Missouri’s 5th Congressional District: Cleaver, Derks and Dominick

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Posted at 1:12 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 18:44:48-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 41 Action News wants to help you make an informed decision during the 2020 General Election on Nov. 3. We reached out to the campaigns for Missouri's 5th Congressional District candidates. Here's where Democrat Emanuel Cleaver II, Republican Ryan Derks and Libertarian Robin Dominick stand on the issues.


Do you believe wearing masks should be a requirement, recommendation or neither?
Cleaver: Recommendation
Derks: Recommendation
Dominick: Recommendation

What role should federal officials play in the response to the COVID- 19 pandemic? Information only, guidelines only, mandatory requirements for businesses but not individuals, mandatory requirements for businesses and individuals (subject to policymaker approval), or none of the above?
Cleaver: Guidelines only
Derks: Information only
Dominick: Information only. "The government should provide us with the best information they have, but it's up to individuals and privately owned businesses to decide what's best for them."

Should locally owned small businesses receive a higher priority for CARES Act funding than publicly traded or multinational corporations?
Cleaver: Yes
Derks: Yes
Dominick: Yes

Do you believe Americans should receive a second $1,200 Economic Impact Payment, otherwise known as a stimulus check?
Cleaver: Yes. “The global pandemic has caused widespread damage throughout our country. The federal response could have been faster and more seamless. Specifically, from a legislative standpoint Congress needs to act to ensure continuation of unemployment benefits, eviction deferrals and mortgage foreclosure deferrals to those Americans needing assistance. Throughout my career, I have worked across the aisle to craft bipartisan solutions based upon consensus to create sound policy - COVID relief approaches should be the same.”
Derks: "Yes, only because the economy has been forced to shut down. Reopen the economy and stop the stimulus checks at the same time."
Dominick: Yes. "Stimulus should go out again, only because it's government interference that put us out of work. And it should only be for individuals, small businesses, and the medical community. Not for cities and states who have mismanaged their budgets for years."

Considering the pandemic, do you believe K-12 classrooms should reopen in the fall?
Cleaver: Yes, with a virtual option
Derks: Yes, with a virtual option. “Attach a dollar amount to each student and let the parents decide where the child goes to school. Include private, charter, magnet, religious, and homeschooling.”
Dominick: Yes, with a virtual option

If students return to the classroom in fall 2020, do you believe they should be required to wear masks?
Cleaver: Yes. “Questions related to schools are the jurisdiction of the local school boards and the Missouri State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. There is not a federal role here, but as a grandparent, I firmly believe that the safety of our children should be a driving factor in school options while COVID is a continuing threat.”
Derks: No
Dominick: Yes. "I do believe we can request students wear a mask if [they] go in person as long as there's an option to attend virtually as well."


Do you support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act?
Cleaver: No. “I voted for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and while it has accomplished a great deal of good it does need some refinements to improve health coverage and access. I strongly oppose eliminating or repealing the ACA.”
Derks: Yes. “The 10th Amendment clearly makes the ACA unconstitutional. Instead, continue to repeal laws and regulations at the federal level that make healthcare and insurance so expensive. Continue on what the president has done over the last 3 years: - EO requiring all medical providers to list prices - EO stop price gauging of insulin, epi pen, and more - EO fast track 1,200+ generic drugs - Right To Try - Americans can try unapproved treatments - EO Favored Nation to force international drug price competition - Medicare reform to stop overcharging and bring lawsuits - working to bring all medicine supply chain back to USA from China - plus tort reform and buying insurance across state lines.”
Dominick: Yes. "The 'Affordable' care act did not live up to its name."


Mark the mandates you support. Any mandate left unmarked will indicate you do not support it unless you check "Prefer not to answer." Some candidates provide additional comment below the chart.

Must be performed by a licensed physician
Must be performed in a hospital after a specified point in pregnancy
Gestational limits
State funding for abortions when the woman's life is in danger
State funding for abortions when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest
Coverage by private insurance
Individual health care providers can refuse to participate
Public institutions can refuse to perform abortions
Private or religious institutions can refuse to perform abortions
State-mandated counseling before an abortion
Waiting period between counseling and the procedure
Ban all abortions
Prefer not to answer

Cleaver: “The current law is well settled on this issue which I support.”
Derks: “Against abortion with exceptions for rape and incest. Limited after heartbeat. No taxpayer funding.”
Dominick: "I wish abortion never happened, but I believe education and access to affordable birth control will do more to reduce abortions than any ban ever could."


Mark the mandates you support. Any mandate left unmarked will indicate you do not support it unless you check "Prefer not to answer." Some candidates provide additional comment below the chart.

