Hey reddit!

My name is Rob Zerban and I am the congressional challenger to Rep. Paul Ryan in Wisconsin's 1st District this November.

I did an AMA late last year and another in June of this year.

They were a lot of fun and since then redditors from all over the country have gotten involved with the campaign - I cannot thank you all enough!

Since my last AMA a lot has happened: I out raised Paul Ryan, held him accountable at the Vice Presidential debate, and launched my TV Ads.

I've been encouraged to come back and do another AMA, so here I am.

I'll be back around 2pm CST to answer questions.

In the meantime please check out my website or catch up with the campaign on Facebook and Twitter. Ask away!

UPDATE: Per a few requests, if you would like to donate to the campaign you can do so here.

UPDATE: Thank you all so much for your questions! I've enjoyed spending the last 2 hours answering them. I have a meeting and a house party that I have to get to, but if I find some time later this evening I may come back and answer a few more. Thank you again for supporting me and my campaign throughout the election.

UPDATE: I found another hour, so I'll be answering a few more questions and comments from now until about 6:30pm CST.

FINAL UPDATE: Thank you again, I have some events this evening that I have to get to. Thank you for the great questions and lively discussion!

Comments: 1554 • Responses: 44  • Date: 

rrb153 karma

Are you getting any support from the DNC now that it looks like you are getting within striking distance? Do they believe that you are worth "investing" in yet?

Also, how are you planning on closing what seems like still a pretty big gap in poll numbers between now and election day?

RobZerban240 karma

The Democratic Congressional Committee approached me to run for this seat. And they, along with the Wisconsin state party, and Democratic leaders like Russ Feingold and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, have been supportive of me all along.

As for polling numbers, understand all of that was done before I started running T.V. ads, when my name ID was not yet as high as it now is. And we're still getting my name out there. Voters have known Paul Ryan for 14 years and many of them are just meeting me for the first time. I am encouraged by what I have been hearing from voters once they know the difference between my plan and Paul Ryan's. Ryan's ads are offering zero specifics, and his performance on the national stage has been full of dishonesty, as he continues to duck debating me. The voters are hungry for change and I'm going to give it to them.

theungod144 karma

Not knowing much about politics in WI can you explain why it seems Ryan is liked there so much? Is it a traditionally very conservative area or is there really something about him specifically that people like? Assuming it is a predominantly republican area how will you fight him given your stance on many issues would be less favorable?

RobZerban319 karma

Great question! This is not a radical Republican district -- it's a swing district that President Obama carried in 2008. But Paul Ryan's largely gotten a free pass here because for a long time, he'd talked a moderate game here in the district and then goes off to DC and votes along sharply partisan lines. But now that his name is on this radical budget that calls for slashing student loans and essentially ending Medicare, people are seeing him for what he is. And they're not liking it. That's why I think we're headed towards an upset in November.

oxytocin1128 karma

Could you give us a bit of information about the race in Wisconsins Fightin' 1st? What are the big issues for the district, and how do you and Congressman Ryan differ in your ways to address them?

RobZerban143 karma

I think the big issues here are the same as most anywhere else: 1. Jobs, 2. Lowering the deficit responsibly while protecting medicare/social security and the programs that help the most people, and 3. getting all this damned money out of our political system.

Ryan's plan would continue to benefit the big corporations and billionaires, while slashing Medicare and other social spending on programs for seniors, the middle class, and low-income families. On jobs, Ryan has failed to save any of the several auto plants or manufacturing factories from closing in this district, and he's vetoed common sense jobs legislation. He's supported outsourcing loopholes, and his running mate said "Let Detroit Fail."

I'd work to bring auto and manufacturing back to Wisconsin. Additionally, agriculture is an important issue in Southeast Wisconsin, and I want to make sure that the farm bills and subsidy programs are benefiting family farms and small businesses first and foremost over the mega agri-corporations.

