Rep. Rob Brooks and challenger Samuel Krieg differ on exemptions to Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban and how to address record-high gas prices.
Krieg plans to unseat Brooks, who served as assistant majority leder in 2017 and has represented the 60th AD since 2015. Both candidates spoke to WisPolitics.com this week about their policy positions ahead of the Aug. 9 primary.
The 60th AD covers northern Ozaukee County, eastern Washington County, the city of Port Washington and the western half of the city of Cedarburg.
When asked about Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban, Brooks, 57, defended the 173-year-old law but only wanted clarification on what medical procedures classify as an abortion.
“So I think if we need to clarify anything it is what is an abortion and what is not,” Brooks, R-Saukville, said. “But other than that, I wouldn’t have exemptions.”
Krieg, 26, a bakery manager and waiter residing in Port Washington who has never held public office, said he would add exceptions for rape and incest.
Both candidates were divided on either borrowing money or suspending planned road projects to lower gas prices. Brooks did not specify if he would support suspending the gas tax. But if the state were to suspend the tax, he would offset the revenue loss by suspending or delaying road projects.
“Obviously everybody knows that with unemployment and the supply issues, we have projects that we’re currently doing now that we’re paying an inflated price for,” Brooks said. “So if we could delay some of those projects even for six months to a year and let inflation settle back down, I think we will get more bang for your buck.”
Krieg strongly disagreed with suspending the gas tax and suspending planned road projects.
“Just because you suspend something for three months doesn’t mean you’re actually helping people,” Krieg said. “It’s just pushing it further down the line.”
Brooks and Krieg found common ground on leaving the 2020 election results in the past and moving forward. Brooks said if there was a more timely court ruling or legislative action something could have been done, but it is too late.
“The rules that were established at the time and the rules that the vote was held under are the rules in place and that were in place for the prior election as well,” he said. “I just don’t know that rises to the level of fraud at this point.”
Kreig said he believes that there is “nothing you can do about it.”
Brooks claimed that there was clear injustice from Meta/Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who largely funded a group that provided private election administration grants to municipalities. He also charged there was ballot harvesting occurring, along with a number of other things, but said he strongly believes that the election can not be called back.
When asked about what to do with Wisconsin’s budget surplus at the end of the biennium, which now is estimated at $5.4 billion, Brooks said that long-term sustainable tax cuts are the way to go.
“We’ve had surpluses every session pretty much since I’ve been there, which tells me we’re overtaxing residents of Wisconsin,” he said. “So I think long-term tax cuts that put more money in the pockets of taxpayers is going to have a longer term effect.”
Kreig responded by offering to return money to taxpayers through rebates, using long-term tax cuts and investments in state priorities.
“I think there’s absolutely central projects that they should start working on immediately,” said Krieg. “Also, I think it is the people’s money, so if we have extra of it, it should go back, just like I feel like paying taxes if you pay too much to the federal government, like your income tax, they give you a check back.”