Who’s running for Fort Worth area Texas House District 97?

The Texas Capitol on June 1, 2021.

The Texas Capitol on June 1, 2021.

PA

Craig Goldman

Political Party: Republican

Did not respond

Laurin McLaurin

Political Party: Democrat

Age as of November 8, 2022: 73

Campaign website: http://leprechaunlord.com

Occupation: retired computer engineer

Education: University of Houston (BS), various training since

Have you run for elected office before? (Please list previous offices sought)

No

Please list highlights of your civic involvement:

Navy Vet. (1971/77), HOA board member, precinct chair

Who are your top three campaign contributors?

None. None. And none.

What is the most important distinction between you and your opponent(s)?

Conservative Republicans want to recreate the pass. I want to create the future.

What are the three biggest issues in this race?

(1) Leadership to accelerate the transition to clean energy, which will reduce the impact of human activity on Global Warming.

(2) Softening the economic impact of the Russian war in Ukraine, which is driving up gas prices, food prices, and inflation.

(3) Republicans pulling us back into the horrors of the early and mid-twentieth century, rather then implementing the paradigms of the early twenty-first century.

Should property taxes be lowered? What can the state do to lower property taxes for Texans? Be specific.

California retirees moving to Texas have driven up home prices to a level that fewer and fewer Texans can match. Texans with pretty fixed incomes or small annual increases in pay can’t keep up. We should cap the annual increase in property tax to no more they the average annual pay increase for all texans. That should keep Texas from pricing people out of their homes.

What should the state do to address immigration at the Texas-Mexico border?

Stop wasting money on the failed border wall; walled fortresses have not been workable since the mid-fifteenth century. Start using that money instead to implement modern means to detect people seeking across the border.

Do you support changes to Texas gun laws? If so, what changes? Would you support raising the age to buy AK-style rifles from 18 to 21?

The US Constitution’s second amendment starts off “A well regulated militia…”. So contrary to Greg Abbott, the people’s representative can pass laws to keep the immature, the infirm, law breakers, and mental ill from processing guns. History has shown that regulating gun will keep out streets safer. Nothing supports our police like having fewer guns on the streets and those guns in the hands of responsible gun owners and not the mental ill and the criminal.

How should Texas continue its efforts to make schools safer?

I believe the trouble in schools are societal. When one sees guns banished about on TV they naturally think that guns are a solution to their ills. We’ve pretty much banished smoking cigarettes from TV, we can do the same for guns. We see guns in public mostly only when we see police. Yet you can see people banishing guns on TV pretty much any night. TV should reflect the norm of society and not be skewed to violence for a profit.

Should Texas change its abortion law to make exceptions for rape and/or incest? At what point in a pregnancy should abortion be barred, if at all?

The argument about abortion isn’t about having an abortion; it is about access to a legal abortion. Illegal abortions kill women. Women who determine that they need an abortion should have access to a safe and legal abortion. Roe v. Wade set down the rights of the woman pours the rights of the fetus. I support women having the right to an abortion in the first trimester, without restrictions. Abortions in the second trimester should only be possible with consent and advice of the woman’s doctor. Abortions in the third trimester should be possible only to save the life of the the mother and then only with a state appointed doctor agreeing with he woman’s doctor that it is necessary. I will work to get this voted on as a Texas Constitutional Amendment.

What can the state do to help students who are lagging behind grade level in subjects like math and reading? What specific policies do you support to improve achievement in Texas schools?

Up to the forth grade we teach kids to read. After that they read to learn. So it is imperative that kids learn to read. Math literacy is necessary for people to function in our society. Kids should have access to tutors and video lectures that they can access at their pace. We need to rethink middle and high schools in regards to classes taught and how those lessons are delivered. We need to move some classes to video lectures, with the teachers being proctors and tutors and not the lecturer.

Should there be a statewide ban or limit on gender-affirming health care treatments for transgender Texans younger than 18? Which medical procedures or treatments and why? How should such a ban/limit be enforced?

I believe most people determine their sexual identity in their early to mid-teens, so postponing gender-affirming health care treatments until 18 means those kids have to spend three or more years in need of medical care but unable to access it. That seems very cruel to me.

Do you support Medicaid expansion? What changes would you like to see in the healthcare system to make care more affordable and accessible?

Medicaid expansion would provide health care insurance to 1.7 million more Texans. Shortly after moving to Texas in August, 1977, I started feeling ill, so I went to see a doctor. He entered the exam room reading my newly created folder and said, without looking up, that I had allergies and that he would write me a prescription shortly. He continued reading something in my folder, so I ask what it was he was reading. He replied that I had given the money intended for him to an insurance company and that he was reading my insurance policy to see what he took to get his money out of the insurance company. American spend sixteen percent of our GDP on healthcare and insurance companies. Countries with a single payer system pay only for healthcare and so spend only eight percent of GDP for healthcare. I strongly support a single payer system.

Texas is expected to have a huge budget surplus in the coming legislative session. How should those dollars be spent and what priorities should be addressed with those dollars?

High speed trains, rooftop solar, and any other thing that brings our energy and transportation sectors into the twenty-first century.

Should Texas loosen its marijuana laws? Would you support the legalization of marijuana for recreational and/or medical use?

People are making money off of marijuana and have been for years. Legalizing marijuana for recreational and medical use will change who gets that money from drug dealers to the tax man. It will give money to enforce drug laws against other more lethal drugs.

Should Texas legalize casino gambling? Should the state legalize sports betting? If so, what should be the framework and parameters?

I’m opposed to casino gambling and sports betting on moral grounds; it mostly takes money from the poor and passes it to the rich.

Has the state done enough to fix the power grid? What should be done going forward to ensure its successful operation, particularly in times of extreme weather?

A governor signing a handful of papers doesn’t turn one bolt in one power line or cause one bolt to be turned. So nothing has improved with the power grid since the power outage in February, 2021. To solve a problem you first have to recognize that one exists, then determine the nature of the problem, and implement a solution. There are two problems with the grid; the isolation from America’s other two grids and ERCOT. I know someone who works for AEP, a large electricity provider with customers in east Texas. He explained that in 2021 about half of the wind turbines in west Texas were offline because they had not had their transmission fluid changed from summer to winter weight. It cost money to change that fluid and ERCOT had preference coal and gas generators over wind. Winter generally requires less electricity than summer. If the Texas grid was connected to the national grids, wind turbine owners could sell their wind energy to the north in the winter.

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