• WisPolitics

Saturday, June 04, 2011

 11:20 AM 

Kagen lays out what Wisconsin needs in next Senator

Former U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen, who’s weighing a bid for U.S. Senate, used much of his time before delegates today to lay out what he believes Wisconsin needs to see in its next senator.

Kagen championed the federal health care reform, but said more needs to done, particularly in making health care costs transparent.

He said the next senator must “stop the bleeding” of U.S. jobs moving overseas, saying he supports legislation to boost manufacturing in the U.S.

The next senator, he said, must work to improve public education and support the environment.

He also called for an end to war, and deplored America’s involvement in Libya and the lack of Congressional consent for participation in the action.

“The next senator must stand up for the War Powers Act and rein in any president who goes to war without a vote from Congress,” Kagen said.

He also called for the next senator to ensure those who commit torture are prosecuted.

“If you committed torture you must be held accountable and prosecuted,” Kagen said.

Kagen spent some time reminiscing on his four years in the House, and says he remains committed to helping elect Democrats in the 8th CD.

In order to connect with voters, Kagen said Dems need to focus on pocketbook issues.

He said people have to be convinced that politics is not just for the rich, and that political decisions affect how much they take home.

He called for reaching out to the disaffected.

“Everything that we say from this point forward has to be aimed at people sitting on the sidelines and have given up,” Kagen said.

He characterized Republicans as frauds, saying they support one position with their words, but another with their actions.

He said House Republicans talk about supporting jobs but have not passed any bills to do so, and that they say they want to save Medicare, but have voted to kill it.

“If the only way to save a patient is to kill it, you need to get another doctor,” he quipped.

He also knocked Republicans for cutting funding for the SBA, for failing to prosecute bankers involved in the financial meltdown, and for saying they want to cut government but following a credo of borrow and spend.

“You can’t trust Republicans with your life and you can’t trust them with our money,” Kagen said.

-- By David Wise


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