Rep. Jim Steineke Scorecard Grade
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Uncontested Wisconsin Assembly Races in 2020

I reviewed the uncontested Wisconsin State Senate races in a previous article, now comes the Wisconsin Assembly races. With 99 Assembly Districts up for election every two years, Wisconsin has a chance to replace politicians often. In November 2020, six (6) Democrats and twelve (12) Republicans pass go and collect their paycheck without any one else rolling the dice.

Most of the seats retained by the Dems unchallenged races are friendly to marijuana reform. Even the lone Democrat, Rep. Dan Riemer, on the list who received a Failing Grade is reported as not opposed to marijuana by constituents. What is concerning is the Republican retained seats, with 11 out of 12 seats failing, Wisconsin is not off to a good start in the Assembly……

Rep. Daniel Riemer Scorecard Grade
Rep. Daniel Riemer Scorecard Grade

Dan Riemer (D-Milwaukee) received a failing grade in the 2019-2020 legislative session. This Democrat Assembly Representative from Milwaukee has not co-sponsored any marijuana legislation since being elected. Holds office State Assembly District 7. Full Scorecard Link

Rep. David Bowen Scorecard Grade
Rep. David Bowen Scorecard Grade

David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) received an A- grade. Rep. Bowen sponsored adult use and medical marijuana legislation. He is expected to continue to be a leader on the issue in upcoming legislative session. Holds office State Assembly District 10. Full Scorecard Link

Rep Evan Goyke Scorecard Grade
Rep Evan Goyke Scorecard Grade

Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) received a B+ grade. A strong supporter of decriminalization in past sessions and is working hard to unite both parties to support decriminalization of marijuana.  A strong champion in changing how the criminal justice system treats marijuana possession.  This Milwaukee area Democrat earns a solid B+. Holds office State Assembly District 18. Full Scorecard Link

Rep. Christine Sinicki Scorecard Grade
Rep. Christine Sinicki Scorecard Grade

Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) received an A+ Grade. Milwaukee Assembly Rep Sinicki sponsors marijuana on Adult Use, Medical and Decriminalization.  A leader on the issue deserves an A+. We fully expect her office to be inovled in crafting legislation for the 2021-22 session. Holds office State Assembly District 20. Full Scorecard Link

Rep. Shelia Stubbs Scorecard Grade
Rep. Shelia Stubbs Scorecard Grade

Sheila Stubbs (D – Madison) received an A+ grade. Freshman Democrat Assembly Rep Shelia Stubbs is incredible when it comes to knowledge of marijuana reform.    The Madison rep has really worked hard for cannabis consumers, patients and those convicted of past cannabis crimes.   We look forward to working with her in the future and are happy to award her an A+.  Holds office State Assembly District 77. Full Scorecard Link

Rep. Jim Steineke Scorecard Grade
Rep. Jim Steineke Scorecard Grade

Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) Received a Failing Grade: Failure is on the report card of Repubulican Assembly Leader Jim Steinke.   In past news articles over the past decade he has stated he would not sponsor legislation on the issue and holds up to that promise.  He gives false hopes to the sick, dying and disabled of Wisconsin by saying he is “open to the idea of medical marijuana“.  Rep. Steineke has offered little more than stall tactics in even the basic steps of medical marijuana reform. His inability as the Republican Majority Leader to help move publicly supported bipartisan medical marijuana legislation through committee is clear that he has failed and deserves his F. Full Scorecard Link

Rep. Janel Brandtjen Scorecard Grade
Rep. Janel Brandtjen Scorecard Grade

Janel Brandtjen (R – Menomonee Falls) Received a failing grade. Republican assembly representative from Menomonee Falls has not co-sponsored any legislation on marijuana reform since elected in 2014.  During 2019, the Assembly Republicans prefiled a bill for the 2020 legislative session to create a medical marijuana program in Wisconsin (Assembly Bill 750) which she failed to co-sponsor. Full Scorecard Link

Rep. Tyler Vorpagel Scorecard Grade
Rep. Tyler Vorpagel Scorecard Grade

Tyler Vorpagel (R – Plymouth) Received a D- this session, but pretty much failed. Republican assembly representative from Plymouth has not co-sponsored any legislation on marijuana reform since elected in 2015.  He has not made any public news statements about the issue, despite having marijuana supporters attend his listening sessions and petitioning directly in his district. Vorpagel sits on the powerful Assembly Committee on State Affiars that has been assigned both medical marijuana bills this session. During 2019, his fellow Assembly Republicans prefiled a bill for the 2020 legislative session to create a medical marijuana program in Wisconsin (Assembly Bill 750) which he failed to co-sponsor.

