Joe Perske (DFL), John Denney (I) and Tom Emmer (R) answered six questions each in a short joint appearance on KSTP-TV’s “At Issue” program on October 26, 2014. KSTP-TV political reporter Tom Hauser posed the questions.
The interview segment starts at about 3 minutes into the video and runs about 16 minutes. Advance the play head until the video timer on the left will show about 20 minutes remaining in the video and that should be the start of the interview.
Questions and summary of candidate responses
Question: what is the single most important issue in the sixth congressional district?
Perske: most important issues are jobs and transportation. Says in the legislature Emmer voted against transportation bills.
Denney: the main problem is legalized bribery in government. Campaign finance reform is needed.
Emmer: transportation is part of the issue, but jobs and the economy is part of it. Highway improvements are needed.
Question:Extending Northstar Commuter rail to St. Cloud… Tom Emmer why are you opposed?
Emmer: We’re only getting 73 to 75 cents back from Washington for every dollar we send there. Highway trust fund can’t be used for other transit. Take care of roads and bridges first.
Denney: Roads and bridges more important. we need a long term transportation bill and it hasn’t been done because the gridlock between the parties.
Perske: I support extending the North Star to St. Cloud. We could have done this for much less years ago. People in St. Cloud need to get to their jobs in the Twin Cities.
Question: What policies would you support to increase jobs in the sixth district?
Denney: we need to fix the gridlock first. I support a flat tax.
Emmer: Lower the overall tax burden on families. Eliminate regulations.
Perske: Fair trade- too many jobs are leaving the country. Government does not oppress business.
Question: Affordable care act is unpopular according to our polling, would you repeal it?
Denney: It’s offensive to me because younger people are being asked to pay for older people’s healthcare. But I wouldn’t repeal it.
Perske: We can’t repeal it. We can’t go back to preexisting conditions not being covered. Put polarizing politics aside and find something that works.
Emmer: We need to look at what’s doable. I don’t think the ACA can work. Instead allow small employers to pool healthcare and promote health savings accounts .
How do you deal with the threat posed by ISIS? Would you allow ground troops to go in?
Perske: We need to take of this in real time. Multinational forces, airstrikes are OK. Avoid putting troops on the ground at all costs.
Denney: I’m not privy to the information I need to make a decision. My opponents have not laid out their solutions.
Emmer: You don’t tell your enemies what you’re not willing to do. The last thing you’d want to do is put our young people in peril, but I would if I needed to.
Question: How will you differ from the sixth districts current Representative, Michele Bachmann?
Emmer: Customer service
Denney: Get rid of corruption in congress
Perske: Bachmann was polarizing. Emmer will be worse. Look at how polarizing he was in the legislature.