Category Archives: Endorsements

Seeking the Endorsement of the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida

I’m seeking the endorsement of the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida.

We must turn the climate crisis around. We must protect our coasts and fresh water. We must re-use old developments instead of bulldozing what’s left of the Real Florida.

May 12, 2020

Hi there,

Thank you for your voicemail. Please accept my apologies for my delay in completing your survey.

Environmental issues and the climate crisis are extremely important to me, and I will co-sponsor the Green New Deal in January 2021 in the 117th Congress.

I am interested in your endorsement if you are still able to provide it.

Here is my completed copy of the survey.

Let me know if you need me to expand on anything.

My Democratic primary is August 18, 2020. I have a strong shot of winning against my Democratic opponent and then going up against Republican Michael Waltz (incumbent) on November 3, 2020 (many will vote early in October).

Please also see my conversation yesterday with CD3 candidate Tom Wells on YouTube. I’m uploading it now. It will be available at the following URL in about 30–60 minutes from the date of this email: https://youtu.be/AL7W4uBZvpA

Best regards,
Richard Thripp for Congress
Progressive Democrat for Florida’s 6th District

Volusia for Bernie Endorsement of Richard Thripp, Democrat for Florida’s 6th Congressional District

I have officially been endorsed by Volusia for Bernie!

Volusia for Bernie endorsement of Richard Thripp for Florida's 6th Congressional district

Volusia For Bernie is pleased to endorse Richard Thripp for Congress for Florida’s 6th Congressional District. Richard is a lifelong resident of Volusia County with a strong platform of a Green New Deal, Universal Healthcare for All, Universal Basic Income for All, Prioritizing Education, Ensuring Fair and Equitable Taxation, Restoring Congressional Authority, and Ending American Militarism. Implementation of these plans will help so many. He is not accepting money from PACs or Big Money donors. His campaign depends on US! Please show your support by liking his page, offering to volunteer, and donating! Richard has a primary challenger so ensure you can vote for him in the August primary by being a registered Dem!

Thank you Volusia for Bernie! I will make you proud!

Key Items from My Local Berniecrats Survey

For my candidacy as a progressive Democrat for Florida’s 6th Congressional district, I have applied to be listed as a Local Berniecrat political candidate.

Update: I have been listed! Click here.

Note that although I have included this article in my Endorsements category, Local Berniecrats has only listed me, but not endorsed me, at this time.

The positions I have put forth align well with what Bernie Sanders has been fighting for since well before I was born.

I did not see anything on their survey to disagree with. I do support “vote blue no matter who” for Joe Biden over Donald Trump, and I argue that we should continue influencing the Democratic party to be more progressive, as Bernie has and will do again at the Democratic National Convention on August 17, 2020.

THANK YOU to three Bernie supporters in my district who have re-allocated their monthly donations to my campaign, now that Bernie Sanders has suspended his presidential campaign. There are many more who will be joining me in the fight to flip Florida’s 6th Congressional district blue, and my candidacy is unprecedented because every viable candidate who has run before in this “safely” Republican R+7 district has been a centrist. I face only one Democratic primary challenger who is running for office for his 5th time. When I win the primary on August 18, 2020, it will be national news in and of itself, which will elevate public awareness of our platform.

Here are some key items I gave written responses to on the Local Berniecrats survey.

Did you support Bernie in the 2016 Primary?

No. I’m a former Republican and my parents are big Trump supporters. I’ve written about my journey to becoming a progressive Democrat here. I supported Bernie Sanders in the 2020 primary including donating $227.19 and canvassing for him. I will fight for Bernie’s agenda in Congress. Many local Bernie supporters are putting their money and volunteer efforts behind me (while staying safe from coronavirus).

Do you agree that today, we live in the richest country in the history of the world, but that reality means little because much of that wealth is controlled by a tiny handful of individuals and to address that, the wealthy and large corporations must pay their fair share in taxes?

Yes, wealth inequality is out of control and represents many decades of failure to capture an appropriate share of American innovation and progress. Our politicians are bought and paid for, and the price was very cheap (a tremendous investment for the wealthy).

Do you agree with reinstating Glass-Steagall Act and huge financial institutions must be broken up so they are no longer too big to fail?

Yes. It’s ridiculous that huge financial institutions receive massive corporate welfare, tax giveaways, privilege, and advantages.

Do agree that no one who works 40-hours a week should live in poverty and the minimum wage needs to be a livable wage of $15 an hour?

