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 they provided. This is not a paid advertisement nor does WCCO endorse any candidate.
Responses from Josh Welter, Libertarian candidate for Governor:
What is the most important priority investment you will make in Minnesota government if you are elected (e.g. education, transportation, health care)?
We need to stop asking politicians, "What new investments should the government make?" As the saying goes, "There is nothing so permanent as a temporary government program."
If elected, I have three priorities: Decrease. Decriminalize. Dispose. In brief, here is our 3-D plan:
First, we will decrease state spending and taxes by 10% each year of my 4-year term. It's not just spending we will decrease, but also nanny state laws and regulations that apply the government's grip over practically anything we do.
Second, we will decriminalize recreational marijuana. We need to stop locking people in expensive cages for activity that harms no one. Let's get these folks back in their homes, with their loved ones, and let them get on with their lives. Legalize freedom.
Third, we will have the courage to outright dispose of bloated and unaccountable programs. I'll start with the unelected Met Council, which employs more bureaucrats than the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and more Minnesotans than great companies such as General Mills and Ecolab. Instead of soliciting ideas for new investments, let's begin a robust debate about disposing of past initiatives. Let's stop asking what the government can do for us.
What are your views (if any) about the divide between rural/urban Minnesota; if so, what would you do to address urban/rural concerns (e.g. infrastructure, internet access, economic development)?
Do you know what the people of Aitkin or Zumbrota need? How about Duluth or Roseville? No one-size solution will apply to any city -- rural or urban; big or small. Local leaders can make the best investments in their own communities.
Should Minnesota pass a law to require criminal background checks for every gun purchase or transaction in the states?
Do you believe recreational marijuana should be legalized in Minnesota?
Absolutely. The Libertarian Party has long advocated for legalization, and I'm glad some in the other parties are starting to follow our lead.
Should Minnesota raise the minimum wage to $15 statewide?
No. The government should not tell an employer how to run its business. That said, the state government should not tell local governments that they cannot pass minimum wage ordinances.
Should Minnesota grant a permit for Enbridge Energy Company to build a new oil pipeline across central Minnesota, and approve a new route for the updated pipeline?
If Enbridge can successfully negotiate terms with property owners, then the state should not block the project. Let's not kid ourselves. This is endeavor has the potential to harm the environment. The best way to prevent disaster is to contractually bind Enbridge to full mitigation costs should even a drop of oil cause harm to any plant, animal or human.
Will you abolish MNSure if you are elected?
MNSure is a classic example of bloated, inefficient and counter-productive government in action. Yes, we can dispose of it.
Should Medicaid recipients be required to work?
No, it's too simplistic to say all government aid recipients must work, as there are going to be extenuating circumstances where that's not in the best interest of anyone.
The population of Minnesota is expected to grow by 800,000 by 2035. What would you do to accommodate rapid growth on the state's transportation system? Please outline a future funding mechanism for roads and bridges.
We can start by repealing Article 14, Section 13 of the state constitution, which mandates a 60-40 distribution of the motor vehicle sales tax for highways and public transit. This is another classic example of government meddling that warrants disposal.
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