2018 Candidate As State Representative Questions

capital

This is Part B of the 7th Ward Independent Democrats 79th District State Representative Candidate Survey. These are the Candidate views and goals. Candidates were required to respond to both Part A & Part B in order to 1) participate in the June 10th Candidate Forum and 2) be considered for endorsement by 7th Ward Independent Democrats.

Candidate Maxine Johnson did not respond to two invitations by U.S. Mail.

Answers with * indicate answers went well over word limit. Text after limit eliminated.

B1) Name a current/former state representative or state senator that you would look to as your primary mentor in your freshmen year and why. (35 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: My family has an extensive political pedigree that provides me with my political footing but I will also seek the guidance and input of leadership both locally and in Jefferson City.

J.P. Johnson: There are many folks I respect & will look to work with, should I be fortunate enough to be elected.  Exalting one individual wouldn’t do the State Assembly, or the folks I hope to represent, justice.

Reign Harris: Rep. Gail McCann Beatty is a current State Representative that I look up to and would like to emulate. She is a leader in the Party and I would want to learn from her.

B2) If you could pick only one House Committee to serve on, what Committee would that be and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: Budget! The budget committee oversees the budget. The budgeting allocation process is critical and we need a force on the committee to fight for education, infrastructure, social services and healthcare.

J.P. Johnson: Budget.  The St. Louis region not only serves, ostensibly, the residents of this area, but provides much of the dollars expended by the State.  Those resources are dispersed to municipalities across the State.  More than ever our dollars matter, & St. Louis should have a seat at that decision-making table.

Reign Harris: Public Safety. Losing my son to gun violence is one of the reasons I am running for office. We have to get the guns off our streets. When gun advocates are confronted with the victims of gun violence their arguments no longer stand up.

B3 Name a House or Senate bill that passed in the Missouri General Assembly during the past two years that you would have vetoed if you had been governor and why. (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: Right to work! I would’ve vetoed it!!! Good and fair wages are the foundation to our middle class and we must fight to preserve decent paying jobs for families.

J.P. Johnson: Senate Bill 43.  It was a terrible conception of a policy, which led to an applicably terrible bill, resulting in a blatant discriminatory law.  What’s more, it not only has a deleterious economic impact on the State, but it resulted in Missouri being removed from the Fair Housing Program.

Reign Harris: Right to Work. People cannot make enough money working as it is. Most people I know have to work more than one job just to get by.  Right-to-work is proven to lower everyone’s wages in states that implement it. I would have vetoed that bill.

B4) Name a House or Senate bill that did not pass in the Missouri General Assembly during the past two years that you would have helped champion if you had been a state legislator and why. (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: There was a bill that never made it to a hearing. Rep. Brandon Ellington of Kansas City, tried to increase the minimum wage to $15 for the state of Missouri. As the 79th District legislator, this is a bill I would have and will be behind 1000 percent to get it passed.

J.P. Johnson: Medicaid Expansion.  Missouri is battling several health crises, from opioid addiction to maternal mortality rates to undiagnosed & unresolved PTSD.  Those health crises will continue to metastasize so long as we have a healthcare & healthcare coverage crisis.  Medicaid saves lives & expansion will allow for increased economic mobility.

Reign Harris: I would have championed all the bills that fully funded the school foundation formula. Our schools have been cheated out of equitable funding for years by the GOP led legislature. I will always work to make sure all of Missouri’s children get what they deserve.

B5) Describe the first bill you will file if elected. (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: The first bill I will file will be increasing the minimum wage. I will look to increase the minimum wage to more realistic $15 dollars an hour. There needs to be a livable wage for the workers, especially since the State is cutting services.

J.P. Johnson: Whatever bills I file, should I be fortunate enough to be elected, will be done in consultation with the residents of the 79th district.  Anything before or beyond that is presumptuous, & I’d rather not project that attitude, but continue to meet as many people & earn as many votes as possible.

Reign Harris: 
I would like to pass a bill to get carjackings recognized as a crime in the Missouri state courts since carjackings are not charged as such in the Missouri state court and not listed as an offense in crime statistics reported to the FBI even though carjackings are on the rise.

B6) Do you support or oppose legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana in Missouri and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: I support it! We need to stop focusing on petty crimes and truly focus on the resources and revenue this effort will bring in to the state. I would also strongly suggest that there needs to be an amendment to the legalization of marijuana that removes all non- violent criminal charges from peoples records completely.

