Home 2018 Elections VA-10 Democratic Candidates: Quick Summary of Their Positions on Key Issues

VA-10 Democratic Candidates: Quick Summary of Their Positions on Key Issues

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I keep seeing people ask for something like this, so hey, give the people what they want, right? 🙂  With that, here’s a (quick) summary of the VA-10 Democratic candidates’ positions on a few of the key issues. I’ll keep adding more, but this is a start for the moment. By the way, definitely check out what VA Democracy Forward has put together.

HEALTHCARE
Julia Biggins: “We need single payer healthcare with a focus on preventative care. We also need to give our government the ability to negotiate drug prices. I would work to change patent law and stop big pharma from monopolizing life saving drugs. I would also increase funding for research on deadly disease. And lastly, we must address a growing doctor shortage that is expected to reach up to 104,000 by 2030 according to the AAMC by introducing science at a young age and reducing postgraduate education costs.”
Alison Friedman: “I believe that any proposal for health care must answer three fundamental questions: How will it impact people? How much will it cost? What will be the process for implementation?”
Dan Helmer: “He believes that all Americans have a right to quality, affordable health care, just as he has received. The United States is the richest and most powerful nation in the history of the world, but our healthcare system fails to ensure that all of our citizens have access to the medical care they need. Our system is also excessively expensive. Dan wants to strengthen the Affordable Care Act by adding a Medicare-for-All Option, so that anyone without access to private insurance through their employer has a public option like Medicare available to them.”
Paul Pelletier: “Providing access to healthcare” is his most important issue, along with “holding Republican Party leaders and Donald Trump accountable for their dangerous actions. Believes in supporting and improving the ACA, moving towards single payer, and “making sure every American has access to healthcare.”
Lindsey Davis Stover “Healthcare is a right, not a privilege…I am proud of the progress made under the Affordable Care Act. While it is far from perfect, we need to build on its strengths and address its challenges. I strongly oppose repeal of the Affordable Care Act or the elimination of essential health benefits and provisions that protect people with pre-existing medical conditions. I do not support any measures that would cut the Medicaid expansion under ACA.”
Jennifer Wexton: “Jennifer believes that Congress needs to stop playing politics with Americans’ healthcare and find a bipartisan solution to problems within our current healthcare system. In Congress, Jennifer will fight to protect coverage for those with preexisting conditions, eliminate lifetime caps, fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and keep Medicare and Medicaid strong and accessible. She supports allowing the Federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices to help keep healthcare prices under control. Jennifer also believes Congress should devote greater funding resources to expanding access to affordable healthcare, improving our mental health system, expanding innovative medical research, and helping to combat addiction.”

ENVIRONMENT
Julia Biggins: “Scientists overwhelmingly agree the global climate is warming and humans are the cause. We need to be the global leader in investing in clean and renewable energies while maintaining diverse energy sources. Science and engineering research will continue to help us make advances toward the future energy technologies. We can protect our environment while still ensuring a ready supply of energy to meet current needs and to promote future growth.”
Alison Friedman: “I believe in science. I believe in facts. I get that climate change is real, we are responsible, and we need to be responsible about addressing it. Addressing Reality Rather than Debating It: The ideological debate about climate change is moot. We need real disaster preparedness plans to deal with the consequences of climate change taking place before our eyes. Independence from Dominion Energy: My campaign will neither solicit nor accept contributions from Dominion Energy. Opposing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Chesapeake Bay Restoration: It is absolutely critical to all of Northern Virginia, and troubling that it was left out of President Trump’s budget.”
Dan Helmer: “Dan believes that climate change is one of the top national security threats that we face. To mitigate it, we need to be aggressively investing in renewable energy, and we need to remove the subsidies that exist for fossil fuels. Dan refuses to take campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies (or any other corporate PACs). We do not need to choose between growing the economy and protecting the environment. Investments in renewable energy, secure and efficient electricity distribution, and updated transportation infrastructure will not only protect our environment, but will create high-quality American jobs.”
Paul Pelletier: Supports “Aggressive transition from fossil fuels to clean energy…Develop green jobs… reinstatement in the Paris Agreement.” Opposes hydraulic fracturing, offshore drilling, construction of new large fracked gas pipelines.
Lindsey Davis Stover “Climate change is real and impacting us every day. The science is clear and overwhelming. We have a responsibility to act now to protect our children’s and grandchildren’s future. We must invest and prioritize innovative and clean energy technologies such as wind, solar, geothermal and more as we transition from traditional fossil fuels to meet our country’s long-term energy and environmental needs. We must also be leaders to ensure that our natural resources are not depleted and that our impact is lessened when possible. I strongly oppose Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and will work with local leaders to enact the tenants of the agreement at a grassroots level to enhance and strengthen VA10’s commitment to a more sustainable future.”
Jennifer Wexton: “Jennifer believes we need to be good stewards of the environment and that we must protect our land, air, and water for our children and future generations. Climate change and sea level rise are real threats to Virginia and our nation, and Jennifer knows we must take active steps to address them. In the State Senate, she has been a strong advocate for renewable energy and our environment…In Congress, she will continue the fight to combat climate change, oppose drilling off Virginia’s coast, adhere to the goals outlined in the Paris Climate Accord, and protect our natural resources, public lands, and waters.”

