Every election, the League of Women Voters sends identical questions to candidates for office. See the responses of the Senate candidates for Virginia here. Go to vote411.org for more.
The following formatting is excerpted from The League of Women Voters of Fairfax Voters’ Guide. VOTE411.org’s content is duplicated in this publication.
U.S. Senate for Virginia
The U.S. Senate term is six years. Each state is represented by two Senators who have staggered terms. There is no limit to the number of terms they may serve. Senators serve their constituents as they offer legislation, serve on committees, debate new bills and amendments to previous legislation. They also serve to advise and consent on matters such as ratification of treaties and confirmation of high-level positions, including U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Senators must be at least 30 years old, have been a U.S. citizen for the last nine years or longer, and inhabit the state they seek to represent. A Senator’s salary is $174,000. See the Virginia Department of Elections website for all the races and candidates: vote.virginia.gov
Biographical Info of the Candidates for US Senate:
Tim M. Kaine
Education: University of Missouri – B.A. in Economics; Harvard Law School
Experience: Civil Rights Lawyer; Richmond City Council; Mayor of
Richmond; Virginia Lieutenant Governor; Virginia Governor; Democratic
National Committee Chairman; and US Senator of Virginia on the Senate Armed
Services; Foreign Relations; Budget; and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Education: Juris Doctorate, William Mitchell College of Law; B.S., Foreign
Service, Georgetown University
Experience: Corey Stewart is the at-large elected Chairman of the Prince
William Board of County Supervisors. Previously, he served as the Virginia
Chairman for the Donald J. Trump for President campaign. He is an International Trade Attorney in private practice.
Matt J. Waters
Education: BA George Mason University MS Reformed Theological
Experience: Business owner/entrepreneur, 10 years Vice President
National Non-Profit Organization Senior Officer, Advertising Agency
Questions & Answers
I. What policies and resources do you propose to ensure election integrity and security in the United States?
Tim M. Kaine: The recent Omnibus bill that passed earlier this year included an additional $307 million for the FBI’s work to secure the 2018 U.S. midterm elections and fight against future Russian cyberattacks. The bill also provided $380 million for the Election Assistance Commission to increase cybersecurity for state voting systems and protect elections against foreign interference. We need to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect our elections systems from cyberattacks. In addition, we need to ensure we are protecting all critical sensitive information from being hacked, such as: health, education, and banking infrastructure. States hold the majority of sensitive information. Virginia has been at the forefront of ensuring that we are taking all steps necessary to protect our infrastructure from any potential attack. I also strongly support states and localities taking the necessary steps to back up their elections with paper ballots.
Corey Stewart: I fully support voter ID laws, which serve to prevent various kinds of election fraud: impersonation fraud; registration under fictitious names; voting in more than one state; and non-citizen voting.
States that have enacted this commonsense reform found no depressing effect on voter turnout.
Matt J. Waters: The Constitution is clear on the issue: 15th & 19th Amendments secure the right of citizens to vote. Congress has the power to enforce this via legislation.
II. What policies, e.g. tariffs, taxes, tax cuts, do you propose to promote economic security for all Americans?
Tim M. Kaine: We must invest in Virginians, value diversity, and grow the talented workforce that makes our economy thrive. I introduced bills to support families, by increasing tax credits to lift families out of poverty, and increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 over a 7-year period. We lost an opportunity to pass a tax reform
bill that would put middle-class families and small businesses first. Instead, Republicans jammed through a bill that will raise taxes on millions of Americans. We must give more of the benefits to the middle class instead of big corporations. I introduced an amendment to this bill to provide long-term middle class tax relief and reduce the amount the bill adds to the deficit. Republicans blocked my amendment. I also have strong concerns with the President imposing tariffs on our major allies, resulting in steep tariffs being imposed on Virginia products. I have urged the President to reverse course and make it clear to our allies that we are honest brokers.
Corey Stewart: President Trump’s tax cuts have already done much to promote economic security for all Americans – with black, Hispanic, Asian and youth unemployment now at all-time lows. I would vote to make these tax cuts permanent. I additionally support President Trump’s efforts to renegotiate unfair trade agreements with other nations, in the best interests of American workers.
