And then there were five!
John Mogk of Kenosha has announced his entrance in the Democratic primary in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District, for the right to oppose Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican incumbent. He joins Paulette Garin, Marge Krupp, Jeff Thomas and Mike Hebert. Democrats began collecting signatures on June 1; the necessary papers to gain inclusion in the September primary must be filed by July 8.
Currently active in the Kenosha County Democratic Party, Mogk started in 1994 as a member of the Racine County Democrats, serving as a local party officer and a brief stint as a vice-chair of the 1st CD.
He served as a volunteer in Racine on the 1996 Clinton/Gore campaign, and actively supported the special election that moved Kim Plache from the State Assembly to the State Senate.
In 2004 Mogk worked as the Kenosha Field Organizer for the Kerry/Edwards campaign. About his prior campaign work Mogk said, “My favorite memory is the incredible work by hundreds of dedicated volunteers that helped John Kerry win Kenosha County and the 1st CD.”
Mogk said he is running because Congress has been out of control and out of touch for too long. “Representatives in Congress are supposed to represent the interests of the people in their district, not the special interests as they do now.”
He said, “People in the 1st CD are paying record prices for gas, while the oil companies make record profits and continue receiving our tax dollars in subsidies. Whose interest is being served? Where is the common sense in that?”
A personal peeve of Mogk’s is the fight for affordable and available health care for everyone: “The health care system is killing this country,” he said, “costs are rising double the rate of inflation and people are being left with nothing.”
Mogk feels some of the proposals offering tax credits would help those working or who already have insurance, but they do not go far enough. He says the problem needs to be attacked on a number of fronts including insurance and medical costs, industry greed, duplication of work, and insurance companies who deny and limit care.
“700,000 declared bankruptcy last year over a health care crisis. About 500,000 of them had insurance when the crisis began. Common sense should tell us the system is not working. It will take bigger measures to handle this crisis,” he said.
Discussing the war in Iraq, Mogk’s focus is the troops. He believes lack of budget oversight and no-bid contracts are still leaving the troops without necessary equipment such as body armor and fortified vehicles. He says billions of tax dollars have been lost and mismanaged through privatizing the war. “World War II gave us the Marshal Plan. The war in Iraq has given us the Halliburton Plan. And the results have been deadly.”
Mogk believes more needs to be done to protect the troops, and fulfill the requests of generals, not the fanciful ideas of the Administration who lost America’s respect around the world. “If the 1st CD makes the right change in Congress this election, we won’t need another 5 years before the mission really is accomplished.”
Other issues Mogk discusses are improving education, the student loan crisis, alternative energies and jobs for Wisconsin, the pettiness in Congress, eliminating government waste, and the housing crisis. Mogk says the common theme through many of these issues is a lack of common sense approach.
“If you do the right thing for the right reasons, the solutions will benefit everyone. Perhaps if GM had done the right thing and looked beyond one fiscal quarter at a time, 2,400 residents of the 1st CD would not be losing their jobs.”
Mogk feels the 1st CD and Wisconsin are losing out in the development of alternative energies. “There is not a single solution. Common sense should tell us what works in the southwest might not work in the midwest.”
“But we have to do more now. Oil is a finite resource. We got lazy after the last oil crisis and are still unprepared. The 1st CD and Wisconsin are great places to develop and test ideas such as the fusion project at UW-Madison, and the KRM that could have been running already, saving residents from $4 gas.”
Mogk says that as a Representative in Congress he would pursue these ideas for the environment and jobs. “Southeast Wisconsin has the best workers, top universities, great communities with sun and wind. Bringing the research, testing and development to our backyard will have long-term economic, education, and health impacts for a better quality of life for all of us. Common sense says it’s the right thing to do. Why hasn’t Paul Ryan done it?”
Mogk has a B.A. in Business Administration. He worked at Carthage College in Kenosha in the student affairs and development departments. Currently he is call center manager at Lake Forest College.