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California Labor Federation Endorses Dave Min

The California Labor Federation, representing more than 2.1 million workers in 1,200 local unions across the state, announced their full support for Dave Min, who is running for Congress as the officially endorsed candidate of the California Democratic Party in California’s 45th Congressional District.

Art Pulaski, California Labor Federation Chief Officer, released the following statement:

“Washington needs leaders who will fight for working families and give those families a voice. As a member of Congress, Dave Min will listen to working people, not special interests and their lobbyists. He’s serious about standing up to the Trump administration and we know he’ll work for Orange County families every single day. The California Labor Federation is proud to endorse Dave Min for Congress because we know he is the right candidate to defeat Mimi Walters in November and represent California in Congress.”

“Working families need someone to stand up for their interests in Washington, DC. I’ve spent my career doing just that, whether it was my time at the SEC prosecuting financial crimes and protecting people’s retirement savings, or as a policy advisor on Capitol Hill working on solutions to the foreclosure crisis,” added Min. “The California Labor Federation stands for the values and interests of working families, and I am so proud to join them in this fight. I want to be a champion for California’s workers, whether it’s fighting for universal health care, pension security, high-quality education, or a bottom-up economy that works for everyone.”

Dave Min is the only candidate to receive support from the Labor movement in the race for the 45th District including the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters and Teamsters Joint Council 42.

Congressman Alan Lowenthal Endorses Dave Min

Congressman Alan Lowenthal Endorses Dave Min

Irvine – Congressman Alan Lowenthal announced his public support for Democrat Dave Min’s campaign for the 45th Congressional District.

“Whether it’s his tireless devotion to engaging with constituents or his unique understanding of the concerns of his community, Dave Min has shown that he will be an outstanding advocate for California’s 45th Congressional District. As a fellow educator, I am particularly impressed by Dave Min’s commitment to education, from pre-K to post-secondary. He understands the importance of investing in an educational system that works for everyone. Orange County families need Dave in Congress because he will fight for their values and listen to them.”

Dave Min said he is proud to have the endorsement of Congressman Lowenthal. Lowenthal is the 10th member of Congress to announce his support of Dave Min’s candidacy.

“I am so grateful and honored to have the support of one of my personal heroes, Congressman Alan Lowenthal. I’m a professor who hopes to become elected to Congress so I can serve my Orange County district. I am committed to science, data, and evidence-based policy to solve our problems. I could not think of a better role model for these goals than Congressman Lowenthal. He is a trailblazer for progressives in Orange County and a beacon for those of us who hold out hope that we can fix our broken political system.”

Congressman Lowenthal, who lives in Long Beach, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2012. Lowenthal currently represents the 27th Congressional District.

Dave Min’s Statement on Ryan’s Retirement

Dave Min’s Statement on Ryan’s Retirement

IRVINE, CA – Following the announcement by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan that he will retire at the end of the year, the California Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate for Congress Dave Min released the following statement:

“Speaker Ryan’s decision to step down after this year is good news for Orange County families, but it’s not enough. We must reject the failed leadership of Ryan and those who enabled his radical partisan agenda, including my opponent Congresswoman Mimi Walters. Ryan and Walters led the effort to take away health insurance from thousands of families in our community, they were key in passing a tax bill that hurts working Orange County families, and they’ve failed to reach a reasonable compromise on immigration that would reverse Trump’s decision to end DACA and protect Dreamers.

“People in Orange County are ready for leadership that holds the President accountable and puts the needs of our communities first. I respect the personal sacrifices it takes to serve in Congress – even for those with whom I disagree – but it is time to move on from the toxic politics pushed forward by Ryan and President Trump, and that means that we must double down on our efforts to unseat their closest allies in Congress.”

New Federal Tax Legislation Takes Effect

New Federal Tax Legislation Takes Effect

Below is an article written by Dave Min and Stephen Miller, a CA-45 resident, former tax attorney, and former lifelong Republican. The article, “New Federal Tax Legislation Takes Effect” was published in the Orange County Lawyer Magazine, an official publication of the Orange County Bar Association (April 2018, Vol. 60, No. 4, beginning on page 42).

 

New Federal Tax Legislation Takes Effect

by Dave Min and Stephen B. Miller

Congress first unveiled its tax reform legislation last fall under the slogan “fair and simple.” The bill was advertised as a plan that would reduce the complexity of our federal tax system while providing broad tax relief to the middle class.

