Presidential and Legislative candidates offer their views

By Ken Luchterhand

     Each of the candidates for Ho-Chunk Nation president and legislature on the ballot were given the opportunity to answer two questions, with their answers published in this issue of the Hocak Worak.
     The candidates and their answers are printed below, starting with the presidential candidates and then the legislative candidates. They are presented in alphabetical order according to their last names.


Gregory S. Blackdeer
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk president and why should people vote for you? 
     I have given great thought in running for president of the Ho-Chunk Nation for some time now.  Thinking back to when the Ho-Chunk Nation Government was established and thinking of all those individuals and what they did to assist with the betterment of the Winnebago people. My grandfather, Wilbur Blackdeer, was a member of the committee which has given me the desire to follow his footsteps on behalf of the Ho-Chunk people. If elected I will move forward with the same goals and objectives of those first elected officials. 
     I want to the lead the Executive Branch so we can embrace our similarities, respect our difference and remember our strength of standing together as one.
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them? 
     Major issues within the Ho-Chunk Nation are communication, drug epidemic, financial struggles based on year to year projections based on current economic trends of society. 
     Communication needs to continue to broaden with the Office of the President, Executive Directors and Legislature to have a similar thought track of the direction the Ho-Chunk Nation Government is moving. After the communication, strategic plans need to be developed with the actions needed for successful working outcomes for the economic and social needs of the Nation.

Cari Fay
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk president and why should people vote for you?
     I’m Cari Fay. 
     Pinigigi, I’m humble and grateful for having this opportunity of being a Presidential Candidate. I have 2 adult children, Erika Fay, Bachelor’s Degree- Major Chemistry/Minor Biology, and Jesse Bell, I.T. Entrepreneur. My parents are David & Cecelia (Littlegeorge) Kraus and Ronald Fay. I’m a descendant of the Littlegeorge, Stacy, Lowe and Whitewater families, with many who’ve served honorably in the Military. 
     I’m a member of the Andrew Blackhawk post 129 and Treasurer for Auxiliary Unit 129.
     I started working at age 12, became a Marine – Honorably Discharged, a Milwaukee Police Officer (10 years), HCN Personnel - Investigator (9 years); where thorough reporting saved departments money and retained jobs. I’m a Certified Mediator & Trainer; and currently the Assistant Administrator- Purchased/Referred Care at Ho-Chunk Health Care Clinic, where I continue to serve our People. 
     I am committed to utilizing my knowledge and skills, including the 13 years of HCN employment, to move our Ho-Chunk Nation and members toward a Prosperous Future.
     I decided to step up because myself, like other Tribal Citizens, have questions about our Youth/Adult education, Veterans and Elder support/concerns, Businesses, Insurance Savings, Opioid Epidemic, Clean Environment, Renewable Energy, Tribal Wide Wi-Fi, per-cap and land taxes.
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     My vision to address these concerns of Ho-Chunk Nation’s future begins with what our ancestors endured to bring us where we are today. We’re their future generations and it is time for Ho-Chunk Nation to becoming truly Self-Sustaining & Self-Governed. 
Our Traditional/Cultural Values will move us toward Real Sovereignty along with Departmental Accountability, evaluate what is working and what isn’t working and implementing innovative opportunities for the Youth/Adult Education, Veteran’s, Elder per-cap, Business, Information Technology and Organic Farming. Upon which new streamlines of income will lead to clearing debt, receive more quality services and Per-Cap. Also, addressing the Opioid Epidemic through family orientated programs.
     I’ll continue my professional relationships with Governor Tony Evers and LT. Governor Mandela Barnes, Senator Jeff Smith and communicate with my sister, Congresswomen Sharice Davids, regarding land taxes and constructing a plan for those in the penal system. 
     Keep in mind when Voting… 
     Your Vote holds the responsibility of future generations… I’m committed to putting Ho-Chunk Traditional/Cultural values in place to achieve my vision of Success for the Ho-Chunk Nation and its People. Together – We can make it happen!