I do, and I actually support a universal basic income too. I think a UBI is better than a federal jobs guarantee because it’s impossible to provide meaningful, traditional jobs to everyone. We need a nationwide $15 per hour minimum wage, but this will have a side effect of eliminating many jobs, as seen in grocery stores in Europe which have far fewer staff and more automation and self-checkout than in the USA. This is why I think a $15 minimum wage should be coupled with a UBI.

Do you agree that it is critically important to create jobs for disadvantaged young Americans by investing in a youth jobs programs?

This is a great idea and I think we can do it in a way that doesn’t cost the taxpayer a whole lot. When I become a Congressman I will use my $1.4 million annual budget to create jobs in my district offices for local Bernie supporters and other Democrats to help our district’s constituents.

Do you agree that Social Security must be expanded by raising the cap on income available for payroll deduction and taxing investment income so that every American can retire with dignity?

Most certainly. The idea that Social Security is unsustainable, pushed by the incumbent Republican Michael Waltz, is simply untrue. Stop capping the tax at the first $137,700 of wages. Even if we just got rid of the cap on the EMPLOYER portion, that would probably be enough. If we get rid of the cap on the employee portion too, plus higher taxes on investment income (which are often 0% presently), we can fund Social Security forever and increase benefits to boot.

Do you agree with following: Citizens United, a 5-4 Supreme Court decision, resulted in enabling the wealthiest people and largest corporations in this country to contribute unlimited amounts of money to campaigns. This decision must be overturned and corruption in politics must end. This means fighting to pass a constitutional amendment making it clear that Congress and the states have the power to regulate money in elections. We must also eliminate super PACs and other outside spending abuses and work to aggressively enforce campaign finance rules.

Citizens United is a complete disaster. Recently, Trump’s Super PAC bought the Trump campaign’s email list. The justices’ flawed position was that INDEPENDENT political expenditures are free speech and cannot be capped. This is false on its face, and even more ludicrous when the expenditures are clearly not independent. Trump only raised $1 billion for his 2016 campaign. The coronavirus CARES Act just gave away $170 billion in tax giveaways (over the next 10 years) to real estate moguls. Trump’s Super PAC is a TREMENDOUS investment for rich people. They are getting insane returns on their investment. It’s oligarchical, unfair, and un-American.

Do you agree with the following: Every American who studies hard in school should be able to go to college regardless of how much money their parents make and without going deeply into debt. For that, we need to work towards tax-paid public accredited college access for all who are accepted and free tuition at all public colleges, stopping the federal government from making a profit on student loans.

Yes, and I think Florida can be a trailblazer for free college. As a resident, one can already earn a Bachelor’s degree at Daytona State College and other state colleges for under $15,000 of tuition and fees, or completely free with some extra spending money if qualifying for the Pell grant for all 4 years. We need to emphasize this. When I was at Daytona State, I met several students who did not even bother to apply for the FAFSA even though they could have gotten loads of free money.

Do you agree with the following: Healthcare is a human right. Our healthcare system needs to work for all of us. We must guarantee healthcare as a right of citizenship by enacting a Medicare for all single-payer healthcare system, as well as lowering the price for prescription drugs.

Yes, I support Bernie’s version of Medicare for All: Universal healthcare for all Americans. Our present patchwork is a mess and is wasting tons of money and human resources. Corporations merge and centralize all the time to consolidate resources and improve efficiency. Our healthcare system needs to be overhauled with a single-payer system that eliminates private health insurance and gets rid of premiums, deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pays (except perhaps a small co-pay on prescription drugs). This is a much-needed investment in the American people that will strengthen our populace and economy.

Do you agree that the U.S. must move away from a policy of unilateral military action, and toward a policy of emphasizing diplomacy, and ensuring the decision to go to war is a last resort?

Yes, our military spending is insane and senseless. We would get a MUCH better bang for our buck by focusing on diplomacy, yet our State Department is now in tatters. Some estimates put our annual military spending over $1 trillion when including debt service. This has been a bonanza for the military–industrial complex, and it cannot go on any longer.

Do you agree that the U.S. defense spending is larger than that of the next seven largest defense budgets and we must firmly reject any increase to defense spending at the cost of cuts to domestic social spending?

Yes, our war budget is out of control and should only go down from here, in both nominal and real terms. Our engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq have been unmitigated disasters and have cost us dearly.

Do you agree with the following: The United States must lead the world in tackling climate change if we are to make certain that this planet is habitable for our children and grandchildren. We must transform our energy system away from polluting fossil fuels, and towards renewable energy sources.

I support and will co-sponsor a Green New Deal for America. The climate crisis is getting worse every year. The oceans are hotter resulting in explosive intensification of hurricanes that impact Florida, Puerto Rico, and many other areas. The costs are becoming extreme, and there is little time left to prevent a hellish future. This is not alarmism, but fact. You cannot deny that we have gone from 280 to 415 ppm of CO2 due to human activity. We must stop subsidizing fossil fuels.