First_AO78 karma

So you are for farm subsides, could you expand on why you are for them? Thanks

RobZerban133 karma

I'm not for all farm subsidies -- especially those that only help agro-giants. We need to stop subsidizing companies like those, who don't need our tax dollars to survive. But I know that like a lot of people in this country, family farmers in Wisconsin are hurting right now, and they need all the help they can get. If those farmers didn't receive subsidies, they wouldn't be able to compete with the Wal-Mart's of the agricultural industry, and millions of them would go out of business and add to the country's unemployment crisis.

LibertyTerp9 karma

What, are you against food? You're pro-starvation!

Because corporate farms need the money you earned more than you do. By God, they have amazing lobbyists and PR campaigns! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

RobZerban54 karma

In seriousness, the lobbying/PR efforts of agribusiness are exactly why one of my first meetings as Congressman will be with family farmers and small business owners to make sure that our agriculture policies are addressing their needs, and not just the giant corporations.

TheTVDB87 karma

Any response to the PolitiFact pieces that rated your ad and comment "Pants on Fire" and "False"?

Additionally, the last polling I saw showed you 8 points behind in your internal poll and 25 points behind in Ryan's internal poll. Since reality is somewhere in the middle, it's clear that it's going to be a blowout (10+ points) in Ryan's favor. Without a win, what does your campaign accomplish?

RobZerban77 karma

Yes -- it's truly unfortunate that Politifact is doubling down on its embarrassing mis-assessment of Ryan's budget plan, which was widely criticized last year. They say he's not "ending" Medicare, just "ending it as we know it." Heck, even the Wall Street Journal's news pages said the Ryan plan "essentially ends Medicare."

Sometimes the so-called fact checkers get it wrong. And it is crazy to me, that as a fact-checking organization, they do not see the difference between what Ryan is proposing and the current Medicare system. They are playing semantics and it's silly. Just because a completely brand new voucher system would keep the name "Medicare" under Paul Ryan's policy, that doesn't make it the same program that we call "Medicare" today. I'm not interested in semantics, I'm interested in solutions.

As for your second question, I'm in this to win it. Polls don't decide elections, voters do. And we have 19 days to go.....

Talpostal72 karma

What's Paul Ryan's biggest strength?

RobZerban390 karma

Talpostal49 karma

Really though, from a political standpoint.

RobZerban99 karma

He is obviously very charming. Unfortunately, he is offering style not substance.

jmad20265 karma

Has his running for VP in any way helped you? I would be upset if I was from his district (I'm not) because if I vote for him, and he wins his Congress seat, but then also wins the VP, I'm without a representative both now (as he is campaigning) and after the election for several months (as he will be in transition and likely not tending to his duties as my rep).

RobZerban282 karma

Now that Ryan's been running for V.P. the spotlight has been on his voting record and plans to gut Medicare and Social Security. Voters are starting to see how extreme he really is. Ryan hasn't been representing this district for quite some time now. He aspires to higher office and has all but ignored the people who sent him to Washington. Representing southeast Wisconsin in Congress isn't a consolation prize. It's an honor.

Happy_Traveler56 karma

You are correct. As a resident of Janesville I can say Paul Ryan has done nothing for our district. He "tried" to save GM (actually he just made a few speeches and a few photo ops then blamed the closing on Obama), photo ops and a speech during the Seik Temple memorial. . .the list goes on. He is too busy trying to climb the political ladder and pass his own budgets than worry about representing us. It makes me angry how many Romney/Ryan signs I see in the yards of my middle class neighborhood. Most of these people are families that took the buy out option from GM and moved on. What has Paul Ryan done for them?

RobZerban34 karma

I would ask Paul Ryan the same question, but I'd say he hasn't done anything for Southeastern WI families that I can point to. It's unfortunate he's more interested in moving up the political foodchain and sticking by his ideological guns than in actually keeping the jobs here. But he has to answer the voters on that.

superultraelite49 karma

So how are you doing? Can you beat him? Not the ol' "I wouldn't be running if I didn't think I couldn't." What are the numbers for registered voters in your district REP/DEM?

