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Election Guide: The 2020 Iowa Caucuses

GoGuide 2020 Caucus Guide 

GoGuide Caucus Guide includes interviews with Andrew Yang, Marianne Williamson, John Delaney, Mayor Pete Buttigieg & Senator Amy Klobuchar. Each month will bring a new candidate interview. 

 

Simply scroll down to find the interiview that is of most interest to you.  GoGuide highly recommends that your read each candidate interview.

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Shared Midwestern Values

By Tim Nedoba, political editor, September 2019

September 2019 - A true Midwesterner and a neighbor to our North Amy Klobuchar is running for President of United States of America and is our featured candidate in our ongoing Guide to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses series.

Amy Klobuchar is the senior Senator from Minnesota. She was born in Minnesota on May 25, 1960. She’s a graduate of Yale University and University of Chicago Law School. She returned to Minnesota to practice law before being elected county attorney for Hennepin County in 1998.

Klobuchar was first elected to the Senate in 2006, becoming Minnesota’s first elected female United States Senator, and re-elected in 2012 and 2018. In 2009 and 2010 Senator Klobuchar was described as a “rising star” in the Democratic Party by the Huffington Post and others.

On February 10, 2019, The Amy Klobuchar 2020 presidential campaign began.

“On a cold February day in Minneapolis on the mighty Mississippi River, with thousands of friends and supporters at my side, I announced that I’m running for President of the United States. As I said that day in our nation’s heartland, we must heal the heart of our democracy and renew our commitment to the common good.” AmyKobuchar.com
 

GoGuide Magazine goes one-on-one with Senator Amy Klobuchar

Can you win the Iowa Caucuses?

Well, I’m your Senator next door, and as I like to say, I can see Iowa from my porch! I understand the Midwest, and I’ve been down to Iowa early and often. My plan is to go everywhere because I believe we need to talk to people all over the state. In Minnesota, I’ve won blue, purple, and the reddest of the red counties and I’ve been successful because I listen, I meet people where they are, I hear about the things they need, and I get things done. We’re going to do the same thing in Iowa and across the country.

 

Are you actively seeking the LGBTQ vote in Iowa and and nationally?

 Yes. The LGBTQ community is going to be critical if Democrats are going to win in 2020 and that’s because the LGBTQ community knows how to win. In 2009 the Iowa Supreme Court made Iowa one of the first states in the nation to recognize same-sex marriage. And today there are also more LGBTQ elected officials than ever before. Look at 2018, when we elected my friend Angie Craig, who was running to be the first openly gay member of Congress from Minnesota. We re-elected my next-door neighbor Tammy Baldwin. And we also elected over 150 LGBTQ candidates across the country, more than any previous election!

 

Why should someone who is gay, lesbian, transgender, or questioning vote for you for President?

I believe that we need a President who has the backs of the LGBTQ community, and not a President who wakes up every morning trying to divide our country. We must cross the river of our divides, walk across the sturdy bridge of our democracy to a higher plane in the politics. And that includes fighting for the transgender person who wants to serve, or go to school, or just go out in their neighborhood, without fear. It includes fighting for the young gay man looking for his first apartment or his first job and fighting for the two moms who want to protect their family.

 

And As your President, I will focus on getting things done. I have released a plan of more than 100 actions I will take during my first 100 days as President, and it includes priorities like combating hate crimes, lifting the ban preventing transgender people from serving in the military, and addressing homelessness, suicide and access to life-saving drugs in the LGBTQ community. I will also reverse the harmful anti-LGBTQ administrative actions taken by the Trump Administration when it comes to education, health care, and civil rights, and work to pass the Equality Act in year one of my presidency.

 

The LGBTQ community remembers the Orlando shooting at The Pulse night club. What is your plan to combat gun violence?

Gun violence in America has cut short, far too many lives, torn families apart, and plagued communities across the country. From the shooting in Orlando to the recent tragedies in El Paso and Dayton to the everyday gun violence that takes the lives of the equivalent of a classroom of school children every week, it’s clear that gun safety policies are long overdue.

I support a package of proposals including putting universal background checks in place by closing the gun show loophole, banning bump stocks, high capacity ammunition feeding devices and assault weapons, closing the “Charleston loophole,” and passing my bill to close the “boyfriend loophole.” Right now federal law says if you’re convicted of abusing your wife, you can’t get a gun; if it’s your girlfriend, you can. My bill to close the boyfriend loophole has passed the House of Representatives and has been blocked by Republicans in the Senate -- it’s time to get it done.

