Kathleen Smith

Party: Libertarian

Office: Lt. Governor

Libertarian Kathleen Smith represents an optimistic and fresh approach to limited government.
* All bios derived from candidates' websites.

Candidate Website    

Quiz Results

How the candidate answered on the issues

State and National

Do you support net neutrality?

Additional Comments: As a Libertarian, I believe that the competitive marketplace will be motivated to increase speed and access for all consumers. Giving an appointed government board, responsible to no one, the power to regulate the internet could easily lead to further regulation. Actually, for many Americans, the only thing throttling internet use is the absence of high speed (or any) connections in rural or low income areas. The net neutrality rules did not address that issue.
State and National

Should the minimum wage be raised?

Additional Comments: Raising the minimum raise reduces the availability of jobs for young and / or unskilled workers. We see this in the increased use of kiosks in fast food restaurants and robotics in warehouses. When low-skilled workers have access to entry level jobs they learn general work skills, as well as the specifics of their job. If they are priced-out of the bottom of the work ladder, their chances of ever being self supporting are greatly diminished. Additionally,there is a ripple effect through the entire work force, since workers who are already earning what becomes the "minimum" expect (and usually get) raises. In the end, either the costs of goods rise or technology replaces workers to keep costs lower.
State and National

What is your view on Climate Change?

Additional Comments: There are many things that we can do in reaction to changing climates and weather patterns. But, as in all things, the economic costs must be weighed against the benefits. Some suggested actions have very high costs and produce few real gains, while some very effective changes can be made at lower costs. In many areas of the world clean water is a far more urgent need than clean energy. We cannot become singly focused on this issue. Vaccinations, education (especially of girls), food production and other issues cannot be set aside for lack of funding, so that relatively small gains can be made in climate change; even though these issues may be inter-connected in the broadest understanding.
State and National

Regarding gun laws, what generally do you support from the choices below?

Candidate provided only a written response.

Additional Comments: I believe that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to ownership of firearm, and that our current laws are generally sufficient. One area where I see a need for improvement is in the area of domestic violence. I initially supported the recent bill that mandated quicker collection of firearms after a PFA or a domestic abuse conviction. However, there may be issues concerning due process in the final version of the bill. I would support a bill requiring that guns be turned over to a lawyer or a licensed gun dealer that had clearer language regarding due process, and retention of ownership as separate from possession.
State and National

How should marijuana be regulated?

Additional Comments: Marijuana should be legalized, and Congress should be pushed to remove it from The Federal Schedule 1. Individuals under the age of 18 should have access for medical use.
State and National

Should the drawing of district lines be done by an independent system instead of state legislators?

Additional Comments: Many factors enter into defining election districts, including the existing governmental boundaries. Counties, municipalities, and school districts generally should be kept in the same electoral district whenever possible. Geographic, socioeconomic, and other factors also may be considered. The independent panel should define and rank the relevant factors, and then have one or more maps drawn by computers. The final decision should be in the hands of the panel.
State

Were you (or would you have been) in support of the 2016 legislation regulating opioids in Pennsylvania (Act 122, Act 124, Act 125, Act 126)?

Additional Comments: It is important to remember that previous to the introduction of the newer opioids many patients, especially cancer victims and many near the end of life, routinely suffered severe pain. Doctors have overused opioids, some because they were not focused on the possibility of addiction; some because manufacturers understated the risks, and some for monetary gain. Some states have found that if every doctor who proscribed opioids to an overdose victim receives a notification of death letter from a coroners or medical examiners, their prescription rate drops. I support civil and/or criminal action against doctors and pharmacies who continue to provide drugs that are not medically suitable.
State and National

From the choices below, what best represents your view on the wages men and women are paid?

Additional Comments: Defining "the same work" is not possible in most work fields. A neurosurgeon and a dermatologist are both doctors. One may be on call 24/7; the other may have regular office hours. Some employees are more available for travel, or extended hours.
State

Regarding Pennsylvania pensions, were you (or would you have been) in favor of the 2017 Senate Bill 1 that introduces a 401K-style component into pension benefits for new hires after 2019?

Additional Comments: ... but it didn't go far enough. The PA pension system has never been fully funded, and even with recent increased in mandated contributions it will another 20 years before it is. At those needed rates many school districts are cutting staff or programs to meed required pension payments. In addition, it was recently revealed that over $5 billion was paid to private equity firms and not publicly reported. The fund is projecting returns that are unlikely to be realized, and has placed a large percentage of the funds with high risk / high fee firms. All state employees should be transitioned to individual pension accounts.
State

From the choices below, what best represents your view on property taxes?

Additional Comments: Any change will likely raise other taxes. PA's bigger problem is spending too much.
State and National

From the choices below, what best represents your view on abortion?

Candidate provided only a written response.

Additional Comments: Libertarians believe that any adult has the right to make decisions about their own medical care; and abortion is a medical issue. But most also acknowledge that a second life, that of the fetus, is involved. Pennsylvania's current law was based on the generally accepted threshold of viability, which is changing with advanced neonatal medicine; and includes conditional provisions for later abortion. I would encourage measures that would reduce the need for abortion, including easier access to birth control and easier arrangements for adoption.
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