All On Georgia Paulding (AOG Paulding) sent 8 questions to the candidates running for House District 19. This is the second of 5 articles we’re posting with the candidate’s answers. Paulette Rakestraw (PR) is currently serving as the Representative for Georgia House District 19 and is seeking to be re-elected for her 5th term in office. The following are the answers she provided to AOG Paulding, unedited.
Paulette Rakestraw is an entrepreneur that has launched a couple of successful companies and employed hundreds of people in Paulding and Cobb County over the last 25 years. Paulette became the State Representative in 2011 for the eastern portion of Paulding County. She has lived in Paulding since 1986 and has raised three children who all attended the Paulding County School system. Paulette served on the Paulding County School board for 8 years during the highest growth time in the county from 2000 to 2008.
Representative Rakestraw was appointed by Governor Deal in 2014 as the Georgia Commissioner for a Balanced Budget Amendment, and initiative that brings together the states to put forward an amendment to the Constitution to require Washington to balance the budget and limits their ability to raise the debt ceiling. Representative Rakestraw was elected as the Chair of the Commission by the Alaska Commissioner, Mead Treadwell, the former Lt. Governor of Alaska and by the Mississippi Commissioner Greg Snowden, the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Mississippi House. Representative & Commissioner Rakestraw travels to other states and Washington to get this compact legislation passed to help get our nation on a strong fiscal path and help us maintain our place as the peacekeepers and superpower in the world.
Representative Rakestraw serves on some key committees in the House that are a benefit to Paulding County. She is the Secretary of Economic Development, the Vice Chair of the Film and Entertainment Subcommittee, the Vice Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, the Secretary of the Juvenile Justice Committee, the Vice Chair of the Special Rules Committee, and she serves on the Transportation Appropriations Committee, the Small Business and Job Creation Committee, and the Regulated Industries Committee.
AOG Paulding – 1. You’re seeking your 5th term in office this year. Why should the voters re-elect you?
PR – It’s about effectiveness. As our State Representative, I have had the privilege to defend our interests at the capitol. By serving on some of the most influential committees in the state, I am able to successfully advocate on the behalf of our community. I have built effective relationships and earned the trust of my fellow colleagues. These relationships make me more effective for economic development.
AOG Paulding – 2. What is the one piece of legislation that you either proposed, supported, or voted for that you think has benefited your district the most?
PR – I sponsored the Compact for a Balanced Budget Amendment which is an initiative that puts forward a state initiated amendment to the U.S. Constitution that requires Washington to Balance the Budget and limits their ability to raise the debt ceiling. This uses article V of the Constitution in a safe way to make it happen and I was appointed by Governor Deal to serve as the Georgia Commissioner and elected by the other Commissioners from Alaska (the former Lt. Governor of Alaska) and Mississippi (the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Mississippi House) to Chair the Commission. This is important to the financial stability of our nation, maintaining the strength of the dollar and our superpower status globally.
AOG Paulding – 3. What vote would you have liked to have changed? Why?
PR – I am proud of my conservative record.
AOG Paulding – 4. What do you see as the #1 issue facing your district today? As the representative for your district, what can you do to address and resolve this issue?
PR – Our community is facing multiple issues. Education, job growth, and addiction have been key issues that our community is facing. As our Representative I am actively working to improve better opportunities for Georgia’s students, as well as, eliminating regulatory barriers that hinder innovation and job growth. Additionally, I am working hard to improve our mental health services and access to services.
AOG Paulding – 5. Income inequality and wage stagnation are growing issues in our economy today. What do you think as a representative of Paulding you can do to help minimize the impact of these on your constituents?
PR – More government is the problem, not the solution. I am a strong supporter of eliminating the state income tax and replacing it with a Georgia FairTax plan. This legislation, which I sponsored, would help attract business and foster job creation to our state. Our neighboring states have already eliminated their state income tax, so its time for Georgia to do the same.
AOG Paulding – 6. Over the years we’ve seen the increase of businesses becoming more involved in politics. What do you think should be done about the influence of businesses and wealth helping set public policy?
PR – In a free society, every business has a right to participate in society. We need leaders who will do what’s right to make sure our conservative principles are maintained.
AOG Paulding – 7. With the recent school shooting in Florida, the issue of arming teachers has been proposed as well as several other solutions to help prevent them. Where do you stand on arming teachers? What do you think can be done at the state level to help protect Georgia’s students?
PR – The issue isn’t arming teachers. A larger discussion needs to be had whether or not trained professional, permitted adults will be given the ability to respond to violent situations. The General Assembly needs to decide whether it will train current, qualified staff or if additional staff with be needed. We also must address mental health issues more effectively.
AOG Paulding – 8. Politically speaking, who is the one politician currently or historically you admire?
PR – Margaret Thatcher