Meet the Candidate
Running For:United States Senator
Education: (click to expand)
J.D., LL.M., M.B.A.
Biographical Info: (click to expand)
I am a native Pennsylvanian from Southwestern PA where I grew up working in my family’s bakery business. I have worked as an attorney for the federal government in the General Counsel's Office of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, D.C., and privately overseas. I worked on financing for the largest geothermal power plant in Indonesia in Sarulla on Sumatra Island. My time over the past couple decades has been divided between Jakarta, Indonesia, where I worked on foreign investment and project finance, and Pittsburgh where I work freelance on litigation support on a project basis (now remotely for law firms throughout the country). I earned my J.D. at the University of Denver and I was a Ford Foundation Fellow in Public International Law at American University in Washington, D.C. In addition, I have an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Why are you running for office? (click to expand)
To make difference. The latest UN report on climate change underscores the need to immediately make all efforts to stop emissions of greenhouse gases. This can be accomplished through a "just transition" to renewable energy that provides permanent jobs, and does not cause cancer like mining and burning fossil fuels. The technology exists today. All we need to do is implement it. And the first step is to halt fracking which is ruining the water and health of Pennsylvania. The Covid-19 pandemic underlines the need for universal healthcare. Many who lose their job cannot afford the payments to maintain their health insurance. In the modern gig economy, many do not receive health insurance through their employer. They may face the choice of paying for rent or healthcare, but not have enough resources for both. The health insurance that is available has too many deductibles, copays and limitations on coverage. Employers who provide healthcare will benefit from Medicare for All by having their costs reduced. Employers who do not provide healthcare will benefit from Medicare for All by having healthier workers. Medicare for All costs less for better care. Everyone benefits from Medicare for All. The US has a higher incarceration rate than any other developed country in the world. Conditions in prisons are human rights violations, with overcrowding and inadequate food and healthcare. Prisoners are preyed upon with unreasonable charges to buy their own food and communicate with their family. Many inmates of local jails are held without being convicted of any crime solely because they do not have enough money to pay cash bail. Decriminalizing cannabis would have an immediate effect on reducing prison and jail populations, and save money. All current prisoners and inmates serving time solely for cannabis charges should be released and all past criminal records from cannabis convictions expunged.
- −Declined to Respond/Undecided, Position Unknown/Unclear
- †Declined to respond, Position based on citation
|1. Should government-run healthcare be provided to every American?||Y*||Expand the VA hospital system to accept members of the public. Open in underserved areas. I am a proponent of Post Office banking and I say open community health clinics as well for walk-in and preventative care. Private medical practice would still remain available.|
|2. Should experiments using tissue obtained from aborted babies be prohibited?||Y*||Tissue from aborted embryos and fetuses is not necessary for experiments. However, cells from umbilical cords of birthed babies are useful for scientific research which should be allowed.|
|3. Should the President nominate Supreme Court justices that adhere to the original meaning of the Constitution?||Y*||Yes. The 2nd Amendment did not even apply to states when it was written, but only to the federal government. It only prevented the federal government from prohibiting states to maintain their own militias, which is now the National Guard. So it is not possible to state that the founding fathers intended the 2nd Amendment to restrict a state's right to regulate guns. States could restrict guns in any way they pleased and did so throughout the history of the United States. Cities in the old west were gun free zones. Look up the "Gunfight at the OK Corral." "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves & their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; & no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury..." That was the proposal of the anti-federalist minority delegation of Pennsylvania to the Constitutional Convention. Similar language was incorporated into certain state constitutions. Some people claim this is what the 2nd Amendment means. However I say it means the opposite. This language was known to the Constitutional Convention. It was specifically proposed, and intentionally NOT incorporated into the U.S. Constitution. Certainly some founding fathers favored this language. However, it was not included, on purpose. Similarly, the Constitution Convention debated whether to include a "right to revolution" and decided not to include it. The people who want military weapons want them in order to fight the U.S. government. However there is nothing in the Constitution about individuals fighting against the U.S. government, which is rebellion, insurrection, or treason under the Constitution. https://riversong.wordpress.com/the-real-second-amendment/ The 2nd Amendment meant you could be drafted into your state militia. You were required to report to a commanding officer appointed by your state. Private roaming armed bands or paramilitaries weren't allowed. See: Washington putting down the Whiskey Rebellion. I grew up with guns. I grew up in Pennsylvania and went hunting with my dad from the time I was ten years old. We had no semi-automatic weapons. They are completely unnecessary for hunting. Abortion has been practiced in the United States throughout its history. Benjamin Franklin published a recipe for an abortifacient in a popular reference book found in homes across the country. Thus, the Founders did not believe that abortion was the taking of human life and intentionally left the matter to the privacy of the pregnant person. https://www.npr.org/2022/05/18/1099542962/abortion-ben-franklin-roe-wade-supreme-court-leak|
