If he defeats Sean Duffy in the Aug. 9 Republican primary and wins election as 7th District U.S. representative on Nov. 8, Don Raihala wants voters to decide a referendum with several questions.
One would ask if U.S. Supreme Court members should serve 10-year terms instead of having lifetime appointments. Another would ask if congressional term limits should be set. And a third would ask if a balanced federal budget should be required.
“People aren’t satisfied with the kind of representation they are getting,” said Raihala, a Superior man who is running for a third time for the 7th District Congressional seat.
That representation since first taking office in 2011 has been provided by U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, who lives in Wausau. Attempts to interview Duffy for this story were unsuccessful.
Duffy has campaigned on reducing the national debt, which is $19 trillion. On his website, he says the nation borrows nearly a $1 trillion a year.
“The borrow-and-spend mentality is impractical, unacceptable, and without leadership to change course, a sure recipe to end up in the same financial dire straits as Greece and Spain,” he said.
Duffy blames the Obama Administration for not acting on measures to lower the nation’s debt.
“We need to decrease the size of government and cut spending across the board,” he said.
“By having a balanced budget, I hope (Congress) becomes more responsible,” Raihala said.
He says Duffy continues to follow the legacy of former House Speaker John Boehner, who retired from Congress last year.
“For the majority of Sean’s record it reflected John Boehner’s record,” said Raihala, who is a licensed real estate broker.
He said he attended a town hall held by Duffy in Superior and asked the 40 people there if they thought Boehner was a great guy, and two people raised their hands.
On another issue, Raihala said the nation’s southern borders must be secured. He said potential immigrants from war-torn Syria must be properly vetted before being allowed in the United States. The same holds true from people from any areas with a high terrorism risk, he said.
Duffy said the nation should take an “all-of-the-above” stance to energy policies. He said the country should develop alternative energy technologies and also expand the country’s production of oil and natural gas.
Duffy also favors completing the Keystone Pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
The sprawling 7th District includes the towns of LaGrange, Lincoln, Scott and Byron and villages of Wyeville and Warrens in Monroe County and the towns of Knapp, Bear Bluff and City Point in Jackson County.