We at OnTheIssues.org ask all candidates for answers to our 20 questions in our VoteMatch quiz. The following Senate candidates have responded in detail. Responding to press inquiries like ours shows a level of openness that augurs well for the candidate in office, regardless of party affiliation.
Almost always, the incumbent ignores our requests, indicating that they don't want their constituents to know their issue stances. We track their voting records accordingly, and infer their VoteMatch responses based on those. We also collect up public statements and book excerpts, and include those in our VoteMatch quiz results as well.
Below are the responses from this year's candidates.
| OnTheIssues.org excerpts: (click on issues for details)
Heather Johnson: Abortion is social issue, not government issue.
Frank Gilbert: Life begins at conception.
Sean Haugh: Supports abortion rights.
Jeff Bell: Science demonstrates that the unborn are human.
Jeff Bell: Ban abortion after 20 weeks, or for sex selection.
Sam Clovis: Pro-life from conception to natural, dignified death.
Matthew Hess: Supports right to abortion although personally opposed.
Tom Hoefling: Strongly opposes abortion.
Karen Testerman: Right to life is a fundamental principle.
Rob Maness: 100% pro-life.
Sharon Hansen: Personally opposes abortion, but decision up to each woman.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Strongly pro-life.
Scott Keller: Find non-life-ending options for ending a pregnancy.
Scott Keller: It's not a woman's choice whether baby lives or dies.
Scott Keller: The baby's body is not the woman's body; provide new options.
Budget & Economy|
Heather Johnson: Meet community needs locally, instead of federal stimulus.
Frank Gilbert: Stimulus often makes things worse.
Sean Haugh: Opposes stimulus funding.
Jeff Bell: Market-led recovery instead of stimulus.
Sam Clovis: No government interference in markets; no stimulus.
Matthew Hess: No stimulus requiring printing money; let companies go broke.
Tom Hoefling: Strongly opposes federal budget stimulus.
Karen Testerman: Market-led recovery better than stimulus.
Rob Maness: Free market is always better than federal stimulus.
Sharon Hansen: Bailouts and stimulus slowed Great Recession recovery.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Federal stimulus did not enhance economic growth.
Scott Keller: End the reign of the banker; test a moneyless model.
Scott Keller: Untie hands of non-profits & alternative model businesses.
Heather Johnson: Let the market change bigots, not affirmative action.
Heather Johnson: Marriage is a private matter, same-sex or not.
Frank Gilbert: Best way to end discrimination is to stop discriminating.
Frank Gilbert: Comfortable with gay marriage.
Sean Haugh: Opposes affirmative action.
Sean Haugh: Supports gay marriage.
Jeff Bell: I do not support affirmative action.
Jeff Bell: Government should uphold one-man-one-woman marriage.
Sam Clovis: Affirmative Action is insulting and racist.
Sam Clovis: Marriage should be between a man and a woman.
Matthew Hess: Government out of private companies: no affirmative action.
Matthew Hess: No government involvement in marriage.
Tom Hoefling: Strongly opposes affirmative action.
Tom Hoefling: Strongly opposes same-sex marriage.
Karen Testerman: Federal government should not establish quotas.
Karen Testerman: Marriage is between one man and one woman.
Rob Maness: Opposes affirmative action.
Rob Maness: I believe in natural marriage.
Sharon Hansen: Don't force hiring based on sex and race.
Sharon Hansen: Homosexuals living as married is none of my business.
Sharon Hansen: Any couple can marry in the eyes of God; forget licenses.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Opposes affirmative action.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Comfortable with same-sex marriage.
Jim Rubens: Endorsed ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Scott Keller: The term "minority" should never be needed.
Scott Keller: No same-sex adoption; don't condone homosexual behavior.
Scott Keller: Other approach to hiring more women & minorities.
Scott Keller: Favors same-sex domestic partnership benefits.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Support tax incentives to job creators, based on hiring.
Scott Keller: Remove corporate personhood.
Heather Johnson: Punishing victimless crimes hurts poor but profits prisons.
Frank Gilbert: Crimes of passion are not deterred by sentencing.
Sean Haugh: Opposes stricter punishment to reduce crime.
Jeff Bell: Stricter punishment reduces crime.
Sam Clovis: Stricter enforcement of the law reduces crime.
Matthew Hess: Punish crimes with victims; but not victimless crimes.
Tom Hoefling: Supports Stricter punishment to reduce crime.
Karen Testerman: The punishment should fit the crime.
Rob Maness: Stricter punishment reduces crime.
Sharon Hansen: I don't know that stricter punishment reduces crime.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Opposes stricter punishment.
Scott Keller: Transform prisons so they help people reform.
Scott Keller: Strongly oppose mandatory Three Strikes sentencing laws.