But the broader aim of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is made clear by the law itself—it’s to provide massive tax benefits to passive investors. In order to reach this goal, the new tax law imposes large long-term costs on those of us who work for a wage or salary, those of us who live in coastal states, and on our children and grandchildren who will bear the costs of an additional $1.5 trillion or more in increased national debt. Moreover, because of its skewed distribution of costs and benefits, the new law actually significantly increases the complexity of the tax code.

To understand the priorities of the new tax plan, it is helpful to differentiate between which of its tax changes are permanent and which are temporary. All tax cuts for individual taxpayers are temporary and will expire at the end of 2025.1 The tax cuts for corporations, which include a 40% decrease in corporate tax rates and the creation of a slew of new deductions, are permanent.2 And importantly, the steady tax increase on all individuals resulting from changes to the calculation of inflation (called “chained-CPI”) and slower adjustment of tax brackets are also permanent.3

As a result, by 2027, when the temporary elements of the new tax law have expired, taxes on income gained from employment—across the board—will be higher than they are today, while taxes on investment income will be much lower than today. In the long run, this tax plan raises taxes on people who work for a wage or a salary to give a tax break to those who invest for a living.  

But even in the short run, the benefits of the new tax law are skewed heavily toward wealthy investors and those who live in “red states,” while raising taxes on many California families, particularly those in high-cost areas such as Orange County. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Californians are 11.2% of all taxpayers in America and paid 15.9% of all federal income taxes under prior law.4 Under the new tax law, Californians will pay 17.0% of all federal income taxes.5

Local advocates of the new tax law, such as U.S. Congresswoman Mimi Walters (CA-45)6, have touted increases in the child tax credit and standard deduction that taxpayers can claim, and argued that these provide a net tax benefit to Orange County families. But in truth these changes significantly hurt the taxpayers who itemize deductions for mortgage interest, state taxes, and other costs, and provide little real benefit for those taxpayers who do take the standard deduction. To understand why this is the case, it’s important to recognize that while the new tax law does significantly increase the standard deduction—from $6,500 to $12,000 for individual filers, and from $13,000 to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly—and increases the child tax credit by $1,000 per child (up to age sixteen), it eliminates the flat $4,150 personal exemption which all taxpayers would have received under prior law, as well as the $4,150 dependent exemption received by households with children (including full-time students up to age twenty-four).7

Thus, in the aggregate, the tax law’s increases in the standard deduction and child tax credit provide only a modest tax benefit over existing law for some of the households who claim the standard deduction. An adult taxpayer with no children would receive an effective increased deduction of $1,350, and a married couple with no children would receive an increased deduction of $2,700. But the new tax code ends up hurting many families who take the standard deduction. Because it eliminates the $4,150 dependent exemption (and offsets this with a $1,000 increase in the child tax credit), the new tax law actually raises taxes on many families with children (the specifics depend on how many children a household has and the tax bracket it falls into). Moreover, because the child tax credit only applies to children ages sixteen and under, the new tax regime significantly penalizes families with dependent children over the age of sixteen, including full-time college students. For example, a family earning the average household income in our community who has two dependent children over sixteen years old or in college would see an increase in its income taxes by $2,075 per year just from the loss of exemptions for their two children.

In short then, the changes to our tax law will basically be a wash for Orange County families that claim the standard deduction. Some will see small reductions in their overall tax burden, while some will see increases in their federal taxes. But for the large number of Orange County families who itemize their deductions, the new tax law will result in significant tax increases. The elimination of the personal exemption, which allowed taxpayers to reduce their taxable income by $4,150 per person regardless of whether they claimed a standard or itemized deduction, raises taxes for those who itemize. For a typical married couple residing in our community in the heart of Orange County, this one change alone raises their taxes by $2,075 a year (on top of any tax increases they might see from the loss of exemptions for their children).

The new tax law also limits the deductions for state income and property taxes to $10,000 per year, and it reduces the mortgage balance on which interest is deductible to $750,000.8 These limits are lower than the average state tax deduction and the average home price in Orange County, so taxpayers here will, on net, lose deductions. Lower mortgage and state tax deductions mean higher federal income taxes for homeowners and other taxpayers. While the new tax law temporarily reduces statutory income tax rates for individuals, the law actually increases the marginal effective federal income tax rate for California taxpayers who hit this new limit on their state tax deduction. For many Orange County taxpayers, the cut in their federal tax rates is more than offset by tax increases resulting from other provisions of the new law.

