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Senate candidates make final push before upcoming elections

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Senate candidates make final push before upcoming elections

Warren Elizabeth

Warren Elizabeth

U.S. Senate Photographic Studio-

Warren Elizabeth

U.S. Senate Photographic Studio-

U.S. Senate Photographic Studio-

Warren Elizabeth

Nick Swindell, deputy campus editor

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On Tuesday, voters in Massachusetts will vote for one of the candidates to represent them in the U.S. Senate. Incumbent Elizabeth Warren is running for the Democrats, Geoff Diehl for the Republicans and Shiva Ayyadurai as an independent. Warren is the favorite to win, consistently polling about 26 points above Diehl, while Ayyadurai sits below 10 percent.

 

ELIZABETH WARREN

Massachusetts’ current senior senator, Elizabeth Warren, is seeking her second term. Prior to her career in politics, Sen. Warren was a distinguished law professor who taught at University of Texas School of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School and Harvard Law School. Sen. Warren quickly gained a national reputation after winning her seat in the 2012 election, in part due to her role on the Senate Banking committee where her questions aimed at Wall Street banking regulators went viral on YouTube in mid 2013.

Some see Warren as a Democratic frontrunner for president in 2020. Last month, she told supporters at a town hall meeting in Holyoke that she would take a “hard look” at running for president.

“Senator Warren is a fierce progressive advocate,” said Hannah Pettit, president of the NU College Democrats. “Beyond Massachusetts, a lot of progressives in the United States turn to her to be their ally if they live in a more Republican state.”

Warren has been a staunch supporter of issues like universal healthcare, LGBTQ+ rights, a woman’s right to choose and other issues that impact women.

“Elizabeth Warren represents the values of Massachusetts women and has held feminist values throughout her professional career,” said Sasha Goodfriend, co-president of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Organization for Women.

Health Care

Warren supported a single-payer healthcare system in 2017. Lowering the cost of prescription drugs is a large part of her health care platform. The Capping Prescriptions Cost Act is legislation Warren supports that would limit out of pocket drug costs for individuals and families.

Economy

On Aug. 15, Warren proposed the Accountable Capitalism Act to push her idea that,  contrary to the 2010 Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision, corporations are not people. The bill would require any corporation making over $1 billion in annual revenue to obtain a federal charter in order to exist. The charter would allow employees to elect 40 percent of the board of directors and require any amount of corporate political activity to be approved by 75 percent of both shareholders and board members.

Immigration

During a rally in June, Warren talked about replacing or abolishing ICE. She said that the President’s immoral actions have made it clear that ICE should be replaced with something reflective of our morality and values. In 2014 she supported President Obama’s comprehensive immigration reform, and has been a strong proponent of the DREAM act.

Gun Rights

Focusing mainly on what she refers to as assault rifles, Warren is heavily in favor of reforming gun laws. For example, her campaign website reads “We need to ban large-capacity ammunition feeding devices that allow assailants to maximize their damage and restore common-sense measures to take killing machines like assault weapons off our streets entirely.”

 

GEOFF DIEHL

Diehl was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and moved to his wife’s hometown of Whitman, Massachusetts, where he worked as an account executive in the sign industry. Diehl has served as a state representative from the 7th Plymouth District in MA since 2011.

According to a Boston Globe interview, Diehl’s proudest achievement is serving as the leader of a grassroots campaign to repeal the state law indexing the state gas tax to inflation. He claims to have saved Massachusetts taxpayers $2 billion in gas tax savings. Diehl was an early supporter of President Trump and served as co-chairman of Trump’s presidential campaign in Massachusetts during the 2016 election.

Brian Chandler, a first year undecided major of the NU College Republicans supported Beth Lindstrom in the Republican primary originally, but thinks that Geoff Diehl will also make a great senator

“There are actually people who care about Massachusetts, like Diehl,” Chandler said. “In his own campaign he’s running to fight the opioid epidemic plaguing Massachusetts right now”

Health Care

In response to the steady increase of opioid abuse rates in Massachusetts, Diehl put forward a plan to increase access to treatments, support research, promote responsible prescriber practices and stop illegal opiates from moving across the country.

Diehl supports repealing Obamacare and is against single payer health care. His campaign site readsGeoff knows that medical decisions belong in the hands of doctors and patients, not government bureaucrats.” He is also in favor of increasing veteran health care opportunities.

Economy

The first issue listed on Diehl’s campaign website is job growth. He says he will push for regulatory and tax reform to create more breathing room for small businesses. During a debate with Warren, while speaking about 2017 Republican tax cuts, Diehl said, “More people in MA are making money, they are having wage increases, and that has translated into Beacon Hill taking in over 1.2 billion dollars in unanticipated tax revenue because of all the people out there working, and companies have been able to reinvest.”

Immigration

Diehl is a strong opponent of undocumented immigrants entering this country. His supported policies include building a border wall, ending the visa process through which legal immigrants can bring their families over and prohibiting undocumented immigrants from receiving welfare benefits.

Gun Rights

Diehl is in favor of protecting constitutional rights of gun owners. Diehl said during a debate with Senator Warren that, “what I want to do is make sure that we have a uniform, national gun license that takes all the best options of other states, [and] uses some of the effective gun laws in MA.”

 

SHIVA AYYADURAI

Running as an independent with no political background, Shiva Ayyadurai is the third candidate looking to win a seat in the U.S. Senate. Ayyadurai moved to the U.S in 1970 from India, where he said he and his family were deemed “untouchables” as members of the lowest social caste. Ayyadurai holds four degrees from MIT, is a Fulbright scholar and has worked extensively as a scientist, engineer, founder of multiple companies and claims to have invented email as a 14-year-old.

Ayyadurai claims to have raised $4.64 million for his campaign. However, it was reported by the Boston Globe that $4.48 million of the donations came from non-monetary contributions from himself. Ayyadurai talks about himself as an outsider and anti-establishment candidate. For example, in reference to the ancestral controversy surrounding Senator Warren, “Defeat #FakeIndian Elizabeth Warren” is one of the first statements seen on his campaign website.

Health Care

Ayyadurai thinks that the entire health care system is flawed, saying in October, “It’s a centralized system now. We need a decentralized system.” Ayyadurai blames both Democrats and Republicans for creating an inefficient system. “We have outsourced our health care to big insurance, which wants very expensive pharmaceuticals, coming from Big Pharma, and high costs of hospitalization.”

Economy

Ayyadurai thinks that America’s corporate tax rate is too high and stifles innovation.

Money goes where there’s a stable economy, low inflation and low taxes,” it says on his campaign website. “Increasing taxes on those who innovate and take risks to deliver jobs will destroy our system.” He adds that artificial intelligence and robotics will be consequential for the future of the economy, and that the government needs people who understand the technical framework of AI, like himself, writing policy about it.

Immigration

Ayyadurai supports secure borders. He said Republicans and Democrats of using undocumented immigration for their own political benefit. On his website, he said Republicans of exploiting the cheap labor that undocumented immigrants provide, and Democrats of trying to get illegal votes.

Gun Rights

Protecting constitutional gun rights is part of Ayyadurai’s platform.

His campaign site reads “Chicago has America’s strictest firearm laws and has record-breaking gun crime.” He has not stated publicly whether he supports specific gun control legislature, or what he would change about current gun rights.

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Senate candidates make final push before upcoming elections