J.P. Johnson: Support.  Marijuana should be uninhibitedly legal, as it is not a gateway drug, but a gateway to unnecessary & unfortunate arrests.  The State is missing out on an important opportunity to both diversify our agricultural market, while most importantly, tackling criminal justice reform in a smart, effective & equitable way.

Reign Harris: I support legalization and taxation. The state has already legalized some medicinal CBD oils for certain illnesses. Right now it seems the rest of the country is moving to decriminalize marijuana, Missouri could capitalize on this “Green rush” by being one of the first states in the Midwest to do so.*

B7) Do you support or oppose public funding of reproductive health services by Planned Parenthood and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: ​ I support public funding for reproductive health services because women must have full control over all issues impacting their bodies.

J.P. Johnson: Support.  Planned parenthood is healthcare, and healthcare is a right, not a privilege with a price-tag.  Any argument to the contrary is based solely on personal beliefs, as opposed to publicly accepted science.  Given our current crisis of health in our State, we can’t afford to eschew science.

Reign Harris: I support Planned Parenthood and public funding for reproductive health services 100%. They are vital to so many women in our community, especially poorer women for access to reproductive health options.

B8) Do you support or oppose low income housing tax credits and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: Low income housing tax credits provide access to affordable, safe, clean housing as well as provide valuable dollars to assist in the reclamation of communities throughout the state of Missouri.

J.P. Johnson: Support.  LIHTC is one of the main benefactors of affordable housing.  The complexion of our communities are reflected in our neighborhoods, and what those neighborhoods can provide & project.  Losing or limiting LIHTC will only stymie & reverse the progress we have made.

Reign Harris: I support low income housing tax credits, however, past audits have concluded that the way our tax credit is structured, it costs the state a lot of money and does not generate as much low income housing as it should. I support the idea, but think we can reform the credits to get better results.

B9 Do you support or oppose removing term limits on Missouri state senators and state representatives and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: The experiment known as “term limits” has failed and has placed non-elected officials in charge of or having undue influence over many issues in our state.

J.P. Johnson: Support.  This isn’t a part-time job or hobby.  The levers of responsibility must be understood in order for one to be effective.  Term limits cost us decades of intellectual capital in legislators, and staffers who are the persons moving government.  Legislation is serious business, and term limits seriously inhibits business.

Reign Harris: 
I support keeping term limits despite the drawbacks they have created. The people of Missouri voted to implement term limits, I would support asking them to vote again now that we have had them in effect, the people of Missouri may now have second thoughts, but I would not support legislation that removes term limits without a vote of the people.

B10) Do you support or oppose reducing the number of seats in the Missouri House and Senate and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: I am open to an open and honest discussion about this subject.

J.P. Johnson: Similar to ward reduction in the City, or municipal consolidation in the County, or City-County reunification in general, I’m for streamlining of services & effectual governance.  So long as the evidence backs up the claim that reduction in seats will lead to better outcomes for individuals, I’m in support.

Reign Harris: I do not support reducing the number of seats at this time. Without working in that environment, I cannot judge whether the citizens of Missouri would be better served with less seats or not.

B11) Do you support or oppose placing the issue of ward reduction before the voters of St. Louis City again and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: T​his discussion should not just be limited to the number of wards in the City of St. Louis but how do we create a more efficient form of government that make St. Louis and the region a more efficient and competitive in the very near future.

J.P. Johnson: I unequivocally support ward reduction, but am not opposed to asking voters to reaffirm their 2012 decision, as the City failed three times prior to passage of ward reduction in 2012.

Reign Harris: I do not think it is wrong to ask the voters again. I know that there were problems with cutting off debate and the proponents desired the election date. But, the decision to reduce the board was made pre-Ferguson and many issues have changed in our community since 2012.

B12) Grade current Mayor Lyda Krewson and explain why: A for great job, B for good job, C for mediocre job, D for bad job, F for failing. (35 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley:  I ​choose not to answer this because I do not believe that we can make an effective judgement after just over 1 year in service.

J.P. Johnson: Incomplete.  I base the Mayor’s performance on the overall improvement in the lives of those she became responsible for.  I’m focused on being part of the solution, & leaving the inevitable criticism for others to make.

Reign Harris: Lyda gets a D so far because she hasn’t stepped up at all with all this crime going on and she based her campaign off the fact that her first husband was carjacked and murdered.*

B13) Grade former Mayor Francis Slay in his last term and explain why: A for great job, B for good job, C for mediocre job, D for bad job, F for failed. (35 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: ​Mayor Slay has neglected the north side of St. Louis for over 16 years.