I will also co-sponsor the Ban Fracking Act. We can innovative with lithium-ion batteries, hydro-electric power, solar, wind, and other green energy. If we level the playing field with fossil fuels, these technologies will take off, even without a carbon tax, and they will spread worldwide to China, India, and elsewhere. I also support appropriate taxes on tourism and unnecessary travel. The coronavirus pandemic is showing us that cruises, visits to Disney World from thousands of miles away, and a lot of business and work travel was never actually necessary.

I can tell you I am probably the only viable Congressional candidate in this district ever who is anti-NASCAR. NASCAR is completely ridiculous, and the France family knows this, which is why they fund Trump and my Republican opponent heavily. I know they are claiming they will have hybrid cars in 2022, but don’t hold your breath. We must curtail unnecessary carbon emissions, such as NASCAR, cruises, air travel, motor vehicles, cement, fracking and flaring, and so forth.

Do you agree with the following: Despite the central role immigrants play in our economy and in our daily lives, undocumented workers are reviled by some for political gain and shunted into the shadows. It is time for this disgraceful situation to end. We must pave the way for a swift legislative path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants an immediate citizenship for all DACA and DAPA participants.

Yes, Trump loves to call these Americans dangerous, illegal aliens, which is ridiculous. Dreamers have been here since childhood and had no say in where they were born. My mother fled China after Tiananmen Square, met and married my father, and gave birth to me in Daytona Beach in 1991. I would be the same person had I been born overseas and been relocated by my parents to the USA afterward.

Do you agree with the following: The inhumane deportation machine must be dismantled by ending deportation programs, closing down private detention centers, offering humane treatment and asylum to victims of violence and minors fleeing from dangerous circumstances.

Yes, deportation and punishing restrictions on asylum-seekers is an un-American humanitarian tragedy. We have drastically cut the number of people each year who can lawfully migrate to the USA, out of ideology rather than logic. Children are suffering and dying in CBP custody. “Remain in Mexico” is a death sentence for many asylum seekers.

Do you support a woman’s right to choose and will you work to repeal legislation like the Hyde Amendment that inhibits funding or access to care at Planned Parenthood or any other clinic? Do you support affordable women’s care and free birth control? Also will you support buffer zones at entrances to these clinics?

Yes, federal funding of Planned Parenthood is only about $500 million per year and is mainly Medicaid reimbursements. It’s a total red herring issue used to rile up part of the electorate. If you want fewer abortions, you will get there through education, free birth control, universal healthcare, and eliminating poverty and disadvantage for women. You won’t get there by criminalizing abortion and eliminating women’s access to care.

Around the time of Roe v. Wade, Republicans and Democrats were both pro-choice. The scheme to radicalize the Republican party on this issue was first targeted toward liberal Democrats who were anti-death penalty. That’s how upside-down today’s politics are on this issue.

Do you agree with the following: The United States must not just honor Native American treaty rights and tribal sovereignty, it must also move away from a relationship of colonization and control, and toward one of deference and support. That means supporting tribal sovereignty and tribal jurisdiction, honoring the treaties and federal statutes, improving housing and education, as well as by protecting sacred places and Native American cultures.

Yes, what we have done to the Native Americans, and continue to do, is abhorrent and is a national embarrassment. I support all of the listed items.

Do you support common sense gun control/improved background checks (e.g. ban on assault weapons), like Bernie does?

Yes, I support all items from the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America platform, including red flag laws, closing loopholes, stringent background checks, and bans on high-capacity magazines, assault weapons, and on gun ownership by those convicted of violent misdemeanors and felonies. It is my opinion that the NRA is completely misguided. If you want to defend law-abiding gun owners’ rights, you should be FOR these restrictions. It makes lawful gun owners look very bad when we are constantly having so many suicides, homicides, and mass murders due to gun violence. The USA has the most gun violence by far of any developed nation. We need to fight the gun lobby and end the madness.

Do you agree with the principle of separation of church and state?

Yes, and also, churches should not be political weapons. They should not be receiving bailouts for to pay the salaries of high-earning senior pastors under the CARES Act, which classified them as “businesses.” If they are businesses, they should pay property taxes, income taxes, and so forth.

Do you support transforming existing parties as well as working toward electoral change to make independents and third parties viable alternatives in order to get corporate ownership out of politics? Do you take exception to the concept of “vote blue no matter who?”