Heather Johnson: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana.
Frank Gilbert: Marijuana should not be criminalized.
Sean Haugh: Supports legalizing marijuana.
Jeff Bell: Decriminalizing pot will only produce more pot users.
Sam Clovis: Leave marijuana legalization to the states.
Matthew Hess: No marijuana Prohibition.
Tom Hoefling: Never legalize marijuana.
Karen Testerman: Leave marijuana legalization to the states.
Rob Maness: Never legalize marijuana.
Sharon Hansen: Marijuana should be legalized like alcohol.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Medical marijuana is a necessity for many.
Jim Rubens: Study marijuana harmfulness; then let states regulate it.
Scott Keller: No victim, no crime: Legalize marijuana.
Scott Keller: Strongly opposes enforce laws against immoral drug use.
Heather Johnson: Right to education includes school choice.
Frank Gilbert: Parents deserve the right to choose.
Sean Haugh: Supports state-level vouchers with no federal involvement.
Jeff Bell: Expand school choice via Education Savings Accounts.
Jeff Bell: I support prayer in schools.
Sam Clovis: Supports vouchers, charters, and funds following students.
Matthew Hess: Vouchers and competition improve public schools.
Tom Hoefling: Getting government out of education is the ultimate goal.
Karen Testerman: Let parents choose; monies should follow the student.
Rob Maness: Supports vouchers for school choice.
Sharon Hansen: Vouchers for school choice.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Vouchers for school choice.
Scott Keller: Education, not reducation: help critical thinking.
Scott Keller: Strongly opposes teacher-led prayer in public schools.
Scott Keller: Communitize instead of government control or privatization.
Energy & Oil|
Heather Johnson: Push green living instead of tax breaks for SUVs & Big Oil.
Frank Gilbert: Oppose government prioritization of green energy.
Sean Haugh: No federal funds for green energy.
Jeff Bell: End $24 billion in green energy subsidies.
Sam Clovis: All energy sources must be developed within market viability.
Matthew Hess: No subsidies for green energy, nor for any energy sector.
Tom Hoefling: Strongly opposes prioritizing green energy.
Karen Testerman: Federal Government should not pick winners or losers.
Rob Maness: All-of-the-above approach to energy policy.
Sharon Hansen: Green energy is ok, as long as it's not subsidized.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Oppose prioritizing green energy.
Jim Rubens: Supports revenue neutral carbon tax.
Scott Keller: Sever our ties to oil; advance solar technology.
Scott Keller: Strongly favors replacing coal & oil with alternatives.
Heather Johnson: Those who harm the environment should pay for cleanup.
Frank Gilbert: Courts are betetr protectors of environment than regulators.
Sean Haugh: Human needs & animal rights are not necessarily in conflict.
Jeff Bell: Supports human needs over animal rights.
Sam Clovis: Balance animal rights with human needs.
Matthew Hess: Animal rights unequal to human rights.
Tom Hoefling: Strongly supports human needs over animal rights.
Karen Testerman: Reasonable humane treatment of animals is proper.
Rob Maness: Human needs over animal rights.
Sharon Hansen: God gave man dominion over the animals.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Human needs over animal rights.
Scott Keller: We are the stewards of this planet.
Scott Keller: No $2 billion more for Cash for Clunkers program.
Scott Keller: Stop the profit-driven destruction of the planet.
Families & Children|
Scott Keller: Money should not be a factor in a child's life, period.
Heather Johnson: The U.S. is not the U.N. nor the world police.
Frank Gilbert: US Constitution offers greater protection than UN.
Sean Haugh: Supports maintaining US sovereignty from UN.
Jeff Bell: Maintain US sovereignty from UN.
Sam Clovis: National sovereignty maintains national identity.
Matthew Hess: Keep US sovereign from UN, and from other nations too.
Tom Hoefling: Strongly supports US sovereignty from UN.
Karen Testerman: Maintain US sovereignty from UN.
Rob Maness: Maintain US sovereignty from UN.
Sharon Hansen: Maintain US sovereignty from UN.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Maintain US sovereignty from UN.
Jim Rubens: Maintain US sovereignty from UN.
Scott Keller: Be helpers, not conquerors.
Heather Johnson: Free markets are the fairest form of voluntary exchange.
Frank Gilbert: Open our economy to other free markets.
Sean Haugh: Supports real free trade, not NAFTA and CAFTA.
Jeff Bell: Support & expand free trade.
Sam Clovis: Free markets take care of themselves.
Matthew Hess: Free & open trade is the key to economic success.
Tom Hoefling: Free trade while putting American interests first.
Karen Testerman: Trade should be fair to all.
Rob Maness: Support & expand free trade.
