#childsafety | Election 2020: U.S. House of Representatives – Delaware State News


Lisa Blunt Rochester

Name: Lisa Blunt Rochester
Party: Democrat
Age: 58
Family: Parents, Alice and Ted; sisters, Marla and Thea; children, Alex and Alyssa
Residence: Wilmington
Occupation: Congresswoman

Lee H. Murphy

Name: Lee H. Murphy
Party: Republican
Age: 69
Family: Three children, four grandchildren
Residence: Wilmington
Relevant experience: Retired Amtrak conductor/engineer, professional actor

Name: Catherine Purcell
Party: Independent Party of Delaware
Age: Did not answer
Family: Did not answer
Residence: Did not answer
Relevant experience: Did not answer

Name: David Rogers
Party: Libertarian
Age: Did not answer
Family: Did not answer
Residence: Did not answer
Relevant experience: Did not answer

Why are you running for this seat?
LR: From expanding health care to combating the climate crisis to fighting for racial justice and equality for all, there is so much more work that needs to be done in Washington, and I am not finished fighting. I am running for reelection because every single Delawarean — Democrat, Republican and independent — deserves someone who will fight for them. I am proud of the work we have been able to do, but I also look forward to leading the charge for positive change and, perhaps, even some good trouble.
LM: Your representative in Congress should be someone who can relate to the issues and concerns of Delawareans. I have lived my entire adult life in Delaware, raised a family, been a teacher and coach here, had a 35-year career with Amtrak as a conductor and locomotive engineer on high-speed passenger trains between New York and D.C., been a union member and now enjoy a professional acting career (“House of Cards”). My family has been impacted by the drug/opioid addiction crisis, and I am determined to turn that around in Delaware. I have run for Senate District 1 twice and have been actively involved in politics since 1984. I do not seek a career in politics and have pledged to term limits. I will go to D.C. to work for all of Delaware — on that, you have my word.
CP: Did not answer.
DR: Did not answer.

What do you see as the major issues in this election?
LR:
We have a lot at stake this election, from the climate crisis, to health care, to the economy, to fighting to protect people from this pandemic.
LM: Economy and jobs: My first goal would be to protect the all-important agricultural industry and to bring manufacturing jobs back to Delaware to reignite our state economy after COVID-19. I will begin by drafting legislation to incentivize pharmaceutical manufacturing to leave China, where it poses a national security risk, and return to Delaware. Safety and security: supporting the Constitution, particularly the Second Amendment. I support border security and a strong military. All families deserve to live in a safe environment. To that end, I support law enforcement, while identifying and eradicating racial injustice to alleviate any distrust of the police. Drug/opioid addiction: Delaware is disproportionately impacted by the drug/opioid epidemic. I will work to ensure that Delaware gets its fair share of the federal funds earmarked for the crisis to implement a two-pronged solution: prevention on the front end and long-term treatment (including the construction of the first long-term care facility in Delaware) for those ready to get help on the back end.
CP: Did not answer.
DR: Did not answer.

What is the biggest problem facing Delaware and how would you solve it?
LR:
At this current moment, we are dealing most directly with a once-in-a-century pandemic, but we are really facing several major crises at the same time: the coronavirus itself, the economic fallout, racial injustice across the country and the existential threat of climate change. These are not easy problems to solve, but there are key things we can do. First, we need to center our scientists and listen to them when they give advice on how to keep people safe. Second, we need to provide adequate assistance for people to make it economically to the other side of this pandemic. Third, along with a Biden-Harris administration, we need to build back better in the aftermath of the situation in a truly equitable way that substantially reduces our carbon footprint and creates brand-new green jobs.
LM: Our economy. Delaware has been in last place in the entire country in terms of economic growth for the last five years, while experiencing the highest growth rate in taxes over the same period, all while my opponent has been in office. My first goal will be to bring manufacturing jobs back to Delaware to reignite our state economy after COVID-19. I will begin with drafting and passing legislation that incentivizes pharmaceutical manufacturing companies to leave China, where it poses a significant national security risk, and return to Delaware and the United States.
CP: Did not answer.
DR: Did not answer.

