Who am I?
Koby Schellenger grew up in the Town of Algoma, graduating from Oshkosh West in 2002. He was a member of two State Championship forensics teams & won an individual State Championship in Extemporaneous Speaking, acted in dramatic productions & played football & tennis. He continued his studies & forensics career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating in 2005 with degrees in Economics & Philosophy.
Growing up, Koby was active in Cub Scouts & Boy Scouts where he learned the value of community service & civic responsibility. He played baseball, football, soccer & basketball as well as swimming with the Oshkosh YMCA swim team. He was a lector & usher at St. Raphaels church.
Koby has spent the past seven years working in baseball, manufacturing & tax preparation. Koby moved back to Oshkosh in 2010 with his girlfriend Kara where she is working on a bachelors degree in nursing. They live with their dog, Arlo, & cat, Puff, who are in a constant battle for Koby & Karas affection. Together, they coached a U-8 soccer team for the past two years, loving every minute of it.
Why am I running?
Wisconsin politics have been deeply divided for far too long. The partisan nature of the state government has only fostered extreme positions being taken. I want to restore civility to politics by encouraging discussion based on principles, not on the policies themselves. Too often the elected officials have argued about policies that are good for the people but do not get passed because there is no real honest discussion of the reasons for support or opposition.
The 53rd Assembly District has never been represented by a Democrat. I believe the Republican party has moved to a direction that no longer supports the interests of a district that is primarily comprised of blue collar manufacturers & farmers. However, unless someone engages these voters & speaks to them, they will continue to vote Republican.
My inspiration to run for elected office comes from two of my favorite politicians & the great educators I had growing up. Fmr. Sens. Russ Feingold & Paul Wellstone had dramatic impacts on me at a young age. I began following politics when I was 14 in 1998 & was inspired by how accessible Feingold was while being a strong, pragmatic progressive. He would show up throughout the state to listen to his constituents even though that was going to end up being a negative experience for him. I could provide a litany of reasons Paul Wellstone has inspired me but the most important is that he was originally opposed to marriage equality. However, after listening to the people of Minnesota who repeatedly told him why he was wrong on his position, he changed. I believe a valuable attribute for politicians is the ability to actually listen to the people they represent. Finally, I had some amazing teachers who taught me the value of a great education. They showed me that their excitement & passion for educating leads to better learning. I am still in touch with many of my teachers dating all the way back to Elementary School & I know the negative impact of recent legislation in this state has had & I stand by the axiom that a teachers' working conditions are a students learning conditions.
My primary goals would be to start the process of changing our approach to economics & creating more transparency in the state government.
For too long we have used the same tried & failed economic policies to create jobs. Tax breaks for "small business" or subsidies for various purchases do not create jobs. The only thing that will ever create a job, outside of the government directly hiring someone, is demand. No amount of extra cash on hand or incentives to hire or incentives to purchase new capital will ever cause a business to hire. They will however hire to meet demand. I will work to end the system of corporate welfare & replace it with policies that strengthen the working class, promote a stronger labor force through education & putting more people into living wage jobs.
I also am passionate about creating transparency in government. There is a long list of what this means, but my focus is on several key aspects. We have to use a consistent accounting method when scoring legislation & the budget. This means using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles so we have an accurate idea of where the budget is & the citizens cannot be misled by accounting tricks. Further, we have to stop raiding segregated funds, monies received from court cases on behalf of the people & rainy day funds to balance the budget. Elected officials need to be more accessible to their constituents so they can answer for their votes & legislative actions.
My DFA Values
This legacy campaign is missing this information
My Campaign is People Powered!
My campaign is nothing but people-powered. I have a small staff of four volunteers that with the exception of one, I have known for at least 12 years. The exception is my girlfriend of six years. We are a team that believes in the message & they believe in me. My philosophy is Engage! Engage! Engage! We have to talk to as many people as possible. For that reason, I am out walking the streets, knocking on doors & having conversations with people about who I am, what I stand for & what they want to see out of government. Some discussions are ideologically hostile. Some are complete agreements. But most of all, people appreciate seeing the candidate at their door, left, right or center, they truly respond to that. I have had many people thank me for stopping by & not sending them information in the mail. I am proud to run a campaign that engages people. To that end, I am out 3-4 nights a week & all day Saturday & Sunday. The only evenings I don't get out are because I coach youth soccer.
I am running a very low budget campaign. Money & politics do not mix well. When someone asks how they can donate money to the campaign, I ask them if they can help in other ways. I ask them to invite their friends over for a house party, volunteer to canvass with me one night or write a letter to the editor or the papers. People respond well to this. I think it is refreshing to hear a candidate who does not just care about a monetary donation.