Voters Guide: 25th Congressional District

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SAN ANTONIO - Voters Guide for 25th Congressional District with candidates Roger Williams (R), Julie Oliver (D) and Desarae Lindsey (L).

Evaluate President Trump’s performance so far.

OLIVER: The president personally directed his personal lawyer to commit a felony. At a time when, more than ever, veterans deserve accountability and transparency in how decisions at the VA are being made, the president has allowed his billionaire friends to attempt to personally profit off of the VA. On foreign soil, in Helsinki, standing next to the leader of the country that more than any other threatens our own, the President refused to stand up for America and instead chose to side with Russia and its dictator, Vladimir Putin. Just days after the Justice department issued indictments for 12 Russian agents, agents who sought to undermine the sanctity of our elections and the genius of America?—?the idea that we are still able to govern ourselves and freely choose our leaders?—?the President did what no sitting president has done before him. He chose a foreign power over the United States. Special Counsel Bob Mueller -- a life-long veteran law enforcement official and Republican, appointed by the president's own Republican Deputy AG -- has uncovered proof that the president and his team committed multiple crimes, resulting in at least 19 indictments and 5 guilty pleas. No president, of any party, is above the law -- not this president, not any president. He has mocked survivors of sexual assault, people with disabilities, Gold Star families, veterans, former POW's, and has openly racist tendencies. And his administration has intentionally inflicted lasting psychological trauma on children by separating them from their families, families seeking legal asylum and fleeing horrific violence, doing what any parent would do if facing similar circumstances.

How do you feel about compromising with representatives on the other side of the aisle?

OLIVER: Since day one of my campaign, I've been showing up everywhere, talking to everyone -- whether you're a Republican, Democrat, independent, don't vote, it doesn't matter to me. Every single person in this district deserves a representative who will show up, listen, and be accountable to the people they are elected to serve and represent -- not just to corporate donors and lobbyists. That's why I'm committed to once-a-month, open-to-the-public town halls at home in the district -- anyone, whether you're a Republican, Democrat, independent, don't vote, should be able to share their ideas and hold their representative accountable in a public setting. That is how a democracy is supposed to work. I'm committed to reaching across the aisle and working with anyone if it means we're ensuring that veterans are getting their disability claims met in a more timely fashion, that more people have higher paying jobs, that we're working toward universal, guaranteed healthcare for every child, woman, man -- which by the way is not just the right thing to do, it’s also much, much less expensive than the way that we pay -- or fail to pay -- for healthcare in this state right now.

What is the most important issue for Texans in 2018?

OLIVER: Wages are stagnant, and income inequality is only going to get worse as DC elites continue to pass legislation like the tax cuts aimed at rewarding multinational corporations who are just going to hoard their cash and ship the jobs overseas. Property taxes are going up because Congress won't do its job to fund high-quality guaranteed universal healthcare. We can create well-paying jobs by empowering businesses to grow and prosper, incentivizing rural manufacturing, encouraging business to locate jobs in rural Texas instead of outsourcing to foreign countries, and assisting small business owners by increasing access to credit and technical assistance. I exist in the real world, and I know how business actually works.

What can you do to help change public perception that Congress is dysfunctional?

OLIVER: I haven't taken a dime from any PAC, and I never will. My campaign is 100% funded by individual contributors, chipping in whatever they can afford. Congress is totally captured and corroded by corporate special interest money. We have to get big money out of the halls of Congress. How do we explain the frustration, the dysfunction we feel when we think about Congress? It has been so captured by corporations and special interests that the people in that institution are not interested in helping those they're elected to serve. Because I have refused all PAC money, you will always know that I am not in anybody's pocket. We will not always agree on every single position. No two people ever will. But one thing that nobody in this district will ever have to ask themselves is, "I wonder, did Julie make this decision, cast this vote, support this amendment, craft this legislation because it was good for the people in Buda or Burleson or Cleburne or Wimberley or Lampasas or Austin? Or was it good for the corporations who paid the lobbyist to go into her office and send that PAC check for $10,000 to ensure her re-election?" With me, it will be the people every single time.

What aspect of your background should 25th District voters remember when they cast their ballots?

OLIVER: I have 20 years of experience and real expertise in healthcare finance and taxation -- I know how this market works, and I know how to craft real solutions to the problems facing our state and this country. We can lower your premiums and co-pays, and we can get more people covered, with better outcomes. I'm not a politician -- I just want to see us meet the challenges we're facing at this critical moment in our country's history. For me it was the attacks on healthcare -- my son has a pre-existing condition, like 325,000 other people in this district. I took care of my mom for the last 15 years of her life as she struggled with a chronic disease, and I'm taking care of her dad now, as he undergoes care at the VA. Roger Williams voted to take healthcare from millions of people so millionaires and multinational corporations could get a tax cut. That's wrong. And that's when I knew I had to run.

Note: Chip Roy and Desarae Lindsey did not respond to repeated requests for responses.

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