2020 Minnesota Senate Candidate Guide
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AFFORDABLE CARE ACT- Support Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
Jason Lewis – No. Will “repeal and replace Obamacare” and replace it with “patient-centered reforms.”
Tina Smith – Yes. Wants to “build on” the ACA, to have “affordable, good quality health care … no matter who you are.”
CAMPAIGN FINANCE – Limit campaign spending and require political advertisers to disclose their largest funders?
Jason Lewis – No. Supports Citizen United decision. Says courts have “previously struck down laws limiting campaign spending.”
Tina Smith – Yes. Co-sponsored DISCLOSE Act, requiring campaign groups to disclose donors’ names. Would reverse Citizens United decision.
CLIMATE CHANGE – Address as a top priority by taxing or limiting output of greenhouse gases?
Jason Lewis – No. Says “market forces and technology” can control carbon emissions. Opposes carbon tax. Voted to weaken environmental regulation.
Tina Smith – Yes. Emphasizes incentives for renewable energy more than taxes or limits. Helped introduce the Clean Economy Act in 2020.
CLIMATE CHANGE – Consider human-caused climate change a serious threat?
Jason Lewis – No. “Has it warmed? You bet. I’m just not convinced it’s due to carbon emissions.”
Tina Smith – Yes. “Climate change is real and poses a threat to our economy and our health.”
COURTS – SUPREME COURT NOMINATIONS – Pick Ruth Bader Ginsburg replacement for Supreme Court now or let November winner choose?
Jason Lewis – Now. The “will of the people” is behind the quick confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett. See CEEP Supreme Court guide.
Tina Smith – Wait. Current rush to replace Ginsburg—after 10-month blocking of Obama from nominating Scalia’s successor—is “hypocrisy.” See CEEP Supreme Court guide.
COVID-19 – Support administration’s response to coronavirus pandemic?
Jason Lewis – Yes. Says lawmakers have gone too far with shutdown measures against the virus. “The cure cannot be worse than the disease!”
Tina Smith -No. “I think that the president’s handling of the pandemic has been a disaster.”
COVID CRISIS – ECONOMIC RESPONSE – Support administration’s economic response to coronavirus pandemic?
Jason Lewis – Yes. Has questioned accuracy of COVID death statistics and launched campaign and lawsuit over shutdowns in MN. Says “small mom and pops” suffer economically from shutdown.
Tina Smith – No. Says administration is “slashing unemployment benefits, … one of our most critical pandemic relief safety nets while also putting Social Security and Medicare at risk.”
EDUCATION – Use public funding for private and/or for-profit schools?
Jason Lewis – Yes. “School choice has always been important, but it’s especially relevant now.”
Tina Smith – No. “School vouchers create a two-tiered education system while diverting critical resources from the public schools.”
ENVIRONMENT – Tighten or loosen environmental regulations?
Jason Lewis – Loosen. Opposes carbon tax and argues “the hard environmental left” is hampering the state’s energy, mining, and logging industries.
Tina Smith – Tighten. Is fighting Trump administration’s efforts to “roll back responsible environmental policy.”
FINANCIAL REGULATION – Tighten or loosen regulation of banks and credit card companies?
Jason Lewis – Loosen. Voted to roll back parts of Dodd-Frank and to repeal guidance to help consumers prevent markups on auto loans.
Tina Smith – Tighten. Signed letter to Senate leadership opposing rule change that would hurt access to credit by communities of color.
GUN RULES –Enact more restrictive legislation on firearms?
Jason Lewis – No. Said after a school shooting that gun control laws “would not have stopped” it. Favors funding to schools to enhance security.
Tina Smith – Yes. Supports “common-sense gun laws” to keep guns from criminals and some other individuals. Would ban bump stocks, assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
IMMIGRATION – Support expanded border walls?
Jason Lewis – Yes. Voted in favor of border-wall funding. But opposed banning entry to the U.S. for green-card holders.
