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Rishi wants to crush Big Money in politics

  • Big Money in politics is subverting the interest of the American people. It is time for change!
  • But we can't change a corrupt system by taking its money - and Anna Eshoo takes millions. Anna Eshoo is doing Pharma’s bidding, while she chairs the House Health Subcommittee after all she is the #1 recipient of Pharma money in the House.
  • My run is about Ethics-in-Politics: I refuse PAC and Special Interest Group money - unlike Anna Eshoo. I will never change my stance on this. From day one, I’ve said what every elected leader in America needs to say: no corporate PAC money, no special interest group money. Because our democracy is best when it’s responsive to YOU, the American people. I will always fight for the people.

I will push to end Citizens United, not Eshoo

Join me in eliminating Citizens United and delivering a new people-centric value system for the American people? We must eliminate the Citizens United loopholes that allow millions of dollars into campaigns and sway elections. We need to level the playing field for the people-centric agenda that our country desperately needs.

There is no argument: we need to overturn the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision today! Our democracy is undermined by the ability of special interests who buy politicians and elections by spending hundreds of millions of dollars in support of the candidates of their choice.

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo--my opponent this November--has expressed outrage against Citizens United. But it’s all a fashion statement. 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.” And yet, she continues to accept hefty sums of Special Interest Group money, most notably from large pharmaceutical companies.

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? Reward politicians for political posturing?

Eshoo’s ties to Pharma

As the top recipient of donations from the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, Rep. Eshoo went against President Obama and passed laws that made it easier for Big Pharma to keep drug prices high.

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.

My opponent, Anna Eshoo, has spent years trying to hide her ties to Big Pharma with political platitudes and bold progressive statements. It’s not working! In addition to being the number one recipient of pharmaceutical and healthcare industry donations in the House of Representatives, she chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee. As chairwoman, she has power over healthcare legislation that affects every American, all while Big Pharma signs her campaign checks.

Anna Eshoo has a track record of supporting legislation that actively harms those searching for affordable health care. In 2010, after being lobbied by companies like Genentech, she introduced a bill with a Republican that kept the price of certain drugs high by creating barriers for generic ones to enter the market. 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? It’s no coincidence that her former Chief of Staff now sits on the Genetech board. 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.

Anna Eshoo must put her money where her mouth is. As long as those elected to represent the American people continue to take large donations from special interests, they will not properly legislate for their constituents. Anna Eshoo is clearly an elected official who cares more about corporations than people. If we do not end harmful campaign contribution laws and truly remove Big Money from politics, we perpetuate the cycle of elected officials feeling more accountable to large corporations than the people who voted them into office.

Rishi fights for the people

On the city council, I have consistently rejected land-developer money. It made it easier for me to respond to the people's challenges without any undue influences. I believe in making fearless people-centric choices to address the top challenges of my community. As an elected leader, I challenged an investor-owned water utility company and am still pushing back on their rampant rate increases. My efforts have been successful. You can find a summary at https://rishikumar.com/water.

I will fight for the issues important to our families and our neighbors, not the special interest groups with agendas that do not align with the people. We need to level the playing field for people-centric policies that our country desperately needs to address America’s downhill slide.

I would be honored to have your vote, today or by November 8th I will serve with integrity – there is no other way for me.

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.