Rep. Jeff Mursau Scorecard Grade
Rep. Jeff Mursau Scorecard Grade

Jeff Mursau ( R – Crivitz ) received a failing grade. Republican assembly representative from Crivitz has not co-sponsored any legislation on marijuana reform since elected in 2004. During the 2018 referendums in the counties he represents had 79% and 77% support for medical marijuana.    Rep. Mursau conducted his own 2019 GOP Spring Survey of his constituents in which 64% voted to support medical marijuana.    So instead of co-sponsor the Republican Caucus approved medical marijuana bill, Rep. Mursau teams up with Rep. Rob Swearingen to go visit an unregulated adult use social club in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with police to make a video against medical marijuana.    In later interviews Mursau blames the whole day on  Swearingen (who is the Chair of the Committee that is holding medical marijuana from even a public hearing). March 2020 Republicans circulated a decriminalization bill for co-sponsorship which he did not co-sponsor. Rep. Mursau has failed now for 16 years to support any marijuana reform. Full Scorecard Link

Rep. Rick Gundrum Scorecard Grade
Rep. Rick Gundrum Scorecard Grade

Rick Gundrum (R – Slinger) received a failing grade. Governor Evers’ budget proposal would also establish an expungement procedure for people convicted of possessing, manufacturing or distributing less than 26 grams of marijuana and have completed their sentences. Republicans who control the legislature would have to approve the budget items. State Rep. Rick Gundrum (R-Slinger) says he’ll vote against the measure. “Unless it’s proven otherwise, I think it opens up the door to legalize it for recreational marijuana and I am definitely opposed to that,” Gundrum says. Full Scorecard Link

Rep. Tim Ramthun Scorecard Grade
Rep. Tim Ramthun Scorecard Grade

Tim Ramthun (R – Campbellsport) received a failing grade. Tim Ramthun statements about marijuana reform come in August after his primary victory and with confidence that he will be elected in November, as he faced no democratic challenger.   The report broke as Fond du Lac county discussed placing marijuana referendums on the ballot.  Ramthun (from Campbellsport) said action needs to be taken at the state level, adding “We can’t say let’s all do it and it will be OK. We need structure and control.” During 2019, his fellow Assembly Republicans prefiled a bill for the 2020 legislative session to create a medical marijuana program in Wisconsin (Assembly Bill 750) which he failed to co-sponsor.  Rep. Ramthun failed to take any action at providing the structure and control of marijuana reform at the state level this session. Full Scorecard Link

Rep. Samantha Kerkman Scorecard Grade
Rep. Samantha Kerkman Scorecard Grade

Samantha Kerkman (R – Salem) received a D- grade. With 74% supporting medical marijuana on Rep. Kerkman 2019 Spring Survey we highly expected her to sponsor medical cannabis legislation.  She has not and during the budgt process had a chance to make more positive statements than she did about cannabis.  She almost failed, but at least is willing to speak about medical marijuana reform in a public hearing setting. Full Scorecard Link

Rep. Mike Kuglitsch Scorecard Grade
Rep. Mike Kuglitsch Scorecard Grade

Mike Kuglitsch (R – New Berlin) received a failing grade. All we know at this point about this Assembly Representative is that he is Republican, served a few terms, never co-authored any marijuana reform since elected and is a member of the Assembly Committee on State Affairs that is in charge of medical marijuana this session. During 2019, the Assembly Republicans prefiled a bill for the 2020 legislative session to create a medical marijuana program in Wisconsin (Assembly Bill 750) which he failed to co-sponsor. March 2020 Republicans circulated a decriminalization bill for co-sponsorship which he failed to co-sponsor. Both medical marijuana bills (AB 683-no home grows and AB570 home grows) this session landed in his committee and he helped block these bills from receiving a public hearing. Full Scorecard Link

Rep. John Spiros Scorecard Grade
Rep. John Spiros Scorecard Grade

John Spiros (R – Marshfield) received a failing grade: Rep John Spiros (R-Marshfield) representing Wisconsin’s 86th Assembly District and Chair of the 2019 Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety which is holding up the Legalize Opportunity – Legalize Marijuana Bill (AB 220). In an interview before being re-elected in 2018, he seemed to think CBD Oil was the miracle cure and medical marijuana was not needed, while dismissing the opportunity marijuana reform presents. Early in 2019 he also seemed to know his Republican colleagues were working on their caucus to put a medical marijuana bill together.   Spring of 2019 GOP Survey shows 68% support for medical marijuana reform. In December 2019, the Assembly Republicans prefiled a bill for the 2020 legislative session to create a medical marijuana program in Wisconsin (Assembly Bill 750) which he did not co-sponsor.   He Failed! Full Scorecard Link

