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La Crosse Tribune, Wis., Reid Magney Column

June 25, 2008

By Reid Magney, La Crosse Tribune, Wis.

Jun. 25–TWO MORE CANDIDATES — a Democrat and a Libertarian — are getting into the race for the 91st Assembly District.

That would bring the total to 10 people seeking to fill the seat being vacated by retiring state Rep. Barbara Gronemus, D-Whitehall, who has held it since 1980. Democrat Steve Boe is a 2002 graduate of Blair-Taylor High School and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

The former intern for U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, lives and works on a farm.

“My commitment would be to continue (Gronemus’) life’s passion by doing the right thing for agriculture, education, affordable health care, a strong economy and effective tax reform,” Boe said in a statement.

Libertarian Ted Burleson, 37, lives in Fountain City, Wis., and works in electronics in Winona, Minn. Burleson, a U.S. Navy veteran, said he’ll be at the Trempealeau Farmer’s Market today collecting signatures to get on the ballot.

Burleson said most politicians have been talking about ways to get more money to deal with Wisconsin’s budget crisis. “We need to look for ways to spend less money,” he said.

Previously announced candidates are Independent Paul Beseler, Republicans Dave Hegenbarth and David Anderson, Democrats Marge Baecker, Chris Danou, Jeff Hauser, Arcadia Mayor John Kimmel and James K. Kraft.

The primary will be Sept. 9, and the general election is Nov. 4. The district includes Trempealeau, Buffalo, and parts of Pierce, Pepin and Jackson counties.

Online videos

Republican 3rd Congressional District candidate Paul Stark of Eau Claire is looking for votes in the You Tubes.

He’s got two videos up at youtube.com/starkforcongress now. In the first video, which shows him at a community parade, Stark says, “We need citizen government instead of professional politicians.”

The second video focuses on a Stark supporter, John Bredeson of Cuba City, Wis., who believes the United States needs to start drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to bring down fuel prices. Bredeson, who owns a small trucking company, put “Stark for Congress” signs on the sides of his tanker trailers.

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, also has his own video collection up at youtube.com/ReelectRonKind.

It’s mostly commercials from previous campaigns, and there’s a heavy Green Bay Packers influence. Kind pokes a bit of fun at himself in “Heritage,” a biographical video.

Stark’s YouTube channel launched about a week ago and he already had 239 views by Monday afternoon. Kind’s channel has been up for five months, and he had 206 views.

But the king of YouTube is Libertarian Kevin Barrett. I couldn’t find a specific channel for Barrett, but if you search for his name in quotes, you’ll get your fill. Most of the videos deal with 9/11, though one or two are about running for Congress.

Speaking of Libertarians, Barrett isn’t getting a free pass to challenge Kind and Stark in November. Ben Olson III of Wisconsin Dells has also filed papers with the state to be a Libertarian candidate.

Reid Magney can be reached at (608) 791-8211 or rmagney@lacrossetribune.com.

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Copyright (c) 2008, La Crosse Tribune, Wis.

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