Calabrese Takes on Stafsholt in the 29th District State Assembly Race

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Once in a while, a candidate stands in front of an audience, speaks his/her piece into the microphone, and something special clicks with the listeners. That “click” happens with John Rocco Calabrese.  His confident, youthful presence, clear and strong message, knowledge of issues, and undeniable potential are impressive. You want to hear more.

More of what John Rocco Calabrese has to say is that his challenge to incumbent Rob Stafsholt is based, in part, on his conviction that too many corporations receive government support because of their campaign donations.

“I’ve tracked the flow of money in politics for the last decade…You can draw a direct line to most of the companies that get these tax breaks, incentives and subsidies to how much money they pour into politics.”

A Calabrese campaign, present or future, “…will never accept corporate donations, no ‘dark money,’ and no money from organizations hoping for special influence. It will rely only on individual donors.”

Republican Rob Stafsholt voted “Yes” on Foxconn. Calabrese said Foxconn amounted to corporate welfare fraud, and that the $4.5 billion Foxconn incentive package would be better spent on helping small start-up businesses and struggling farmers.

Endorsed by the NRA, Rob Stafsholt’s legislative voting records follows the Republican agenda. For example, he has voted for:

  • Increased working hours for welfare recipients

  • Drug screening for certain welfare recipients

  • Authorizing sulfide mining

  • Allowing children of any age to hunt with adult supervision

  • Tax incentives for manufacturing zones

In contrast, at the recent League of Women Voters forum held in Menomonie, Calabrese outlined his challenge to the Republican agenda in Madison. “Above and beyond this one small campaign, we must all continue to work and research and hold those accountable who are consistently pulling the wool over our eyes.”

“Those who:

  • Make it easier to pollute

  • Shift public school dollars to private

  • Remove local control

  • Give huge tax breaks to the wealthy

  • Take benefits away from the most vulnerable 

  • Raise huge sums of dark money

  • Do not support Badger Care for All

  • Weaken labor laws

  • Oppose collective bargaining, etc.... “

Regarding climate change, Calabrese states, “When you have a (current) DNR that’s not allowed to use the term “climate change,” and they’re supposed to be researching what is best for the state going forward, then that’s a big problem. …We have to first acknowledge the problem and then work toward things to mitigate it. We can lead the way in solar installation and in wind farms.”

John Rocco Calabrese offers a clear choice for Democrats. He will bring a fresh, strong voice to Madison from the 29th Assembly District.

Ellen Durand Olson