Wisconsin Farm Bureau Board Endorses Travis Tranel for State Assembly

July 24, 2012
Travis Tranel of Cuba City has been endorsed by the Volunteers for Agriculture (VFA) Committee for the 49th Assembly District. The VFA is the political action arm of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

“Travis Tranel is a strong and thoughtful voice for rural Wisconsin in our Legislature,” said Paul Zimmerman, Executive Director of Governmental Relations for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau. “His real-world experience as a dairy farmer serves as a great asset both to his constituents and our state’s $59 billion agricultural industry.”

“Rep. Tranel understands the opportunities and challenges facing rural Wisconsin. Re-electing him to the Legislature is how we can put his valuable experiences to work for all of us,” Zimmerman said.

The 49th Assembly District consists of all of Grant County and portions of Iowa,Richland and Lafayette counties. Tranel, a Republican, faces a challenge in the August 14 primary election.

The Volunteers for Agriculture Committee is comprised of 18 farmers from across the state, and was formed to give farmers a more direct role in electing leaders who best represent agriculture’s interests.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization with members of every farm size, commodity and management style.

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Rep. Ed Brooks Endorses Rep. Tranel for Re-Election

“Travis Tranel embodies the best for the future of agriculture in Wisconsin.”

State Representative Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg) announced his endorsement of incumbent State Representative Travis Tranel for the 49th Assembly District and made the following statement of support:

“Representative Travis Tranel should be the voters choice for the 49th Assembly District. He’s shown leadership, thoughtful consideration of all residents in his district, and collaborative effort on important agriculture industry issues. Wisconsin’s $60 billion a year agriculture industry needs an enthusiastic, hard-working champion like Travis to help move Wisconsin’s agriculture community forward. I’ve seen him in action as we’ve served together on the Assembly Committee on Agriculture where his experience has been an important part of our work. I am pleased to stand with Representative Tranel.”

“Travis Tranel embodies the best for the future of agriculture in Wisconsin.”State Representative Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg) announced his endorsement of incumbent State Representative Travis Tranel for the 49th Assembly District and made the following statement of support:“Representative Travis Tranel should be the voters choice for the 49th Assembly District. He’s shown leadership, thoughtful consideration of all residents in his district, and collaborative effort on important agriculture industry issues. Wisconsin’s $60 billion a year agriculture industry needs an enthusiastic, hard-working champion like Travis to help move Wisconsin’s agriculture community forward. I’ve seen him in action as we’ve served together on the Assembly Committee on Agriculture where his experience has been an important part of our work. I am pleased to stand with Representative Tranel.”

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Rep. Travis Tranel Announces Re-Election Campaign

“I am grateful to all of our volunteers who have stepped up to the plate over the course of the summer. The best part about this job is the friends you make along the way, and I am thrilled that everyone’s hard work paid off. I am looking forward to the fall campaign where I believe two very different visions for our state will emerge. I remain committed to working hard to foster an environment where small businesses can create jobs so we can put people back to work.” – Travis Tranel

Cuba City – Today State Assembly Representative Travis Tranel formally announced his bid for re-election for the 49th District. Tranel is a citizen legislator, small business owner, and runs his family dairy farm in rural Cuba City.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of the 49th District. We worked together to turn problems into solutions. In my first term as a citizen legislator I was proud of our accomplishments. We turned a budget deficit into a budget surplus and we made jobs and the economy our top priority,” Tranel said.

Tranel highlighted several of his legislative accomplishments during his first term in office:

  • Voted for over 50 job bills which were enacted into law by the Governor
  • Voted successfully to balance the state’s budget without raising taxes which created a budget surplus and protected Senior Care
  • Served as Vice Chairman of the Assembly Agriculture Committee and passed tax credits for farmers
  • Authored “Rainy Day” fund constitutional amendment so the state could save money in case of financial emergencies
  • Expanded 2nd Amendment rights for law abiding citizens
  • Promoted Wisconsin’s hunting, fishing, ATV, snowmobile and other tourism opportunities
  • Defended Southwest Wisconsin’s values on life and religious freedom
  • Worked with local veterans to pass the Disabled Veterans employment tax credit
  • Advocated for women and fought to restore funding for the Sexual Assault Victim Service program
  • Voted for lawsuit reform legislation and worked to cut government Red Tape

Tranel said, “In 2010 I promised to take common sense, Southwest Wisconsin values to the State Capitol and I have worked closely with citizens throughout the 49th District and with legislative colleagues to deliver on my commitment. As I tour the district, I am encouraged by the efforts we are making by listening and working together. I will use my legislative experience in the next legislative session to build on our successes and work hard to solve the new challenges that we face.”

