(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 Joe Radinovich provided. This is not a paid advertisement nor does WCCO endorse any candidate.

Responses from Joe Radinovich, DFL candidate for the 8th District:

Should voting rights be restored to convicted felons?

Yes, as long as they have served their time.

Do you support legalization of the recreational use of marijuana?

Yes. I support legalization, both medicinally and recreationally. I also support farmers having the right to cultivate agricultural hemp. I believe that the federal prohibition on research of the benefits of medicinal marijuana for illnesses ranging from chronic seizures in children to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) impacting our veterans is wrong, and that it should be thoroughly studied to assess benefits and risks in the same way we study many other drugs. As a part of legalization, I believe we should act to expunge the criminal records of Americans who have marijuana offenses, and that we should put the revenue local governments collect from sales after legalization to good use by making stronger investments in healthcare and education that Minnesota families expect.

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

Yes, I believe there should be a cap, but more than that we need to overturn the Citizens United decision that allows limitless amounts of corporate money to be spent on elections. We need to limit the corrupting influence of outside money on our elections. I will stand up against the corrupting influence of corporate special interest money. It is important that our elected leaders are beholden only to the people that elect them, not wealthy corporations that can dole out large campaign contributions. That’s why I will not accept corporate PAC money. No campaign for Congress in Minnesota should cost millions of dollars, and in this race we’ve seen multitudes of that total spent by outside groups alone.

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

Yes, if nonviolent drug offenses are the only reason they are incarcerated. We must also connect these people to the resources for recovery they need, and make investments in those resources, so addiction doesn’t trap them in a cycle that leads them back to incarceration.

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

Yes. Too many young people have been unnecessarily swept into the criminal justice system, making it more difficult for them to secure a good job and find affordable housing. We must instead prioritize investments that expand opportunities for individuals throughout life such as early childhood education programs, increased access to quality healthcare, and affordable childcare.

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


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?

Children should never take blame for the actions of a parent. It runs counter to our core values as Americans to punish those who have been brought here through no choice of their own. Children brought to the United States with their parents illegally should absolutely be given a path to U.S. citizenship.

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

No. The North Korean government has broken its commitment to the international community to denuclearize several times over the last three decades and the President’s trip did not secure promises from the regime to take tangible steps to eliminate their nuclear arsenal.

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

Yes, and yes. Climate change is real and is one of the greatest threats to our planet. We must work with our international partners to expand our efforts to reduce our global carbon footprint, transition to clean technology, and reduce our use of fossil fuels.

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, soybean farmers are dealing with a steep decline in prices since the tariffs were imposed. We need smart trade deals that value American workers and environmental standards. Additionally, when tariffs are imposed they should be strategically targeted as opposed to the President’s careless approach so we don’t incite a global trade war, especially with our allies.