Advertisement

miVoterGuide-logo

PART OF THE USA TODAY NETWORK

US Representative District 6

Choose one candidate to serve a two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Representatives receive an annual salary of $174,000.

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Candidate picture

    Paul C. Clements
    (Dem)

  • Fred S. Upton
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Lorence Wenke
    (L)

Social Media

Biographical Information

Do you support and will you appear at campaign events with your party’s nominee?

How would you rate the state’s response to the Flint water crisis?

Explain your rating.

How would you rate the federal government’s response to the Flint water crisis?

Explain your rating.

Should Congress provide funding to help Flint, and other cities across the U.S., reduce and eventually eliminate lead service lines?

Do you support deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Do they help create jobs in the U.S.? Why or why not?

What do you think needs to be done to make the U.S. tax code fairer?

Do you think Obamacare should be augmented or replaced? How would you change it? What would you replace it with?

What specifically would you do to help colleges control the cost of tuition?

The U.S., and Michigan specifically, has long been a place of refuge for people displaced by wars and acts of terror. Should it remain so, especially with regard to refugees from Iraq, Syria and the Middle East?

Would you support a Constitutional amendment repealing Citizens United?

Would you support legislation to require disclosure of donor identities?

If an American auto company wants to open a plant in another country to reduce costs and increase its competitiveness worldwide, should it be able to do so? Should it have to pay additional taxes or fees for work performed overseas?

Where should the U.S. concentrate its job creation efforts?

Should the U.S. Senate confirm a Supreme Court Justice before a new president takes office? If not, why not?

What is the role of Congress when its majority sits in political opposition to the president?

Has the relationship between Congress and the president lost the respect it ought to have during the last two terms? If so, how would you restore it?

How effective has the Republican majority in the House been in exercising the House’s constitutional role in the federal government?

Do you believe income inequality is a problem in America? If so, what would you do about it?

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? If so, explain.

Have you ever filed for personal bankruptcy? If so, explain.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Racial inequality continues to be a serious problem in America.

If you agree, what would you do about it? If you disagree, explain why.

Do you support a moratorium on the deportation of undocumented immigrants whose children were born in the United States?

Do you favor the deportation of all undocumented immigrants?

Do you support legislation to reform the decennial redistricting process by placing it in the hands of in the hands of a non-partisan agency?

How would you reduce the number of firearm-related injuries and deaths in the U.S.?

As more boomers enter retirement, the nation faces critical shortages in eldercare services and rapidly rising levels of poverty among older Americans. What should Congress do about it?

What does the black lives matter movement meant to you, and how would it inform your work in elected office?

The federal government employs tens of thousands of people at military bases and federal installations in Michigan, many of which have been under threat of closure. What steps have you taken or will you take to ensure those installations remain open, or do you believe reducing the federal footprint in Michigan is something the state should accept or even embrace?

What is the role for the federal government and Congress in improving public education?

How would you incentivize and support domestic manufacturing?

Many school districts, particularly in urban communities, are in decline owing to concentrated levels of poverty and policies that siphon way resources. What is your solution?

Do you believe Social Security is in need of reform? If so, how?

What policies should Congress pursue to support workforce development?

City of residence Kalamazoo
Age 55
Family Wife: Aedin Clements Daughter: Anna Clements (26) Daughter: Bridin Clements (23)
Education BA, 1984, Harvard University, Social Studies, Magna Cum Laude PhD in Public Affairs, 1996, Princeton University MA Public Affairs, 1992, Princeton University
Vehicles owned Ford C-Max Energi Toyota Prius
Professional Experience Professor of Political Science, Western Michigan University Peace Corps Volunteer, Gambia Computer Systems Manager for Action Aid and for the US Agency for International Development, Gambia
Political Experience 2014 Candidate for Congress, MI-06
Race/ethnicity White
Incumbent? false
Yes. I will support and appear with Hillary Clinton.
Poor
Below average
Average
Above average
Excellent
The state’s response to the Flint Water Crisis was criminal. Governor Snyder should resign over it. The DEQ and state-appointed Emergency Manager were given ample warnings by the citizens of Flint, outside studies, and the EPA that the citizens of Flint were facing high lead levels, and they took months to do act. When they did act, the governor and his cabinet’s response did not adequately address the infrastructure problems at the heart of the problems.
Poor
Below average
Average
Above average
Excellent
There is plenty of blame to go around in the Flint Water Crisis. While the EPA knew as early as February 2015 that lead levels in Flint were high, they too failed to take immediate action to assertively end the danger to Flint residents. Additionally, despite the efforts of Senator Stabenow, Congress has failed to pass the emergency funding that Flint needs to ensure the safety of Flint residents now and into the future. Congress needs to appropriate this vital funding to help the people of Flint, who have already been ignored for too long.
Yes. Congress and the state of Michigan should immediately provide as much aid as Flint needs, and also increase investments in infrastructure of all types – roads, the electrical grid, and especially our water infrastructure. For too long, the danger of Flint type situation has persisted throughout the country, due to the lead pipes that many homes still have. Government should enforce that lead treatments be applied without question, and invest millions to remove the danger of lead from homes and public water systems.
While I think trade is important to the American economy, I do not support the TPP. A study by the EPI indicates that MI-06 alone would lose nearly 10,000 jobs, over 3% of the total jobs in my district.