Representative Tranel will continue to focus on more job creation and building a better economy. Tranel looks forward to seeing friends and neighbors out on the campaign trail and taking opportunities to meet new people throughout the 49th District. The 49th District is larger due to re-districting and Tranel has already been meeting citizens and business leaders in the new territory as well as continuing to work with friends and neighbors he already knows. Representative Tranel is committed to keeping Wisconsin moving forward and ensuring it is open for business because the 49th District needs a strong economy to support good paying jobs.

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Tranel Campaign Reports $30,000 Cash On Hand

Tranel Campaign Reports $30,000 Cash On Hand

Cuba City, WI – February 1, 2012

Southwest Wisconsin State Representative Travis Tranel’s campaign reported that it had raised over $29,000 during the latest campaign finance reporting period. This strong fundraising showing puts Team Tranel in a great position going into the 2012 election cycle. The campaign has $30,000 cash on hand.

“I am very humbled and thankful for the tremendous out pouring of support Team Tranel has received over the past few months. Our local fundraising team has done a fantastic job in a very short period of time,” said Tranel. “I am strongly committed to working hard each and every day to make sure Southwest Wisconsin continues to be the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

Rep. Tranel’s district includes all of Grant County, and parts of Richland, Iowa, and Lafayette Counties.

Southwest Wisconsin State Representative Travis Tranel’s campaign reported that it had raised over $29,000 during the latest campaign finance reporting period. This strong fundraising showing puts Team Tranel in a great position going into the 2012 election cycle. The campaign has $30,000 cash on hand.“I am very humbled and thankful for the tremendous out pouring of support Team Tranel has received over the past few months. Our local fundraising team has done a fantastic job in a very short period of time,” said Tranel. “I am strongly committed to working hard each and every day to make sure Southwest Wisconsin continues to be the best place to live, work and raise a family.” Rep. Tranel’s district includes all of Grant County, and parts of Richland, Iowa, and Lafayette Counties.

Assembly looks at bill to create ‘rainy day fund’ for Wisconsin

By Andrew Averill
The Badger Herald – Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Wisconsin Assembly took up a host of items on the chamber floor Thursday, including a constitutional amendment to create a rainy-day fund.

During freshman Rep. Travis Tranel’s, R-Cuba City, maiden address to the Assembly, he introduced a resolution to amend Wisconsin’s constitution in order to create a fiscal responsibility fund in the treasury. The Legislature would be required to deposit into the fund any amount of money from state tax collections in excess of 6.5 percent.

Money could be taken out of the fund with a two-thirds vote in the Legislature. If the governor says the national gross domestic product is estimated to decrease in the current or succeeding year, the Legislature can tap into the fund with a majority vote.

Tranel said the amendment was common sense.

“It basically recognizes that leaders in both parties have made mistakes, both Republicans and Democrats,” Tranel said to his colleagues on the chamber floor. “It’s very hard for us to be disciplined. When times are good, we want to spend all the money that comes into the state.’”

He added legislators had to be honest with themselves and understand times are not always going to be good. As a farmer in southwest Wisconsin, Tranel said bean and corn prices are going through the roof, but he recognized those prices would drop and he would have to save some of that money, and in the same vein the state should save its extra revenue as well.

Had the program been enacted 25 years ago, Tranel said a Legislative Fiscal Bureau analysis of his amendment showed taxes would have been reduced by $8.6 billion and spending reduced by $9.7 billion.

Although in favor of the idea, Democrats introduced a number of amendments to the resolution they said would ensure the passage of the constitutional amendment in the next session.

Rep. Tony Staskunas, D-West Allis, offered all six of the amendments to the Assembly. He said he was concerned there was already a rainy-day fund created by Wisconsin statute and that the constitutional amendment was being sent through the Legislature in “grease lightning speed.” Staskunas said he wanted to get the proposal right, mentioning first how he did not understand why a supermajority would be required to take money out of the proposed fund.

“I’m not sure why a constitutional amendment would allow the minority to thwart the majority in regard to the state’s fiscal uncertainty,” Staskunas said.

Other concerns addressed in amendments offered by Staskunas included putting money into the fund even during years when aid is cut to counties and municipalities and K-12 education. The tax return contained within the constitutional proposal would only go to property owners, Staskunas said, and ignore people renting their home.

