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Mark W. Neumann was born and raised in Wisconsin and has lived his entire life in our great state. Mark has been happily married for 36 years to Sue and is the father of three grown children: Andrew, Tricia, and Matthew. Mark and Sue are also proud grandparents of 3 young grandsons.
Mark started as a math teacher after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater and a Master's Degree from the University of Wisconsin River Falls. After teaching mathematics for four years at the high school level, Mark and Sue started a business in the basement of their home selling real estate. In 1986, they started building homes in the Janesville/Milton area. After nearly failing in the first year, Mark Neumann took advantage of new technologies to overcome the obstacles and his business began to grow. Four years later, the company was building roughly 120 homes per year, providing job opportunities for over 240 families in southern Wisconsin. Mark's companies received numerous awards over the years for being some of the fastest growing in America.
It is out of concern for America's future, and Wisconsin's future in particular, that Mark decided to leave the private sector and return to public service. He believes career politicians are hurting our state and it is going to take a political outsider to turn Wisconsin around. It is going to take a business approach to change Madison. He is committed to ensuring that his children and grandchildren have the same opportunities and quality of life here in Wisconsin that his generation has enjoyed (watch a video of Mark talking about what brought him back to the political world).
Mark Neumann was instrumental in helping create successful choice schools in the inner city of Milwaukee.
These unique college preparatory schools, called HOPE Christian Schools, provide students with a religious-based education that enables them to develop the knowledge, skills and character needed to become strong leaders in their homes, communities, churches and workplaces. These students are among the highest risk kids, yet they outperform the national average on standardized tests. The HOPE Christian Schools spend less than half of what the public schools are spending to achieve this success.
Mark and Sue are active members of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, and Mark serves on numerous synod committees. He was also a member of the Board of Regents at Wisconsin Lutheran College. Mark and Sue's philanthropic giving is well known in the Milwaukee area; there are athletic fields in Wauwatosa named for their families' contributions. His philosophy in business is that "it is not about how much profit is made but rather what can be done with those profits to help the community."
Career politicians have been unable to fix our schools, and he believes it is going to take a fresh approach to improve education. That's why Mark has personally invested in starting these schools.
Other community service activities Mark has been involved in over his career include: Optimist Club, Chamber of Commerce, Builders Association, Central Wisconsin Builders Association, Director of Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, Janesville Board of Realtors, Milwaukee Board of Realtors, National Association of Independent Businesses, Wisconsin Builder's Association, and Numerous Coaching of Youth Teams.
In the early 1990's Mark Neumann left his businesses to run for U.S. Congress. Mark's persistence and fortitude resulted in a victory in 1994. Mark was elected to the U.S. Congress in Wisconsin's first district, becoming the first Republican to hold that seat since 1971. Mark took on incumbent Senator Russ Feingold in 1998. After trailing by over 25% in the polls in August, he lost narrowly by less than 2%. Paul Ryan succeeded Mark in Congress.
While in Congress, Mark's primary focus was on cutting wasteful government spending, cutting taxes, and balancing the budget. He served on both the House Budget Committee and the House Appropriations Committee.
Huge deficits loomed when Mark took office; however, four years later, the budget was balanced and a surplus was being used to repay debt.
George Magazine, one of many publications referring to Mark's role in balancing the budget, called Mark one of the most influential in Washington relating to this matter. In fact, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste called him a "Taxpayer Superhero."
Also during those four years, Mark successfully fought to pass the largest tax cut in American history, which gave a boost to the economy. Literally hundreds of thousands of jobs were being created as a result. This year, Mark has signed a "No New Taxes" pledge. Read more quotes about Mark's success in Congress.
While Mark Neumann was a freshmen member of the U.S. Congress, all members were given 'talking points' on proposed bills because no one actually read them before voting. Mark and other freshman Republicans actually read the bills, and found that pork barrel spending was secretly inserted (watch a video of Mark telling this story). Mark was originally told such 'pork' did not exist. Though he was told to ignore wasteful government spending, Mark decided to stay true to his core beliefs of balanced budgeting, cutting wasteful spending, and reducing taxes.
Balancing the budget was not easy. Mark took on political leaders and insiders in both parties. He voted repeatedly against earmarks. In fact, he fought so hard to cut spending the leaders of his own party kicked him off a Congressional Committee.
While in Congress, Mark fought against a Republican spending bill because the political class could not explain where they would find the revenue. Republican leaders told him he had to vote for it or his political career would be over. Mark said he didn't care about having a political career and he voted against it (watch a video of Mark telling this story).
The next day, the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee Bob Livingston pulled Mark aside and informed him that he was kicked off the Appropriations Committee. Mark decided to write a letter, explaining his actions, and delivered it to every member of Congress. The letter explained, 'if I come to Washington and vote with my conscience what I believe to be in the best interest of the future of the US, and I'm getting kicked off this committee, then I'm sorry I only have one committee to get kicked off of.' With this in mind, the other 25 freshmen Republicans decided to vote 'present' on every bill until Mark was restored to his committee. In the end, Mark was put back on the Appropriations Committee and was even placed on the Budget Committee. It is the only time in the history of the United States that a first-term Congressman was put on those two committees.
After Mark Neumann's congressional term ended in 1999, he returned to the private sector and started several businesses which provide many job opportunities for Wisconsin families. To illustrate, Mark started Neumann Enterprises Inc. and Neumann Developments Inc., two residential development companies.
Mark's businesses—like so many families and businesses—have had to deal with the downturn in this economy. Yet, government spending is out of control. He does not believe the government should be giving big businesses a bailout.
The development and home building businesses Mark worked with thrived in the good times and are remaining profitable in the housing downturn, preserving many jobs. This has been accomplished through adjusting and adapting to the market demands while providing innovative products.
"Folks in Wisconsin have the right to choose private healthcare insurance and should be able to say 'no' to government-imposed coverage." That's how Mark Neumann explains his opposition to ObamaCare.
Mark has been leading the fight against federal healthcare mandates in Wisconsin. In May, Mark delivered 25,000 petitions to Governor Doyle, which urge him to authorize Attorney General JB Van Hollen to file a legal action or join the legal action filed by fellow states. Earlier this year, Mark delivered petitions to members of the Wisconsin delegation and legislators in Madison (watch a video of Mark delivering petitions to Congresswoman Moore's office in Milwaukee).
Mark has issued his full support of measures in the state legislature that will preserve the right of Wisconsinites to purchase private health care. Mark has also developed a ten point 'Prescription for Healthcare Reform' (read more about Mark's healthcare plan for Wisconsin).
As a small business owner, Mark fully understands the impact ObamaCare will have on driving jobs out of the state and hurting our economy. He also understands that the issue of health care coverage should be left up to the states. As such, when Mark is elected governor, within 60 days he will ask for a waiver from the requirements of the federal law and instead enact state health care reform that will make health care costs tax deductible and encourage participation in health savings accounts.
Carroll University (20:01)
Mark discusses his family, the importance of education, living the American Dream and taking chances, his time in Congress, why he is running for Governor of Wisconsin, and his plans for our state.
Financial Leaders (29:31)
Mark talks about why he is running for Governor in 2010, gives his extensive background, compares Wisconsin's current situation to the federal situation in 1995, compares career politicians to private sector businessmen, discusses the need for a globally competitive job market and gives his plan to make that happen through capping spending, creating the best educated workforce in the world, and ending harmful regulations and red tape.
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