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Updated August 9, 2020
August 17, 2020
Josefine speaks! Candidate Soapbox LIVE with Region 5 – Tuesday August 18, 6PM
Please join Josefine for a special candidate soapbox event as our regional candidates are given time to tell us what "Our Future" means to them, followed by a round of rapid fire style questions from our audience - YOU!! We hope to have all of the Assembly, Senate and U.S. Congressional Candidates from Region Five at the event - and a special guest...
We are told that Josefine will be speaking around 6:40pm, but you may want to tune in sooner just in case.
SIGN UP to particpate here!
Click here to see the schedule for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, held this week virtually and in Milwaukee.
August 12, 2020
A Message from Josefine:
WE DID IT!!!
I’m so incredibly humbled to have earned the support of this district and am excited for the opportunity to continue our road to Madison.
I want to thank Tucker Gretebeck for the positive campaign he ran. I am looking forward to working with him on uniting the party and to get to work on flipping this district blue in November.
Thank you for your support!
August 11, 2020
18-year-old Jaynes wins Democratic primary for 96th Assembly District seat
Josefine Jaynes, an 18-year-old from Readstown, has declared victory in the Democratic primary race for 96th Assembly.
Jaynes captured 3,127 votes in the district, and beat-out farmer and Cashton native, Tucker Gretebeck, who received 2,494 votes. She will now go on to compete against incumbent Loren Oldenburg, R-Viroqua.
The young candidate said she has always had a passion for public service and recently worked on the Paul Buhr campaign in 2018.
If elected, Jaynes said her top priorities are getting a handle on the coronavirus pandemic, school funding, broadband, housing and roads.
Jaynes and Oldenburg will be on the ballot on Nov. 3.
August 5, 2020
Fall primary: Two run for 96th Assembly on the Democratic ticket
Two candidates are running for the 96th Assembly District on the Democratic Party primary ballot — Tucker Gretebeck and Josefine Jaynes.
Editor’s note: The Vernon County Broadcaster publishes the questionnaires from the candidates as we receive them and in their entirety. The partisan primary election is Aug. 11.
Name: Josefine Jaynes
Occupation: I currently work in a service field, employed at Bethel Home and Services, Inc., where I work in Recreational Therapy. My future plans are to serve others either in government or through social services. I’m at a unique place in my life where I will commit 100% of my time and effort to serving this district.
What elected office you are vying for: The Wisconsin State Assembly’s 96th District
Previously elected offices: I am the youngest person ever elected my church council. I serve as a Deacon at Kickapoo United Lutheran Church near Folsum.
Community and group affiliations: I am a member of Kickapoo United Lutheran Church. I am a regular volunteer at the Kickapoo Area Food Pantry in Viola.
Why are you running for office?: I have been interested in and have studied history, government, and politics for nearly my entire life. I knew from a young age that I wanted a life of public service. In 2018 I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to be involved with the Buhr campaign.
Through that experience I became more familiar with the issues of our district. I was appalled by the influence of large sums of outside “dark money” that streamed into our community in the form of terrible negative and false advertisements in the name of the GOP candidate. The campaign was between two local farmers, practically neighbors, and was no place for outside influence. I had to wonder what they wanted in return for their money. I am running this campaign without PAC money influence because I firmly believe that out of state entities should not be able to buy our local elections.
I am running for the Wisconsin State Assembly because I want to serve the communities that raised me and fight to preserve our rural way of life.
What do you think are some of the more important issues facing the 96th Assembly District?: Clearly COVID recovery will be the number one issue going forward for all of us. Lack of clear guidance and partisan gridlock has compounded the issues. We still don’t have a clear understanding of the extent of the economic impact this will have on our district, but much will need to be done to help our family farmers, small businesses, and manufacturers recover. I am prepared to work hard to bring assistance to the people of the 96th to ensure our communities emerge successfully from the pandemic.
Are there any issues currently being handled that you would handle differently?: First, I think we need to reexamine the formula used for school funding. The current formula disproportionately affects our rural schools. I don’t believe that a student’s zip code should determine the quality of their education. I would fight for our rural schools and our rural students in Madison.
Broadband is also an issue where our communities have been left behind. This pandemic has shown us that broadband is vital for education and telemedicine, as well as other sectors such as agriculture and tourism. We need to treat broadband like we did rural electrification in the ‘20s and ‘30s, it’s essential we get funding to our local utilities who have been doing a fantastic job of building out our rural infrastructure.
Our district suffers from a lack of housing. Housing is essential for our economy. Local businesses cannot expand if there isn’t housing for new employees. Addressing the housing issue will also broaden the tax base and help combat the declining enrollment so many of our rural schools are facing.