RobZerban78 karma

Wisconsin doesn't register voters by party. But we can look at past party performance as an indicator. This district voted for President Obama 52-48 last election. Ryan usually has performed much higher, but this is the first time since 1998 that a Democrat has run a well-funded (can afford TV ads!) campaign against him. He's gotten a free pass, for whatever reason, from the Wisconsin Dems from 2000 until now. Maybe they thought he really was a moderate before he wrote this Kill Medicare Budget.

dddane71 karma

I can vouch for this. Growing up in Kenosha, I always thought he was a really cool guy, and actually pretty moderate. I'd met him like 12 times during my life. Then all of a sudden, he wrote this budget and kind of surprised a lot of people.

RobZerban25 karma

That's what I'm hearing from people across the district. Ryan's worked hard to portray himself as a moderate when that's just not the case. Sure, he talks a lot about fiscal responsibility, but he's supported two unfunded wars, the unfunded Bush tax cuts, and Medicare Part D -- which was just a big gift to big pharma. Not to mention his extreme and out of touch views on women's health, and the troubling association he seems to have with disturbing rape comments. (How many extreme politicians does he have to pull his endorsement from because of these comments before people recognize the pattern?) It's clear he's not who he seems, but now that he's under a national spotlight he can no longer hide his radical ideas.

tongueandcheek49 karma

I grew up in the heart of the 1st District of the WI. Here is a little test question for you. Do you have a grasp of some issues that are facing Walworth County? What initiatives are you considering to address these issues? Also, Paul Ryan has been beloved in the 1st District for years. Always out and about at parades and community events. Tell me some things I might not know about how/why he has negatively effected our little southeast corner of Wisconsin? Thanks, appreciate your time and consideration.

RobZerban62 karma

Always glad to talk with a fellow First District resident! One powerful statistic really tells the story here -- the unemployment rate in Paul Ryan's hometown of Janesville has nearly tripled from 3.8% to 9.2% since he took office in 1999 (citation: http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z1ebjpgk2654c1_&met_y=unemployment_rate&idim=city:PA551400&fdim_y=seasonality:U&dl=en&hl=en&q=unemployment+rate+janesville#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=unemployment_rate&fdim_y=seasonality:U&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=city:PA551400&ifdim=country&tstart=916639200000&tend=1345266000000&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false). There have been two major auto plant closings in Kenosha and Janesville, and factory closings in Oak Creek and elsewhere. Paul Ryan has done very little to prevent them or help those laid off -- and his economic policies like supporting outsourcing loopholes/ free trade instead of fair trade / and voting against the Obama Jobs Bill, have not helped keep any jobs here. By contrast, I've already started courting auto manufacturers to try and open a new plant in our district to put people back to work. Another great example: there are fifteen structurally deficient bridges in our district -- but while Paul Ryan hasn't done anything to fix them (because he's against using the appropriations system -- earmarks -- to bring our own tax dollars back home to us), he's voted five times in favor of the Bridge to Nowhere! We need new leadership here in this district, someone who will stick up for our little corner of the country. That's why we elect people to the House of the Representatives by district -- so they can stay accountable to their neighbors, not become extreme ideologues.

NUGap48 karma

According to OpenSecrets.org, a significant percentage of your funds come from labor groups.

How critical is the support of unions and other labor groups to beating Paul Ryan? Do you think their support will be enough to overcome Ryan's 'hometown charm'?

RobZerban56 karma

First, I'm thankful for the support we've gotten from labor. I am a strong supporter of collective bargaining rights and the rights of workers. But the vast majority of our funding has come from over 29,000 grassroots donors, and 96% of the checks we've received have come in amounts of less than $100. Ryan is hitting us for taking money from out-of-state, but our out-of-state money is $25 and $50 checks from folks approaching retirement around the country who are terrified of Ryan's plan to kill Medicare, or from women offended by his comments on rape and contraception. Not from the Koch Brothers or Wall Street financiers, like Ryan's supporters. And that's why we can win this thing. People are fed up.