For too long, those who side with the NRA have blocked necessary reforms that save lives. I went to the White House and sat across the table from him to make a case for gun safety laws after Parkland. I kept track. Nine times he said he wanted universal background checks. Then the next day, he met with the NRA and folded. As your President, I won’t fold.

The recent mass shootings were also disturbing reminders of the rise in hate in this country. I have been taking on hate crimes and combating hate since I was the Hennepin County Attorney. Because of my work on this issue as County Attorney, I was invited to the White House when President Bill Clinton proposed the Matthew Shepard federal hate crimes bill. In the Senate, I have continued to be a leader when it comes to taking on hate. And as President, I will end the hateful rhetoric that has become all too routine during the Trump Administration, and I will prioritize combating hate-motivated violence and domestic terrorism, including against the LGBTQ community.

 

Healthcare is another critical issue. Please tell us about your plan to improve and make our healthcare system better for all?

 Too many Americans struggle to pay for health care and their prescription drugs. I believe the Affordable Care Act is a beginning, not an end, and we need to make changes on both the state and federal level to bring down health care costs. That includes bringing down the cost of health care for everyone by putting a non-profit public option in place that allows people to buy into affordable health insurance coverage through Medicare or Medicaid.

I have fought the Trump Administration’s efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Before the Affordable Care Act was passed, LGBTQ people who were denied coverage had nowhere to turn, people living with HIV/AIDS couldn’t afford the prescription drugs they needed, and transgender people were flat-out denied care. We can’t let the Trump Administration take us backwards.

When people are sick, their focus should be on getting better, rather than on how they can afford their prescriptions, yet drug prices are an increasing burden across our country. I have been a strong advocate for tackling the high costs of prescription drugs, leading proposals to lift the ban on Medicare negotiations for prescription drugs, allow personal importation of safe drugs from countries like Canada, and stop pharmaceutical companies from blocking less-expensive generics. And as President, I’ll get this done.

 

Is there anything more you would like to share with the GoGuide readers about your platform for President?

One issue that we’re not talking about enough as a country is how we can support our rural areas. And this directly impacts the LBGTQ community -- between 3 million and 4 million LGBTQ people live in rural America. I firmly believe that kids who grow up in rural America and rural Iowa should be able to live there. That’s why I released a plan to help close the rural-urban divide and address some of the unique challenges facing rural areas. My plan is about expanding rural health care — including mental health and addiction treatment — saving rural hospitals, supporting critical access hospital and community health centers, and dramatically expanding telehealth services. It’s about making it easier for workers to housing and education and investing in our rural infrastructure, expanding rural broadband, and ending the digital divide.

 

Follow Senator Klobuchar at  AmyKlobuchar.com.

 

 

GoGuide goes one-on-one with ‘Mayor Pete’

Maybe the most unlikely Presdential candidate now finds himself

among the top tier of a very crowded Democratic field

By Tim Nedoba

August 2019 - 

Are you all in to win the Iowa Caucuses? Can you win Iowa

Absolutely. I’m looking forward to visiting with Iowans from all across the state –– including cities, rural areas, and counties that are not necessarily known for being very Democratic. I think that’s really important. That’s why I was recently up in Cresco, a county that Obama won by 20 points in 2012, and then Trump won by 20 points in 2016.

My introduction to the state was as a volunteer in 2008 knocking on doors for Barack Obama in Decatur, Union, Ringgold counties. I know there are a lot of communities across this state that are Obama-Trump swing counties, and I think that’s a big part of where we need to succeed.

We need more voices from places that have often been neglected or felt left out of the political conversation. And there are so many communities in Iowa, whether it’s an industrial city similar to my hometown of South Bend, or rural communities where people grow up getting this message like I did growing up that success had to mean getting out. This president spoke to communities like that, but in a very destructive way, basically saying that the only way things could get any better for us is to turn back the clock. But that is a promise you can’t keep, because there is no going back. But we can move forward. My message is one of generational change, and I plan to make my case to Iowans all across the state for why I believe I am the best candidate for that.

 

It may seem like a ridiculous question, but are you going to seek the LGBTQ vote actively? Often the LGBTQ vote is taken for granted or is not actively sought after by major party candidates.I’m going to seek every American’s vote, and that certainly includes the LGBTQ community.

You know, I began my career at a time when you could either be out or you could have a career in politics, but you couldn’t have both. But thanks to the grace of a single vote on the Supreme Court, last year, I had the freedom to marry my husband, Chasten, while serving as the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Things are changing very quickly, but we have got a long way to go. Getting marriage equality did not end the struggle for equality in general for the LGBTQ community. You look at the fact that a lot of parts of the country lack basic protections, including parts of Indiana where I live, where you could be fired for who you are. We see a lot of attacks coming out of this White House on transgender Americans. We’ve got to end the war on trans Americans. We need an Equality Act. I think it’s pretty shocking that the Equality Act that sailed through the House of Representatives is being held up by the GOP-led Senate and President. That’s why we need a federal Equality Act that would protect people from being fired just because of who you are or because of who you love.

