State treasurer candidates pledge to make better use of office’s current responsibilities

The three Dems running for state treasurer pledged to take advantage of the current responsibilities the post has to aid all individuals across the state.

The candidates — Sarah Godlewski, Cynthia Kaump and Dawn Marie Sass — also highlighted the overwhelming rejection of a referendum to eliminate the office in April, where some 61 percent of voters shot down a move that would have nixed the post that has existed since Wisconsin was a territory.

While Kaump and Sass called for restoring responsibilities to the office, which has been stripped of much of its authority over the past several decades, they and Godlewski also noted more can be done under the current duties the office has.

Godlewski, co-founder of Madison investment firm MaSa Partners, said if she were state treasurer, she’d play up the role of the office as a fiscal watchdog, use its low interest portfolio to refinance student loans and protect state residents against exploitation.

“As your state treasurer, I’ll make sure companies like Foxconn uphold their end of the bargain,” she said. “I’ll ensure transparency and accountability, something I’ve been doing my entire career.”

Meanwhile, Kaump — a spokeswoman for former GOP state Treasurer Kurt Schuller — said the office “hundreds of duties currently on the books” and she has the experience administering the office’s programs, including the unclaimed property program, to run it effectively.

But she added the office still “needs to be restored to better serve” the people of Wisconsin.

“This office is a statewide constitutional office, it matters,” she said.

And Sass, a former treasurer who held the office from 2007-2011, highlighted her experience and knocked critics that see the post as a “do-nothing office.” She added her time in the post makes her the only candidate who’s ready to “hit the ground running” on Inauguration Day.

She also stressed the need for the officeholder to be “loyal to the preservation of Wisconsin’s natural resources,” which she said she is.

This post is part of our coverage of the 2018 state Dem convention in Oshkosh. See the rest of our coverage here: https://www.wispolitics.com/category/dem-convos/

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