Matt J. Waters: One-hundred percent of US taxpayers’ income from January 1 to April 18 goes to local, state and federal government. The government takes 33% of our property on an annual basis–more than most Americans spend on food, clothing and shelter combined. The Libertarian Party believes taxation is theft; that the government’s role is to do three things and three things only: protect our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (or property). Personal federal income taxes were not allowed in the US until 1913 and the passage of the 16th Amendment. As Senator, I propose repealing the 16th Amendment, abolishing the IRS, and giving every American taxpayer a $12,000 pay raise. This ultimate measure will lead to major reforms in the
contract between government and the people.
III. What is your position on using a citizenship question on the 2020 Census survey?
Tim M. Kaine: I am opposed to asking individuals whether or not they are citizens on the 2020 Census survey because it will result in fewer people being counted or participating in the process. The rhetoric coming from this administration is sending fear into communities of color and this could lead to a distortion of who is residing in the U.S. Data collected by the Census is essential in bringing federal dollars and determining the political representation of our communities. The federal funds are distributed to state and local government to support schools, health care, housing, and other vital public benefits. There are about 300 federal programs that use Census data to determine how and where the money is spent. The Census occurs once every ten years and it is critical that we get a complete and accurate count. For these reasons, I oppose including a citizenship question on the 2020 Census survey.
Corey Stewart: I support reinstating the citizenship question on the 2020 Census survey. Electoral seats should be determined according to the population of actual citizens, not total population size.
Matt J. Waters: This is entirely in the purview of the Congress according to Section 1 Article 8 of the Constitution.
IV. What are your proposals for an immigration policy?
Tim M. Kaine: In 2013, the first major bill that I voted on was an immigration reform bill that was bipartisan and included a pathway to citizenship for many individuals living in the U.S. I supported the Senate’s 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill that would reform our visa system, protect Dreamers and TPS recipients, and protect our borders. This country is a nation of immigrants who have played an integral role in our society, have brought the skills and talents to make the U.S. globally competitive. Our immigration system has unfairly kept millions of people who contribute to the United States living in the shadows of our society. I have been a strong and loud critic of this administration’s treatment of Dreamers, proposals to limit legal
immigration, travel bans, and all attempts to separate families. Earlier this year, I worked with my colleagues in the Senate to find a solution to protect Dreamers, create a pathway to citizenship, while protecting our borders.
Corey Stewart: Immigration should be managed in a way that benefits our nation. I would end the Visa lottery in favor of a merit-based system. We should have zero tolerance for illegal alien crime. I favor the prosecution of state and local officials who brazenly flout our nation’s immigration laws by declaring “sanctuaries” for illegal aliens. Finally, I would vote to fund construction and maintenance of a true wall, to stem the flow of migrants and contraband across our southern border.
Matt J. Waters: I support reforming the current Immigration system/laws and review the three major agencies responsible for Immigration: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”); U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”); and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”). I support DACA. I do not support the
Wall for financial and results oriented reasons (It won’t solve the problem). I believe we need to change the laws on chain migration. 70% of all immigration to US are relatives coming to live here. I would advocate moving to a merit based system based on skills and America’s labor needs. I support E-verify, and tighter border security. I also support renewable work permits for non-US citizens working in the US, as this will raise salaries of non-US citizens such that they would not undercut current worker salaries.
V. What do you propose to ensure high quality, affordable and accessible health care?
Tim M. Kaine: I believe that access to health care is a right for all Virginians and I strongly support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid Expansion in Virginia. I have fought against “repeal and replace” of the ACA, and threats to Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP (Virginia’s “FAMIS” program). The ACA prevents individuals from being denied health insurance if they have a pre-existing condition, and provides access to preventive care that will
help reduce the cost and incidence of chronic diseases. Since passage of the ACA, more than 300,000 Virginians have gained access to quality affordable health care through its federally-run exchange. I have supported legislation to continue to expand health care coverage and make important fixes to the ACA. I also introduced the Medicare-X Choice Act which would create an affordable public option, so Americans could choose whether to purchase one of the existing private plans on the exchange or a Medicare-X public plan.
Corey Stewart: Obamacare has failed to deliver on its promises, as too many individuals and families have learned the hard way. I strongly favor health savings accounts, as well as the restoration of short-term and low cost
“no-frills” plans. We should allow insurance plans to be sold across state lines (more competition is healthy). Ultimately, we need a free market, consumer-driven health care system that puts the needs of patients first.