 

You talk about a new vision for America. In what ways does that vision include the LGBTQ community?

Right now, people of color, women, LGBTQ Americans, immigrants and others, feel like they are under attack from this administration. And we need to find ways to stand up for each other and to reach across the different boundaries of identity that we have in order to stand up for the basic idea of freedom and equality. This is a moment where anybody who could be marked out as different is in some way vulnerable, because of the way this administration works. The struggle for equality for the LGBTQ community, on everything from workplace discrimination to trans service members’ dignity, does not compete with the other struggles of Americans. It reinforces these struggles, and it obligates us all to do everything we can to lift one another up in the struggle.

We have to stand with each other, no matter what. Harvey Milk used to talk about the “us-es”—not just gays, but the black community, seniors, the disabled. Anyone who’s been marginalized, or preyed upon, or counted out.

And the only way we’ll move forward is if all of us “us-es” rise together to meet this moment. To make our “us-es” into a bigger us without pretending that we’re all the same, without needing to be all the same in order to put it all on the line for one another.

The struggle for freedom and fairness and a better life reaches far beyond our LGBTQ experience. But our experience arms us with empathy and it fills us with the energy to get this done.

 

Healthcare is on the minds of all Americans.  How is your healthcare proposal better or different than other candidates?

We need to move to universal health care. I don’t understand how we are expected to accept America as the only developed country that lacks this. And, universal health care is popular. Now we can talk about how quickly and how ambitiously we can implement this. I don’t believe we can just flip the switch overnight and expect single-payer to work smoothly. Think about how hard it was just to get the Affordable Care Act, which is a comparatively conservative thing to do now. What I would do is push for what I call a “Medicare for all who want it” approach. Basically, take a flavor of Medicare and put it on the exchanges. And then let people opt-in, I expect that it will be better and more competitive than the corporate options, and therefore more people will buy into it. Over time, it’s a smoother glide path to a Medicare for all environment, which I think is the most attractive destination.

 

Tell us in a paragraph or two why you want to be President and why this is the time for you?

I’m running for president because I believe we are living at a moment of such seriousness and such opportunity that we’ve got to do something completely different. What happens in the next three or four years will decide how America functions for the next thirty or forty.  I think more than anything we need to stand on our values. Values like freedom, security, and democracy. And we must insist that these values do not belong to one political party. So in that spirit, we’re organizing a different kind of campaign, and because this moment calls for a different message, and a different messenger, which I am.

I’m a middle class mayor from the industrial midwest, from a new generation, at a moment when America needs a new generation of leadership to step forward. Somebody who can speak to how growing up with school shootings as the norm; growing up in an age when climate is going to impact our life possibilities and choices; somebody who belongs to the generation that could be the first in history to be worse off than our parents if nothing is done to change our economy. Our party needs to demonstrate that it can speak to every part of the country, including a hometown like mine from the industrial midwest whose story is living proof that there is no such thing as an honest politics built around the word ‘again’. That’s why I’m running for president.

More campaign information can be found at https://peteforamerica.com/.

 

Presidential candidate John Delaney: "Focus on the Future" campaign is an ally of the LGBTQ community

 

By Tim Nedoba

The 2020 presidential campaign of John Delaney, the former U.S. Representative from Maryland's 6th Congressional district (2013-2019), began his bid for President with an op-ed on the website of the Washington Post on July 28, 2017.

Delaney has criticized Donald Trump for, among other things, being divisive, saying, "As long as President Trump is in the White House, the Republican Party can never be the party that brings this country together."

According to the campaign website, Congressman Delaney has demonstrated a strong record in support of issues that are important to the LGBTQ community. The site goes on to say, "While in Congress, John Delaney was proud to be a member of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus, and he received a 100% score from the Human Rights Campaign for each of his three terms."

The Delaney for President 2020 website devotes an entire page to LGBTQ issues (https://www.johndelaney.com/issues/lgbtq/).

GoGuide goes one-on-one with 2020 Presidential candidate John Delaney.

GoGuide (G.G.): Are you all in for the Iowa Caucuses? 
John Delaney (J.D.): We are all in for Iowa. My strategy is to grind it out, work harder, and talk about things that make sense. We have eight campaign offices around the state, and my staff and I are campaigning everywhere, especially in rural areas. I'm the first Democratic Presidential candidate to visit all 99 counties in a decade, and I'm proud to have the support of Iowa Democratic County chairs in Mills, Wayne, Lucas, and Van Buren counties. 