What would you like to see done differently in regard to COVID-19?
LR:
We are immensely lucky to have some of the foremost experts on public health and disease spread in this country, and in direct contrast to what the Trump administration has been doing, we need to listen to them. We need to do whatever we can to save as many lives as possible, and the scientists know how to do that. We need to provide more federal stimulus money, so people are able to survive the pandemic without worrying how they are going to put food on the table or pay rent.
LM: We have to get back to work. Government stimulus is a limited resource and can be used only as an emergency solution. We should continue to ease unnecessary regulations, protect businesses from onerous legal action and institute a three-year payroll tax for all workers to help families and the economy recover. The economy was functioning very well before COVID-19 and will recover quickly once restrictions are lifted and tax breaks are put into place. Political leaders should provide the latest factual information about COVID-19 risks, risk mitigation and available treatments. Local and state governments should institute guidelines based on the best data and otherwise allow citizens and businesses to decide for themselves how to protect the most vulnerable, their families and their livelihood as we safely reopen. Our constitutional freedoms and rights must not be compromised, even in a pandemic, because the very survival of our country as we know it depends on it.
CP: Did not answer.
DR: Did not answer.

How should our health care system change in response to coronavirus?
LR:
We are in the midst of the greatest public health crisis of our lifetimes. As a result, many of the deficiencies of our health care system have been made crystal clear. We need to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act; we need to ensure every American has access to quality, affordable health care. We need to make sure we are lowering the cost of prescription drugs. And we need to focus on mental health.
LM: I have had COVID-19 and am now a convalescent plasma donor, a very promising approach to helping others recover from the virus. I urge everyone who has been infected to contact the Blood Bank of Delmarva to donate. Hospitals need to better coordinate with blood banks to make sure that those who have recovered from COVID-19 are referred to plasma donor facilities. I am not a medical doctor or a disease specialist, so I would enlist the help of medical experts and health care system leaders as they learn about the transmission and risks of this virus and implement these improvements in their facilities. There seem to be a variety of longer-term side effects of the virus and associated pneumonia, so I believe that insurance policies ought to include flexible preexisting condition coverage for COVID-19. I believe that each individual is best suited to make their own decisions, once armed with the best information available from their health care providers, about keeping themselves, their families and the most vulnerable safe. To that end, I believe that the use of telemed and real-time sharing of the patient’s medical and health information with health care professionals is one of the most important improvements to our health care system in response to COVID-19. In terms of health care coverage, a healthy, vibrant economy enables people to earn an income to support a healthy lifestyle and choose the type of privately available medical insurance that best suits the needs of their family. A healthy economy also supports the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The private health care insurance industry is made better by competition, resulting in a menu of better-priced choices, from policies that cover routine checkups to those that cover catastrophic events. Cooperatives and health-share programs, such as Liberty Healthshare, are great examples of how competition can lower costs, reduce restrictions to a provider network and keep health care decisions between a patient and their doctor. As a member of Congress, I will support legislation that encourages interstate competition in the health care industry and international availability of lower-cost prescription drugs. A significant part of the adequate health care challenge, however, occurs at the state level. In Delaware, for example, certificates of need limit competition, reduce access to care and raise prices. I would work with state officials to revamp or replace this program.
CP: Did not answer.
DR: Did not answer.

What do you believe schools should do to educate students, while keeping people safe from COVID-19?
LR: The key here is student safety. It is no secret that we would love nothing more than to have everyone physically in schools full time, but at this current moment, that is not safe. Therefore, we must make use of the great resources we have and do the absolute best that we can do for the time being. This situation, however, highlights the inequities in technology and internet access that many of our families are facing. For that reason, we need to expand access to broadband, so everyone has a stable internet connection, and provide adequate technology (i.e., laptops) to those who need it. Educational outcomes absolutely should not be determined by ZIP code or household income.
LM: I began my career as a schoolteacher and coach in Wilmington, so I believe I understand this issue. Schools must reopen, and our children must go back to school. I believe it is harmful and much more unhealthy — mentally, physically, socially, nutritionally — for our children to be prevented from going back to school. Local and state governments, in conjunction with schools, teachers and parents, should set their own standards and policies for our children’s education, including safely reopening schools. Hybrid models can be considered, with online options for the most vulnerable educators and for those subjects that can be effectively taught online. Suggestions offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics for safely reopening schools include limiting adults allowed in schools, including parents, and canceling group activities like choir and assemblies. Staggered arrival and dismissal times, outdoor classes and keeping kids in the same classroom all day are other options. But local decisions are best. Teachers tell me that one-size-fits-all reopening plans and federal standards, such as Common Core and No Child Left Behind, do not support teachers in doing what they do best: inspiring and teaching. Finally, I support school choice; families should decide where and how their children will get the best education possible.
CP: Did not answer.
DR: Did not answer.