The proposal has been floated in the Legislature before, Assembly Majority Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon, said, and it received statewide approval through newspaper editorial board endorsements.

“It’s human nature to spend when it’s good,” Fitzgerald said, adding later the constitutional amendment would control spending and stop the two year cycle of budget fighting.

The Badger Herald

Tranel urges ‘rainy-day’ fund

Wisconsin lawmaker proposes legislation requiring that money is set aside during good economic times.

TELEGRAPH HERALD

Wisconsin state Rep. Travis Tranel, R-Cuba City, testified Thursday before the Wisconsin Ways and Means Committee in support of his bill called the Wisconsin First — Fiscal Responsibility and Stability Fund Amendment. It would create a constitutionally protected “rainy-day” fund in Wisconsin.

“Most families, farmers and small-business owners in the state of Wisconsin understand that there are good and bad economic cycles,” said Tranel. “When times are good, they plan for the future and put a small amount of money aside for emergencies. Maybe there is an illness in the family, a piece of machinery breaks, someone loses a job, or sales drop off suddenly. Having a “rainy-day” fund set aside for these tough times can help to weather the unexpected storm. It is common sense in my book.”

The state’s current rainy-day fund has not been properly funded over the years, according to Tranel. He said politicians from both parties have not had the fiscal discipline or foresight to consistently set aside tax dollars in good economic times.

“I think that by working to pass a constitutionally protected rainy-day fund today, we can prevent our state from finding itself in another very difficult financial situation in the future,” he said. “As our state’s economy begins to grow, it is only prudent that we look at enacting serious long-term budget reforms. I don’t want my kids and grandkids to have to go through the polarizing debates that we have seen taking place over the last few months up here at the Capitol.”

Here’s how Tranel’s bill would work:

  • State tax collections in excess of 6.5 percent of statewide personal incomes are deposited into the Fiscal Responsibility Fund. If taxes are below that level, a small minimum deposit is made instead.
  • During a recession, money can be withdrawn from the fund to help balance the budget.
  • Any accumulated balance over a set maximum must be returned as a property tax credit.
  • The fund can only be tapped in a recession, or during fiscal emergency when approved by two-thirds of the Legislature.

“Responsible budgeting and planning for the future is something that the citizens of my district told me that they wanted to see state government do,” Tranel said.

Telegraph Herald

Tranel appointed Vice-Chair of Ag Committee

WGLR NEWS – December 7, 2010

If Travis Tranel was hoping he could make an impact in the Wisconsin legislature as a freshman, he’ll get his chance right away. The newly elected Republican Representative from rural Hazel Green has appointed as the Vice-Chair of the State Assembly’s Agriculture Committee. Tranel says he’s humbled by the appointment, and excited to get to work on issues that benefit farmers and bring jobs to rural Wisconsin.

By the way, leadership on the Assembly’s Ag Committee are both from western Wisconsin. The chairman of the committee is Representative Lee Nerison of Westby, who represents the neighboring 96th Assembly District that includes Crawford, Vernon, Richland and Monroe Counties. Nerison is a former dairy producer.

Also, Tranel didn’t know for sure if he is the first freshman lawmaker to be appointed vice-chair of the Ag Committee.

—-dash—-

Tranel has also been appointed to the Assembly’s Financial Institutions Committee and the Insurance Committee.

Tranel victory highlights big night for GOP

BY CRAIG D. REBER TH STAFF WRITER

Wisconsin’s Republican Party tidal wave swept through the southwest part of the state, with the GOP regaining two Assembly seats and retaining an Assembly and a Senate seat.

Republican Travis Tranel, a rural Cuba City agribusinessman, unseated incumbent Phil Garthwaite, of Dickeyville, a two-term Democrat, in the 49th Assembly District. It was a rematch of 2008. Garthwaite conceded late Tuesday night.

“I feel very humbled,” said Tranel, 25. “My name was on the ballot, but it was a total team effort and I am just blessed to be part of a good team.”

Tranel ran on a campaign of fiscal responsibility.

“It’s nice to win, but now we have to govern and get the economy turned around,” he said. “We have to tackle the deficit and start planning for the future. We have to create jobs for not only southwest Wisconsin but for the entire state. Wisconsin has to be known for being open for business.”

In 2006, Garthwaite became the first Democrat since 1912 to win the seat for Assembly District 49, defeating incumbent Republican Gabe Loeffelholz.

“I ran a positive campaign, and positive campaigns don’t work,” he said. “People say they want them, but they bought into his lies; he got the flashy, fancy stuff out there and it stuck.”

