Common Sense, Christian, Conservative
(1) Do you believe in the separation of Church and State in our government?
A: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof " Our founders did not want government to tell us how we were to worship; where we were to worship; or who we were to worship. They did not want the government to tell us how we pray, when we pray or who we pray to. They didn’t want the government to establish a national religion. But… . The Government should not be used as a weapon against religious individuals and the free exercise of their religion. The government is not supposed to coerce us to practice religion nor is it supposed to deny us of our ability to practice our religion or to challenge our beliefs and faith.
(2) What are your views on Climate Change and fossil fuel consumption and what steps do we need to implement to reverse these harmful effects to our planet, such as Big Coal and Big Gas?
A: I have studied and taught on this subject for 30 years. When I was going through high school we were taught that the earth was getting colder and colder and we were going into a time of global cooling and would be facing a new mini ice age. By 1986 we were told that no, there was a time of global warming occurring based on greenhouse gases. Predictions were made in the 1990s about how warm the earth was going to get in the next 20 years and how much of Florida was going to be flooded by sea water etc.. Those predictions have not come true. The consensus is that from 1900-2000 (100 years) the average global temperature has increased somewhere between .8 and 1 degrees Celsius.
Since fossil fuels account for 83% of all the energy we use in the US and drives our economy any attack of those industries will result in a decline to our economic viability. The hysteria being promulgated for political purposes saying that we must eliminate our use of fossil fuels in the next 10 to 12 years is ignorant of what effect that would have on our economy and would plunge the world into a crisis which would kill millions of people living on the margins when the world economies collapsed. We should pursue renewable energy sources and add them to our portfolio of energy source as we continue forward and with clean nuclear we can cut back on our use of the dirtiest of fossil fuels but we will still need fossil fuels going forward for the next 50 years.
(3) Would you support ANY gun safety legislation in Missouri?
A: Yes. I would support legislation that would allow someone like Jack Wilson, the hero that stopped the shooter at West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas, to carry a gun. I would support the right of the McCloskeys in St. Louis to use guns to provide safety for themselves and their property against a rioting mob. Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens is gun safety.
(4) Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the NRA? Yes, I currently am a member.
What rating do you expect to receive from the NRA as an endorsement if you seek their support?
A: I would hope they would endorse me as a representative who would protect our absolute constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
(5) Do you feel that under federal law right now it is a woman's right of choice to choose if she wants an abortion?
A: It is legal to have an abortion under the Roe V. Wade ruling but it is not a moral or good choice. I believe life begins at conception and in the US we should provide for the safety and security of that defenseless life. I would work tirelessly to decrease the numbers of abortions and protect the unborn innocent life. Abortion is one of the greatest blights on America. If we can, in Missouri, prevent abortions by making restrictions on abortion facilities or abortion providers those babies will grow up to be young boys and girls and men and women who will thank us for saving their lives.
(6) Since the rate of abortions in the U.S has fell to the lowest since 1973 thanks in large part to such groups as Planned Parenthood and some 77% of the U.S population support Roe v. Wade. Yet, Missouri has passed some of the most stringent anti-abortions laws in the nation including adding victims of rape and incest be denied access to an abortion. Do you support this action?
A: I would disagree with the premise of this question and its statistics. Yes, I support the 8 week abortion ban although I think I would have preferred the heartbeat bill. Planned Parenthood is one of the largest abortion providers in the abortion industry. The real statistics according to Gallup in 2019 shows that currently in the US 49% identify as pro-life and 46% of the respondents identify as pro-choice.
(7) Do you support, and will you stand by, ALL of the interest of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association in regards to fully funding public schools.
A:Yes, Under a Republican controlled House and Senate and a Republican Governor we have fully funded the foundation formula. If we start funding some of the pet projects of some in our state and if we participate in Medicaid expansion we will not be able to fully fund the foundation formula.
Q: Right now 28 public school districts have had to go from a 5 day to 4 day a week schedule because of under-funding and all are in rural areas which translates to longer school days and shorter weeks.