|4. Should education funding be directed to families through a voucher, scholarship, or education savings account so that parents can send their children to the school of their choice, including non-public schools?||Y*||These may be made available, however we should find a way to make public schools good throughout the country so that parents will not feel the need to go elsewhere.|
|5. Should Congress pass the Equality Act - which would require individuals and businesses to provide services or use their artistic expression in ways that violate their moral or religious beliefs?||U*||It depends on the need and difficulty of finding the service elsewhere. A chain bakery should be able to find another employee to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple. A small bakery could refuse if there is another bakery easily available. However if there is no other easily available bakery, they should provide a cake, even if they do not place same sex figures on top. The purchaser could place the figures. Healthcare providers should be allowed to decline to participate in abortion.|
|6. Should Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform or refer for abortions receive federal funds?||Y*||I support an unrestricted, no questions asked, right to a safe and prompt abortion up to the end of 20 weeks of pregnancy, calculated starting at 2 weeks after last menstruation. Saint Thomas Aquinas believed ensoulment occurs after "animation" or quickening. After 21 weeks I would not support abortion other than in the case of a nonviable fetus (e.g. brain death), threat to the life of the pregnant person, or severe defect. For reference, I would not consider down syndrome to be a severe defect. Luke 1:44 occurred after 21 weeks. “In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy…” Luke 1:26 In Genesis, God first forms the body of Adam then breathes in the soul after the body is formed. Abortion exists in the Bible in Numbers 5:15 and was practiced at the time of Jesus. Yet while Jesus comments on the death penalty, there is no discussion of abortion. I believe this is because abortion before the body is formed and ensoulment takes place is not considered the taking of a human life.|
|7. Should Congress enact additional limits on elective abortions?||Y*||I support an unrestricted, no questions asked, right to a safe and prompt abortion up to the end of 20 weeks of pregnancy, calculated starting at 2 weeks after last menstruation. Saint Thomas Aquinas believed ensoulment occurs after "animation" or quickening. After 21 weeks I would not support abortion other than in the case of a nonviable fetus (e.g. brain death), threat to the life of the pregnant person, or severe defect. For reference, I would not consider down syndrome to be a severe defect. Many people with down syndrome have gone on to live fulfilling lives. I would support granting certain rights, such as inheritance, to a viable fetus after 21 weeks of pregnancy. Luke 1:44 occurred after 21 weeks. “In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy…” Luke 1:26 In Genesis, God first forms the body of Adam then breathes in the soul after the body is formed. Abortion exists in the Bible in Numbers 5:15 and was practiced at the time of Jesus. Yet while Jesus comments on the death penalty, there is no discussion of abortion. I believe this is because abortion before the body is formed and ensoulment takes place is not considered the taking of a human life.|
|8. Should the federal government take further steps to block border crossings from undocumented migrants?||Y*||The important issue is that undocumented people working in the U.S. are essential workers and should be gotten documents so that they can come and go freely and legally. When Alabama successfully scared away undocumented workers, the economy collapsed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0ZzwGSF6Zg They are not taking jobs from any U.S. citizens. They are taking jobs no U.S. citizens want, boosting the economy and creating jobs for U.S. citizens. Sending them away will crash the economy. If the U.S. did not participate in worsening the conditions of other countries such as Honduras, Haiti and Syria, there would be fewer refugees and asylum seekers. International law requires the admission of asylum seekers. The U.S. should not cause a civil war in Syria and then refuse to accept refugees generated by that civil war. There is no Congressional authorization for the U.S. military to be operating in Syria. The U.S. Congress has not declared war on Syria. The U.S. military and intelligence agencies should cease all offensive operations in Syria and end the civil war which will reduce the number of refugees. I am not opposed to some kind of fence, if it will make people happy. I would consider it a public works project that creates jobs. We do not need ICE or the DHS which can be disbanded and the money used elsewhere. Border states should receive federal money for care and processing of migrants and asylum seekers.|
