Colorado Congressional District 4 race: Meyers, Loban and Buck on the issues

Photo: Meyers, Loban and BuckDemocrat Vic Meyers, Libertarian Jess Loban, and Republican Ken Buck are competing for the open seat in Colorado's 4th Congressional District, vacated by out-going U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner. He's running for U.S. Senate against Sen. Mark Udall.

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The candidates answered the following questions from CPR News about issues they may face. Ken Buck's campaign declined to complete CPR's questionnaire. His positions are comprised of previous statements and news coverage that CPR News has compiled.

Do you want the Affordable Care Act to stay in place and possibly have minor changes, or do you want to completely overhaul or eliminate the ACA?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)Keep it. It's proving itself more every day.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)Complete overhaul.

Ken Buck (Republican)

Buck wants the act repealed, KUNC reports. "America can create a healthcare system that serves all of its citizens by relying less on government intervention and more on incremental changes that promote the doctor patient relationship, patient choice, and competition," Buck said on his campaign website. 
What can be done to shore up Medicare and Social Security?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)Improve the economy and wages of average Americans.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)We have to replace them with viable options for my generation.
Ken Buck (Republican)On Social Security, Buck said in 2010 that it was a "horrible, bad policy" and questioned its constitutionality.  He later said he could have chosen his words better. More recently, he said the program shouldn't be altered for those who rely on it. He also said he supports means testing. On Medicare, Buck told CPR News in 2010 that, "We’ve got to encourage people to save to deal with some of their medical expenses as they get older. We’ve got to also deal with the healthcare issue, get away for the fee-for-service model that we have in this country and move towards a quality-of-care model." 
What role should the federal government play in regulating oil and gas extraction?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)Ensure they are not damaging the environment.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)Very little. Administration of the courts for companies that impact the environment or individuals. 
Ken Buck (Republican)"For America to become a land of inexpensive and sustainable energy, the role of the federal government in the energy industry needs to change," Buck says on his campaign website. He supports deregulation and less government involvement across the energy industry. 
Do you support changes to the Endangered Species Act? If so, what?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)Yes.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)I would be in favor of full disclosure of data.
Ken Buck (Republican)CPR News couldn't find any record of Buck speaking about this particular issue.
What should the federal government do about climate change?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)By investing in a 21st Century infrastructure we help both the economy and the environment.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)Very little. Administration of the courts for companies that impact the environment or individuals. 
Ken Buck (Republican)Buck asserted in his 2010 U.S. Senate run that climate change is "the greatest hoax that has been perpetrated." Later, his campaign backtracked. “Ken believes there is global warming, but thinks the evidence points to it being natural, rather than manmade,” a spokesman said.
What can the federal government do to boost Colorado's economy?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)Invest in infrastructure, raise the minimum wage.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)Reduce federal burden on small business and citizens.
Ken Buck (Republican)Buck says building the Keystone Pipeline, lowering the corporate tax rate, and changing the individual tax structure will put people back to work. 
What should the federal government do to address growing inequality in America, and in Colorado?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)Raise the minimum wage, invest in infrastructure.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)We must stop stifling opportunity with heavy regulation. 
Ken Buck (Republican)CPR News couldn't find any record of Buck speaking about this particular issue.
What should the federal government do to lower the child poverty rate in Colorado?
Mark Udall (Democrat)Improve the economy by investing in infrastructure, pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Gaylon Kent (Libertarian)Allow their parents to keep more of the money they earn.
Ken Buck (Republican)CPR News couldn't find any record of Buck speaking about this particular issue.
Do you support raising the federal minimum wage?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)Yes.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)No, it drives unemployment, which increases federal dependency.
Ken Buck (Republican)"I am not in favor of raising the minimum wage. What happens when we raise the minimum wage is fewer people get on the bottom of the economic ladder to start working their way up the ladder," Buck said to the Sterling Rotary Club in October 2014. 
What areas of federal spending should be increased? What should be cut?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)Increase spending on infrastructure, student loans and Pell grants, veteran care.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)The spending is already out of control, and cuts would come across the board.
Ken Buck (Republican)Buck told the Greeley Tribune: "I hope to reduce the size and scope of the federal government. Our national debt is approaching $18 trillion and we have $100 trillion of unfunded liabilities. We are financially bankrupt. If we continue to place our debt on our children's credit cards, we are morally bankrupt. We have witnessed a steady assault on our constitutional rights, including IRS discrimination, NSA spying, and attempts to restrict the Second Amendment. Congress must shrink the federal government in order to reduce our deficit and protect our rights. We must return as much power as possible to the local level of government." 
What changes should be made to the federal tax code?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)The federal tax code needs to be re-written so that corporations, millionaires and investment bankers are once-again paying their fair share.  Past presidents have proven that the rich continue to get richer when taxed more equitably than they are today. The top economic minds in the country are telling us that we must reduce income inequality or continue to suffer as a nation.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)I would like to transition to a flat tax.
Ken Buck (Republican)Buck signed a pledge in 2010 to repeal the federal estate tax. In October 2014, he said America's corporate tax rate needs to be reduced and the individual tax structure needs to be changed, "to give people really the incentive to take risks and get into the business community." 
Do you support Common Core standards? Why or why not? 
Vic Meyers (Democrat)Yes, because they don't include federal mandates. Our military, business and higher ed leaders developed them because they are necessary.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)Absolutely not; the standards harm our children. I am fighting Common Core with my own three children. There is not a shred of acceptable third-party validation on any of the Common Core tests.
Ken Buck (Republican)Buck supports reducing the federal government's role in education. "Local control of public schools means getting rid of Common Core standards and the federal takeover of education that accompanies them." 
Do you believe adults who came to this country illegally should have a path to citizenship? Why or why not? 
Vic Meyers (Democrat)Forty percent of undocumented workers came here legally. Our system is broken. We need a pathway to citizenship.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)No. They must abide by the laws of the land. I do believe the laws should be corrected to be reasonable. 
Ken Buck (Republican)"A fair immigration system must include effective border security, effective interior and workplace enforcement, and a finely tailored immigrant and non-immigrant visa program," Buck says on his campaign website. 
Should marijuana be legalized across the country?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)We should observe the effects in Colorado and Washington before drawing conclusions.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)It is not of the federal government's concern. This should be decided at the state level, and participation decisions should be made at the local level. 
Ken Buck (Republican)