To give a concrete example of how all these tax changes add up, an average Orange County family with two older children in our community (average combined household income of $130,894; average home price of $795,000 with a mortgage balance of 60% of that home price) would be whacked with a tax increase of $3,300 per year starting in 2018.

To make matters worse, the Trump Administration’s new withholding rules do not reflect these tax increases, and many Orange County taxpayers who may be seeing a small tax cut in their paycheck now are actually getting hit with a tax increase. The new withholding rules do not take into account any of the factors that will cause taxpayers to suffer a tax increase; they do not take into account whether taxpayers claim the standard deduction or itemize deductions, nor do they take into account whether dependents are over sixteen or in college. So taxpayers may be seeing a small tax cut in their paycheck while actually getting hit with a tax increase, and will be in for a shock next year when they file their 2018 tax return and have a large tax bill to pay.

When confronted with the fact that the new tax law raises taxes on places like Orange County, many defenders of the new law like to point the finger at Sacramento and at California’s state taxes. But the largest tax increases created by the new law for Orange County families are not due to the reduction of the state and local tax deduction but are a result of the elimination of personal exemptions and dependent exemptions and would raise federal income taxes on the average Orange County family even if there were no California income tax at all. The largest tax increases on Orange County families resulting from the new tax law occur for those of us who are homeowners in an area that has a high cost of housing and because more of us send our kids to college, not because of the state and local taxes we pay.

At the same time that the new law increases taxes on many average Orange County taxpayers, it gives massive short-term tax cuts to investors in hedge funds, real-estate investment trusts, and other “pass-through” business entities.9 Income earned by pass-through businesses are not taxed at the entity level. Instead, this income is “passed through” to the business’s owners and investors, who pay federal taxes on this income at the ordinary income tax rate.10 Under Internal Revenue Code Section 199A added by the new tax law, 20% of pass-through investment income can be deducted by certain pass-through businesses so that only 80% of it is subject to tax—effectively reducing the tax rate for owners of these businesses.11

While Republicans have characterized this provision as a tax cut for “small businesses,” this is misleading, as most of the income earned by pass-through investors comes from hedge funds, real estate developers, private equity firms, and other large businesses. Indeed, 69% of pass-through income goes to the top 1% of households. The top 1% of households own 38% of publicly traded corporate shares that benefits from the cut in corporate tax rates, so ownership of pass-through income is even more concentrated than ownership of corporate shares. This special tax preference for pass-through investment income is just one more way in which the new tax law is designed to benefit the wealthiest passive investors while raising taxes on others.

In short, the new tax regime slashes taxes on passive investment across the board so that these rates are much lower than the income taxes paid by wage and salary earners. As a matter of policy, this appears to favor only the wealthiest investors. Even the conservative Tax Foundation, generally a proponent of other elements of the new law, said it was “difficult to justify why income from pass-through businesses should be subject to lower tax rates than income from wages and salaries.”12

Perhaps equally unfairly, these tax cuts are specifically denied for pass-through businesses relying on skilled professionals, specifically those in the “fields of health, law, accounting . . . or any trade or business where the principal asset of such trade or business is the reputation or skill of 1 or more of its employees.”13 In fact, owners of these businesses will see their taxes increase, as they will be subject to the same SALT (state and local tax) deduction elimination as other individual taxpayers. It’s unclear why these particular types of pass-through entities were singled out, other than the fact that they rely more on the labor of skilled professionals rather than passive investment.

The results of this tax law reveal the priorities of its sponsors. Taxes increase on middle class homeowners, college students, and successful professionals, especially in places like Orange County, while tax cuts accrue mostly to the wealthiest passive investors. California and other “blue states” pay an even more disproportionate share of federal income taxes while “red states” are further subsidized. The only individual tax provision that was made permanent was the tax increase on all individuals from slower inflation adjustments of tax brackets, while tax cuts for passive investors in corporate shares are permanently reduced. So in 2025 the new tax law will be reduced to a tax break primarily benefiting the small number of investors who own the majority of corporate shares, paid for by tax increases on everyone else. That’s not simple, and it’s certainly not fair.

