Where candidates for Loeffler's U. S. Senate seat stand on the issues
The special election for U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler's isn't the typical election.
In December, Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler to the seat Johnny Isakson stepped down from. That triggered this November's special election. It features 21 candidates on the same ballot with no party primary to filter out nominees. In addition to facing opposing parties, Loeffler is going up against a well-funded Republican in congressman in Doug Collins.
If no one gets a majority of the vote – all but certain given the number of candidates - the two top finishers will square off in a January runoff.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sent questions to the candidates about five key issues. Here are the responses:
Collins represents the 9th Congressional District and is a Lt. Col. in U.S. Air Force Reserve. He was one of President Donald Trump's most prominent defenders during his impeachment.
Lieberman is an insurance agent and former teacher. He is the son of former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, who was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000.
Loeffler was a business executive when Gov. Brian Kemp picked her to fill Johnny Isakson's senate seat. She is a co-owner of the Atlanta Dream WNBA team.
Brian Richard Slowinski
Slowinski is a semi-retired real estate chief executive.
A U.S. Army veteran, he represented an Augusta-based Georgia Senate seat before President Barack Obama tapped him to lead the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Georgia.
Warnock is the senior pastor at Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.
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1. Democrats in Congress recently pushed for a $3 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill while Republicans backed a scaled-down proposal of $500 billion to $700 billion. Which approach would you have preferred and why?
Collins: Over the last several months, I have worked hand-in-hand with President Trump to provide much-needed relief to American families, small businesses, health care professionals, and states and localities. While the global pandemic called for unprecedented relief, our national debt is growing rapidly and we should be mindful of that as we consider future packages. That’s why I support a scaled-down proposal consisting of meaningful, targeted relief. I also believe it’s critical that Congress does not extend the $600 per week federal increase to unemployment insurance. I’ve heard from businesses all across Georgia who were struggling to get their employees back to work because their employees were making more staying home. I strongly believe we need to incentivize Georgians who are able to safely return to work to go back to work.
Lieberman: Congressional leaders have again set up a false choice for the American people. Voters want them to act fast on a second round of relief. When your house is burning down you shouldn’t bicker about the length of the fire hose. I endorse the Problem Solvers Caucus solution that would cost roughly $1.5 trillion and which focuses on:
$450-week in additional unemployment benefits for 8 weeks, and replacing up to $600 in lost wages for an additional 5 weeks.
$500 billion for state and local governments battling COVID-19 and its effects
$100 billion for testing, contact tracing, and other health initiatives to help bolster our front-line response
Additional stimulus checks in January 2021 that only go out if they are triggered by a slow economic recovery.
Worker and liability protections
Broadband, Agriculture, USPS and Census support
Loeffler: The Democrats’ coronavirus stimulus package was a wasteful blue state bailout designed to advance Nancy Pelosi’s radical liberal agenda. The $3 trillion slush fund would give direct payment checks to illegal immigrants, fund abortions with taxpayer dollars, enable radical election reform, and dedicate millions for frivolous pet projects. On top of all that, the bill would bankroll reckless states like California and New York and punish the responsible taxpayers here in Georgia.
We need to pursue coronavirus relief with common sense solutions that utilize the funds we’ve already set aside – without letting wasteful spending balloon our already out-of-control national debt. The Republican plan that we put forward would have delivered targeted relief that America’s families need to stay both financially and physically healthy without wasting taxpayer dollars or dramatically expanding our government’s reach – and that’s why I stand by it.
Slowinski: A Little background: The $2 trillion CARES Act, a response to COVID-19, cost $6,000 per American or 45% of all federal government expenditures in 2019. Senate Republicans have staked their claim in the debate over the next coronavirus relief bill with a $1 trillion proposal offering another round of $1,200 stimulus checks and continued, though reduced, unemployment assistance.
The HEALS Act is the opening salvo in negotiations that will pit Senate Republicans against House Democrats, who passed their own $3 trillion package in May that never made it past committee hearings.
Slowinski said he is opposed because he does not think our country needs to continue borrowing more money and we are 27 trillion in debt. We can't afford this legislation. Slowinski said a better solution is getting people back to work in America! Before we provide any relief it must be paid for with offsets in the current budget!
