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Candidates on the Issues

The Spokesman-Review asked the candidates for U.S. Senator, State of Washington five questions about different issues. Below are the questions and each candidate's stance on the issue.

Jim Camdenjimc@spokesman.com

Select issue:

Zach Haller, an Independent, and Alex Tsimerman, of the StandUP-America Party, did not respond to requests to answer questions.


ISSUE:

Do you believe changes to the climate are the result of human activity, and if so, what should Congress do about it?


Philip Cornell (Democratic)
Natural change has been accelerated by human activity. Create regulations that raise mile-per-gallon ratings on cars, stop oil imports and burning fossil fuels for electricity.



Sam Wright (Human Rights) Yes
Yes, but not much can be done. Concerned that big homes are big energy users.

Chris Vance (Republican)
At least part, like ocean acidification, is. Increase investments in new technology, experiment with carbon capture and sequestration and share technology with other countries.

Uncle Mover (Republican) Yes
Yes. All the plastic floating in the ocean acts like a big mirror, but we can't do anything at this point. Who's going to listen?

Donna Rae Lands (Conservative) Yes
President should stop flying Air Force 1 all over. Supports more water power, more energy-efficient cars, planting more trees.

Mohammad Said (Democratic) Yes
Yes, but changes must be made at international level and Congress must ask Russia and China to do their part.

Eric Makus (Republican)
Probably to some degree, but there are problems with measuring cap and trade and making it equitable.

Pano Churchill (Lincoln Caucus) Yes
Yes. Congress should support the green economy to create jobs and new technology.

Patty Murray (Democratic) Yes
Yes, and it's a threat to health and the economy. Look at energy production, moving away from fossil fuels and investing in basic research.

Ted Cummings (Independent)
Probably, but not sure how much. Keep up with best technology to protect air and water without shutting down industries.

Thor Amundson (Democratic) Yes
Yes. When U.S. jobs go overseas, those companies should have same environmental standards. Americans are trying to do it right.

Scott Nazarino (Republican)
Strong arguments on both sides and there needs to be consensus. It's worthy of discussion.

Mike Luke (Libertarian)
Skeptical that actual change is occurring. Anything that's done should be at state not federal level.

Chuck Jackson (Independent) Yes
Stay away from nuclear power, focus on solar and wind power, and help increase that in Mexico and South America.

Jeremy Teuton (System Reboot) Yes
Yes, at an unprecedented rate. Support many different technologies, invest in renewable energies, phase out the oldest and dirtiest systems.

ISSUE:

What's the most important change you would support to federal tax laws?


Philip Cornell (Democratic)
Look at loopholes that allow the wealthy and corporations to not pay their fair share.



Sam Wright (Human Rights)
Tax capital gains at same rate as earned income.

Chris Vance (Republican)
Lower rates across the board, simplify to three brackets, do away with most loopholes that don't benefit the middle class.

Uncle Mover (Republican)
Doesn't see much happening here.

Donna Rae Lands (Conservative)
Get rid of the estate tax, decrease capital gains, make everybody pay more of their fair share.

Mohammad Said (Democratic)
Citizens should pay only one tax to each level of government.

Eric Makus (Republican)
No magic wand but eliminating the "death tax" makes sense.

Pano Churchill (Lincoln Caucus)
Streamline and simplify the tax code, equalizing it for everyone.

Patty Murray (Democratic)
Update the tax code; focus cuts on workers and the middle class because Bush cuts benefited the wealthy.

Ted Cummings (Independent)
Scrap tax law; go to a simplified flat tax.

Thor Amundson (Democratic)
Repeal taxes on Social Security and unemployment benefits.

Scott Nazarino (Republican)
Streamline it; make filing simpler and more user-friendly.

Mike Luke (Libertarian)
Move away from income tax toward a national consumption tax.

Chuck Jackson (Independent)
An adjusted flat tax, with no deductions or credits, on a sliding scale depending on income.

Jeremy Teuton (System Reboot)
Do a complete rewrite of tax laws with more brackets, smaller rates, no deductions and all income treated the same.

ISSUE:

Should Congress raise the federal minimum wage?


Philip Cornell (Democratic) Yes
It should start at around $15 an hour.



Sam Wright (Human Rights) No
The cost of living is different around the country.

Chris Vance (Republican) Yes
$7.25 an hour is too low but $10 is too far, too fast. Should consider sliding scale based on company's revenues.

Uncle Mover (Republican)
It sounds like a good idea, but if you give some people more money, they'll spend it on drugs.

