I was given 1000 characters to answer three questions. Compare my answers to the other candidates at http://www.vote411.org/.
What would be your top three priorities if elected or re-elected?
1. Climate scientists are telling us that in order to prevent global catastrophe we must leave two thirds of the world’s known oil reserves in the ground. I am calling for the nationalization of the fossil fuel industry. Wall Street investors should not be allowed to profit from the irreversible destruction of environmental conditions that gave rise to civilization over the last 10,000 years. The profits of the fossil fuel industry ought to be used to develop alternative energy systems.
2. We must tax corporations and the rich to ensure everyone’s needs are met. We should abolish the stock exchange and create public banks that will invest to improve our communities, not extract profits. Government should provide a job to anyone who is willing to work.
3. End the wars and cut military spending by 75%. Stop the F35. End military aid to Israel. Close the bases and bring the troops home. Join the International Criminal Court.
What are your thoughts on a Constitutional amendment to reverse the effects of the Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions, which opened the floodgates to unlimited contributions to political campaigns.
The Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United was a shameful act of judicial activism. Allowing unlimited independent expenditures during elections means that enormous concentrations of wealth can drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. I am also opposed to the Buckley v. Valeo decision (1976) which overturned overall campaign spending caps. Money is not speech.
I support public funding for elections so candidates are not depending on wealthy donors. Election day ought to be a national holiday. I would re-introduce the portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were recently overturned to apply to all states. Finally, I would support public funding to print and broadcast equal information on all ballot qualified candidates. The presidential debates should be sponsored by an independent and neutral organization.
Justice Louis D. Brandeis said, “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
How would you reduce economic inequality and the widening gap between rich and poor?
I believe we should strive for an wealth inequality no greater than ten to one. I support a guaranteed income to replace the obstacle course of piecemeal benefit programs for poor people. I support a $15 minimum wage for all workers. I would defend the rights of workers to organize a union by repealing the Taft-Hartley Act and amending the NLRA to allow punitive judgments against employers who break labor laws. We should shift the tax burden away from the working class and back onto corporations and the rich. We should bail out the victims of predatory lending and create a public banking system that will serve students and home buyers, not investors. Health care is a human right, including abortion access. We need a socialized health care system modeled after the VA. Working people also have a right to paid sick days. We have a social responsibility to ensure that the elderly and disabled who cannot work are accommodated in all public spheres and not allowed to fall into poverty.