What makes a state representative?
What makes a good state representative (or any representative in our governments) these days? Is it their ability to meld with the other representatives at their current levels? Is the outcomes of their interactions while in office? Do we ever really ask ourselves, “What has this person done as my elected representative?” or “What has this representative done for my community?”.
My guess and experience tell me, not too often. The average person just doesn’t invest (for whatever reason) in anything beyond official narratives written by people who are dependant on our belief that they are needed.
For me, what I care about most is a candidate’s ability to maximize the opportunities they come across. Sometimes there just isn’t anything good legislative speaking, for a representative to chase after. This is not a pile of unreasonable expectations demanding humans be more than humans, but I am saying that there is a time and a place.
A time and a place to act in self-interest, and a time and place where we need our leaders to put aside their political narratives and personal ambitions to steer the collective ship towards the most desirable destination. I believe we are in one of those crucial periods in our great American story.
Before I begin
I am not trying to make a case that these people or Scott Krug is a bad person, so please if that is what you are preparing to hear, please stop reading. This isn’t about tearing someone up personally and I will be upfront in saying that I do not know him personally, and I would argue and add that perhaps much of his support is based on personal feelings of a subjective nature rather than a hard objective review of his achievements and actions while in office.
I encourage everyone to take a hard look at the hopefuls in their electorate as well as those already seated in the office and do a robust examination of things. You just may find out what I found out, that while they may be great people, they are not doing or able to do what is required by an elected official.
And for those who say I am simply being uber critical, know that I am only looking at outcomes. Outcomes are more important, especially in politics to me. This is because some things an elected official may have to do or conversations they may need to have, they may have to blur some lines and bend some truths. This, to me at least, is entirely normal and so normal that we have things written into our laws that protect their speech and actions, more so than your average citizen.
On to the point
Regarding Mr. Krug, in point of fact, the general consensus is that he is a great guy and father. But as a politician and real estate professional… isn’t that what he has to be? Someone who is good at chatting someone up or can help a prospective home buyer picture a building as a home? It takes attention to detail and a sense of taste without a doubt in that you have to memorize forms, filings, applicable real estate laws, meet at odd times… It really can be a demanding job.
All of this conjures up warm feelings, someone who can make you feel good about spending 100s of thousands of dollars. It should, but, in today’s world, does that make a good representative? As we become more connected in the digital world and less connected in the real world, do we really get a “feel” for the people we know and see, even in our own personal lives?
To me, at least, it seems strange that we wouldn’t act more discerning the less “palpable” people, especially the individuals we select to represent us, are in our lives. As if the high ideals we aspire to are more a means of reassuring ourselves in times when we cannot fully vet and devote time to a cause or understanding.
But does that mean he or any other local leader has done? They are always more than happy to show up and get their picture taken, but what have they really done?
- Have your taxes gone down? or if they went up, what did that tax increase pay for?
- Are your schools better?
- How are the drug population and addict levels?
- Are there more or less vacant buildings and businesses?
It is not your fault if that applies to you and I mean nothing personal by writing that. We have lives, we have kids, we have all these things on our plates that require our more immediate attention. That is the entire point of elected representation. Pure democracy or every vote is counted for every single action a country must take, is just ineffective. We need to rely on others to make good, proactive, and smart decisions on our behalf.
Recently via SB 367, Mr. Krug thought it was a good idea to attempt a 50 million dollar cash grab for the mill. To garner the support he promoted the original bill and told voters, “this is about the well-being of rapids” and talked about the historical significance of the mill. Keep in mind he has been in office for ten years and could have at any moment stood up for protecting the mill.
- He never did, so why now?
- Why would he push for a loan in which the principal borrower couldn’t get banks to lend to them due to the risk?
- Why would a real estate person be interested in a piece of property close to the downtown area and in disrepair?
I think the question answers itself, but that isn’t my point especially when it concerns someone who is also on the State’s Committee on Government Accountability and Oversight. You would think that he would be extra careful not to dance too close to anything that could be viewed as improper.
