By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Tom Larson of Colfax has been elected to a third term as the representative for the state’s 67th Assembly District, and Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls has been elected to a second term for the state’s 23rd Senate District.
Larson faced challenger Gary Stene of Colfax in the November 4 election for representative of the 67th Assembly District.
Larson, a Republican, received 13,347 votes while Stene, the Democratic candidate, received 8,689 votes.
The vote totals were 61 percent for Larson and 39 percent for Stene.
The 67th Assembly District includes in Dunn County the Towns of Colfax, Elk Mound, Grant, Hay River, Otter Creek, Red Cedar, Sand Creek, Sheridan, Sherman, Spring Brook, Tainter and Wilson; the Villages of Colfax, Elk Mound, Ridgeland and Wheeler; and part of Barron and Chippewa Counties.
Moulton faced Democratic challenger Phil Swanhorst of Chippewa Falls and received 39,495 votes to Swanhorst’s 25,119 votes.
The vote totals were 61 percent for Moulton and 39 percent for Swanhorst.
In Dunn County, Larson received 3,667 votes to Stene’s 2,578 votes — or 59 percent for Larson and 41 percent for Stene.
In Chippewa County, Larson received 9,679 votes to Stene’s 6,109 votes — or 61 percent for Larson and 39 percent for Stene.
In Dunn County, Swanhorst received 2,542 votes to Moulton’s 3,688 votes — or 41 percent for Swanhorst and 59 percent for Moulton.
In Chippewa County, Moulton received 14,083 votes to Swanhorst’s 9,928 votes — or 59 percent for Moulton and 41 percent for Swanhorst.
The 23rd Senate District includes the 67th, 68th and 69th Assembly Districts.
Two county offices were up for election this fall: Dunn County sheriff and Dunn County clerk of courts.
Incumbent Sheriff Dennis Smith, a Democrat, appeared on the ballot with no Republican challenger.
Sheriff Smith won the August primary against Democrat Chris Kruse, who serves as the Dunn County medical examiner.
In spite of not having a challenger, Smith received 12,680 votes.
Dunn County Clerk of Courts Clara Minor, the Democratic incumbent, also did not have a Republican challenger in the November 4 election.
Minor received 12,564 votes.
Republican incumbent governor Scott Walker was elected to a second term in the November 4 election.
Democratic challenger Mary Burke received 1,115,943 votes while the governor received 1,252,750.
Walker won re-election by 136,807 votes — or 53 percent of the total to Burke’s 47 percent of the total.
Republican candidate Brad Schimel won the election for state attorney general with 1,205,165 votes (53 percent of the total) against Democratic challenger Susan Happ, who had 1,060,425 votes (47 percent).
Democratic incumbent secretary of state Doug LaFollette won with with 1,153,996 votes (50 percent of the total), against Republican challenger Julian Bradley, who had 1,067,861 votes (46 percent).
Andy Craig, a Libertarian, received 58,641 votes (3 percent of the total), while Jerry Broitzman, Constitution Party, received 25,755 votes (1 percent of the total).
Matt Adamczyk, a Republican, won the election for state treasurer with 1,112,870 votes (49 percent).
Challengers in the treasurer’s race were David Sartori, a Democrat, with 1,020,354 (45 percent); Ron Hardy, Green Party, with 65,709 (3 percent), and Andrew Zuelke, Constitution Party, with 28,010 votes (1 percent).
Democratic incumbent Ron Kind was elected to a tenth term representing western Wisconsin in the United States House of Representatives for the state’s third congressional district.
Kind of LaCrosse faced Republican challenger Tony Kurtz.
Kind received 155,221 votes to Kurtz’s 118,669 votes.
The vote totals were 56.6 percent for Kind and 43.33 percent for Kurtz.
The advisory referendum question on the Dunn County ballot asking for the opinion of residents on whether the state should accept federal Medicaid money received 9,435 “yes” votes to 5,242 “no” votes.
The percentages work out to be 64 percent in favor accepting the federal Medicaid money and 36 percent against accepting the money.
