984, he
CQ Vote Studies
did research for the senator’s annual “Golden Fleece” awards, which show-
cased what Proxmire considered to be wasteful federal spending. UNITY SUPPORT
After graduate school and law school, Kind worked two years at a Mil- SUPPORT OPPOSE SUPPORT OPPOSE
waukee law firm, then returned home to La Crosse to become a county 2010 95% 5% 87% 13%
prosecutor. When GOP Rep. Steve Gunderson announced his retirement, 2009 86% 14% 83% 17%
2008 95% 5% 28% 72%
Kind entered the 1996 race. With little money, he waged a grass-roots cam-
2007 96% 4% 7% 93%
paign and beat Jim Harsdorf with 52 percent of the vote. He had no trouble 2006 88% 12% 34% 66%
getting re-elected — never taking less than 54 percent of the vote — until Interest Groups
2010. Independent groups criticized Kind for his health care vote, and two AFL-CIO ADA CCUS ACU
doctors alleged that he demanded campaign contributions in return for a 2010 100% 95% 13% 4%
meeting — a charge Kind denied. Republican state Sen. Dan Kapanke gave 2009 86% 90% 47% 8%
Kind the closest race of his career, but the Democrat prevailed by almost 4 2008 100% 80% 72% 8%
percentage points. 2007 96% 90% 60% 12%
2006 100% 85% 53% 25%
Wisconsin 3 prairies and rich soil. Birdwatchers ﬂock to the river to spot bald eagles
perched on the steep bluffs, and lakes in the north attract sportsmen and
West — Eau Claire, La Crosse retirees.
Comprising most of western Wisconsin, the 3rd District is an agricultural Made up of traditionally competitive counties, the 3rd has a slight
and dairy powerhouse, home to hundreds of thousands of cows. The Democratic lean overall and voted solidly for Barack Obama in the 2008
presidential election. In taking 58 percent of the vote here, he won every
district still leads the state in dairy production even as corporate farming
county wholly or partly in the 3rd except for St. Croix in the northwest,
takes over, milk prices drop and fewer family farms thrive.
which backed John McCain with 51 percent of its vote.
Following declines in manufacturing, Eau Claire and La Crosse both now
rely on their large hospital systems, which are among the biggest employ- Major Industry
Dairy farming, tourism, technology, health care, manufacturing
ers in the district. The ﬁve four-year college branches of Wisconsin’s state
university system that are located in the district have placed an emphasis military bases
on computer and technology education. Fort McCoy (Army), 1,687 military, 1,250 civilian (2011)
Meanwhile, St. Croix County — ﬁlled with bedroom communities Cities
inhabited by commuters to Minneapolis-St. Paul just across the Mississippi Eau Claire (pt.), 63,902; La Crosse, 51,320; Onalaska, 17,736
River, which forms the Minnesota state line — is experiencing the fastest Notable
population growth in the state. Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s estate, is in Spring Green; Pepin hosts the
Recreational tourism also contributes to the 3rd’s economy. The Mississippi annual “Laura Ingalls Wilder Days,” honoring the native-born author of the
River provides a 250-mile natural western border to the district, snaking “Little House” books and holding demonstrations of the crafts, music and
from near Minnesota’s Twin Cities to the Illinois border along rolling daily life of 1870s Wisconsin.
1070 w w w. cq press. com