The Daily Record posed three questions by email to Kaj Selmann and Mathew Manweller, the two state House of Representatives candidates for Position 2 in the 13th Legislative District that includes Kittitas County.

Here are their responses:

MATHEW MANWELLER

How will you vote on I-502, which would legalize recreational marijuana and why?

I will be voting no. Although I believe our drug laws need reform, I-502 is not the answer. It will put citizens, law enforcement officials and state agencies in a conflict with federal law. We would face multiple situations where citizens were in compliance with state law but could be prosecuted for violating federal law. In fact, many of the taxes collected by the state could be seized by the federal government. We would also be putting our law enforcement officials in the same precarious situation. Their job is hard enough without putting them in this legal limbo.

How will you vote on the gay marriage initiative and why?

I will be voting no. I am running for state representative and, as such, I am obligated to represent the values of my district. Through numerous statewide votes, the people of the 13th District have unambiguously indicated they do not support gay marriage. I am also concerned about the numerous provisions in the law that authorize civil lawsuits. A marriage bill should not be an attorney employment act.

What are your thoughts on requiring women to undergo ultrasounds, waiting periods or specific types of counseling before receiving an abortion?

In general, I oppose abortion with a few rare exceptions. When I saw my son Lincoln’s ultrasound at 3 months, I knew he was my child, that I loved him, and that he was a living being. I believe viewing ultrasounds would decrease abortions significantly. As an advocate of limited government, however, I would rather see doctors encourage ultrasounds rather than the state mandating them.


KAJ SELMANN

How will you vote on I-502, which would legalize recreational marijuana and why?

My primary concerns around I-502 are fiscal. While the initiative potentially offers much needed new revenue to the state budget, I doubt that is how it will play out. The conflict between the state law and the federal law on this issue would take millions of dollars in litigation costs before any of the potential revenue benefits would kick in. We have more pressing needs in education and infrastructure development. I do favor the repeal of prohibition at the federal level. There are real opportunities lost to our agricultural community when prohibition bans production of industrial hemp. It is one of the most easily grown and versatile plants in the world, and to deny our farmers and industry that commodity in the name of prohibition is a bad trade-off. I will be voting no on I-502, but only because of the fiscal risks.

How will you vote on the gay marriage initiative and why?

I think we’ve had enough of one group trying to make rules and regulations that only apply to someone else. Ref-74 is refreshing in that it is careful to only change the law for the people the law will directly affect. It has strong protections for clergy and religious institutions, so no one has to compromise their beliefs. It also provides for equal protection and privileges under the law, regardless of the person you choose to spend your life with. I have been married to my wife for nearly 15 years. My parents have been married for almost 50. I have tremendous respect for the institution of marriage, and as such, would not deny it to any of my fellow Washingtonians. I will support R-74.

 What are your thoughts on requiring women to undergo ultrasounds, waiting periods or specific types of counseling before receiving an abortion?

I think it is yet another example of one group trying to make rules and regulations that only apply to someone else. I wish more people understood where these types of laws were coming from. This is not homegrown legislation. The American Legislative Exchange Council is behind many of these types of laws. For some perspective, it costs $100 for a two-year membership for a legislator, and $14,000 to $50,000 for a company. They then sponsor “educational conferences” in places like Hawaii or Key West, and corporations can provide “scholarships” for legislators to attend, child care included.

There, they get to network with wealthy corporate donors and wealthy special interests. In exchange, those corporate and special interests get to draft and vote on model legislation with the legislators, and the legislators take that back to introduce to their states. These are pharmaceutical companies, private prisons, and, yes, device manufacturers. Well intentioned, conservative voters then end up supporting a bill that has very little to do with saving unborn lives, and more to do with selling invasive ultrasound devices.

I think requiring women to undergo expensive, invasive, and unnecessary treatments before they are allowed a legal medical procedure is fiscally irresponsible and morally reprehensible, particularly when these bills have more to do with lining pockets than they do with saving lives. I will never support legislation like this.

 

 

Managing Editor, Daily Record

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