"No. I was a co-chair of the 'No on 64' campaign. I do not support the legalization of marijuana. While Colorado must continue to evaluate the effects of our constitutional amendment the federal government should not force legalization on the states," Buck told 9News. 

What is your stance on same-sex marriage?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)I support full equality for the LGBT community.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)Get government out of any marriage.
Ken Buck (Republican)Buck opposes legalized same-sex marriage, he said during the 2014 Republican primary. 
Should the federal government impose new restrictions on the sale or possession of firearms?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)I support the Second Amendment. This issue is used by too many to distract for the failures of Congress.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)Absolutely not. "Shall not be infringed" is clear.
Ken Buck (Republican)Buck opposes restricting gun ownership rights. "I will oppose any federal legislation to compile a database of gun owners or to further proscribe Americans' freedoms under the Second Amendment. My strong position on Second amendment rights has earned me the endorsement of the Gun Owners of America, which I was honored to receive," his 2010 U.S. Senate campaign website stated. 
Do you support or oppose legalized abortion? Are there any exceptions?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)I support a woman's right to make her own health care decisions.
Jess Loban (Libertarian)I oppose it for my family, and I believe this is something that should be decided at the state level.
Cory Gardner (Republican)"I am pro-life, and I'll answer the next question. I don't believe in the exceptions of rape or incest. I believe that the only exception, I guess, is life of the mother. And that is only if it's truly life of the mother," Buck said in 2010. More recently, Buck took heat in 2014 for distancing himself from the 'personhood' amendment that would give a fertilized egg the same rights as a person. 
Should the U.S. be helping arm Syrian rebels to take power away from ISIL--the Islamic extremist group? Why or why not? 
Vic Meyers (Democrat)No. ISIL is using the last weapons we sent to the rebels and to Iraq.  
Jess Loban (Libertarian)NO. We have a tremendous history of fighting our own investments, and I have no reason to believe this will not be more of the same.
Ken Buck (Republican)"Our president was a day late and a dollar short," Buck said on a CPT debate in October 2014. "He needs to do more than bomb Iraq. We need to form an international coalition -- I give him credit for starting that process."
What would you do to help this country’s veterans, many of whom have recently returned from war?
Vic Meyers (Democrat)

As a U.S. Army veteran who comes from a long line of military veterans, I find it disgraceful that Congress is failing our service men and women today. As your congressman, I will work to guarantee that our veterans are properly honored by: restoring the retirement benefits that were cut in the 2013 budget compromise; improving the pay of our current service men and women so that serving your country no longer means having to depend on food stamps; drastically improving the services provided by the Veterans Administration; expanding the G.I. Bill to help veterans start their own businesses; making sure our military budget serves the men and women who put their lives on the line more than the private contractors who only look to their bottom line.

Jess Loban (Libertarian)I am one. I would turn disabled veteran ID cards into insurance cards, and stop dumping money into government-run facilities. We have a fantastic health system in this country. In addition to increased access, a veteran has a clear path for consideration, should the healthcare professionals cause them harm. We do not have this with the VA.
Ken Buck (Republican)Buck said at an October debate in Pueblo that he doesn't want to privatize VA care, but said veterans who live a long way from VA clinics and hospitals should be able to go to private hospitals and doctors. 

Also running is unaffiliated candidate Grant Doherty.