Stroebel says intolerance shows Liebham, Grothman don’t belong in Washington
Two of the four Republican candidates vying to be the next representative for the 6th Congressional District refused to participated in a candidate forum held Monday by the Ozaukee County League of Women Voters at Milwaukee Area Technical College in Mequon.
The two most conservative candidates — Glenn Grothman of West Bend and Joe Liebham of Sheboygan — initially said they did not commit to the forum, then said they would not participate because the League of Women Voters challenged the state’s voter ID law.
That law was recently struck down by the federal court as being unconstitutional. Judge Lynn Adelman stated the law will keep more legitimate ballots than fraudulent votes from being cast.
Grothman’s and Liebham’s absence opened the door for the other two candidates — Duey Stroebel of Saukville and Tom Denow of Oshkosh — to criticize career politicians, saying new people are needed to break the gridlock in Washington.
“How can we trust sending someone to Washington if they’re not willing to face someone with opposing views, especially the people they are hoping to represent,” Stroebel said in a statement issued last week and reiterated during the forum.
“I am not afraid to go anywhere, at anytime, to fight for conservative values. I am not afraid to confront people if I think they’re wrong. That is what leaders do.”
Stroebel represents the 60th District in the state Assembly and owns a real estate management and development business.
Denow, who teaches engine technology at Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac and formerly worked for Mercury Marine, said, “We need more people involved with our government who have practical experience other than being career politicians and who can bring in new innovating ideas.”
Dorothy Boyer, who organized the forum, said she received an e-mail from Liebham on July 8 stating he would not participate in the forum and had not committed to do so.
“I heard nothing from Grothman, but received the general press release sent to the media,” Boyer said. “They weren’t returning my phone calls, and I made lots of them.
“They said the League scheduled the forum without their commitment, but their campaign offices gave the commitment. Their second reason was the League’s opposition to voter ID.”
In his press release, Grothman said he values candidate forums and debates, “but doesn’t see it necessary to participate in a debate sponsored by an organization completely opposed to conservative Republican principles of election integrity.”
Although the forum went well with “excellent” questions from the audience, Boyer said, “There was a big gap here because we haven’t heard from the other two.
“It really is depriving the voters from hearing all the candidates and being able to ask them questions.”
Of the 41 people who attended the forum, 11 were members of the League of Women Voters.
The Republican primary will be held Tuesday, Aug. 12.