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Tentpoles


Issues in Depth

Cannabis Legalization

I have never tried cannabis and quite possibly never will, but far too many people have had their lives ruined due to prohibition.

If alcohol is legal and freely available, cannabis should be as well.

I support decriminalization, legalization, and amnesty.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity

The Second Amendment is part of our Bill of Rights. I strongly support our Constitution, as a whole, and our Bill of Rights, in particular. Our rights are already in tatters and I have no interest in doing further damage to all of them by limiting any of them.

After speaking with several Second Amendment advocates, I have concluded that the most logical path forward is to support Nationwide Concealed Carry Reciprocity (CCR).

This would mean that if you obtain a concealled carry permit anywhere in our country, you could carry your concealed weapon anywhere.

The NRA supports CCR too, but my support is different.

CCR should come with improved and more uniform standards across the board. The NRA wants to use it to make the lowest standards the law of the land.

Talking with them, I've found that most gun owners are reasonable people. They don't think that we should ban research on gun deaths. They don't think that we should have no limits to gun purchases. They just want their rights preserved.

I would propose a national standard «Shall Issue» system where anyone who wants to purchase a gun goes through a standard process to get a license. This license would ensure that minimum standards are met, and it would make purchasing a gun easier and safer because all of the background checks would have been preformed in advance.

This is not an intractable issue. There are reasonable, common sense solutions that we can agree on. We need only trust one another and work together.

Education

The state of public education in Arizona is dire.

Across the board, our teachers are paid 25% less than the national average, and our schools are being bled.

Educated citizens are essential for a strong democracy. We need to ensure that everyone knows history, understands how our government works, can think critically, and can make informed decissions in life and at the ballot box.

An educated workforce is essential for a strong economy. Good schools are an absolute requirement to attract businesses and highly qualified workers.

Good public schools are one of the few investments that not only pay off immensely in the long-term, but directly put money in our pockets today. If your neighborhood has a good school, then your property values will rise. The entire community directly benefits from that and you will earn a better return on your home investment.

Energy

We are the Valley of the Sun. We should be leading the nation in solar energy production.

I will do everything in my power to ensure that markets are not distorted and that solar energy is priced properly, and power companies like SRP and APS will buy back excess production at the appropriate market price.

Government

Some people will tell you that government can't work. They are wrong.

Government can work. Our government is ours. It is created by and comes from us. When it does not work, that is our failing, not the nature of government.

When people get elected telling you that government can't work, they are telling you that (a) they are incompetent to work in government, and (b) that you should hire them for the very job they're saying they can't do.

There are plenty of us out there who will work to make our government work well, be more efficent, and be more effective. Fire the people who tell you loudly that they can't do it, and hire us.

Healthcare

Travel abroad should be a requirement for every citizen.

Many Americans blindly think we have the best healthcare system in the world, but, in fact, we are not only terribly behind, we spend far more and get far less than most developed countries.

We are the United States of America. We should be the best, not an international embarassment.

It is utterly insane to think that Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan can do things that we can't.

For-profit insurance compaies have a legal, fiduciary duty to their shareholders to maximize profit. That means taking in more in premiums and paying out less in services. They have to pay huge executive salaries and bonuses. They have to advertise. They have entire departments of people dedicated to denying claims - and providers have entire departments of people dedicated to fighting that.

Pharmaceutical companies are no longer investing what it takes to develop new drugs. Instead they are making massive profits by cranking up the prices of existing ones beyond all reason. Worse, much of the research that went into developing those was publically funded. It is utterly unacceptable that we would have paid billions to develop something that greedy executives private enterprise would later use to rob sick people who desperately need it.

Making profit is great, but making exorbitant amounts from people who will suffer or die if they don't pay so that someone contributing nothing to society can have a second yacht is ridiculous.

Infrastructure

Our nation is crumbling.

We do not need to go into massive debt to give huge handouts to the wealthiest among us. We need to invest our tax dollars in rebuilding what is failing, and making vast improvements in our everyday lives.

Infrastructure makes business and comfortable life possible.

A strong middle class is the engine that drives our economy. Highly paid construction, planning, and engineering jobs that give people a real, tangible sense of pride in their accomplishments, and put dollars in their pockets will spurn almost infinitely more growth than handing the Kochs or the Waltons billions of unearned tax breaks.

