HD 100 Nominees Pearson and Stark

 

 

With House District races being so relatively small it’s tough to get candidate positions on issues. So we reached out to both candidates for HD 100 to see where they were on some of the other issues besides education. Both candidates have strong endorsements on education so we put six non educational questions to HD 100 nominees Zachary Pearson and Marilyn Stark. Below are their answers.

1. Both of you have strong endorsements and a clear commitment to Education. What, beyond that, is the single most important issue for you as a candidate.

(Zach Pearson) Tax reform. Oklahoma needs recurring revenues. Currently our state taxes you and I, the working people up to 3 times on the same dollar. Once right out of our pay checks. A second time at the register and if you happen to buy groceries in that same transaction a 3rd time. The working and middle class of Oklahoma are excessively over taxed. We must change that. By restoring the GPT to 7% Minimum, Reinstating the fees for overweight vehicles that damage our roadways. We could also end the subsidization of oil and gas in Oklahoma who received 250 million in tax returns last year. That is 250 million in tax payer money that went to a 100 billion dollar a year industry. We can also end the subsidization of private prisons. Those are just a few things we could do. It’s time we start putting money back in the people’s pockets.

(Marilyn Stark) Declined to answer in writing. Glad to speak with individuals. Her exact response was “Thank you but I prefer not to answer your questions in a Facebook post. These are complex questions. I believe they require dialogue and not simple answers.”

2. Criminal Justice reform was recently passed but more is needed. What are two things you recommend we do to reduce prison populations and lessen criminal behavior.

(Zach Pearson) Well Oklahoma has a school to prison pipeline. I say it’s time we cut the pipeline off. By investing in education and rehabilitation including mental health. We must end the subsidization of private prisons. We must invest in education. We need to invest in after-school programs and community centers that promote community engagement and growth. These are all things we can do to cut off the school to prison to pipeline. We invest in the people today to bring about a brighter future.

(Marilyn Stark) Declined to answer in writing. Glad to speak with individuals. Thank you but I prefer not to answer your questions in a Facebook post. These are complex questions. I believe they require dialogue and not simple answers.

3. Currently, it requires a 75% majority of the legislator to raise taxes. Do you support moving that to 60%?

(Zach Pearson) I am all for this because it eliminates the control of our state by one party, group or special interest. We need balance in our state now more than ever. After a decade of failed legislation and leadership our state is more corrupt than ever and we need to change that. We need accountability and we must hold each department in our government responsible for their budgets.

(Marilyn Stark) Declined to answer in writing. Glad to speak with individuals. Thank you but I prefer not to answer your questions in a Facebook post. These are complex questions. I believe they require dialogue and not simple answers.

4. We have the most inexperienced group of lawmakers coming in this year. In large part due to term limits. Do you feel term limits are serving the purpose they should?

(Zach Pearson) Yes I do I believe in term limits, they allow us to gain fresh ideas and thoughts if at the very least once every decade or so. Which I believe is necessary to promote growth in our economy and allows for economic diversity. It allows us to prune the tree if you will every so often.

(Marilyn Stark) Declined to answer in writing. Glad to speak with individuals. Thank you but I prefer not to answer your questions in a Facebook post. These are complex questions. I believe they require dialogue and not simple answers.

5. The increase in polarization of politics and society is on the rise. State funds now go to entities who actively discriminate based on religious beliefs about sexual orientation. Would you be in favor of legislation that provides equal protection under the law for people based on sex? (the failed ERA) and sexual orientation?

(Zach Pearson) Yes, I would. Everyone has a right to live their life on their own terms. I believe in God and I have read my bible many times. What I learned is that it is not my place to judge others it is God’s. Some of these teachings may sound familiar (Let he without sin cast the first stone) (Do not judge others yet (sic) you be judged by the same rule). As good Christians it is not our place to condemn others. We can only spread the word of God and welcome all into our arms. That includes those who some may consider sinners. They are the ones who we must welcome into our lives and our churches the most. We don’t have to agree with someone’s life style to respect them nor do we have to agree with their lifestyle to show civility. I have friends who are LGBTQIA I do not judge them or try to change them I love them the way they are. I feel for them and the discrimination they face. I think if we can we should change that.

(Marilyn Stark) Declined to answer in writing. Glad to speak with individuals. Thank you but I prefer not to answer your questions in a Facebook post. These are complex questions. I believe they require dialogue and not simple answers.

6. Our rural hospitals have run GoFundMe campaigns to stay open, we have the 2nd highest uninsured rate in the county and retirement homes are a looming crisis as our population ages. Should Oklahoma accept Medicare expansion? If your answer is no, what is the alternative solution you would present?

(Zach Pearson) Yes, we should that is an influx of revenue desperately needed by our rural communities. We need to make sure Oklahoma is strong and capable this will be a step in the right direction.

(Marilyn Stark) Declined to answer in writing. Glad to speak with individuals. Thank you but I prefer not to answer your questions in a Facebook post. These are complex questions. I believe they require dialogue and not simple answers.