Sharon Hansen: I absolutely support free trade.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Opposes free trade.
Jim Rubens: Expand free trade.
Scott Keller: Eliminate ALL barriers to free trade.
Scott Keller: Strongly supports expanding free trade.
Heather Johnson: End need for big money; open up elections to third parties.
Frank Gilbert: Voting should not be limited by the government.
Sean Haugh: Opposes stricter limits on political campaign funds.
Jeff Bell: Higher campaign contributions will help non-incumbents.
Don Berwick: Fight overturn or repeal Citizens United.
Sam Clovis: Money is speech; no campaign finance limitations.
Matthew Hess: Divest money from political campaigns; no "buying office".
Tom Hoefling: Limits on campaign funds violate the First Amendment.
Karen Testerman: Transparency at all levels for campaign funds.
Rob Maness: Opposes stricter limits on political campaign funds.
Sharon Hansen: Stricter limits on political campaign funds.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Stricter limits on political campaign funds.
Jim Rubens: Public elections financing with restricted campaign spending.
Scott Keller: Round-robin voting, working up from local to national.
Scott Keller: Eliminate or reduce "retirement pay" for congressmen.
Scott Keller: End government secrecy; restore openness of information.
Scott Keller: Grant Washington DC an Electoral vote & vote in Congress.
Scott Keller: Strongly favors stricter limits on political campaign funds.
Heather Johnson: Even non-violent MLK kept guns at home for self-defense.
Heather Johnson: Right to self-defense and right to rebel.
Frank Gilbert: The Second Amendment is clear.
Sean Haugh: Supports absolute right to gun ownership.
Jeff Bell: Gun violence rooted in social breakdown, not gun ownership.
Don Berwick: Weapons of war have no place on our streets.
Sam Clovis: The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Matthew Hess: Right of self-defense is a natural right.
Tom Hoefling: Strongly supports gun rights.
Karen Testerman: Right of the people to keep and bear arms.
Rob Maness: Absolute right to gun ownership.
Sharon Hansen: I am 100% pro second amendment.
Sharon Hansen: Gun violence increases proportionate to level of gun control.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Supports "open carry" and NRA.
Scott Keller: 2nd Amendment deters tyranny; not just self-defense.
Scott Keller: Favors absolute right to gun ownership.
Heather Johnson: MnCare was better than ObamaCare.
Frank Gilbert: Providing insurance not a proper function of government.
Sean Haugh: Opposes expanding ObamaCare.
Jeff Bell: Replace ObamaCare with tax credits & special coverage.
Sam Clovis: Repeal ObamaCare.
Matthew Hess: ObamaCare is unconstitutional.
Tom Hoefling: Strongly opposes ObamaCare.
Karen Testerman: ObamaCare should not require purchasing specific items.
Rob Maness: Strongly opposes ObamaCare.
Sharon Hansen: ObamaCare is a miserable failure.
Sharon Hansen: I'd rather die than sign up for ObamaCare.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Revoke and remove socialized medicine.
Scott Keller: Health care should be free for everyone and focus on HEALTH.
Scott Keller: Make society's best interest to help people be healthy.
Heather Johnson: Hold to a non-aggression, non-interventionist ideal.
Frank Gilbert: We do not need a standing army.
Sean Haugh: Opposes expanding the military.
Jeff Bell: Expand the military.
Sam Clovis: Maintain high levels of readiness.
Matthew Hess: Our military budget is too large.
Tom Hoefling: Expand the military as needed to protect sovereignty.
Karen Testerman: Our military should be prepared, ready and able.
Rob Maness: Maintain military with proper funding, training & materiel.
Sharon Hansen: We are spied upon & watched; we are not free anymore.
Sharon Hansen: Non-veteran president should yield commander-in-chief role.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Peace through strength.
Jim Rubens: Eliminate unneeded defense spending; shrink military budget.
Scott Keller: Shift military from oil police to homeland defenders.
Scott Keller: Shift focus away from conquest.
Scott Keller: Wiretapping is a huge invasion of privacy.
Heather Johnson: Apply immigration rules consistently.
Frank Gilbert: Aliens, if not criminals, should get path to citizenship.
Sean Haugh: Supports pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens.
Jeff Bell: Support pathway to citizenship, plus guest workers.
Don Berwick: Comprehensive reform with pathway to citizenship.
Sam Clovis: No amnesty; but allow temporary work permits.
Matthew Hess: Simplify citizenship; don't pursue illegal aliens.
Tom Hoefling: Strongly opposes pathway to citizenship.
Karen Testerman: Illegal immigrants breaking the law should not be rewarded.
Rob Maness: No pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens.
Sharon Hansen: Illegal aliens are foreign invaders.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Yes, border security, but it's not black-and-white.
