- I value my country.
- I value the United States Constitution and the Arizona State Constitution.
- I value freedom.
- I value people, family and community.
- I value education.
- I value diplomacy.
- I value veterans.
- I value the environment.
- I value hard work.
- I value honesty.
Our campaign is very young and your voice is important to me and the team. We’ve put up a number of issues where we believe Arizona needs a new voice in the Senate. The ones with the most votes are where we’ll prioritize our efforts. Have an issue where the Senate is failing that you want us to take on? Email info@ChrisRussellForSenate.com and include the word “Platform” in your subject line. We’re regularly adding new issues, which typically appear at the top of the page (and will have fewer votes until you vote them up). Thank you!
End Blind Loyalty to Parties
Politics has become like sports, people pick their team and only care about winning. They don’t care about what is best for our country as a whole or the direction the country is going as a whole. Instead of blind loyalty to a party, we need to focus on candidates who are working toward finding solutions to our problems. I believe that all elected officials, regardless of party affiliation have a responsibility to work with other legislators to find solutions. I wish to see bipartisan cooperation rather than the futile obstruction we are seeing from both of the main political parties.
I will be a U.S. Senator who listens to Labor, is a champion for Davis-Bacon, works hard for working families and helps strengthen Labor Unions.
Our country is falling behind many countries, even some third world countries, in math and science. As a result, our American workforce does not have the skills needed to keep pace with technology or to fill many of the technology jobs in America. Many companies are forced to hire foreign workers to fill these jobs. Jobs are being lost in this country, but not for the reasons most people think. The jobs are lost because Americans are not skilled to do them. I believe this is one of the biggest threats to America and our freedom. We must figure out a way to provide excellent, free, public education to all our nation’s children and prepare them for the ever changing technological jobs that are being taken by foreign workers. Our teachers are underappreciated and underpaid and we must fight to make the field of education an attractive field with better pay, better benefits and more autonomy for the teachers to be creative in their teaching methods.
I do not support vouchers, which take needed funding out of public schools and harm public education. This is especially true in rural areas where there are few or no private schools.
Our Senior Citizens have worked hard all of their lives to contribute to our society. They should not spend their days worrying how they will pay their bills or receive the medical care that they need. If elected, I will fight to strengthen social security and Medicare benefits for our Seniors.
Unified Non-Profit Health Insurance (Medicare For All)
It is time to cut out the middle man in health insurance: for profit corporations. Essentially, for profit corporations add a layer of bureaucracy to the system that increases costs to us all. We can eliminate this cost by having non-profit health insurance available to all citizens. The mechanism already exists to do this quickly – through Medicare and/or Medicaid, which is a non-profit insurance program run by the people (through government), and which plays a big role in keeping costs down for its members. Every worker in this country is already paying premiums for Medicare out of every paycheck. However, only those lucky enough to reach the age of 65 or older get to use the benefits. Essentially, we are all paying for benefits that we do not receive unless we reach age 65 or older. Expanding Medicare to all ages would allow every citizen to have affordable health insurance and would help keep medical care costs down.
The fact is that all of us will get sick enough to require hospitalization at some point. Even the smallest illness or injury can cost tens of thousands of dollars today. Most people are one heart attack, one cancer, one car accident away from bankruptcy. I see real people experience this every day in my law practice. It should not be this way in a country that boasts being the greatest country in the world.
Insurance simply does not work unless both healthy and unhealthy people join in the risk pool. For-profit insurance companies are never going to cover sick people unless they are made to do so, and even if regulations were passed to force insurance companies to insure people with pre-existing conditions, the costs in doing it for a profit would make it cost prohibitive. The only way to keep insurance premiums down to an affordable rate for everyone is to spread the risk among many. The more healthy people in the pool, the more spread out the costs will be. This is the concept upon which insurance was invented and is how insurance is supposed to work.
I support fiscal responsibility. Fiscal responsibility is the act of creating, optimizing and maintaining a balanced budget and taking care not to create deficits–as any good home or business should be run. Fiscal responsibility is as much of a moral duty as it is an economic concern. It is essential to creating a better, stronger, more prosperous nation for the next generation. I believe that our national deficit is a threat to the survival and well being of our nation and we must work to solve the deficit problem for the sake of future generations. We simply cannot continue to ignore the consequences of deficits much longer. The reality is that in order to decrease the deficit, we have to spend less than we take in, and take in more than we spend. Thus, with the deficit so high, this is not a time to be cutting taxes for the wealthy. Having a balanced budget does not mean that we must end social programs for the people of our country in need or for our Seniors. Our country certainly takes in enough tax dollars to support these programs. The key is how we allocate the revenues collected. Moreover, our government should not be taking money appropriated for specific programs like Medicare and Social Security to pay for other things.