To improve trade deals, we need to use them to ensure that other countries cannot manipulate their currency for their own economic benefit. We need to ensure that American exporters face a level playing field in tariffs and import regulations and also need to cut out incentives for American producers to move jobs overseas, such as allowing for extrajudicial dispute mechanisms which undercut our regulations and create a “race-to-the-bottom” in environmental and labor standards.
Congress needs to ensure that those who have benefitted most from the United States economy pay their fair share in taxes. In Congress, I will fight to end the “carried interest” loophole, which allows some elites to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes. I will also work to end write-offs the wealthy currently enjoy, such as counting yachts as a house for tax purposes. Meanwhile, we can place a cap on the amount the wealthy are allowed to deduct as charitable deductions. We also need to end corporate inversion schemes that allow them to pay little to no tax, end industry-specific tax breaks for fossil fuels, and end offshore tax havens so value created in the U.S. is taxed here.
Congress should continue working to improve the Affordable Care Act with the goal of providing health care coverage for all Americans. We should allow people to buy into Medicare at an earlier age to further drive down the cost of that program and to expand healthcare access. We need to continue reforms that improve quality and reduce costs, such as increasing evidence-based treatment of addiction and post-critical care, and by supporting home-based care for seniors. Generally we need to transition from a system based more on cost of treatment to one based more on health outcomes, while maintaining and increasing the dignity of the patient.
Students should be able to complete college free of debt. Michigan and other states have dramatically reduced state spending on higher education, pushing costs onto student tuition. The federal government should impose a small transactions tax on stock trades and use the revenue to support public universities, but tie funding to higher state spending (less in the less affluent states). Interest rates on existing student loans should be lowered. Today too many for-profit colleges are loading students with debt without providing saleable skills. Ending this will help to cover costs for lowering interest rates.
Yes. We are a nation of immigrants, and our cultural diversity is a strength. And we are a compassionate people. The danger of terrorists entering the U.S. is much greater from other forms of entry than from refugees.
Yes. The influence of money in politics has exploded in the years since the Citizens United decision, and it has had a corrosive effect on our democracy.
Yes, our elections need to be as transparent as possible.
The government cannot stop businesses from moving where they see fit. However, we need to ensure that trade policies do not make it more attractive for companies to place factories overseas.
Right now, the United States has a tremendous opportunity to create new jobs while also making our world a better place to live. Our government should be investing the kinds of green energy technology which will help produce clean energy and also produce jobs in engineering, manufacturing, and the building trades. We can also create millions of jobs in new infrastructure projects. Making universal good quality preschool available to every child will increase jobs at modest cost and pay back many times over. Increasing vocational training in areas where employers cannot find skilled workers will increase jobs.
They should. It is ridiculous to leave a seat open for over a year for nakedly political reasons. It is an affront to the United State Constitution.
The role of Congress is always to be a check on the power of the executive, but this Congress has taken it to an extreme that has been detrimental to our country. Congress should make good faith efforts to work with the President to solve problems that face every day Americans, and this Congress has never acted as though it was willing do that.
Yes. We know that a number of Republicans privately met in 2009 and determined that their path to power was by opposing the president’s every move. It worked for them, but it hurt our country. It didn’t dislodge President Obama, and the result has been a loss of dialogue between the two parties. We can’t allow this to continue. To restore respect, we need a new Congress.
It has been completely ineffective. Despite the fact that they control both chambers of Congress, Republicans could not even pass a budget – even though it is not subject to veto from the President. They have struggled to pass even popular bipartisan measures. More than that, they have failed to address the major issues that face country in any meaningful way.
I believe this is single greatest moral issue of our time. For the past 35 years, we have seen wealth and income inequality grow - and they are a direct result of a change in governmental policies. I will combat wealth inequality by:-Raising the minimum wage and the earned income tax credit, so that working people can afford to support their families without government assistance -Fighting unfair trade deals, which have taken American jobs and sent them overseas. -Correcting the injustice of pay inequality for women. -Ending tax loopholes, so-called “tax subsidies,” and overseas corporate tax havens. -Invest in education so all Americans can gain the skills needed to succeed in our economy.
No.
No.
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Agree
Strongly agree
We need to continue to end the crime of institutional racism that has plagued this country by investing more, not less, in at risk schools. Because of the disinvestment that these schools have faced for years, they lag behind. Far too many African-American men are in prison. We need to deal with substance abuse and mental health issues in our public health system as the first option, not prison. We need to end or reduce mandatory minimum sentences, restoring judicial discretion. and make our police forces look more like the communities they serve to proactively address racial bias by police and court officials.
Yes. Deportation of a parent of an American child either forces the child to move to a foreign country or separates a family. This is inhumane, and it doesn’t reflect the values of this country.
No, I am both ideologically opposed and think that it is logistically impossible.
Yes. Gerrymandering has taken away the will of the voters. In 2012, Democrats received more votes than Republicans in House races, but still remained severely in the minority. This is undemocratic. We need nonpartisan commissions to ensure that the will of the people is heard.
We need to act now, because Congress has failed to control a problem. Immediately, we need to act to prevent suspected terrorists from being able to access weapons. We need to follow the plan that President Obama issued after the Sandy Hook and eliminate the gun show loophole and ban high-capacity clips and military-style assault weapons. While we need to make serious reforms to our mental health system, this alone will not solve the problem.