A: Some school districts have chosen to go to a 4 day work week and we will see if it improves their standard test scores etc… It is the right of a local school district to choose to use their money the way they would like to. They chose to go to a 4 day work week as a way of saving money and because they thought it would be beneficial. Some went to a 4 day school week to help with teacher retention. Some districts are really happy about their 4 day work week we will see if it affects their standardized test scores.
(8) Charter Schools take tax funding away from our public school system and makes it hard to keep those public school doors open. They also have very little oversight or regulations which can damage a students ability to preform at his or her highest. Since you might represent a rural district, do you support Charter Schools in our rural communities?
A: Charter schools are public schools and are funded with taxpayer money like all other public schools. No one is suggesting Charter school schools for rural school districts. How would that work? My question is this: Do students living in a St. Louis or Kansas City deserve a quality public education like all other student in the state of Missouri? Answer: Yes. Is Charter schools a possible answer for some of those students? Maybe
(9) Do you favor that ANY establishment of a Charter School should be voted on by the people in that school district?
A: Yes, I believe that is the position of most supporters of Charter schools as well. It is also the position of the MSTA (the Missouri State Teachers Association).
(10) Health care is a RIGHT for every man, woman and child in America and in Missouri. Health care will play a major role in the upcoming 2020 election as it did in the 2018 election cycle. The petition process for Medicaid Expansion is now underway in Missouri to have it placed on the 2020 ballot. 36 states have now passed Medicaid Expansion. If passed, this will bring in millions of dollars back to Missouri. Question: If I were to knock on your door with a petition to place Medicaid Expansion on the ballot, would you sign my petition to do so? If not, why not?
A: No. I believe Medicaid expansion would cost between 200,000,000 and 350,000,000 million/year from the General Revenue of Missouri as it has done to other states (ie Arkansas etc..) and limit the amount of money available for other state priorities like education, roads and bridges. I am also against using initiative petition to amend the Missouri constitution just for the purpose of providing Medicaid to able bodied Missourians. The Obamacare medicaid expansion amendment has no mechanism to pay for its cost to state or federal government and is just another socialist way of expanding government.
(11) If elected, you will be voting on many, many bill's. When it comes your turn to vote on the floor, will it be a vote of your conscience or a typical party line vote on how you are instructed to vote?
A: I will vote my conscience and what I think is in the best interest of my represented district.
(12) Do you believe in the right of unions to organize and the collective bargaining process? Yes
Will you support and march with any union who strikes on the picket line?
A: No, I am not a member of that union. If they choose to strike that is their choice and the choice of the members of their union.
(13) If elected, will you conduct public in the open Town Hall Meetings in Dist. 6 ? (errors in question are his)
A: I will make myself available in meetings and answer questions like all members of the legislature do.
(14) Who should elected politicians work for…all of the people or special interest and dark money groups?
A: What dark money or special interest groups? I have received donations from individuals who want to support me in my campaign because I’m a conservative, common sense, Christian. We can also receive donations according to the Clean Missouri bill from political action committees and certain designated LLC's.
(15) Will you protect the rights and liberties of the LGBTQ community and human rights as well as civil rights for all in Missouri?
All Missourians have the same rights and are protected by our Constitution. Every person’s rights and liberties as an American citizen and as a Missouri citizen must be protected. No group should need any special rights or privileges.
(16) Finally: On a moral issue, 1 in 7 children live in hunger in the United States of America. Do you believe it is the responsibility of the federal and state governments to eradicate this problem?
A: If we have a robust economy, more people will have jobs and fewer people will live in poverty. I believe that we shouldn’t have anybody in the US or MO living in poverty and hungry. Religious organizations would be my first choice to combat hunger in our local communities but there is always a need for a social net provided by the state and national government.
The questions were posed by a former Democrat candidate for State Rep. and provided by email.
Part II- Another set of questions provided by a former Democratic candidate for State Rep.
1. Voting is a major right for every American. At issue right now is to expand access to voting in Missouri by ballot initiative petition so the measure could go before voters in 2020. The initiative petition would automatically register eligible Missourians to vote when they apply for driver's licenses and state issued ID's. The measure also would allow residents to vote absentee for any reason and allow 16 and 17 year olds to pre-register to vote. Do you support this initiative?