Restrain United States Military Ventures Without Congressional Approval
The U.S. has acted unilaterally in the Middle East and other regions. We must restrict U.S. military spending and overseas aggression. While I support humanitarian efforts, these should not be done through unilateral military action and without congressional approval.
Thus far, I am the only candidate with any military experience or training. The United States Army has invested thousands of dollars in me on military strategy and leadership training which I can put to use for the people. I also served in South Korea where I gained knowledge that would assist me in making sound decisions regarding U.S. policy with North Korea. I don’t believe my opponents have the requisite knowledge to lead us in military matters.
While I support reigning in military spending, I also recognize that a significant portion of Arizona’s economy is dependent upon military bases in Arizona. I also believe that our military personnel and veterans should be treated fairly and will always fight to ensure veterans and military personnel receive the best medical care possible.
Honor Our Obligations to Veterans
Our veterans give up their homes, their family, their lives to protect our country and other countries around the world. They should not come home to find that they have no jobs, no health care and no support. We should do all that we can to ensure that our vets have what they need while they are fighting for us and when they return home. We also need to ensure that the families of those who do not return home are protected.
Women’s Health Issues / Equality
I strongly support a Woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.
Women should also receive equal pay for equal work and not be forced to suffer sexual harassment in the work force.
Free, Open and Private Internet
I support net neutrality and privacy for internet users. Corporations must not be able to pick what we can read and see based on who’ll pay them the most to reach us, and it’s essential that we enforce those standards through the FCC.
I oppose S.J.Res.34 which was proposed by Republicans– “A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services”. This bill effectively eliminated FCC rules that protect the privacy of consumers using the internet. You may read about this bill at the following link: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/993?r=8
This bill should be repealed.
Campaign Finance Reform
Citizens United v. FEC gave rise to an unprecedented influence of money in the electoral process. I support the reversal of this decision, whether by federal legislation or a judicial reversal of the case. I also support transitioning to publicly-funded elections. We must not allow our government to be sold to the highest bidder.
Abolish Forced Arbitration and Stop Corporate Destruction of 7th Amendment Right to Jury Trial
Abolish mandatory arbitration in employment disputes and commercial relationships with consumers. Such mandatory arbitration before biased arbitrators diminishes or extinguishes the rights of workers and consumers.
Protect Religious Rights and the Right to No Religion
Assure the full observance and enforcement of the No Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, i.e., separation of religion and government. There should be no religion in government and no government in religion. This was the catalyst to the Revolutionary War…we no longer wanted to be subject to the religious whims of whatever King or Queen happened to be in power. If we allow religion to be dictated by the government, then we are right back where we started. In order to protect religious freedom for all future generations, we must observe the no establishment clause. Think about this: Christianity may one day not be the majority religion in this country. Do we really want to be subject to whichever religion happens to be the majority?
Decriminalize Mental Illness
Instead of punishing people for having mental illness, we must assure they have the right to see a mental health professional. Our society must provide interventive care when necessary. Universal, single-payer health care could cover the cost of such care.
End the War on Drugs
Virtually all of the available data shows that the war on drugs has been an utter failure. Instead of stopping the flow of drugs, it has resulted in powerful drug cartels and violence. Most people end up on drugs due to poor economic circumstances and poor education. We could fight the problem of poor education and poverty in general by taxing marijuana and putting that money back into our people. States like Colorado have shown that this can be successful. A lot of people are on marijuana to therapeutically combat mental illness, which ties back into the issue of mental illness.
End the School to Prison Pipeline
Nationally, school disciplinary policies have been criminalizing ordinary childhood, thereby trapping children, especially Black and Latino youth into the criminal justice system. I have represented countless youth in such situations and it’s time to end zero-tolerance, and other policies that criminalize youth.
End the War on Science and Protect the Environment
We must not ignore scientific proof of pollution to our environment. Whether or not you believe in climate change, there can be no question that we rely upon clean air, water and soil to survive and to be healthy. I do not wish to return to the days of the industrial age when our rivers caught on fire due to the uncontrolled pollution by corporations who placed profit over people and the environment. The EPA was created to address the fact that corporations will not always willingly do what is best for our environment. We also cannot deny that the planet is warming up and water levels are rising. There are literally cities disappearing due to rising waters.
Invest in Alternative Energy Sources
Other countries such as Denmark and Germany are lightyears ahead of the United States in use of alternative energy sources. Denmark has trains powered by wind energy. Germany has trains powered by water. Yet, here in America we have little ground public transportation at all.
