49th House District candidate share his views with voters Jack Miles Ventimiglia Johnson County Sun

The following article appeared in the Johnson County Sun.

“49th House District candidate share his views with voters” Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia
Johnson County Sun

Johnson County Community College Trustee Benjamin Hodge, 26, Overland Park, faces the Rev. Bobby Love in the 49th House District Republican primary race Aug. 1.

The winner will face the Democrat Bond Faulwell in the Nov. 7 general election.

Each candidate in the contested primary received instructions to answer questions starting with a simple “yes” or “no,” understanding that equivocation or failure to answer would result in an “x” being used to start their answers. Following are Hodge’s answers only, as Love elected not to participate…

QUESTION: Would you support a Kansas constitutional amendment to curb judicial power?
Hodge: X. We have three co-equal branches of government. And every branch, including the judicial branch, must be accountable in some way to the people of Kansas. …

QUESTION: Should Supreme Court justices have to run for their offices?
Hodge: X. Judicial elections would be preferable to the current model. However, my preference is using the federal model where the Kansas governor would appoint judges, and the Kansas Senate would confirm.

QUESTION: Should public schools be required to teach abstinence? See answer.
Hodge: X. These decisions are best made by local school districts, rather than by the Kansas Legislature or Kansas Board of Education. …

QUESTION: Should public schools be allowed to teach intelligent design in science classes?
Hodge: Yes. Required by the state – no. If a local school board (or a teacher) wishes to teach intelligent design, then this should be allowed. …

QUESTION: Should the cap on local option budgets be removed?
Hodge: Yes.

QUESTION: Does a shrinking state treasury reflect a spending problem?
Hodge: Yes.

QUESTION: Would you support putting TABOR (taxpayers bill of rights to cap taxes) on the ballot?
Hodge: No. The Kansas government spends too much money, but TABOR isn’t the answer. I believe in representative government, and we need representative leaders who will vote to spend fewer dollars.

QUESTION: Should illegal aliens be allowed to take advantage of public service programs, including education and health, funded by Kansas taxpayers?
Hodge: No.

QUESTION: Should Kansas adopt English as the official language of the state?
Hodge: No.

QUESTION: Should pregnant, competent adults always be allowed to decide on their own whether to have abortions?,br> Hodge: No. I believe an advanced and compassionate society will value life at all stages – regardless of a person’s intelligence, regardless of disease, regardless of handicap, and regardless of whether a child had been planned for by the parents.

QUESTION: Can you name a case where abortion should be legal?
Hodge: Yes. I support abortion if it saves the life of the mother, or if there is an extreme health-related situation involved.

QUESTION: Except for human cloning, should scientists be allowed to pursue embryonic stem cell research as a potential means to treat diseases.
Hodge: No. I support research that does not involve the destruction of human embryos. Therefore, I fully support adult stem cell research and umbilical cord research.

QUESTION: Should lawmakers give the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners the right, regardless of city concerns, to let county voters decide whether to raise taxes to fund county public safety projects? Hodge: No.

QUESTION: Can you name and tell how you would address the state’s No. 1 problem?
Hodge: Yes. The state’s number one problem is that we have a judicial branch that is not fully accountable to the voters of Kansas. I support reforming the judicial selection system…

QUESTION: Why are you running for office?
Hodge: A major purpose of government is to maintain and further both goodness and liberty. Kansas is a great and strong state, and I would be honored to play a role in the advancement of liberty within our state.

QUESTION: Rank by importance your qualifications for office.
Hodge: Trustee, Johnson County Community College. Current endorsements: County Commissioner Doug Wood, County Commissioner John Toplikar, Kansans for Life.