BPT Q&A: U. S. Representative 4th Congressional District

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Stacey Tinsley | Bossier Press-Tribune

The Bossier Press-Tribune asked each candidate the same three questions concerning the upcoming general election on Nov. 3. 

All candidates were contacted via the information from the Louisiana Secretary of State and given a deadline for response. Those responses appeared in this week’s and last week’s editions of the Bossier Press-Tribune and are available online at bossierpress.com.

“Mike” Johnson

What your priorities will be for our area if elected?

My objective is to continue my work supporting our military and veterans, preserving our constitution and fundamental freedoms, and fighting for life, religious liberty and the traditional American values we hold dear.

Because the coronavirus and natural disasters this year have had such a devastating affect upon Louisiana, one of my highest priorities will be to advance policies that will ensure our fastest route to economic recovery and growth.  We had record economic numbers and job growth prior to the pandemic, and we can achieve that again if we double down on those same aggressive policies.

Why are you running for U. S. Representative 4th Congressional District?

Over these last two terms in Congress, I’ve fought tooth and nail to bring results back to the 4th District; results that decreased taxes and burdensome regulations, increased pay for American workers and our service members, brought pro-life and religious freedom victories, brought home infrastructure funding, and supported our local farmers. We have accomplished a lot together, but I know that my work is not yet finished. I will continue to be a tireless fighter for Louisianians if honored to serve them another two years.

Why should someone vote for you?

It is no exaggeration to say that this is the most important election of our lifetime. The very future of our republic will be determined over the next two years. America is at a crossroads, and this is not a game. We must send representatives to Congress who are grounded in timeless principle, highly experienced in defending our constitution and values, and fiercely devoted to delivering results for the people. I have always believed that record matters infinitely more than rhetoric. I trust that the voters of Louisiana’s 4th District know my heart and can make their decision based upon my well-documented record. My family and I are truly grateful for the encouragement and support of the extraordinary people we represent. 

Ben Gibson

What your priorities will be for our area if elected?

I pledge myself to the defense of all of your constitutional rights. Today we are beset with those who think you can choose which of your rights you are entitled to and which they can infringe. I believe that ALL of your rights are equally important. Free speech, Privacy, Religious Freedom, and your right to keep and bear arms are all sacred to me.

Why are you running for U. S. Representative 4th Congressional District?

Your Congressman needs to be a representative for our district first and foremost, not a cog in the Washington political machine. As your Congressman, I will work to improve bringing you better job opportunities, improve education at all levels, and endeavor to improve your quality of life.

Our Government was designed to serve the people, but it doesn’t feel that way today. Do you think that members of Congress are your servants? Neither do I. We need a limited government that doesn’t exist to serve itself or a political party. I will work to reduce the federal government, increase transparency, and pass term limits for our Congress and Senate.

Why should someone vote for you?

I wholeheartedly agree with President Trump’s America First policy. We need a strong modern military dedicated to identifying future threats and being prepared to deal with them. Cyber threats, Industrial Espionage, and Biological warfare are as great of a threat as terrorism have been in the last two decades.

Kenny Houston

Did not submit answers prior to deadline.

Ryan Trundle

What your priorities will be for our area if elected?

For the past three years I have travelled our district, this year virtually of course, asking people from all walks of life this same question. After all they should never be my priorities, they should be all of ours. The answers were overwhelmingly the same. 

Our most immediate issue is raising peoples wages. 80% of us are living paycheck to paycheck. 40% are in poverty. It is 100% a political decision and not our fault. The average age of a minimum wage worker is 36 and most have more than one job. Working class wages have been stagnant for decades while executive pay doubles every few years. Rent, food, utilities and everything else keep getting more expensive. Whatever salary or hourly wage you make is tied directly to the minimum wage. Fortunately there is a well researched solution. Since 1938 when minimum wage was first introduced economists have studied its effects. What happens every time minimum wages are increased everyones wages rise accordingly. When people have more money they spend more greatly increasing revenue for businesses and increasing tax revenue for the city and state. The cost of goods does rise on average less than one percent but it is far less than the increased wages. To put it in perspective if the minimum wage increased with inflation and production it would be $22 an hour, three times what it is now. Your wage would be three times what it is now. All wealth comes from workers labor, you deserve your fair share. 

We should also keep in mind that 40% of active duty military families qualify for food assistance while more than 7 million seniors and 2 million veterans are living in poverty. We must raise their wages immediately as well. By the way our congressman, knows this but has not just voted against every bill that would help, but has actually voted to drastically reduce funding for social security and assistance programs. 

Last year, more than 500,000 families declared bankruptcy due primarily to medical bills, many had health insurance. Millions more will be paying off medical bills for decades to come, if ever. This does not happen in any other modern country where they have much better healthcare for a fraction of the price of ours. The difference is they don’t pay for executive jets and billion dollar executive salaries or to make up for the millions of unpaid medical bills that get passed on to us. Personally I think it is more than immoral to profit off others misfortune. I also just want what every other modern country has, better health care with no deductibles, out of pocket or co-pays for less than half of what we pay now. For these reasons I will fight for universal health care like Medicare for All. It would also save large businesses billions of dollars a year while helping small businesses who could not afford to pay benefits compete. 

If you are anything like me you don’t mind sacrificing to make a better life for your children. We will eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch every day and not buy ourselves new clothes for a year to afford things that will make a better life for our kids. One thing many people can never save enough for is college and most young adults don’t want to begin their adult life with $100,000 in debt. College has become a privilege of the wealthy. I believe every child should have an equal chance to achieve their full potential so I will fight for bringing back tuition free colleges, trade schools and pre-k. 

Lastly congress has a 13% approval rating I think because they leave 87% of us behind. Elitist millionaire lawyers only write laws that help other millionaires who fill their wallets. Money is the root of all evil and politicians have lots of money. For everyone to have an equal voice in DC we must eliminate big money from politics. No more anonymous funding, no more corporate donations and putting a limit on donations a campaign can collect. I personally am not taking any donations from PACs, Super PACs or corporations and everyone in my campaign including myself is a volunteer. Some candidates pay themselves millions, That should stop as well.  

All of these policies are the basis for achieving racial, environmental, gender and economic justice giving an equal playing field for all. We may not always win the game but at least we should be allowed to play. 

Why are you running for U. S. Representative 4th Congressional District?

I have been fighting for people and the environment my whole life as an activist, community organizer and volunteer, most of the time against greedy politicians and the unethical corporations that control them. I am sick and tired of seeing the American people being taken advantage of while our elected officials do nothing or worse. I am running in a race dominated by a corrupt political system and the special interests of the wealthy so I won’t be accepting money or support from super PACs or corporations. I am running to create a government that works for all of us, not just the wealthy, with fair common sense policies.

Why should someone vote for you?

Poverty, outrageously expensive health care, racial injustice, gun violence, crime and many other things are the result of unethical politics. For every problem we have in our society there is at least one country that has it solved. We know exactly what to do. We haven’t fixed these issues because the majority of politicians IN BOTH PARTIES care more about the millionaires and huge corporations that fill their wallets than the people they represent. When you elect millionaire lawyers and rich business owners they only support policies that help other rich people. I am a regular working family man just like most of you who knows what it will take to help people like us who aren’t millionaires get caught up and on the right track. We don’t want handouts we just want a fair shake. For example we should not be paying more in taxes than the ultra wealthy and our taxes should not be used to subsidize executives million dollar bonuses. For everyone anywhere please stop voting for power hungry rich people who don’t care about you. Vote for regular working class people like me who have walked their whole life in your shoes.