Skarecrow732 karma

Without mentioning Paul Ryan (or anything to do with republicans), can you tell us YOUR ideas on universal healthcare for the USA.

RobZerban71 karma

I believe in Medicare for All over the long term, but I am not interested in rehashing the debate over the Affordable Care Act right now. What I have endorsed for the immediate short-term is the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget, which would create the "public option" that was missing from the ACA when it got passed, and would negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to correct the giveaways passed with Medicare Part D. These interim measures would continue to broaden coverage for everyone and lower costs across the board.

CeeSaw31 karma

I am a fellow midwesterner (MN). Drinking and driving is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. But at the same time, we continue to jail Marijuana users. What are your thoughts on one drug, that is legal and openly killing people being deemed fit for society while others continue to be refused to look at seriously?

RobZerban70 karma

Drinking and driving is a menace, period. We need to enforce strict laws to keep people safe. And we need to teach our young kids about drinking responsibly -- doing everything we can to stop teenagers and young people from drinking, period. With respect to marijuana, I support limited decriminalization, to ensure people aren't thrown in jail for possessing minor quantities. I just don't think our society benefits from locking someone in jail for marijuana use and throwing away the key.

kristenm51428 karma

As a resident of the first district, I am as fed up with Paul Ryan as anyone. However, I am concerned that your entire campaign seems to be based only on the fact that you are not Paul Ryan. That is enough to win my vote, but do you plan to discuss your own goals for our district? What would you do to address our very high unemployment rate, or our underperforming and understaffed public schools?

RobZerban37 karma

I appreciate your support. First, while it's true that I got into the race because I was so disgusted by Paul Ryan's destructive budget plans and his extreme views on women's health, I also believe I have unique qualifications for this district. As a small business owner, I've employed people, I've given my employees health coverage, I know what's at stake in our economy and the issues facing our businesses and workers.

Secondly, I want to bring auto jobs and manufacturing back to Southeast Wisconsin. This summer, I initiated talks with Audi executives and the UAW to re-open one of our closed auto plants, taking advantage of the un-used facility and the trained workforce that already lives here. Moreover, we need to rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges, transportation systems, and water infrastructure through a public-private infrastructure bank. For example, I support a high speed rail system between Chicago and Milwaukee, which would bring more jobs and tourism to this area. On public schools, we need to strengthen them and create higher standards for all our students, not reduce their funding and weaken the system through privatization or vouchers. (I've spoken above in the thread about our need for investment in STEM areas.) And I reject any notion that Ryan's plan is the only plan being offered to address our debt --- I've endorsed the same budget that Bill Clinton has, the Congressional Progressive Caucus plan, which is summarized on my website at www.robzerban.com/budget

damontoo27 karma

You're the only politician that's posted here that I actually believe is answering questions themselves and not through a staffer.

Do you have another secret Reddit account for the anonymous posting of cats?

RobZerban88 karma

That's for me to know.

tallandlanky27 karma

Have you made any visits to homeless shelters yet?

RobZerban91 karma

Before I moved to Wisconsin I was active with an organization called Operation Food Search in St. Louis. Since moving to Wisconsin, most of my volunteer hours have gone to environmental and Great Lakes-related causes, but I also got to visit and volunteer at a network of nightly homeless shelters and other programs for the homeless while I was a County Board Supervisor. Hunger related charities are also important to me. This weekend I am visiting a homeless shelter in my district, and I promise not to waste soap and water on any clean dishes.

Master2u22 karma

You would actually become famous if Ryan agreed to debate you. I am sure he would never give you the satisfaction.

RobZerban41 karma

I would love for Ryan to come back to the district so voters have a chance to compare our platforms side-by-side. Ryan's painted himself to be a moderate, but that's just not the case. And this is the first time he's up for re-election since authoring the Kill Medicare Budget. He needs to come back and defend his budget and his extremist voting record. No more free rides for Paul Ryan.