Tina Smith – No. Voted against funding for the border wall. Supports “fiscally efficient methods to secure our border.”
IRAN – Oppose military attacks on Iran without congressional approval?
Jason Lewis -No. “The strike against Qasem Soleimani was undertaken to protect USA personnel abroad and as such I support this action.”
Tina Smith – Yes. Co-sponsored bill directing president not to order attacks without congressional approval. Said she was “gravely concerned” Trump lacked strategy to prevent escalation.
LABOR – Support “right to work” laws, eliminating the ability of unions to mandate dues for workers they represent?
Jason Lewis – Yes. Supports local right-to-work laws, saying it shouldn’t be a crime for someone not to join a union, but doesn’t believe they should be imposed nationally.
Tina Smith – No. Introduced bill to prevent states from passing right-to-work laws. Workers have the right to “join together for fair wages, benefits and improved working conditions.”
LEGAL ABORTION – Keep legal or ban?
Jason Lewis – Ban. Is anti-abortion, and “believes life begins at conception.” Supports making Hyde Amendment permanent.
Tina Smith – Keep legal. Women should “have the freedom to decide when and how to raise a family.”
LGBT RIGHTS – Support efforts to end discrimination against LGBTQ people?
Jason Lewis – No. Says ruling legalizing marriage equality “would undo the entire state criminal code because we’re all treated unequally.”
Tina Smith – Yes. Supports “marriage equality” and “LGBTQ equality.”
MARIJUANA – Legalize marijuana?
Jason Lewis – Can legalize state by state, not federally. Supports states’ rights to determine their marijuana policies without federal interference.
Tina Smith – Yes. Introduced a bill this year to legalize marijuana for recreational use nationwide.
MINIMUM WAGE – Raise federal hourly minimum wage above current $7.25?
Jason Lewis – No. “Minimum-wage hikes cause unemployment among the least-skilled people.”
Tina Smith – Yes. Co-sponsored legislation to raise federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024, which would “raise the wages of nearly 40 million people.”
PLANNED PARENTHOOD – Support Planned Parenthood’s receiving public funds for non-abortion care?
Jason Lewis – No. Voted for 2017 bill to defund organizations that provide abortions as part of their healthcare services.
Tina Smith – Yes. Opposed proposal to block state family planning grants to Planned Parenthood.
POLICE Reform – Restrict police use of force and increase public oversight?
Jason Lewis – No. Has objected to some of the calls for police reform, saying they are going too far.
Tina Smith – Yes. Supports comprehensive police-reform legislation that would end practices such as choke holds and no-knock warrants.
PRESIDENT TRUMP – Support Trump impeachment?
Jason Lewis – No. “From judges to jobs, Donald J. Trump keeps racking up the wins and delivering on his promises to the American people.”
Tina Smith – Yes. Voted to impeach. “Trump’s abuses of power are grave offenses that threaten the constitutional balance of power.”
SAUDI ARABIA – Block arms sales to Saudi Arabia?
Jason Lewis – Unclear. Has been critical of Saudi Arabia and said U.S. must take harder line with this ally.
Tina Smith – Yes. Voted against arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
TAXES – Support administration’s $1.9 trillion (2017) tax cuts
Jason Lewis – Yes. Voted for the tax cuts and has said about the bill that “rarely has one piece of legislation been so successful so quickly.”
Tina Smith – No. Says instead of saving Wall Street billions, should invest in “better wages for teachers, affordable child care, better health care.”
VOTING RULES – Support stricter ID requirements and other rules on voting?
Jason Lewis – Mixed. Believes voting rights should be restored to felons once they have completed parole. Says each state should decide on laws.
Tina Smith – No. Co-sponsored bill to restore Voting Rights Act enacted to prevent discriminatory changes to state voting laws and procedures.
Campus Election Engagement Project is a nonpartisan effort to help colleges engage students in elections. Sources include Votesmart.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com and candidate statements. Vote411.org and Ballotready.org offer guides to local races.