- 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 have never been a one issue voter, and I will not be a one issue Senator.
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.
Unified Non-Profit Health Insurance
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.
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 opponent, Jeff Flake, has the requisite knowledge to lead us in military matters as is evident by his 2002 vote to invade Iraq.
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. My opponent Jeff Flake failed to participate in concerted efforts by other Arizona legislators to save military jobs in Arizona. See article at these links showing Flakes name missing from the letters sent:
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/Reproductive Rights and Equality
Roe v Wade prohibits States from passing laws that outright ban all abortions. The case does not prohibit States from regulating abortion locally. States can and do regulate abortion and I believe this should be a State issue. People have more power to affect abortion law at the State and local level. From a fiscal standpoint, we should all focus our efforts on reducing unwanted pregnancies and/or improving options available to women who find themselves pregnant and unable to sustain the pregnancy for whatever reason, without help. It simply makes financial sense to ensure women have access to reproductive health and birth control that is affordable in addition to preventative care such as pap smears and breast exams to screen for common female cancers. It also ensures that when babies are born, they are born healthy.
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.
My opponent, Jeff Flake, proposed and voted into law S.J.Res.34 – “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
You can also read about Jeff Flake’s proposal of the bill at this link: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/322812-sen-jeff-flake-introduces-measure-to-reverse-the-fccs-broadband-privacy
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.
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.
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 Global Warming
We must recognize the reality that is climate change and put an end to the war on science. The planet is warming up, and the results will be disastrous if we don’t take urgent action. 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, it is irresponsible to pretend a simple solution exists to America’s illegal immigration issues. It is easy to look at lines drawn on maps by our ancestors and tell ourselves that everyone must remain within certain boundaries because it is the law. It is more difficult to delve into the practical reasons why people make the decision to leave everything they find familiar and immigrate illegally.
We need to look at many factors including the Americans who are providing opportunities for illegal work and the market forces driving the need for illegal workers.
We also need to look at how our trade policies affect our neighbors. When NAFTA makes rich corporations more rich, and makes Mexico more poor, ordinary Americans pay the prices of lost jobs, hospitals, and social services. Fixing the problems caused by illegal immigration is going to have to begin with discussing how the unequal distribution of wealth on both sides of the border fundamentally sabotages all of us. The elite in Mexico have been creating an environment of corruption and widespread poverty for decades, and US Policies that do not support fair trade have exacerbated the problem.
A system that allows businesses to hire workers under the table (American or otherwise) encourages hiring of illegal workers.
Building a wall and militarizing our borderlands are simplistic solutions that affect or hurt citizens living on the border as much or more than those sneaking in illegally.
The solution to this problem is going to come from nuanced discussions of many different factors, and ideally with input from our neighbors to the south. We must start with why are people trying to come to our country and why are they leaving their country? Why are corporations moving operations to other countries? What are they going toward? What are the benefits to America of migratory workers? How can we create an immigration system that takes advantage of opportunities migratory workers offer America while minimizing any disadvantages? How can we streamline the immigration system to make cost less of a factor in immigrants coming here legally? Are we making immigration worse with current legislation and policy? What are the practical effects of deportation policies that do not take individual circumstances into account? What are the economic effects to Americans with harsher immigration policies?
More than anything, we need to get people from all perspectives talking, and understanding the various sides of this topic. Then we may be able to create workable solutions.
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. The regulation of guns is a power reserved to the States and the people of each State should decide for themselves how they want to regulate guns in their communities, subject to Supreme Court scrutiny.
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 hand guns. It seems most people are ok with this type of regulation. I believe that States should also consider implementing regulation that will prevent mentally ill people from having guns as well, but again, this is an issue for each individual State.