GUN VIOLENCE
Julia Biggins: “The first thing I’d do in Congress is move to repeal the Dickey Amendment and give the CDC the power to research the causation and solution for gun violence. I would also support a complete ban on assault weapons, bump-stocks, and large round ammunition clips. Background check loopholes, including the gun show and private sale loophole, should be closed and waiting periods/legal age to purchase a gun should be extended.”
Alison Friedman: Supports “Closing the Gun Show Loophole: We have the technology to take this safety measure at minimum inconvenience to purchasers…Banning Military-Style Assault Weapons…Facts: We can reverse the current restriction that prohibits NIH from researching gun violence and prevention as a public health crisis…Opposing Reciprocity: We can’t allow people who would not qualify for a concealed carry permit in Virginia to bring their weapons into the Commonwealth. See: Charlottesville.”
Dan Helmer: “Dan believes that the weapons of war that he carried in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq have no place on our streets – or in our schools. He supports universal background checks for all gun sales; supports a ban on bump stocks, assault rifles, and high capacity magazines; and opposes concealed carry reciprocity (e.g. Virginia’s HB 1163, and Congress’ Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017). Dan supports repealing the Dickey Amendment, which prevents the CDC from researching gun violence as a public health problem.”
Paul Pelletier: Need to strengthen/enforce weak gun trafficking laws. Supports closing the background check loopholes, banning assault weapons, banning large round ammunition clip, banning bump-stocks.
Lindsey Davis Stover “I support the 2nd Amendment and I am a fierce advocate for reducing senseless gun violence… I support common sense reforms to ensure guns are not getting into the hands of criminals and terrorists. I support universal background checks and do not believe those on the terror watch list should be able to purchase a gun…I also support the assault weapons ban and banning the sale of bump stocks which were recently used in the Las Vegas massacre.” It’s “flat-out ridiculous” that nothing’s been done on this issue.
Jennifer Wexton: “In Congress, Jennifer will support legislation that expands mandatory background checks on gun purchases, closes loopholes that allow criminals to purchase firearms, establishes a ban on sales of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and allows the federal government to study gun violence as a public health issue.” “We need to stay angry, we need to stay outraged….children are being murdered just for going to school in the morning.””

