October 31, 2002
1.Do you feel Missouri will have to increase taxes in order to improve the state's highway and transportation systems?
The people sent a strong message with their vote in August. They told us we have to do a better job of using the money we have now in state government. As legislators, we need to ensure that transportation dollars meant for construction are actually spent building our highways.
I have worked to keep the promises made to rural Missouri by fighting for a greater share of funding for projects in Northeast Missouri such as Highways 63, 61, and 36. I have had great success by getting Highway 36 placed in a fast track pilot program, with the Missouri Department of Transportation-one of only three such projects in the state. This will make Highway 36 a priority in our state. I will continue to fight for the 18th District and the projects in our area.
2. Agriculture is the life force of our community. What types of legislation do you support to help local farmers?
My goal has always been to fight for the family farm. I raise soybeans, corn and cattle and have owned and operated my farm for over 35 years. As your State Senator, I authored and passed legislation to create a fund to help bring bio-diesel plants to Hannibal and Mexico. I led the fight to make beef pricing more fair, saving our farmers from millions of dollars in losses. I also support legislation to reduce government regulations for small farmers, and that would open new markets and opportunities for our rural communities.
3. A tight budget forced plenty of debate over funding for education. Do you feel that maintaining full funding for the foundation formula is a top priority?
I fully support our public schools and have worked to send funding to our rural communities. In a tight budget year, I voted to increase public school funding $134 million dollars. I have also sponsored legislation to provide teacher-signing bonuses to attract new teachers to rural Missouri and have fought for higher salaries for our current teachers. Education is important to our district and I will fight to keep education one of our top priorities.
4. Concealed weapons have been a topic of debate for several years in our state. Do you favor legislation that would allow law-abiding citizens the right to carry concealed weapons?
Yes, I fully support the Second Amendment. I sponsored a "conceal and carry" bill in the Senate to allow law-abiding citizens to protect their families. I have received an "A+" rating from the National Rifle Association and I am the only candidate endorsed by the NRA.
5. Health care costs continue to skyrocket. What can we do on a state level to help our senior citizens and residents as a whole to be able to afford the necessary medication and treatment?
I voted in the Missouri Senate to create a prescription drug benefit for seniors. This plan will help ensure that no senior will have to make a decision between the medication they need to stay healthy or paying for the necessities of life. I have also sponsored property tax reform that would provide security from skyrocketing property assessments for those seniors on a fixed income.
6. Why should I vote for you? Please name and explain one top platform issue that makes you the best candidate for the job.
I have a strong record of accomplishments for Northeast Missouri and I have fought hard for the things that we believe in. I worked to help our rural schools and voted to increase public school funding $134 million dollars this year.
I have fought to reduce the burdensome regulations on our farmers and created an incentive fund to help attract two bio-diesel plants to Northeast Missouri and I have worked to ensure greater accountability with our tax dollars and fought for our fair share of funding for projects such as Highways 63, 61 and 36.
I want to continue fighting for Northeast Missouri and I would appreciate your vote on Tuesday, November 5th.