I do not support illegal immigration and I believe we need to ensure that people seeking to harm us are not permitted entry into our country.
However, immigration procedures are extremely complicated and expensive, which contributes to the problem. I believe that immigration procedures need to be simplified and made less costly so that people who want to come legally can figure out how to do it and can afford to pay for the process. Of course, these barriers do not exist for the thousands of foreign workers that corporations bring to America to fill the highly technological jobs in America because American workers lack the skills to perform the jobs. This is the direct result of American education falling behind that of other countries. Corporations can afford the high costs of obtaining visas for these workers. Regular people coming from Mexico to pick fruit and vegetables cannot. Nor is it cost effective for them to do so.
The days of Americans thinking they can graduate high school and get a job without any skills in this country are over. Not just because jobs have left America, but because they are being filled by robots and technology. The jobs of the future will be in manufacturing those robots and repairing them, which will require advanced electronic and engineering skills. We are simply not producing workers with these skills. We must do better. We can do better.
End Frivolous Litigation Defenses
As a nation we are being brainwashed by lobbyists for insurance companies pumping the news full of false alarm about frivolous litigation and tort reform. People don’t have lobbyists lobbying for them, so you never hear about the frivolous defenses made by insurance companies to avoid paying legitimate claims, or the never-ending appeals that insurance companies make to avoid paying judgments by juries in favor of injured plaintiffs. The reality is that it is getting costlier for the average American to have access to the court system and harder for people to get justice. We are slowing seeing the seventh amendment right to a jury trial disappear as more and more judges abuse the procedure of summary judgment to take cases away from juries. We are seeing the right to punitive damages, designed to punish and deter bad conduct of corporations that injure people, slowly disappear. When we can no longer hold corporations accountable, there will be nothing to protect us from harm fueled by greed.
I support the Second Amendment right to bear arms. I grew up on a farm with a family of hunters and outdoorsmen. I am a responsible gun owner as are many in my family. The Second Amendment states as follows: “A Well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” But the key words are “well regulated militia.” The founders did not intend for the right to exist without regulation and, of course, the Supreme Court of the United States, which gives the judiciary branch the right to interpret the Constitution, has not said that the right is absolute. In fact, the Supreme Court has upheld regulations of the Second Amendment.
People do not need a “reason” to own guns. Our military members, however, receive a minimum of 60 to 80 hours of basic rifle marksmanship with the M16, the military version of the AR15. Military members must train and qualify on these weapons every year. They know the weapon’s capabilities, and have an understanding of its destructiveness.
In the wake of Sandy Hook, Vegas and now Parkland, where it has become obvious that mass shootings are never going to stop . . . and that our children are in danger just going to school, inaction is no longer an option. We must hear our children’s pleas for protection. We have an obligation to ensure they are safe.
I support regulations that make it more difficult to purchase and own military style weapons such as the AR15, AK47, etc. Reasonable regulations should include raising the minimum purchase age to 21, proof of an honorable discharge from the military, or honorable service as a law enforcement officer, or passing a 60 hour extensive safety training program, plus a criminal background check, and a psychological exam.
I do not support an outright ban to such weapons at this point and would give tougher regulations a chance of success. Although, I do support bans on bump stocks and other similar mechanisms that effectively make the weapon fully automatic.
It is important to note almost every State in this country already prohibits convicted felons from owning any gun and Federal law prohibits felons from possessing guns. It seems most people are ok with regulating guns.
It is time for gun advocates to come to the table and engage in the discussion to solve the problem of mass shootings. If we do not regulate ourselves, the Courts will do it for us and we may not like what they do. Courts have already diminished the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Amendments. We have a glimpse of what is to come with Kolbe v. Hogan, Jr., No. 14-1945 (4th Cir. 2017) which has upheld Maryland’s ban the sale of firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and also bans many firearms, by labeling them as “assault weapons” holding they are “weapons of war” and that the Second Amendment did not apply to “weapons of war.”
Here is a link to the case: https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca4/14-1945/14-1945-2017-02-21.html
I believe that if we do not concede to regulations aimed at the abusers of the Second Amendment, we will see the judicial erosion of the Second Amendment. Like everything else, the bad apples will ruin it for all of us. We must take action to prevent the bad apples from abusing the Second Amendment in order to preserve the good apples’ rights. Otherwise, we also risk seeing the abolition of the Second Amendment, as fewer of the younger generation show much interest in hunting or other activities that involve guns, in favor of their Ipads, tablets, X-Box, and other technological devices.