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Decision 2020: Rick Stewart, candidate, United States Senator

(KWQC) – Note: TV6 reached out to state and federal candidates with a list of questions aimed at helping voters make an informed decision in the 2020 General Election.

The questionnaires will be posted to our special election website, www.kwqc.com/decision2020.

TV6 does not endorse any candidates.

Name: Rick Stewart

Age: 69

City: Cedar Rapids

Education: BA Coe College, MBA University of Chicago

Occupation: Entrepreneur

Experience: Police Officer, founder and former CEO of $200 million natural foods business

Party: Libertarian

Election website/social media: Website, rickstewart.com; Facebook, @IowaRick; Twitter, @RickStewart

What is the most important issue facing the state of Iowa, and how would you address it if elected?

As always the most important issue facing the state of Iowa is the economy. Federal and State politicians have insisted on meddling in it, with the entirely predictable effect of making it worse.

I will always vote against government meddling in the economy. No more bank bailouts, no more pandering to special interests, no more false promises of job creation, no more spending more than the government collects in taxes.

How do you rate the nation/state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic so far? What would you do differently, and why?

Epidemiologists have performed admirably, by following the playbook they have been working on for decades.

Politicians have performed miserably, by using the pandemic to help them win future elections. They do this by pretending to know something, when in fact they know essentially nothing. Instead of uniting the nation in the common cause of minimizing the damage caused by the pandemic, they have managed to make it worse.

The media has failed to do its job of disseminating the information all of us need to participate in the fastest possible recovery. They have used COVID clickbait to spread the misinformation spewed by the politicians, they have relegated the epidemiologists’ knowledge to the back pages, and they have failed to clearly articulate the difficult trade-offs that must be made in order for the country to forge past this period of difficulty and into a healthy and prosperous future for everyone.

As a United States Senator I will do my best to balance the goal of the epidemiologists (save lives) with the goal of the economists (minimize economic damage, while allocating resources efficiently and fairly), then clearly communicate the rationale behind these tough choices to all citizens, in order to unite the country and get everyone working together to conquer this pandemic.

What will you do or advocate to help those who are out of work and those who are in need of housing?

The only answer to people out of work and needing housing is to grow the economy as fast as possible while ensuring that the least advantaged among us are not left behind.

I advocate getting the government completely out of the business of trying to manage the economy, in order to let it grow rapidly. Until the poorest among us are able to participate in a strong economy, I advocate a Universal Basic Income, which functions similarly to the stimulus checks recently distributed, but will be on a far larger scale and more regular schedule.

Recent Pew Research data shows 49% of voters expect to have difficulty casting a ballot for the November election. What is your reaction to this belief, and what needs to be done?

My reaction is regret, because the solution is not difficult and, if politicians had not been busy trying to game the current system, could have already been implemented. Blockchain technology can allow us to vote electronically, with more security than either in person or absentee balloting. Unfortunately, politicians have squandered the opportunity and thus we will have to wait until a future election to take advantage of blockchain technology.

There has been a renewed discussion, both locally, statewide, and nationally, about policing reform since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Do you think reforms are needed and, if so, what might those changes look like?

The single most important reform is to eliminate the racist Drug War. This can be done immediately, at great savings to taxpayers, and great benefit to the racist Drug War’s victims.

When law enforcement is no longer focusing on the racist Drug War it will begin to serve the actual needs of citizens, namely the protection of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

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