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Andrew Yang on Government Reform

Democratic Presidential Challenger & Tech CEO

 


Make Election Day a national holiday

Q: How would you change things as far as campaign financing?

YANG: We need to publicly finance elections. There are many, many things we should do to improve our democracy. Every Democrat believes we should overturn Citizens United that has allowed dark money into politics. The two tough truths around this, it requires a supermajority to overturn Citizens United, and corporate money ran our elections and our government before that ruling. It just became more extreme afterwards. But we should have ranked choice voting in this country so that people can actually vote the way they want and not be worried about "wasting their vote." We should have Election Day be a national holiday. We should automatically register new voters to make it easier for people to register to vote, instead of having these obstacles. And again, the best way out is for us to publicly finance these elections through a democracy dollars program so that anyone who wants to give to a candidate has 100 free dollars to do so.

Source: CNN N. H. Town Hall on eve of N. H. primary , Feb 5, 2020

Foreign meddling in our elections is an act of aggression

Q: If you win the 2020 election, what would you say in your first call with Russian President Vladimir Putin?

YANG: Well, first, I'd say "I'm sorry I beat your guy." Or not sorry. And, second, I would say the days of meddling in American elections are over and we will take any undermining of our democratic processes as an act of hostility and aggression. The American people would back me on this. We know that they've found an underbelly and they've been clawing at it, and it's made it so that we can't even trust our own democracy. The third thing I would say is that we're going to live up to our international commitments. These are the ways that we'll actually get Russia to the table and make it so they have to join the international community and stop resisting appeals to the world order.

Source: November Democratic primary debate, on impeaching Trump , Nov 20, 2019

Automatic voter registration & lower voting age to 16

Andrew believes we need to increase voting access through automatic voter registration, lowering the voting age to 16, and restoring voting rights to individuals who have committed crimes that don't deprive others of their ability to vote. He also believes we need to make voting more accessible and ensure that everyone can exercise their right to vote. Studies have found almost no credible instances of voter fraud.
Source: USA Today on 2019 Democratic primary , Nov 7, 2019

Wash out corrupt lobbyist money with people-powered money

Q [to Senator Elizabeth Warren]: Should American foreign policy be based around the principle of climate change?

WARREN: Yes. Why doesn't it happen? As long as Washington is paying more attention to money than it is to our future, we can't make the changes we need to make.

YANG: To follow up, why are we losing to the fossil fuel companies?

WARREN: Yes.

YANG: Why are we losing to the gun lobby and the NRA? And is answer is this: our government has been overrun by money and corporate interests. Now, everyone here has a plan to try to curb those corporate interests, but we have to face facts. Money finds a way. Money will find its way back in. So, what is the answer? The answer is to wash the money out with people-powered money. My proposal is that we give every American 100 "Democracy Dollars" that you can only give to candidates and causes that you like. This would wash out the lobbyist cash by a factor of eight to one. That is the only way we will win.

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston , Sep 12, 2019

You get what you measure, so decide what to measure

The Business Roundtable recently announced that they need to have a broader view of their own economic impact than shareholder value. They need to expand it to stakeholder value, which includes their impact on the environment.

So, working with businesses. First, a carbon fee is going to go a long way, because all of a sudden they have to pay when they pollute. So that's going to be immediate. And they will do the right thing by their own businesses.

But the second thing is, if we make economic impact part of our economic measurements, and then each company has to report on them, then you will see their behavior change very, very dramatically, because, in this country, you aim towards what you measure.

One of the big problems in America is, we are measuring the wrong things. Under my presidency, we will start measuring the right things. And businesses will be my willing partner in this.

Source: CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall marathon (10 Democrats) , Sep 4, 2019

Democracy Dollars will wash out lobbyist cash

My plan is to give every American citizen 100 democracy dollars that you can give to any campaign or candidate that you like in any given year. This would wash out the lobbyist cash by a factor of 8-1, it would make it so that I'm a candidate and you like me and I get 10,000 Americans to like me in a congressional race, that's $1 million. Then when the fossil fuel company come and says I've got a check for $50,000, you can say I don't need your $50,000 check, I have the people.
Source: Climate Crisis Town Hall (CNN 2019 Democratic primary) , Sep 4, 2019

Electoral College should not be eliminated

Andrew Yang on Electoral College: The Electoral College should not be eliminated.

TWO CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Rep. John Delaney; Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Three Democrats do not support eliminating the Electoral College. Delaney dismissed the idea as impractical. Both Hickenlooper and Yang have expressed reservations about the idea. Instead, Yang, on his campaign's website, calls for reforms to the Electoral College by "making electors determined on a proportional basis."

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

Change Electoral College by proportional allocation of votes

Perhaps his most unusual proposal pertains to the Electoral College. Yang instead calls for the states to allocate delegates on a proportional basis, like Maine already does. Yang also proposes making this proportional Electoral College system mandatory through a constitutional amendment.
Source: The New Republic magazine, articles on 2020 candidates , May 13, 2019

Congress should lower Federal voting age to 16

Yang's proposal to lower the voting age to 16 years old would also face complications. "At 16, Americans don't have hourly limits imposed on their work, and they pay taxes," he argues. "Their livelihoods are directly impacted by legislation, and they should therefore be allowed to vote for their representatives." Yang calls on Congress to set the voting age to 16 in federal elections. The problem is that federal lawmakers can't force states to lower their voting ages in local elections.
Source: The New Republic magazine, articles on 2020 candidates , May 13, 2019

Electoral College: allocate state votes proportionally

He supports automatic voter registration, statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, and ending felony disenfranchisement and partisan gerrymandering. Perhaps his most unusual proposal pertains to the Electoral College. Yang calls for the states to allocate delegates on a proportional basis, like Maine already does. Yang also proposes making this proportional Electoral College system mandatory through a constitutional amendment.
Source: The New Republic on 2019 Democratic primary , May 13, 2019

Lower voting age to 16 in federal elections

Yang's proposal to lower the voting age to 16 years old would face complications. "At 16, Americans don't have hourly limits imposed on their work, and they pay taxes," he argues. "Their livelihoods are directly impacted by legislation, and they should therefore be allowed to vote for their representatives." Yang calls on Congress to set the voting age to 16 years old in federal elections.
Source: The New Republic on 2019 Democratic primary , May 13, 2019

Supports statehood for DC & Puerto Rico

I'm 100 percent for D.C. statehood. You should have been a state a long time ago. And I am also for Puerto Rican statehood, which is also long overdue. It's like a statement I make is that if Puerto Ricans looked like Swedes, they would have been Americans a long time ago.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 14, 2019

Create department to regulate social media

Q: Should we have a department overseeing social media?

YANG: Yes, department of the attention economy, because the data clearly shows that in addition to the problems in our democracy because people are getting information through social media, we're also seeing a huge surge in a depression, anxiety and emotional issues, particularly among adolescent girls. You see that the surge in anxiety and depression among teenage girls in particular is coincident with smartphone adoption and social media.

Source: ABC This Week 2019 interview of presidential hopefuls , Apr 7, 2019

Adopt ranked-choice voting model for all primaries

One reason we sometimes wind up with extreme politicians is that we have a one-round process that does not always reflect people's true preferences. Ranked choice voting would help reward candidates who command broad support and would lead to better results. The process matters.