Select A Candidate ®

Minnesota - U.S. Senate (2012) Survey

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

I support promoting long-term economic growth and private sector jobs, including revitalizing America's innovative edge, educating the next generation of American innovators, opening up new markets abroad for U.S. producers, cutting through regulatory red tape, developing homegrown energy, and reducing our nation's debt in a balanced way. I will work with Minnesota businesses, workers, and farmers to ensure they have the support they need to succeed.
We should reduce federal spending, reduce the debt, and reduce and streamline regulations, eliminate Obamacare, pass a real budget, and pass comprehensive tax reform.

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?

I support allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs to save more than $240 billion, eliminating subsidies and closing loopholes (like the subsidies for oil companies) and reducing government waste through smart reforms like eliminating bonuses for poor-performing government contractors. After a debt-reduction plan is in place, I would focus on value-added additional spending on infrastructure, energy, education, and export assistance for small businesses.
A good first step would be eliminating the wasteful duplication of government programs, many of which don't work. There are 209 programs to improve science and math performance of students, 47 job-training programs run by 9 agencies, and 20 agencies running 56 financial literacy programs.

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. I support extending the Bush tax cuts for the middle class. But in order to reduce our debt, I believe we should return to the Clinton tax levels for those making more than $250,000, which would save about $700 billion over 10 years.
The Bush tax cuts were terrible policy. Temporary tax cuts do little for economic growth, and have stimulated more political fights in Washington than economic growth. I believe we need permanent tax reform with simple, low rates that don't pick winners and losers in the economy.

Is this issue important to you? Not at all  Somewhat  Very

Did you support the farm bill passed by the Senate and awaiting action in the House? If so, why?

Yes. The bill strengthens the safety net for our farmers, and makes $23 billion in cuts over the last farm bill. It includes things like the school-lunch program as well as important conservation programs.
No. The Senate bill is too expensive. I think it is wrong to provide subsidies to millionaires and multi-billion dollar companies. I support modest crop insurance and loan support programs for small and medium-sized farmers.

Is this issue important to you? Not at all  Somewhat  Very

What should be done with the Social Security program?

I oppose the privatization of Social Security. I believe we must ensure this program remains solvent for generations to come by considering reasonable steps, such as raising the cap on taxable income.
We need to gradually increase the retirement age and means test Social Security to ensure long-term solvency.

Is this issue important to you? Not at all  Somewhat  Very

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

To rein in costs and strengthen Medicare, we need to have Medicare rewarding high-quality, cost-effective results like those we have achieved in Minnesota. We are getting a start with that with the Affordable Care Act, but we need to do more. We also need to allow Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices on behalf of seniors -- that would save $240 billion over the next 10 years.
First, repeal the president's health care reform law and restore the $716 billion stolen from Medicare to fund it. Then we need to reform the system to ensure seniors are afforded a system like the one enjoyed by members of Congress.

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 the president's health care reform law, but believe more improvements must be made. Moving forward, we can continue to work on eliminating waste and fraud, as well as focus on more reforms to our health care delivery system so that we are rewarding high-quality, efficient care. We also need to repeal the burdensome medical device tax.
First, we need to repeal the president's health care reform law. Then we need to introduce much more competition into the health care system, while reducing the administrative burden imposed by ineffective regulation. We can reduce costs through malpractice reform, and states should follow Minnesota's lead and institute high-risk pools for people who can't get insurance. We should allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines.

Is this issue important to you? Not at all  Somewhat  Very

What changes would you make to federal education policy?

We must prepare students for the jobs that will be available to them. To address this, we need to first strengthen our commitment to two-year community and technical colleges and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs to ensure that our students have the education and skills they need. Second, I will work to ensure education remains affordable for all students and families. Third, we need reform No Child Left Behind, including putting in place better accountability systems, more flexibility and targeted efforts to close the achievement gaps.
Unfunded federal mandates are interfering with parents and teachers making the best decisions for our students. I think we need to institute priority-based budgeting at the federal level and eliminate No Child Left Behind.

