Welcome to WCCO.com’s 2020 political guide!
We reached out to all Minnesota candidates running for U.S Senate and U.S Congress this fall. Candidates were asked to provide a two-minute video discussing their platform as well as answer a set of our viewers’ questions.
Above is the video and below are the answers Dan Feehan provided. This is not a paid advertisement nor does WCCO endorse any candidate.
Responses from Dan Feehan, Democratic candidate for the 1st District:
Do you believe racial disparities exist in Minnesota and across the country? If so, what policy changes would you propose to combat this?
This summer, I have been inspired to see so many speak out across southern Minnesota and call on Congress to make all of our communities safer and more equitable. These calls have gone unanswered for too long, and I believe it is Congress’s role to respond to those calling for justice and to lead in addressing the racial disparities that exist.
This means reforming not only our criminal justice system, but our education system and our healthcare system, all of which have in some way failed us and brought us to where we are today. In Congress, I will continue to listen to those calling for justice and work with advocates and experts to promote policies that increase equity and keep our communities safe.
Do you believe the federal government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has been adequate? If not, what could have been done differently? Do you believe there should be a national mask mandate?
The vacuum of federal leadership in combating the coronavirus pandemic has been unacceptable. That my opponent has promoted conspiracy theories about COVID-19, continued to accept campaign contributions from Big Pharma, and supported repealing healthcare coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, including COVID-19, at a time when access to affordable, quality healthcare is more important than ever is particularly shameful.
We can beat COVID-19, but we must implement a national strategy to test and trace, and ensure adequate levels of affordable PPE to keep our healthcare professionals, frontline workers, and communities safe.
Furthermore, we need to protect and improve our healthcare system. I will fight to make healthcare and prescription drugs affordable and protect every southern Minnesotan who has a pre-existing condition.
What policy changes would you propose to jump-start the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic? Should the federal government pass an additional stimulus bill? If so, what should it include?
People are hurting and we must get the economy going again, but the only way we can do that is if we get the virus under control. In Congress, I would advocate for a national testing and tracing strategy, as well as a plan to manufacture sufficient PPE for our nation’s essential workers.
Unfortunately, the federal government and Jim Hagedorn have prioritized megacorporations and their political donors over small businesses, farmers, and working families in southern Minnesota. Jim Hagedorn even voted against disclosing the recipients of federal aid that included fraudsters and companies owned by the Chinese Communist Party. I find that unacceptable, that is why I support measures that give direct aid to the people, police, fire fighters, medical professionals, our teachers, and small businesses who need it to ensure we jump-start our economy.
What do you think is the root cause of the civil unrest in our community and across the country?
Violence must never be tolerated. In Congress, I will work with community leaders, local business owners, law enforcement, and educators to ensure we keep our communities safe and build a more equitable society. We must also ensure healthcare, including mental healthcare, is affordable and accessible for everyone, fully fund K-12 education, and make post-secondary education opportunities affordable for all students and families.
Furthermore, we need an economy that is fair to workers and not megacorporations. That is why I support tax breaks for working families and small businesses and closing the loopholes that too many megacorporations take advantage of to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
Do you believe that funding for police departments should change, and if so, how should those funds be redirected? Should the federal government implement national police standards?
I oppose defunding or abolishing the police. This summer has shown that we need to spend more on training and community policing but also increase funding for mental health and drug treatment. To oppose systemic change is to deny our Constitutional obligation to strive for a more perfect Union.
Do you believe the government should subsidize broadband internet access for rural areas? Should public school districts reimburse families for the cost of distance learning?
I support the universal service fund and the requirement that large cities do their part to ensure the entire country gets much needed broadband. Our communities in southern Minnesota are in desperate need of increased investment in rural broadband. By supporting broadband, we can assist our schools, small businesses, and economies in Minnesota’s First District. In Congress, I would hope to lead on investments in infrastructure that included rural broadband.
Do you think the current Minnesota gun laws are adequate? If not, what changes would you make?
Gun violence has touched my life far more than I would have ever wanted. As a former soldier, having served two combat tours in Iraq, I’ve handled weapons of war. As a middle-school math teacher in underserved communities, I’ve lost former students to gun violence on our city streets. As a private citizen, I have had friends take their lives with guns. We must address this public health crisis in a holistic manner that touches on the numerous ways that guns impact our society, starting with research that drives evidenced-based policies. With research, we must then implement common sense gun reform such as universal background checks and promoting the culture of gun safety that is shared by the vast majority of southern Minnesotans.
Do you support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana?
I support the legalization and regulation of the recreational usage of marijuana as well as the funding of research into the medicinal uses of marijuana especially for veterans and seniors.