--Should lobbyists be allowed to donate to a candidate or campaign? No
Lobbying is sanctioned bribery and should be outlawed. Candidates should win and maintain office based on their record with the voters. Not how much money they can raise.
--Should corporations, labor unions, or other entities be allowed to make political donations? No
Money in politics in inherently transactional. Elections at every level should be funded publicly, with restrictions on lengths of campaigns before elections.
--Should congressional seats have term limits? Yes
Term limits reduce corruption and increase performance.
--Should judicial appointments have term limits? Yes
Our rights should not depend an octogenarian justice surviving a presidential term.
--How many Supreme Court justices should there be? 13
The number of justices should equal the number of appellate courts.
--Should people be required to register to vote? No
Eligible people should be automatically registered to vote when they turn 16. They can opt out if they choose.
--Should early voting be expanded? Not Exactly
Switch to a full vote-by-mail system. Include postage paid return envelopes with every ballot. Place ballot drop boxes at convenient locations. And offer in-person locations for voters to go with questions during election week.
--Should we abolish the Electoral College? Yes
Every person’s vote should count the same regardless of where they live. We have the ability to support a national popular vote, we should do so.
--Can we break the hold of the two-party system? Yes
But to do that, all elections need to implement ranked choice voting.
National Security and Foreign Policy
--Should the USA leave the United Nations? No
The USA should not only remain in the United Nations, but we should prioritize reclaiming our role as a world leader in the eyes of our allies.
--Should we close Guantanamo Bay? Yes
But first, all current detainees need to be granted military tribunals. If they are found guilty, they should be sentenced to imprisonment or in extreme cases, capital punishment. If they are found not guilty, they should be sent home.
--Should we be flying drones (either with weapons or for intelligence gathering) in foreign nations? No
If another country did this to the USA, we would consider it an act of aggression, if not an act of war.
--Should the USA decrease its military budget? Not Exactly
As a disabled veteran I know firsthand the insane amount of waste in military spending and the lack of support for veterans. Instead of decreasing its budget, the Department of Defense should absorb the Department of Veterans Affairs. That way the DOD is responsible for all of the wounded and disabled veterans it creates.
The DOD also needs to direct a sizable portion of its budget to renewable energy programs. The biggest threat to our national security and way of life is not overseas, it is the rising seas.
--Should the 2nd Amendment be repealed or modified? No
I believe in the 2nd amendment. I believe gun safety should be taught in schools just like drivers ed. I believe gun owners should carry liability insurance to protect their interests.
--Should confederate flags or monuments be present on government or public property? No
Those types of artifacts should be relocated to relevant museums.
--Should we increase spending on public transportation? Yes
We are significantly behind much of the industrial world as far as high speed rails connecting major cities. We also need to increase urban and specifically suburban public transit.
--Should the USA increase the number of refugees we accept? Yes
More often than not, the refugees are displaced as a direct result of the USA’s actions. The least we can do is help the civilian bystanders start to rebuild their lives.
--Should current immigrants already in the US be given amnesty? Yes
We need to create a simple path to citizenship for anyone who wants to participate in the American Dream.
--Should the minimum wage be raised? Not Exactly
The minimum wage should be abolished and replaced with a maximum pay ratio between the highest paid employee of a company and the lowest. This will self-correct for differences in cost of living across the state and across the country.
We have brilliant minds that are wasting away in drive-thrus across the country. We have people working jobs they hate because they can’t survive on a job they would enjoy. Closing the gap between the highest wage earners and the lowest will level the playing field for workers.
--Should taxes be raised on the richest Americans? No
Tax loopholes that allow a CEO to pay less in taxes than their assistant, need to be closed. Adding new taxes is not the answer.
--Should taxes be raised on corporations? Yes
It is time for the wealthiest corporations to contribute to the societies and infrastructure that allow them to exist. Tax incentives should exist for corporations to keep jobs and production in the USA. Tax penalties should exist for corporations who transfer production overseas to legally exploit human rights for reduced labor costs. Tax penalties should also exist for corporations with large income gaps between the highest and lowest paid earners.
--Should citizens of the richest nation in the world have to worry about basic human requirements such as food, water, or housing? No
As citizens of a civilized society, we have all committed to upholding the social contract. As such, citizens should be able to expect a return on investment. This should include all Basic Human Rights including water, food, housing, healthcare, and education.
Arising to our full potential as human beings is difficult even when all of our basic needs are being met. We should invest in the greatest resource at our disposal; us.
--Should we prioritize paying down the national debt? Eventually
First, we need to help the houseless, the hungry, and the sick. Those people will then be able to contribute to GDP. Then we can tackle the deficit.
--Should people who receive social assistance be tested for drugs? No
This is an extreme waste of resources, both time and money. Studies show in places where this was tried, a negligible number of people tested positive. It cost the states hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they saved by removing a handful of people off the programs.
--Should there be more restrictions on receiving social assistance benefits? No
This creates red tape that slows down the process of applying for and receiving benefits. The entire goal of increased restrictions is to keep as many people from qualifying as possible. Instead, the process should be streamlined with the focus on getting life and death benefits to the most people, with the least amount of cost to the state.
