"Good Morning/Afternoon. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.
I have cast a ballot in nearly every election available to me—local to national, partisan and non-partisan—since turning 18 40 years ago. In 1998, I was the Republican candidate for Wisconsin Assembly in the 48th District. In 2008, under the shadows of the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan, I completed my absentee presidential ballot inside a small Forward Operating Base in Kunar Province where I was commanding a Police Mentor Team. After nearly 36 years, I continue to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve.
I vote, I serve, and I ran for office because I know the only way our country can be great is if the vast majority of our citizens are directly connected to our democratic republic. That means more than just voting. It means being able to hold our elected leaders accountable to us, their constituents.
Unfortunately, our current Congressional election process does not provide such accountability. Instead, it leads to a dysfunctional Congress and our elected leaders either compromising their values or leaving office. All Veterans agreed to put their lives on the line to protect the rights of American citizens, yet Congress fails to act in the best interest of citizens or Veterans because doing so would require compromise and working “across the aisle” as if Republicans and Democrats were not Americans first.
Like all military families, my family has made tremendous sacrifices so I could have the privilege of serving my country. I want to know my children, one of whom is here today, and all future generations, will have the ability to hold their representatives in Washington accountable. And I want all future generations of those representatives to have the freedom to always act with integrity rather than compromise their values to placate the extremes of a political party or ideology.
Veterans for Political Innovation was founded specifically to leverage the dedication of Veterans to bring about such electoral changes. We launched here in Wisconsin in October at least in part due to Wisconsin’s history of innovation in service of our citizens. This is an opportunity to extend that legacy by bringing greater choice, greater voice, and more accountability.
I am regularly thanked for my service and see and hear the phrase “We support our troops.” If you want to demonstrate your gratitude for those who served and your support for the troops, you have a tremendous opportunity before you right now. Final Five Voting is a giant step toward that for which we Veterans have been fighting and dying for centuries. Please become vocal advocates and supporters of SB 250.
Thank you again for this opportunity to testify."