On The Issues: Pat Harris vs. Dianne Feinstein
The question I am most frequently asked is why am I choosing to run against senator Dianne Feinstein. First and foremost, I disagree with Senator Feinstein about her current approach to governing. She has said repeatedly that she believes in working across the aisle and in trying to compromise with Republicans.
While I believe that is an admirable goal it is no longer based in reality. For the past 8 years, the Republican party has refused to work with the Democrats on any major proposal the Democrats have put forth. In fact, the Republican party made it their declared mission to unanimously oppose any measure the Obama administration proposed. To suggest that the best approach is to continue to try and work with them is, I believe, foolhardy.
Furthermore, Senator Feinstein stated that we don’t need rabble-rousers on Capitol Hill and even went so far as to say that we should be patient with Donald Trump and that he could still be a good president.
I respectfully disagree. We need rabble-rousers. We need people who are not afraid to stand up to this administration. We need people who are not afraid to stand up to the large Wall Street corporations that are running this government instead of taking their political donations. Much of my legal carer has been spent fighting huge corporations, from Pfizer to Bank of America to Wells Fargo. At this critical juncture in our nation’s history, we need fighters and that is the kind of Senator I promise to be.
In addition to our philosophical difference about the best approach for a senator to take, I also disagree with Senator Feinstein on a number of key issues. Those issues are highlighted below:
Pat Harris' Positions
Dianne Feinstein's Positions
SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE
I strongly support a single-payer healthcare system so that everyone in this country, not just the wealthy have access to healthcare. Single payer healthcare is not a government takeover and it is a scare tactic to say that it is. A single payer healthcare system actually takes healthcare away from the insurance companies and puts it in the hands of the doctors and patients where it belongs. Not only will it save money, it will save lives.
She opposes a single payer health care system and was quoted as saying that it is “a government takeover.” She has refused to sign on to S. 1804, the bill that would provide for a single payer system in the U.S. which was signed by the other senator from California, Kamala Harris. She has also taken large donations from the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies that benefit most directly from our current healthcare system.
From the beginning of the campaign, I have repeatedly stated I will not accept any corporate donations and I have kept to that pledge. I strongly believe that the current “pay-to-play” system in Washington is the biggest problem in passing legislation that would help the working class. We have to get corporate money out of politics.
Throughout her lengthy career, she has accepted corporate donations from virtually every large wall street corporation, including big oil, big pharma and the insurance industry. Despite having a person wealth of almost ¾ billion dollars, she has refused to self-fund her campaigns and instead has relied on corporations whose policies are directly in conflict with working Californians.
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT SPENDING
The defense department has been a sacred cow for too long. Not only are they being given money for weapons systems they know will never work or be used, but they are by far the most wasteful agency in the U.S. Government. Their own study indicated they had wasted over $125 billion over the past five years just in administrative costs. Imagine what that money could have done if used for medical research or science and technology.
The Senator has been one of the biggest proponents of large yearly increases in the defense budget throughout her time in congress. This past year she voted for a $700 billion dollar defense department budget which was even $50 billion more than Donald Trump asked for. Even in times of peace, she has consistently pushed for increases in defense spending.
LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS
I have always been a proponent of Proposition 64 and the legalization of cannabis. It is hypocritical for politicians to expound on the dangers of cannabis while sitting around a bar downing drink after drink. Furthermore, as has been seen in Colorado and Washington, it is an excellent source of revenue that can provide much needed funding for education and infrastructure.
Feinstein has consistently opposed the legalization of cannabis including formally opposing proposition 64, the ballot measure passed in California to legalize recreational cannabis for adults. In the past she has spoken out about increasing law enforcement resources to go after cannabis users.