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Our Centrist Policy Platform

     PREAMBLE:

We firmly believe in in the precept of 'A More Perfect Union' -- that America is an imperfect country built upon a perfect premise:  freedom, equality, opportunity, and individual liberty tempered by collective responsibility. We are a country that acknowledges and learns from our past, while giving steadfast chase to the vision of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness for ALL -- irrespective of individual traits, attributes, or beliefs.

Policy Precepts

ABORTION:

Legal through 13th week; exceptions made beyond that for rape, incest, or when health of mother is at risk. Aspirational goal is to follow Switzerland's model in an effort to achieve what seems elusive in most countries:  abortion that truly becomes safe, legal, and RARE. (Learn more about the Swiss model and methods here.  For readers bristling at allowing any abortion, we encourage you to dig deeper and explore our reasoning here.  For readers who desire abortion beyond 13 weeks, we invite you to take a minute and explore the reasons behind our position here.)

Image by Greg Bulla

BORDER & IMMIGRATION:

Use the Pareto Principle for border control and immigration enforcement. Get rid of blanket policies like SB 54 and instead implement a 20/80 formula. For immigration, this means compassionate leniency for law-abiding undocumented immigrants, but fervently seeking out/deporting the 'bottom' percentage that is engaged in behaviors that are detrimental to ALL of society, including other immigrants. 

A San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting presentation in May 2023 revealed that 1 out of 3 residents are on MediCal. At what point does that ratio become unsustainable, and how does illegal immigration contribute to that percentage?

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CLIMATE CHANGE: 

We believe deeply in the concept of stewardship -- that whatever resource we are blessed with, that we have a profound and abiding duty to protect it. That said, we need to refrain from climate 'alarmism' (which is frequently used for political gain); instead focus on a multi-pronged approach to address the problem across multiple fronts. This includes improved technologies, as well as making sure that the back-end of proposed 'solutions' do not create worse problems down the road. We also need to ensure that supporting infrastructure is well in place before we make permanent switches to new technologies. The goal is to 'get our boat as close to the dock as possible' before we make the leap to 100% EVs, etc.  

CRIME: 

Enact 'Pareto Policies' to addess the 20% of the most pressing problems in any category. No more revolving-door justice or blanket-policy 'no-bail' systems. Prosecution is a great deterrent; use it fairly to hold those that do the most damage and pose the greatest threat accountable. San Francisco sent a message via the Chesa Boudin recall. Safety is paramount.

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ECONOMY

Top priorities are reducing national debt and combatting inflation. Do not allow deficit spending. Slightly raise corporate tax rate to 25% (currently 21% as of 9/10/22; was 35% prior to 2017.) Return Economic Opportunity Zones to help historically disadvantaged communities. Keep the SALT (State and Local Taxes) cap in place. Incentivize marriage and family stabilization through increased tax credits.  Create job-opportunity and training pipelines for hard-to-fill, in-demand jobs such as nursing, teaching, and skilled trades. 

EDUCATION

Return emphasis to core subjects:  Reading, Writing, Math, & Science. Add an optional extra month of school (teachers get paid extra) to combat 2+ years of learning loss.  Incentivize teaching as a career through federal tax breaks. Allocate money and resources to the classroom, not administrators.  Create a national program for free breakfast and lunch. Add extended care and tutoring after school (approximately 3pm to 6pm.) Consider an intern student-training program to staff tutoring centers, while giving the tutors educational credit towards earning a teaching degree.)

ENERGY:

Establish a multi-pronged plan to strategically implement a variety of sources for energy, including:  Green (solar/wind); Nuclear (consider Thorium); Fossil Fuels (with incentives to increase fuel effieciency via technology); and encourage research & development of biofuels. 

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ENVIRONMENT: 

Stewardship is key. Balance needs between man and nature with pragmatic policies that make forward progress in reducing emissions, conserving national resources, and protecting wildlife and habitats. 

EQUALITY & RIGHTS:

EQUALITY of treatment and of opportunity. Uphold the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s precept of 'content of character.' Acknowledge historical inequities while moving forward with level playing fields for pay, promotions, and parity. 

Create high expectations, and provide ample opportunities to achieve them. Getting rid of Calculus doesn't help marginalized students; it only serves to hold them back and render them ineligible for the rigors of demanding professions they might aspire to.

Image by Brett Zeck

GLOBAL POLICY

We take a stewardship view of the world, but put on our own oxygen mask first. That means returning essential manufacturing and supply chains to American soil. Do not allow purchase of land or companies by:  China; Russia; North Korea; & Iran. Relinquish our role as the world's police force (a paradigm which has for too long served as a convenient means of padding pockets in the Military Industrial Complex.) Require other nations to actually pay for their own obligations to global peace efforts - no more subsidizing countries that won't pay. Maintain a 'strength through peace' stance for military readiness and capabilities. 

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GUN CONTROL & RIGHTS:

Common sense gun control to direct laws at actual law breakers, not law-abiding citizens. National instant background checks for gun purchases. Harsh penalties for crimes committed involving a gun. Require all home-manufactured guns to be serialized; harsh penalties for anyone caught manufacturing, selling, or using a home-manufactured gun. 

 

Much like Drivers Ed, create a robust national gun safety and training program for youth. 

Minorities and women are two of the largest growing demographics for gun purchasers. They deserve a meaningful way to defend themselves (particularly in rural areas, or cities where police response times are inadequate.)

In a society where crime is increasing exponentially, the right of the people to be safe is paramount. This includes a legally armed, well-educated and responsibly-trained populace. 