G.G.: Do you plan to actively seek the LGBTQ vote in Iowa in preparation for the Caucus?
J.D.: Absolutely. I'm proud to have been a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus in Congress and to have earned a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign. At the Iowa Safe Schools Governors' Conference earlier this year, my staff and I shared a few of my policy positions, including banning conversion therapy. Thirty-five states have no ban on the inhumane practice, including Iowa. We must strengthen employment non-discrimination laws. Laws that explicitly protect sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are not in place in over 27 states.

G.G.: An important issue for the LGBTQ community is health care. How is your health care plan better than the other Democratic proposals?
J.D.: We must do more to improve access to healthcare, including mental health services, for all LGBT communities. The average life expectancy of trans women of color is just 35 years old. That is unacceptable. We must do better to serve our most vulnerable communities. I believe health care is a human right, and mental health care should be on par with physical health care. My universal health care plan builds upon the success of the Affordable Care Act, including guaranteed coverage for preexisting conditions and essential health benefits, and creates a new plan for calls for coverage similar to Medicaid for all people age 65 and younger, with additional optional supplemental plans that people can choose if they see fit. I would keep Medicare in place for people age 65 and older. 

For more information on his campaign and information on upcoming visits to the state of Iowa, visit https://www.johndelaney.com/states/iowa/.

Editors note - Photo provided by the Delaney campaign. 

 

GoGuide Goes one-on-one with Marianne Williamson

 

Editors note - This Q&A is second in a multi-part series with 2020 Presidential candidates leading up to the Iowa Caucuses.

 

Join the Evolution

 

The Williamson campaign is taking the Iowa Caucuses seriously. To date, Marianne Williams has made eight trips to Iowa, both in her exploratory committee capacity and now as a candidate. Additionally, the campaign has several upcoming events planned for this spring.

 

On her campaign website Marianne Williamson sums up her campaign this way, “It is time to let go of an old and tired political conversation and forge a new, whole-person, heart-centered political dynamic. I hope you will join me in this evolutionary effort. It is time to create an entirely new phase of America’s story; one in which we repair what needs to be repaired, pull ourselves up from the mire into which in too many ways we have descended, and forge a better future for ourselves and those we love.”

 

GoGuide (GG): Do you feel good about where you’re at now so far out from the Iowa caucus? Are you all in for the Iowa Caucuses?

 

Marianne Williamson (MW): I do feel strongly about my position in Iowa.  I was the first candidate to have a virtual captain assigned for all 99 counties in Iowa.  I have also moved to Iowa to understand the needs of all Iowans better, doing small group meetings in cities and towns all across the state.  Doing so has not only affected me as a candidate, it has changed me as a citizen of this country.  It is so important to be on the ground and to see the genuine fears, frustrations, and aspirations of those in this beautiful community.

 

GG: Do you plan to actively seek the LGBTQ vote in Iowa in preparation for the Caucus?

 

MW: I plan to not only seek but to earn support from the LGBTQ community throughout this nation actively. I learned a great deal when I sat down with Nate and his team at Iowa Safe Schools about the struggles Iowan LGBTQ students face every day and will continue this dialogue with them and other groups hopefully into the White House.

 

GG: Why should the LGBTQ community support you in the Iowa Caucus for President?

 

MW: In a very real sense, the LGBTQ community gave me my career.  When the AIDS crisis hit America, it was this community that first truly listened to my message of forgiveness, healing, and miracles.  There are few other subsets of American culture with the same level of insight, sensitivity, and spiritual and political muscle as the LGBTQ community, and it is through their eyes that I still see so much of the world.  I have stood with and for this community since the beginning of my involvement in the public eye, and many of my proudest achievements have been with them.  Project Angelfood being just one.

 

This is not a community that I curry favor with because it serves me from time to time.  This is a community to which I have been loyal for my entire career.  My proposals when it comes to the issues that relate most closely to this community are too lengthy to summarize - I ask that you, please go to my website: https://www.marianne2020.com/issues/lgbtq-rights, for more.

 

GG: An important issue for the LGBTQ community is health care. How is your health care plan better than the other Democratic proposals?

 

MW: I believe that my health care plan, like most of my policy positions, is more holistic than others.  The biggest problem with America’s health care system is that it is not a health care system so much as a sickness care system. It reflects an outdated perspective on health and healing, in which far too little attention is given to the actual cultivation of health and prevention of disease.

