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Typically during an election cycle, it often comes down to voting for the lesser of two evils. You choose the one who supports the issues most meaningful to you – or at least doesn’t outright defy them. It can be difficult to encounter a candidate who personifies the conviction and integrity you would imagine only in a perfect political world.

I consider myself lucky because in the 2012 spring election, I will have the opportunity to vote for someone I can and do trust; someone with whom my values align and someone who entered into politics with the most noble of intentions.

Rob Zerban will be the first real competition for Congressman Paul Ryan in over nine years. This district, the First, has been dominated by the same incumbent for far too long and it is time for some new blood.

While Ryan continually votes to protect his own interests, Zerban became engaged in the race with the sole purpose of helping others and creating a better Wisconsin. Ryan has aligned himself with special interests and big corporations to ensure the flow of campaign financing. Lock step with the GOP/Tea Party agenda, Ryan has shown himself to be anti-union. However, he continued to supportDavis-Bacon simply because his own family business would suffer and his local backing would dwindle had he not. But when he does not have a dog in the fight – its every man for himself.

Zerban believes that political figures are in their positions not to help the rich become richer or to line their own pockets, but to help those who need it the most. He was at the receiving end of much-needed assistance while growing up. He benefited from government food supplies and college aid. And with that assistance during childhood, as an adult he was able to run successful businesses, employ people with generous benefits and become a citizen who takes action to improve his community.

Tax breaks for the wealthiest of our nation were said to trickle down and create jobs. Well, it’s been 10 years and this still has not happened. In fact, the economy has only deteriorated. Yet, Ryan still votes to extend these cuts. Zerban knows this logic is faulty at best and seeks to level the playing field.

Congressman Ryan has consistently voted against our best environmental interests. HR 2681, Amdt 799, Amdt 800, Amdt 735, HR 2018, HR 2417 are all examples of his attacks on our land, air and water and the agencies which strive to protect them. Zerban is a great admirer of our shores and has worked hard to preserve them through his work with the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.

Rob Zerban made sure that his employees earned fair wages and received health care benefits. He appreciates the fact that healthcare is an imperative issue which affects all of us. He also understands that Paul Ryan’s move to dismantle Medicare and Social Security would devastate the elderly and poor in our country.

I have spoken with a couple of Rob’s supporters:

“Rob Zerban is a man who has respect for the average working citizen. He knows that though it requires a great deal of creativity and follow through to create jobs in the area, that the answer in the meantime is not to try to cut folks’ Medicare and Social Security when they’re already struggling. Rob has respect for the countless hours of work that Wisconsin folks have put into investing in those programs, and would never try to take those away from us. Rob Zerban works for us–not corporate interests,” says Kenosha resident Angie Aker.

And Randy Bryce shares, “I sent a message to him. He replied within an hour. That impressed me. Accessibility is huge. He is everything that is good with the US. He doesn’t have any strings being pulled by special interests. His campaign isn’t supported by ‘contributors,’ it’s supported by FRIENDS.  I can honestly say that I’ve never been so supportive of anyone running for anything more so than I am for Rob. I’ve never been more determined to get rid of someone (maybe with the exception of Walker) than I am with Ryan.”

I vote based on the issues. I have never voted straight party and I can assure you I never will. And I am not a member of any party. I have my “list” of what matters to me and depending on where a candidate stands – that will determine how my vote will be cast.

Ryan has voted to repeal Preventative and Public Health Fund, to extend the Patriot Act, to terminate Emergency Mortgage Relief Program, against removing troops from Afghanistan, to prohibit funding for Planned Parenthood, against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, against the Dream Act and against the Seniors Protection Act. He voted against giving mental health the same equality as physical health. He voted against enforcing anti-gay attacks as hate crimes. These are just a few of the most recent decisions by Congressman Ryan which only strengthen my resolve to vote for Rob Zerban in April of 2012.


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