Gregory Littlejohn
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk president and why should people vote for you?
     I decided to run for the Ho-Chunk Nation presidency for all the right reasons.  I vow to move the Ho-Chunk Nation to a brighter future. I am asking for support and in return I will serve you as Ho-Chunk Nation President with honor and dignity. My heart is committed to caring for the Ho-Chunk Nation and in honor of the memory of our ancestors.  They made extreme sacrifices and courageous efforts to initially establish the Wisconsin Winnebago Business Committee (WWBC). This was a shining example of what the Ho-Chunk people can accomplish when we work together for a common purpose. Please vote to ensure my ability to fight for and protect our Ho-Chunk people, past, present and future generations. Pinagigi.
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     I have deep concerns for the Ho-Chunk Nation’s major issues that we will face in the near future. The major goals and objectives of my Presidential campaign will focus on the following:
     Maximize the profitability of our Enterprises in order to sustain your per cap;
     Enhance and expand our Gaming Enterprises;
     Practice fiscal responsibility within our Government;
     Enhance our diabetes prevention programs for our Tribal Members and employees;
     Expand our youth/elder/veterans/language program offerings;
     Encourage our branches of Government to work together cooperatively toward a better future for our children and grandchildren.
     I have assembled a very experienced and talented “cabinet” which will launch my Presidential Team into the 21st Century.
     In conclusion, I ask for your vote in order to provide the Ho-Chunk Nation the opportunity to rapidly complete the Beloit as soon as possible. Further solidifying our Ho-Chunk Nation’s future financial well-being.

Matthew J. Mann
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk president and why should people vote for you?
     The time as come to frankly and boldly speak the truth facing the conditions of our Indian Country today. Our great nation has survived, will survive and will prosper. It is fear that paralyzes needed efforts for advancement. Even in the darkest hours of our Nation’s life, a robust and outspoken leadership has been met with understanding and support of tribal members. Which is crucial to victory. I am convinced that again you will give that support to leadership in these critical days.
 2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     In every district there is concern not only of financial woes, also housing concerns as well as relatives that are addicted to drugs and alcohol. We must utilize tribal resources, Behavioral Health and Social Services to make recovery for our relatives a reality. Creating housing opportunities not only for low income families but also all tribal members via corporate tax credits that are available to the Nation. We must provide necessary training for tribal members not limited to obtaining a job, but to also advance in their jobs as well as their careers. With rising cost of health care as well as the cost of living in todays society, our elders are in more need than ever. Prioritizing government spending by putting our elders first, will limit their everyday struggles. Our Youth Services Program will have a working coalition with our Language and Culture program to enhance the cultural identity of our youth. In a better effort to save not only our language but also who we as Hochunkgra People. These are the major issues that engulf our Nation. It is time to no longer just talk about what we are going to do, it is time to make it happen.

Marlon E. WhiteEagle
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk president and why should people vote for you?
     First, allow me to introduce myself.
     I’m the seventh son of the late Morgan and Marie (Whitebear) White Eagle.
     My paternal grandfather Floyd White Eagle was instrumental in the establishment of our tribal government structure.
     I’m the former editor of the Hocak Worak, where I won awards for reporting, editorials, photography, and general excellence in journalism.
     I’m a Marine Corps veteran and hold a Liberal Arts degree from Mira Costa College. 
     I wanted to see change. I wanted the people’s voice to be heard. I was very disappointed in the leadership, or lack of leadership. We have a lot of resources for the people, but it seemed to me that our government and business has gone stagnant. I want to help bring the change that tribal members and some employees want to see.
People should vote for me because I have all tribal members in mind. Often times tribal politics revolves around family ties, and that’s how service is provided. It’s not just one family’s or a group of families’ money that makes our gaming and non-gaming revenue happen. It’s not this branch of government or that branch of government’s money. It’s every tribal member’s money.
     Everyone of us is just as important as the next. If one is homeless, we’re all homeless. If one is out of work, we are all out of work. I’m a guy for all the people. Not everyone thinks that way. That’s may be why people should vote for me.
 2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     The major issues are poor leadership that affects every tribal members housing, unemployment, education, health, and addiction. I can handle the issues by providing careful, thoughtful leadership. I have some innovative ways to address how we handle our daily operations. 
     We seem to be stuck in this bad cycle of recycling our pool of leadership that run things the same way year in and year out. That’s evident by reports given to tribal members at the annual General Council. In fact, I advocate for electing someone who offers a new ways at how things are operating.
     When someone needs help, the current leadership first question is, “who is it?” That’s the wrong mindset. We have to operate and develop programs that will address these issues with everyone in mind; otherwise we are just putting a band aid on it. We are a nation covered in band aids. I want to rip off all the band aids and address the issues with long lasting and sensible fixes.