First, see that more people are trained in elder care. Then Congress needs to work to ensure that Social Security is actually keeping up with the cost of living, and to do that, they need change the formula that calculates Cost of Living Adjustments, and consider increasing payments to the poorest seniors. Additionally, Congress must make long-term care insurance more easily accessible to low-to-moderate incomes. One thing we cannot do is cut Social Security or privatize its benefits. Social Security has protected millions of Americans from poverty since it’s founding during the New Deal; it is one of our most vital social safety net programs.
Black Lives Matter was founded in reaction to an alarming number of deaths of African American youths at the hands of police. I hear their message, that people of all races need to take notice of institutional racism, and I will fight to ensure we work for greater justice by police and court officials and, more broadly, toward a more just society.
I cannot speak about the utility of every federal installation in the state, but, generally, if they are not providing value to the taxpayer, they should be closed. Here in Southwest Michigan, we have many federal employees of the Defense Logistics Agency and Social Security Administration. I would fight to keep these family-sustaining jobs from closing, because they provide valuable support to our community, our country, and to our men and women in uniform.
With many states including Michigan moving backward, the federal government needs to take the lead. Historically, the role of the federal government in education has been to promote fair access to educational opportunity regardless of location or income. This goal is yet unfulfilled. Congress must restore investment in at-risk schools under Title I and ensure that these funds are effectively serving the greatest need. Recent federal policy has over-emphasized standardized tests. Beyond these corrections, Congress and the federal government need to lead in creating the educated and trained workforce, informed citizens, and creative innovators upon which America’s continued greatness depends.
First, we need to correct disincentives to domestic manufacturing that have been built into existing trade and tax policy, then we need to cultivate sectors where we can expect world demand to increase. We need to stop incentivizing offshoring, ensure parity in import taxes, and generally move to fair trade. We can cultivate sectors with increasing demand, such as clean energy, bio-tech, and high-tech services, by supporting research and development in these areas, appropriately training our workforce, ensuring that the regulatory environment is supportive, and supporting leading technologies such as with infrastructure, low-interest loans and government procurement.
While there are occasional exceptions, research shows that charter schools have failed Michigan. This is more a state than a federal issue, but charter schools need to be held to the same standards as public schools and government must build a public school system that gives every child a good education. We need to reverse the decline in federal education dollars for disadvantaged communities.
Yes, we need to expand Social Security so that our seniors receive the benefits that they earned through years of work. To ensure that Social Security has the funds it needs in perpetuity, we need to raise the cap on income that is taxable for the purposes of Social Security, so the wealthiest don’t have a lower effective tax rate than the rest of us.
Congress needs to support dramatic improvements in our entire education system. High schools need better vocational training options, and I support President Obama’s proposal to make community college free for low-income students. We can do more to incentivize apprenticeships. The U.S. invests much less than other industrial countries in retraining people who become unemployed for jobs employers need – this must be reversed.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
Candidate did not provide a response.
City of residence Kalamazoo MI
Age 70
Family Nancy (spouse) Lisa Ambrosio (Wenke) Jeff Wenke (Reverend)
Education Western Michigan University - 1967 Bachelors of Business Administration
Vehicles owned Wenke's Greenhouses owns dozens of vehicles
Professional Experience Owner, Wenke Greenhouses Inc. - 45 years
Political Experience Kalamazoo County Commissioner - 8 years (3 as Chairman) Michigan State Representative - 63rd District - 6 years
Race/ethnicity Caucasian
Campaign Website http://voteforwenke.com
Incumbent? false
Yes
Poor
Below average
Average
Above average
Excellent
The state should have responded sooner to the knowledge that lead was in the water in Flint. The decision by the Governors appointed City manager to treat river water rather than use Detroit's water source demonstrates great lack of judgement in the City manager role.
Poor
Below average
Average
Above average
Excellent
Federal government should have no role in solving this problem.
No, this is a state responsibility according to the US Constitution.
No, we should make separate partnership agreements with other countries. Our previous trade agreements have not been fair to US workers.
I would like to try something like the Fair Tax. There are too many people who do not pay the same tax as the general tax payer because they receive special tax breaks for their type of income. Every Adult citizen should be expected to pay at least $100 per year in federal taxes.
Replaced with an insurance program that more directly applies the cost of healthcare to citizens receiving taxpayer supported healthcare, such as senior citizens and medicaid recipients. The cost of medical care should be related to our health care choices such as smoking, alcohol, obesity and exercise.
Make receiving a student loan more difficult to get. That the expected result of the education can pay back any amounts borrowed. Make the scholarships for sports and good grades harder to get. Make better use of current higher education facilities on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and evenings. Use online courses where appropriate.
I would not accept refugees from countries with terrorist issues.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes, it should be allowed to open factories outside the US. No, it should not have to pay additional taxes or fees.
Manufacturing is the basis for jobs that pay above average incomes which promote an increased quality of life for families. Math & Science studies should be increased and the students be rewarded with some type of benefits to encourage their study.
100 Senators have the constitutional authority to make this decision.
Congress is the 3rd branch of government and and our constitution gives them power equal to the president and the Supreme court. If they do not agree, nothing gets done and that is how the system should work.
Yes, respect has been lost. The people involved have not been able to compromise on difficult issues.

