Sexual Freedoms Candidate Questionnaire
We are taking a quick break from our normally scheduled sex toy reviews to get a little political. I hope you’ll stick around!
Here in Minnesota we have our Primary on August 14th. I have been doing a lot of political volunteering lately.., which you have to know is totally out of my comfort zone… but now more than ever I felt like I had to do something. The congressional candidate I have been volunteering for is not only an incredibly strong environmentalist (which I think is super important) but he is also a candidate that believes that sex work is work, believes that we need to decriminalized sex work, and believes in rights not rescue. We need more candidates like this, candidates that actually represent the things we want and believe in!
All this volunteering got me thinking… where do other candidates on our ballot stand when it comes to issues of sex. With that in mind I took to the internet (specifically Twitter) and asked for help perfecting eight questions that would be sent to candidates on the topic of sex beyond the hot button issues of abortion.
So with the help of some readers the questionnaire was created and I invited all federal candidates on the CD5 ballot to participate. I am a little disappointed in how many people refused to participate, which speaks volumes to me… I feel that the candidates who declined to take the survey made that decision either because they did not take myself and my readers seriously and felt they did not need to respond to us (bad move, we are voters) or because they do not believe in our sexual freedoms and felt that answering the questions was either beneath them or would make them look bad. While the deadline I set for the return of questionnaires has passed, should any candidate change their mind (on their own or because of the urgings of you the voter) and choose to respond, I will gladly post their answers below.
Do you have elections coming up in your area? Would you like a copy of this questionnaire to send to your own candidates? Let me know and I will send you a blank copy!
Also, just a quick note to any readers not familiar with politics in Minnesota, the DFL is the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, which is what we call our Democrats… because we are fancy like that.
Candidates Invited to Participate:
Paula M Overby – Minnesota Green Party – Refused to Participate
Merrill Anderson – Republican – Refused to Participate
Rae Hart Anderson – Republican – Refused to Participate
Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente – Republican – Refused to Participate
Jim Newberger – Republican – Refused to Participate
Steve Carlson – DFL – Refused to Participate
Stephen A. Emery – DFL – Refused to Participate
David Robert Groves – DFL – Refused to Participate
Amy Klobucher – DFL – Refused to Participate
U.S. Senator Special Election
Jerry Trooien – Unaffiliated – Refused to Participate
Sarah Wellington – Legal Marijuana Now – Refused to Participate
Bob Anderson – Republican – Refused to Participate
Karin Housley – Republican – Refused to Participate
Ali Chehem Ali – DFL – Refused to Participate
Gregg A. Iverson – DFL – Refused to Participate under the grounds that he is “running for the U. S. Senate”
Nick Leonard – DFL – Refused to Participate
Richard W. Painter – DFL – Refused to Participate
Christopher Lovell Seymore Sr. – DFL – Refused to Participate
Tina Smith – DFL – Refused to Participate
U.S. Representative District 5
Bob “Again” Carney Jr – Republican – Refused to Participate
Christopher Chamberlin – Republican – Refused to Participate
Jennifer Zielinski – Republican – Refused to Participate
Jamal Abdi Abdulahi – Republican – Refused to Participate
Margaret Anderson Kelliher – DFL – Refused to Participate
Frank Nelson Drake – DFL – Refused to Participate
Sexual Freedoms Questionnaire
- Patricia Torres Ray: The expectation (and reality) that data and online queries related to sexual health are not shared with
third parties is imperative. Our privacy and our health are of the utmost importance when it comes to
learning about sexual health and expression.
- Ilhan Omar: The right to privacy is essential. U.S. consumers should be free to express themselves privately over the
internet whether it be related to sexual expression/health or not. They should feel confident in their ability to do
so without any fear of oversight or monitoring from the Department of Homeland Security or other agencies
related to government.
- Dennis Schuller: This is part of why I am running because surveillance and accountability are already a huge and irreversible part of our society. If the Russia investigations are any indication there are no secrets anymore so our system has to change what it sees as criminal and I guess people need to change probably both, we need to be more open and honest
- Nikolay Nikolayevich Bey: I have always stated that I stand behind our Constitution, It’s what makes America, well, America. Our founders have written it.