IFuckinRock21 karma

good luck to you next month

RobZerban17 karma

Thank you!

LibertyTerp18 karma

I'm Libertarian, not Republican, but considering you're running against one of the few political leaders that has proposed a plan to eliminate the deficit, do you have any plan? Is there any plan you support that does so? If not, why should someone who cares about our country avoiding the depressions Greece and Spain are going through due to their national debt vote for you?

Please whichever side you agree with, up vote this because it's important that we know whether the candidate that's running to replace Paul Ryan has a better plan or any plan at all, don't you think? Don't let every question at the top be a softball like "what would you do differently?".

RobZerban17 karma

I support the Congressional Progressive Caucus's budget which would eliminate the deficit in 10 years and create a $31 billion surplus without gutting Social Security and Medicare. President Clinton calls it "the most comprehensive alternative to the budgets passed by the House Republicans and recommended by the Simpson-Bowles Commission." You can view the budget here: http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/the-peoples-budget/

HomerTron16 karma

It has been stated that Paul Ryan is notorious for enjoying the literature of Ayn Rand and that these books have shaped his political philosophy and worldview. So following the same line of thinking which books have had the biggest impact on your life and possibly framed the outlook which you seek to bring to Congress?

RobZerban58 karma

Viktor Frankl wrote about his experiences in a concentration camp in 'Man's Search for Meaning'. Despite living in the most horrible conditions imaginable, there were still people who could share their last piece of bread or comfort someone else. That shows that compassion isn't just something you believe, it's something that you live.

GimmeTheHotSauce14 karma


White or Yellow Cheese Curds?

RobZerban16 karma

White cheese curds, with garlic and herb.

xenoplastic13 karma

What are some things 3rd party candidates could do to have more realistic chances in American elections?

RobZerban48 karma

I'm a proud Democrat, but I recognize that we won't get more voices into the political arena until we get all of this money out of our campaigns. We have to amend to overturn Citizens United, we have to go stronger than McCain-Feingold did (and I am proud to have the support of Russ Feingold in this race - a real hero!), and I would make it a top priority to write legislation for public financing of campaigns and stricter laws on campaign spending. The amount of time spent raising money, and the amount of money spent on TV ads and campaign mailings is out of control -- and leads to fewer quality candidates breaking into the system, from 3rd parties or otherwise.

fisher12111 karma

What inspired you to run against Paul Ryan?

RobZerban32 karma

Thanks for the q. First, Paul Ryan has authored what might be the most destructive, irresponsible budget plan in the history of our country. And someone needed to step up to challenge him and make sure the voters understand they have a choice in this election to make.

I always say that running for Congress is deeply personal to me, especially because my mom relied on food assistance, specifically government cheese, to help feed us when we were growing up -- and I wouldn't have been able to go to college without Pell Grants and Stafford Loans.

Paul Ryan's budget would make it harder for working class and middle class families to raise their kids and better their circumstances. And I take that personally.

bwc_288 karma

There are so many young people, the kids who in the future will be driving our economy that rely on Pell Grants and Stafford Loans. Thank you for acknowledging their importance. Would you be open to pushing for an expansion in education funding if you won?

RobZerban9 karma

Of course. I couldn't have gone to college without Pell Grants and Stafford Loans! I don't agree with the Romney-Ryan plan that middle class and low income kids should just "borrow money from their parents and grandparents" to pay for an education!

palimpsestor8 karma

Wayne Powell, running against Eric Cantor in VA-7, apparently caught a little flak for a response that he might or might not have made during a reddit AMA. What is your own stance on "In God We Trust", the pledge of allegiance, and separation of church and state?

RobZerban46 karma

I believe strongly in a secular government and separation of church and state, but on these examples of "God" in the pledge and on currency -- we should leave well enough alone. There are much more important issues to work on rather than revisiting the culture wars of the 1950s.

Stickyickyick8 karma

It is pretty apparent that our current 2 party system is the root of many problems with our politics. How is our government ever going to overcome this?

