NONPARTISAN CANDIDATE GUIDE: 2018 MINNESOTA SENATOR’S RACE
Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a nonpartisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included Votesmart.org, OntheIssues.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com, and public candidate statements. For guides to local races, see Vote411.org from the League of Women Voters and Ballotready.org. For more detailed information visit their votesmart.org pages.
To volunteer visit tinaforminnesota.com and housleyforsenate.com Other senate candidates include Sarah Wellington (Legal Marijuana Now Party) & Jerry Trooien (I). Due to limited space, we can only include candidates who poll 15% or higher, but encourage you to check out their websites. To download a printable pdf version of this guide, click here.
Abortion: Mostly ban or mostly legal?
Smith – Legal. Says women should “have the freedom to decide when & how to raise a family.”
Campaign Finance: 1. Require political ads to disclose their largest funders? 2. Support Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited political donations from corporations & unions?
Smith – 1. Yes. In 2018, cosponsored DISCLOSE Act, requiring organizations spending more than $10,000 in an election cycle to disclose donors’ names. 2. Reverse Citizens United by Constitutional Amendment.
Housley – 1. Unclear. Said we need “adequate regulations” to ensure candidates raise funds ethically & transparently but supports “free market” for campaigns. 2. Yes. Supports Citizen United: “I would be in support of the way it is right now.”
Climate Change: Consider climate change a serious threat?
Courts: Support President Trump’s choice of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court nominee? (before recent allegations)
Economy: Support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
Smith – Yes. As MN Lt. Governor, introduced jobs & infrastructure bill to support local economies & create nearly 23,000 jobs.
Education: Provide vouchers to parents to send their children to private schools with public money?
Housley – Unclear on vouchers. Says she is a “school choice person.”
Environment: Support Environmental Protection Administration cutbacks?
Housley – No position found. Opposes “too much regulation & bureaucracy.”
Financial Regulation: Support cutbacks in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)?
Smith – No. Signed letter to US Senate leadership opposing reduction of CFPB funding.
Housley – No position found.
Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?
Smith – Yes. Supports “marriage equality” & “LGBTQ equality.”
Housley – No. In 2013 voted against same-sex marriage bill in MN Senate.
Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic weapons?
Smith – Yes. Supports “common-sense gun laws” to keep guns from criminals & dangerous individuals: bump stock, assault weapon & high-capacity magazine bans.
Housley – No, with exceptions. Supports “a reasonable ban on bump stocks.” Otherwise, focuses on enforcing existing gun laws & addressing mental health.
Healthcare: Support or repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare?
Healthcare: Let Planned Parenthood receive public funds for non-abortion healthcare?
Smith – Yes. Was vice-president of MN, ND & SD Planned Parenthood. Opposed proposal to block state family planning grants to Planned Parenthood because of its role in providing abortion services.
Housley – No. Sees public funds better spent at women’s health clinics that “provide real family planning services.”
Healthcare: Require people to work to receive Medicaid?
Housley – Unclear. Wants to give a work requirement “serious consideration” as a way to prevent fraud & waste.
Immigration: Support path to citizenship for America’s 11 million illegal immigrants, including “DACA” recipients or “Dreamers,” who grew up in the US?
Iran: Support Trump withdrawal from treaty limiting Iran’s nuclear capability in return for lifting economic sanctions?
Marijuana: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?
Minimum Wage: Raise the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25/hour?
Housley – No. In 2017 in MN Senate, voted to prohibit local governments from raising local minimum wage. Voted against raising MN minimum in 2013 & 2014.
President Trump: Response to President Trump’s actions & policies?
Housley – Believes in “80% of what he’s doing.” except tariffs & border separation.
Student Debt: Refinance student loans at lower rates, paid for by raising taxes on high earners (Elizabeth Warren bill)?
Smith – Yes. Cosponsored Warren’s Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act.
Housley – No position found.
Student Financial Aid: Increase federal student financial aid, like Pell Grants?
Housley – No position found on increases. Wants more students to opt for 2-year degrees, & loan forgiveness for students who go to work at local companies in ”greater Minnesota” but not the Twin Cities.
Taxes: Increase taxes on corporations and/or high-income individuals to pay for public services?
Housley – No. Speaks of the “crushing impact high taxes have on job creation.” “It’s your money, not the government’s.”
Taxes: Support President Trump’s tax cuts?
Housley – Yes. Supports the Republican tax act, saying, “there are a lot of good policies in there.”