Dale P. Kooyenga

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Dale P. Kooyenga
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 14th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Leah Vukmir
Personal details
Born (1979-02-12) February 12, 1979 (age 39)
Oak Lawn, Illinois
Political party Republican
Residence Brookfield, Wisconsin
Alma mater Lakeland College, Marquette University
Profession CPA, Legislator, Army Intelligence Officer
Website Official website

Dale Kooyenga (February 12, 1979) is a Republican member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, CPA, and United States Army reservist. He was first elected to the chamber in 2010 and represents the 14th district.[1]

Born in Oak Lawn, Illinois, Kooyenga graduated with an AA from Moraine Valley Community College in 2000, attained a BA from Lakeland College in 2000, and later an MBA from Marquette University in 2007. He is a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, and an Iraq War veteran.[2][3]

Early life and college[edit]

Kooyenga grew up the oldest of four siblings in the southwest Chicago suburb of Evergreen Park, Illinois. He attended Chicago Christian High School and went on to attend Moraine Valley Community College. Kooyenga played basketball at Moraine Valley and was subsequently recruited by Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin where he played NCAA Div III basketball and graduated with honors.

Professional career[edit]

Kooyenga moved to Milwaukee in 2001, passed the Certified Public Accounting exam, and began working for a large international accounting firm. During his career as a public accountant he worked with the State of Wisconsin's largest manufacturing, health care, financial services and not-for-profit organizations. Kooyenga is also a graduate of Marquette University's Masters In Business Administration program.

In 2005 Kooyenga left his career in public accounting to join the U.S. Army. He attended the United States Army's basic training, Officer Candidate School and the Military Intelligence Officer Course. After completing the year-long Army training Kooyenga returned to his career in public accounting and married.

Kooyenga was called up for service in Iraq in 2008. Although trained as a Military Intelligence Officer, Kooyenga was assigned as the 4th Infantry Division's Officer in Charge of Economic Development in Baghdad. Kooyenga served in Iraq from January 2008 to November 2008. The team in charge of economic development created thousands of jobs by utilizing a combination of mircogrants, introducing foreign investors and working directly with Iraqi small, medium and large business. Kooyenga was part of a team that realized an 80% decrease in significant hostile acts from January 2008 to November 2008. Kooyenga was awarded the Bronze Star for his service.

In Fall 2010, Kooyenga was elected to represent the 14th District for the Wisconsin State Assembly. He was sworn into office on January 3, 2011.

In May of 2017, Kooyenga removed a sign from the Wisconsin State Capitol which was critical of President Donald Trump, despite the fact that the creator of the sign obtained a state permit, taped to the back of the sign, which allowed the display. Capitol Police reviewed security video and observed Kooyenga had taken the sign, subsequently recovering it from his office. The owner of the sign filed a lawsuit against Kooyenga for its unauthorized removal. The lawsuit was settled in April 2018, with the State of Wisconsin agreeing to pay $30,000 to the sign's owner. Kooyenga signed off on the settlement because he did not want to “incur the costs of a prolonged legal battle, or further divert time or energy from the actual public policy priorities facing our state.” [4]

Recent work[edit]

Kooyenga has championed both budget reform and school reform since his election in 2010. He has authored, co-authored, and sponsored bills and resolutions that facilitate the creation of local charter schools, reform treatment of Capitol Losses, in addition to many other issues.[5] During the recent budget cycle he was the leader in the effort to simplify the WI tax code. His most notable change was unifying Federal and State depreciation levels.[6]

Key issues[edit]

  • Jobs and the Economy - Wants to lower the tax burden on small business.
  • Reproductive Rights - Opposes freedom of choice.
  • Gun Control - Supports the right of citizens to have guns.
  • Taxes - Has signed a pledge not to raise taxes.
  • Education - Supports charter and voucher schools.
  • Voter ID - Supports requiring photo ID for voting.