 

ENDNOTES

  1. The Final Trump-GOP Tax Plan: National and 50-State Estimates for 2019 & 2027, INST. ON TAX’N AND ECON. POL’Y (Dec. 16, 2017), https://itep.org/finalgop-trumpbill/.
  2. Id.
  3. Id.
  4. Meg Wiehe, Final GOP-Trump Bill Still Forces California and New York to Shoulder a Larger Share of Federal Taxes Under Final GOP-Trump Tax Bill; Texas, Florida, and Other States Will Pay Less, INST. ON TAX’N AND ECON. POL’Y (Dec 17, 2017), https://itep.org/final-gop-trump-bill-still-forces-california-and-new-york-to-shoulder-a-larger-share-of-federal-taxes-texas-florida-and-other-states-will-pay-less/.
  5. Id.
  6. Press Release, Rep. Mimi Walters, Tax Relief Being Delivered to Americans in Time for the Holidays (Dec. 19, 2017).
  7. Jared Walczak, Joseph Bishop-Henchman & Nicole Kaeding, Details of the Conference Report for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, TAX FOUND. (Dec. 15, 2017), https://taxfoundation.org/conference-report-tax-cuts-and-jobs-act/.
  8. Wiehe, supra note 4.
  9. supra note 1.
  10. Scott Greenburg, Pass-Through Businesses: Data and Policy, TAX FOUND. (Jan. 17, 2017), https://taxfoundation.org/pass-through-businesses-data-and-policy/.
  11. Walczak, supra note 7.
  12. Greenburg, supra note 10.
  13. 26 U.S.C. § 1202(e)(3)(A).

 

Dave Min is a law professor at UC Irvine and a candidate for U.S. Congress in California’s 45th Congressional District. Stephen Miller is a tax lawyer and former lifelong Republican who opposes the Trump agenda. Both Dave and Stephen are residents of Irvine.

 

Carpenters Endorse Dave Min

Carpenters Endorse Dave Min

 

IRVINE, CA – The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters announced their support of Dave Min’s campaign for the 45th Congressional District.

John Hanna, the Carpenters Government Affairs Director, made the following statement:

“The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters is pleased to endorse the candidacy of Dave Min to be the next member of Congress from California’s 45th  District. Orange County needs representatives who will fight hard for working people, our senior citizens and students about to enter the workforce and we believe Dave will do exactly that. Dave will fight to ensure that we provide pathways for training in construction and other workforce areas, in tandem with our community colleges and high schools. Good paying jobs will result from these efforts to rebuild our infrastructure and build a 21st century economy. Dave is committed to trying to ensure that more young people in Orange County will be able to afford to work and live here and not have to move to other counties in order to buy a home.  Dave will fight to crack down on payroll tax fraud in the construction industry which costs taxpayers billions of dollars. Dave will fight to protect our senior citizens social security and pensions. Dave will also be someone who can work with members of Congress from both political parties to improve the quality of life in Orange County. Dave will know when it’s time to fight and when it’s time to find common ground for the betterment of all. The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters are excited to support Dave Min’s campaign for Congress.”

The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters represent 50,000 Carpenters in Southern and Central California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and West Texas. Their members are men and women working as bridge builders, industrial carpenters, millwrights, piledrivers, insulators, dry wallers and more.

“I’m honored to receive the support of the Carpenters in my campaign to unseat Congresswoman Mimi Walters. Now more than ever, middle class families deserve a voice in Congress that will prioritize their needs over billionaires. I promise to be that voice for Orange County families and ensure they have a seat at the decision-making table,” added Dave Min.

The Carpenters are the second Labor Union to weigh into the CA-45 race. Teamsters Joint Council 42 also threw their support behind Min.

California Democrats and BOLD PAC Unite Behind Dave Min

California Democrats and BOLD PAC Unite Behind Dave Min

IRVINE, CA – California Democrats are rallying behind Democratic Party endorsed candidate Dave Min as our best chance to defeat Congresswoman Mimi Walters and turn CA-45 blue. In addition to Congresswoman Judy Chu and Congressman Mark Takano, six more members of the California Delegation announced their support for Dave Min’s candidacy.

CHC BOLD PAC, the political arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, also announced their endorsement of Dave Min.  CHC BOLD PAC is the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ political action committee and is dedicated to increasing the diversity of leadership in the House and Senate.  Its members include 31 Latino elected officials and several members of the California Delegation.

“The American people have made it perfectly clear that they are sick of partisan bickering, divisive rhetoric, and destructive policies. They want real leaders and real solutions, and that’s exactly why BOLD PAC is proud to endorse Dave Min,” said Rep. Tony Cardenas, CHC BOLD PAC Chair.