--Should the government make laws about an individual's healthcare? No
A person's healthcare decisions should be between them and their doctor. This includes pain management, abortion, gender affirming surgeries, etc...
--Should the government make laws about which legal contracts adults are allowed to enter? No
This includes, but is not limited to marriage, adoption, and mortgage contracts.
--Should the government regulate sexual activities between consenting adults? No
This includes legalizing sex work and offering protection for sex workers.
Criminal Legal System
--Should we defund the police? Not Exactly
We should rethink police budgets, while increasing budgets for social services. There are major issues with the police today, specifically police unions, military grade equipment, and individual accountability just to name a few. I support requiring a law enforcement position to require at least a bachelor's degree.
--Should the US abolish the death penalty? Mostly
The death penalty should be reserved only for mass murderers and terrorists and require undeniable evidence. I also believe that anyone serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole should have the option of physician assisted suicide. This would of course include all of the same requirements of counseling as would apply to terminally ill patients.
--Should drug use be a criminal offense? No
People with addiction and other mental illnesses should be put into treatment. Jail is the worst place for these people.
Marijuana should be legalized federally, and anyone serving a sentence for a marijuana related offence should be immediately released with a pardon.
--Should convicted criminals have to fight to regain their right to vote? No
That right should never be taken in the first place. Unless a person is sentenced to life, their voting rights should remain. People do not only vote for their own interests. They vote for their family's interests, their neighbor's interests, and their community's interests. Inmates are counted in the census, and therefore should not lose their right to vote.
--Should criminals be exempt from the law because of their wealth? No
White collar criminals need to be prosecuted for their crimes, not offered fat retirement packages.
--Should all current student loan debt be wiped out? No
But we need to end predatory lending in both private and government sectors. We need to do the following:
1. Immediately erase the first $10,000 of student debt. The average student debt is just under $35,000 today, so this would not eliminate all debt for most people. It would, however, eliminate the debt of approximately 1,000,000 people, and reduce the balance owed by the remaining approximately 2,000,000.
2. Remove the bankruptcy exception for student debt. It is ridiculous that a yacht payment can be handled in bankruptcy, but not a lifetime of student debt agreed to by a literal child.
2.1 Make all student debt forgivable under current bankruptcy laws.
2.2 Immediately erase the student debt, including the charged interest, of any person that filed bankruptcy but was unable to have that debt forgiven, dating back to 1998 when the exemption was made law.
3. We should be investing in our students, not making money off of them. We need to end the practice of private and for-profit student debt holders. After the above two conditions have been met, all remaining outstanding student debt shall be purchased from private lenders, and placed into a government repayment program. The debt will be refinanced at 0.00% interest, and set up on income based repayment plans.
4. At the same time, we need to address why education has become unaffordable, and how to make it more accessible.
--Should the government provide free college? Not Exactly
After high school, students should have the opportunity to go to any certificate program, trade school, or bachelor’s program free of charge, so long as they are working in a civil service role concurrently with enrollment.
--Should teachers carry guns at school? No
This exponentially increases the risk of tragic accidents.
--Should healthcare be added to the list of public goods such as education, libraries, parks, police services, and fire services? Yes
For-profit healthcare implies that it is reasonable for a person to die because they can’t pay. Our military runs one of the biggest healthcare organizations in the world, and it works really well! TriCare should be expanded to all US citizens.
--Should terminal patients have the option of physician assisted suicide? Yes
It is considered humane to euthanize our terminal pets. How is the same logic not applied to actual humans?
--Should we expand offshore drilling? No
And we should convert current offshore oil rigs into wind turbines.
--Should we ban fracking? Yes
And stop all tax credits, tax breaks, and corporate subsidies for all fossil fuel companies.
--Should the US agree to The Green New Deal? Not as Written
The timeline is unrealistic with eliminating nuclear power. I think we should increase nuclear power and at the same time invest heavily in infrastructure and research on renewable energy, drastically reducing the need for fossil fuels in the US. We need to set the standard for the rest of the world.
Things I shouldn’t have to say, but apparently do
--Should politicians be allowed to use gerrymandering to select their voters? Obviously not
--Should the senate be able to pass legislation on a simple, majority vote? Obviously
--Should employers be required to pay men and women equal pay for equal work? Obviously
--Should employers be required to provide sick leave? Obviously
Employees should keep their germs at home.
--Should employers be required to provide paid maternity and paternity leave? Obviously
The law requires puppies and kittens to remain with their mother for 8 weeks before being adopted. Yet we require human mothers to be separated from their children within days of giving birth. Even our government employees are only given 6 weeks. And no paternity leave. This is unacceptable.
--Should business have to pay time and a half for overtime work? Obviously
--Should the military be allowed to use torture to gain information? Obviously not
--Should the NSA be allowed to spy on US citizens? Obviously not
--Should we build a wall along the US-Mexico border? Obviously not
Seriously, what a waste of resources.
--Should on time rent payments contribute to a person’s credit score, the exact same way a person’s on time (or late) mortgage payments do? Obviously
Renters spend the bulk of their money on housing. To have that largest, recurring payment responsibility not count towards their apparent credit risk is just another way that Poverty is a Policy choice.