Other issues I’d fight for in Madison are fixing our roads; creating opportunity for our family farmers, small business owners, and local manufacturers; addressing the need for quality daycare; and protecting our water not just for our health, but also for our sport and tourism industries.
What should people know about you as a candidate and potential representative?: I grew up in a family that has always been very active in the community. I learned early the value of service and the commitment to making the world a better place. My father, who grew up in Viroqua, is a 22 year Veteran of the United States Army. In my early years, he was stationed in Alexandria, VA just across the river from Washington, DC. That experience created my lifelong interest in history and government. Before moving here permanently in 2010, every summer, holiday, and school break was spent on my maternal grandmother’s farm outside of Readstown. My grandmother, Lisa Reser, was a Norwegian immigrant and she had an intense love of history and for her adopted country. Her house was filled with books on every topic, and she shared her stories of her childhood in Norway when it was occupied by the Germans in WWII. Those experiences created in her an intense passion to fight injustice which she passed on to me.
Firmly grounded by my family, my faith, and my community, I’m at a unique place in my life where I am able to commit 100% of my time and effort to serving this district. I may not have been born here, but I was raised here. I’m one of you and I’d be honored to serve you in Madison.
I encourage voters to read through my endorsements, listen to my interviews, or give me a call. Let’s talk!
July 22, 2020
JAYNES: “END THE DOMINATION OF GIANT AGRIBUSINESSES”
Interview by Evan Dvorsak
Josefine Jaynes of Readstown is one of two candidates running in the Democratic primary in the 96th District, which covers all of Crawford County, the southern half of Monroe County and most of Vernon County (click here for a map of the district). The primary takes place Tuesday, August 11. Absentee ballots can be requested here.
We interviewed Josefine recently to get her input on some of the important issues facing Wisconsin and the nation (we’ve also requested an interview with her primary opponent Tucker Gretebeck). The winner of the Democratic primary will face state Rep. Loren Oldenburg, R-Viroqua, in the November general election.
The Covid crisis has had a devastating effect on working class people, with unemployment rates at record levels. Yet we have seen the rich in our state see their wealth grow at a record pace. What would you propose to tackle runaway economic inequality in Wisconsin? For example, would you support raising taxes on the wealthiest residents of our state?
The problem of income disparity is very complex and it has only been exacerbated by COVID-19. Things that could be done in my district to help level the playing field would be to address the lack of available workforce housing and work to incentivize investments in housing and small businesses. Also working to address the desperate need for quality daycare which disproportionately affects low-income residents.
I fear that we have only begun to see the tip of the iceberg regarding the economic fallout from this pandemic. We need to be seriously looking at longterm ideas similar to the employment and public works programs that the Roosevelt administration launched to fight the Depression. We can start with innovative programs like a healthcare corps that works specifically with COVID response and could employ healthcare workers who are currently unemployed or recently graduated. We could also look at initiating a work program to tackle our failing infrastructure.
With jobs evaporating over the past several months, many thousands of Wisconsinites have seen their employer-provided healthcare disappear. Would you support Governor Ever’s “BadgerCare for All” plan? Do you believe there is a place for private or for-profit insurance in a post-Covid Wisconsin?
I will work with Governor Evers and the Legislature to make healthcare available for all residents of our state. Already this far into COVID we have a record number of people unemployed and losing their employer-based insurance, requiring them to go uninsured or apply for a government insurance program. I feel certain that when we reach the other side of COVID we will all have a much better appreciation for the idea of universal healthcare.
Your district is primarily rural, with a long agricultural tradition. Yet we have seen the small family farm largely disappear from the landscape. What needs to be done to support rural communities? Do you support a moratorium on CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations)?
When my mom was in high school almost 90% of her classmates were living on small family farms. When I graduated from the same school thirty some years later none of my classmates lived on a working family farm. The makeup of our district is changing. Many family farms in my district have come up with innovative ideas in order to survive. We’re seeing more niche farming; pasture grazed beef or hogs, vegetables, hazelnuts, grapes, blueberries are some examples. Agriculture tourism is also something that has developed. I disagree with Secretary Sonny Perdue and his “go big or go home” ideas.
We need to end the domination of giant agribusinesses over our farm economy in order for family farms to be able to compete. CAFOs need to be carefully regulated as they can pose increased environmental and health problems for neighboring properties and communities especially in the Driftless Region of our district. Water quality is a top concern for me because for the health of all residents as well as to preserve the sporting and recreation tourism that is vital to the 96th District. Strong farm policy is vital, but that it’s also necessary to advocate for small manufacturing, small business, and infrastructure improvement.
