(credit: CBS)

Welcome to WCCO.com’s 2018 political guide!

We reached out to all Minnesota candidates running for U.S Senate, Governor, U.S Congress, Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Auditor this fall. Candidates were asked to provide a two-minute video discussing their platform as well as answer a set of our viewer’s questions.

Above is the video and below are the answers Ilhan Omar provided. This is not a paid advertisement nor does WCCO endorse any candidate.


Responses from Ilhan Omar, DFL candidate for the 5th District:

Should voting rights be restored to convicted felons?

Yes. We must restore voting rights for individuals who have been convicted of felonies and give them the opportunity to participate fully in our democracy. We must also ensure that those being released from incarceration are fully supported in their transition back to society. I believe we must transform our approach to criminal justice and invest in restorative justice practices.

Do you support legalization of the recreational use of marijuana?

Legalizing recreational cannabis nationwide would benefit both our economy and criminal justice system. We cannot move towards this goal without expunging the records and seeking amnesty for those incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses.

Do you believe that there should be a cap on how much money a candidate can spend on campaigning? If so, how much?

Elected officials serve the people, not interests. The strongest campaigns are community funded, through individual and small dollar donations. I believe there needs to be a limit on corporate donations looking to fund campaigns.

Should people convicted of non-violent drug offenses be released from prison and their records expunged?

We should absolutely expunge the records of those who’ve committed low-level drug offenses while ensuring that those being released from incarceration are fully supported in their transition back to society. A large majority of the people we have incarcerated for these crimes are low-income people of color, and we shouldn’t move towards legalization of recreational marijuana without repairing the damage that has been done.

Do you support changing the law to release non-violent drug offenders currently serving federal prison terms?

Yes. Our American criminal justice system, which incarcerates the highest number of people per capita in the world, must be re-imagined. Paired with the legalization of marijuana and the decriminalization of all drugs, we must create a system focus on treatment and rehabilitation, not punishment.

Should Congress appropriate $25 billion to build a security wall along the U.S.-Mexico border?

No, the border wall objective is not only unrealistic, but the wrong way to approach the issue of immigration. We should be passing legislation to ensure reliable pathways to citizenship.

Should children brought to the United States with their parents illegally be given a path to U.S. citizenship, or should they be deported to their native countries?

Yes, not only must we provide paths to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and TPS recipients, we must also pass a clean DREAM Act and abolish ICE.

Do you think North Korea will “denuclearize,” as President Trump says it will?

I am supportive of all efforts to engage with North Korea in diplomatic relations. However, I am incredibly skeptical of the President Trump’s commitment to a diplomatic solution. Just as quickly as he supports negotiations, he may change his mind and support military interventions. Military confrontation would be devastating to the global stability, and likely result in the massive loss of civilian life. In Congress, I will continue to push for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and respect the sovereignty of South Korea and North Korea to normalize the two countries relations.

Do you believe in climate change, and should the U.S. rejoin the Paris climate accords?

Yes, I think climate change is one of the most dangerous threats to our future and we must do everything in our power to prevent further escalation. We must transition to 100% clean energy by 2035, cut subsidies for fossil fuel companies, and put the United States on a path to zero waste. Additionally, I believe that we must have a just transition to a green economy. By investing in clean energy, we will ensure that workers currently employed in the fossil fuel industry will not lose their livelihood.

Canada is retaliating for the U.S. tariffs by imposing tariffs of its own on Minnesota products. Among the Minnesota products: grain, aluminum, boats and boat accessories, packaged dairy products, ATVs, and much more. China imposed retaliatory tariffs on Minnesota soybeans and pork products. Do you believe it will hurt Minnesota producers?

Yes, President Trump’s trade wars are already beginning to hurt Minnesota farmers and producers. We need to reassess our trade policies and prioritize the voices and needs of Minnesotans.