- Patricia Torres Ray: Yes, a person should have complete autonomy over his/her/their data. GDPR is a good example of
policymakers taking responsibility for protecting the interests of private individuals over the interests of
- Ilhan Omar: I believe power should be shifted into the hands of the consumer. The GDPR is a step forward, working to
ensure that users understand and consent to the data being collected about them. In our digital age, where
information collection can easily be used to survey our most vulnerable communities, people should have the
right to control as much of their online footprint as possible. It is the part of legislators to set the tone and
standards for that kind of data protection.
- Dennis Schuller: Yes this is all good however you realize that as technology grows and grows there will always be a way and nothing is ever truly erased. But we do need to find ways to hold jerks accountable who are abusive to people physically and through identity crimes
- Nikolay Nikolayevich Bey: I am for GDPR, if it’s truly written in that proper language to protect personal information, unless others wise people want to be known.
- Patricia Torres Ray: Honestly, this is something I have not yet had a chance to learn about in great detail. However, I will
say that I have always — and will always — prioritize my constituents and their concerns. I pride myself
on taking the time and making the time to meet with people to learn from them about their lives and
where they need my help. I look forward to learning from women and those who work in sexually
oriented businesses about their specific obstacles and then working to put safeguards in place that
protect those on the margins.
- Ilhan Omar: All workers have a right to access the payment that they deserve. The closing of these accounts are unjust and
allow for exploitation. We must redistribute power into the hands of workers by making sure that payment
processors do not have the ability to withhold funds and fight to close loopholes in legislation that allow barriers
like this to pass through.
- Dennis Schuller: When I fight for marijuana I do so because it clearly show the sad injustice that our government that is supposed to protect freedom instead chases, incarcerates, and stigmatizes people over a plant. There is only one thing that shows this more clearly and that is sex and sex work one of the oldest lines of work . Government and the bank need to stay out of the bedroom.
- Nikolay Nikolayevich Bey: I’ll issue a policy between Federal, and Banking related to this, that states something along the lines of, If some one or some-thing decides to withhold funds that belong to some one else, their to have fines, which will go directly to the victim’s. If they continue, they, meaning payment processors as an example, shall not do business then for perhaps 5 Years. The way I look at it is, if you owe money, pay up, if you do not, then there are penalties, even leading to shut down. I believe in justification, if there is an act, there is a cause. I sort of talk about it at: nikolaynikolayevichbey.
blogspot.com I am here to protect all, do what I can to protect all.
- Patricia Torres Ray: Operation ChokePoint was a well-intentioned piece of legislation that was not detailed enough to keep
in mind the harm that it has caused individuals. The initiative focusing on industries in the name of
consumer protection but infringed upon civil liberties.
To ensure that legislature of this nature does not silence women and others’ expression, I believe that
when restrictive legislation that is meant for industries is outlined in a detailed way, it will protect
people. I will insist on more detailed bills and promise to be cognizant of protecting civil liberties while
also keeping corporations and industries accountable.
- Ilhan Omar: Operation Chokepoint allowed those in power to find ways to discredit the profession of those they deemed
counter to their own principles. For far too long, the impact legislation has on women’s and sex workers rights
has only been an afterthought. We need their voices from the beginning and this cannot happen unless they
are given a seat at the table to talk about how detrimental these policies may be to their wellbeing. In
Congress, I vow to not make decisions like this without listening to the concerns of the communities directly
- Dennis Schuller: Operation choke point the whole government needs to change because it wastes resources over things that aren’t crimes. Instead we need to help people no one wakes up in the morning and says “I’m going to be a bad person toady [sic]” we need to help people more.
- Nikolay Nikolayevich Bey: Well, first off, I want to look at this one more, because if it does not make sense, not just common sense, it does not need to be in there, If your an adult entertainer, and your labeled not to buy a gun, our system basically has to much of that “made-up” language that should not even be in there… This is an example. You see, it has to make sense, not just common sense. Allot of other politicians think we have too many guns out there, I say, really? And your a what kind of politician to say that? Lately I heard some one say that, because of what took place in their City. Not something to say, we already know that there are many guns out there, that’s not the Statement any more. I personally do not care how many guns are out there, I do not care what gender you are, or who you are, as an example, we don’t have the law protecting individual sales, but we have laws protecting retail, to make sure their licensed, now, sure, individual license laws might not be “hard” enough, but if we supposedly have serial numbers on bullets, and guns, then it can be much easier to track, it’s just that, we have to have the right language in Policy out lining this stuff, and take out what makes sense -v- what does not. Am I making sense for you?