NATIONAL SECURITY, VETERANS (note: see here for the candidates’ debate focused on foreign policy)
Julia Biggins: “A growing economy and fully-funded state department are the ingredients for a powerful, prosperous, and secure America. Through diplomacy, development, and commerce we can make the world a safer and better place.”
Alison Friedman: Believes in “Adequately Staffing and Supporting Key Foreign Policy Positions…Honoring our Commitments to Our Allies; Holding Interfering Nations Accountable…Speaking with One, Considered Voice” and that “Our national security is best served by listening to experts, honoring our commitments, and carefully considering the ramifications of U.S. foreign policy.” Diplomacy is crucial. On Veterans, she says “We owe more than a debt of gratitude to those who serve.”
Dan Helmer: “In Congress, Dan will improve our security and act as a fierce advocate for our troops and for the necessity of providing them with the training and equipment they need to do the jobs that are asked of them. He will help maintain strong alliances and will advocate for the destruction of ISIS and the prevention of nuclear proliferation. He will ensure that our Veterans have access to high quality healthcare and resources and that the spouses of service members have the opportunity to pursue meaningful careers.”
Paul Pelletier: Important to take care of our troops when they come home; Barbara Comstock has failed them.
Lindsey Davis Stover “I support a strong national defense and maintaining a strong state of readiness for our military. Our men and women in uniform are risking their lives for us every day and they should have what they need to defend our country and protect themselves in combat…Our military families are America’s unsung heroes. We must support our military spouses and their children before, during, and after their loved ones’ deployment…We must always pursue diplomatic engagement and solutions first. We must never prepare to go to war without preparing to take care of our men and women in uniform when they return.”
Jennifer Wexton: “Jennifer believes we should never send our men and women into war without ensuring the care and resources they and their families need is in place when they return home. In Congress, Jennifer will continue to be an advocate for our active duty military, veterans, and their families. She will support establishing veterans courts across the country, expanding access to healthcare and mental health services, fully funding and reforming the VA, and providing college, training, and workforce development programs so our veterans and their spouses can obtain good paying jobs.”

WOMEN’S RIGHTS
Julia Biggins: “Roe v. Wade is clear. The choice for a woman to have an abortion should be between her and her doctor. Any woman making this choice should have access to safe and legal abortions. We also need to work to remove the stigma surrounding the toughest decision a woman will ever have to make.”
Alison Friedman: “I support hard-won gains under the Affordable Care Act, and I won’t stop there. Privacy and Fairness: Women should be allowed to make health care decisions with medical professionals and their loved ones. Female medical procedures and medication shouldn’t cost more or be disproportionately excluded from coverage. Reproductive Freedom: I fully support a woman’s right to choose. Planned Parenthood: I believe in the critical services Planned Parenthood provides—on everything from family planning to breast cancer screening. Family and Medical Leave—This matters, not just for women, but all of us.”
Dan Helmer: “Dan is strongly in favor of a woman’s right to choose. He recognizes that reproductive education and preventative health care services constitute the best means of limiting unwanted pregnancies, and, more broadly, he supports efforts to ensure quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans. He supports requiring insurance companies to cover birth control. He is a steadfast supporter of Planned Parenthood and of its status as a recipient of Federal funding. Dan believes that women should pay no more for their health care than do men, and he is in favor of ending taxes on feminine hygiene products.”
Paul Pelletier: Supports access to safe and legal abortion.
Lindsey Davis Stover: “I support a woman’s right to choose…”
Jennifer Wexton: “In the State Senate, Jennifer has fought against the Republicans’ undue restrictions on abortion, championing legislation that would remove unconstitutional barriers to access like unnecessary waiting periods and TRAP laws targeted at women’s health clinics…In Congress, Jennifer will continue to be a true advocate for women. She will support legislation that expands women’s access to quality, affordable healthcare, family planning services, and contraception, establishes paid family and medical leave programs, ends violence against women, promotes women’s involvement in STEM and political fields, and ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. Constitution.”