The following Southern Californian Congressional representatives also threw their support behind Min:

 

Rep. Linda Sanchez, California’s 38th Congressional District:

“As an Orange County native and mom, I know the challenges that working families face here in our community. Dave Min gets it. He has the experience, the vision, and the passion to represent the vibrant, diverse and hardworking families of California’s 45th Congressional district. I have seen him work tirelessly to reach out to voters that have felt abandoned by their political representatives, and give them a voice. I know he’ll be a tireless advocate for education, healthcare, environmental protection, middle class job creation, and women’s rights. I am proud to endorse Dave Min for Congress.”

Rep. Scott Peters, California’s 52nd Congressional District:

“Dave Min will be an outstanding member of Congress who will be committed to representing the values of his district. Dave’s ‘Dad Agenda’ of investing in long-term priorities like education, infrastructure and preventing climate change will help address the challenges faced by Southern California families. Dave’s thoughtful and pragmatic approach to governing will serve him well in Congress.”

Rep. Grace Napolitano, California’s 32nd Congressional District:

“I look forward to working with Dave Min in Congress to protect Californians from Donald Trump’ s dangerous agenda. Dave’s strong support for DREAMERS and his emphasis on improving the lives of working California families by investing in our crumbling infrastructure and improving the educational and economic opportunities available for all is commendable. He has earned the overwhelming support of the local community because of his strong commitment to grassroots campaigning, and I know Dave will be a tireless advocate for his district when he is in Congress.”

Rep. Ami Bera, California’s 7th Congressional District:

“Serving as a UC Irvine law professor, as well as a community leader, Dave has consistently proved a commitment to putting people first, and ensuring our economy works for middle-class America. That is why I’m proud to endorse Dave Min for Congress in California’s 45th District.”

Rep. Pete Aguilar, California’s 31st Congressional District:

“Dave Min shares my commitment to fighting for all families to achieve the American Dream. I know Dave will be a relentless advocate for middle class families, immigrants, students, seniors and veterans, and he brings a much-needed economic expertise to Congress. I’m proud to endorse Dave Min for Congress because he is the candidate with the right background, experience and vision to represent his incredibly diverse district.”

Rep. Lou Correa, California’s 46th Congressional District:

“Having represented and worked with Orange County residents for many years, I know Dave Min is the best prepared to meet the challenge of standing up for Orange County alongside me in Congress.  He connects, he listens, and he takes action. I look forward to working with Dave to improve public schools & protect and serve our veterans.”

Dave Min has received the following endorsements:

California Democratic Party

California State Controller Betty Yee

Fiona Ma, Chair, CA Board of Equalization

Congressman Pete Aguilar, California’s 31st Congressional District

Congressman Ami Bera, California’s 7th Congressional District

Congressman Tony Cardenas, California’s 29th Congressional District

Congressman Lou Correa, California’s 46th Congressional District

Congresswoman Judy Chu, California’s 27th District

Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, California’s 32nd Congressional District

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, California’s 38th Congressional District

Congressman Scott Peters, California’s 52nd Congressional District

Congressman Mark Takano, California’s 41st District

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, California’s 38th Congressional District

Sharon Quirk-Silva, Assemblywoman of the 65th Assembly and Former Mayor of Fullerton

Jesus Silva, Fullerton City Councilmember

Ali Taj, Mayor of Artesia

Ross Chun, Mayor Pro Tem of Aliso Viejo

Beckie Gomez, Mayor Pro Tem of Tustin & Orange County Board of Education Member

Sukhee Kang, Former Mayor of Irvine

David Lau, Former Mayor of Monterey Park

Mike Eng, Former Mayor of Monterey Park and Assemblyman

Mary Ann Gaido, Former Irvine City Councilmember

Andrew Rodriguez, Walnut City Councilmember

John Palacio, Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education President

Valerie Amezcua, Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education Vice President

Dr. Gary Pritchard, Trustee, Capistrano Unified School Board

Amy Hanacek, Trustee, Capistrano Unified School Board

NewDemPAC

ASPIRE PAC
Korean American Democratic Club

AAA Fund

Teamsters Joint Council 42

Orange County High School Democrats

AAPI Victory Fund

UC Irvine College Democrats

Dave Min Releases First Ad of CA-45 Primary

Dave Min Releases First Ad of CA-45 Primary

IRVINE, CA – Dave Min, the California Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate for Congress in CA-45, is launching his first TV ad of the primary.  It will run districtwide on cable and digital.

