[media-credit name=’HAILY COHEN/Herald photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′][/media-credit]University of Wisconsin students thoroughly quizzed congressional candidate Dave Magnum Tuesday evening on his stance on issues ranging from educational spending and gun control to pork-barrel spending and environmental issues.
Magnum, the Republican challenger of incumbent U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., whose district encompasses Dane County, repeatedly emphasized his focus on Wisconsin, specifically on his constituents.
"[Baldwin] spends so much of her time flying back and forth over the top of Wisconsin to the East and West Coasts," Magnum said. "It is wrong for those of us in south central Wisconsin to be funding our congressperson acting as a national spokesperson for her [own] special interests."
Magnum added that his special interests would be "the people of this district."
Students for Tammy Baldwin representative Stephanie Biese defended Baldwin, saying that when Congress is in session, she has to be in Washington five days a week. The weekends, Biese says, are spent at home in Wisconsin.
Magnum also mentioned his campaign's slogan, "No More 424," on several occasions, referencing Baldwin's 424th placing in a survey that ranks influence and effectiveness of the 438 representatives of the U.S. House.
The survey, conducted by the Knowlegis firm, was proven to be nonpartisan, Magnum said. Democrat Dave Obey ranks ninth overall and one of the contributing researchers for the survey was Baldwin's former chief of staff.
"If you found out that your mechanic, in a non-biased research … ranked 424 out of 438, I don't think you'd have to be Donald Trump to say 'I'm going to get a new mechanic!'" Magnum said. "How about the doctor that's treating your illness? Would you go to a doctor that ranks 424 out of 438?"
Regarding rising educational costs in the last several years, Magnum suggested a solution involving the consolidation of some of the administrative costs of UW facilities statewide that are in close proximity.
The savings, Magnum added, would then trickle down as lower tuition costs for students. These cuts, he emphasized, would not cut a single classroom.
Magnum also touched on the development of Wisconsin's economy.
"I am a proven job creator," Magnum said. "We want to bring jobs; we want somebody in Congress that is going there to try and build South-Central Wisconsin. That is what I'm going to be, is a local representative for this district."
UW student Jared Van Dyke commented after the session that he "appreciated [Magnum's] honesty" and was glad to have the "chance to learn a little bit about his views."
Magnum and Baldwin are slated to debate Oct. 15 at 6:00 p.m. in the Memorial Union.
Baldwin will appear for an hour at this Friday's "Tammy on the Terrace" event. The event will feature local bands The Fingers, The Optimistic, The Fake Fictions and the Motor Primitives.
In addition, Baldwin will be making an appearance on campus Oct. 10 at an undetermined dorm.