Jim Rubens: No comprehensive immigration reform.
Scott Keller: Make immigration more welcoming and helpful.
Scott Keller: Treat immigrants like people regardless of where born.
Scott Keller: Train immigrants coming to America to speak English fluently.
Scott Keller: No more lottery; just invite everyone who wants to come.
Scott Keller: Hard stance on companies hiring illegal immigrants.
Scott Keller: Strongly supports illegal immigrants earning citizenship.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Opposes minimum wage increase & any government mandated wage.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Opposes "Card Check": union votes should be secret.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Supports Right-to-Work: no requirements to join unions.
Scott Keller: Job = human hamster wheel.
Principles & Values|
Heather Johnson: Support separation of church and state.
Frank Gilbert: Keep God, and all religion, in the public sphere.
Sean Haugh: Neutral on role of God in the public sphere.
Don Berwick: I believe steadfastly in the separation of church and state.
Sam Clovis: Separate church & state, but keep God in public square.
Matthew Hess: Keep government separate from religion.
Tom Hoefling: Strongly supports keeping God in the public sphere.
Karen Testerman: Our inalienable rights come from our Creator.
Rob Maness: Keep God in the public sphere.
Sharon Hansen: Vote based on majority views of constituents.
Sharon Hansen: If "God" in public places offends you, go elsewhere.
Sharon Hansen: God was given great importance by our founding fathers.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Keep God in the public sphere.
Scott Keller: Seek the truth; do what works; don't do what doesn't work.
Scott Keller: Society's system of systems is fundamentally flawed.
Heather Johnson: Privatize program to make up for borrowing & defunding.
Frank Gilbert: Let citizens invest in anything other than a Ponzi scheme.
Sean Haugh: Supports privatizing Social Security.
Jeff Bell: No means testing or other confiscatory schemes.
Jeff Bell: Cut payroll tax rate to reduce baby boom deficit.
Don Berwick: Oppose any efforts to privatize, including chained CPI.
Sam Clovis: Transition Social Security to a private structure.
Matthew Hess: Privatize Social Security; remove limits on IRAs.
Tom Hoefling: Strongly supports privatization.
Karen Testerman: Employee-controlled individual savings accounts.
Rob Maness: Keep Social Security solvent for future generations.
Sharon Hansen: Privatize because government will raid the Trust Fund.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Strongly supports privatization.
Scott Keller: All Social Security money MUST go to Social Security.
Scott Keller: Communitize instead of statism or privatization.
Heather Johnson: Flat tax temporarily, until spending is limited.
Frank Gilbert: Taxes should not be a form of punishment.
Sean Haugh: Cut taxes for everybody.
Jeff Bell: America's tax system is outrageously complicated.
Don Berwick: Ask people with higher incomes to pay higher rates.
Sam Clovis: Repeal the 16th Amendment; replace IRS with FairTax.
Matthew Hess: Opposes taxes regardless of income.
Tom Hoefling: Progressive taxation violates "Equal Protection" clause.
Karen Testerman: Redistributing wealth does not produce a robust economy.
Rob Maness: Don't raise taxes on the wealthy.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Strongly supports lower & flatter taxes.
Sharon Hansen: We are paying way too much in taxes.
Sharon Hansen: Our tax percentage only climbs; it never goes in reverse.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: The wealthy generate jobs.
Jim Rubens: Don't raise taxes, but means-test retirement benefits.
Scott Keller: No federal taxation, period.
Scott Keller: Strongly opposes making taxes more progressive.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Competitive marketplace on Internet, including data pricing.
Scott Keller: Technology not to be feared but to be controlled & utilized.
War & Peace|
Heather Johnson: No intervention in Iran; we harmed them too much already.
Frank Gilbert: Stay out of Iran, and Syria, and Bhutan...
Sean Haugh: Supports staying out of Iran.
Jeff Bell: Make sure Iran does not develop a nuclear weapons program.
Sam Clovis: Stop Iran's nuclear program now.
Matthew Hess: Stay out of Iran, and stay out of everywhere else.
Tom Hoefling: Intervene in Iran if a threat to national security or allies.
Karen Testerman: Define a clear mission in Iran, and whether it is vital.
Rob Maness: Stay out of Iran.
Sharon Hansen: Stay out of Iran unless Iran attacks us directly.
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Iran is an absolute and real threat.
Jim Rubens: Iran must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons.
Scott Keller: Be about peace and the world will follow.
Scott Keller: Strongly favors US out of Iraq & Afghanistan.
Welfare & Poverty|
Matt Wiedenhoeft: Limit total welfare amount to avoid permanent recipients.
Scott Keller: Welfare is a very ineffective approach to solving poverty.
Scott Keller: Favors allowing churches to provide welfare services.