Candidate Profile
Richard L. Weiss

Green , Pennsylvania

Biography

Panel Rating

Somewhat Liberal Information icon

 

Other Information

Questionnaire

Please note: Responses are entered electronically by the candidate and are listed verbatim.

Right to Life

Human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection at every stage until natural death.

Neutral   

Abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, should not receive taxpayer funds or grants from federal, state, or local governments.

Disagree   

I support the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which requires health care providers to provide life-saving treatment for infants who survive an attempted abortion.

Agree   

Under what circumstances should abortion be allowed?

I support an unrestricted (no questions asked) right to a safe and prompt abortion up to the end of 20 weeks of pregnancy, calculated starting at 2 weeks after last menstruation. The earliest an infant has survived is after 21 weeks of pregnancy. At viability, or after 20-21 weeks, I’m willing to treat the fetus as virtually a human on life support, requiring similar justification to remove from life support, such as brain death. A human skin cell is alive, however it is not a person. Likewise a fertilized egg is alive, however it is not a human being. It is at best a potential human being. "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:7 God forms the body first. Then the soul enters. The soul enters after viability. Abortion is allowed in the Bible. See Numbers 5:15 et seq. The U.S. currently pays for Israel’s medicare for all healthcare system, which provides abortion


Economy

It is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has a livable income.

Agree   

Free enterprise and the right to private property are essential elements of a productive economic system.

Agree   

What government spending would you reduce in order to balance the budget?

If you believe government is too big, you should support disbanding the Department of Homeland Security, which is an unnecessary government agency and a waste of money. If we cut defense spending by 50%, we would be spending not only more than Russia, more than China, more than Russia and China combined, but it would still be twice as much as Russia and China combined. https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/tom-dispatch-america-defense-budget-bigger-than-you-think/ Bring the troops


Religious Liberty

Governments should not discriminate against individuals, organizations or small businesses because of their belief that marriage is only a union of one man and one woman.

Neutral   

Governments should define marriage as between one man and one woman; no other definition of marriage should be legalized or supported with taxpayer or public funds.

Disagree   

Religious liberty is at risk in the United States and deserves the highest level of protection in the law.

Agree   

I promise to protect the freedom of Christians to share the Gospel and to practice Biblical principles.

Yes   

What does "separation of church and state" mean to you?

Everyone should have freedom of their beliefs and freedom to practice their religion to the extent that they do not infringe on the freedom of others' beliefs. Government should not interfere with anyone's internal thoughts and beliefs. Religion should not interfere with government.


Healthcare

It is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has health insurance.

Strongly Agree   

How would you promote healthcare coverage that is adequate, affordable and accessible for all?

The U.S. currently spends twice as much as other countries for healthcare that covers a smaller % of the population and results in worse outcomes even for those with health insurance coverage. Medicare for All costs less than what we are currently doing. That is, it does not cost more, it saves money. This is derived from a tweet originally by Warren Gunnels (@GunnelsWarren): Study after study shows that the middle class will save money under Medicare For All: RAND: Avg family would save $3,000 a year. www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB10027.html CTJ: Avg family would save $3,240 a year. www.peri.umass.edu/publication/item/1127-economic-analysis-of-medicare-for-all UMASS: Avg family would spend 14% less on healthcare. https://ctj.sfo2.digitaloceanspaces.com/pdf/sandershealthplanfull.pdf Mercatus: Avg family would save $6,000 over 10 years. www.thenation.com/article/archive/single-payer-actually-huge-bargain/


National Security

The best way to maintain peace is through a strong military.

Neutral   


Immigration

I am in favor of construction of a wall and other necessary infrastructure on our border that gives complete control over entering and exiting the United States.

Neutral   

State and federal funds should be denied to any public or private entity, including but not limited to sanctuary cities, that are not in compliance with immigration laws.

Neutral   

Who should be allowed to immigrate to the U.S. and under what circumstances?

We should provide documents to any current undocumented workers. They were invited here by U.S. companies that need them. We would be shooting ourselves in the foot to kick them out. They do jobs that U.S. citizens do not want, support the economy and make better jobs possible for you. When Alabama successfully drove out undocumented workers, the economy collapsed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0ZzwGSF6Zg If the U.S. had not supported the overthrow of democracy in Honduras, there would be no Honduran refugees. https://www.salon.com/test2/2015/06/08/exclusive_hillary_clinton_sold_out_honduras_lanny_davis_corporate_cash_and_the_real_story_about_the_death_of_a_latin_america_democracy/ If the U.S. had not invaded Iraq, there would be no ISIS and no Syrian refugees. https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-deciders/ If the U.S. were required to take care of the refugees created by its own foreign policy, then I believe there would be fewer mistakes and fewer refu


Education

Taxpayer-funded public education should be guaranteed through college.

Agree   


Values

Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which is necessary for our system of limited government.

Neutral   

I support adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as protected classes in non-discrimination laws.

