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On the Issues


Gaining access to healthcare has been a decades long fight in this country. We fought for Medicare, we fought for the Affordable Care Act, and now we need to fight to protect and maintain those programs.

The next fight is to fundamentally change the American healthcare system to ensure that every American has access to quality insurance and coverage. And that means we need to move to single-payer healthcare. One way to do this would be to expand Medicare to all ages. But the most important thing is to have a system that prioritizes access to care instead of optimizing profits for private companies.

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Opioid Epidemic

Opioid overdoses kill more Americans under the age of 50 than car crashes or gun deaths. Between 2011 and 2015, 3.8 billion opioid pills were prescribed in Ohio alone. To address this crisis, we need to prevent pharmaceutical companies from pumping communities full of drugs and hold the heads of those companies accountable.

There are currently limited adequate options for long-term treatment. We need to provide affordable access to the medicine that will curb the addiction over time. This would be one way to ensure that those who have fallen victim to this epidemic can break the cycle of addiction.

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Jobs & Economy

One thing I’ve learned as a small business owner is that our economy thrives when our citizens have good, decent-paying jobs. We need to focus on creating steady and dependable jobs, while making benefits better for workers. One way to do this is to invest in infrastructure and skilled trades as a source of well paid employment opportunities. We need guaranteed overtime for workers who qualify, paid family leave and the correct classification of employees vs. independent contractors.

We need to fix our retirement system. Not only does Social Security need protection, it needs strengthening. Too many of us are working into old age, with far too little in our 401(k)s. We need to know that there will be something waiting for us to dignify a lifetime spent working.

I believe that we need to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour to reset the standard for what our workers are worth. At the same time, I’m a small-business owner in a low-margin business. I understand that a sharp increase to the minimum wage is unnerving to a lot of folks, but it’s possible to help businesses like mine make that commitment.

The Earned Income Tax Credit is an opportunity to work across the aisle while supporting our lowest-income workers. The EITC progressively scales to lift the pay of workers, without imposing on small businesses like mine.

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Campaign Finance

Right now, the way we finance elections is the clearest demonstration of the gross imbalance of power between average Americans and our richest citizens. In the 2016 election cycle alone, 158 families accounted for roughly one half of all funds raised.

One way to fix this imbalance is a constitutional amendment that would reverse Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In the eight years since the Supreme Court ruled on Citizens United, the voices of our citizens have been drowned out by the wealthiest among us.

We need to make sure that our representatives are working for their constituents and not corporations, and that means we need to make a permanent change to our system. A constitutional amendment protects our voices, and it affirms our right to participate in our democracy. My campaign has already pledged to swear off corporate donations, and that will not change over the course of this election.

Expanding the public financing of elections is another way to fight against the flood of money in politics. There are 13 states that allocate funds for public elections, and they do so either by providing campaigns public funding or by matching candidates’ donations while capping both at a fixed amount. Money isn’t speech, and this is one way to make sure our laws reflect that.

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Public Education

In 2018, our national student loan debt has reached truly astronomical proportions. Here in Ohio, our students are on average $30,000 in debt, and the national average sits at around $37,000 of debt. The cost of tuition has consistently risen faster than the rate of inflation, and since 1990 the average in-state tuition at public universities has more than quintupled.

A large part of the problem is that we’ve slashed public investments in education and put the burden on students, at a time where employers are telling them that a college degree is a prerequisite for an entry-level position. It’s not too late to make that investment in our students. We can make college free for every student that wants to attend a public university or trade school. If we paid tuition for every student currently enrolled in a public institution, it would cost around $70 billion. To put that in perspective, we could cover the total cost of free public education 20 times over, and it would still cost less than the $1.5 trillion-dollar tax cut we gave to billionaires who don’t need it.

We live in the country with the largest economy in the world, but our public investments have not matched our economic growth. We are not putting our students and our children in positions to succeed, and we need to recommit our resources to public education.

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Climate Change

It has taken us far too long to accept that climate change is the greatest challenge the human race will face in our time. We have fallen far behind the rest of the world when it comes to addressing the problem, but the good news is that there are still things we can do.

We need to account for the true cost of fossil fuels, which we can do by putting a price on pollution and refunding the proceeds to American households. This would discourage pollution and put hundreds of dollars per month into American homes. Most importantly, in just 20 years, studies show that such a system could reduce carbon emissions to 50% of 1990 levels while adding 2.8 million jobs to the American economy. We can fight climate change and boost the economy at the same time.

We can also combine our efforts to combat climate change and create jobs domestically. We can be a district that produces solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles. By doing so, we will reduce the demand for natural gas and be able to close fracking injection sites that have caused environmental disasters across the state and country.

We know what the problem is. But just as importantly, we know the solution. The public is on our side, and this country is still up for the challenge. The only thing we need now is the political courage to push for legislation that the fossil fuel industry has been fighting for years, and that means we need the right representatives.

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Women's Reproductive Rights

It’s important to start any discussion of this issue by acknowledging that an individual’s healthcare choices are exceedingly personal, and we shouldn’t allow others to come into that decision-making process. Nobody should make decisions about a woman’s body except the woman herself, and there should not be restricted access to fundamental care.

With that said, there is more that we can do to reduce the total overall number of abortions in this country without invading a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions. These preventative measures include:

  • Covering contraceptives under healthcare insurance, regardless of whether you are insured under plans available in the Health Insurance Marketplace or through private insurance from your employer.
  • Ensuring that all women have access to reproductive healthcare, regardless of economic circumstance.
  • Teaching comprehensive and scientifically accurate sex education, as opposed to abstinence-only sex education, to set up our children to make healthy decisions.

Finally, it is important for me to recognize that I don’t have the lived experiences of women. I want this to be a campaign where diverse perspectives and opinions can be heard. I have sought input from and surrounded myself with people who have different experiences on this issue than myself, and I will continue to do so once elected to Congress.

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Gun Reform

Real gun reform in this country is long overdue. Whenever there is a mass shooting the conversation about guns resurfaces, and each time it fades from the national consciousness before any meaningful change take place. But it shouldn’t take the tragedy of a mass shooting for this discussion to happen. This is a preventable problem and we can do so much more to ensure the safety of our citizens.

I grew up in rural Ohio, so it won’t be a surprise to learn that I was raised in a gun-owning culture. I’m a gun owner, and I use firearms on my farm to protect my crops against wildlife. As Americans, we have the right to bear arms. But I want to be absolutely clear: our right to own a gun does not outweigh our right to be safe and stay alive in public places.

Millions of reasonable gun-owners know that common sense reforms can save lives. We need to adopt universal background checks and close gun-show loopholes. Asking people to buy a gun through a licensed vendor is not too great a burden. We also need common sense legislation to restrict gun sales from people with violent records or a history of domestic abuse.

We need to regulate assault weapons. These weapons were engineered to be used on the battlefield, not against students in a school or civilians at a concert. We've banned assault weapons before and we need to do it again. If Americans want to own AR-15s, they should only be able to shoot and store these weapons at well regulated gun ranges. However, when regulating these weapons we should focus on firepower, not just on the style of weapon. No one should have access to military-grade firepower and we need to implement laws to prevent that.

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Meet John

I'm running to represent Ohio's 12th district in Congress to stand with everyone who can't afford to buy a politician.

As a farmer, small-business owner and native of rural Ohio, I've seen firsthand the importance of economic opportunity for everyone - especially those on the other side of power.

If we want to deliver on our national promise that hard work will pay off, we have to start by electing representatives who understand what that promise really means.

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