Tarver: I prefer the $3 trillion Heroes Act. Despite concerns about the partisan leader-driven process, the bill has been passed by the House, can be improved in committee, and would provide Georgians with more immediate relief from the devastating economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. It is inhumane to unnecessarily delay additional action.
Warnock: Warnock believes that Georgians are hurting, medically and financially, in the midst of the pandemic and that we should get relief to families immediately. The Republican proposal was not only inadequate in addressing the needs of everyday Americans, it was a far cry from the $2 trillion tax cut the GOP-led Senate, House and White House passed in 2017 to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and big corporations.
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2. The severity of recent hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters has been tied to climate change. What, if anything, should Congress do to reverse the impact of human activity on the climate?
Collins: I have lived in northeast Georgia all my life and it is undoubtedly home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. As someone who enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time outdoors, I believe that we must take care to ensure we are responsibly caring for and conserving the land around us for future generations. That said, conservation and economic growth are not mutually exclusive and Democrat ideas like Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal will do nothing but destroy our economy and sink us into debt with little to show for it in the great outdoors. While Congress should be mindful of the impact human activity has on our surroundings, it should not take the drastic steps lauded by radical environmentalists especially when doing so would put our country at a competitive disadvantage with countries like China, which has made virtually no efforts to curb domestic pollution.
Lieberman: Recent natural disasters show that climate change affect not only the environment but also people’s jobs and physical security. I’m not for radical policies that punish people for eating beef, driving cars, and taking airplanes; I will not vote for any thing like that as Georgia’s senator. But let’s face it, Georgians and all Americans will pay a lot more with their health and jobs if we don’t have a plan to get the world to net-zero emissions by 2050, by which I mean as much carbon has to be absorbed as is released into the atmosphere. And the United States must lead to achieve that. If we don’t do it, others will not follow.
We also need to make clean air, clean water and healthy food basic human rights, and punish polluters that adversely affect citizens all over the country. Lastly, I support Joe Biden when he says we need lots of smart infrastructure investments to rebuild the nation and to ensure that our buildings, water, transportation, and energy infrastructure are not only climate friendly but also can withstand the impacts of climate change. Every dollar spent toward rebuilding our roads, bridges, buildings, the electric grid, and our water infrastructure will be used to prevent, reduce, and withstand a changing climate. And even better, that will create much needed jobs.
Loeffler: AOC and the Democrats’ radical Green New Deal proposal is absolutely ridiculous. This socialist plan would crush the American Dream by killing millions of jobs in our energy industry, bankrupting our economy, and expanding the Washington bureaucracy until it suffocates free markets and individual choice. It’s not the future I want for Georgia’s children, or any American.
I support common-sense solutions to ensure our families always have access to clean air and water – but I will never stand for socialist policies that will wreck our economy and put Georgians out of work.
Slowinski: Research shows that the number of weaker storms, like Category 1 and Category 2 hurricanes, may go down because of climate change, and so the overall number of such storms might fall. But the strongest storms, Category 3, 4 and 5 storms, will become more likely. Wildfires:Warmer weather means less soil moisture on average, which means that stuff burns more easily. Fires tend to be associated with hotter drier weather, everything else being equal! Western States need better fire management by getting rid of the tinder and dead brush in the forest like Minnesota does! Plant more trees and buildi better waterway systems/dams to provide power and to help alleviate flooding. FEMA needs to be developed like state national guards providing help when there is a disaster!
Tarver: Congress should pass the Green New Deal. Scientific data indicates that increased global temperatures are the result of human activities. Prompt action is required to reduce carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels and other greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
Warnock: Warnock believes that solutions to climate change are moral issues and that we can act on the consensus that already exists among Americans by ignoring Washington special interests and putting effective, common sense policies in place. Starting with rejoining the Paris Climate Accords and restoring America’s place as a leader in the fight for climate justice we can achieve this. As a Senator, he will advocate for the United States to:
Rejoin the Paris Climate Accords and build upon the international commitment to fighting climate change;
Work to reverse the Trump Administration’s attack on the Environmental Protection Agency and standards for clean air and water;
Prepare Georgia’s coastline for rising sea-levels with investments in infrastructure, structural reinforcement and climate science;
Push for investment in resources, infrastructure, and education in communities of color to benefit in energy cost savings;
Advocate for marginalized people to receive training and education to participate in the green new economy and jobs;
Set goals for carbon reduction and robust climate standards for newly manufactured cars and infrastructure;
Encourage investment in clean energy and commit to transitioning to a clean economy by 2050; and
Hold polluters and predatory utility companies accountable.