RobZerban20 karma

We need representatives willing to reach across the aisle and do the business of the people, instead of holding the country hostage to score political points. Take the debt ceiling fight -- that wasn't a fight over taxes, or spending or philosophy -- it was the Republican majority refusing to pay the country's bills just to take a shot at President Obama. If you want to change Congress, you need to change who you send there. I'm not a career politician -- I'm a small business owner, so when I say I'll put people before politics, I really mean it. That's how we can break gridlock.

notrot8 karma

What are your plans to help close the income inequality gap and ensure that it won't happen again?

I saw on your site that you are for keeping social security. As a young person, this institution worries me because of the large population difference between the boomers and gen x & y. What are your proposals for making this institution sustainable?

RobZerban14 karma

The budget plan I've endorsed -- along with Bill Clinton, the CPC, Paul Krugman, Jeffrey Sachs, and many others -- keeps social security solvent for 75 years by eliminating the payroll cap. You can read more about the CPC Budget at www.robzerban.com/budget

Jumpgate6 karma

Rob, as a fellow CIA graduate, I want to thank you for running against Paul Ryan.

As a trained culinarian, has your education given you any insight into your race for congress?

RobZerban9 karma

Thank you!!! Always love hearing from fellow CIA alums! I'm finding the work ethic & demanding hours are very comparable...

CRoswell5 karma

CCW and Gun Control in Wisconsin. What is your stance?

RobZerban9 karma

I am in favor of enforcing current gun laws, but I do not believe we need additional laws on the books. I own shotguns and I occasionally shoot, trap, and skeet.

thebrewcrew825 karma

Hello! I am a young voter also in the 1st district, I am in a part of Waukesha that votes for that seat for whatever reason. Traditionally I vote Republican, however recently with Ryan's vote on SOPA and what not I have moved to undecided. What are your thoughts on SOPA like bills, your beliefs on marijuana, how should we get out of debt, and do you support the Health Care Bill?

RobZerban7 karma

Hi there! Lots of questions here, but always happy to hear from a young voter in the district! 1. I am against SOPA and I am for protecting internet freedom. 2. Regarding marijuana, I have answered that I support some decriminalization efforts -- it doesn't make sense to me that society benefits from locking people in jail for possessing limited amounts of marijuana. I also recognize the medicinal purposes of this drug. 3. Debt -- I've endorsed a plan that would get us out of debt and create surplus within 10 years, and it would do it without any fuzzy math or hurting the middle class. 4. Yes I supported the Affordable Care Act, although there are a few things I might have done a little differently -- such as enact a public option or Medicare for All option. Also for renegotiating Medicare Part D to lower drug costs. Please make sure to vote!

WuTangLan4 karma

Rob, I live in Milwaukee, not your district but close. What can I do to help your campaign as a student?

RobZerban8 karma

If you're willing to come down to the district we can always use the volunteers. We have offices in the southern parts of Milwaukee County. We also have a virtual phone bank system that you can use in your free time to call voters in the district to help us get out the vote!

maruraba3 karma

Who, in your opinion, would make a better head of the House Budget Committee?

RobZerban7 karma

Well, my hope is that the Democrats can take the majority again, which I believe would put Rep. Van Hollen in the chairman's seat, which would be a huge improvement over Ryan. There are plenty of great Democrats on the committee that could address our debt without killing Medicare -- a few that I know of are Allyson Schwartz, Bill Pascrell from New Jersey, and Rep. Gwen Moore from my home state in Wisconsin. I'd love to see any of these great reps. lead the way to balance our country's checkbook.

_jeth3 karma

I saw the Wisconsin State Journal put out an editorial piece stating that you are owed a debate but Ryan seems too busy making repeated visits to Milwaukee to raise money for Tommy Thompson's campaign. How do you think the lack of debate for this seat will affect your campaign come election day?

