Welcome to WCCO.com's 2018 political guide!
We reached out to all Minnesota candidates running for U.S Senate, Governor, U.S Congress, Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Auditor this fall. Candidates were asked to provide a two-minute video discussing their platform as well as answer a set of our viewer's questions.
Above is the video and below are the answers Jason Lewis provided. This is not a paid advertisement nor does WCCO endorse any candidate.
Responses from Jason Lewis, Republican candidate for the 2nd District:
Should voting rights be restored to convicted felons?
There is no federal law regarding felon voting rights, and the constitution empowers the states with setting voting requirements. Many states, including Minnesota, allow felons to have their voting rights restored once they have completed parole or probation. As a federal representative, I support state's rights in determining their individual state's laws.
Do you support legalization of the recreational use of marijuana?
I am a cosponsor of a number of pieces of legislation, such as the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act, to protect states' rights to determine their medical or recreational marijuana policy. The federal government has no businesses sending in the Department of Justice to prosecute individuals in compliance with their state's laws. Minnesota has a medical marijuana program, and I will protect Minnesota's right to have this program.
Do you believe that there should be a cap on how much money a candidate can spend on campaigning? If so, how much?
The courts have previously struck down laws limiting campaign spending stating that it was an unconstitutional infringement of First Amendment Rights.
Should people convicted of non-violent drug offenses be released from prison and their records expunged?
I have been a strong advocate for criminal justice reform and worked with my colleague Bobby Scott to introduce the SAFE Justice Act. This bill ensures that we target higher-level drug traffickers instead of low level drug offenders who may be facing addiction issues. The bill also provides previously sentenced defendants whose imprisonment would be reduced by the bill to petition the court for sentence reduction. So, yes, my bill does just that.
Do you support changing the law to release non-violent drug offenders currently serving federal prison terms?
I have been a strong advocate for criminal justice reform and joined my colleague Bobby Scott in introducing the SAFE Justice Act. This bill ensures that we target higher level drug traffickers instead of low level drug offenders who may be facing addiction issues. The bill also provides previously sentenced defendants whose imprisonment would be reduced by the bill to petition the court for sentence reduction. So, yes, my bill does just that.
Should Congress appropriate $25 billion to build a security wall along the U.S.-Mexico border?
Border Security is an important piece of our national security. And I believe we must have situational awareness of the border to know if dangerous individuals and deadly drugs are crossing into our country. This includes physically barriers like a wall as well as newer technologies like drones and sensors. In the past year ICE seized more than 2,300 pounds of fentanyl - this demonstrates the need to have better border security.
Should children brought to the United States with their parents illegally be given a path to U.S. citizenship, or should they be deported to their native countries?
I have already supported legislation that would address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) situation while also advancing reforms that address the causes of problem, protect our national security, and ensure a fair system for all individuals who want to immigrate here.
I have also long been a cosponsor of the ENLIST Act, which would allow undocumented immigrants who came here as children serve in the military and be granted legal permanent residency.
I'm disappointed that Congress hasn't been able to come to a consensus to begin to address these immigration issues, but I believe a compromise can be found that begins to the address the issues in our immigration system.
Do you think North Korea will "denuclearize," as President Trump says it will?
The North Korea – U.S. relationship is complicated and negotiations will be challenging, but I believe that this is a positive step towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Do you believe in climate change, and should the U.S. rejoin the Paris climate accords?
We all want to leave future generation with a cleaner environment and the ability to enjoy the great beauty our state and country have. I also believe that we can balance environmental stewardship with sound economic policies. Misguided policies like the Clean Power Plan would cost our economy trillions (including hurting CD-2 and the major refinery and employer in our district) all the while failing to improve the environment in any meaningful way.
Canada is retaliating for the U.S. tariffs by imposing tariffs of its own on Minnesota products. Among the Minnesota products: grain, aluminum, boats and boat accessories, packaged dairy products, ATVs, and much more. China imposed retaliatory tariffs on Minnesota soybeans and pork products. Do you believe it will hurt Minnesota producers?
The tariffs on Minnesota products is obviously a concern, but so are the unfair trade practices of China. I have met with USTR Rep Lighthizer just recently to discuss the tariffs. I have also met with the Mexican ambassador and members of the Canadian parliament to discuss the ongoing renegotiation of NAFTA. I will continue to advocate for the businesses in CD-2 and Minnesota.
It is also important that we give farmers more certainty while these trade issues continued to be discussed. That is why I supported the Farm Bill, and why I have called for swift action to get it signed into law.
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