The League of Women Voters of the Northwoods regrets to announce that the incumbent Town Chair, Matt Gaulke, responded that he would not be able to attend the March 23 Forum due to a prior family commitment. These forums are held so voters can hear from all candidates in order to make informed decisions. It is disappointing when all candidates can’t participate and voters are not given the opportunity to meet and understand the candidates who will represent them.
All the candidates for Town Chair, Supervisor, and Treasurer were notified of the proposed forum during the last week in January. Invitations were extended to all candidates the day after the Primary election. Mr. Gaulke’s response will leave his opponent, Carl Edwards, as the only Town Chairman candidate participating in what is called an “empty chair” situation. An “empty chair” gives one candidate a platform to speak with voters all by him/herself and provides an unfair benefit for that candidate.
The League's nonpartisan policy prohibits us from favoring one candidate over another. In fact, Internal Revenue Service rules state 501(c) 3 organizations like the League “may not participate or intervene, directly or indirectly, in an political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate” for public office at any level of government.
The Candidate Forum will take place on Saturday, March 23rd at 9:30 am at the Lac du Flambeau Public School and will include candidates for Treasurer and Town Supervisor. Candidates will be given an opportunity for an opening and closing statement and will be asked questions signed and submitted in writing to the moderator beginning at 8:45 am by those attending the forum.
The candidates in the April 2nd Spring Election are: Town Chairman: Carl Edwards and Matt Gaulke (incumbent); Town Supervisor: Gloria Cobb, Chris Mayer (incumbent), William McCutchin, and William J. Stone, Sr.; and Town Treasurer: Irene Messenger (incumbent) and Stacey Stone.