Local business recognized, critics sound off - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Local business recognized, critics sound off

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Authenticom President and CEO Steve Cottrell Authenticom President and CEO Steve Cottrell
La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

The audience at the UW-L Recreational Eagle Center was overwhelmingly supportive, with one notable dissenting voice and a success story from a local business.

"Steve Cottrell lives here in La Crosse," said President Obama. "He's going to start blushing, but I'm going to talk about him anyway,"

It's a moment the Authenticom President and CEO said he'll never forget.

"Thank you, President Obama," said Cottrell after the speech. "What an incredible, incredible opportunity. I was just blown away. I had no idea."

In an address focused on middle-class economics, President Obama took some time to cite Cottrell's business as an example of how a company grew out of the economic recession to become a thriving success. Recognition Mayor Tim Kabat also calls significant.

"There are times when it's hard to work with Congress. He looks to the local level to get things done," Kabat said. 

"I guarantee Steve worked hard," President Obama said. 

Cottrell agreed, saying devoting more resources to his workforce and new healthcare regulations didn't always come easy.

"Sure there were probably a few times I cursed Obamacare under my breath but as we see the results on the other end, it's looking very good," Cottrell said. 

What some said isn't looking good, is what was left out of the speech.

"How disappointing that we're some 40 miles away from Tomah, and there was no mention about our veterans and the scandal at the VA. What they need is a healthcare system that cares about them when they come home so we can avoid those things happening," said Julian Bradley, 3rd Dist. GOP Vice-Chairman. 

Yet despite the lack of mention, Rep. Ron Kind (D-3rd Dist.) said it's an issue the President is working to correct. Kind said Pres. Obama met with a VA whistleblower at the airport and is taking the issue to heart.

"It's not just his burden. It's Congress's burden. It's the American people's burden to make sure our veterans are being taken care of, and that we're living up to the promises," Kind said.

At the very least those in attendance came to the consensus, the president delivered on the promise of an exciting afternoon.

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