Other locations around the country that have implemented the automatic registration at the time of application for driver’s licenses have had some unwanted consequences. Having an automatic process for registering to vote at the time of driver’s license application could lead to voter fraud. What is the advantage of pre-registering 16 and 17 year olds to vote? Some people want to extend voting rights to 16 and 17 year olds. I would disagree with this. I am afraid that is too young to be able to make a good decision about many decisions that they would be asked to vote on.
2. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. It seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters. The ERA was first introduced in Congress in December 1923. Missouri is listed as a non-ratifying state with only one house approval back in 1977. It takes both houses to pass. The ERA has now been passed by 37 states. Simply put, do you support the ERA?
Women have the same rights as men under our constitution and this amendment to the constitution is a type of Trojan horse to be used to take away right from states and give those rights over to the Federal government especially as it comes to abortion. ERA supporters want full abortion rights enshrined in the constitution and to eliminate any and all distinctions based on sex and gender. Things that the ERA may affect is private female bathroom usage, competing in female sports by males or transgender athletes and other distinctions between the sexes. Women have all the rights under our constitution that a man has and this again is a way of changing our view of sex and gender.
3. Do you and your campaign plan to outline your platform in detail on the issues that you feel are important and that will effect the people of Missouri and District 6 as a republican candidate?
I have on my website at http://edlewismo.com.
4. According to the "Living Wage Calculation" for Missouri, the hourly rate that a individual MUST earn to support his or herself and their family with both working and 2 children is $15.13 per hour based on 2080 hours per year. Do you support at least a $15.00 per hour wage for all workers in District 6 and Missouri?
No, I think that forcing employers to pay a $15 minimum wage is going to actually hurt workers and the economy. Some of this has actually been observed in the increase we have seen in the MO graduated wage increase so far. Shouldn’t we allow the free-market to decide what is the amount people can afford to pay for a particular job. The current wage of $9.45/hr is already a challenge for employers and has caused some inflation and decreased hours etc.. to keep the same amount of money budgeted for wages by employers. Next year it goes to $10.30/hr. I think we are making it challenging on small business owners around the state even at this wage and increasing to $15/hr now is not a good idea.
5. As a first time state candidate and since your decision to run as a republican candidate for state representative of District 6, have you been instructed NOT to answer questions from the general public or engage in debate as part of full transparency?
No, I have made myself available at many public events and will do so. I can’t answer just one person’s questions especially if they are only interested in asking “got you” questions. My time is valuable as a full-time high school teacher running for state office.
6. If you are elected would you sponsor, co-sponsor or support the legalization of marijuana in Missouri for those 21 years of age or older?
No. Absolutely not.
7. Are you in favor of Foreign Ownership of up to 1% of our states agriculture land by companies like Smithfield that is owned by China?
I am sure people out-side of our country want to invest in the United States economy as it is the envy of the rest of the world. But, we do need to be careful we don’t allow other countries like China to own too much of our property and businesses.
8. In the past several years, dangerous legislation has been introduced to recklessly roll back our gun laws. Every town for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action have fought diligently alongside lawmakers to block and reject such bills like the "Guns Everywhere "that would have allowed hidden, loaded handguns in schools, public buildings and even bars. If this legislation were to re-surface, What would be your position if elected?
Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens in schools, churches, and public buildings don’t endanger lives but guns in the hands of criminals do. In our church, I hope that we have the same reaction as happened in Texas when a gunman entered the church with a shotgun and was shot dead within a few seconds of the beginning of his shooting spree.
9. According to the CDC , Missouri ranks 42nd nationally in maternal health outcomes. There are significant racial disparities between black women and white women, with black women experiencing almost 3 times as many maternal deaths as white women. Do you believe the State of Missouri establish and fund a Maternal and Infant Mortality Review Board Coordinator position to guide the work of the board in finding ways to reduce negative birth outcomes?
We should not be 42nd nationally in maternal outcomes. We need to identify what states are doing that have eliminated the differences between black and white mothers to imitate what they have done. I don’t know if establishing a fund and appointing a Maternal and Infant Mortality Coordinator would have any effect.
Copyright © 2019 Friends For Ed Lewis
Sherry Russell Treasurer