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Rishi Pledges to Refuse PAC and Special Interest Group Money

Big Money in politics is subverting the interest of the American people. It is time for change! But can we change a corrupt system by taking its money? Our democracy is undermined by the ability of special interests who buy politicians. Given how our career politicians were unprepared to address the pandemic challenges playing partisan politics, and continue to respond to the lobbyists, the drum for change is beating even harder. There is no argument: we need to overturn the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision today!

Rep. Eshoo is in her 30th year, but has only passed 4 bills into law. Two bills renamed a post office and federal building. Another redesignated a month as National Scleroderma Awareness Month and the 4th modified provisions to determine payments at children’s hospital. Ineffective legislations. But there is more. How about legislation that does not favor people. She went against President Obama and introduced legislation that favors Big Pharma, not people, giving pharmaceutical companies 12-year exclusivity periods for biologic drugs, beyond the length of their patents, to protect them from competition by the generic drug industry. Why would anyone do that? Well, she’s the top recipient of Pharma money in the House of Representatives, while she chairs the House Health Subcommittee. This is a huge conflict of interest. After the Stanford Daily shared their concern for Rep. Eshoo’s ties to Big Pharma, Rep. Eshoo herself ADMITTED to receiving millions from the industry while justifying it. We don’t buy the justification. It’s time to stop making excuses.

This is the reason why we have refuted Rep. Eshoo’s endorsement by End Citizens United, along with many others. Unlike Rep. Eshoo, I refuse PAC and Special Interest Group money – not just for this race – for perpetuity. Help me fight the big money in politics by making a small contribution at RishiKumar.com/contribute. We only accept contributions from people like you and me.

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. - my opponent on your ballot - has expressed outrage against Citizens United. But it’s a hollow statement given the influence of money on her own political agenda. In a January 2015 press release, she wrote that Citizens United “cast a dark shadow over our democracy by bringing us dangerously closer to an electoral system where the voices of average Americans are easily drowned out by special interests, shadowy front groups, and a handful of billionaires.” But what is more interesting is that End Citizens United, the organization whose agenda is to purge big money from politics, gave an A rating to Rep. Eshoo. Is this how we want our system to work? That is why we strongly refuted the endorsement.

Congresswoman Eshoo’s testimony at the Fortenberry hearing

When asked by lead defense attorney John Littrell, Eshoo described the congressman as an honorable person.

“I think he brings honor to what he does because of the individual he is,” Eshoo said. “He’s faith-filled, he’s honest. His word is always good, and I can’t say that about all members of congress, and you find out the hard way.”

…They also asked Congresswoman Eshoo about campaign finance, which has been an important issue for the Silicon Valley representative.

In cross examination, Eshoo said she believes there is too much money influencing politics and not enough transparency.

“It’s chipped away at the confidence American people have in our system,” Eshoo said.

Jenkins asked Eshoo if she was concerned about foreign money, Eshoo said not exactly, because illegal foreign donations were rare. She said she was concerned about “dark money” donated to political action parties with “unlimited sums of money” donated by anonymous donors.

“It conceals the true source of that money,” Eshoo said. “I think the American people should be able to make a determination themselves and if you don’t know who the donors are you don’t know how much money is being put into the system, that’s anti-democratic.” When Jenkins asked Eshoo what she thought about foreign donors or what she would do if she found out there were illegal donations made to her campaign, the defense objected.

Ethics in politics

On the city council, I have consistently rejected land-developer money. It made it easier for me to respond to the people challenges without any undue influences. I will not change my stance on the influence of money in politics. From day one, I’ve said what every elected leader in America needs to say: no corporate PAC money, no special interests, no lobbyists. Because our democracy is best when it’s responsive to YOU, the American people.

I have always been a grassroots worker, a problem solver and a community activist — and that is why I am running today. During the pandemic, I launched the Neighborhood Pandemic Preparedness Team (NPPT). We called 86,000 seniors helping them with groceries, medications, masks and more. During the pandemic and recent fires, hundreds of our volunteers helped thousands of neighbors who needed help. I am not a career politician. I seek to address the tough challenges we face, more so in a post-covid-19 world. I am a hi-tech executive who was re-elected to the Saratoga city council with the highest vote count in city history. As an elected leader, an engineer by education, I delivered strong results with a simple getting-things-done agenda.

I will fight for the issues important to our families and our neighbors, not the special interest groups. We need to level the playing field for people-centric policies that our country desperately needs to address the needs of the post-covid-19 world.

I would be honored to have your vote, today or by November 3rd.

I will serve with integrity – there is no other way for me.