District 1, Seat 2

Tina Louise Brown
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk Legislature and why should people vote for you?
     Wa?aniwina, hizakisana hinikaragiwi. Hoocak raasra Naacgepiwiga hiigaire. Maahixete raasra Tina Brown hiigaire.  Huuc yakikarac hi?a waa’uhaje. I would like to first thank the Creator for blessing me with the gift of life as a Hoocak.  And, as I continue to express myself, I respectfully request my elders forgive me if I speak in such a way that displays disrespect.     
     Becoming a public servant (Legislator) has been a vision of mine for years now.  Various positions I held within the Nation offer a diverse knowledge base of our Hoocak government.     Whether personal or work life, it has always been “what can I do for you” and “Is this in the best interest of the Nation”.  It’s a way of life for me.  I  can honestly say voting for me guarantees District 1 and the Nation a knowledgeable, dedicated & ethical public servant for the next (4) years. 
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     As our tribal membership continues to grow, so do our social issues of alcoholism, substance abuse, childcare, diabetes, unemployment, housing, education, health care, youth, veteran and elder concerns. For the Nation to move forward (my preference) or even continue the status quo, successful economic diversification and increased efficiency in government operations needs to happen.  The world is evolving and so must the Nation.
     Heritage Preservation is high on my list of concerns requiring strong legislative support and personal commitment.  I believe as a Nation we will maintain our unique Hoocak self-identify and tribal sovereignty through continued use of our traditional language and cultural practices.
     The “Rights of Nature”, a passion I strongly support. It is all a gift from the creator and we have been assigned care takers.  A non-exclusive list of these key issues include water quality, air quality, green energy, wildlife & habitat preservation.
     I seek your vote because now more than ever I am motivated and prepared.  I will strive to make sure our laws do not hinder but rather support optimal government operations and I will provide the utmost trust and confidence in managing and protecting our Nation’s property, assets and benefits.  As your legislator I will be committed to “Serving Our Nation, Environment & Creator”.
     In conclusion, I understand my primary responsibility will be to serve my constituents and carry out my legislative duties as set forth by our Hoocak constitution.  Thank you and remember to vote.  Wai’iniginawi

Isaiah Funmaker 
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk Legislature and why should people vote for you?
     I decided to run for legislature because I feel my experiences and knowledge can contribute to the people of district 1 in a positive way. I think people should vote for me because I’m the best shot when it comes to making the difference, by any means necessary. I am ready to fight for you.
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     One of the major issues is leadership. It’s not that we lack of capable leaders, but there is a lack of ownership. I believe I will be able to provide guiding principles to move the Nation forward. People trust me with their lives, as a firefighter, I am tasked with responsibilities and critical decision making when the stakes are high. My proposal is we recognize we have the issue, decide to make the choice of what we value in order to create the sense of purpose we all need. I will not stop until that goal is met.
     #AddMeOnFacebook #SC #isaiahfunmaker #March5th

