The U.S. Capitol building. (Photo by Matt H. Wade via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA)
The Alaska Beacon asked Alaska’s 19 U.S. Senate candidates to answer a 15-question survey about their positions on a variety of issues. Read all of their responses here. Answers have not been edited.
Sean Thorne, Libertarian candidate from Anchorage
Do you believe former President Donald Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent?
Should Election Day be a federal holiday?
Don Young was a longtime supporter of statehood for Puerto Rico. Do you support statehood for Puerto Rico?
Should marijuana be legalized federally?
Would you vote in favor of a bill that codifies abortion rights in US law?
What do you think about the overturning of Roe, and what actions should Congress take on abortion and contraception?
The legal framework with Roe was weak, and although I disagree with the overturning, I can see how it happened on a purely legal interpretation. The number one thing I would like to see from congress to address abortion would be to create a legal definition for personhood in regard to abortion, which to my thoughts is the point of autonomy. Other than that its something that, like many other things, the federal government should be kept out of.
What’s Alaska’s biggest need, and how would you address it?
We need opportunity. More and more, non-elected federal bureaucrats seem to go out of their way to hurt Alaska’s economy. I would like to remove roadblocks to Alaskan business, and give our economy a chance to thrive. I am an environmentalist, and to me that means doing it in Alaska. I have been to over a dozen countries, and I have seen what resource extraction looks like there, and it is not pretty. Everything comes from somewhere, and I would rather it come from here, where we care what the implications are on the environment, where we make good jobs, and where we lead the world in sustainable development.
How should Congress reduce the threat of gun violence and mass shootings?
Stop preventing people from defending themselves. Bad people do bad things, nobody wants it, but making your average law abiding citizen unarmed will not help the situation. I believe the violence we see comes from lack of healthy community and purpose, and any solution has to be community based, not federal one-size-fits-all restrictions. I can say without question that I am the most pro 2A candidate that is running.
What steps should Congress take to balance Alaska’s status as an oil state with the need to address climate change?
We need to ensure that oil comes from Alaska instead of buying it from authoritarian countries that use indentured servitude to drill, kill people for being gay, and pollute with no regard to their environment. Everything comes from somewhere, our industries still need oil, the planet is FAR better off if we are the ones making it. Over time technological advances will give us more solutions to address our shared global problems.
What changes or updates do you want to see in fisheries management?
We have to stop doing the things that are destroying our fish populations. Ideally we could remove federal power from our fisheries, and stop the federal protectionism of destructive practices like trawling. We all know there is a major problem, but the problem players have very good lobbyists. I am interested in what’s good for Alaska, not what’s going to get me campaign support from lobby groups.
Should Congress act to protect voting rights and encourage voting, and if so, how?
Republicans and Democrats both want a voting system that is skewed in their favor. Every presidential election in this century has been contested as fraudulent by the losing side. We need a voting system that is secure and accessible, and that people can have faith in. I don’t know exactly what that looks like at this time, but we certainly don’t have it now and neither party has a good answer. I would absolutely work toward a non-partisan solution.
Alaska has the highest health care costs in the nation. What will you do to reduce costs and improve access to services?
Get the government out of the way by ending things like the certificate of need or the restrictions we place on insurance and telehealth. Deregulation of healthcare would allow for more competition and free market solutions to our healthcare needs.
How should Congress protect the rights of LGBTQ Alaskans?
I believe that Alaska is still the Last Frontier, and should continue to be the end of the road place where everyone can go to live whichever life they want to in peace. As a Senator I would protect everyone’s right to live their life as they see fit. I believe that people should be held back or pushed ahead based on their personal merits, not immutable characteristics.
Alaska families say they’re struggling financially in a variety of ways, including with child care. What actions should Congress take to support families with children?
The number one thing would be to reduce federal spending and inflation, give people some stability. We are over 30 trillion in debt, and its growing every day. Those children are born with over $80,000 in debt, and the more we try to spend our way out of it, the more inflation we will get. Inflation is the unspoken tax that hurts us worse of all by devaluing the assets that we already have.
What criteria would you use to judge the fitness of a judicial candidate?
Our judges need to be people who believe purely in the interpretation of law, not people who use their power to twist the law in promotion of their political agenda. I would not support activist judges on either side.
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