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3. What legislation would you back to lower prescription drug costs for seniors and those with chronic diseases?
Collins: Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked to lower the cost of prescription drugs by addressing pharmacy benefit managers, the middlemen that drive up prescription drug prices. For far too long, pharmacy benefit managers have put profits over patients by manipulating drug prices to line their pockets. I have introduced countless bills, like the Phair Pricing Act and the Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act, to lower the cost of prescription medications by increasing transparency and accountability in drug pricing. By reducing the role of pharmacy benefit managers, we can safeguard community pharmacies, protect access to lower-cost medications, and most importantly, ensure patients have access to the medications they need.
Lieberman: If sick people can't afford drugs produced to heal their sicknesses, something is very wrong with the system. I support several initiatives making the drug market and drug prices more competitive: more access to generics and biosimilars; better pricing by pegging drug prices in the U.S. to an international index so that American consumers don't get stuck as the only ones paying for the research and development costs that benefits consumers all over the world; and an initiative for the FDA to assess, clear, and help to import international drugs that can help American consumers with better pricing.
Loeffler: When it comes to health care, my number one goal is to make sure every Georgian has access to quality, affordable health care. President Trump has taken historic action to lower drug prices using innovative solutions that bring more competition to the market. Thanks to his efforts, we’ve already seen tremendous progress in lowering drug prices and reducing out-of-pocket costs for seniors.
In comparison, the socialist Democrats want Medicare for All – which would raise taxes on hardworking Georgians, reduce quality of care, and take away current coverage. I’ll always fight against the Democrats’ radical agenda – and continue to work with President Trump to find free market solutions and continue our historic progress toward more affordable, better health care.
Slowinski: Get the federal government out of health care. Third Party Payer increases the cost of healthcare that makes it unaffordable for most families! Block Grant Medicare/Medicaid back to the States. Use the 50 states as incubators experimenting with ways to improve people's health. Bring Catastrophic Health Insurance back to the states and make health care affordable by direct pay to doctors. Use infrastructure of local post offices to create convenient small state-based health clinics with direct pay for services and use catastrophic health insurance again (covers heart attacks, stroke, cancer, accidents etc.). Pre-existing conditions can be addressed by a large state pool which lowers the risk and the cost. Allow prescription drugs to be imported from Canada and Mexico without penalty.
Tarver: I support the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation that modifies Medicare Part D and maintains the Medicare Part B and D inflation rates.
Warnock: As Senator, Warnock would work to expand access to quality, affordable healthcare -- especially considering our current public health crisis, including improving the Affordable Care Act and ensuring protections for people with pre-existing conditions. He’d also look to work across the aisle to lower the cost of prescription drugs through price negotiations, push for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to be empowered to negotiate lower drug pricing (as was advocated for in the ACA), and advocate for more ability to work with our partner countries, like Canada, to bring in prescriptions to market at lower cost but the same level of quality and safety. And at the federal level, he would push for Congress to roll back the power of special interests, like big Pharmaceutical companies, by imposing caps on the maximum price that can be charged for life-saving drugs, like insulin, and limiting the excessive use of patents to encourage market competition.
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4. What is your biggest concern about ensuring elections are fair, secure and accurate, and what would you do to address it?
Collins: I’m extremely concerned about the Democrats’ continued push for universal mail-in voting. To be clear, I support absentee voting, and I encourage those who are unable to make it to the ballot box in November to request an absentee ballot and exercise their right to vote by mail. That being said, universal mail-in voting is extremely dangerous and ripe for fraud. As President Trump has mentioned time and time again, universal mail-in voting will lead to countless cases of voter fraud and opens up our election system – the cornerstone of our democracy – to foreign interference. The best way to protect our elections from interference is to stop all efforts to implement universal mail-in voting, and I will continue using my voice in Congress to discourage policies that would impose a federal one size fits all approach or move our nation closer to universal mail-in voting.