Kelly Jo Funmaker
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk Legislature and why should people vote for you?
     I decided to run for Ho-Chunk Nation Legislature because I recognize that the Nation needs to work toward creating sustainability not only for the future generations and but also because the Nation needs increase revenue generation at a level necessary to fund the government operations and maintain Per Capita distribution at the level we have become accustomed to. This means, as a legislator I would seriously advocate for new business ventures and new investment opportunities.  The Legislature must be proactive and not reactive if we want to grow our business and keep up with our competition.    
     All of this is very ambitious, but necessary.  In order to accomplish this type of economy for the Nation, the Legislature needs to improve upon how we allocate funds and Appropriation Budgets.  Developing sound financial policies is going to bring efficiency to the Government and equity to the Membership. This will be the greatest benefit for future generations and provide a greater sense of stability within the Government.  As Members, just knowing that the Nation has a plan for the future, is a benefit in and of itself. 
     As your District 1 Legislator, I will strongly advocate to bring new business to this area and I will keep the District members informed of any new Legislation that is taking place.
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     From my perspective, major issues of great concern for the Ho-Chunk Nation are: Opioid epidemic, Housing, and Training and Development
     As a Legislator, I would put the major issues of the Nation on a priority list and advocate, within the Legislative Branch, for the creation of legislation to address these issues.  I will advocate for Legislative involvement to bring these Major issues to the District Meetings to gain community involvement and input on how to resolve these issues. In particular, the Opioid epidemic requires the entire Government’s involvement if we are to combat this issue.  Each legislator is only one vote and therefore, each member needs to continue to lobby their legislator to vote on Legislation and Budget Appropriations to advance the efforts to address the Opioid Epidemic. I will legislate to utilize funds generated by the Department of Health to maintain continued services for treatment and other resources for addiction recovery.  Much of the failure in the area of treatment is due to the lack of knowledge that is required for the treatment of addiction.  As a Legislator, I will work with the Office of the President in support of Community Recovery efforts currently taking place in our communities.
Carol Ann Garvin
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk Legislature and why should people vote for you?
     The Ho-Chunk people have a vested interest in the future of the Ho-Chunk Nation.  All branches of our government have a responsibility to ensure the future of our government remains strong, secure, and sustainable.  We must never forget who we are as a people, as a Nation.  We are the descendants of our ancestors who lived through the 1830 removals, granted citizenship in 1924, the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, and recognized by the federal government in 1963 with a template BIA constitution.
     What does all this mean for us as a Native Nation?  Our governmental sovereignty has consistently changed toward incorporating processes compelling the Nation’s elected officials to perform at a higher standard of accountability and integrity within their respective districts and as representatives of the Ho-Chunk Nation.  Historically, the Ho-Chunk people have voted for their best possible candidate(s) to ensure they uphold not only the Constitution of the Ho-Chunk Nation, but also to defend our Nation when our sovereignty is threatened.  The efforts of sustaining our sovereign government rests with the officials voted into office by the People.
     How is this accomplished?  First, The Constitution of the Ho-Chunk Nation is our legal foundation and germane to our four branches of government’s application of separation of powers.  Second, the laws of our Nation were and are created to not only protect the Nation, but also protect the people of the Ho-Chunk Nation.  It is imperative that we as a Nation, protect our sovereignty by updating our existing laws and create laws that will further protect our Nation into the future.
     Higher standards will promote accountability using consistent application of our laws regarding decision-making and regulatory policy enforcement.  As we progressively move forward into the future, participation by the people will be key to the continuous improvement of our government which include programs and services to the people.  We must develop firm, clear, and fair legal policies to protect us from external threats as well as protect the Nation and our people.
     My goal as a legislator is to update our existing laws and create laws which strength and preserve our Ho-Chunk Nation sovereignty.  A transparent government with clear and concise laws is key to sustaining self-determination aligning the needs of the people, the communities, and the government with the resources necessary to realize the goals and objectives of the Nation.
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     Major issues within the Nation have always been inadequate or lack of housing, land and the need to put our land into trust for our people, education and trade skills are needed in many of the jobs offered by the Nation, and economic development.  The following is a list of goals which will direct my efforts as a District 1 legislator, seat 2.
     A. Updating laws and creating laws is necessary to protect the Ho-Chunk Nation and the Nation’s people. 
     B. Support separation of business from government
     C. Sustainability of programs and services to the people is necessary for the overall health of everyone.
     D. Support youth initiatives - maintain Ho-Chunk identity

Lori Pettibone
No answers received.

Curtis Frank Redbird
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk Legislature and why should people vote for you?
     The day I decided to run came after I first found out about the casino expansions. I was asked to attend a meeting with the company who was going to oversee a majority of the work to be done on tribal land. During this meeting I was informed of what stages as well as the work that was going to be done on our gaming sites. During this meeting one of my colleagues asked the questions about tribal workers. We were then informed that any and all tribal workers would be hired through a 3rd party temp employment agency. Since we didn’t have a Tero program for one reason or another, someone else would be brought into manage tribal workers. This course of action didn’t sit well with me, due to the number of young men and women we have inside the tribe, and from other tribes that could benefit from an opportunity like this. I don’t know why this was allowed to happen? So I started to think there would be only one way to find out.  
     I believe in the best interest of our beloved Ho Chunk people, I believe in perpetuating the success of our tribe for future generations. My love for the community I was born and raised in runs deep. It’s these thoughts and feeling that I have towards the families I grew up around and served in the past that will motivate me to be a voice that I believe they need. 
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     One major issue that I see is that we waste resources, we waste the time and effort of our employees by looking for short term fixes for complex situations. Throwing money at a problem doesn’t always fix the problem, sometimes we need to follow up and institute more checks and balances I would like to think that we as a people hold a high standard in terms of goals. But in order to set, reach, and achieve goals we should at least be able to set and, realize as well as visualize a future that is as broad as our horizons.   