Reporting mental health records to federal background check databases
Universal background checks
Gun safety training classes for concealed carry
Requiring a concealed carry permit
Right to carry confidentiality
Right to carry in restaurants
Gun dealer licensing
Firearm owner licensing
Firearm registration
Lost and stolen firearm reporting
Assault weapon ban
Restrictions on high-capacity magazines
Bulk firearm purchase restrictions
Waiting period
Local authority to regulate firearms and ammunition
Ammunition sale regulation
No gun control
Prefer not to answer

Cleaver: “I support the 2nd Amendment. Ownership of guns and other weapons needs to be reasonable including background checks and restrictions on people that are unfit to own guns (i.e. convicted criminals and those with mental health conditions as examples).”
Derks: “Missouri's gun laws are a good start for the entire country. No to micromanagement style laws of individual's rights to firearms. Our country has a mental health crisis - not a gun crisis.”
Dominick: "Shall not be infringed."


Several U.S. cities are now discussing reallocating some police funding to other forms of public safety and community support, including to social services, mental health & addiction resources, housing, and health care. Do you support redirecting some funding from local law enforcement agencies to support other government agencies funded by local municipalities?
Cleaver: No.
Derks: No.
Dominick: Yes, for mental health and addiction resources, and other community needs.

The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 could implement the following ways to reform policing and hold police officers accountable. Mark the mandates you support. Any mandate left unmarked will indicate you do not support it unless you check "Prefer not to answer." Some candidates provide additional comment below the chart.

Ban racial & religious profiling
Ban no knock warrants
Ban chokeholds
Mandate data collection on police encounters
Require body cameras
Limit military equipment used by police departments
Streamline federal law to prosecute excessive force
Establish independent prosecutors for police investigations
Prefer not to answer

Cleaver: “I along with more than 200 of my colleagues in the House cosponsored the Justice in Policing Act of 2020. In part this measure when enacted would: improve police training and practices; hold police accountable; enhance transparency. Passing this bill is a good initial step needed to both support law enforcement and bring communities together. I do not support defunding the police.”
Derks: “Defunding the police departments is the exact wrong direction. The police need to be able to hire more officers. The police need more resources to help with their mental health after doing their tough jobs. We need to repeal some laws so that there aren't a million things police are required to hassle people for. The Joe Biden 1994 crime bill destroyed the police relationship to the community. Why was the Democrat version of police legislation included in this question and not the Republican version? Both had a few good pieces.”
Dominick: Did not provide additional comment.


Do you believe the 1964 Civil Rights Act should protect gay, lesbian and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex?
Cleaver: Yes, with no exclusions. “Equality and fairness should be fundamental to all people.”
Derks: Yes, excluding religious based organizations. "Religious organizations should be allowed to practice their beliefs even if that means saying ‘No.’”
Dominick: Yes, excluding religious based organizations

Should federal law protect LGBTQ people from discrimination when it comes to health care and health insurance?
Cleaver: Yes
Derks: Sometimes, depending on the medical treatment or procedure. "I don't have a problem with anyone's sexual identity. However, I do have a problem with the Supreme Court doing the job of the Legislative branch which is what happened earlier this year"
Dominick: Yes


Mark the mandates you support. Any mandate left unmarked will indicate you do not support it unless you check "Prefer not to answer." Some candidates provide additional comment below the chart.

Repealing criminal penalties for people apprehended while crossing the border
Banning sanctuary cities
Extending the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border
Increasing funding for the U.S.-Mexico border
Eliminating the Visa lottery
Implementing a merit-based entry system
Creating a path to citizenship for the current undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
Eliminating family detention for asylum-seekers while their claims are being processed
Limiting family detention for asylum-seekers while their claims are being processed
Prefer not to answer

Cleaver: “Comprehensive immigration reform is needed which both ensures a path to citizenship, as well as strengthening our border security.”
Derks: “A country without borders is no country at all. Extremely strict but quick immigration system. We cannot have unlimited open social welfare and also open borders.”
Dominick: Did not provide additional comment.

Should undocumented immigrants be covered under a government-run health plan?
Cleaver: Some, but not all (depending on the circumstances)
Derks: No
Dominick: No


What is the most important issue of this election?
Cleaver: First, we have to continue to work to stabilize our economy for businesses of all sizes and ensure Americans have the relief they need. Next, we need to strategically invest federal resources in our health care systems to meet the challenges of COVID along with investments in crumbling infrastructure in our country to create jobs and grow our economy. Finally, we must ensure that going forward we are better prepared to address a pandemic whether that is funding research, training health professionals, or having adequate supplies of tests and PPE.
Derks: “Replacing a failed and corrupt political establishment with a new government controlled by us, the American People. The Washington establishment, and the financial and media corporations that fund it, exists for only one reason: to protect and enrich itself.”
Dominick: "Ending wars. Over seas, and the failed war on drugs."

41 Action News is committed to providing comprehensive information on the 2020 primary and general elections with an emphasis on several key issues — the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic and race relations. Count on us to provide news and information to help you make an informed choice at the polls.