I think this is a unique moment where we must “vote blue no matter who” to get Trump out of office. I’ll take the accused rapist (Biden) over the confirmed rapist (Trump). Trump is killing countless Americans with his disastrous response to coronavirus. He’s killing foreigners and future humans with his denial of the climate crisis. He’s incompetent, ignorant, reckless, criminal, hateful, and embarrassing.

I was very surprised at Biden’s landslide victories in many states Sanders did much better in 4 years ago. I am not so arrogant as to argue that African Americans and other Biden voters’ votes should not be respected. Let’s continue working to transform and improve the Democratic party from the inside out, while we unite to boot Lyin’ Donald Trump out of office in November.

Do you refuse campaign donations from corporations and corporate PACs?

At first I thought I would adopt this position: I’ll take their money if they are so stupid as to give it to me, but they’ll never do it again once they see what I do as a Congressman. I ran this by certain Democratic party leaders who said saying this is a bad idea. Therefore, I have revised my position: I will refuse contributions from corporations and corporate PACs. Don’t worry—there’s no way in hell they would want to contribute to a candidate with my positions. However, I will seek money from certain PACs, such as the 314 Action PAC to elect scientists (I have a PhD in Education).

Update: I have been listed! Click here.

Note that although I have included this article in my Endorsements category, Local Berniecrats has only listed me, but not endorsed me, at this time.


Thank you for reading. You can learn more about my campaign platform here, or click below to donate.

Donate to Richard Thripp's Campaign

On Gun Violence and the Need for Gun Regulations: Seeking the Endorsement of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

I am seeking an endorsement from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Here, I answer several questions, discussing the need for sensible gun regulations to end the madness of American homicides and suicides, and explaining why strong gun regulations are actually in the interests of both the NRA and lawful gun owners.

Why are you interested in seeking the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction?

I am a progressive Democratic Congressional candidate for Florida’s 6th district. I believe everything you have proposed makes sense, and that the status quo, pushed by the NRA and 2nd amendment alarmists, is ridiculous and deadly for far too many Americans. In Congress, I will fight to enforce the “well regulated” component of the 2nd amendment, which is exactly what Moms Demand Action Gun Sense seeks to do. (Although our modern definition of “regulated” has changed, such change is appropriate for modern times.) Your endorsement will help voters see that I take gun violence seriously.

Around Thanksgiving, 2019, we had a rash of gun violence in Daytona Beach—9 deaths in 3 weeks, including the mayor’s nephew. These deaths and many others could be prevented with sensible gun laws.

Have you been personally affected by gun violence?

My wife used to work at the Starbucks in Target in Orange City and I would work there on my laptop during her shift. Many times, I sat across from Scott Paul Beierle, the 2018 Tallahassee yoga studio murderer. In fact, I have several photos of my wife on her break with him in the background. As a husband and father to a 1-year-old, I hate that we have to be afraid going out, or that my son might be traumatized in school by active mass-murder drills, let alone an actual mass murder. If you look at other advanced nations, we are an aberration when it comes to gun violence. I feel strongly that the founding fathers never intended it this way. In fact, a “well regulated Militia” is mentioned quite clearly in the 2nd amendment. Although the Supreme Court has ruled the militia is not necessary, we don’t even follow the “well regulated” stipulation in this country.

Is there any additional background you would like to provide on any of your answers?

I’m a 28-year-old husband, father, and teacher of future teachers. I have a PhD in Education including an advanced statistical certificate. I like to look at facts and data. I am very data-driven. Gun violence is off-the-charts in the USA, and a big part of it is suicides. People who decide to commit suicide often do it with a gun and make the decision quite quickly, sometimes in 5 minutes or less. It’s a public health tragedy that could be ameliorated with better regulation of firearms, and many homicides are preventable as well.

I would also like to say something about the NRA and gun-rights activists. Ironically, you guys are collectively shooting yourself in the foot. There is no scenario in which it makes sense to support unfettered access to guns by criminals and the mentally ill. Many Americans, along with the entire world, are continually surprised that endless mass murders in the USA do not result in meaningful gun regulations, but the tide of public sentiment can turn, and when it does, it may be quite swift.

I am not a gun-grabber—in fact, I own a shotgun for home defense. The NRA’s support of gun ownership and gun rights for lawful Americans is undermined by their support of an anti-regulation Wild West free-for-all where innocent American adults and children are continually mowed down by preventable mass murders. If you support gun rights, you should support closing gun loopholes and preventing guns from falling into the hands of people who abuse them. Do not forget that we are a nation that, just 100 years ago, prohibited alcohol, and then repealed that constitutional amendment 14 years later.