Is this issue important to you? Not at all  Somewhat  Very

What changes would you make to federal energy policy?

I support an "all of the above" energy strategy that creates jobs, increases domestic energy production, decreases our dependence on foreign oil, and makes energy costs more affordable for middle-class families. My focus has been on developing homegrown energy, sources and new energy technologies, including advanced biofuels, wind, solar, geothermal, and safe domestic oil and natural gas drilling. We also need strong national energy efficiency targets to make sure our energy policies encourage energy efficiency in every part of the country.
We need to take energy leadership away from the perennially troubled Middle East. Canada, Mexico, and the United States can provide all the energy we need if we choose to exploit it, and we should. We need to approve the Key Stone Excel pipeline, approve more drilling, and exploit our vast natural gas resources.

Is this issue important to you? Not at all  Somewhat  Very

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

First, we need to make sure our environmental policies effectively protect our natural resources against invasive threats like Asian carp. Second, we need to keep our conservation programs strong. Third, we need a comprehensive, all-of-the-above energy policy that will be good for the economy and good for the environment. Finally, we need to make sure that the Environmental Protection Agency considers the real-world repercussions of certain policies, like regulating milk as an oil spill, before (and not after) moving forward with rules.
I support a one project/one review process for economic development. Canada has just made this policy change, and it has vastly improved their permitting process for economic development. Our current policies mire projects in endless permitting delays which harm job creation. Protecting our environment should not mean sacrificing middle-class jobs.

Is this issue important to you? Not at all  Somewhat  Very

Where do you stand on legalized abortion?

I am pro-life and will work to end taxpayer funding for abortion.
I support a woman's right to choose and I believe that important and private medical decisions---including reproductive health decisions---should be made by a woman and her doctor.

Is this issue important to you? Not at all  Somewhat  Very

Should same-sex marriage be legal?

No.
We are a country that was founded on the equality of rights and I believe in marriage equality.

Is this issue important to you? Not at all  Somewhat  Very

What are your views concerning immigration?

I support comprehensive immigration reform that includes: order at the border, workplace enforcement of existing laws, and a pathway to citizenship for those who obey our laws and are willing to learn English, pay their taxes, and pay a substantial fine. I also support efforts to increase border security and enforcement of existing laws. I believe we need to pass the DREAM Act to provide a pathway to citizenship for young people who were brought to the U.S. by their parents through no fault of their own.
I support legal immigration. Illegal immigration should not be tolerated. We need to uphold the sanctity of the law.

Is this issue important to you? Not at all  Somewhat  Very

Do you support silica sand mining?

Silica sand mining is an important part of developing new domestic energy resources like natural gas. We must also make sure that there are commonsense safety and environmental protections in place as this new development continues.
Yes.

Is this issue important to you? Not at all  Somewhat  Very

Do you support copper-nickel mining?

Yes. It holds great economic potential for the region and our entire state. I will work with local communities to move forward, while making sure environmental and safety standards are met.
Yes. Thousands of jobs are at stake.

Is this issue important to you? Not at all  Somewhat  Very

What would you do to address the income, education and employment gaps for minorities in Minnesota?

We need to increase focus on education, specifically on science, technology, engineering and math--the critical courses that are essential to jobs in today's economy--to help close the gaps and ensure everyone has the education and skills they need to succeed in the 21st-century workforce. We also need to make college more affordable so that every kid who wants to go to college can afford it, regardless of their background or how much money their parents make. We also need to focus on increasing private sector jobs as discussed in question one.
The largest single impediment is the achievement gap. The best way to address that problem is through increased competition and choice in education. I also believe that our current policies are creating inflation that will harm the purchasing power of lower-income workers.

Is this issue important to you? Not at all  Somewhat  Very

What would you do to end the contract stalemate at American Crystal Sugar?

I will urge both American Crystal Sugar management and workers to come together to the negotiating table to work out an agreement that allows workers to return to their jobs as soon as possible.
It is not the role of government to settle labor disputes between private companies and labor unions.

Is this issue important to you? Not at all  Somewhat  Very
Listen Now

MPR News Radio

Hourly Newscast