IMMIGRATION
Julia Biggins: “I support not only protecting DACA status but also providing a clear path to citizenship for Dreamers. Local law enforcement has no business involving itself in immigration enforcement and doing so will lead to unreported crimes perpetrated against undocumented workers. The wall will be costly, ineffective and have a devastating effect on wildlife. There should be no travel ban based on the predominant religion of a country.”
Alison Friedman: “Comprehensive immigration reform needs to happen once and for all – reforms that respect people who have lived, worked, and paid taxes in their communities for decades.  Barbara Comstock suggested we should be able to track immigrants like we track FedEx packages—that’s just wrong.”
Dan Helmer: “As the grandson of refugees and the son of an immigrant, this is an issue that is very important to me and my family. The use of Dreamers as a political football by the Trump administration is deplorable, and we need to find a permanent solution that includes a path to citizenship.”
Paul Pelletier: “Preserve DACA…No deputation of federal immigration enforcement to local police forces.”
Lindsey Davis Stover: “We need comprehensive immigration reform, not a border wall.  I support DREAMers, and I strongly oppose the Trump Administraiton’s repeal of DACA, leaving over 800.000 individuals who came to our country at no fault of their own at risk of being deported to a country they have never known.”
Jennifer Wexton: “America is a nation of immigrants and my family is among those who came here seeking freedom, safety, and opportunity. Rather than working together to find bipartisan policies that will improve our immigration system, the President and Congressional Republicans are promoting fear-mongering tactics, like raids and roundups, against immigrants. As State Senator, I have consistently voted against and spoken out against Republican attempts to stigmatize immigrants, including their anti-Sharia legislation, the so-called “sanctuary cities” bills, and legislation that would have required Virginia to track and report on the location of refugees who resettle here. I believe Congress needs to pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for immigrant families, protects DREAMers and their futures, shuts down inhumane private detention centers, and ensures money that this administration would spend on building a wall instead be spent on securing and modernizing our borders and defending national security.”

VOTING/CAMPAIGN FINANCE
Julia Biggins: “As a candidate, I have vowed to not take any money from corporate PACs. We need to remove corporate influence and pass a constitutional amendment recognizing that money isn’t speech and that corporations aren’t people – essentially overturning the Citizens United and Santa Clara decisions. I believe in universal voter registration, and federally prohibiting voter ID laws. Redistricting should be taken away from partisan legislatures and handed off to an independent body of demographers.”
Alison Friedman: “I strongly support reversing Citizens United, demanding transparency for unreported secret political contributions and reforming our campaign finance system.  This will not only shine a light on who is paying to influence campaigns, but will also help block  illegal foreign funds from tainting our process…The Citizens United decision has opened the floodgates to even more special interest influence. And a class of billionaire oligarchs, many extreme ideologues, or corporate players with a narrow and self-interested agenda have played an outsized role in funding campaigns. I’ll fight back against outside money in campaigns…Virginia has been described as one of the most gerrymandered states in America. Both parties have drawn district lines for the interest of partisan advantage instead of democratic representation.  I’ll strongly back measures to restore fair representation to our democracy.”
Dan Helmer: “…if I had to pick a single issue it would be reforming the role of money in politics. This includes overturning Citizens United, but also taking other near-term steps so that our politicians don’t have to be constantly thinking about their biggest donors, and can instead focus on serving constituents. I believe that so many other issues that seem intractable (health care, climate change, guns, etc.) would be much more solvable if we solved this one first, and removed the role of money in politics that prevents progress on these other issues.”
Paul Pelletier: Supports “Voting rights, protect/increase voting access, Fair redistricting, Campaign finance reform, Overturn Citizens United.”
Lindsey Davis Stover: “I believe the power should always be in the voting booth. I will fight to protect the rights of voters and against any attempts to limit access to the polls. We cannot participate in the politics of the past if we want to lead in the future…Corporations are not people; their money should not buy elections. Our political system is flooded with secret dark money that dilutes the voice of the American people, and it is worse than ever before. We need to overturn Citizens United and give the power back to the people.”
Jennifer Wexton: “The right to vote is one of the most basic principles of our democracy, and I believe we need to make it easier, not harder, for people to vote. In the State Senate, I sponsored and voted for legislation to end gerrymandering, allow easier access to the polls, expand absentee voting options, and add more options for the acceptable forms of voter identification. I have consistently opposed voter suppression tactics by Republicans and I have spoken out against the Republican myth of extensive voter fraud. In Congress, I will continue to fight against attempts to suppress access to the ballot box. I will work to end racial and partisan gerrymandering, expand early voting, make Election Day a federal holiday, and reform our broken campaign finance system that benefits special interests at the expense of normal citizens, including overturning Citizens United and getting money out of politics.”