Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

US Representative, District 4

2-year term. Must be 25 years or older, a US citizen, and a resident of Texas. Responsible for representing the citizens of the district in which he/she is elected in the US House of Representatives.

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  • Candidate picture

    Ken Ashby
    (L)

  • Candidate picture

    Catherine Krantz
    (Dem)

  • John Ratcliffe
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

Immigration: What changes, if any, would you propose to the current immigration policy for (1) current undocumented residents, and (2) the over 4 million people on the waiting list to get a visa to enter the country? Why?

Foreign Intervention: Under what circumstances should the US intervene militarily in a foreign conflict?

Economy: What federal policies do you support to maintain a healthy economy and enable the public to improve their economic positions?

Representation: What steps would you take to ensure that you represent all of your constituents? Do you participate in town hall meetings?

Healthcare: What legislation would you support, if any, to ensure comprehensive, affordable healthcare for all Americans?

Other Issues: What other issues do you believe will be most pressing in the next session of Congress, and what is your position on these issues?

Education BA, Sociology, Honors Program, University of Kentucky, 1975; BA, Education, Math & Coaching, Eastern Kentucky University, 1977; BS, Electrical Engineering, University of Kentucky, 1984.
Experience I am not a career politician. I grew up on a farm and have worked as a high school teacher and coach, a college math instructor, and an engineer in a high-tech corporation. I now help non-profits and small businesses serving the running community.
Campaign Phone (214) 340-5091
Immigration has been chaotic for decades with restrictive laws that cannot be enforced. Republicans want to keep out and deport as many immigrants as they can. Democrats want to put them on welfare and to protect criminals and terrorists with sanctuary. Their compromises favor those here illegally over those waiting lawfully to get in.

Why not have a system that legalizes those who are contributing to America, but keeps out the bad guys and prohibits welfare? Let each get in line and make his case. It will take Libertarians to do this, because Republicans and Democrats have shown themselves incapable.
Both Republicans and Democrats continue to wage a Middle East war that has gone on for 15 years with no end in sight, costing America thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. Those countries don't appreciate what we are trying to do for them. What is the point of fighting wars on the opposite side of the world if we cannot win?

I oppose the use of combat forces abroad, unless we are attacked. The U.S. should keep out of other countries' conflicts. Intervening makes America more enemies and less secure. Cut off foreign aid to nations supporting terrorism. It will take Libertarians to do this, because Republicans and Democrats have shown themselves incapable.
For a decade, the U.S. economy has grown at a rate of two percent, not much faster than the population. We have fallen behind other countries which have lower taxes and fewer regulations on business. We go deeper in debt to import $3 trillion of goods and services each year, while 90 million working-age Americans lack jobs.

Socialist control of business by government hasn't worked. It takes free markets to grow an economy. Repeal regulations which do not protect people's rights. Scrap the 10,000-page tax code and replace it with a simple, flat tax. It will take Libertarians to do this, because Republicans and Democrats have shown themselves incapable.
The first step in just representation is for the Representative and his constituents to understand the duties of Congress as detailed in Article I of the Constitution. There are 18 specific powers granted to Congress. All else is reserved to the states or to the people. Do not expect Congress to legislate matters outside its jurisdiction.

It is impossible for a Congressman to communicate individually with all 750,000 people in his district. However, I expect to meet with all interested groups, including town halls, and to maintain office staff sufficient to address any individual concerns and inquiries.
Health care is not the job of government. Socialist monopolies do nothing efficiently. Medicare and Medicaid are running deficits and going bankrupt. Obamacare has forced up insurance costs. Medical bills keep rising because government and insurance companies are never as careful spending money as people spending it themselves.

