My daughter was born with a skin condition known as seborrhea.
I am going out on a limb, here. For several months I have been toying with the idea that perhaps I should tell you (my customer base) what is really going on in my life lately.
It all began in early December when I received a phone call from someone asking me to run for the Wisconsin State Senate. At first, while I was very flattered, I concluded that perhaps there might be someone out there who would be better suited to the task. However, I decided to give it some serious thought when I received a second call, again asking me to run.
After consideration and talking with my family, who encouraged me to give it a go, I decided to take on this new challenge. I am normally a very private person. As you know, I am known as The Soap Lady, owner of a national mail-order business, now in its 37th successful year. I am also a retired dairy farmer,
so I know what it means to be fiscally responsible.
I am an artist who raises sheep for their wool so that I can spin and weave beautiful things. I have what many would see as the perfect life. We have three children and six grandchildren, all of whom live within an hour of home so I get to see them often. My husband, Jim, and I worked hard and played by the rules the first half of our 40-year marriage to pay for our farm, and again the second half so that we could save up for our retirement. I know what it means to have a real job and work for a living, unlike my opponent has held his position for 20 years. I am way out of my comfort zone running for public office, but I feel compelled to do so out of my sense of fairness. That said, my priorities in this campaign are as follows;
• To Create Jobs. The answer to job creation is to support small business and entrepreneurship. Businesses created by our own citizens are far more likely to grow and remain here. Luring big business from other states with promises of even more tax breaks creates a tax burden for the rest of us and more often than not produces low paying jobs.
• To Get big money out of politics. I will work to overturn Citizens United because corporations are NOT people and money is NOT speech. Our Supreme Court has now removed aggregate spending limits from would-be contributors. Where there was once a limit of $10,000 total contributions to candidates in one election cycle, there is now no limit at all. How is this fair to the common citizen who is hard pressed to make a contribution of just a few hundred dollars? My opponent sponsored legislation to allow lobbyists to pass along contributions from others (PACS) even while they are in legislative session. How is this fair to the people who live in District 13? How does legislation like this benefit us?
• To Restore Wisconsin’s long held right to local control of our schools, our townships, our counties, our land use and our resources. We must do so because our communities have a better understanding of their own needs than do the anonymous “special interests” whose top priority is their bottom line. How is it fair when a large corporation, often from out of state, makes large campaign contributions to a law maker in exchange for the right to pillage our land, our air and our water against the wishes of the people who live here and whose lives will be forever changed by this action?
• To Restore funding to our public schools. We must do so because our public schools are the centers of our communities. The push to privatize public schools with taxpayer’s money comes from a national movement advanced by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which consists of wealthy political donors, an army of lobbyists and legislators, including my opponent, as well as several other Republican members of the Wisconsin legislature. Wisconsin Republicans have openly committed to extending the voucher school program in the next state budget. How is it fair that taxpayers are being forced to fund schools that are not required to meet the same standards our public schools must meet?
• To Restore every worker’s right to collective bargaining. We must do so because it is good for business and for our communities. Any smart business person knows that giving employees a voice at the table makes them feel valued. Happy, valued (and safe) employees are better employees who, in turn, take ownership of the success of said business.
• To fight for Equal pay for equal work. It is time to establish a woman’s right to equal pay for equal work, and while we’re at it, let’s raise the minimum wage. We must do so because it is good for the economy. 2 out of 3 minimum wage earners are women. Employees who earn a living wage will feed the economy when they have disposable income to spend on the products they make and the services they provide.
• To Protect everyone’s right to vote. It is time to restore sensible voting rights and equal access to the polls for everyone. We must do so because we all have a constitutional right to vote. Period. Anything that stands in the way of a person’s right to vote is just plain wrong.
Running for public office has been an ongoing learning experience. There are legal steps to be taken before one can run for office including opening a dedicated bank account for the campaign, opening a post office box for the official mail and filing an intent to run with the Government Accountability Board. There were press releases announcing my candidacy, a campaign website and email to set up. There are candidate surveys to answer in hopes of garnering endorsements. So far I have the endorsements of WEAC (Wisconsin Education Association Council), MTI (Madison Teachers, Inc.), Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Winnebagoland UniServ, and AFSCME, AFL-CIO.
Nomination papers must be circulated between specific dates. I was required to collect no fewer than 400 and no more than 800 signatures from voters within my district in order to qualify for being listed on the ballot. Going door-to-door for this purpose was something I had never done before, but my volunteers and I worked together and we were able to collect 784 signatures in just a few weeks, with time to spare before the deadline.
I have met so many wonderful people and made lots of new friends on this journey. Volunteers have come to our aid to do things like cutting a stencil for, and painting our 4 x 8 plywood signs.
For the first time in my life I was the subject of a float in several parades over the Fourth of July weekend. Several volunteers walked with me for miles in each parade. My name is printed on T-Shirts! (Suggested contribution to our campaign, $20. To get yours, call or email the contact information listed below).
Then, of course, I have my business to run. I worked very hard during the months of January through April to make as much soap as I think I will need for the entire year. I have been weaving up a storm to make enough towels and wash cloths for the year as well. Each Monday I take the day to pack up my mail-orders as always, and I still answer all calls myself if you leave a message for me. You, my customers, will always be my first priority.
If you would like to help me with my campaign, please call me at 920-386-2565, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to make a contribution to help us with postage and campaign expenses, you may click here https://secure.actblue.com/page/zahnforsenate or mail a check to
Zahn for Senate
P.O. Box 8
Juneau, WI 53039
Seriously. It’s time to get big money out of politics.
Stock up on my
to help keep insects from biting during the summer months!
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