NONPARTISAN CANDIDATE GUIDE: 2018 MINNESOTA SENATOR’S RACE

Amy Klobuchar (D-Incumbent)
Jim Newberger (R)
Jim Newberger (R)

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 jimforussenate.com and amyklobuchar.com. Other senate candidates include Paula Overby (Green) & Dennis Schuller (Legal Marijuana Now). Due to limited space, we can’t include candidates polling at less than 15%, 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?

Klobuchar – Legal. Cosponsored Women’s Health Protection Act of 2015, ensuring continued access to safe, legal abortion.

Newberger – Ban. Supported bills making it more burdensome to get an abortion. Defines life as starting from conception.

 

Campaign Finance: Require political ads & PACs to disclose their largest funders? Oppose decisions like Citizens United, which allows unlimited political donations from corporations & unions?

Klobuchar – Yes to both. Cosponsored DISCLOSE Act, requiring full disclosure of advocacy groups’ campaign contributions. Cosponsored amendment to overturn democracy-threatening decision.

Newberger – Unknown on ads. No to limiting political donations. Opposes regulation of political contributions.

 

Climate Change: Consider climate change a serious threat? Limit or tax production of greenhouse gases? Support US participation in Paris Climate Accord despite President Trump’s withdrawal?

Klobuchar – Yes to all 3. Voted for 2015 amendment that “climate change is real & human activity contributes.” Urged Trump administration to rejoin Climate Accord. Supports comprehensive approach.

Newberger – No to all 3. Believes climate change isn’t manmade. “The number one factor is the sun.” Opposes regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Against rejoining Accord.

 

Contraception: Allow employers to withhold contraceptive coverage from employees if disagree with it morally?

Klobuchar – No. Co-introduced legislation to rescind Trump policy of letting employers withhold coverage for birth control.

Newberger – Unknown.

 

Courts: Support Judge Kavanaugh nomination to Supreme Court?

Klobuchar – No. Concerned re: allegations & positions on healthcare, separation of powers, consumer protection & net neutrality.

Newberger – Yes. He will “uphold the constitution as it was written… The Court will be greatly improved with” him.

 

Economy: Support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?

Klobuchar – Yes—particularly spending on improving infrastructure & rural broadband.

Newberger – No. Favors spending cuts, except for spending on a border wall & the military.

 

Economy: Support President Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel & other products?

Klobuchar – Yes. Endorsed imposing tariffs on foreign steel & aluminum but says President should consult with Congress on tariffs.

Newberger – Yes. Supports President being able to make unilateral tariff decisions, without requiring Congress to vote on them first.

 

Education: Public support for sending children to private schools?

Klobuchar – No. Voted against plan to reauthorize Washington DC’s school voucher plan.

NewbergerSays vouchers are a “possibility.”

 

Environment: Support cutbacks by Environmental Protection Administration?

Klobuchar – No. Signed letter to Senate leadership protesting EPA cuts.

Newberger – Yes. Will fight EPA regulatory overreach & objects to many EPA regulations.

 

Financial Regulation: Support cutbacks of consumer protection such as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)?

Klobuchar – No. Helped to create CFPB, and has defended it since.

Newberger – Unknown.

 

Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?

Klobuchar – Yes. Cosponsored bill to repeal Defense of Marriage Act. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision reversing it is “a true victory.”

Newberger – No. Voted against MN’s 2013 marriage equality bill. Still opposes same-sex marriage.

 

Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic weapons?

Klobuchar – Yes. Supports enhanced background checks & banning assault weapons & high-capacity magazines.

Newberger – No. Opposes all restrictions. Cowrote MN “Constitutional [no-permit] carry” & “stand-your-ground” bills.

 

Healthcare: Support or Repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare?

Klobuchar – Support. ACA has brought health care into reach for many. Improve, don’t repeal.

Newberger – Repeal. “End Obamacare entirely & go back to a free market system.”

 

Healthcare: Allow Planned Parenthood to receive public funds for non-abortion health services?

Klobuchar – Yes. Signed letter to Senate leadership supporting continued funding. Voted against defunding.

Newberger – No. Supported 2016 Minnesota bill to defund Planned Parenthood.

 

Healthcare: Require people to work to receive Medicaid?

Klobuchar – No. We need to ensure that “people with Medicaid coverage—[mostly] children, disabled & seniors—get healthcare.”

Newberger – Yes.

 

Immigration: Support path to citizenship for America’s 11 million illegal immigrants, including “DACA” recipients or “Dreamers,” who grew up in the US?

Klobuchar – Yes. Has worked to continue DACA program. Wanted to create a 13-year accountable path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already here.

Newberger – No DACA statement. Calls pathway to citizenship “possible,” but supports making illegal immigrants return to home country before applying for citizenship.

 

Iran: Support withdrawal from treaty limiting Iran nuclear capability & lifting sanctions?

Klobuchar – No. Don’t leave international agreements & nuclear inspections. Negotiate more comprehensive agreement.

Newberger – Unknown.

 

Marijuana: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?

Klobuchar – Supports MN medical marijuana law: States should make their own decisions on recreational marijuana. Cosponsored bill to stop federal interference.

Newberger – No. Opposes legalization for recreational use, seeing marijuana as a gateway drug. Voted against medical in MN in 2014.

 

Minimum Wage: Raise the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25/hr?

Klobuchar – No current statement but voted in 2007 to increase to current $7.25 level.

Newberger – Voted against 2014 MN bill to raise state minimum wage to $7.75 over 3 years.

 

Net Neutrality: Require internet providers to provide equal access to all users?

Klobuchar – Yes. Opposes recent FCC decision to eliminate net neutrality.

Newberger – Unknown.

 

President Trump: Response to President Trump policies? % of key votes in support?

Klobuchar – No. Voted with Trump 31% as of October 3, 2018.

Newberger –  Yes. “He is doing a great job.” Voting rate not applicable: Has not held federal office.

 

Renewable Energy: Support government subsidies for renewable energy?

Klobuchar – Yes. Would expand incentives for investment in renewable energy sources.

Newberger – No. Strongly supports “affordable” coal-based energy, no priority to green energy.

 

Student Debt: Lower student loan rates, by raising taxes on high earners (Elizabeth Warren proposal)? Raise financial aid?

Klobuchar – Yes. Supports Warren proposal. Cosponsored bill to extend subsidized federal student loan rates.

Newberger – Unknown about federal financial aid, but supported MN bill for tax credits for student loans & 529 college savings plans.

 

Taxes: Raise taxes on corporations and/or high-income individuals to pay for public services? Position on Trump tax cuts?

Klobuchar – Yes. Voted in 2008 to restore pre-2001 top income tax rate. Opposed Trump plan’s tax cuts for the wealthy, which increased national debt.

Newberger – No. Opposes higher taxes on the wealthy & wants to lower corporate taxes to promote economic growth.

 

Voting Rights: Support stricter voting rules such as voter ID requirements even if they prevent some people from voting?

Klobuchar – No. Signed 2014 amendment to strengthen Voting Rights Act that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. Tried to ban requiring photo IDs that suppress voting. Supports automatically registering voters.

NewbergerNo. 2018 survey response was “There is no need to make voter registration easier.”