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Last weekend we spent some time with our Progressive Majority friends and allies from Ohio and met an exceptional state legislative candidate, Matt Patten. The same way they are helping turn Ohio blue and helping turn blue Ohio progressive, they are busy in Wisconsin assisting men and women with progressive values make their ways up the political ladder. Today we’re going to spend some time with Nicholl Caruso, Wisconsin State Director of Progressive Majority, and one of the state’s most promising Assembly candidates, Fred Clark of Baraboo.

Progressive Majority’s top national goal in 2008 is flipping control in the Wisconsin Assembly. All it takes is three seats. In 2006, Progressive Majority was critical in shifting power in the Wisconsin Senate with a four-seat pick up. That year they won eight more seats in the Assembly. Building on those major gains they are now poised to win the three seats needed to win Assembly control from the Republicans.

Progressive Majority has twenty Assembly candidates either challenging a conservative or running in an open seat formerly held by a conservative. That’s twenty opportunities to win the three seats Democrats need!

One of the incredible Progressive Majority candidates working to be part of the new governing majority is Fred Clark.

Fred Clark is challenging seven-year conservative incumbent, "Doc" Hines in Assembly District 42. His district is in south-central Wisconsin and includes the Wisconsin Dells area. Fred is a small business owner and forester. Over 12 years ago he founded Clark Forestry, a forestry consulting and land management firm. In that time Fred’s clients have included hundreds of farmers, private landowners, environmental groups, and government agencies throughout Wisconsin. Before starting his business, Fred worked as a Senior Forester for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and as an ecologist with The Nature Conservancy.

Fred has worn many hats throughout his nearly twenty-year career in Wisconsin. He is a skilled facilitator, and his work frequently involves resolving issues between stakeholders, neighbors, citizens and other affected parties in natural resource projects.

Fred’s work on the environment has been so impressive that he was appointed by a Republican, former Governor Thompson, to the Lower Wisconsin Riverway Board in 1998, where he served as a representative for Columbia County. In 2004 he was appointed by Governor Doyle to the Wisconsin Council on Forestry, where he serves as Chairman of the Council’s Subcommittee on Invasive Species.

Fred Clark was a founder of the Woodland School, a Baraboo-based educational program providing conservation training to private landowners, now in its eighth year of service. He was also a founding member of the Baraboo Range Preservation Association, a non-profit land trust serving Sauk and Columbia counties.

As state Representative, Fred will be a strong conservation advocate and with a progressive majority in the Assembly, he’ll be a leader in the fight for affordable health care and job growth. He is an ouspoken advocate for both campaign finance reform and for universal health care. Not surprisingly he has been endorsed by Russ Feingold. Stick around and join Fred and Nicoll in comments. And please consider a donation to Fred’s campaign.