State Senate 29th District Questionnaire: David Cole
Current Occupation: Lawyer
Past Experience: Attorney with Ellis, Cupps and Cole in Cassville since 1992. Barry County Prosecuting Attorney, 1995-1998
Education: Wheaton High School, Wheaton, 1982; Missouri Southern State College B.S. in Business Administration; University of Missouri-Columbia, J.D.
Political party: Republican
1. What do you see as the No. 1 issue facing residents of the 29th District and how do you plan to address it?
Itís the economy. Before COVID-19 our economy was growing, unemployment was at the lowest level on record, and people had money to spend. We need to bring back the economy. The Left is pushing socialist policies like the Green New Deal and is wanting to increase taxes and take more control of our lives. Thatís not going to bring jobs back or help the economy. The answer is less government, lower taxes, and pushing back against this idea that we should be ashamed of our country or that America isnít a great country. We are and we should be proud of it.
2. You and your opponent are both staunchly pro-life. What, in your opinion, would be the best way to effectively end abortions in Missouri? Furthermore, is there an approach you believe is wrong?
The best approach would obviously be to abolish abortions outright. But, if courts continue to stand in the way, we should continue to pass laws that will reduce the number of abortions and save lives. The effects of these laws are real. Abortion clinics have been shut down. The number of abortions performed in Missouri is dropping significantly. More children are alive today because of these laws. This stands in contrast to my opponent who claims to be pro-life but has never passed a pro-life bill and has voted repeatedly against pro-life bills. He was the only Republican to vote against the special session pro-life bill back in 2017; heís voted against the bill defunding Planned Parenthood every time itís come before the Missouri Legislature; and he voted against and publically ridiculed the Stand for the Unborn Act, the most pro-life bill in the country. At the end of the day, the real measure of success in the pro-life movement is how many lives we are saving and policies stopping abortions is a big way we can do that. Another important thing we can do is to re-elect President Trump so he can appoint more conservative justices to the Supreme Court.
3. School funding has been cut due to fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. How do you propose the state return to fully funding the Foundation Formula?
First off, we need to get our economy going again. The best way to make sure we have funding for important budget items like education and public safety is to have an economy that can fund a budget. Secondly, we need to prioritize education funding. Thereís enough money in the state budget to fund education. We just have to have the guts to say we canít fund everything. We need to cut out the special interest handouts and reform welfare to only go to those who need it. We shouldnít be paying people to sit at home when they could be working. For the parts of the budget we really need to fund, like education, we need to commit to doing it and make it the first thing we fund every year. Iíve been endorsed by the Missouri State Teachers Association and Better Schools for Missouri and they know Iím going to do whatís best for our students. Unfortunately, my opponent has voted against fully funding the Foundation Formula each of the last three years and isnít endorsed by any education groups.
4. Are you satisfied with the stateís current gun laws and open carry? Would you propose or support any changes to current gun laws?
With the surge in violence going on around the state and country and the ridiculous defund police movement, itís never been more important for folks to be able to defend themselves and their families. If anything, we need push pro-Second Amendment policies even further to address so-called ďgun free zonesĒ and policies like the Second Amendment Preservation Act which will protect our state from federal encroachment on our right to keep and bear arms. Itís ironic the most violent places have the strictest gun laws. We donít have a problem with gun violence in rural Missouri because we respect firearms. We grew up around them and we value life here. Itís about raising your kids right and respecting the law, we do that here.
5. Would you propose or support any changes to current tax laws, specifically in the realms of personal property tax, state income tax and corporate tax?
Iím for lower taxes overall. Up until a few years ago, Missouri hadnít cut the state income tax in decades. Thatís an example of where other states are getting a competitive edge over Missouri and we should be looking at what attracts jobs and growth. Part of it is a tax policy that lets people keep as much of their own money as possible and letís business reinvest in employees and growing their business. As a small business owner myself, I know how taxes cut into your bottom line. Unfortunately, my opponent voted against an income tax cut for Missourians and a bill that cut the corporate tax rate. He even voted to tax the COVID stimulus payments.