Affordable care requires personal responsibility, market competition and consumer choice. Needed reforms include health savings accounts and competition across states. It will take Libertarians to do this, because Republicans and Democrats have shown themselves incapable.
The most pressing issue is the continuing budget deficit and a $20 trillion debt run up under Bush and Obama. Congress must prioritize spending and limit it to the level of revenues. Quit borrowing and drowning our children in debt. Stop using the Federal Reserve to buy debt by inflating our money. It will take Libertarians to do this, because Republicans and Democrats have shown themselves incapable.
Education BA English BA Fine Arts
Experience 20 years of experience in small business ownership and community economic devlopment
Campaign Phone (903) 221-8181
We need work programs that acknowledge the benefits we receive from immigrant workers. For generations, the world’s best and brightest have wanted to come to our country. Without reasonable immigration policy, we run the risk of losing that access to talent. We have already seen the effects of not allowing in the people we need. When we have less farm workers than we need our crops suffer. When our rules are too restrictive, top tech talent stays home and creates thriving industries in their own countries.We so often think of immigration as only about letting people in or keeping people out. But what about the millions of people who are already here? They are working here, spending money here, paying all sorts of taxes here, making contributions here. They should have a realistic process to become citizens if they wish. We need reasonable immigration policies that acknowledge the real value immigrants bring.
Military intervention should never be taken lightly. It brings with it tremendous cost, not only in tragic loss of life on both sides but in economic expense to our country, money that could be spent on other priorities. Our commitments to other countries and our place in the global community create a complex and delicate situation. We need to thoughtfully consider all options before going to war. I firmly believe that war is never the only option and it is rarely the best option. But I do concede, there are times when it is necessary. We must be vigilant in our attempts to avoid it wherever possible and we must have a strong moral compass about the lengths we are willing to go to, especially when loss of life on the opposing side is far greater than ours or when our forces are vastly superior. With great military might comes a moral obligation to use it with integrity.
The widening gap between the rich and the poor has a negative impact on us all. It’s not just about more of us being poor, it’s about the cost of this poverty to society. The cost in less people paying less taxes to maintain our systems. The cost of people having less money to contribute to our economy, less money to spend, less money to save. And it’s about wasted potential, American potential. Less innovation, less advancement for our country. Studies prove that poverty begets poverty, so the situation will only get worse if we don’t adjust course now. We need to focus on ways to raise people out of poverty. We need to invest in improved education that leads to better job opportunities, we need to invest in direct job creation and economic development in low income areas to keep Americans from falling through the cracks and we need to guarantee affordable health care so working families don’t have to worry about an emergency or illness bankrupting their families.
I believe that Democracy requires participation and I believe Democracy requires space for dissenting opinions. This winner take all approach that we have seen in American government recently is not Democracy. Bipartisan policies and programs are stronger, last longer and benefit more people. I am committed to representing ALL of my constituents. As a candidate I am already hosting Town Halsl all across my district to find out what the voters' concerns are and what they would like to see improve in their community. I would continue to host them if elected, probably on a monthly basis.
I support affordable health care. The ACA has had a tremendous impact on millions of Americans who would not have been able to get affordable health care otherwise. It was meant to be a framework to be built upon and more work needs to be done but I think the ACA is a step in the right direction. We urgently need to address the unreasonable cost of healthcare and medication in our country. Americans deserve affordable, accessible, high quality health care. We shouldn’t have to worry about an accident or an illness bankrupting our family. Almost every other country in the world has figured this out, there is no reason we can’t. I would support a single payer system that guarantees all Americans equal access to high quality affordable health care.
I am very passionate about women’s rights. I am a proud feminist. Women need to be paid the same amount for the same work. Equal pay, equal access to the work place and access to affordable child care will be the great equalizers. I look to progress made in Scandinavian countries when it comes to women’s inclusion in government and pay equality. Iceland recently passed a law making it illegal to pay a woman less than a man for the same job, I would propose such legislation in the US. Countries that have programs to insure working women have access to affordable child care have higher pay for women, higher life expectancy, and higher representation of women in government. This is where we should be going as a country. We are going backwards. Texas has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world. This is unacceptable. We need to make women’s rights and women's health a priority and to do this we need equal representation in government.
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