I believe in defining myself by what I'm for, not what I'm against. My campaign is focused on identifying and advancing bold ideas. Eastern Washington faces a host of problems, and we must work toward innovative and sustainable solutions, TOGETHER.
The ACA is not perfect, but it's a great start. I wholeheartedly support a transition to Medicare for All. We are the only developed nation where you can go bankrupt trying to pay medical bills. We must take profit out of health care. I have firsthand experience with the heartlessness of our current system. When my wife Ann was diagnosed with breast cancer we came face to face with a whole industry that saw us as profits and losses, not people. Universal health care with a single payer system doesn't just make good sense, it's the right thing to do.
We have lost our way discussing walls and bans. We must focus on comprehensive immigration reform with a sensible path to citizenship and a vibrant guest worker program that actually works! The status quo is not working. America is a nation of immigrants, and we can't turn our backs on that legacy.
I am committed to ensuring that older Americans can maintain dignity and quality of life as they enter their retirement years. We must do right by our elders, and honor the promises that were made to them. We must fully fund Social Security and Medicare, and invest in in-home health care options that allow older Americans to remain in their homes as long as they can. How we treat our seniors matters tremendously.
Just because we've bounced back from the Great Recession doesn't mean we're in the clear. We are still faced with enormous and challenging problems. Income inequality and the loss of the middle class are destroying our country. I believe we should raise the minimum wage. I support holding big banks accountable and reinstating Glass Steagal. I also support rebuilding our middle class by investing in renewable energy research and implementation.
Climate change is real and it is happening. The US Military and 99.9% of climatologists believe this is the largest threat the World faces. We must institute a carbon tax that can be used to move us from fossil fuels to clean energy. Revenue from the tax must be used to bolster new industries and rebuild our middle class. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations to be responsible stewards of our environment.
Money in Politics
The mere presence of dark money in politics has eroded America's faith in government. Our democracy would be far stronger and more healthy if we rid ourselves of the corrosive influence of big money. When our current representative receives $75,000 from Telecom Industry Representatives and then votes to allow release of our private information, it's impossible not to see a causal link there. I support democracy vouchers or tax credits for political candidates, and I demand that Citizens United be overturned, by a constitutional amendment if necessary.
Our budgets reflect our values and when we spend more on our military than the next 7 countries combined we have made a mistake. We can continue to support the defense mission of Fairchild Air Force Base BUT pull back many of our forward bases around the world. We can remain a leader but focus on multilateralism instead of acting like a bully. I support a robust and effective military, but we can't continue spending wildly on the Pentagon when our VA system can't adequately care for our returning heroes.
In Eastern Washington, our largest economic export - agricultural products - is already being adversely affected by climate change. I intend to advocate for a new farm bill that actually helps our local farmers. I support crop insurance, and believe that we should add new crops to the insurance list in order to encourage diversification. We must also invest in our infrastructure so that farmers have more avenues to get their products to market.
If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's the need for new infrastructure spending in Eastern Washington. We have failing roads and bridges, dams that were designed for a 50-year lifespan over 65 years ago, and room for new projects that could revolutionize our region. The last Democrat to represent the 5th Congressional District - Speaker Tom Foley - secured hundreds of millions in funding for highways and other infrastructure projects in Eastern Washington. We deserve a representative that will continue to fight for common-sense improvements here at home, not just special interests in the other Washington.