Clean Up Corruption & Shake Up the Senate

Our laws shouldn’t be bought and paid for. But right now, Washington helps mega corporations and billionaire CEOs line their pockets – all at our expense. Time and again, we see Washington politicians advance policies that cater to Wall Street, Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Big Insurance – and stick everyday families with the bill. 

This legal corruption has to end. We deserve a U.S. Senate designed for the 21st century, with real reforms that stop our laws and regulations from being auctioned off to the highest bidder. We also need to make our leaders accountable to the people they are supposed to serve.

Reform Our Broken Campaign Finance System

We need to ban Senators from taking donations from registered lobbyists, get dark money out of politics, and overturn Citizens United. Californians deserve to have confidence their lawmakers are working for them, not for their donors. 

Multinational corporations unfairly dominate Washington and our legal system. Billion-dollar businesses should not be able to drown out the voice of everyday Americans by making campaign donations to politicians. Corporate cash should not infect our politics. I’ve led the fight to ban it, not only with legislation but with my own actions. California’s next Senator should be committed to funding their campaign with grassroots donations. I strongly support a ban on corporations giving donations to politicians.

I’m also proud to be one of 11 members of Congress who reject contributions from federal lobbyists — but this pledge should be the rule, not the exception. If a lobbyist wants to meet with me, they must bring their ideas – not their checkbooks. Yet many of my colleagues in Washington continue to have their hands out to lobbyists and the special interests that employ them. Let’s end this legalized corruption and get Washington working for regular people.

Eliminate Pet-project Funding for Politicians, also known as Earmarks

Politicians running for reelection should not be allowed to divert taxpayer dollars to their own pet projects. This type of unaccountable funding — known as earmarks — wastes tax dollars, enables corruption, and creates inherent conflicts of interest. In fact, for years, Washington politicians habitually funneled these special projects to for-profit companies run by their top donors. Then, they refused to disclose where they had sent the money. This is corruption, plain and simple. 

We should eliminate earmarks. Neutral experts are best equipped to determine where resources are most needed and how to deliver them effectively and efficiently, especially to historically disadvantaged communities and communities of color whom politicians have long ignored in favor of wealthy donors’ wish lists. I support banning earmarks and redirecting this money to the communities that need it the most.

Ban Members of Congress from Trading Stocks

The American people need to know government officials are working in the public’s interest, not in the interest of their own personal stock portfolios. I’m leading efforts to ban top officials – from the President to Supreme Court Justices to members of Congress – from trading individual stocks while in office. I have never bought or sold a single stock since taking office – and I believe that all members of Congress should be required to do the same. I’ve also authored legislation requiring lawmakers to be transparent about how they benefit from their votes by requiring them to disclose federal grants, government loans, or other payments.

Root Out Waste, Fraud, and Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars

Californians work hard for their money; our taxpayer dollars should never be wasted. Too many in Washington point the finger at the other party rather than holding Congress accountable for every dollar spent. I’ve demanded answers in both Democratic and Republican administrations, and I’ve taken on the corporate special interests that lard up the government’s budget on the backs of hardworking taxpayers.

Abolish the Filibuster

Senators shouldn’t get to hide behind an archaic rule to avoid acting on the people’s most significant needs and problems – from investments in housing to combating climate change. Americans deserve to know where their elected leaders stand, and California deserves a Senate that does its job, takes votes, and passes legislation. That requires eliminating the filibuster.

Clean up the Courts

Our Supreme Court is corrupted by dark money and special interests. The Court caters to donors and powerful corporations and fails to disclose conflicts of interest. We can clean up the Court by enacting an enforceable judicial code of ethics. And we can prevent future corruption and expand the delivery of justice by imposing term limits and increasing the number of justices. We have a Supreme Court that is too busy doing the bidding of the wealthy to take the cases that matter to working families, from protecting endangered species to keeping people safe at work.  

Expand Voting Rights

Our democracy is under attack, and we need a Senate that will protect the right to vote. Every Californian eligible to vote should be able to do so securely and easily without discrimination or suppression. We must also end partisan gerrymandering so voters choose their leaders rather than leaders choosing their voters. 

Make the Senate Accountable to the People

Transparency is critical to accountability. Voters should be able to see how their elected leaders spend their time, so I disclose the meetings that I take. There are no closed doors in my Congressional office. And I’ve authored legislation to let every elected leader do the same. I’ve held dozens of public town halls and have created innovative ways for people to engage in policy-making, such as by creating a Youth Advisory Board. California needs a Senator who listens to them, not corporate special interests.

Key Issues

  1. Clean Up Corruption
  2. Empower Workers
  3. Housing & Homelessness
  4. Immigration
  5. Unrig the Economy
  6. Combat the Climate Crisis
  7. Health Care
  8. Education
  9. Veterans
  10. Child Care
  11. Older Americans
  12. Racial Justice & Freedom for All
  13. Public Safety & Gun Violence
  14. Disability Rights
  15. Abortion Access
  16. LGBTQIA+ Rights
  17. Global Leadership