El Tinklenberg, DFL candidate for U.S. Representative, District 6

In light of the current economic crisis, what needs to happen to ensure American economic stability in the future? We have to get back to the basics and restore a focus on fundamentals that the financial system was built around. Encouraging small business and producing jobs, but what has happened is a result of Bush policies. We need to get back to expanding plants and equipment, supporting creation of good jobs using the most fundamental shifts along with reapplying some regulatory framework that weâÄôve lost. Can the United States achieve energy independence? If so, what steps do we need to take for that to happen and how long do you think it will take? Our security, environment and economy depend on us. We donâÄôt have enough oil. I support exploring. We need to find it, identify it, but then preserve it because we need it for the future. We need to spend research money, extend credits for wind and solar and expand geothermal options. With tuition costs rising, what, if anything, would you do to make college more affordable? I support what Sen. Obama has proposed, a broader national service program that allows young people to earn credits to go to school. I support the GI bill, earning credits through the military, and I want to expand it through other services. What is your stance on gay marriage? When someone is born, they get a birth certificate, it gives you access to all the rights and privileges. Whatever churches want to do, itâÄôs something totally separate from the governmentâÄôs recognition of that relationship. Whatever couple it is, they should receive the same rights and laws, but should be completely separate from whatever the church does. What is your stance on abortion? I have been consistently pro-life, but IâÄôm not out to overturn Roe v. Wade. I think the work that many of us believe in to reduce abortion should be on prevention. What, if anything, would change about the health care system? I support the idea for a continuing role of privatization of insurance, but we need options from the public sector that will lower costs. We need more efficiency in the system, better management of medical records, and the key is providing a system to ensure everyone is covered in this system. How should the United States address the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? We need to take advantage of the calm the surge has created to put in place a plan of withdrawing our troops. We need to do it safely and responsibly but we need to insist it happens and I do support a timeframe. Then we need to refocus our efforts on Afghanistan. What is the most important issue our country must deal with today and how do you plan to address it? We all know the issues, and there are a lot of them out there. ItâÄôs whether or not we can rediscover the courage and determination to work together to address these issues. WeâÄôve experienced so much of a narrow ideology and approach to government, and itâÄôs gotten worse and worse in a time of crisis. We need a recommitment to working together for a common good.