 

Unlike others who are running for President, I believe that we need a shift to a genuine health care system, that would involve attention to environmental, agricultural, chemical and nutritional factors which America’s current corporate-dominated system of governance would presumably resist. I believe that if America is to deal with our serious issues involving chronic disease and obesity, we must look deeply at the causes of disease and not simply their treatment.

 

For example, the Environmental Protection Agency needs to have its power restored as protector of our environment and thus our health.

 

The Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act must be restored in full, and bans on dangerous pesticides once again vigorously established and enforced. Genetically engineered food should be labeled. The Food and Drug Administration needs to have its power restored so that it can once again guard the American people from toxic substances that should not be on our shelves. And our children’s food, particularly school lunches, should be far more filled with healthy ingredients.

Until America comes to terms with how much we have acquiesced to the many unhealthy practices that should be considered unlawful -- but which are currently allowed to increase corporate profits -- we will continue to have a less-than-meaningful discussion of how as a society we provide health care.

 

GG: Another important issue is gender identity. Is someone’s birth gender identity his or her permanent legal gender in your opinion?

 

MW: Of course not.

 

GG: What else would you like GoGuide reader know about your candidacy for President?

 

MW: All I would add at this point is, I ask this community not to be a single-issue voting community.  Yes, 100%, demand that the people you support to support you.  But I say this to every community - we are not a country of individual concerns - we are a nation of universal concerns.  There is so much work to be done, and we have to it altogether.  And thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your prayers, your donations, and your love.  Together, we can transform America into what it is truly meant to be.

 

More about Marianne Williamson can be found at https://www.marianne2020.com/my-story. Upcoming Iowa campaign events are available online at GoGuideMagazine.com.

 

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GoGuide Magazine goes one-on-one with 2020 Presidential

Candidate Andrew Yang

By Tim Nedoba
 
 
Editors note:  Mr. Yang has attended or hosted almost 150 events in Iowa to date.  By far the most of any of the candidates.

 

GoGuide: In a recent Iowa poll, you did not receive very much support in the poll. Are you concerned about the low name recognition?

 

Andrew Yang: We were thrilled to be included in CNN’s first poll of Iowa Caucus voters a few weeks ago, which showed that I had the same rate of top-level support as Kirsten Gillibrand, Eric Holder, and Tom Steyer. Seventeen percent of likely caucus voters knew who I was enough to have developed a strong opinion. Our message is working. We have a long way to go, but to have reached this point in 2018 is remarkable. We are achieving awareness levels far beyond our resources.

 

Don’t get me wrong though - we certainly need your and the entire LGBTQ community’s help to build on this success. We opened up our first office in Iowa last month.  I am heading there for the 9th time at the end of January. On January 30th, we are having a Townhall with the LGBTQ community at the Iowa City Public Library at 5:30 pm, followed by an event at Prairie Lights at 7pm. Local press will be there.

 

We are punching way above our weight class. We can change the course of history as long as we fight together.

 

GG: Why should the LGBTQ community support you?

 

 

AY: Many folks in the LGBTQ community tell me I’m running on the most pro-LGBTQ presidential platform they’ve ever seen. My Iowa Campaign Coordinator dropped out of law school to work for me in part because he knows personally how transformative Universal Basic Income would be for the LGBTQ community. As he put it, the promise of “It Gets Better” is hollow without the promise of financial security in the case your family or community rejects you for who you are.

 

The LGBTQ community is tragically overrepresented among foster children, the homeless, the poor, and the food-insecure. LGBTQ kids are kicked out by their parents at a higher rate than the general population. Fifteen percent of transgender people, and more than 30 percent of trans people of color, are living in severe poverty. The Freedom Dividend (which is how I’ve rebranded Universal Basic Income because it tests better with our conservative friends) would disproportionately benefit LGBTQ youth, especially LGBTQ kids of color, and give them the freedom to live full, authentic lives.

 

The most direct and concrete way for the government to improve the lives of the LGBTQ community is to send you a check for $1,000 every month and let you spend it in whatever manner will benefit you the most. The government is not capable of a lot of things, but it is capable of sending large numbers of checks to large numbers of people promptly and reliably. We have plenty of resources, they’re just not being distributed to enough people right now. We need to build a new kind of economy – one that puts people first. If there’s one policy that would transform the lives of LGBTQ Americans for the better, it is Universal Basic Income.

 

I would of course also fight to extend legal non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community. Sexual orientation and gender identity should be protected classes under the law, receiving all the federal protections afforded under the Constitution and civil rights law.

 

An important issue for the LGBTQ community is health care. How is your health care plan better than the other Democratic proposals?

 

Healthcare should be a basic right for all Americans. I am for a Medicare for All, single-payer system. Right now, if you get sick you have two things to worry about