“As a native Californian and son of immigrants, I was taught if I worked hard, anything was possible. But Donald Trump’s attacks on immigrants, women, retirement security, and economic opportunity are making that American dream unattainable for too many Orange County families,” said Dave Min, “I’m running for Congress to defend our core values of opportunity and fairness—and to stand up to Donald Trump’s assault on the America I know and love.”

ICYMI: Dave’s March For Our Lives Remarks

ICYMI: Dave’s March For Our Lives Remarks

My name is Dave Min. I’m a law professor at UC Irvine and I’m running for Congress here in California’s 45th Congressional district against Mimi Walters. I’ve been endorsed by the California Democratic Party and dozens of local, state, and Congressional leaders. I’m proud to have been awarded the Gun Sense Candidate Distinction by Moms Demand Action. And I’m particularly proud to have been endorsed by the UC Irvine College Democrats and Orange County High School Democrats. Today’s event is all about our young people stepping up and leading our country, and I’m so honored to have the support of so many of the youth here in Orange County.

But I’m not here because I’m a law professor or Congressional candidate.

I’m here because I’m a concerned father of 3 young kids. And I’m terrified by the gun violence that we see in our news reports every single day.

There are 33,000 gun deaths every year in the United States. We’ve already had 17 school shootings this year, and we’re only 11 weeks into 2018. What we are witnessing right now is an epidemic. And it’s entirely one of our own making. And it’s time to say that enough is enough.

Gun safety has become unbelievably politicized in our country, thanks to an NRA lobbying machine that has opposed even the most obvious gun safety measures. But this shouldn’t be a partisan issue! Republicans and Democrats and independents all want our kids to be safe at school, in our churches and temples and mosques, in our parks and neighborhoods.

We shouldn’t have to be here today. We shouldn’t have to be worrying about gun violence in our communities. We should be at our kids’ baseball games, or the movies, or at the mall. But our political leaders have failed us.

We are the only First World country in the world that experiences this level of gun violence. As many of you know, after a major school shooting in 1996, Australia’s government implemented some major gun safety reforms that have worked to virtually eradicate gun violence in that country. They have not had a single mass shooting since then.

And yet, we continue to have massacre after massacre after massacre in this country, and yet we never see any changes to our gun laws. Columbine, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Sandy Hook, Aurora, San Bernardino, Isla Vista , Orlando, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs. And yet all we ever hear from our elected representatives are their offerings of thoughts and prayers.

I want more than thoughts and prayers. I want action. I don’t want to read about more brave victims of a mass shooting. I don’t want to send my kids off to school worrying that they might not come back. I hate the fact that kids today are having to go through school shooting drills.

Again, there are 33,000 gun deaths every year in the United States. And that is something we can prevent, and yet we have not done so. Shame on our political leaders, shame on Mimi Walters.

We deserve political representatives who are willing to stand up to the NRA and represent us—moms and dads and our kids who want to be able to live our lives without worrying about the specter of gun violence.

Unfortunately, we have a representative right now in Congress who is completely unaccountable and out of touch with our values. Mimi Walters won’t hold a town hall, she won’t talk to her constituents—unless they are big donors—and she refuses to even live here. That’s right, Mimi Walters does not live in our community and in fact, she never has.

So she doesn’t know what it’s like to live here or to raise kids here. She’s completely removed from her our community and our values. How many of you have ever had a conversation with Mimi Walters? How many of you have met her?

That’s right. And that’s because she barely ever comes out here. She spends more time with Washington, DC lobbyists than she does with the people of our community.

So it’s no wonder that on the issue of gun safety, Mimi Walters has been completely out of step with our community and its priorities.

She has taken tens of thousands of dollars from the gun lobby and she has a lifetime A rating from the NRA. And in her career—as a State Assembly member, a State Senator, and in her two terms as a Congresswoman—she has never once voted against the preferred position of the NRA.

She’s voted against commonsense restrictions on assault weapons, bump stocks, large capacity magazines and assault weapon conversion kits. She’s voted against background checks, against laws preventing convicted criminals from owning guns, and against gun violence restraining orders which allow judges to temporarily take away guns from those deemed to be an “immediate and present danger” to others. This type of restraining order might have prevented the Parkland shootings from happening.

