If you’re still debating on who to vote for in the Senate run-off race, this is a must-listen.
Last week Funky East Dallas Democrats (FEDDs), held a Q&A session with both Royce West and MJ Hegar. As you all know, West and Hegar are facing a run-off, on July 14th for the democratic candidate running to replace John Cornyn.
Here is the audio, (it’s audio only), West’s Q&A is first and Hegar’s Q&A starts at 31 minutes in.
FEDDs did a great job with both candidates and asked very fair and thorough questions. The questions were also unique to each candidate. Below is a list of all of the questions. But you’ll have to listen to the audio for each candidate’s answers.
They started with Royce West, who is very passionate about turning Texas blue. One of his opening statements was, “If we really want to turn Texas blue, we have to have someone at the top of the ticket who can energize the base, and I suggest to you that I’m that person.”
Here are the following questions that were asked. To hear Royce West’s answers, you’ll have to listen above.
Q: According to a study in the Journal of Science Advances, fracking wells in Texas and New Mexico’s Permian Basin are producing more methane than federal estimates have shown. What Action would you take on the federal level to place aggressive limits on methane pollution on new and existing oil and gas operations?
Conflicted Stock Trading
Q: Several senators have recently come under fire for stock transactions which took place before the severity of COVID-19’s threat was acknowledged. About half of US senators have an estimated net worth of at least one million dollars. Several Democrats in Congress have introduced the Ban Conflicted Trading Act, which forbids members of Congress and senior congressional staff from buying or selling individual stocks. Do you support this Act, and why or why not?
Q: You co-authored a bill, Senate Bill 406, with two Republicans, that allows teachers and custodians to carry guns while students are present, essentially giving minimally trained civilians the OK to bring guns in our classrooms. What do you say to all of the parents who have been adamant that they do not want teachers and custodians armed? And how would you approach solving the problem of gun violence in this country?
Q: With the over-proliferation of charter schools in minority communities, what is your position on charter schools? From a national perspective, what are your plans for supporting or not supporting charter schools encroachment on traditional public schools, where they don’t face the same accountability?
Q: Leading up to super Tuesday, your opponent raised millions more than you. We realize that her having the DSCC backing helped, but in 2019 you raised only $150,000 more than Christina Rameriz and Amanda Edwards, despite being one of the most prominent elected officials in Texas. Why weren’t you far outpacing the 3rd and 5th place finishers?
Q: Would you support adopting a publicly funded campaign finance system?
CBP and ICE
Q: CBP and ICE facilities have been plagued with problems. Last summer they were over-crowded in light of the Central American surge. Now they face COVID-19 outbreaks. How would you address this issue?
Q: What is your stance on the administration’s decision to deny stimulus checks under the CARES act to undocumented immigrants?
Q: In light of the cracks in our economic system brought about by COVID-19, for instance, the need for Universal healthcare, no paid sick time, no emergency savings, raising the minimum wage, etc. What will be your first priority to create a stronger economic system to help the average American prepare for the next crisis?
Q: If the Dems recapture the Senate majority, it will likely be by a narrow margin. So, if the House of Representatives passes a single-payer, Medicare for all bill and its senate passage hangs by a thread, will you vote in favor of that? Or are you willing to be one of the no votes that kill it?
Q: Vice President Joe Biden has voiced support for resurrecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which President Trump rallied against and killed upon assuming office, to the cheers of many Democrats, including Senate Minority leader, Chuck Schumer. Despite President Obama championing the TPP, the majority of the opposing votes in Congress were Democrats. Would you support resurrecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership? And if so, why are the majority of the Democratic members of Congress wrong to oppose it?
Q: Will you support your opponent if they win the runoff? And besides lip-service, what specific steps would you take to help your former opponent to kick Senator Cornyn to the curb?
When it was MJ Hegar’s turn she jumped right in. She’s a former teacher, worried about healthcare workers, kids missing school, meatpacking plant workers, as well as people who have lost their jobs, and people that are worried about losing their jobs. One of her opening statements was, “The reason I’m running for senate is that I took an oath to defend and support the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Here are the following questions that were asked. To hear MJ Hegar’s answers, you’ll have to listen above.
Q: Do you support ending federal subsidies to the fossil fuel industry? And would you support in investing in renewables, battery storage, and a 21st-century grid instead of the fossil fuel industry?
The Latino Vote
Q: Election forecasting extraordinaire Rachel Bitecofer, whose 2018 forecast wound up far more accurate than most mainstream pundits, said in a town hall, co-hosted by the FEDDs, that the ket to flipping Texas is bolstering Latino turn out. She elaborated on how helpful it would be to have a Latino or Latina candidate topping the ticket. Neither you nor your opponent is Latino or Latina. How is your candidacy poised to bolster Latino turn out in November?
Q: Secretary DeVoss awarded $65 million to expand charters across the country the past April 10th. $17.6 million was specifically earmarked for charter schools in Texas. However, current policies allow hiring uncertified teachers, background checks for students as a condition of enrollment, inadequate staffing for children with special needs, and exclusion of counseling and library services. How would you ensure the Department of Education fosters rules to truly enhance and protect public schools, which accept all students?
Q: What do you think you will be able to accomplish on gun-sense? We know you support a ban on the sale of guns of war. Would you support a buy-back program?
Q: The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) did not exist before it was founded in 2003 by George W. Bush. They have come under fire for a variety of unconscionable practices, including racial profiling, apprehending natural-born US citizens of color, and taking advantage of stay at home orders, just to scratch the surface. Do you support working to eliminating ICE, and if not, why do you feel that this agency is necessary if it wasn’t founded until Bush did so in 2003?
Crisis Pregnancy Centers
Q: Currently anti-choice pregnancy centers receive federal funding. Do you support this, and if not, how would you work to defund them?
Debate with Royce West
Q: Are you willing at some point to participate in a debate with your opponent, Royce West?
MJ Hegar and Royce West are currently facing a run-off election in July, to campaign against and ultimately beat John Cornyn. It’s time to get Cornyn out. Remember to vote for your favorite candidate in July, and in November #VoteBlue.
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