George O. Stacy
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk Legislature and why should people vote for you?
     From a relatively young age, I was introduced to tribal politics by way of attending tribal meetings while tagging along with my mother, Ellen Rose Snowball. She planted that seed in me about what type of person I should try to be and instilled my sense of civic duty. My mother seemed to always think of others before herself - to look out for them, and I picked up on this trait. For example, when I was in the Army in Panama, I learned of the political turmoil our Nation faced involving in our gaming enterprises.  Rather than reenlist, I chose to go home and pursue a college degree to work for the Nation. I tried to do my part to help get us through that difficult time and we were eventually successful in stabilizing our government and our gaming facilities with the help of many selfless tribal members. 
     One of those selfless individuals is my father George A. Stacy.  My father worked hard to preserve our language and reinforced in me that our sacred language is at the very core of our Hocak being.  We need to employ better integration methods so we use it and rely on it on a daily basis.
     I am a veteran, Bear Clan member, father and a community man.  I have spent my life working for the Nation, raising Ho-Chunk children, volunteering with veteran programs and instilling confidence in our future leaders through sports.  I have paid attention to our politic and have compared and contrasted our governance to other tribes, municipal, state and the federal government.  We are unique and should not copy them, but learn from them and when in our best interests, partner with them.  We have unique needs and I intend to uncover those unmet government needs and shift our priorities to invest in those areas that make us uniquely Ho-Chunk.
     I want to be a Legislator who will be accountable to the voters. What that means is I will listen to the voters concerns and issues and that will help guide my decisions. I think it is important to lean on our members for guidance and direction. I believe we have many tribal members who care about the welfare or our Tribe and are also very smart and involved within the community. 
     I also think it is important to engage our young people and try to set a good example for them to not only follow in, but to exceed all the work we have done so far and on into the future. The children are our future leaders and many are already stepping into leadership roles as young adults. We much continue to encourage them and nurture their minds so that when the time comes for them to take charge of running our Tribe, that they are ready.
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     A.  Economic diversity - Expand on all levels of economic development opportunities by (a) funding small business development; (b) establish a profitable financial institution; (c) explore partnerships with other tribes, companies, investors or development corporations; (d) patch holes in our leaky local tribal economies; and (e) explore sustainable industries by using "green" energy and technology
     B.  Education - Build our educational platforms by: (a) improving relationships with local school districts where our tribal children learn; (b) establish collegiate distance learning classrooms with our Nebraska relatives; and (c) provide additional language instruction to increase language use and reliance on our sacred language in our daily lives
     C.  Housing - Increase & fund housing resources, including:  (a) rental units (single and multifamily units); (b) increase funding for Home Ownership Program; and (c) fast track and diversify non-traditional housing resources to include tiny housing, transitional housing, and green designs based on member needs
     D.  Numbers & Qualifiers - Quantify accurate up-to-date data on the actual needs of our members and correlate funding to meet unmet needs, minimize governmental waste.

District 2, Seat 1

Kathy DeCamp
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk Legislature and why should people vote for you?
     I decided to run for Ho-Chunk Legislature because my communities need help. I know I have the skillset to fill those requirements, and I can generate an impact on the issues challenging our Nation. I decided to run for District 2, Seat 1 Legislator because I enjoy serving our Tribal members. Each oath I have taken is completed with honor, integrity, honesty, open mindedness, and the willingness to complete the task at hand. To be an elected official is a sacred trust to serve our Ho-Chunk Nation. We must vote for the best possible leadership who are ready to take on the privilege and challenges of service. I am someone who will act, I won’t just talk about a problem, I am willing to find a solution. I am accountable to the people. You won’t have to wonder where I am and why I’m not in Legislative meetings. I have my own ideas, and the capability to turn them into reality. Most importantly I will listen to you. It is my hope and desire to be reelected so that I may be part of these initiatives.
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     I have the great opportunity to work with Housing, Health, Social Services, Insurance, Education and other departments. We work together to find solutions. Each department utilizes their approved budgets to serve our Nation effectively. To list major issues would be detrimental to the work we have completed. We have accomplished a lot in the past four years I have served. I suggest the following positive solutions as we move in a forward direction.
     Increase Housing continues to be the highest need for tribal members. I propose to promote education for tribal members about acquiring Section 184 home loans, increase Down Payment Assistance amounts, green homes, small stationary homes, elder community pods, and most importantly becoming sustainable.
     Advocate to keep Health issues at the forefront, such as the opioid epidemic. Seek treatment, education, temporary housing for addicts and aftercare maintenance. Supporting Initiatives to own a Tribal Insurance company to decrease high costs, investing in ourselves, and acquire our own health facility to decrease health care costs.
     Promote Ho-Chunk Language, Culture and preserve our Heritage and continue full immersion to ensure future generations fluent speakers.
     Continuation of Higher Education with acculturation of Ho-Chunk teachings to further member worth.
     Revenue generation, and employment is available and abundant for all Ho-Chunks.