What should the government do to help both businesses and workers right now?
LR: This past January, before we knew how the pandemic would turn out, I established the bipartisan Future of Work Caucus to work on these exact issues, so they are at the front of my mind. This pandemic has forced many workers to shift to telework, many for an extended period of time. For many, that is what the future of work will look like. For that reason, we must focus on expanding broadband access, so for everyone whose job goes virtual, a good internet connection is available. We have to modernize our workforce, protect jobs and meet this moment. In addition, we need to focus on helping small businesses. We need to invest in small businesses and make sure they have the capital they need to survive.
LM: The answer to this question involves a working partnership between Congress and state government. Delaware had 0.0% economic growth in 2019, the lowest in the country, even before the excessive shutdown in response to COVID-19, so the state has some work to do. State leaders need to allow businesses to safely reopen and allow our children to go back to school, so their parents can return to work. They must cut bureaucratic red tape, reduce corporate income tax rates and energy costs and improve schools. In Congress, I will identify and support “Opportunity Zones” in Delaware. I will work with the president to pass legislation that would incentivize manufacturing to leave China, where it poses a national security risk, and come to Delaware, creating high-paying jobs that will grow Delaware and increase tax revenues for important programs. I will support payroll tax cuts and legislation that protects the all-important agricultural industry in Delaware.
CP: Did not answer.
DR: Did not answer.

What do you think of the current level of government spending?
LR:
We are currently in the middle of a pandemic, and we must do what it takes to protect Delawareans and the American people.
LM: Government spending is out of control, which unfairly burdens our future generations. State and local spending, which accounts for nearly half of all spending, must be reviewed by each state individually. During a crisis, when people lose their jobs and livelihood through government-led shutdowns through no fault of their own, however, the government must make them whole. This is another reason for state, local and federal governments to support a healthy, robust economy, so that we can survive emergencies such as these. All discretionary federal government spending that is not needed for the defense and survival of the country should be cut; too much spending is wasteful and is politically motivated. The vast majority of federal spending is mandatory, however, and is on programs I support, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, with their fraction of total federal spending expected to rise. Net interest on debt is also a sizable expenditure, which would increase significantly with inflation. These programs are under great stress, however, and need to be redesigned or they will fail. A strong economy generates more tax revenues even at reduced tax rates and will offset the deficit generated by excessive spending, so I would support measures that allow the economy and labor force to thrive. I would cut redundant or unnecessary discretionary spending, then pass legislation to reduce it by a fixed percent each year until federal spending is under control and our debt levels are manageable. Finally, “balanced budget” resolutions are not the solution to rampant federal government spending because this objective could be met simply by raising taxes rather than reducing wasteful, inefficient or politically motivated spending.
CP: Did not answer.
DR: Did not answer.

Would you support gun control measures?
LR:
Yes. I unequivocally support common-sense gun violence-prevention measures that the vast majority of Americans support and will make our country a safer place to live, while in no way infringing on anybody’s constitutional rights. That includes universal background checks, red flag laws and policies that keep weapons of war off our streets.
LM: I support the Second Amendment as written. Until recently, those deemed “mentally defective” were prohibited from owning guns which, though understandable from a public safety perspective, may be a violation of their constitutional rights. Congress should carefully study possible restrictions on the purchase of guns only by those individuals who clearly display risk factors for violence, including risk of suicide, which accounts for half of all U.S. gun violence. The challenges in balancing protecting one’s constitutional rights with ensuring public safety are described well in “Mental Illness and Reduction of Gun Violence and Suicide: Bringing Epidemiologic Research to Policy,” by Swanson et.al., Annals of Epidemiology (2015).
CP: Did not answer.
DR: Did not answer.