Rep. Cindi Duchow Scorecard Grade
Rep. Cindi Duchow Scorecard Grade

Cindi Duchow (R – Town of Delafield) received a C- grade this session. A new name to marijuana reform is Rep. Cindi Duchow from the Town of Delafield.  This Republican legislator looked like she was going to sign onto medical marijuana reform this session.  She came out of the gates early and helped author a bill to protect firearms owners who are also medical marijuana patients .   Rep. Duchow has not co-sponsored any additional legislation at this point and although labeled potential, she hoovers at  C- grade as we take a wait and see approach with this office. Full Scorecard Link

For sure these uncontested Incumbents will see some new faces in the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2021 and we will be reporting back on candidates soon, sooner with your help in candidate research.

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Wisconsin Marijuana Voter Information
Wisconsin Marijuana Voter Information

August 15th, 2020 Update after the primary election. We had a few races that had primary races in one party, but the other party did not run a challenger. So the primary takes the seat in these races:

Rep Adam Neylon Marijuana Record
Rep Adam Neylon Marijuana Record

With no Democrat filed in the 98th Assembly District (Map), the Republican gets the job. Rob Ochoa (R) lost to Incumbent Adam Neylon (R). The 98th District is primary Pewaukee, Sussex and Waukesha in Waukesha County.

Republican assembly representative Adam Neylon from Pewaukee has not co-sponsored any legislation on marijuana reform since elected in 2013.

During 2019, the Assembly Republicans prefiled a bill for the 2020 legislative session to create a medical marijuana program in Wisconsin (Assembly Bill 750) which he failed to co-sponsor.

March 2020 Republicans circulated a decriminalization bill for co-sponsorship which he did not co-sponsor.

Rep. Neylon received a failing grade from NORML during the 2019-20 legislative session.

Holds office State Assembly District 98

Contact Adam Neylon

Email: Joe.Zapf@legis.wisconsin.gov

Web: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/98/neylon

Phone: 608-266-5120

On July 22, 2020, WisconsinEye senior producer Steve Walters interviewed incumbent Rep. Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee) who is running for re-election for the 98th Assembly District in the upcoming partisan primary election.

In the interview, Neylon hints he may support whatever the Republicans still got cooking from last session on the medicinal end, but on recreational is a step to far, revenue alone is not the reason to legalize, he says public policy should not be set because it could generate revenue. He says public policy should be set off public safety, public health, driving concerns and if Wisconsin takes the step of regulation, you would have to create a large government agency. He says other states had to regulate it, including testing, packaging and he wants to be slow and deliberate about it this, there has been work done in previous sessions, particular medical and medical would be be a first step before jumping into recreational.

Rep. Lisa Subeck Marijuana Scorecard
Rep. Lisa Subeck Marijuana Scorecard

Incumbent Rep. Lisa Subeck defeated challenger Robert Slamka in the August primary. Receiving a high grade last session by co-sponsoring a variety of bills, we hope to see Rep. Subeck on adult use/recreational marijuana reform if re-elected. This Madison area Democrat ran unopposed as an incumbent in 2018 and ended up co-sponsoring medical marijuana with home grows and smoking products, along with both versions for decriminalization for the 2019-2020 session.

On June 30, 2020, WisconsinEye senior producer Steve Walters interviewed incumbent Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) who was running for re-election for the 78th Assembly District in the partisan primary election.

Rep. Rob Brooks Marijuana Record
Rep. Rob Brooks Marijuana Record

Republican assembly representative Robert Brooks easily defeated his primary challenger Chris Reimer. Brooks from Saukville has not co-sponsored any legislation on marijuana reform since elected in 2014.  

During 2019, the Assembly Republicans prefiled a bill for the 2020 legislative session to create a medical marijuana program in Wisconsin (Assembly Bill 750) which he failed to co-sponsor. We did not find a WI EYE candidate interview by Brooks. He received a failing grade from NORML during the 2019-20 legislation session.

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One Comment

  1. My family has many members who could be greatly benefited by legalization for medical and recreational. Great to have some other option than a bunch of drunk people going nuts! The control the government ( corporations) in America is horrific. The ability of the mostly Republican party, to blindly turn away from decades of research is appalling! They all just follow party lines, indoctrination, just as the schools are doing to our children and grandchildren. Many illnesses in my family are treated with MM elsewhere. For example MS, Parkinson’s, Epilepsy, chronic pain, cancer. I have been writing for quite some time to our elected representatives. I was pleased to find I’m not the only one pushing for this!

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