Wisconsin has preemption laws that prevent local municipalities from passing ordinances stricter than state-level law. For example, a city is not allowed to raise the minimum wage above the state level. Lately in your district we have seen cell towers raised in rural areas, despite significant community opposition. What is your position on these preemption laws? Should local communities have more control?
I strongly believe in local government. I believe that on county and village levels we are able to work in a less partisan fashion and get things done. I think that we need to look at each specific issue when it comes to preemption laws. We need to work to ensure our local governments remain strong because at the end of the day they are the ones who best understand the particular issues in their communities.
What about the state of public education in Wisconsin? Should higher education (university, technical college, apprenticeships) be tuition-free for students? Do you oppose the use of public funds for charter and private schools?
I believe that public funds should be used to fund our public schools. After receiving a higher education, young people enter our communities saddled with outrageous debt rendering them unable to invest in our communities. We need to look at restructuring student loans to ensure that people entering the workforce are able to establish themselves in our communities.
The Wisconsin GOP has been ruthlessly effective the last decade, openly engaging in gerrymandering and other voter suppression measures. For example, in 2018 Rep. Oldenburg had hundreds of thousands of dollars poured into his campaign from outside sources. What does the Democratic Party need to do to turn back the GOP at the state level, and what is your campaign’s plan to overcome the tide of money that will be spent against you?
I am aware of the dark money that will be poured into my opponent’s campaign. I witnessed what occurred last election cycle against Paul Buhr and was appalled that out of state interests were attempting to buy our local elections. I have made a commitment in this campaign to not accept PAC money. I am aware that this may put me at a disadvantage, but I believe that voters are tired of elections being bought. I encourage voters to research who is financing the campaigns of the candidates on their ballot. That is public information that can be found through the Wisconsin Ethics Commission.
July 8, 2020
Crawford County Democrats hold partisan primary candidate forums
DRIFTLESS - With the fall election right around the corner, it seems interest in politics is peaking locally – especially on the Democratic side of the ballot. The Democrats have two candidates running for each of three different positions locally and that means there will be some contested primaries on Tuesday, August 11, the scheduled day for primary elections. Wisconsin State Senate District 32, Wisconsin State Assembly District 96 and the Crawford County Clerk will all be contested race in the primary.
The Crawford County Democratic Party kicked off the upcoming election season with a pair of candidate forums–held Sunday in Prairie du Chien and Monday in Gays Mills.
The forums featured three of the candidates, who are running for the three different offices. Each candidate will face an opponent in the Democratic Primary Election scheduled for August 11...
Among those joining Pfaff at the forum was Josefine Jaynes, a rural Readstown resident running for the Wisconsin State Assembly 96thDistrict. Jaynes, a very young woman who recently graduated from Kickapoo High School, seemed about as relaxed as the veteran Pfaff, as she made her 10-minute presentation and answered questions from the audience.
Jaynes said her decision to run and her experience was based on working on Paul Buhr’s campaign last year. Republican Loren Oldenburg, from rural Westby, defeated Buhr, a Viroqua area farmer, in that race and currently holds the 96thDistrict State Assembly seat. Jaynes will face Tucker Gretebeck, a Cashton area farmer, in the August 11 Democratic Primary Election.
All of these candidates’ primary opponents will be featured in candidate forums scheduled for next week in Gays Mills on Tuesday, July 7 at 5 p.m. and in Prairie du Chien on Wednesday, July 8 at 5 p.m..
April 24, 2020
My letter to the editor: Folks are stepping up during pandemic
With COVID-19 having reached the 96th District, I am overwhelmed by the people who are stepping up and reaching out. I see the brave essential workers who go to work every day despite all the risks to provide for those in need, the wonderful rural schools that so quickly adapted to e-Learning and meal deliveries making sure no student falls behind or goes hungry, and local churches and food pantries that have found creative ways to adjust so they can continue to serve their communities. All the hardworking farmers who forge on despite all the uncertainties, ever-optimistic in preparing for the spring planting season, everyone who has called to check in on friends and neighbors, run errands, prepared meals… and all of you who are just staying home. Every one of you provides an invaluable service by helping to flatten the curve. I see this community I know and love going above and beyond in countless ways and I am incredibly proud.
We all must continue to be vigilant and maintain social distancing to keep everyone safe. Use solid sources like our county health departments and local governments to stay current on information.
Check in on people. Remember especially those who are shut-in or at risk. I had planned to be knocking on doors these coming months but that is not possible. For now, I will concentrate on sharing local resources and looking at how our district can survive and recover from this unprecedented event.
Take care of each other.