Agree   

Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

Although I have a common Jewish name, I am not Jewish. It is also simply a common German name. I was raised Roman Catholic. However I have read (some, not all) sacred texts of Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, and I find the highest teaching of all of them point to the same conclusion: we are all one spirit in God and nothing else truly exists (although physical things may appear to exist temporarily). For instance, the name Yahweh means "I am what exists." (The grammatically correct version is "I am who am"), as in "I am all that exists and nothing else truly exists." Isaiah 47:10 says: "I am, and there is none besides me." Buddhism and Taoism do not use the words "spirit" or "God," because they say what truly exists (and what we truly are) is unnameable, beyond words. I believe Jesus was teaching we are all children of God. This is what he meant when he said "Our Father..." There is only one because we are all connected. We are individuals but not separate.


Qualifications

When you consider your views on a wide range of issues from economic and social matters to foreign policy and immigration, which of the following best describes you overall?

Moderate   

Please provide publicly available information validating your answer to the previous question.

Several years of my political and religious views can be found on my personal Twitter account: @_RL_W. In fact, many of the answers here have been consolidated from my previous tweets. I believe my views are quite middle of the road in global terms. I have developed an aversion to the term "liberal." You might think I am "liberal" or even "socialist" because I support Medicare for All, tuition free college, collective labor bargaining and UBI. However, I also believe in profit motive, free enterprise, private property, (well-regulated) markets, personal liberty and limiting government as much as possible. We may just disagree on where government is necessary and where it should be limited. In academic terms, I would be called a kind of social democrat.

What education or experience qualifies you to hold the office for which you seek election?

I graduated from the University of Denver College of Law with a Juris Doctor degree and I have been practicing law since 1992, when I was admitted to the Pennsylvania attorney bar.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or been penalized for sexual misconduct? If so, please explain.

No.

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

In order for democracy to occur, we need to get money out of politics and guarantee election integrity (paper ballots hand counted on camera). Ranked-choice voting eliminates the so-called "spoiler effect." vimeo.com/436309298 This article reflects my views on the Second Amendment: riversong.wordpress.com/the-real-second-amendment/ States should agree on restrictions, but it must be a nationwide system. I support national firearms registration and licensing. In addition to limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds, I support restrictions on barrel length, rifling, type of powder and others. If the states cannot agree, then I support extending the current restrictions on fully automatic weapons in the 1934 National Firearms Act to apply to semi-automatic as well. I grew up with guns, went hunting with my Dad as a kid. We never had semiauto nor >10 round magazines. I wouldn't miss them. My father is a Korean war veteran and I grew up working in our family's bakery business.


Judicial Philosophy

I support the use of Sharia law as a basis for legislation and judicial decisions in the United States.

Strongly Disagree   


Criminal Justice

Mandatory minimum sentencing should be required and enforced for violent crimes.

Neutral   


2nd Amendment

Should teachers be allowed to carry guns at school?

Yes   

What restrictions on gun ownership are needed to protect public safety?

"That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves & their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; & no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury..." That was the proposal of the anti-federalist minority delegation of Pennsylvania to the Constitutional Convention. It was specifically considered and rejected. I support reasonable gun regulations.


Other Important Issues

People should be able to vote without photo identification.

Neutral   

I support the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Agree   

The Electoral College should be abolished.

Neutral   

In priority order, what three areas of legislation do you propose to author or sponsor if elected?

1. Save the taxpayers’ money. Reduce prison population by 50%: by not seeking cash bail, not bringing charges merely for drug possession or consentual relations between adults. Only those actually a threat to the community should be incarcerated. Others should be diverted from the prison system to programs designed to help them pay their debt to society and reintegrate into the community. Prosecutorial resources can then be directed to addressing violent crime, combating corruption and consumer protection. 2. Reformation of the system of policing. Citizen Review Boards are only a start. Community and police must establish standards of conduct and need special prosecutors for police misconduct. 3. Promote Restorative Justice, which is another way of viewing crime and how to respond to it. Restorative justice includes all parties in a collaborative process of apology, changed behavior, repair of the harm, and reintegration of parties with their communities. See tinyurl.com/RonEarl.

Is racism a threat to domestic security in the United States? Why or why not?

The primary responsibility of the Attorney General is public safety, with the goal of attaining peace characterized by a community that is inclusive and harmonious. Conflict must be resolved in a way that restores peaceful social life. This can only be accomplished through respect of all members. The primary challenge now is lack of faith of the community in the police and of the police in the community. Racism is real and a part of this. Our system of justice is based on the principle that it is better to let a guilty person go free than to convict an innocent one. However our system of policing is more suited to occupied territory in a warzone than a domestic population. I would rather take a bullet than shoot an innocent person. Let us develop a system of policing based on that principle. We must refrain from attacking, arresting or shooting anyone not actually a threat.


Background

Education
  • University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, B.A., 1989
  • University of Denver, Denver, J.D., 1992
  • University of Chicago, Chicago, M.B.A., 1998
Work & Military
  • Pennsylvania Attorney Bar, member, 28
  • New York Attorney Bar, member, 9
Affiliations
  • St. Valentine Parish, Member
  • Green Party of PA, State Delegate
Offices
  • (Candidate did not provide)
 

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