If you are reading this, it is probably because you are wondering who is this guy named Dick Ausman who is running against the incumbent Tom Tiffany? My aim in providing the information below is to tell you in the most open and honest way what I think you might want to know about me to make your best voting decision. I understand prevailing political beliefs are to only provide voters with slogans and minimal information so they will not find something in your background that they object to. However, I am not a politician and that is not the way I operate. I believe I must be an open book to potential voters who would consider honoring me and entrusting me with the privilege of representing their interests in congress.
Why are you running? I am running to retire Tom Tiffany as he does not represent the best interests of the citizens of the 7th district. I am appalled that Tom Tiffany ignores the needs of his constituents in favor of representing the interests of foreign mining companies, big corporations, and wealthy Republican donors. His voting record has shown him to be a radical extremist, although a quiet one.
Mr. Tiffany has voted 1) Against lowering the price of insulin 2) Against repairing our roads, bridges, and railways 3) Against expanding rural access to high speed internet 4) Against aid to Ukraine and support for NATO 5) Against providing medical assistance to veterans exposed to toxic burn pits 6) Against allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices 7) Against an individual’s right to purchase contraceptives 8) Against supporting tourism and outdoor recreation 9) Against funding for community policing 10) Against the payroll protection program that saved millions of jobs and businesses 11) Against combating the climate crisis 12) Against good paying jobs with his vote against the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act 13) Against reducing health care costs for singles and families 14) Against cleaning up deadly air and water pollution 15) Against increasing domestic energy production, and 16) Against raising the tax on corporations who have been paying zero income taxes to require them to pay a minimum of 15%, to name just some of his negative votes. His full voting record can be viewed via the following web address/link - https://justfacts.votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/51831/tom-tiffany/?p=1
Mr. Tiffany lies to his constituents about who won the 2020 presidential election, and he has voted to block the peaceful transition of power and over-turn a free and fair election. Mr. Tiffany’s voting record is Pro-Putin and Anti-America. Pure and simple, he is a real threat to our American democracy, constitution, and way of life.
The citizens of the 7th Congressional District deserve someone who will wake up every morning focused on what they can do today to improve the lives of their constituents. Someone who will work hard for them. I will do that.
In contrast, Mr. Tiffany is flunking his job as a member of congress according to some of his fellow Republicans. He received an F grade from a group of conservative Republicans known as the Republican Accountability Project. In the 116th Congress Mr. Tiffany missed 350% more votes in the House of Representatives than the average representative. Actually showing up to vote is your basic job in Congress and those who fail to do that on a regular basis do not gain much respect on either side of the aisle.
What are your core values? My values pretty much come from my mother and my small-town rural upbringing. To me, life is simple – always tell the truth and you will always know the answer to any question as to what you have said. Be kind. Be generous. Help your neighbors. Be respectful of others and their opinions, especially if you disagree with them. We don’t all grow up in the same situations, we all have different life experiences, and there is typically something we can learn about or from one another. I believe everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed in life and find happiness. I value integrity and dependability. I was taught to keep my commitments and do what I said I would do. To be responsible. To show up for work on time and give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. To be myself, don’t try to fool the world, others, or yourself. To be willing to speak truth to power and be my own person. Don’t let others who may feel they are smarter or more powerful dictate your values or how you think. Be grateful for your blessings and strive every day to make the world a better place.
Where are you from? I was born and raised near the Wisconsin River in the City of Merrill in Lincoln County. I currently live in Lac du Flambeau in Vilas County. Thus, I understand and value the rural lifestyle. I know the importance of family, friends, neighbors, and faith, the importance of having some space to plant a garden, having access to a favorite fishing hole and to your deer stand, or to just spend some quiet time in nature.
Do you have family? My wife Sara and I are blessed with two daughters, one is pursuing an undergraduate degree and one is pursuing a Ph.D. I have 5 siblings.
What is your educational background? After high school in Merrill, I attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison where I earned a degree in Business Administration. I also had the privilege of playing the bass drum in the Wisconsin Marching Band and serving on the band staff. I am the only person you will ever meet that has done complete summersaults strapped to a bass drum. On, Wisconsin!
What is your work background? I have been a leading executive in one of the world’s largest publishing companies and have also owned, operated, and been a delivery driver, circulation manager, business manager and publisher in smaller publishing companies. As the former publisher of the most influential magazine in the communications industry, I realize the importance of listening to others and of crystal-clear communication. Having also published the industry leading Training magazine, I was at the forefront of the training industry and learned from the leading and brightest minds as to how to develop our country’s workforce.
How do you like to spend leisure time? Doing almost anything with my wife and two adult daughters is always a favorite activity, as well as opportunities to be with my siblings. I have always been musically inclined and enjoy singing and playing the piano. In the summer I especially enjoy mowing grass (seriously) and boating. Starting In the fall I enjoy marching on the field of Camp Randall with a bass drum during UW Marching Band Alumni Day and watching Badger and Packer football games on TV. Snow skiing and bowling are two of my favorite winter activities.
What is your political background? I grew up in a staunch Republican family. Melvin Laird represented our district as a Republican for years and I received the Melvin Laird Youth Leadership Award while in high school. I met Melvin Laird and Henry Kissinger at the youth conference at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. The event made a lasting impression on me, they were smart and dedicated people. My dad’s first cousin, LaVerne Ausman, was a two-term republican assemblyman from Elk Mound. He also served as the Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture and later served as the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Administration Bureau under President George H. W. Bush. He was so well respected that he was asked to continue his service by President Bill Clinton. At a family reunion a few years ago I asked him what he thought of the current situation, and with his typical smile, he said 2016 was the first time in his life he didn’t vote republican for president (Trump). I would prefer not to have a label, however, I am now a Democrat because the moderate middle-of-the-road GOP that I grew up with no longer exists. Folks like me who were raised with a sense of fairness for all and are middle-of-the-road moderates are no longer welcome in the Republican Party. But I have found a new home in the Democratic Party which is aligned with my personal beliefs and values.
What is your religious background? I was raised in the Methodist Church and I have been a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for several decades. My brothers and sisters have been members of Catholic and Jewish houses of worship, and I always found a positive takeaway no matter the service. I also enjoy learning about faiths that I am not personally familiar with.
How will you represent the 7th Congressional District? First, I will actually represent the citizens of the district and not ignore them in favor of voting the interests of foreign mining companies, corporations, and wealthy Republican donors seeking special advantages and favors like Mr. Tiffany has done. I will do my best to represent the citizens of the district whether they be folks who own a business, who work for a wage, who are unemployed, who are retired, or who are still students.
Second, I will listen. I will listen to everyone, so I can understand and represent their interests to the best of my ability.
Third, I will strive to be a problem solver and will work hard for all citizens. I know about hard work as my mom had to work hard to just survive when my dad passed away when I was 7 years old, leaving her with 6 kids, no insurance, and no savings account. My mom worked in a department store, sold Avon products, she baked bread that I delivered around the neighborhood, we received food in white boxes from the county building, and she rented out my sister’s bedroom to a student at the teachers college to make ends meet. I will not be like Mr. Tiffany who constantly whines and complains about others and blames problems real, imaginary, or fake on people he dislikes. I will not sow fear and division to score political points or disrupt and distract voters from the real problems. Instead, I will reach across the aisle and strive to build cooperative partnerships with anyone inside or outside of government who is willing to search for workable solutions to the many problems that are not receiving the attention they deserve.