Donna Rae Lands (Conservative) Yes
Yes, a small increase but not $15 an hour.

Mohammad Said (Democratic) Yes
Yes, at least $10 an hour, but not up to $15 an hour.

Eric Makus (Republican) No
Could hurt some job sectors.

Pano Churchill (Lincoln Caucus) No
It's not Congress' business to raise the minimum wage.

Patty Murray (Democratic) Yes
Has introduced a bill to raise it to $12 by 2020.

Ted Cummings (Independent) Yes
Supports something nationwide like state initiative for $13.50 by 2020.

Thor Amundson (Democratic) No
No, but it should double the prevailing wage and require federal contract work be split evenly between men and women.

Scott Nazarino (Republican) Yes
It should raise at least to the Washington level.

Mike Luke (Libertarian) No
The problem is not wages, it's loss of the dollar's value.

Chuck Jackson (Independent) Yes
Favors a $10 minimum wage, coupled with a $250 an hour "maximum" wage.

Jeremy Teuton (System Reboot) Yes
Yes, raise it to $15 an hour and index it to inflation.


ISSUE:

What changes to federal gun laws should Congress make?


Philip Cornell (Democratic)
Ban assault weapons; enhance background checks for private sales and gun shows.



Sam Wright (Human Rights)
None. It just causes people to buy more guns.

Chris Vance (Republican)
A national instant background check with states required to provide complete info on criminal and mental health records.

Uncle Mover (Republican)
Is pro-gun, but doesn't like to see people running around with AK-47s.

Donna Rae Lands (Conservative)
Doesn't want to lose Second Amendment rights, but doesn't like AR-15s and sees no reason to have an assault weapon in the house.

Mohammad Said (Democratic)
Abolish Second Amendment, make gun ownership a privilege not a right, with strict background checks.

Eric Makus (Republican)
People on the no-fly list should not be allowed to buy guns, but there should be an appeal process.

Pano Churchill (Lincoln Caucus)
Supports bills to deny sales to people on terrorist watch list and extend background checks to gun shows.

Patty Murray (Democratic)
Update the tax code; focus cuts on workers and the middle class because Bush cuts benefited the wealthy.

Ted Cummings (Independent)
Laws are adequate right now.

Thor Amundson (Democratic)
Stop talking about it and enforce the laws we have now.

Scott Nazarino (Republican)
We should review rules for people to possess the type of weapons that can fire off massive rounds.

Mike Luke (Libertarian)
Would vote to repeal any existing laws that he could.

Chuck Jackson (Independent)
How about we just enforce the laws on the books?

Jeremy Teuton (System Reboot)
Would start with handguns because assault weapons are "scapegoated." Ban sales or delay and report sales to anyone on terror watch list.

ISSUE:

What changes to the nation's health care system would you support?


Philip Cornell (Democratic)
Move to a Bernie Sanders-style universal single payer system in 2-3 years.



Sam Wright (Human Rights)
Have Medicare for everyone.

Chris Vance (Republican)
Repeal virtually all Obamacare, get government out and let people shop for insurance across state lines. Expand federal basic health.

Uncle Mover (Republican)
Something should be done about doctors who order expensive procedures for people without insurance.

Donna Rae Lands (Conservative)
Eliminate Obamacare, have free clinics for people who can't afford insurance, let people buy policies across state lines.

Mohammad Said (Democratic)
Expand Medicare to cover everyone under 25, set up a Basic Care plan, consolidate VA into Medicare.

Eric Makus (Republican)
Work on Obamacare to improve care delivery and reform policies that have become too expensive or have high deductibles.

Pano Churchill (Lincoln Caucus)
Streamline insurance process to make it less expensive. Move away from Obamacare, study other countries, negotiate prices, including for drugs.

Patty Murray (Democratic)
GOP needs to stop trying to repeal Obamacare so Congress can look at revisions like hospital readiness rates and high cost of drugs.

Ted Cummings (Independent)
Wants some combination of single-payer with the private sector. Would study systems around the world. Tweak Obamacare in the meantime.

Thor Amundson (Democratic)
Studying what to do. Something has to be done to lower cost.

Scott Nazarino (Republican)
Revamp Obamacare so everyone will have health insurance that is financially sound and insurance companies are profitable.

Mike Luke (Libertarian)
Get the federal government out of it and push it back to the states.

Chuck Jackson (Independent)
Go to a single-payer system, either government or privately run.

Jeremy Teuton (System Reboot)
Affordable Care Act is a good first step to universal coverage. Could be government single-payer or private insurer if companies could negotiate with drug firms.