- Patricia Torres Ray: As I understand it, FOSTA harms sex workers who actively choose their profession. When sex workers
cannot vet their clients, their safety is clearly compromised. A specific thing that can be done to
prevent these unintended consequences is being more specific in our legislation about what it is thatwe are taking measures to prevent. For example, FOSTA should specifically target actual sex
trafficking, not consensual sex work. How we determine what is work and what is coercion is not
defined in the bill and should be. I will work in Congress to push clearer definitions within bills and
ensure that consensual and elective sex work are not conflated as sex trafficking.
- Ilhan Omar: While SESTA and FOSTA aim to protect trafficking victims, they will in practice lead to further surveillance and
criminalization of sex work by dismantling secure communities that have been built. We know the most likely tobe harmed by these policies are women of color, low-income workers, and those who are trans and/or queer.
We cannot fully protect those in this industry until we decriminalize sex work, create stronger protections after
legalization of consensual sex between adults and give a seat at the table to this community in shaping
legislation that may have detrimental after effects.
- Dennis Schuller: I am definitely against forced sex trafficking, and pimps and rapists are what I consider criminals. I will have to defer to people like yourself on this one what do you suggest?
- Nikolay Nikolayevich Bey: Leadership. It’s that simple… And own, Company Policy. Here is my point. Our President is a LEADER. Then it’s the chain of Command, if our Leader is nuts, our other chain of Command people are lost. Regardless of what the entities it is, backpages, Home Land Security, Immigration, NRA, well, NRA is lost in their own whatever it is, but, every Entity or in other words, Organization, they have leaders, I don’t care if it’s the CEO, CFO, President, Top Cop, whatever, then people below them, follow rules, follow orders. So, in this case. I don’t care what Policy or Reform, whatever it is, they can be issued, with that proper language to support the claim, and it’s understanding. So that, every one follows it, like counter clock wise, and then things work, if all execute, to make sure things are working. That way guess what, things are safe. I mean, think about it. If your following me? Can we combat sexual trafficking, yes, did we need to shut down backpage, no, but it’s done. backpage didn’t have great leadership, they could of been removed, by an order of Court to sell, and stop trafficking, but it was easier to shut them down, which is fine, Government should of then sold them off, they do that with other properties, I mean, do they not take homes by criminals, cars, what do they do with them after the fact, they sell them. They can sell them to back ground checked proven people, just that simple… I mean, we’re always watched, NSA does it all the time, FBI as well, it’s not like order can’t be there, any ways, I side tracked, I talk too much… But above is the point of view I have about it. It could of been done differently, is all I am saying… There is always a way to do things differently…
- Patricia Torres Ray: I have long worked toward single-payer healthcare, healthcare that is accessible to all people. Whether
it is STI testing, cancer screenings, or other preventative care measures, all people have a right to
unbiased care. It’s a disservice to our community members with disabilities to assume that they do not
need certain kinds of care simply because we do not take the time to understand their needs. Access
to sexual healthcare has always been a priority for me and I will push fully accessible health care in
congress for all people, specifically keeping the needs of disabled and elderly people in mind.
- Ilhan Omar: Healthcare is under constant attack in our country but I believe it should be treated as a fundamental human
right. This is why we need champions of Medicare-for-All. Our vision to guarantee equitable care means
supporting federal policies that require insurance companies to cover a wide scope of services, including
contraception, vasectomies, STI and cancer screenings, and prenatal and postpartum care. Furthermore, we
should ensure access to contraception comes at no cost to anyone.
- Dennis Schuller: Senior people are actually the most likely to carry a STI. I plan to be a connector I can’t solve every problem personally but I can enable others to find the help they need and help change laws by helping facilitate the process.
