Tomah business owner Jane Donaldson volunteered to serve as a member of the Wisconsin Business Leaders for Hillary because she believes Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has “incredible integrity,” she said Thursday, one day after the statewide coalition was announced by the Clinton campaign.

Tim Padesky, town of Shelby, was also named to the coalition, but was unavailable for an interview Thursday.

“I think Secretary Clinton has such incredible integrity, especially understanding the fight that she has fought and the strength it takes to keep going with all the mudslinging that has gone her way,” said Donaldson, a business coach, retailer and property developer in Monroe County.

A longtime supporter of Clinton, Donaldson praised the work the former first lady has done since her husband Bill Clinton took office in 1993, in particular her drive for universal healthcare.

Donaldson believes Clinton’s economic policies will lead to similar prosperity to that at the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency.

“We ended those eight years in a surplus, and I think she did a great terrific job as senator and a terrific job as Secretary of State,” Donaldson said.

Not that Donaldson believes Clinton will be a repeat of her husband and President Barack Obama.

“I don’t think so. I think she’s a game-changer in all the right ways,” she said. “She’s done amazing things for people.”

From a policy standpoint, Donaldson believes Clinton’s dedication to raising the minimum wage will ultimately serve small businesses, particularly when it comes to staffing quality.

“You treat people right, you respect them, you pay them a fair wage, because people who are stressed cannot do a good job,” Donaldson said. “I firmly believe that minimum wage has to be raised because people aren’t doing it on their own.”

She supports the idea of a gradual increase of the minimum wage, rather than a large jump.

“You build it up to a livable wage, because really the strength of this country comes from having people not be in fear,” Donaldson said. “If people don’t have security in the broad sense of the word — health security, food security and shelter security — then we have a real problem.”

Not only is it important from a humanitarian perspective, but also from an economic one.

“You can’t separate out special issues from economic issues. It’s all one and the same,” she said.

People without the financial security to cover the basics don’t have the liquid capital to spend money at small businesses like hers.

The announcement of the coalition coincided with the release of Clinton’s proposal to streamline tax regulation to benefit small businesses

“Hillary’s plan is aimed at making life easier for Wisconsin small businesses at every step of the way—whether they’re trying to start a new business; get a loan or find an investor; deal with an unnecessarily complex tax system; offer health care to employees; work with the federal government; or fight back when they’re getting stiffed by big businesses like Donald Trump’s,” said Jacob Leibenluft, Senior Policy Advisor with Hillary for America.

Leibenluft referenced accusations levied against Republican nominee Donald Trump that he stiffed the Edward J. Friel Company after awarding the cabinet-makers a $400,000 contract in 1984 to build bases for slot machines among other items for Trump Plaza. Trump told “USA Today” that if companies are not paid fully, it is because his organization was unhappy with the work.

The coalition was also announced the same day as the Wisconsin Women for Trump Coalition, which hopes to bring more women voters to the Republican candidate. Republican Sue Lynch of La Crosse said she supports Trump because he will “hold himself accountable.”


La Crosse city government reporter

Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering local government and city issues for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218.

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