Opponents use baseless mudslinging and innuendos
West Bend, WI – Conservative candidate for Washington County Executive, Josh Schoemann, sent the following letter to the editors of Washington County Insider and Boots and Sabers, who have published guest editorials that sought to attack Josh’s integrity:
I appreciate your websites as a tool to inform the community on issues. Your conserative voices are needed as local media dwindles; however, recently you have published guest editorials from the disgruntled former sheriff which lobbed baseless attacks on my integrity.
One editorial erroneously accused Chairman Kriefall and me of breaking the law. Do the Wisconsin State Statutes prescribe candidates must abdicate their First Amendment rights? The notion that Chairman Kriefall or I would somehow be using the COVID-19 pandemic to advance our political careers is reckless. Neither of us have campaigned while on county time and I’ve canceled numerous campaign events and activities to focus on doing the job I was hired to do.
The former Sheriff bemoans my contracts. I was awarded my first contract after leading the effort to cut the County’s property tax levy $1,000,000. I cut the levy again my second year by another quarter million dollars. The county levy is more than $1 million lower than it was a decade ago. The tax rate is lower than it was 100 years ago.
My second contract was executed after we merged health departments with Ozaukee County, medical examiner functions with Waukesha County, started an on-site health clinic with the city of West Bend, and was in the final stages of completing the Transportation 2050 plan. We #JustFixedIt without raising taxes.
The former sheriff also ignores the funding increases I proposed for his department. Since I became county administrator six years ago, the total property tax levy has increased on average less than 1% per year or $1.4 million total. Meanwhile, the sheriff’s office portion of the levy has increased 22.7% or nearly $3.5 million. That’s $2.1 million more than new property tax revenue.
The former sheriff’s levy increased 2.4 times more than taxes did. I reprioritized property tax funding from parks (hence a park fee), human services, ADRC, and other departments to fund the sheriff’s operations.
There is no question public safety is my priority. That is why Sheriff Marty Schulteis has endorsed my campaign.
The county board found a conservative innovator and utilized the market for administrators to retain me. I am not the highest paid administrator in Wisconsin. And, my contracts have been made public each time through the press and records requests.
My list of accomplishments speaks for itself and my opponent’s record pales in comparison. My opponent sees my proven track record as a threat to his big government ideals. Supported by numerous Walker recall signers, my opponent is part of the city administration that raised taxes in the 2020 budget the moment a conservative mayor wasn’t looking, because they could.
My opponent doesn’t want to repeal the sales tax. He wants to give it to the municipalities unencumbered to increase spending. A clear violation of the law. He called the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty’s position on sales tax “frivolous.” I agree with WILL and plan to use the sales tax the way it was meant to be utilized – to lower property taxes.
My opponent and I both have served our country. This race is not a question on integrity. It is a question who has a record governing as a conservative. In his literature, my opponent does not refer to himself as a conservative.
A county executive is a leader accountable to the people. I am running for this position to serve my neighbors by working directly for them, no longer an employee of the county board. As the former sheriff unintentionally points out, if elected I would take a sizable pay cut. Nonetheless, I am committed to returning my end-of-employment severance and $10,000 in salary, per year. My opponent has not made such a commitment.
For me, it’s not about the salary or benefits. It’s about proving local government can be run responsibly without gouging the taxpayers.
I am ready to be the most conservative county executive in Wisconsin. The reddest county in the state deserves nothing less. That is my pledge to the voters.