Lastly, it is a common refrain to criticize gun regulations by saying they will not stop criminals from acquiring guns. This is a bogus argument. Many criminal acts will be prevented by stronger regulations. A burglar alarm does not prevent all burglaries, but it dissuades a majority of would-be burglars. Applying this sort of logic to other situations reveals its lunacy—should we not regulate opioids because people will steal them? Should we get rid of driver licenses and driving tests?

Details and particulars matter. You or a friend or loved one will eventually be touched by gun violence. Let’s take it seriously.

The Great Democratic American Comeback: Seeking the Endorsement of Pete Buttigieg’s Win the Era PAC

I am seeking an endorsement from Pete Buttigieg’s new Win the Era PAC for my race for Florida’s 6th Congressional district. Here, I lay out a case for my endorsement and my vision of the Great Democratic American Comeback in 2020.

April 4, 2020

Hello,

I am a progressive Democrat running for Congress in Florida’s 6th district (Daytona Beach area). This is an R+7 district and the incumbent is Lt. Col. Michael Waltz, probably Trump’s favorite Congressman. There is only one other Democrat running and he’s a perennial candidate who has never won an election.

I’m a 28-year-old teacher educator, husband, and father. I have not been politically active before, but have delayed a promising career in academia due to feeling a call to serve. I am advocating for healthcare for all, a universal basic income, and a Green New Deal to invest in the American people and face the existential threat of the climate crisis. My candidacy and this district meets the five criteria your new PAC has set to support down-ballot candidates.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, I think the failures of the Republican party and crony capitalism have been laid bare, at immense cost to Americans in terms of a death toll that may surpass the Vietnam War or worse, as well as to the prosperity of hard-working Americans who have been victimized by corporate privilege and immense wealth stratification aided and abetted by our governments at all levels.

Electorally, 2020 is now a total wildcard and this “safe” Republican district I am running in (FL CD 6), as well as many others, might become blue, as they were for Obama in 2008. Money cannot buy this Congressional seat—Ambassador Nancy Soderberg ran here in 2018 with stellar qualifications, an early endorsement from Vice President Joe Biden, $3.2 million raised in her principal campaign committee, and $1.6 million in TV ads from Mike Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC. She was blown out by 13 percentage points despite predicting a toss-up.

Here in the Daytona Beach area, we have been running centrist candidates for Congress from out-of-town for decades, and losing, losing, losing. I’m a Florida native born in Daytona Beach who has lived here my whole life. I’m not well known and have little money, and I’ve only been running since January 2, 2020. Already, I have a team of volunteers excited about my candidacy and the opportunity for a real change in government. Up until mid-March, I attended over 30 events including Democratic meetings, festivals, home shows, college events, and parades, talking to hundreds of motivated voters and giving away thousands of business cards.

The incumbent has stepped up his appearances on Fox News and in West Volusia county where I live, and has started holding town hall meetings that he previously had shunned. People are not happy with him or Donald Trump’s “leadership”—even Republicans are airing their grievances about Mr. Waltz quite strenuously on social media, outnumbering favorable comments by a wide margin. At the same time, the Florida Democratic party and our local volunteers have been doing a tremendous job registering voters and emphasizing voting by mail, which is available to all Florida voters.

I went canvassing in Daytona Beach with our new chapter of the Blue Wave Coalition in early March. Floridians are livid, as are Americans, with Lyin’ Donald Trump, Moscow Mitch, and immense economic inequality. This is only worsening due to Trump’s colossal failure in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, which is hitting Florida particularly hard due to gubernatorial incompetence, tourism and our service economy, and our status as a retirement destination.

I believe we are now on the cusp of the greatest political and socio-economic upheaval of our lifetimes. Donald Trump co-opted the Republican party and radicalized the American people. His unprecedented incompetence, corruption, and petulance has exacted tremendous human, environmental, political, and economic tolls on the United States of America. Politically, 2020 will be the Great Democratic American Comeback, borne from the ashes of the failed, homicidally negligent, and completely discredited Republican party.

Please consider me for endorsement and support by Pete Buttigieg’s Win the Era PAC, and reach out if you would like more information.

Sincerely,
Dr. Richard Thripp
Progressive Democrat for U.S. Congress (#FL6)
Thripp.com | Twitter | Facebook | Calendar | Donate
me@thripp.com

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Addendum:

I just wrote to Pete Buttigieg for his new PAC asking for his endorsement.

Pete is a fan of Bernie but decided to be a moderate.

He loves “High Hopes” by Panic at the Disco.

If you want to have high hopes, you start your negotiation from a STRONG position, which is universal healthcare for all, single-payer, with no deductibles, premiums, co-insurance, or co-pays. That’s where you START. You can move down from there, but you can’t move up if you set the bar low to start.

I am glad that Americans are becoming more favorable toward healthcare for all now.