Select A Candidate ®

Candidate positions for Minnesota - 3rd Congressional District (2012)

The following positions reflect those used for each candidate in the Select A Candidate survey. They come from candidates' public statements, Web sites, and responses to Minnesota Public Radio questionnaires. In some cases, candidiates have failed to respond to inquiries, and their position is noted as "No known opinion."

Jump to candidate

Issue Question Position
Jobs and economy What should the federal government do to stimulate job creation and economic development? ANSWER OPTION
Be a strong partner, like during the Space Race of the 1960s. The government set a goal, provided a little investment, and then government and private business spawned new industries that not only got us to the moon, but changed life as we know it.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Barnes said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Federal deficit Where are three specific areas where federal spending should be cut? Are there any specific areas where federal spending should be increased? ANSWER OPTION
Enforce stricter rules on defense spending, work to get Minnesota a better return on federal taxes paid, and look to curb fraud from health insurance companies. More spending shouldn't be sought until the federal budget it balanced.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Barnes provided the following response to MPR News: We need to make sure our spending on defense is limited to what our generals and admirals are asking for, not what a defense contractor in a select congressional district wants to get paid for. Minnesota gets back about 75 cents per dollar paid in federal taxes. Mississippi is getting better than $2 per dollar. We need to look at discrepancies like that. Is the state of Mississippi free-loading in the name of "no new taxes" at home? And we need to be mindful as health care reform is phased in on the results we're getting from insurance companies that are cashing voucher checks from those who couldn't afford to buy coverage on their own. More spending? We can't even talk about that until we come to grips on the deficit. Wish we could, but we can't.
Bush-era tax cuts Do you support extending the Bush-era tax cuts? If so, all of them? ANSWER OPTION
Yes, but not all of them -- under one condition: I would allow the tax cuts for individuals making more than $1 million to expire if every single dime of that revenue goes to paying down the deficit.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Barnes said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Farm Bill Do you support the farm bill passed by the Senate and awaiting action in the House? ANSWER OPTION
Yes.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"We have a lot of farmers in our district, as well as other large and small businesses that depend on farm products, that need Congress to finally take action on this bill. Congress needs to stop blocking this bill from being heard on the house floor," Barnes said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Social Security What should be done with the Social Security program? ANSWER OPTION
We need to replenish the trust fund that both parties have looted over the past 20 years. All ideas need to be on the table, including revising the cap on the Social Security tax.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"Social Security keeps seniors living independently, and that is good for them and good for our economy," Barnes said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Health Care What types of changes should be made in the health care system? ANSWER OPTION
Healthcare reform, modeled after RomneyCare, was a big step forward. We need to watch and learn as it phases in, and focus our efforts now on cost reduction. Repeal the $30 billion excise tax on medical devices.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Barnes said this in response to an MPR News inquiry. Barnes told KSTP-TV that the medical device tax should be repealed. (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Medicare What changes, if any, would you support in Medicare? ANSWER OPTION
The program should negotiate for lower drug prices. It should not be turned into a voucher program.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Barnes provided the following statement to MPR News: "Medicare is one of our greatest successes ever in this country. One good change that Congress has continually blocked is to allow negotiation of prescription drug prices. Most important, we need to stop Congress from turning Medicare into a limited voucher program. I am not going to tell our nation's seniors, 'Hey, we changed the rules, try a Groupon. I hope it doesn't expire!' "
Education What changes would you make to federal education policy? ANSWER OPTION
I will promote and expand pre-K, and work to end the practice of unfunded public school mandates on the states, and address the rising costs of college by capping student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent -- (if banks can borrow at that rate, students should be able to as well) -- and make tuition tax deductible. We want our businesses and institutions to thrive, and that means having a well-educated, well-trained work force.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"American businesses are the customers of our education system," Barnes said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Energy policy What changes would you make to federal energy policy? ANSWER OPTION
Fuel standards increase is a huge deal. Let's apply the Space Race mindset to getting beyond oil in 25 years.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"By the time my daughter is getting married, the internal combustion engine should be well on its way to the Smithsonian," Barnes said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Environment Should the federal government's environmental protection efforts be changed? If so, how? ANSWER OPTION
No. But a comprehensive energy policy focused on clean renewables will go a long way in protecting our environment.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Barnes said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Abortion Where do you stand on legalized abortion? ANSWER OPTION
It should be safe, legal and rare.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"Abortion, like Bill Clinton said, should be safe, legal and rare," Barnes said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Marriage Should same-sex marriage be legal? ANSWER OPTION
Yes.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