Mimi Walters is also, unbelievably, a sponsor of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would force the police here in California to honor concealed carry permits issued by other states, many of which are extremely lax and often issue concealed carry permits to convicted felons and domestic abusers.

As my wife Jane and I argued last October in an editorial published in the OC Register, this Concealed Carry bill, which is still making its way through Congress, is completely against our interests. Our community has some of the safest neighborhoods and lowest rates of gun violence in the country. We don’t want outsiders carrying concealed guns in our parks, at our beaches or in our neighborhoods. And yet that’s what Mimi Walters is pushing.

It’s time we reclaimed our government so that it represents us. And that starts by ousting out-of-touch politicians like Mimi Walters.

But what should we do about our gun violence epidemic in this country?

First, we need to recognize that the Second Amendment does not create an absolute right to own and use guns. Any half-decent lawyer or law student knows that there’s no such thing as unlimited right in our Constitution. Even under the Supreme Court’s highly controversial decision in Heller, the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms is understood to be much weaker than the First Amendment’s right to free speech. And as every law student knows, the First Amendment does not protect one’s right to scream fire in a crowded theater, and the Second Amendment is similarly limited.

So there is nothing in the Second Amendment that should prevent reasonable gun safety measures.

Second, we need to be treating gun violence like the public health epidemic that it is. Our unfettered access to military grade weapons is threatening the health and well-being of everyone in this country.

We can take notes here from the lessons we learned from automobile safety in the 1960s and 1970s. Back then, we had a similar public safety crisis from automobile accidents. Ralph Nader, back when he was a young lawyer and before he was a politician, publicly pushed for measures to improve car safety. And just like today, this effort was opposed by a well-funded and very hostile industry, the automobile industry, which opposed even the most basic common-sense safety measures.

Well, because of the efforts of Nader and others, we ended up passing landmark auto safety legislation that mandated seat belts and later airbags, and generally improved the safety of driving in our country while allowing us to enjoy the benefits of driving. As a result, millions of lives have been saved.

What we need is a similar movement to improve gun safety in our country today.

So yes, we should be pushing for the low hanging fruit—the incredibly popular measures that almost everyone agrees upon—mandatory and universal background checks, gun violence restraining orders, the prevention of gun possession by those subject to domestic violence protection orders, a ban on bump stocks and assault weapons, etc.

But we should also be encouraging more research into solutions. That means lifting the Dickey Amendment that was put into place in 1994, which bans the federal funding of research on gun violence. We need to be encouraging, not preventing, research that can help us understand how to reduce gun violence in this country.

But to do this, we need political representatives who will stand up to the NRA, not politicians who are in the pocket of the NRA.

That’s why I’ve pledged that, unlike Congresswoman Walters, I’ve never taken any money from the NRA, the gun lobby, or anyone affiliated with the firearms industry, and I have publicly pledged that I will never do so. I reiterate this promise to you here now. I will never take a dime from the NRA or the gun lobby.

And should I have the honor of representing you in Congress, I promise that I will get to work immediately and tirelessly on stopping gun violence.

State Controller Betty Yee Endorses Dave Min

State Controller Betty Yee Endorses Dave Min

California State Controller Betty Yee announced her official endorsement of Democrat Dave Min’s campaign for the 45th Congressional District:

“I am pleased to endorse Dave Min for United States Congress.  As the state’s chief fiscal officer, I know Dave is the best candidate to represent the residents and businesses of the 45th Congressional District.  A nationally recognized expert on economic policy, Dave will protect women’s rights to make their own healthcare decisions, push to increase access to affordable healthcare, and fight to create an economy that works for everyone.”

Dave Min said he is proud to have the endorsement of a such a strong progressive leader.

“State Controller Betty Yee has been standing up for middle class California families her entire career and as a member of Congress, I will follow her example. Both of us were born into immigrant families who wanted to pursue a better life, not only for themselves but for future generations to come. As a public servant, I will work every day to protect the American Dream and make sure it remains attainable for the children and families of California.”

State Controller Yee, who lives in San Francisco, was elected State Controller in 2014 after serving on the Board of Equalization since 2006. Ms. Yee spoke in favor of Dave Min receiving the California Democratic Party endorsement on the floor of the convention last Sunday.

In addition to State Controller Betty Yee and the California Democratic Party, click here to view Dave’s other endorsements!

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