Lieberman: The right to vote and the security of that vote are both sacred in a democracy and must be protected. I support passing a bill that treats foreign interference in our elections by foreign governments and their agents as an act of war. I support making vote suppression by individuals in office, members of parties or organizations a criminal act punishable by jail time. And finally, regarding the fears of voting in this election due to coronavirus, I support everyone being given the right to vote from the safety of their home, and that vote being handled securely, regardless of whether or not we can call a winner on November 3rd. What matters is that anyone who wants to vote can vote securely and exercise their most sacred right as a citizen.
Loeffler: In Georgia, we have a number of ways and opportunities to vote—with three weeks of early voting, ‘no fault’ absentee ballot voting, and voting on Election Day. And because of programs such as “motor voter,” we are registering more voters than ever.
Our elections are safe, secure, and accessible. My only concern about elections in this country are the liberal Democrats attempting to call our election integrity into question and trying to push a universal mail-in voting system—which has the potential for massive fraud. Under my watch, we’ll never switch to a universal vote-by-mail system – and we’ll keep fighting back against Democrats like Stacey Abrams who are using conspiracy theories about our elections to undermine confidence at the ballot box and excuse their impending losses in November.
Slowinski: Electronic balloting is ripe for hackers because electronic voting machines are flawed. Save the millions of dollars and go back to paper balloting in person with proper identification. Ballot access to all parties would allow more eyes to monitor any misuse or abuse of the process. More voices means more choices, which give independents and third parties a reason to vote again which makes us stronger as a country! Make all the secretaries of states offices a non-partisan office!
I am extremely concerned about an increase in legislation that unnecessarily makes the voting process more confusing and makes it more difficult for Americans to cast their ballots during elections. Voters should not face the risk of lost wages or unemployment because of extended voting wait times.
I support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, increased measures to safeguard our elections from cyber attacks, and the provision of absentee ballots for all eligible voters, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic. Further, we must overturn voter ID laws, allow election-day voter registration, prohibit voter purges without certified proof of death or relocation, end the disenfranchisement of people with felony convictions, and require that redistricting reflect population changes and racial diversity.
Warnock: Warnock believes that the 2018 Georgia governor’s race proved that Democrats can win the state with a compelling message and candidate. However, it also showed the lengths GOP politicians would go to to suppress the votes of communities of color, young people and others. To ensure free, fair, secure and accurate elections, Warnock would focus on protecting and expanding voting rights for all eligible people, including re-authorizing the Voting Rights Act/the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, making Election Day a federal holiday, and fighting back against voter suppression efforts. In the midst of a pandemic when Americans are being forced to choose between their health and safety and their constitutional right to vote, that also means increasing access to vote-by-mail and early vote options to protect Georgians as they cast their ballots.
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5. Do you believe the federal government has done enough to support unemployed workers and their families? What is your long-term strategy to keep these workers and their families from plunging into financial desperation?
Collins: I’m proud to have voted for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which delivered quick relief to American workers and their families through federal unemployment insurance, economic impact payments, expanded unemployment insurance for industries that wouldn’t typically qualify, and the Paycheck Protection Program, which incentivized small businesses to keep their employees on payroll and ensured American workers had jobs to return to. These efforts protected Americans’ livelihoods in a time when they needed it most. Moving forward, I believe Congress needs to pass another round of relief to extend the Paycheck Protection Program, which has been a lifeline for small businesses, American workers, and their families.
Lieberman: We need to continue to invest in people and businesses above and beyond what we have ever done to keep these individuals and businesses alive economically until we have a vaccine for COVID-19. This begins by passing a new stimulus bill immediately and having a congressionally-endorsed and government-driven strategy for getting people back on their feet in 2021. America is stronger than this virus, and that strength comes from our economic vitality.
Loeffler: Whereas Democrats continue to advocate for limitless unemployment payments and a total shutdown of our nation’s schools and businesses, the best solution for unemployment in America is getting more Americans back to work – and removing the incentives that are keeping them at home.