|9. Should the federal government pursue energy independence through projects like the Keystone Pipeline?||N*||The U.S. is already "energy independent" however what good is that when we are still dependent on the world price of oil? True energy independence is gained through renewable energy from the sun, wind and waves, which is not dependent on world prices. Environmental catastrophes and cancer are costs we cannot afford. US fracking wells bring radioactive particles up from the shattered shale bedrock and spew them into the air. Researchers found increases in downwind radioactivity 12 miles away from wells. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-18226-w Renewable energy is cheaper. It is fossil fuels and fracking that is expensive. These are Pennsylvanians who have been harmed by fracking: https://pennsylvaniaallianceforcleanwaterandair.wordpress.com/the-list-pennsylvania/ Renewable energy creates more jobs. “The fossil fuel sector, from coal mines to gas power plants, employed around 900,000 people in the US in 2015-16 ... this was vastly outweighed by the green economy, which provided nearly 9.5 million jobs, or 4 per cent of the working age population.” https://www.newscientist.com/article/2219927-us-green-economy-has-10-times-more-jobs-than-the-fossil-fuel-industry/#ixzz63lly9q61 Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands plan to build four artificial islands to quadruple offshore wind in the North Sea – the equivalent of 30 nuclear reactors. https://www.ft.com/content/1a48ed46-04ea-4f3e-8558-f8a302206163 “If you wanted to power the entire US with solar panels, you only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire US,” “The batteries you need to store the energy, so you have 24/7 power, is 1 mile by 1 mile. One square-mile.” -Elon Musk https://www.inverse.com/article/34239-how-many-solar-panels-to-power-the-usa "The biggest increases [in airborne radioactivity] were seen in Marcellus and Utica shale fields below Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, as these rocks contain more uranium than in other fracking regions" https://twitter.com/_RL_W/status/1556783164915425282?s=20&t=CimI00bWZhenh4K-cQ_yUA|
|10. Should the federal government have the power to impose a vaccine mandate on individuals and private businesses?||U*||Non-mRNA vaccines are now available. So far, vaccines have reduced hospitalizations and deaths. Vaccines do not guarantee protection against transmission and long covid. Aspiration of the syringe should be required in order to prevent inadvertant intravascular vaccine administration. Vaccine injuries are real and should be compensated. I believe the virus carries more risk than the vaccine. The virus itself is an mRNA delivery system which delivers more mRNA than the vaccines. Infection does not protect against reinfection. Each infection carries increased risk of long covid. Since there is division over whether to wear masks, we could have mask-only morning hours, e.g. 6am to 12 noon, with required N95 masks at grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and other essential services. We should have certain busses, trains and planes available that are 100% masked. This would leave other mask optional hours and public transportation available for those who do not mask. Indoor ventilation can go a long way to preventing transmission and indoor air quality standards should be issued requiring CO2 to be kept below 700 parts per million (ppm), as well as posted CO2 meters and levels. For reference, a CO2 level of 800ppm indicates that 1% of the indoor air you are breathing has been exhaled by someone else. CO2 is a proxy for how much indoor air has been recently exhaled. Other methods of cleaning the air such as HEPA filters and UV disinfection are available. These air cleaning methods have been shown to reduce transmission by 80%. Further reduction can be obtained by use of well fitted N95-level masks.|
|11. Should federal law require public schools to allow males who identify as females to compete in girls’ sports?||U*||Yes, if the trans female has had hormone therapy so that she has gone through puberty with the same amount of testosterone as females without a Y chromosome, because then there should be no advantage. I believe we are born with gender identity and sex orientation that won't change. https://abcnews.go.com/Health/intersex-children-pose-ethical-dilemma-doctors-parents-genital/story?id=13153068 Persons with a 23rd pair of chromosomes that are XY and who undergo hormone therapy such that they go through puberty with the same amount of testosterone as a woman with XX chromosomes, and maintain parity of testosterone level post puberty, should be allowed to participate in women's sports. Women with XY as their 23rd pair of chromosomes can have an unfair athletic advantage over women with XX chromosomes due to the ability of their bodies to naturally produce more testosterone. I am in favor of separate award categories for XY women, XX women, XX men and XY women, as well as genetically mixed and non-mixed teams. However if an XY woman has hormone therapy such that she went through puberty with testosterone levels the same as XX women, and continues to maintain testosterone levels the same as XX women, then she should be allowed to compete together with XX women and be treated the same as an XX woman, because her body will have developed the same as XX women.|
|12. Should Congress pass the For the People Act, which would federalize election law?||Y*||Paper ballots. Hand marked. Hand counted. On camera. Make Election Day a holiday. Memorial Day and Veterans day can be merged to make room for a new holiday on Election Day. Copies may be counted by scanner as a quality control measure that identifies errors prompting a physical hand recount however the physical hand count on camera should be the official count. Ballots should be on camera from the time they enter the polling place as blanks to the time they are completely counted. Everyone should be registered to vote at birth or be allowed to register on the spot at the polling location and if they do not have photo ID, then vote with a fingerprint connected to a nationwide system which will eliminate any double voting. We should be allowed to waive the right to an anonymous vote, so that we can look up and verify that our vote has been counted correctly. No one should be required to be exposed to infection in order to vote; allow mail in voting and anyone waiting in line should be allowed to fill out a mail in ballot on the spot instead of waiting. Give everyone who votes a free lottery ticket. This will increase voter turnout. Get money out of politics. End Citizens United and dark money contributions. Publicly finance all campaigns. Give all parties on the ballot equal air time.|