My wife and daughter are the best things that ever happened to me. Everyone should have the right to marry the person they love. And a gay couple doing so doesn't hurt my marriage. We don't need "defending." That's nonsense.
Issue Question Position
Immigration What are your views concerning immigration? ANSWER OPTION
I will support reform that helps us retain the talent produced by our universities, supports job creation, protects our borders and enforces existing laws against exploiting undocumented workers. It must be fair to taxpayers and to legal immigrants. There should be a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but one that would require them to pay taxes and go to the back of the line.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Barnes said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Jobs and economy What should the federal government do to stimulate job creation and economic development? ANSWER OPTION
Support moving forward on free trade agreements to open up new markets for exports, incentives for small businesses to hire new employees and re-invest in their companies and a simplified tax code making it easier for families and businesses to work, save and invest.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From a statement on Paulsen's campaign website. (More Info)
Federal deficit Where are three specific areas where federal spending should be cut? Are there any specific areas where federal spending should be increased? ANSWER OPTION
Vote against bailouts, require the Congress to adopt a balanced budget and support a line item veto for the president.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From a statement on Paulsen's 2010 campaign website. Paulsen does not offer any specifics on his 2012 campaign website and declined to return an MPR News questionnaire.
Bush-era tax cuts Do you support extending the Bush-era tax cuts? If so, all of them? ANSWER OPTION
Yes, all of them.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Not extending all the tax cuts would harm small businesses, Paulsen said on MPR's Midday in October 2010. (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Farm Bill Do you support the farm bill passed by the Senate and awaiting action in the House? ANSWER OPTION
We need reform of a lot of the spending programs in the Senate farm bill before it's passed through the House. Food stamp reform should be part of that.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Paulsen discussed the farm bill in a debate with Barnes on KSTP-TV. (More Info)
Social Security What should be done with the Social Security program? ANSWER OPTION
It should be preserved and protected. The government should also support incentives to boost personal savings and investment.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"Social Security absolutely has to be preserved and protected, without a doubt. That is a contract. That is a bond that has been made with workers through the government. That needs to be carried on," Paulsen said in the 2008 campaign. He has said little else on the issue. (More Info)
Health Care What types of changes should be made in the health care system? ANSWER OPTION
Repeal the president's health care law. Support solutions including: not allowing insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions; paying for quality, not quantity; focusing on prevention and wellness; allowing insurance to be purchased across states lines and allowing small businesses to pool together; leveling the playing field by giving the same tax benefits to individuals as those with employer sponsored coverage; stopping lawsuit abuse so doctors don't have to practice defensive medicine; and repeal the $30 billion excise tax on medical devices.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From a statement on Paulsen's campaign website. Paulsen also voted to repeal the president's health care law in 2011. (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Medicare What changes, if any, would you support in Medicare? ANSWER OPTION
Allow individuals to voluntarily opt out of Medicare Part A when they become eligible for the benefit.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"The choice to participate in Medicare Part A should be just that--a choice," Paulsen said in a 2011 statement. This change was at the heart of Paulsen's Retirement Freedom Act, a bill that is currently stalled in committee.
Education What changes would you make to federal education policy? ANSWER OPTION
Support changes that ensure that our education system is accountable to students, parents, teachers, and the taxpayer; support investment in science, technology, engineering and math to ensure that America continues to lead the world in technological innovation.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From a statement on Paulsen's campaign website. (More Info)
Energy policy What changes would you make to federal energy policy? ANSWER OPTION
Expand nuclear and renewable energies, build the Keystone Pipeline and become less reliant on foreign sources of energy.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From a statement on Paulsen's campaign website. (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Environment Should the federal government's environmental protection efforts be changed? If so, how? ANSWER OPTION
Offshore drilling should be increased, federal solar energy programs should be cut, permitting for mining on federal lands -- including the BWCA -- should be streamlined.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Paulsen supported these initiatives in 2012. The advocacy group Environment America says Paulsen supports their interests 17 percent of the time. (More Info)
Abortion Where do you stand on legalized abortion? ANSWER OPTION
Abortion should be illegal.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Paulsen received a 100 percent approval rating from the National Right to Life organization, an group advocating for the illegality of abortion. (More Info)
Marriage Should same-sex marriage be legal? ANSWER OPTION
No.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
As a state representative, Paulsen supported a measure that would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman. (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Immigration What are your views concerning immigration? ANSWER OPTION
Do not support the DREAM Act, which would allow some upstanding undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Paulsen voted against the DREAM Act in 2010. (More Info)
Select a Candidate:  Take the survey   Candidate positions   All Races
Listen Now

MPR News Radio

Hourly Newscast

Latest News & Features