J.P. Johnson: I recuse myself from this question, as I am a former Special Assistant to Mayor Slay during his final term, and my responses may be deemed biased, at best.

Reign Harris: 
I give Slay a D because he didn’t do enough to combat the Delmar Divide. Also, Slay didn’t do enough to stop the infestation of crime in north city.

B14) Do you support or oppose privatization of St. Louis Lambert Airport and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: I o​ppose this effort! Privatizing, the city’s biggest assets is not good. Most important, I do not believe that this has not been an open, transparent process.

J.P. Johnson: When someone provides a plan to critique, I’ll happily give an assessment.  Until then, the current conversation is conjecture.  Let’s focus our energy on building this City, including our airport, up and eliminate any reason for privatization becoming a viable, economic option.

Reign Harris: I oppose this plan. The current process seems to have significant problems in regards to transparency and the financial structure  of the consulting agreement writes a blank check to a billionaire and consultants who do not have the cities best interest at heart.

B15) Do you support or oppose re-entry of St. Louis City into St. Louis County without approval of the voters of the City and County and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: This must be a decision by the people of St. Louis City and St. Louis County, NOT anyone else. ​Oppose!

J.P. Johnson: I believe in government exercising its authority to remedy any injustice or inequity caused by government.  The City separating from the County in 1876 is a textbook example of this, and I support a solutions driven ethic.

Reign Harris: Ultimately, I support it the concept. We all know that for St. Louis to succeed we have to work together with the county.  Right now, the question is what does it look like? This needs to be a real community conversation, not a back room deal. If we are going to reform our government this isn’t the way to do it.

B16) Complete the following sentence and expand: Rex Sinquefield is… (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: … is a billionaire that likes to play with the lives of the people
of St. Louis just like we are pawns on his chessboard.

J.P. Johnson: Rex Sinquefield

Reign Harris: A misguided man who loves to waste his money promoting disastrously dangerous ideas for our city.

B17) Do you support or oppose returning control over all governance of St. Louis Public Schools back to the elected Board of Education and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: ​Support! I was at the hearings/town-halls and spoke on this issue. We need transparency, but we also need to make sure we know the school board members.

J.P. Johnson: I support implementing a plan that enforces a seamless transition of authority back to the elected school board, with the caveat that the City of St. Louis is granted authority over public schools.  It’s beyond conceivability to effectively enforce standards without full control locally.

Reign Harris: 
I support returning control to an elected school board. These are the schools for our community. They belong to all of us, not a three person board appointed by whomever happens to be governor. St. Louisans deserve to be the masters of their own children’s education.

B18) Complete the following sentence and expand: School choice is… (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: School choice is a parental matter. I believe we must support our public schools and find ways to make them more effective. ​Yes, we do have problems with the existing system but we have to work together to solutions that work in the best interest of our children so that we can better prepare them
for the future.

J.P. Johnson: One of the few mechanisms that has allowed black children to receive a quality education.  There are significant issues with school choice.  The question is how do we modify choice to help historically oppressed and economically distressed communities without hurting public schools.

Reign Harris: As a former teacher I believe it is harmful to our public school system.

B19) Do you support or oppose removing St. Louis City from the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan and allowing voters to elect circuit court judges and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley:  ​I open to a discussion on this program however, I am deeply concerned about judges having to raise money and offer political favors to get elected.

J.P. Johnson: Oppose.  Since its adoption in 1940, Missouri’s approach to shielding arbitrators of the rule of law from politics has served as a model for an additional thirty-four states.  We need to strengthen that separation, not sever it.

Reign Harris: I do not support removing St. Louis from the Court Plan. Our court plan works, is a national model at keeping politics out of the courthouse and should be kept the way it is.

B20) Do you support or oppose eliminating the St. Louis City Sheriff as an appointed office, making it appointed, and why? If appointed, by whom? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: I am not opposed to having a discussion to see what will be best for the city and find out the best form of government.

J.P. Johnson: Oppose, so long as the responsibilities of the Sheriff’s Office significantly differ from that of police officers as it pertains to law enforcement, and the jurisdiction of those responsibilities in law enforcement supercede local control.

Reign Harris: I do not support such a measure.

B21) Do you support or oppose eliminating the St. Louis City Recorder of Deeds as an appointed office, making it appointed, and why? If appointed, by whom? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: I am not opposed to having a discussion to see what will be best for the city and find out the best form of government.