Immigration

Our immigration system is broken. DACA is one of many patches meant to address some of its failings, but we need to do a complete overhaull.

After I got my Ph.D., I had a French roommate. He loves America, and got his Ph.D. at ASU at the same time I did. He would have stayed here his entire life, started a company, and paid millions of tax dollars.

Instead, he is now back home living in France and has set down roots so he probably won't return.

He is highly qualified but a paperwork glitch got him kicked out of our country.

I know so many people in similar situations who are now living in Australia, Canada, Germany, France, and elsewhere because they had no good path to working here and becoming citizens.

We shouldn't have completely open borders, but people who are qualified, capable, and hard workers who believe in the American Dream should be welcomed here. We are a nation of immigrants. It is one of our greatest strengths. Limiting immigration blindly is pouring acid on our foundations.

Jobs

Years of propaganda have given organized labor a bad name. At times, unions have even done things to earn that reputation. However organized labor is what has given us safer working conditions and reasonable pay and benefits.

The longstanding suppression of wages for hard working people extending back through my entire life is a direct consequence of the systematic gutting of collective barganing and organized labor.

Jobs like education are an infrastructure issue. It is not just that infrastructure projects beget jobs, but employment and fair remuneration are absolutely essential for the health of our economy and the strength of our civilization.

In office, I will work to pass legislation to end the Orwellianly named «Right to Work» laws that have crushed the ability of workers to band together and demand fair pay and benefits.

Religious Freedom

I am not religious, and religion has no place in our government - but part of what makes our country great is that people have the freedom to believe in and practice whatever religious traditions they like, so long as they do not infringe on the rights of others, or and so long as they keep their religion out of our government.

If you oppose Sharia law, you should oppose Christian law and Jewish law and Hindu law, and so on.

Any infringment upon the freedom of or from religion for any of us threatens all of us.

We have no state religion, and we are a nation of many religions. Keeping those things separate and not discriminating against anyone based on their religion is necessary for us to maintain a free and open society.

Reproductive Freedom

Abortion is a wedge issue, but it shouldn't be. It is an excuse used by dishonest politicians to control well-meaning people and to give them an excuse to justify doing the most awful things.

I don't like abortions. I don't know anyone who does.

If we don't like abortion, then the logical conclusion is to work to prevent it whenever possible.

It is very clear that the best ways to prevent abortions are (1) to give all students comprehensive, medically accurate sex-ed, (2) to make contraception as accessable as possible, and (3) to support organizations like Planned Parenthood, who have done more than any other individual or organization to prevent abortion.

Abstinance only sex-ed increases the rate of teen pregnancy. Not only does that mean that there will be more unwanted babies, but when a teenager becomes a mother, the odds are great that she will end up on public assistance, triggering a multi-generational burden on our society.

Do not let yourself be fooled - people who oppose Planned Parenthood, real sex-ed, and contraceptive access are, at best, misguided, and, at worst, using imaginary wedge issues to make it easy for you to justify doing otherwise horrible things.

Safety Net

Above all else, our government exists so that we can do collectively the things that would be impractical or impossible for us to do individually.

One of the most important of those is making sure that people who can't take care of themselves (for a moment or for the rest of their lives) do not fall too far.

It is essential that we have a strong safety net with means to get on our own feet and mechanisms to keep people from getting trapped in it.

Taxes

We need to reconsider our federal tax rates and brackets.

The cutoff for the highest rate currently applies to income over about a half million dollars per year. That may sound like a lot, and it is when compared with the median household income, but it is nothing compared with what the highest earners make.

It is possible to lower tax rates on almost everyone, while raising the rates reasonably on people making $1-2M, $2-5M, $5-10M, $10-20M, $20-50M, $50-100M, $100-250M, and over $250M/yr. Currently many of the people making those amounts and more are paying the long-term capital gains rate (20%), not the top income rate (37%). That has to stop.

Someone who worked hard to build a family business that is making a few million dollars a year should not be taxed more than someone who inherited billions. It is just not fair or reasonable.

In Congress, I will work to restructure the tax code to account for people making much more than the current top tier so that the burden is more fairly distributed, always increasing with increased income, but without discouraging people from working hard to earn more.