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Minnesota - 8th Congressional District (2012) Survey

What should the federal government do to stimulate job creation and economic development?

The best thing the federal government can do to stimulate our economy is to allow individuals and small business owners to grow and expand their businesses by lowering taxes, reducing regulation, and promoting a pro-growth economic environment.
The government should invest in infrastructure, end the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest Americans and change trade policy to incentivize American companies to keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S. We also need to invest in our local natural resource-based industries: mining, timber, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and shipping.

Is this issue important to you?

Not at all  Somewhat  Very

Where are three specific areas where federal spending should be cut? Are there any specific areas where federal spending should be increased?

We should cut federal spending by ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, ending subsidies for oil companies and ending Wall Street bailouts. Spending should be increased in education, health care, transportation and in rebuilding America's aging infrastructure.
Cut duplicative and wasteful programs like the U.S. Institute of Peace and the NSF's Climate Change Education Program; close the loophole that allows illegal immigrants to fraudulently obtain checks from the IRS (this would save $7.6 billion); eliminate the $16 billion slush fund controlled by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. I think the federal government should actually spend the harbor maintenance revenues we receive on dredging and maintaining our harbors and channels. I support spending money on improving our highway and bridge infrastructure.

Is this issue important to you?

Not at all  Somewhat  Very

Do you support extending the Bush-era tax cuts? If so, all of them?

Yes, all of them.
Yes. We should continue the current tax cuts for working families, small businesses and individuals earning less than $250,000 per year, while returning to the Clinton-era tax rates on the amount of income over $250,000.

Is this issue important to you?

Not at all  Somewhat  Very

Do you support the farm bill passed by the Senate and awaiting action in the House?

Yes. Farmers throughout the Midwest are suffering from one of the most widespread drought conditions in decades and need immediate relief. I strongly oppose the deep cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that is being advocated by House Republicans.
No. I will only support a farm bill with significant cuts and reforms in direct payments/subsidy programs and consolidation of the 18 food and nutrition programs.

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Not at all  Somewhat  Very

What should be done with the Social Security program?

I oppose privatization, efforts to increase the age of eligibility, any reduction in benefits and means testing for benefits. I favor increasing workforce contributions through job growth and removing the income cap on Social Security contributions. This change will create a surplus in the Social Security account that will help address the demographic impact of retiring baby boomers.
Social Security is a program that was promised to our seniors and those that have paid into the program for years. For those people, we must live up to our commitment of Social Security as an earned benefit.

Is this issue important to you?

Not at all  Somewhat  Very

What changes, if any, would you support in Medicare?

We must first address the need to control the cost of health care. The government should negotiate for volume discounts with the pharmaceutical industry. We also need to crack down on fraud within the system, the proliferation of unnecessary procedures to boost reimbursements and the excessive administrative costs to bring down expenses. I will not support any benefit reductions or any policies that would have seniors depend on health insurance industry accountant decisions for their critical care. I will vigorously oppose any effort to turn Medicare into a voucher system.
We must protect our commitment to our seniors and those nearing retirement. The bipartisan plan in the House ensures that Medicare will be around for future generations.

Is this issue important to you?

Not at all  Somewhat  Very

What types of changes should be made in the health care system?

I support reform that will increase access for the uninsured, control rising costs and improve patient safety by improving quality of care. To that end, I support the implementation of the president's health care reform law, the protection of Medicare and the creation of a public insurance option. If current reforms aren't sufficient, I am open to moving toward a system that would provide Medicare benefits for all Americans.
The president's health care reform law should be repealed. U.S. code should be amended to permit individuals to purchase insurance across state lines and allow small businesses to band to together to (take advantage of economies of scale) purchase health plans. We need to reform our tort laws to minimize frivolous lawsuits which drive up the cost of care. In addition, hospitals should be required to disclose the costs of the services they provide. This will give patients more information in managing their own health care.

Is this issue important to you?

Not at all  Somewhat  Very

What changes would you make to federal education policy?

I support and increase in funding to Head Start, early childhood development and special education programs. We should also fully fund the Pell Grant program, address the sky rocketing inflation of college education, insure affordable undergraduate education to all who have the talent and support a strong technical and community college program. We also need to invest more in science, technology, engineering and math programs.
I support the BWCA land exchange bill, which would provide additional funding for Minnesota's public schools and create natural resource jobs. I would like to see more control given to states for how money is spent.

Is this issue important to you?

Not at all  Somewhat  Very

What changes would you make to federal energy policy?

I support an increase of alternative energy methods like wind, solar and geothermal through investment in research and development, and the expansion of subsidies and tax incentives. We should also move away from over-reliance on important fuel through the promotion of renewable biofuels. I also support high-speed passenger rail service connected to urban mass transit systems to reduce our individual energy and carbon footprint.
We need to expand the development of energy resources on public land as well as immediately build the Keystone pipeline. I support the expansion of energy production and the end of harmful regulations.

Is this issue important to you?

Not at all  Somewhat  Very

Should the federal government's environmental protection efforts be changed? If so, how?

I support addressing the pressing issue of climate change, the continuous goal setting and improved water and air standards set forth by the Obama administration and the protection of the 8th District's environment. I am concerned by mercury contaminating fish populations and think more should be done about the spread of invasive species.
Many jobs creators and those in the mining industry know firsthand just how federal red tape can hamper job growth. I support an amendment that would require the federal government make a decision on mine permitting within 30 months or less.

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Not at all  Somewhat  Very

Where do you stand on legalized abortion?

It should be legal. We must increase efforts to aid in preventing unplanned pregnancies.
I am pro-life and do not support legalized abortion.

Is this issue important to you?

Not at all  Somewhat  Very

Should same-sex marriage be legal?

No.
Yes.

Is this issue important to you?

Not at all  Somewhat  Very

What are your views concerning immigration?

I support the DREAM act, a formal guest worker program to respond to the need we have for temporary unskilled labor, a path to citizenship for those who seek to build a future in our nation, and an increase in efforts to retain the best and brightest foreign students in our universities.
I believe every American needs to obey our laws. Therefore, I am opposed to amnesty for illegal immigrants and believe we need to do a better job of enforcing our existing laws.

Is this issue important to you?

Not at all  Somewhat  Very

Do you support copper-nickel mining?

Yes. Permitting processes must be expedited. I also support the creation of a world-class research facility for mining and the environment to be located in northern Minnesota. We can mine these metals and do it the right way by protecting the health and safety of the workers and the environment.
Absolutely. I support the PolyMet mining project and have held quarterly roundtables on the issue with interested stakeholders to try to address and eliminate permitting problems before they end up delaying the process. Copper-nickel mining holds great potential to positively impact the lives of residents in the 8th District.

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