Kyle Funmaker
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk Legislature and why should people vote for you?
     I decided to run for Ho-Chunk Nation Legislature District 2 because I know I can make a difference by being transparent, open and accessible; by being accountable and talking honestly to our tribal members about what’s important to them.
     I would like everyone’s vote because I honestly feel everyone needs to be heard, we need to work together to make the changes that must be made for the betterment of our Nation; in how we take care of our Tribal Members from birth to elite in all matters of healthcare, education and housing.  I intend to be readily available by keeping regular office hours to be fully accessible to those who elect me.  I will take responsibility and be accountable because I want to make that difference, “to be real”.
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     If Tribal Members are to hold our tribal government accountable, Tribal Members should be able to know what our Legislatures are doing, such as, timely reporting of ongoing and newly developed projects that the Nation is engaged with.  So, that the tribal members can be better informed of the Nation’s endeavors. 
     Housing shortage is an issue to those seeking homeownership, rentals or senior residences.  There are Tribal Members in need of housing, therefore, we should be able to find improvements and solutions to accommodate our Tribal Members so we can work together to make positive changes.   
     I would like to see Ho-Chunk preference law upheld and adhered to.  I propose a new law that establishes 51% Ho-Chunk Tribal Members within each department, and train Tribal Members for supervisory position.  Therefore, we should be assisting and supporting Tribal Members with certified training and education for their successful job performance.  
     The Gaming Ordinance needs to be updated to reflect current practices and standards.  Because gaming is the Nation’s predominate revenue source, the gaming facilities need this law to regulate and monitor gaming on behalf of the Ho-Chunk Nation.

District 3, Seat 1

Shelby Joy Visintin
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk Legislature and why should people vote for you?
     The decision to run again is a welcome opportunity and I look forward to serving my people in this capacity once again.  I am an experienced, a seasoned, legislator and I do not play favorites. It is important to do my best and try to remain unbiased when making decisions.  I am very fair and rational.  My track record shows that I understand my fiduciary responsibility and I try to always vote accordingly on issues where it is feasible.  I do my best to look out for the best interest of the tribe even if that means I have to say “no” in some circumstances. 
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     What I see to be the most major issue for the tribe is how we are going to generate more revenue.  
     1.  With Beloit on the horizon, we need to be vigilant for what is coming.  This project will help bring the much needed revenue we need to improve, create and enhance our services and programs.  We must make sure we are ready and in place for this challenge. 
     2.  I would like to see us diversify our business portfolio. We need to look outside of the gaming industry for increasing our revenue as well.  I do support the idea of economic diversification, but do not necessarily support our current endeavor and the direction they are trying to take. We need to spend money to make money but I do not agree that our returns come back to us after 25+ years after we have invested $115 million.  This is not a good move for us. However, I am open to working together to create a better path for our success in economic development and growth. 
     3.  Housing is another major issue.  It is a huge need across the board for us.  This issue has been a huge focus area for me since I have been in office.  I plan on continuing to work towards acquiring more housing for all the areas (i.e. Milwaukee, Green Bay, Wittenberg, Nekoosa, Madison) in my district   It is a lot of ground to cover but I welcome the challenge.  
     It is understood there are more issues we face but these three are what come to my thoughts initially.  I will work with my colleagues towards addressing all of our major issues with an open mind while remaining impartial and making the best educated decision I can. Thank you for you time. 