Since day one, I have stood strongly with our president and governor in their efforts to reopen the economy. Now, I’m focused on long-term solutions to keep our economy growing – by encouraging new investment in our businesses and moving supply chains back to our shores. It’s time to end our dependence on nations like China and ensure that we create American jobs on American shores. By trusting in the free market and putting America First, we’ll be able to complete our Great American Comeback.
Slowinski: End the Federal Reserve and it’s fiat/debt-based money! Replace it with the Department of Treasury wealth-based currency that creates no debt, eliminates the hidden inflation tax built into debt money! No more bubbles in the real estate or stock markets! All money would be brought into circulation as a wealth/asset like gold/silver in the past. It would be spent into circulation building our roads/bridges/infrastructure/broadband creating millions and millions of jobs benefiting all Americans!
Tarver: The federal government’s support for the unemployed and their families has been insufficient. My long term strategy is as follows:
Allocate funding for expanded broadband internet access for urban and rural communities;
Increase the availability of computer access for educational and employment purposes;
Create government-funded employment opportunities to revive depleted state and national infrastructure; and
Expand Medicaid nationwide.
Warnock: Warnock believes that Washington politicians have failed Georgia families and all Americans during the pandemic, failing to provide enough relief for workers facing unemployment, families facing evictions, and rural hospitals forced to shut down as the coronavirus rages on. He has called for extending benefits and other protections, like freezing evictions, until the pandemic is manageable. He also believes local politicians’ failure to expand Medicaid has stressed our health care systems and that efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act would threaten the well being and financial livelihood of countless Georgians, including the more than 1.8 million with pre-existing conditions.
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6. COVID-19 looks like it will continue to be a part of our lives well into next year. How will you balance scientific guidance with the economic needs of Georgia?
Collins: As we continue working to recover from the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, we must protect our vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. That said, those who are healthy and can safely return to school or work should be permitted to do so. There is no reason for us to shut down our economy again. Safely reopening our schools will help us get back on the path towards economic recovery by allowing working families to get back to work. We must also rely on our scientists and medical professionals, of which America has the best in the world, as we research and develop vaccines and therapeutics. Through Operation Warp Speed, President Trump and his administration are working overtime to deliver a safe and effective vaccine as quickly and reliably as possible.
Lieberman: This, too, is a false choice presented by partisan politicians on both the right and left. We don’t have to chose between our health and safety on one hand and reopening the economy on the other. They go together and we know what we need to do to be able to move along as we fight this virus: pass another economic stimulus bill now, support our first respondents with the resources they need, wear masks and keep social distancing, and wash our hands. These are commonsense approaches, not partisan issues – politicians have made them partisan. We need divisive rhetoric to stop so we can focus on getting the virus under control and the economy moving.
Loeffler: Thanks to the conservative leadership of President Trump and Governor Kemp, our state has already started to re-open its economy safely. Georgians are following the guidelines and staying safe —and I’m confident that we will continue to flatten the curve and defeat this virus.
Slowinski: Taking care of your friends and your family can be a stress reliever, but it should be balanced with caring for yourself. Helping others cope with stress can also make your community stronger. During times of increased social distancing, people can still maintain social connections and care for their mental health. Phone calls or video chats can help you and your loved ones feel socially connected, less lonely, or isolated. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. Stress during COVID-19 causes the fear and worrying about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job. When states lift “shelter in place” orders and businesses reopen, signaling a slow “return to normal,” millions of Americans who have lost their jobs, been laid off or furloughed during this COVID-19 crisis will still be feeling the economic and emotional toll long after.
Tarver: The government’s priority should be the implementation of all necessary safety standards and the distribution of sufficient personal protective equipment to facilitate the reasonable continuation of all economic activity including governmental services, business operations, healthcare, and education. It is unlikely that business owners will comply with future orders to again close the doors of their businesses and send their employees home.
Warnock: First and foremost, Warnock believes we should be following the advice of medical experts and scientists. Like all Americans, he looks forward to the day when there is a safe vaccine available. And that we should trust the medical experts and scientists who are best qualified to make the decisions on how to proceed with a safe reopening.
Warnock also believes that forcing Georgians to choose between their health and safety, their right to vote, and the economy is a false choice. His stance is that “the people are the economy; and if we want to have a healthy economy the people must be safe and healthy.”
