2020 Dem Candidates 3
In this next installment, we include the stances of Marianne Williamson, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, and Beto O'Rourke, four more Democrat candidates for the 2020 US Presidential election. All four of these candidates favor raising the Federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, and all four have spoken in favor of some form of national healthcare, though not necessarily the Medicare For All proposal. All but Amy Klobuchar support the Green New Deal, and her criticism seems mainly to be that the legislation over-promises. Only Klobuchar has spoken out against the so-called "tip credit," and despite a general support of unions among all the candidates, none has yet openly supported the Protecting Workers' Freedom to Organize Act.
The above information has been entered into the project spreadsheet as requested. Below is a deep dive into each candidate's positions.
SOME NOTES ON OUR METHODOLOGY
Our research strategy for each candidate followed a similar pattern. We began our research by comparing a list of the 2020 Presidential candidates from the New York Times to our previous work and selecting four candidates which have not yet been covered.
Our next step was to determine what position, if any, the candidates in question had taken on the relevant issues. OnTheIssues became our first stop in getting a general sense of each candidate. (We also considered Ballotpedia, but found that it did not provide as much insight as OnTheIssues.) Our next step was to locate each candidate's personal sites to see what they themselves have said about the issues. From there, we sought interviews with or op-ed pieces and/or tweets by the respective candidates which would shed light on their positions.
In several cases, the candidates have not taken a direct stance on the issue in question or else have taken a more nuanced stance than a simple yes or no. In such cases, we have marked on the project spreadsheet that the reader should refer to this write-up for the full picture.
Note that there is no legislation called "Protect the Right to Organize" before Congress. We understand this column to refer to bill S.664 - Protecting Workers' Freedom to Organize Act, introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on March 5, 2019.
Williamson's signature issue has been the payment of reparations to the descendants of America's Black African slaves, but she's been far from silent on the other issues at hand, coming out in favor of a $15/hour minimum wage and universal healthcare, stating on her Marianne2020 site that "there are studies showing we would spend less money on a universal medicare-for-all system than we do now." However, she is not a cosponsor of the Protecting Workers' Freedom to Organize Act, and has not yet made a public statement in favor or against the proposed legislation. In addition, she has not referred to the so-called "tip credit" in any of her public statements or writings, so her stance on this subject is unknown.
Inslee's signature issue has been the environment and pushing towards "a zero-carbon energy system," and he has openly praised the Green New Deal. He is also a major proponent of raising the minimum wage to $15, even tweeting, "But I thought the $15 minimum wage was going to crush Seattle's economy?" after Forbes declared Seattle one of the best places for both businesses and careers. Regarding "Medicare for all," Inslee has not made a direct public statement either way. However, in early 2019 he "introduced a bill in the Washington state legislature that would create a public option health care plan, which he has said is a step to achieving 'universal health care.'" We, therefore, understand him to be in favor.
Inslee is not a cosponsor of the Protecting Workers' Freedom to Organize Act, and has not yet made a public statement in favor or against the proposed legislation. However, he has constantly supported similar protections for workers and unions in his home state of Washington, and so we deem it likely that he would ultimately support the act. On the other hand, he has not made any public statements directly for or against the so-called "tip credit," and so we cannot determine his stance in that regard.
Klobuchar is an avid promoter of hiking the minimum wage, recently tweeting, "There’s no question about it — the federal minimum wage must be increased to $15 an hour." And while she has not spoken on the issue recently, she has called for the elimination of the tip credit on a national level since at least 2007, noting that her home state of Minnesota had already done so.
On the other hand, Klobuchar "has refused to explicitly support Medicare for All," saying that it is perhaps something to look to for the future, but that she would rather have incremental action taken more immediately. She also rejects the Green New Deal, calling it "aspirational" but warning against over-promising and has not commented on the Protecting Workers' Freedom to Organize Act. On the other hand, she was in favor of allowing Senate cafeteria workers to organize a union of their own, and so we hypothesize would not be opposed to the Act.
Beto O'Rourke is an avid supporter of the Green New Deal, calling it "the best proposal" he's seen contending with climate change and claiming to be "excited" about the legislation. He is also in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15/hour. However, despite his penchant for campaigning inside restaurants (and standing on the counters to let the crow see him), he has not made any statements about the tip credit one way or another.
O'Rourke has explicitly backed universal health care, but rather than a Medicare For All, he prefers the option called Medicare for America, which "would allow Americans to join a public Medicare-based plan, while preserving the option to remain on employer-based insurance." He is not a cosponsor of the Protecting Workers' Freedom to Organize Act, nor explicitly backed it. However, he stated in a recent interview, "I’m a big believer in labor’s right to collectively bargain in the private sector," though adding, "The public sector is a completely different situation." Which is to say that he may become a backer, but at the present time his position is unknown.
A brief summary of these candidates' positions has been entered into the project spreadsheet as requested, but in many cases they are more nuanced than space there would allow. For example, while O'Rourke is not in favor of Medicare For All, he is in favor of a very similar plan, albeit with more consumer choice, so simply listing his position as "no" could be seen as distorting his position. For this reason, we advise including this write-up along with the spreadsheet to any individual using it to understand the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates and where they stand.