Matt J. Waters: 1. Since Obamacare was passed in 2014, the cost of insurance for self-employed has skyrocketed. I would join with the dozen governors who have sued the Labor Dept to allow small businesses and the self-employed to form association health plans (AHPs). 2. Promote Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) that put consumers in the drivers seat for current and future healthcare costs. HSAs eliminate the gatekeeper that tells the consumer what is allowed or not under their plan. These plans have shown to reduce overall health costs. Generally, I would advocate for the government to get out of the healthcare business. The government track record on health care is easily seen in the VA Hospital and impending bankruptcy of Medicare and
Medicaid. I favor allow companies to compete for consumer business not unlike other businesses, and for customers to choose between multiple health care offerings, or none at all.
VI. What policies do you propose to reduce gun violence?
Tim M. Kaine: I was Governor of Virginia during the shooting that took place at Virginia Tech, killing 32 individuals, and injuring 17. I issued an executive order and signed a law requiring courts to report all involuntary mental health commitments to the database used to check the criminal records of gun buyers. I also signed other mental health reforms and vetoed bills that would have increased the presence of firearms in the public sphere. As a U.S. Senator, I support requiring a completed background check for every gun buyer who purchases a gun from a federally-licensed gun dealer. I am a cosponsor of legislation to close the gun show and private sale loopholes, require private sales go through a federal firearms licensee, and penalize states that fail to make data available to the national background check system. I am also a co-sponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban, which bans the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons
and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Corey Stewart: Firearms themselves are not the problem, as John Lott has thoroughly documented in his book, More Guns, Less Crime. We can – and we must – do more to reduce gun violence, without trampling on the 2nd
Amendment rights of lawful Americans. I strongly favor attacking the root causes of violence, through education, smarter policing, and improved mental health care. In addition, we should hire armed security
personnel – perhaps retired police officers – to protect our nation’s schools.
Matt J. Waters: For voters concerned about gun violence, I too share this concern. Of the 38,000 gun related deaths in 2016, 25,000+ are suicides by mostly white men, age 25-65. Black on black violence contributes to an
additional 8,000 gun related deaths annually. Combined, these statistics represent over 87% of the gun related deaths in America. If we desire to reduce gun violence in America, we must address medical depression and we
review the War on Drugs policy (DEA) that may be a leading cause of violence in urban areas. As Senator, I will call for an end to the War on Drugs, and the elimination of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This will help
drive down black on black violence, and ultimately save lives. Regarding depression and other causes of suicide, this is an area that is best left to families, specialized non-profit organizations and the medical profession to
VII. What are your legislative priorities?
Tim M. Kaine: My campaign is focused on access to good paying jobs, education, health care, and true equality for all. Virginia has a strong military presence and as the father of a marine, my priorities in the Senate are to
ensure that the U.S. stays out of unnecessary wars and if we engage that we are successful. I along with Senator Corker are leading an effort to replace the 2001 and 2002 authorization for use of military force with an updated AUMF against al-Qaida, the Taliban and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. I have fought against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and believe that we need to continue to improve access to affordable quality health care. I introduced legislation, Medicare-X, a public plan that would provide another option for low-cost health insurance choices and create more competition in the marketplace. Finally, career and technical education (CTE) has always been a passion of mine and I believe CTE can strengthen the links between the
classroom and the workplace.
Corey Stewart: In the United States Senate, I will fight tirelessly to:
• Lower taxes, grow the economy, and bring back jobs
• Build the wall, end sanctuary cities, and crack down on criminal illegal aliens
• Defend 2nd Amendment rights, while attacking the root causes of violent crime
• Fully repeal and replace Obamacare
•Rebuild our military and support our veterans
Matt J. Waters: We must stop out of control government spending. The $22 trillion debt is the single greatest threat facing this country. We are adding $1 million a minute to the debt. To eliminate it, we must enact 1.Reform Entitlements, 2. Cut Government Spending (military/domestic and foreign programs/agencies) and 3.Eliminate the personal federal income tax (this will force cuts in spending, and return property to the American
Disclaimer: The contact information provided in “Voters’ Guide” was furnished by the campaigns to the League of Women Voters of
the Fairfax Area (LWVFA), obtained from the Fairfax County Office of Elections, or official websites. The LWVFA is not responsible for any
changes or inaccuracies in the listings; the information was current as of October 21, 2018. This is not an official publication for any
campaign or candidate, but information only. The LWVFA can be reached at 703-658-9150, on the web at www.LWV-Fairfax.org, on our
Facebook page, www.facebook.com/lwvfairfax, twitter.com/LWVfairfax, or at LWVUS www.vote411.org.