These are some of the critical issues voters will consider in the congressional campaign and election on Tuesday November 6.
Senator Nicole LeFavour is a teacher and former small business owner who grew up in rural central Idaho. She’s served eight years in the legislature standing up for education, small class sizes and to stop budget cuts which have eliminated thousands of Idaho jobs.
I’m an Idaho Democrat because Democrats care about working people, families and small businesses. We believe in communities and that people pull together to overcome great obstacles. We believe a strong public education system and a more affordable college education are the foundations of the American dream.
Our nation needs new congressmen and women determined to solve problems and lead our country back to prosperity and the values of compassion and cooperation that made us great.
Our nation’s job creators are not millionaires or corporations but small businesses and regular working people. Americans create jobs when they can participate fully in the economy, when they can afford replace a broken washing machine, buy clothes for their children, fix the car, eat out at a restaurant or afford a home or college degree.
Congressman Simpson voted again and again to loosen the federal banking regulations that led to our nation’s financial crisis. Sadly he also voted to spend $700 billion to bail out banks without providing any help for the small businesses struggling to get loans to create jobs across Idaho.
Our nation has reduced taxes on millionaires at a time when our national debt has reached record levels. Congress should allow the Bush era tax cuts to expire for everyone making more than $250,000 a year and keep the cuts and credits in place for working families and seniors. If the most wealthy 1% in America again paid their fair share we could trim more than $1.2 trillion from the deficit.
Four years of budget cuts have created fiscal crises in our neighborhood schools, caused property taxes to rise and led to a loss of critical resources teachers need to make sure every child achieves his or her full potential. I strongly oppose forcing kids to learn in crowded classrooms as a result of state and federal budget cuts.
No American should feel that taking on a lifetime of debt is the only way to complete a college degree. We can lower the cost of a college education by using federal funds to incentivize colleges and universities to lower student fees. Increasing accountability for tuition increases and using $1.50 federal incentive for every $1.00 reduction in tuition I believe would pay for itself in the economic benefits of making a college education affordable to more Americans.
Unlike Congressman Mike Simpson, I oppose further cuts to Medicare that jeopardize the security of American Seniors. The nation's budget should not be balanced at the expense of school children, people with disabilities or our seniors. Cutting Medicare violates a promise our nation makes to each American who pays taxes or funds these programs that we will have some level of security in providing for ourselves and living out our lives in our communities as we age.
I will dedicate myself to restoring jobs, not eliminating thousands with irresponsible budget cuts. Food processing plants have closed and most Idaho products are now exported as raw materials, sending Idaho food producing jobs overseas and across state lines. I’d ensure grants, (not incentives which shift taxes to small business and families) are available for Idaho businesses to open food manufacturing facilities that create jobs and prosperity in Idaho.
POLLUTION and HEALTH
I believe that weakening the EPA will only put at risk the clean drinking water and air that the next generation of Idahoans must depend on for a healthy start in life. While we all may trust some industries not to pollute our water and air, others we are glad are watched and regulated by an agency whose job it is to protect human health. Sadly, Mike Simpson has made it a priority to weaken the EPA the one agency charged with using science and solid research to protect American children and families from cancer-causing pollution and toxic contamination.
EQUAL PAY AND RESPECT FOR WOMEN
Today, Idaho ranks 43rd in the nation for how much more a man is paid compared to a what a woman doing the same job is paid for the same work. Unlike Congressman Simpson, I support the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act because it improves families’ ability to bring pay disparities to the attention of our state and nation when they do occur. Fair wages improve our economy and keep families independent and strong.I oppose allowing government to intrude in private matters by mandating that women undergo invasive medical procedures. I believe government should respect the private health decisions of women, families and individuals.
RESPECT & HUMAN DIGNITY
I have worked for decades to advance human rights and respect across Idaho. In contrast, Mike Simpson has refused to address our broken immigration system in a way that unites families and best serves Idaho communities, agriculture, commerce and our economy. Additionally, in Congress Mr. Simpson has consistently opposed legislation to end discrimination against gay people in employment and military service and has even voted against ending the violence too many still face in their communities.
I was never a fan of the Mitt Romney-style mandate to buy private insurance as it was included in the nation’s health care law. Sadly Congress made the industry more powerful by mandating that everyone buy private insurance. A strong nationwide non-profit program would be far more affordable and could simplify the current system which has created endless administrative costs in every doctor’s office and hospital. There are some important new consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act or "Obamacare." Telling insurers they can't deny coverage to Americans because of pre-existing conditions has saved many families and individuals from going without any insurance. I also support the provision which allows young people to stay on their parents plans until age 26. There's still much work to do and it's time for congress members to start proposing solutions and stop playing politics with people’s lives. It's time to fix the law to ensure no American goes bankrupt over medical bills or fear that the cost having of insurance is out of their reach.
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