(p.s. I am a new member of the district in question and you have my vote, sir)

RobZerban9 karma

I think it shows that Paul Ryan has all but forgotten about this district. If he has time to come back to Wisconsin for two fundraisers in eight days, he should make the time to explain his positions in front of voters in the first District. Every major editorial board in the district, including Ryan's hometown paper, have all called on him to come back to the district for a debate. But Ryan still refuses to debate -- and a lot of voters are starting to realize that he was more interested in using the 1st CD as a stepping stone than he ever was in representing them. That's why he's going to be in trouble on Election Day.

[deleted]3 karma

How does one decide to run for federal office? Has this been a long-term goal or did you recently decide to run for office? Are most congressmen and women career politicians before they run for office?

RobZerban7 karma

I agreed to run for Congress after seeing the effect of Walker's disastrous policies on our state. It's also clear that we haven't had real representation in southeast Wisconsin. Ryan is using his office as a stepping stone to higher office, not to help Wisconsin families. I believe making the decision to run is something you have to think long and hard about, and talk over with your family. I'm fortunate that my wife has been very supportive of my decision, and she's proud of the campaign we've run. I do not believe that most Congressmen and Congresswomen are career politicians or that they should be (and that's why I'm in favor of term limits). Unfortunately, Paul Ryan has never worked outside of Republican politics. Before he was elected, his only experience was working for other Republican politicians and for a Republican "think tank."

HidingNow420693 karma

Can you please give us insight as to how you think the recall race will affect this presidential election? As a concerned Wisconsinite I think it is really upsetting that Feingold lost his seat being he is in my opinion one of the best politicians anywhere for his non-partisan voting and ideology. Also do you have any predictions for how Wisconsin will swing in the upcoming presidential election?

RobZerban8 karma

I'm a big fan of Russ Feingold, and I'm proud to have his endorsement. Walker has been a disaster for our state, and I was disappointed that the recall didn't succeed. But Wisconsin is going to strongly elect President Obama and Tammy Baldwin in November, and I plan to beat Paul Ryan.

bullintheheather3 karma

Cam we see some awkward photos of you with some exercise equipment?

RobZerban14 karma

No, because they don't exist.

brotherwayne2 karma

What are your positions on the military budget over the next 2 years and the next 20?

RobZerban11 karma

I believe in a strong defense, but not a bloated Defense Department. I believe some of this will be alleviated as we wind down the wars, but moving forward we need to make sure that we're listening to what the generals actually need rather than ordering obsolete or unnecessary tanks just to keep military contractors happy. (Really, this is what happens: http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/09/army-to-congress-thanks-but-no-tanks/?hpt=hp_c1) We need to fix that and get rid of waste in the Pentagon.

HattoriDunzo2 karma

Between you and your opponent, who is more likely to punch a baby, and why?

RobZerban12 karma

Neither. But, funny story I was actually watching "the campaign" (the movie I think you're referring to with Zach Galifinakis and Will Ferrell) when we found out that Paul Ryan was going to be named VP.

[deleted]1 karma

What's your favorite Johnny Cash record?

RobZerban4 karma

My favorite songs are: The Man in Black, and Where did we go right?

Lone_Gunman1 karma

Can you please give your reaction to PolitiFact's finding?


RobZerban8 karma

I posted this on a similar question, but I'll repost the answer:

Yes -- it's truly unfortunate that Politifact is doubling down on its embarrassing mis-assessment of Ryan's budget plan, which was widely criticized last year. They say he's not "ending" Medicare, just "ending it as we know it." Heck, even the Wall Street Journal's news pages said the Ryan plan "essentially ends Medicare." Sometimes the so-called fact checkers get it wrong. And it is crazy to me, that as a fact-checking organization, they do not see the difference between what Ryan is proposing and the current Medicare system. They are playing semantics and it's silly. Just because a completely brand new voucher system would keep the name "Medicare" under Paul Ryan's policy, that doesn't make it the same program that we call "Medicare" today. I'm not interested in semantics, I'm interested in solutions.