District 3, Seat 3

Darren Brinegar
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk Legislature and why should people vote for you?
     The reason I choose to run is I had several housing initiatives that I didn't get to finish, during my last term. I was able to get housing in each of the areas I represented along with moving land into trust.  I know that we are in dire need of housing for our Members.  More community improvements in District 3 , which means reaching out to the people to see what the needs are for their respective areas.  To assist the disenfranchised members who are often neglected in District 3.  I will be there to move your interest forward. 
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     Our very slow hiring process is a major issue, on the Administrative and Gaming sides of our government.  Through legislation this process can be expedited.   Work with the Executive Branch to make policy/legislation to streamline the freedom of information between necessary departments. ( Example: Education/Enrollment -Trust Fund  & Higher Ed funding)  Housing has been an issue for many years, we need to look at some federal grants for housing in our district, rural and urban areas.  
Erik J. Lincoln
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk Legislature and why should people vote for you?
     My grandparents are Gilman and Virginia Lincoln, my parents are James (Bo) and Sandy Lincoln and I am Erik Lincoln. I have chosen to run to answer the call of service once again but without the combat boots this time. I have spent the last six years learning the unique nuances of our tribal affairs. Officially, I’m the Maintenance Manager at Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison but I am so much more. I am part of the management team that has transformed Dejope from an isolated organization to the economic powerhouse for the Nation. I was selected to Project Management Team to build a solid relationship with the officials in Madison. This has enable us to rewrite city ordinances to obtain a liquor license, create a joint partnership to explore land development, expedite the rezoning process of our land and future expansion that maximizes our position in the Madison community. Our team’s ability in operational efficiency has been recognized by many organizations and we have been sought out for our perspectives in leadership. I have the honor to sit on the Board of Directors for Clean Wisconsin and Olbrich Garden Society, the city of Monona Landmarks committee, Dane County Climate Change Council and Nolen Waterfront Project(Legacy park; city of Madison) I want to use my collection of experience, connections and ambition to strengthen our Nation. 
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     I think that two of the major issues that I want to address is the Nation’s fiscal health and our heritage preservation. Sustainability is our heritage and that needs to be applied in our operations to improve efficiency and reliability. I have brought these practices to Dejope with great success and would like to do the same for the Nation. We also need to explore other options that are out there for us to invest our money in. I will ensure that we are making sound investments and look for partnerships to help us grow our wealth.  Our heritage is our identity and it needs to be protected and corrected in the history books. I appreciate every time I can participate in traditional gatherings however I am on the learner spectrum. My strengths lie in educating the general public of our story. It is important to me that we are seen as a living and thriving culture. I have been fortunate enough to sit on committees that are correcting the common history and properly recognizing our ancestors. 

District 4, Seat 2
Michael Lee Red Eagle
1. Why did you decide to run for Ho-Chunk Legislature and why should people vote for you?
     It has always been one of my life goals to work for the Ho Chunk Nation. I have wanted to be a legislator since my uncle Patrick C. Red Eagle was able to serve on the legislature for Area 5 (now Area 4) a few years ago. If elected as your next legislator for Area 4; I would be eager to get to work, using my education and teamwork experience for the benefit of the Nation. I would make it a point to be readily accessible to Nation members in person whenever possible and by phone and/or email. In a professional and ethical manner, I would act in the best interest of the Nation; giving 110% in whatever I do and would see things to completion. 
2. What are the major issues of the Ho-Chunk Nation and how do you propose to handle them?
     Maintaining and strengthening Ho Chunk Nation sovereignty. I would work to maintain our Ho Chunk way of life. Work with local, state, and federal governments on issues that affect the Nation and all of Indian Country. 
     Growing Ho Chunk Nation revenues. I would make well-informed decisions for short-term and especially for long-term revenue growth for the Nation. I support expansion in Madison and the Beloit project that is still years from realization. Strengthen and support growth of the Ho Chunk brand overall. 
     Access to affordable housing. With housing costs already higher in the Twin Cities and Chicago; I would work to find solutions for more affordable housing for Nation members living in the Twin Cities, Chicago and elsewhere in Area 4. 
     Chemical dependency. With prescription opioids, methamphetamine, heroin, alcohol abuse affecting Nation members; I would work to make chemical dependency treatment programs more accessible and work to remove the stigma of chemical dependency.