- Nikolay Nikolayevich Bey: Read my blog: nikolaynikolayevichbey.
blogspot.com my view is that I want health care for all, on everything, for everything. We should not have this or that, whatever it is not covered, if we’re paying money for something, we expect full out, blown something. I do not care who or what you are, you should have health coverage for everything, and I will have a better written policy on this, with proper language stating everything, and I know I will also have resistance from all sides, because, well, they wont like it. But the thing is, it’s better for you, because if you have health care covering, weather it’s STI, HIV, STD, whatever, pregnancy or not, for that same fixed rate on a month too month basis, where you do not pay any more than a month to month? I know I want that
- Patricia Torres Ray: The VA does in fact treat gender dysphoria from a mental health perspective as of May 23, 2018,
according to the VHA Directive 1341, however they do not conduct nor pay for gender confirmation
That said, while I understand that not all trans people experience gender dysphoria, it is imperative
that gender dysphoria is treated with the same importance and respect as other mental health
diagnoses. It is disheartening to me to know that our trans community members do not get the same
care as cisgender people and have a more difficult time maneuvering the healthcare system. As an
ardent supporter of LGBTQ+ issues, I promise to fight for healthcare that is not held back by
discriminatory practices and bigotry. As your next congressperson for CD05, I will prioritize anti-
- Ilhan Omar: Allyship to our trans community is an essential part of our fight for equitable healthcare. 29% of transgender
people said a healthcare professional refused to see them because of their actual or perceived gender identity.
In our fight for Medicare-for-All, we want to ensure funding is allocated towards services for our LGBTQIA+
community, especially our youth.
- Dennis Schuller: I am a supporter of a single payer health care system where people in need can get help with their problems no exclusions. There would be no need for the VA in its current form we would all just have the same insurance.
- Nikolay Nikolayevich Bey: Read my blog: nikolaynikolayevichbey.
- Patricia Torres Ray: I am 100% for the decriminalization of sex work. Sex work is real work. When the state to controls sex
workers’ bodies, either through regulation or illegality, it is simply a continuation of the exploitation of
women and working class people.
- Ilhan Omar: The rights of sex workers are labor rights and should be treated as such. Sex work criminalization targets our
most vulnerable populations–youth, people of color, low-income, and trans and queer communities–creating
fertile ground for arbitrary violation arrests and opens doors for police violence. Decriminalization increases
access to a legal system of protections, improving the health and well being of those who work in the industry.
- Dennis Schuller: Not only do I see decriminalization but I see insurance coverage for those performing sex treatments for individuals in need. There are people handicapped and otherwise that could use sensual touch as treatment for depression amongst other things. It takes a special person to be open and caring and we have to remember maslow’s hirerarcy and help people reach the peak.
- Nikolay Nikolayevich Bey: Are you serious? Amnesty International will properly have me black listed on their shit sheet soon. To me this is trying to control people. I am not for people, not to mention some whatever they are trying to tell me what the hell I can, and can not do. or for you, that matter. Understand this people, I am a free-will person, it has to make sense. I mean, your living the same life, your trying to live it, why do you need bull shit policies that are not even fair? Your just trying, and so am I. In my blogs, I talk about, what I talk about. I hope I am what you seek to be elected, and it takes all 18 plus to vote this time around… It’s a big ticket…
I’ve got to say, I am very pleased with the answers of both Ilhan Omar and Patricia Torres Ray, both of these women seem like strong candidates on the side of sexual freedoms and sex workers. Though I must express some disappointment with some of Ilhan Omar’s past legislation. Omar co-authored HF 1788, a resolution recognizing pornography as a public health hazard. As someone who writes pornography for a living, I believe calling porn a “public health hazard” seems incredibly extreme, uninformed, and is a personal attack on those who create adult films/imagery and their economic livelihoods. But her answers here do seem thoughtful, so let’s hope she has changed her mind on porn.
If my “endorsement” means anything at all, I am honestly most impressed with Patricia Torress Ray, she seems incredibly knowledgable and her language is very strong and I appreciate the strong stances she is willing to take.
I appreciate the time these candidates took answer these questions and wish them luck in the Primary!