The question asked whether the governor and state legislature should accept federal funding for the expansion of Medicaid/BadgerCare in Wisconsin to cover people up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level to ensure that additional thousands of state residents have access to health coverage.
On a statewide basis, 73 percent voted in favor of accepting the federal Medicaid money and 27 percent voted against it.
All together, 19 counties along with the City of Kenosha, asked voters for their opinions on the state government accepting federal Medicaid money.
In addition to Dunn County, other counties that asked about accepting the Medicaid money included Chippewa, St. Croix, Clark, Eau Claire, LaCrosse, Douglas, Florence, Iron, Jefferson, Lincoln, Oneida, Outagamie, Portage, Wood, Milwaukee, Dane, Bayfield and Rock.
In Chippewa County, the question of whether to accept the Medicaid money received 13,975 “yes” votes (61 percent in favor) to 8,786 “no” votes (39 percent opposed).
Medicaid currently is covered by 60 percent federal funding and 40 percent state funding.
The federal government would cover 100 percent of the cost of expanding Medicaid coverage for four years and 90 percent after that to help in covering 235,000 adults currently not covered.
Various sources indicate that Wisconsin would receive $1.1 billion from the federal government for Medicaid in 2016 if state officials would accept the money.
According to Politifact, turning down the money will cost Wisconsin taxpayers an additional $460 million by 2021.
State officials have said they do not want to accept the federal Medicaid money because they are concerned that the federal government would not always have the money and that the federal government has too much debt.
Critics have pointed out that the state currently accepts federal money for a variety of purposes, such as transportation and education, and that if state officials are concerned about the federal government not having the money, the state should also turn down federal funding for other purposes, such as transportation and education funding.
The referendum question on the Dunn County ballot asking for the opinion of residents on whether the United States Constitution should be amended to declare that corporations, unions and non-profits are not people and that money is not free speech received 10,319 “yes” votes and 4,089 “no” votes.
The percentages work out to be 72 percent in favor of amending the U.S. Constitution and 28 percent not in favor of amending the Constitution.
Along with Dunn County, Milwaukee County also asked about amending the U.S. Constitution for this purpose.
Several villages and cities asked about amending the U.S. Constitution as well: Green Bay; Fond du Lack; Park Ridge; Menasha; Neenah; Oregon; Wausau; and Stoughton.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2010 on Citizens United vs. FEC ruled that corporations, unions and non-profits have the same rights as individual people and that spending unlimited amounts of money on elections is the same as free speech and does not have a corrupting influence on politics.
Statewide, a number of ballots also included questions about exceeding the state-imposed revenue limits for a variety of cities, villages, townships and school districts.
Many of the school districts that asked about exceeding the revenue limits intended to use the money for operational expenses.
A statewide referendum question passed on whether to amend the state’s constitution to require that transportation revenue be deposited into a transportation fund for the exclusive purpose of funding Wisconsin’s transportation systems and to prohibit any transfers from this fund.
The question received 1,729,454 “yes” votes statewide to 435,714 “no” votes — or 80 percent in favor and 20 percent opposed.
In Dunn County, the question received 11,266 “yes” votes to 3,213 “no” votes — or 78 percent in favor and 22 percent opposed.
In Chippewa County, the question received 17,437 “yes” votes and 4,603 “no” votes — or 79 percent in favor and 21 percent opposed.
Prior to the referendum question, Wisconsin’s transportation fund was a “segregated” fund that put transportation revenues into a separate account for transportation funding.
Other revenue collected by the state goes into the general fund.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, about 56 percent of the transportation revenue in Wisconsin comes from state sources, such as 30.9 cents per gallon gasoline tax and vehicle registration fees.
About 26 percent of transportation funding comes from the federal government.
State sources for transportation revenue account for $3.9 billion in funding.
Wisconsin accepts $1.7 billion in funding from the federal government for transportation, which works out to be about $300 every year for each Wisconsin resident, both adults and children.