9-1-10 Letters to the Editor

What is the difference?

Even though it is not always perceived as such, the primary is just as important as the general election. While primaries can sometimes seem to be the choice between Vanilla and New York Vanilla, voters must dig into the party’s candidates and search for meaningful differences that aren’t always readily apparent. My primary opponent and I agree on a great many things. We are both strong supporters of immediate cutting of government spending, we both want to repeal combined reporting, we both want to protect segregated funds, and both support gun rights, concealed carry, and personal liberties. We are both pro life and have both received endorsements from the Wisconsin Right to Life and Wisconsin Family Action. However, as an independent minded conservative seeking the Republican nomination on September 14th, I can assure you there are differences.

First, I am the only candidate who has lived my entire life in this district. The oldest of six children raised on a small family farm between Tomahawk and Merrill, I have a working knowledge of the people and traditions that make up our communities that can only come from a lifetime of living here. Secondly, I am the only candidate who operates a business in the district that I seek to represent. It is my business that puts me in touch on a daily basis with constituents who are fellow business owners, laborers, students, professionals, and seniors. I work together with all these different types of people to design creative options and solutions to help them protect what each has worked so hard to earn. I help business owners trim costs and offer benefits that allow them to keep their people working. I sit across the table from parents like myself, and we figure out the most cost effective way to protect their assets and families. I work with seniors to offer options that balance the demands of increasing healthcare costs and ever increasing taxes while living on a fixed income. My business ensures that I will have constant input from you the constituents so that I can always be the very best citizen legislator for the 35th District. Lastly, I am not interested in a political “career.” I am strictly interested in being your Representative here in the 35th District. I want to be the Representative here because I care about the people, the businesses, the land, and the future of the area I have called home my entire life. I cannot sit idly by while the Wisconsin I love is transformed into a morally bankrupt economic wasteland that leaves no opportunity for my children to raise their families here. My family, friends, and customers live in every community in this district and I want to have a positive impact in Madison to benefit us all.

Now more than ever the road to a better Wisconsin is in the hands of we the voters. I ask for your support in this first step down that road. Lend me your support September 14th knowing that we will win in November and your message will be delivered loud and clear to Madison. Together we CAN make a difference. Right Here, Right Now!


Jeremy Cordova

Candidate 35th State Assembly

To the people of the 35th district,

Thank you for the opportunity to represent the 35th district to the State Assembly. It has been a wonderful experience full of challenges and opportunities for personal growth. Over the last 10 years I have certainly learned a lot about how our state government works and in some cases doesn’t work, that’s why when I decided to not seek a 6th term in office I approached Jeremy Cordova to run for the 35th Assembly seat.

The issues facing the 35th district are complex and it will take someone with good reasoning and problem solving skills to address those issues. I believe Jeremy Cordova has the skills and background necessary to get the job done.

I have had the opportunity over the last several years to work with Jeremy Cordova on the Merrill Chamber of Commerce legislative committee, during that time I could tell Jeremy had a good understanding of the issues facing the state and how they would impact the 35th district. During our many conversations Jeremy offered solutions and suggestions on legislation being considered, I found his reasoning to be sound and based on common sense.

I am pleased to be able to endorse Jeremy Cordova to the people of the 35th district for their next representative to the state Assembly.

The people of the 35th district are wonderful to work for and I wish you well on your campaign.


Donald R. Friske

State Representative 35th district

Tiffany will make a difference,

Tom Tiffany has the background and the qualities to make a difference in Madison. Tom realizes high taxes are not a stimulant for the small business owner, having owned and operated a small business for years. Being involved in town politics, he realizes the importance of being financially responsible.

He also realizes the importance of the family and will fight for the preservation of the family.

Tom is one of us and will represent us well in Madison.

VOTE for a true conservative.

Please vote for Tom Tiffany.

Roger Gutknecht


Dear Editor,

William A. Ward said, “Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.” This statement is a description of what it takes to lead. It takes discipline and a plan of action against the status quo. This is what I see in Jeremy Cordova who is running for the State Assembly here in the 35th district.

