Meet the Candidates: Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer
By Vote Everywhere Ambassadors, Erin Wilson & Emma Beach
Welcome to ‘Meet the Candidates’! Every week until the New York primary we will post all the information you need to know about the Democratic candidates. This week, learn about Senator Amy Klobuchar and billionaire Tom Steyer.
Amy Klobuchar is a US senator for Minnesota and has held the position since 2006. Before she was a Senator she was a lawyer.
In the most recent Washington Post/NBC News national poll (1/31/2020), Klobuchar was polling at 5%, which puts her in 6th place among democratic candidates.
- Believes in universal healthcare but wants to keep private health insurance.
- Believes in 100% abortion rights.
- Klobuchar wants to make it easier for immigrants without criminal records to become citizens. She does not want to abolish ICE but believes it should be reformed
- Climate Change
- She does not support the Green New Deal, but she wants the US to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement. She also believes in carbon pricing.
- LGBTQ+ Rights
- Klobuchar supports same-sex marriage and wants to pass legislation combating LGBTQ+ discrimination.
- She does not support free four-year college for all, but she does want to alleviate student debt. She also wants to increase the wages of teachers within schools.
- Gun Policy
- Klobuchar wants to have universal background checks for gun purchases and wants to ban assault rifles.
- Criminal Justice
- Wants to legalize marijuana.
Tom Steyer is a billionaire hedge manager turned democratic activist. Despite his wealth, Steyer advocates for eliminating the “corporate stranglehold on democracy” and getting money out of politics. In 2012, Steyer and his wife signed The Giving Pledge, a pledge where billionaires promise to give away at least half of their wealth.
Steyer also founded a political action committee called NextGen America in 2013. NextGen American aims to mobilize young voters on issues such as climate change, immigration, reproductive rights, healthcare, and more. Since it’s founding, they have registered over 1.3 million people to vote.
Steyer also founded a movement to impeach Donald Trump called ‘Need to Impeach’ in 2017. You may recognize the logo from Twitter.
One point of controversy over Steyer’s candidacy is that he has never held an elected office.
In the most recent Washington Post/NBC News national poll (1/31/2020), Steyer was polling at 2%, which puts him in 8th place among democratic candidates.
- Climate Change
- One of Steyer’s foremost issues is climate change and he is one of the leading democratic candidates on the issue.
- One policy he supports is a cap and trade program. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, the cap aspect puts a limit on pollution and the trade aspect is “a market for companies to buy and sell allowances that let them emit only a certain amount, as supply and demand set the price. Trading gives companies a strong incentive to save money by cutting emissions in the most cost-effective ways.”
- Steyer’s other foremost issue is eliminating the influence that corporations have on politics, calling it a “corporate stranglehold on democracy”. He has proposed a 1% tax on the wealthiest 0.1% of Americans. This means that anyone worth $32 million or more will pay 1 cent more per dollar on taxes. This increases until anyone worth $1 billion or more will pay an extra 2 cents.
- Steyer supports having a public option for healthcare but keeping private health insurance for those who want it.
- Criminal Justice Reform
- He supports abolishing the death penalty and giving more opportunities for parole to non-violent felons. However, in 2005, his company (Farallon) invested $34 million in Corrections Corporation of American which runs migrant detention centers for ICE. He has since apologized for his actions and said, “I personally ordered the investment in CCA to be sold because it did not accord with my values then or now”.
- Steyer is in favor of decriminalizing the currently illegal border crossings and giving undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship. He also donated $1 million to legal aid services for immigrants facing deportation in 2018.
- Steyer has proposed spending $45 billion a year on affordable construction and renovation. He also wants to increase allocations for low-income housing credit by 50% over the next five years.
- OTHER ISSUES
- Learn more about his views on other issues at https://www.politico.com/2020-election/candidates-views-on-the-issues/tom-steyer/