Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Response from Russ Carnahan, Lieutenant Governor Candidate

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position? 

I have government experience in both the state and federal level. I have working knowledge of the importance of the relationship between states and the federal government and hot it works, or how it should work. Having this kind of experience will be an immense help for me in fulfilling the duties of the office: prepared to serve as governor if and when called upon, meeting my duties as the President of the Missouri Senate and representing the interests of Missourians on important board and commissions, covering such issues as economic development, low income housing, senior advocacy, and early childhood development. I am the only candidate that has worked and passed legislation that has: protected environment, advanced human rights, fought for collective bargaining rights, funded important science and education programs, and has continually fought for the dignity and benefits that veterans have earned.

2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

I’m the only candidate who has the experience of representing Missourians in both the Missouri General Assembly and US Congress. I have the skills and knowledge to be an effective parliamentarian and insuring that all groups and their interests are represented in the Missouri State Senate.

3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

Our political system here in Missouri is an embarrassment. We are the only state that doesn’t have campaign contribution limits and is lacking in ethics and lobbyist rules. If we are to bring about effective, progressive change in Missouri, we must change the political system first. Therefore, I will strongly advocate for a strong political agenda that will bring about real reform in limiting the influence of the exuberant amounts of money and influence in our state capitol.

4. Why is the selection of Lieutenant Governor important?

We have learned in recent history that there is a need for an active lieutenant governor to serve fairly as President of the Senate. This is crucial in protecting human rights, the environment, collective bargaining, healthcare, and other issues important to everyday Missourians. This is especially true when Democrats are in the minority in the Senate. It is imperative that all senators are properly heard and recognized so that they can adequately represent the people who have sent them to Jefferson City. I will oppose artificial attempts to shut down and cut off important debate.

5. What will you do to advance the profile of your office?

I will regularly meet with citizens of this state to solicit their good counsel in improving not only the delivery of government services but making our policies in line with the interests of everyday Missourians.

6. How will you handle the schism between Republicans and Democrats in Jefferson City in order to get things done?

Elected officials must work hard to look for areas of common ground and interest. This means building coalitions around issues in which most can generally agree upon as something that needs to be pursued. For example, transportation is an issue which has demonstrated a willingness of people from both parties to work together on to solve. SJR 39 is another example in which a diverse group of interests – business, labor, education, clergy, and other progressive groups – put aside their differences and worked toward a common goal of stopping discrimination in its tracks.

7. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

Being a member of the “Center Aisle Caucus” when I was in Congress, I learned how to bring Republicans and Democrats together in focusing on matters of mutual interest. As Lieutenant Governor, I will look for issues that most can agree upon, that will be economically beneficial, and yet will have a strong focus on sustainability.

8. What particular strengths would help you defeat the Republican opponent in the November general election?

I have a great understanding of the diversity that is Missouri; being raised in a rural community, and having lived all my adult life, and raised my own family, in an urban area – St. Louis. I have experienced and seen firsthand where Missourians can come together in different sections of the state and work together towards common goals.

9. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Do you have a policy on accepting lobbyist gifts? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

Please see all of our contributors online at the Missouri Ethics Commission. Will not accept contributions from right wing billionaires in general and Rex Sinquefield, in particular.

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