I first met Jeremy where I work as he is my employer, therefore, I have firsthand experience of his work ethic and his family values. What struck me is that he is continually educating himself by reading books and seeking sources of information outside of the mainstream media. He has been and remains to be a humble student, which is the first level of leadership.

The second level of leadership is performing. Jeremy is not one to lay back. His livelihood and his ability to provide for his wife and two children depend on his activity level. He sits across the table from his clients and works diligently to help them meet their needs. Working with people does not come without the occasional problem, in my time working with Jeremy he treats every client as he would wish to be treated and I know that is how he will act as a legislator for everyone in this district. Jeremy is also involved with many other organizations in Merrill, from being the current President of the Merrill Chamber to Rotary and other boards and sportsman’s organizations. While others play, he has, and remains to be, active in the community.

Lastly, nothing happens without a dream. We have some serious issues in our country today, at all levels. The “American Dream” is slipping away quickly due to a lack of knowledge regarding the meaning of our founding documents and a lack of leadership from our elected representatives. Jeremy’s dream of this country is that of our founding fathers. The full size replica of the Declaration of Independence which hangs on his office wall is a constant reminder of his understanding of this precious gift. He’s never run for public office before, but has decided to now because he can no longer sit on the side lines as our rights are ripped away from us almost daily, wishing someone else will change it. He understands what’s at stake and I know him to be a man of character and integrity who will hold to his word. He has family, friends, acquaintances and clients in most every area of the 35th district, therefore, he is highly interested in the community he would be proud to serve.

Please go our and vote in the primary election on Sept. 14. My vote, and I hope your vote, will be for Jeremy Cordova.


Karen Cournaya


Dear Editor,

I am writing in support of Tom Tiffany for our State Representative. Tom and his wife have run a successful small business for 20 years, his children attend public school and he is active in community service. As many of you know, Tom ran for the State Senate in 2008, receiving the majority of votes of Lincoln and Langlade counties. Nevertheless, to lose by a narrow margin.

I believe Tom has the background needed to turn around the economy of northern Wisconsin. Tom has emphasized fiscal responsibility, reducing our tax burden, and reforming the DNR as some of his priorities. In talking with Tom it is clear his priorities have not changed. He knows that high taxes snuff out the incentive to create or expand businesses. He will fight to keep businesses in Northern Wisconsin and seek to bring more in.

If you are looking for a true problem solver to represent you in Madison, vote for Tom Tiffany. He knows us and he will fight for us in Madison.

Garth J. Swanson


Dear Community members:

Over the last several weeks, much attention has been paid to the recent efforts of the District’s Human Growth and Development Advisory Committee. This letter provides some additional information about the committee’s purpose and its work to date.

The Human Growth and Development Advisory Committee was formed in response to a recently passed law affecting all Wisconsin districts that teach human growth and development. This law requires that these districts provide students with a comprehensive curriculum that includes information about contraception and sexually-transmitted diseases. It also requires that they provide parents with an annual outline of the human growth and development curriculum.

If the school board does not elect to provide human growth and development instruction to pupils enrolled in the school district, the law requires that the district send home an annual statement of notification to parents and guardians indicating that this is the case.

We understand that in other districts this issue has proven to be a very contentious one. That is why our first priority is to ensure that community members have the opportunity to have a voice in this decision. Just as it has with other instructional areas, the district created a committee comprised of a wide cross-section of community members who are charged with evaluating curricula and making formal recommendations to the Board. The Human Growth and Development Advisory Committee includes parents, health care professionals and clergy members.

The committee’s work is ongoing. The committee is scheduled to provide a formal report to the school board on September 8th. The MAPS Board will then decide, during an open meeting, how to proceed with human growth and development instruction.

We know that this topic is very important to community members. That is why the district has developed processes that allow community members to be a part of this conversation.

Thank you once again for your engagement in this and other issues related to the Merrill Area Public Schools.