The very nature of tax collection is a racket. In the old times, a king would decree what each person would pay, the tax collector would then collect that tax plus a little something for themselves. They have to live to, right!? The point I am trying to make is that the art of governance is at its very nature parasitic relative to the populous, a necessary evil. We look the other way in most cases and institutionalized it in others. So for a politician to hedge for their own ends and outcomes, is not something to get into a tizzy over.
However, I think there becomes a point in time where our political leaders simply must forgo those things and hunker down to the task at hand. Sorta hard to justify a person’s reason for being when even their most minimal tasks go done or done poorly.
Outcomes point the way
What has Mr. Krug done to deserve his seat at the table? In this writer’s opinion, there hasn’t been much. I cannot decide what is more proactive and beneficial in his legislative slate for this year. Whether it is minor and tedious legislative items like a joint resolution declaring Parkinson’s awareness month simply pushing for bills (AB 123) that only benefit the town or local area of Rome, WI, there isn’t much for this year, or in past years to say he has done anything with his time in office except accumulate some authority and property. Do you see him at the school events protesting with his constituents about masks on our kids?
No, you do not, despite his support of largely republican national talking points like SB 342 which would have prohibited mask discrimination. Is he working to strengthen central Wisconsin communication infrastructure to ensure cheaper and more reliable access to the internet? Is he pushing relief legislation for the thousands of local businesses who stuck it out in the towns after the mills collapsed?
Where is the 50 million in relief money for the Rapids Sheet Metals, or Fencil Urithanes, or Freeberg Trucking? I suppose one could argue that those businesses just don’t have the standing compared to the “maybe” proposition of local hiring in his latest bill. One has to wonder why someone would put state muscle behind a bill that allowed the principles to name their own interest rates rather than pushing for funds to go to the businesses which have held the economy of the smaller towns together these last ten-15 years.
Seems more to me there was no real expectation of repayment as the company could simply file chapter bankruptcy and the state, due to the wording of the bill mentioned, would have no recourse to regain those monies. It is that where we can only speculate as to what the real intention (of a real estate person such as Krug) is for the property in the long term.
This is not so far-fetched either. Most anyone can recall when Ferke bought the Centralia (old Walmart) in Wisconsin Rapids for a 10K song from the city right as Mary Jo Carson was coming into office. This sorta thing happens all the time and right out in the open folks.
No folks, I am sorry. Playing it safe enough to win an election is just not going to be good enough anymore, and nor should it be. Why should we as taxpayers settle for minimal returns and divisive narratives politicians like Krug, will simply side with if for nothing else, to maintain some appearance resembling the opinions of the base they represent.
The narrative tells us our teachers and police and neighbors are the problem. The narratives that turn us against each other while politicians work tirelessly to cement their own influence and control. To me, again, in good times, is not so much a problem, but after 15 years of seeing the same tired ideas and talking points used on both sides of the aisle, we just don’t have the time anymore to keep sending ineffective politicians to the big table and expecting different results.
So how do we or should we go about deciding who to support and who not to support?
To me, it means ignoring the pleasant demeanor and facade that these people present and people like Scott Krug present. Being clear in our own minds and expectations that being nice is just not good enough per the times we live in.
- Look at the policy and platform they are standing on, is it just national rhetoric or is their message about you and your community?
- Do you see these candidates at functions and events in which they represent their base but do not campaign?
- Do they engage and listen to the thoughts and concerns of their constituents?
- Are they aggressive in approaching policy, and more importantly, the policy/platform people voted for?
There are a lot of nice people in the world. Not all of them make good leaders or good representatives. Scott Krug is not one of the ones doing the job we expect and hasn’t in a long time. That may be enough in good times, but in the days we live in, the days of propaganda and deliberate misrepresentations of both platform and people. it just simply isn’t. Now is the time we need do-ers in positions where they can do the things our community needs in order to move on and thrive.
As always, I encourage response and discussion. Disagree? Pelt me know why and let’s talk about things. The only way to get the outcomes we want is to engage with each other. Everyone can’t be right but everyone can get their two cents. Sign Up Today or Find the Freedom Fighters on Facebook