What changes are needed to policing and the criminal justice system?
LR:
We need to substantially reform our justice system, so it actually earns the name “justice system” for every American. I introduced the Clean Slate Act a number of months ago to serve as a good step in the right direction. The bill allows for records of low-level, nonviolent offenses to be sealed, so they do not prevent a person from pursuing any educational or job opportunities. I am also a co-sponsor of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which includes a large number of substantial reforms to ensure that policing outcomes are equitable and fair for everyone.
LM: I am proud to support the men and women of law enforcement in this country. Law and order is essential for maintaining a civil society, where all families can safely go about their lives. A recent poll by the Gallup Center on Black Voices showed that both Black (81%) and White (80%) Americans want police to maintain their presence in their neighborhoods. The same poll, however, showed that 61% of Black Americans are confident that an encounter with police will go well, compared to 85% across all groups nationally. We must gather hard data on complaints against the police to better understand and alleviate the distrust of the police by some in the African American community. I support the creation of a national database that tracks abusive officers as an important first step toward that reform. I support meaningful reform to the criminal justice system at both the state and federal levels. At the state level, I support retraining and assimilation programs, such as those led by Dr. Darrel Miller of the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution and by Firm Foundation, the 12-step Christian-based addiction-recovery program. At the federal level, I applaud the First Step Act, the culmination of a bipartisan effort to reduce the federal prison population, readdress unjust incarceration and provide meaningful second chances for those leaving prison, while also creating mechanisms to maintain public safety.
CP: Did not answer.
DR: Did not answer.

What do you make of the state of race relations in the U.S. and particularly in Delaware?
LR:
In the past year, we have gone through a long overdue reckoning on equal justice and racial equity in this country. There is a good portion of the country that feels left behind, unseen and unheard, and we all need to do better. We need to take a step back to see how we can uplift and build one another and work together to fight the many injustices happening across this country.
LM: I am personally opposed to discrimination of any kind and have lived my life accordingly. I treat all people with dignity and respect. As your congressman, I want to hear of any unlawful discrimination, and I will work tirelessly to eradicate it here in Delaware. I think it is important to point out that I believe we all have more in common in Delaware than differences. Families in Delaware have told me that they are concerned with the same things, regardless of race: jobs, the health and welfare of their family and their children and, especially of late, safety from violence and crime. It pains me to see the division that our state and our country are experiencing today. Those that foment this divide for political or economic gain should be ashamed of themselves.
CP: Did not answer.
DR: Did not answer.

How would you summarize President Donald Trump’s tenure?
LR:
President Trump’s tenure has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster. He has absolutely bungled the handling of this pandemic, has allowed climate change to accelerate unfettered, sowed intense division throughout our country, denigrated our standing on the world stage and has used the office to enrich himself and his friends.
LM: Regardless of how you feel about President Trump the person, the data does not lie: President Trump’s policies have been great for the United States, enabling the strongest economy we have ever seen and the lowest unemployment rates among all groups, which is helping us to get through the COVID-19 crisis much better than we would have had we entered it with a weak economy. Our country is more secure than ever, with the deep state, terrorism and the threat represented by China identified and weakened, and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement has replaced the disastrous North American Free Trade Agreement and strengthened trade with other nations.
CP: Did not answer.
DR: Did not answer.

Are you concerned about the legitimacy of the 2020 elections?
LR:
I have full and complete confidence in our institutions that will carry out this election, from the Postal Service to our elections authorities. However, I am incredibly worried about the distrust in our systems that President Trump and his allies are fomenting. What he is doing is abusing the public trust because he thinks it benefits him politically. As elected officials, it is our responsibility to tell the American people the truth because honesty is what every person in this country deserves.
LM: Yes, I believe vote-by-mail, as currently envisioned and instituted by most states, is a threat to the integrity of the voting process and that voting in person and absentee balloting are much less susceptible to rampant voter fraud.
CP: Did not answer.
DR: Did not answer.

Do you have any additional thoughts you wish to share?
LR:
Did not answer.
LM: Your current congresswoman votes with Nancy Pelosi almost 84% of the time. This is not leadership. She has failed to work with the president to bring jobs and prosperity back to Delaware, and Delaware languishes as a result. This is not in Delaware’s best interest. I will work with the president to help Delaware grow and prosper. And I support term limits.
CP: Did not answer.
DR: Did not answer.





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