Dr. Lisa L. Snyder

Superintendent, Merrill Area Public Schools

To the editor,

Labor Day is the time when we celebrate and acknowledge that this country was made great by workers. From 1937 until the mid 1970s, workers and management had an agreement. The agreement was that management would share the wealth with the workers who created it. When productivity increased, the boss took and share and the workers took a share.

Today, if productivity increases the boss takes it all. If health insurance costs rise, the worker pays it all. If the boss can cut wages, regardless of how productive the worker is or how much money the worker creates for the company, the boss will cut wages.

As a result we have lost jobs, we have seen wages fall, and our families and communities have suffered. If not for unions, this decline would have been quicker and even more difficult for our families. Every time a union prevents a wage cut, money remains in the community.

Striking workers at Merrill Manufacturing are fighting for our community. Merrill Manufacturing has cut our already low wages, raised our health insurance costs, and froze our 401 (K). If our wages go down Merrill merchants will suffer eventually. Before the strike, when we were working full time many of us were eligible for heating assistance, food stamps, and Badger Care because our wages were already so low.

If factory owners were suffering and were driving the same old cars that we drive, lived in the same houses we live in, or struggled to pay their heating bills the same way we do it would be a different situation. But that is not the case. If the wealthy in Merrill are thriving and the workers of Merrill are suffering then as a city Merrill can not succeed. Without union wage jobs who will pay the taxes to support our fire fighters, our school teachers, and our local government?

When you drive by our picket line at Merrill give us a wave or honk your horn in support. Stop by our strike HQ and drop off food or make a small donation. Our fight today will be your fight tomorrow.

The members of IAM Local 2362


When I was a student at St. Roberts, now St. Francis, School our class was provided a series of sex education lessons by the teachers and priests. We learned of the importance of abstinence as well as natural and artificial birth control methods of the day and the known risks such as unwanted pregnancies and diseases. These lessons were taught to us under the umbrella of our faith but also part of a value system that was beneficial to society as a whole. As teens we already knew much of what was being taught but we needed guidance. We knew the yeses and no’s but it was important that we also knew the why’s.

Somehow in the discussion of the new Human Growth and Development Curriculum we were told that a student of MAPS was diagnosed with testicular cancer. We all wish him well in his recovery. The new curriculum cannot possibly be credited with the discovery of this cancer since the new course was not in place to teach anyone anything. Rather it was existing courses that helped. Why was that child dragged into this public discussion with such an obvious deception?

Any more surprises? Yes, there are. Once it was discovered that a complaint is being filed against MAPS concerning the new health course, suddenly concerned parents, who were told that “you will be good listeners,” are now finally being given the opportunity to be heard. If these new studies are as important as we are led to believe why is there such arrogance against the public asking questions about it?

We live in a society where we accept the concept of an ideal called the common good. To teach young people of the responsibility of their own capabilities is a good thing to do. To teach them the options that are available to them is a good thing to do as well. It is also a good thing to teach them the dangers that they may face by their own actions. Artificial birth control methods are notorious for failing to prevent pregnancies and diseases. The questions are whether or not we are going to protect these kids with useful information or are we enabling them to do whatever they want under a false assumption of protection. Whose motives and whose benefit would this course really be taught for?

As for that contraceptive we affectionately call “the pill,” there may be even more danger than anyone knows or is willing to tell. In the 50 years since the introduction of this drug another concern has arisen. Instances of autism have skyrocketed during that time as well. This drug is also a commonly prescribed acne medication. I have learned that local chiropractors have treated 9 girls as young as 11 years old for blood clots, a known side-effect attributed to the use of the pill.

We want kids to be informed, safe, and healthy. These things are for the common good of our community. In short a value system will be established. But seeing that there have already been misleading statements, the refusal to provide answers and backtracking of what’s allowed in public meetings, whose values would be taught?

There is a lesson that children eventually teach themselves. If something is lost, it will be wanted, and if something is broken, it will be found.

Patrick Roets


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