J.P. Johnson: Support.  Like most other more functional municipal governments, the Mayor should appoint.  The question isn’t why our City shouldn’t function like more successful municipal models, but why folks continue to support a form of government that has proven to underperform its residents.  Our City needs charter reform.

Reign Harris: I do not support such a measure.

B22) Do you support or oppose eliminating the St. Louis City License Collector as an elected office, making it appointed, and why? If appointed by whom? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: I am not opposed to having a discussion to see what will be best for the city and find out the best form of government.

J.P. Johnson: Support, for the same reason as described in answer 21.

Reign Harris: I do not support such a measure.

B23) Do you support or oppose eliminating the St. Louis City Collector of Revenue as an elected office, making it appointed, and why? If appointed by whom? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: I am not opposed to having a discussion to see what will be best for the city and find out the best form of government.

J.P. Johnson: Support, for the same reason as described in answer 21.

Reign Harris: I do not support such a measure.

B24) Do you support or oppose eliminating the St. Louis City Treasurer as an elected office, making it appointed, and why? If appointed by whom? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: I am not opposed to having a discussion to see what will be best for the city and find out the best form of government.

J.P. Johnson: Support for the same reason as described in answer 21.

Reign Harris: I do not support such a measure.

B25) Do you support or oppose removing parking responsibilities from the St. Louis City Treasurer and why? If yes, who should have the responsibilities? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: I am not opposed to having a discussion to see what will be best for the city and find out the best form of government.

J.P. Johnson: Support for the same reason as described in answer 21.

Reign Harris: I do not support such a measure.

B26) Do you support or oppose local control of elections in St. Louis City- replacing the governor appointed Board of Elections with an elected Election Director and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: We should always be willing to examining a review of our current systems to determine if this is the most effective form of government​ but adding one more elected official to St. Louis seems to be moving in the wrong direction.

J.P. Johnson: Support.  State government exists, in one realm, as a check on local overreach.  Restricting the authority of municipalities from controlling their own elections is not only state overreach, but it further sews discord in a system folks increasingly are losing faith in.

Reign Harris: I do not support such a measure.

B27) Do you support or oppose the right of St. Louis City to adopt its own minimum wage higher than the State wage and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: ​Support! Livable wages are essential to helping change our city around, but when increasing wages we need to make sure that there is money coming and not all of it going out.

J.P. Johnson: Support for the same reason described in question 26.

Reign Harris: I do support this. We deserve to set our own standards in our own community.

B28) Do you support or oppose the right of St. Louis City to adopt its own regulation of firearms, firearm accessories, and firearm ammunition more restrictive than State law and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: St. Louis must have the ability to make common sense gun laws that will protect our citizens and be consistent with the 2nd Amendment.

J.P. Johnson: Support for the same reason described in question 26.

Reign Harris: I do support this. We deserve to set our own standards in our own community.

B29) Will you pledge here to vote against any state legislation proposing a new sales tax for Missouri, St. Louis City, or St. Louis Region and why? (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: I will commit to working in the best interest of my district and the City of St. Louis. I will not give an arbitrary answer without knowing what circumstances that we may be faced with in the further.

J.P. Johnson: When discussing bills that deal directly with racial, gender, sexual orientation & basic human discrimination, conviction reigns supreme and such a pledge is warranted.  Sales taxes don’t meet that standard. However, I will work to ensure a more fair and equitable tax policy that doesn’t exacerbate the aforementioned issues of conviction.

Reign Harris: George H.W. Bush once made the mistake of saying, “ Read my lips, no new taxes…” I won’t make that mistake, but right now it would be very difficult for me to support any increase in existing sales taxes that unduly burden our poorest residents.

B30) Tell us something about yourself or your legislative goals NOT found on your campaign website/Facebook page, your campaign literature, or in Part A or Part B of our survey. (50 words or less)

LaKeySha Bosley: I believe in working toward a better functioning government, and my legislative goals are to do just that for the citizens of Missouri.

J.P. Johnson: I couldn’t possibly humanize myself in 50 words or less, but I offer myself up to anybody and everybody who wants to know who I am, what I believe in and stand for, and how we build a brighter future for the residents of the 79th district, together.

Reign Harris: I am interested in St. Louis moving forward as a community. I am a lifelong St. Louis city resident who loves my community flaws and all but believes in accountability and progress.

Advertisements