By identifying where partisan politics for political advantage has resulted in no solution or poor solutions to difficult issues.
Very effective except for budget issues.
Yes, it is an issue. Medicare recipients receive large subsidies for healthcare and non medicare recipients are being asked to subsidize medicare recipients and pay their own health care costs. There are too many loopholes which allow high income earners to avoid their fair share of taxes. There are too many people that refuse to work and have to be supported financially by those who work. We should stop automatic child support payments simply because someone has a child without the ability to care for the child.
No
No
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Agree
Strongly agree
Public safety employees should be tested for psychological issues that may make them prone to errors in difficult situations of protecting the public. There should be additional training in cross race relations. There needs to be an effort by minority communities to work with authorities in decreasing crime, drug abuse and other social issues that affect their lives. We need to stop rewarding all people who have children with taxpayer support simply because they cannot or will not provide for their children.
Yes, as long as they are not criminals because the constitution protects citizens of the US from deportation. The granting of US citizenship should not automatically be given to those who come to just give birth in the US. Children of 2 non citizen parents should not be citizens because they are born here. Children of non citizen parents who are here illegally should not be citizens and we should change the Constitution of the US to make it clear that they are not citizens.
No, as long as they are not criminals and are providing services that are needed; especially if they are in the agricultural industry, housekeeping and food industry. I want to ask Donald Trump if he thinks illegal immigrants should be deported when they are working to build his buildings and serve his restaurants food and clean his hotel rooms.
Yes, if we can form a TRUE non-partisan agency.
Better criminal background checks that include more research into a persons' criminal activity nationwide. I do not favor the easy availability of assault weapons. I support stronger laws to make people obey public safety employees. Some people are career criminals and need to be incarcerated for life. The penalty for using a firearm in a crime should automatically increase the penalty.
Family members should be the primary caregivers for each other from birth to death. Individual family members need to prepare for their later years through savings and family relationships. Housing should be built with elder care in mind, so children can comfortably house their parents. There should be tax benefits for building houses with elder care of parents in the long term plans. We need to withhold more money from our paychecks in our working years and/or reduce medicare or medicaid benefits.
It has shown that the black community has an issue with public safety employees, most of whom are not black and have white leadership. There is some justification for the movement and it imparts a different perspective that needs to be heard by all our leaders in elected offices. The priority of the black community needs to be focused on criminal activity by blacks against blacks.
As a Michigan state representative, I worked to strengthen the military bases in Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties. Michigan should fight to keep its share of federal military activity, but should accept reasonable and fair military decisions that are best for the protection of all our citizens.
The constitution gives no role to the Federal government in education. But I think it is fair and is constitutional for the Government to measure the results among the 50 states.
Lower taxes equals more money for companies, especially for those expanding business and creating more jobs. Fewer regulations is generally a benefit for companies, but competition from other countries that do not have the same regulations needs to be considered in the development of new regulations. Support of education for manufacturing training.
This is a local and state issue and not the responsibility of the federal government. The world of education should be open to competition and choice, which almost always improves quality at a lower price. Tenure of education employees needs to be eliminated, so changes can be made rapidly if necessary.
Yes, the money placed in Social Security actually needs to exist and not be a journal entry in the accounting books. Social Security dollars should not be used for a disability fund.
People who refuse to work should not receive government benefits. Foreign trade agreements need to be fair to US workers.

Advertisement

Advertisement