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HEALTH CARE:

Heavily audit and monitor Medicare for fraud, waste, & abuse -- both for recipients, as well as hospitals, clinics, etc. that receive Medicare dollars. 

Insurance:  Continue both private insurance as well as subsidized safety-net care. Give tax credits to companies that offer health insurance to their employees. Steer clear from going down the path of government socialized medicine; keep as many people in the free market as possible via jobs that provide good benefits. 

Rx: Cut prescription drug prices; heavily enforce price-gouging or fixing. Explore scaling up Mark Cuban's 'Cost Plus Drug Company' model to the national level and across multiple medications. 

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HOMELESSNESS:

The establishment of 'CARE Courts' is a step in the right direction. Allowing street-living (often in squalor) leads to poor quality of life for both the homeless and the surrounding communities. Do not allow street camping or congregant street living. Placing those who are resistant to treatment into conservatorship is a compassionate bottom line that stops the cycle of self-abuse and community harm.

Suburban Homes

HOUSING & AFFORDABILITY:

Infill and density that makes sense (near transit and urban villages.) Do not turn single-home neighborhoods like Clairemont or the College area into multi-unit ADU/granny flat zoning (which will completely change both community character and safety.) 

There are many alternatives [like not allowing: second homes (save a first-time starter home turned rental), vacation homes, non owner-occupied purchases, etc. that could be considered as alternatives.] 

San Diego is a desirable place to live, and sadly not everyone will be able to afford to do so. But turning single, owner-occupied homes into a socialist capital construct, while millionaires enjoy 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th homes, is NOT the way to fairly spread pain across society. Start at the top of the pyramid first.  

NATIONAL
SECURITY:

Prioritize security and effectiveness of our nation's 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors. Integrate and maintain state-of-the-art cybersecurity for all sectors. Do not allow purchase of land, real estate, or companies by:  China; Russia; North Korea; & Iran or any of their foreign nationals in our country. 

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PHARMACEUTICALS:

Ban pharmaceutical lobbying; establish patent reforms to prevent companies from making modest tweaks which re-start the patent clock all over; Reform the FDA, CDC, & NIH. Scientists and doctors with ANY involvement or financial connections to a drug or pharmaceutical company must recuse. Conflicts of interest will NOT be tolerated, and full financial disclosure is imperative. 

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SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS:

Reform the Sexually Violent Predator Conditional Release (CONREP) program to bring back the former 'prison grounds placement'.  Do NOT subject Californians throughout to the state to the current game of whack-a-mole each time a SVP is deemed 'safe' for release. If they are that safe, put them in the neighborhood of the judge who makes that determination.  QUIT APEXING RIGHTS OF PROVEN PREDATORS OVER THOSE OF FUTURE VICTIMS.

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SEWAGE

Stop the hemorrhage of sewage and toxic waste flowing from Mexico into Imperial Beach via the Tijuana River watershed. This decades-old problem MUST be given the highest priority. Subsidize the building and maintenance of pump stations and treatment plants on the Mexico side, with American wastewater engineering firms overseeing ALL work and maintenance. Use frequent financial, operational, and compliance audits to ensure integrity and adherence. This is a dark history in this region. You can learn more about this environmental catastrophe that's been allowed to fester for the past half century here, here, here, and here.  (The Tijuana River Valley sewage issue also sadly provides a very good case study in failed policy making and execution at the national, state, and local levels.)

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SUBSTANCE ABUSE:

Two decades of 'harm reduction strategies' have only enabled, exacerbated, and expanded rampant drug use in our state. Offer treatment that does NOT enable (no needle exchange or supervised use.) Instead, explore options like M.A.T. (Medication-Assisted Treatment - sublingual or patches, no IV.) Place those who are resistant to treatment into conservatorship to stop the cycle of self-abuse and community harm. 

TAXES & SPENDING:

Operate under a premise of stewardship. Spend the money like someone worked for it. No deficit spending allowed, and limit the issuance of bonds. Require a two-thirds majority for any tax increase. Implement frequent audits of government programs & grants for transparency and accountability. Any state budget surplus beyond $50 billion is to be redirected back to taxpayers. Simplify the state tax code to a one-page form; implement a tiered rate to avoid regressive outcomes. 

VOTING RIGHTS: 

Voter ID required (just like in our neighboring countries of Canada & Mexico.) Return to prior method where mail ballots are by request only (i.e., absentee.) Arguments that requiring proof of identity to vote is racist is actually soft bigotry. Marginalized folks are quite capable of securing an ID; we should, however, make that easy and affordable (or even free in many cases.) Election confidence is paramount to a secure America. Requiring ID to vote is akin to requiring it to board a plane - the integrity of our electoral system is as equally precious as aeronautical safety and security.  

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WATER

Divert money from the Bullet Train to instead build a state-of-the-art aqueduct system to transfer water from high rainfall areas to drier areas. One report stated that 100,000 cf/second (!) was lost during the Oroville Spillway disaster. In a drought-prone state, every drop is precious, and infrastructure needs to be put in place to safely & efficiently move water. Build aqueducts, dams, and reservoirs to ensure sufficient water is available for all uses, including commercial, residential, and agricultural. Also, consider cloud seeding to induce rainfall, as is done in many parts of the world.  

WILDFIRES

Make forest management a top priority. Thin and cull both forests and canyon vegetation. Hold utilities responsible for maintaining their infrastruture. Minimize 'PSPS' (Planned Safety Power Shutoffs.) Maintain a well-equipped, well-staffed aerial firefighting system within 30 minutes of more populous areas. 

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