Wisconsin Public TelevisionWisconsin Public Radio
Sunday, April 20, 2014

Joseph Kexel

Joseph Kexel
Candidate For U.S. Senate

Joseph Kexel

Candidate Background

Office: 
Party: 
Libertarian
Address: 

7616 33rd Ave
Kenosha, WI 53142

Email Address: 

Candidate Biography

From candidate Website

    I was born in Kenosha in 1965. I attended Kenosha public schools as a youth. One of the things I cherish about my growing up in Kenosha was living in a town that made stuff. Many of my family worked at the "Motors" and most drove cars made by the American Motors Corporation. It was kind of weird thinking back about it. It seemed normal to grow up with all those AMC cars around, I even watched them as "black and whites" on ADAM-12 and other shows. However, little did I know at the time that outside of our area they were not quite as common.

 
    Other great memories of my childhood were all the fire trucks roaming my neighborhood. No, there was not an arsonist in the area, but there was Peter Pirsch Company which was a fire truck manufacturer that was located on the north side of Kenosha. They would test drive the trucks around the neighborhood before sending them all over the country. I saw fire truck logos from all over without leaving my neighborhood. As a young boy, that was pretty cool. It was also great to live in "America's Dairyland", yet another great story of making stuff. I have found living in Wisconsin to be a great part of my life and I truly wish the best for my state and my fellow Wisconsinites.

 
    As you can figure out, I have lived in Kenosha for quite some time. In fact, with the exception of about 10 months after my marriage to my wife, Julie, I have lived here my entire life. For that short period previously mentioned, I lived in Illinois. Today, my wife and I have two daughters, a dog and own a home in Kenosha. I drive an older Jeep, which part of its appeal was that the motor was built in Kenosha.

 
    My first forays into the working world were my paper routes at age 12 and later. I started with a Sunday Milwaukee Journal route. I inherited that route from my brother, John. My biggest memory from that was the horrible snow storm that was so bad that my father couldn't help out with the car. I had to use my sled to drag the papers around the neighborhood that day. I moved up to a daily route for the Kenosha News. Back then, they had an afternoon paper and I could work that after school with my good friend, Mark. I must say that was a very educational experience. I discovered how difficult it can be to have a partnership with a friend. It was so hard, we both quit the route. Mark offered to let me continue alone. We are still friends today, thankfully. I also discovered that some people will rip off a kid by skipping town without paying their bill. Those were some incredibly important lessons that only by working in the real world can you fully grasp.

 
    I graduated from Mary D Bradford High School in 1983. I attended UW Parkside for about 3 years worth of credits. I was studying physics and mathematics. My family life was a bit unusual for one of my younger sisters was born with a heart problem. She actually had a heart attack at age 13 and became disabled. I was 20 at the time. Shortly after, I left school for a factory job where I was forced to join a union and pay union dues, if I wanted the job. I enjoyed that position for it was a great distraction from the tough stuff going on with my family. I, also, rekindled my interest in making well known stuff. I was working at Williams Electronics that some will know as a pinball machine manufacturer. I grew up with video games and it was interesting that I was working for the company that made one of my favorites, "Defender." I was promoted up to a supervisory position within a short time.

 
    I self educated myself on computers during my time at Williams. I remember how soon after taking that job, I bought my first PC. It was AT compatible and I was soon a master of MS-DOS. Yeah, I know it was practically the Stone Age of PCs. Eventually, I decided the factory environment was not for me and decided to try moving into a career based on my hobby, computers. I took a job in Illinois at a local computer store. That led to another great era for me. I met my new boss, Joe and found a great number of friends. That, by far, has been the greatest place I have ever worked outside of my self-employment. You could never find such a dedicated group of people that had always put the customer first. Joe, Kathy, Sandy, Rick, Jenny and Dave were the best team I have ever been on. (BTW, that is in the order that I met them, I cannot put them in any other order. They are all jewels in my life.) I am thankful for the experience of working alongside them. I have used that as a guide in my own computer consulting business. The customer must always come first.

 
    Everything was going great until the Dot.com bubble burst and was followed up by 9/11. The IT industry was already slow due to the post Y2K peak where the frenzy to buy computers left fewer new systems required. The downturn destroyed many IT companies and I unfortunately worked for one of them. The good news was I was able to land a job in less than a month at a Wisconsin firm and I thought I was again on my way. Little did I know that the talk of war with Iraq would put a cloudy atmosphere over the business world. Most companies restrained their expansion due to the air of uncertainty which goes with any war. I was laid off for a second time within a year. Both of my layoffs were weeks before Christmas.

 
    Finding a job at that point became very difficult. I did start my business at that time for I figured I could at least make some money doing side work while I searched. However, too many jobs that did seem to fit were always far away in Chicago or Milwaukee. I would have been stuck commuting several hours every day and would rarely see my family. More importantly, my wife's job had later than normal hours, so I wouldn't make it back by 5 or 6. Our childcare costs would have risen greatly. So, I kept working on my business and was a stay at home dad, too. That has been a very rewarding. I have been able to connect with my children in very different way. I make their dinners, help with homework, make their lunches, do taxi service to and from school and more. My company is called Vikkex, which I still work at today. You may even see me hanging my ads around Kenosha.

 
    One of the side effects of working close to home in my own business was that I able to have a little extra time to read about what happened in my career. Soon, I came to realize that the libertarian ideas I held really were becoming a center point in my life. I understood how mismanagement by the Federal Reserve was the source of the bubbles, all of them.... Tech, Housing, Gold, Oil or whatever is propped up with endless cash from the printing presses. I learned that Keynesian economics which I was taught in school may not be an accurate description of everyday economics. I discovered the "Austrian School" and was thus enlightened.

 
    I could see in my own life how the intrusion of the Federal Government just made things worst. For example, starting my business was not an easy decision to make. It should have been, but one thing worried me deeply, the IRS. I understood that while I may be innocent until proven guilty under criminal law, I was guilty until proven innocent in regards to tax issues. I heard of the nightmares of many companies being brought to ruin due to the IRS freezing their assets. While the IRS questions continue, the lack of cash flow kills the business. The IRS is an unfathomable risk. With its artificial complexity and endless financial liability, the mere thought of the IRS probably keeps millions of people from striking out on their own.

 
    Another point of concern came as I watched my children grow. I want the best for them, but I had a fear of something.... debt. The total unfunded liabilities of the US government, including unfunded entitlements and the national debt, place $119 trillion on the backs of our children. We have put liens on all the children's futures. That is immoral and must be corrected immediately.

 
    That gets me to where I am today. I am a Libertarian and can see that only by getting back to the Constitution will we heal our nation. The first place for the healing to start is to balance the budget. To do that, we must end the wars and be willing to make the tough choices to reduce the federal government.

 
    I am not a millionaire. I am a regular guy and probably just like most of those living in the Wisconsin. I am a husband and father. I have been a union member, factory assembly worker, factory supervisor, IT Tech and business owner. I respect all people and only wish to see liberty return to America allowing all of us to bloom to our fullest potential. The best way for that to happen is to follow our Constitution. What we have now in Washington is not doing that. I feel compelled to offer an alternative by running for public office to be Wisconsin's next senator.