Going into Tuesday, Democrats held a 52-46 majority in the Assembly and an 18-15 majority in the Senate.

In the 17th Senate District, incumbent Republican Dale Schultz, of Richland Center, defeated Democrat Carol Beals, a Grant County supervisor from Platteville.

“I’m glad it’s over, and now we have the opportunity to move the state forward and deal with the issues that are most important to people economy and jobs,” Schultz said, citing a plan on his website to address the situation.

Schultz, 57, was elected to the state Senate in a September 1991 special election and has been re-elected since 1994.

In the 51st Assembly District, Howard Marklein, of rural Spring Green, outlasted his Democratic challenger John Simonson, of Mineral Point.

The 51st Assembly seat was vacated when two-term incumbent Democrat Steve Hilgenberg announced his retirement because of health concerns.

Simonson, of Mineral Point, a retired University of Wisconsin-Platteville economics professor, was making his second bid at elective office.

Marklein, who lives in rural Spring Green, is making his first bid at elective office. He is a CPA and a certified fraud examiner.

“I am excited about the challenges ahead and to begin a life of public service,” he said. “We’ve got challenges in the state in the budget and job climate. We need to start getting those issues addressed very quickly.”

Incumbent Republican Lee Nerison turned back an upset bid by Democrat Brian Murphy, of Westby, in the 96th Assembly District.

Telegraph Herald

Letter: Liberal special interests bailing out Garthwaite

Telegraph Herald – Friday, October 29, 2010

FROM JAMES T. SCHNELLER, JR. 620 RIDGE AVE., PLATTEVILLE, WIS.

In his Oct. 27 letter, Mr. Wisnewski focuses on spending by outside groups for Travis Tranel.

In comparison, look at Greater Wisconsin Committee, a liberal special-interest group. Since August, they’ve spent over $200,000, with $30,000 on direct mail, $6,900 on radio, and $15,000 on cable. Now they’re spending $152,000 in negative network TV ads bashing Travis and Jack Cummings. Yes, $152,000!

What they’re spewing is ludicrous. They claim Travis will take away Social Security. He’s running for State Assembly; Social Security is a federal issue. State Assembly has nothing to do it. And Travis doesn’t oppose Social Security.

Does Greater Wisconsin Committee think they can buy this election for Garthwaite?

Where does Greater Wisconsin Committee’s funding come from? Jim Doyle donated $1.5 million, of which approximately $200,000 has been used to attack Travis.

Garthwaite voted for Doyle’s budget that increased spending by 10 percent, taxes by almost $5 billion, and cut rural education aids in order to spare cuts to Democrat Milwaukee. Is Doyle now bailing out Garthwaite, funneling campaign cash through Greater Wisconsin Committee?

Ignore all third-party nonsense. Look at the candidate’s words and actions. Tranel says he’ll cut wasteful spending, lower taxes and prioritize job creation. Garthwaite’s voting record shows he’s for increased government spending and taxes.

Telegraph Herald >>

“Pants on Fire” rating given to Greater Wisconsin Committee attacks on Tranel

The Truth-O-Meter Says:

Greater Wisconsin Committee Says Republican candidates in key Wisconsin Assembly races “side with those who want to privatize Social Security — and risk our retirements on Wall Street.”

Greater Wisconsin Committee on Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 in radio ads and direct mail pieces

Group says Wisconsin Republican Assembly candidates want to privatize Social Security

Pants on Fire!

Worried about the future of Social Security? A liberal Wisconsin group is betting you are — or that it can make you worried before election day.

The Greater Wisconsin Committee and its Greater Wisconsin Political Fund are using mailers and radio ads to target Republican candidates in key 2010 races for the Wisconsin Assembly. Democrats outnumber Republicans there, 56-42.

The central theme of the attacks: The GOP Assembly candidates, like their Washington counterparts, want to privatize Social Security.

Yes, Social Security, that venerable federal program — one the state Assembly has no control over.

The wording of the attacks varies, but the claims are all similar to this one against Republican Travis Tranel, who is challenging Rep. Phil Garthwaite, D-Dickeyville.

“Travis Tranel,” a mail piece says, “sides with those who want to privatize Social Security — and risk our retirements on Wall Street.”

Lest anyone miss the point, the flier includes a man — presumably a fat-cat Wall Street banker or investor — lighting his cigar with a Social Security card that’s been set aflame.

There’s also an image of a magnifying glass inviting readers to “check the facts.”

