stances on various issues and whatnot

Here’s my response to an email I received covering quite a few issues. If you have any questions for me, please give me a yell any time.

Chad Riden
chad at chad riden dot com

Sat, Aug 11, 2018, 8:16 AM:
Dear Mr. Riden,

My name is Taner Guske and I am contacting you in regards to your run for Governor. I have not found much information on your campaign so I was wondering if you might be willing to answer some questions on issues we face today. This information is to help myself and my friends and family make better educated decisions in the upcoming election. Thank you for time.

Tanner Guske

What is your stance on:

legal/ illegal immigration and sanctuary cities?

America has always been a melting pot and that blend of cultures is our greatest strength. We should always welcome refugees and have a clear path to citizenship for immigrants. Illegals are already here, working in terrible conditions for crappy pay or worse, being abused or enslaved. Instead of wasting money on a wall, we should embrace those who are already here and help them become full citizens. I think it’s a shame sanctuary cities are even necessary, and I support those communities for standing up for what they believe in.

gun rights?

I support criminal background checks on all gun sales to keep guns out of the hands of people with dangerous histories, including felons, domestic abusers and people with dangerous mental illnesses. Responsible gun owners know that supporting the Second Amendment goes hand in hand with common-sense solutions to reduce gun violence. My campaign has been given the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction for standing up for gun violence prevention and recognizing gun safety.

addressing school safety?

That’s a broad spectrum of things, but in general I do want to fund public schools better so they have the resources and staff needed to be a safe environment for learning. I think the best preventative care is having teachers, counsellors and support staff in place who are truly connected with the students and engaged with each of them in a way where warning signs don’t get ignored and kids who are troubled get the positive attention they need before they lash out in negative ways.

addressing the opioid crisis?
legalization of medical or recreational marijuana?

I support legalized cannabis in all forms for recreational and medical use. Multiple studies have shown that after states legalized cannabis, the number of opioid prescriptions and the daily dose of opioids went way down.

Instead of prison, I like prosecution-led residential drug treatment diversion programs that divert nonviolent felony drug offenders to community-based residential treatment.


I support MedicareForAll, and the expansion of TennCare. I also like the suggestions The Rural Health Information Hub offers including: Frontier Extended Stay Clinics (FESC) which help seriously ill patients or injured patients who cannot be immediately transferred to a hospital; and Team-based care models, such as Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs), which extend primary care services in rural communities. Telemedicine is a fantastic way for patients to see specialists in a timely manner no matter where they are. County health departments and school-based clinics seem like a no-brainer to me.

Tennessee infrastructure?

I’d like to build high speed rail connecting Bristol to Knoxville to Nashville to Memphis and Knoxville to Chattanooga with regional light rail transit supporting those hubs. I’d like to deploy fiber optic internet as a public utility to the entire state and make sure every school and home is connected. Our bridges need to be checked and repaired if necessary. That’s a lot of good paying construction jobs out there just waiting to be done.


Pro abortion. I’m for women’s rights to choose as guaranteed by Roe v Wade and am against the chipping away at that right on the state level by restricting access in various sneaky ways.

Tennessee’s budget?
Tennessee’s tax laws?
the government’s role on the economy?

I’d like to tax ONLY the top 1% of Tennesseans for 3% of their income. That won’t pay for everything but it’ll make me feel good. Our sales tax is super high and that affects poor people disproportionately more than anyone else. I’d like to see that change. I’d like to see a state-wide minimum wage increase to $15 an hour.

death penalty?

In general I don’t like it, but I’m not sure what to do about the people on death row. I definitely don’t like for profit prisons and would end those contracts.

rehabilitation/ incarceration of non-violent offenders?

I’d rather focus on rehabilitation than incarceration.

how to improve schools?

I think this comes down to money. (like so many things, right?) Politicians SAY they’re pro-education but I don’t think ANY elected official should make one penny more than the lowest paid teacher in Tennessee. In a recent article about me, the Tennessee Tribune said, “If Metro (Nashville) paid 6,106 city employees the same as first year teachers, the city would save $106 million a year.” I’d rather bump up the pay of teachers than cut everybody else down to their level, but if that’s the rule I’ll bet we’d see teacher pay increases pretty quickly.

Some schools open late when it’s cold because the HVAC systems are so out of date that the building can’t sustain life. If we could improve our education facilities state-wide, that’d create construction jobs in just about every community.

Earthship Biotecture in Taos, NM has developed systems that take waste materials like old tires, bottles and cans and build environmentally friendly sustainable structures that provide their own water, electricity and food production without the need for HVAC and with a negative carbon footprint. I’d like to build structures with that method to replace the outdated buildings and “temporary” trailers I see behind so many of our schools. Check out the “Garbage Warrior” documentary. They’re doing pretty incredible work and all it takes is a group of people willing to help. The trash/materials used is already in abundance EVERYWHERE.

As part of my fiber optic internet as a state wide public utility plan, I’d want to connect the schools first. I want to issue cheap tablets to each student and deliver their text books and handouts and information all electronically and eliminate paper as much as possible. Access to information and technology is the key to absolutely everything else and it’s as important as running water or electricity.

school vouchers?

I’m against vouchers and Charter / for-profit schools. We need strong, well funded public schools.

global warming?

It’s real. I’m a big believer in science. Never thought that’d be controversial, but here we are.

environmental legislation?

My dad’s mom, Grace Riden taught high school in the 70’s and 80’s and was recognized by the Tennessee state legislature for her environmental conservation programs decades and decades ago. My mom started the first municipal recycling program in McMinn County in the late 80’s. I’m an Eagle Scout who walks around parks picking up all the trash I see habitually. I want to protect our beautiful state and it’s natural resources.

Thanks for writing. I hope I answered these questions to your satisfaction. I’m generally for common sense things (I think) and am against voter suppression, discrimination, racism, sexism, hate, fear, and ignorance. There‚Äôs a lot of work to be done.


Chad Riden