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7. Do you think the killing of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks were isolated incidents or a sign of broader problems in the treatment of Black Americans by police? If you believe the incidents reflect a broader problem, what should Congress do to address it ?
Collins: Racism does exist in our country, and I will always denounce hatred in any form. But I reject the notion that the police are inherently racist. In fact, I am appalled by the ‘Defund the Police’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ movements that seek to villainize our officers who put their lives on the line for us every day. We witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of these attacks on our officers earlier this year when District Attorney Paul Howard pursued a political prosecution of Officer Rolfe after the death of Rayshard Brooks. The district attorney, the mayor, and other local leaders turned their backs on our officers, which led to unprecedented violence, shootings, and even murders – including the murder of an 8-year-old girl. Now more than ever, we must stand up for our law enforcement officers. As the son of a Georgia state trooper, I will always have their backs.
Lieberman: You don’t need to cite statistics to know, on a human level, that no one should ever put their knee on someone else’s neck for over 8 minutes. That is unjustifiable at every level, and prejudice by police should not be tolerated at either the individual or institutional level. To that end, I support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to drive higher accountability for police, and I immediately endorsed the #8can'twait campaign to bring fast change to police departments. But I also don’t believe the answer lies in defunding the police. We need police to protect and serve us. We need to use the funds we give police to drive institutional changes and so reforms can be implemented in the best and swiftest and most thorough way possible. We might need to provide more rather than less funding to police to drive reforms quickly and in the best way possible.
Loeffler: Any time there is a loss of life, it’s tragic—and each situation is unique. I have been outspoken about the fact that the life of every African-American matters, and where racism exists—we must be aggressive and united in our efforts to root it out. But the radical ‘defund the police’ movement that has swept the country– and the riots that have destroyed businesses and communities across this country – are despicable. Because of this radical movement, officers across this state are afraid to go to work. Police across the country are being targeted for assault and murder. Businesses have been burned, and communities have turned into outright warzones.
Enough is enough—and that’s why I spoke out so early on about The Black Lives Matter political organization, which wants to defund the police, abolish the nuclear family, and promote violence in our communities. It’s also why I have worked so hard against this movement in the Senate – sponsoring legislation to defund cities that defund the police, crack down on violent rioters, and restore law and order to our communities. I’ll never stop fighting for our men and women in law enforcement – or against the Democrat-endorsed anarchy in our streets.
Slowinski: We have problems concerning income gaps, food insecurity, injustice etc. A recent federal report found that in 2018, America’s income gap was the largest it’s ever been in 50 years. Feeding America found that 37 million regularly face hunger in the U.S., and 38 million live in poverty. We must be aware of the devastating and long-term consequences of racial injustice on the mental and physical health of individuals, while supporting federal legislation that would enact police reform and address our criminal justice system. Teach de-escalation skills and non-lethal takedowns to police. End qualified immunity. End civil asset forfeiture. End the drug war. End no-knock warrants. End militarization of police. End cash bail!
Tarver: The killings of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade are not isolated incidents; their heartbreaking deaths reflect the stain of racial injustice that plagues every system in our society. Congress should boldly and immediately pass legislation to end systemic racial and religious discrimination by:
mandating implicit bias training for all members of law enforcement;
establishing a national database for police misconduct;
ending the judicially created doctrine of qualified immunity in use of excessive or deadly force by police incidents; and
reversing the devastating effects of mass incarceration by establishing state and federal reentry programs for formerly incarcerated individuals returning to society.
Warnock: Warnock believes we should focus on reforming our criminal justice system and restorative justice to communities devastated by the enforcement of discriminatory drug laws. That means decriminalizing marjiuana, reducing the prison population by enacting true sentencing reform, eliminating qualified immunity for law enforcement and demilitarize our law enforcement departments, and enacting uniform standards for use-of-orce among law enforcement.
And we should push for more community policing, increased resources for other services like mental health treatment, and first responders for interventions that don’t rely on police interactions. The bipartisan, House-passed Justice and Policing Act, passed after George Floyd's death, is a good start to address the systemic challenges and disparities we see in the policing of African-American communities and non-communities of color.