Why, thank you. We will.

Asked to elaborate on her organization’s claims, Greater Wisconsin Committee executive director Michelle McGrorty offered two main points:

* In the group’s view, “A Roadmap for America’s Future” — U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to tackle the federal debt and deficits, and make significant changes to taxes, Medicare and Social Security — would privatize Social Security.

* Ryan, a Janesville Republican, has ties to the state GOP Assembly candidates targeted by the group.

At PolitiFact Wisconsin, this is familiar ground.

We gave Pants on Fire ratings to claims that GOP congressional candidates backed privatizing Social Security, when Democrats provided no proof beyond a sliced-and-diced statement and a two-word answer taken out of context.

Now state Assembly candidates? This could get good.

Let’s start with Ryan’s “Roadmap,” a plan that has helped put Ryan on the political map, but one that does not have universal support among the GOP leadership in Washington.

PolitiFact National examined the roadmap in August 2010, after President Barack Obama alluded to it in saying GOP leaders are backing privatization plans that would tie Social Security benefits “to the whims of Wall Street traders and the ups and downs of the stock market.”

If adopted, Ryan’s plan would enable workers under 55 to, voluntarily, invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in funds managed by the government. As Politifact National noted: “That’s a far cry from privatizing the entirety of Social Security.”

So, the Greater Wisconsin Committee is starting off on the wrong road with its claim about the roadmap.

As for the ties to Ryan, this is old-fashioned guilt by association … and there ain’t much association, at least when it comes to the Social Security issue.

* Tranel, a Cuba City dairy farmer, is making his second attempt to unseat Garthwaite, a second-term Assembly Democrat. The mail piece that claims he “sides with those who want to privatize Social Security” says its proof is a newspaper article. In the article, Tranel expresses admiration for Ryan — but there’s no mention of Social Security.

* Dennis Clinard, a retired U.S. Army master sergeant from Cataract, is seeking to unseat first-term Rep. Mark Radcliffe, D-Black River Falls. A flier says “Washington politicians who wants (sic) to privatize Social Security are the fund-raising muscle behind” Clinard’s campaign. The proof listed in the flier is Ryan’s appearance at a fundraiser for Clinard. It took in $7,250, according to a state GOP official, or about 15 percent of the $46,357 Clinard’s campaign has raised in 2010.

* Howard Marklein, a Wilson Creek accountant, is running for an open seat against Mineral Point Democrat John Simonson, a retired University of Wisconsin-Platteville economics professor. A mail piece says Marklein is “backed by Washington, D.C., politicians who want to privatize Social Security.” McGrorty said the proof is a picture of Ryan and Marklein on Marklein’s campaign website.

We could go on.

A GWC radio ad says some tea party candidates want to eliminate Social Security and “we have one right here, this guy Jack Cummings.” Cummings, an Endeavor farmer, is challenging first-term Rep. Fred Clark, D-Baraboo. McGrorty’s defense: The ad talks about a number of issues and doesn’t say that Cummings wants to eliminate Social Security.

Hmmm …. “We have one right here.”

(Senate Democrat Ted Zigmunt of Francis Creek also uses a flier to accuse his Republican opponent, Andre Jacque, of supporting privatization of Social Security. A campaign aide cited Jacque’s endorsement by the Republican Liberty Caucus, but no statement Jacque has made about Social Security.)

How do the targeted candidates respond to all of this?

Brian Pleva, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Republican Assembly Campaign Committee, said none of them supports — or has made statements in support of — privatizing or eliminating Social Security.

Why would they? They’re not running for Congress.

In any case, we could not find any such statements. And the Greater Wisconsin Committee could not provide any.

Indeed, on two of the fliers, one of the check-our-facts citations is a report by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington. The report predicts cuts in Social Security benefits would result from Ryan’s plan, but that doesn’t address the question of privatization, and the report doesn’t mention the targeted candidates.

If you’re sensing a theme here, so are we.

In targeting Republicans in races that could shift the balance of power in the state Assembly, the Greater Wisconsin Committee is taking a page from the national Democratic playbook — and misusing it. To play to fears of seniors and others, the group labels a proposal from U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, as privatizing Social Security.

Even if the plan did privatize Social Security (in our view it does not), the group has offered no evidence that the GOP Assembly candidates back it. The “proof” cited borders on absurd: One candidate praised Ryan, one got his picture taken with him and a third had Ryan appear at his campaign fundraiser. Is that cigar still burning?

If not, we need a light, because the ruling is Pants on Fire.

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