During Wisconsin U.S Senate debate Monday evening, incumbent Democratic candidate Sen. Tammy Baldwin met with Republican candidate Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield, to contest how they would each improve environments for sexual assaults at colleges and workplaces and the nationwide gender pay gap.
Baldwin was first elected to the Senate in 2012, while Vukmir is a current state Senator.
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A panel of debate hosts asked both candidates what they would do to improve the current climate for reporting sexual abuse in schools, colleges and workplaces.
“We have to create an environment, and a country where it is okay for people to speak out and tell their truths,” Baldwin said.
In regards to the recent sexual assault allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford against Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Baldwin said Kavanaugh’s confirmation should not silence the new generation.
But Vukmir claimed Baldwin missed hearings during the confirmation process and her absence could have prevented her from intervening and making a potential difference.
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Both candidates also shared their views on gender pay equality. Vukmir said the government should not dictate the decision-making process on how to achieve gender pay equality. Instead, individuals and companies should take the responsibilities.
“I believe and trust that I can make a decision or an employer is gonna make a decision on the qualities and merits of individuals,” Vukmir said. “Of course I want people to have equal pay for the same job that they are doing but when you have government coming in and setting it, this is problematic.”
Baldwin showed strong support for the Paycheck Fairness Act, saying women of color experience even larger pay gaps and stressing that actions should be taken to correct this.
Midterm elections will be taking place Nov. 6.