FACT-CHECKING KEVIN DE LEÓN’S CONVERSATION WITH MARK BALDASSARE AND DIANNE FEINSTEIN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, October 16, 2018

CONTACT: Jonathan Underland // press@kevindeleon.com

 

SAN FRANCISCO Just after U.S. Senate candidate Kevin de León and incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s met on stage this afternoon, Communications Director Jonathan Underland made the following statement:

 

“The historic debate we witnessed today is testament to the unprecedented strength of Senator de León’s challenge and exposed just how starkly the values of the two candidates differ. It is shocking that California’s senior senator would dismiss the value of organizing and peaceful protests. Saying that ‘it doesn’t do anything’ and that we should focus on winning elections ignores a basic truth: You have to build coalitions to make real change. Senator de León, who cut his teeth organizing the largest civil rights protest in state history against Prop 187, knows that organizing and coordinating with the grassroots is vital to California’s success in Congress.”

 

FACT CHECK

 

IMMIGRATION REFORM OVERDUE…

 

  • Senator Feinstein claims that “immigration reform is long overdue.” But in 1993, Senator Feinstein said that “whether it’s a space for a job, a space is a home, a place in a classroom, it becomes a competition for space… The people who should be here are those who come legally.” [C-SPAN, 9/17/93].

 

  • And even now, “for immigration advocates rushing to beat back congressional momentum to crack down on so-called ‘sanctuary cities,’ their chief worry isn’t the Republicans who control Capitol Hill. It’s Sen. Dianne Feinstein.” [Politico, 8/03/15].

 

SO OVERDUE, DE LEÓN HAS PICKED UP THE SLACK

 

  • During the PPIC discussion today, Sen. Feinstein said she "just learned" that there are multiple family detention facilities in CA. Senator de León – pictured here marching on the Otay Mesa Detention Center with religious leaders this past June – has been fighting to keep immigrant families together since long before it became a hashtag: In 2012, his SB 1064 broke down barriers to reunite detained and deported Californians with their children.

 

SHE’S “NOT THERE” ON MEDICARE FOR ALL

 

  • “Boos” erupted at a “mostly calm” town hall at San Francisco City Hall when Dianne Feinstein borrowed red-state rhetoric to denounce a single-payer system as a government-run “total takeover” of healthcare. One audience member denounced her as a “sellout”; others led chants of “Single-payer now!” [LA Times, 4/17/2017]

 

  • One week after that town hall, a firm that lobbied for Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealth, and Big Pharma hosted a fundraiser for Feinstein, asking supporters to kick in up to $5,000. Feinstein’s campaign has taken money from lobbyists representing nearly every player in the healthcare industry – except the patients. [International Business Times, 5/02/17]

 

  • Feinstein followed the D.C. Democrat herd and turned tail on Bernie Sanders’ Single-Payer proposal: “Most of the party’s… vulnerable Senate incumbents are steering clear,” Politico reported, although Feinstein blamed her skittishness on the “enormous” cost of single-payer, not her shaky grasp on what real Californians’ need. [Politico, 9/13/2017]

 

KEVIN DE LEÓN IS THE ONLY CANDIDATE WHO’S A TRIED-AND-TRUE CHAMPION OF MEDICARE FOR ALL

 

  • No California leader has fought more fiercely – or consistently – to expand access and advance the ideals of Medicare for All than Kevin de León. While leading the California Senate, Senator de León not only expanded California’s Medi-Cal program to cover undocumented children, but also successfully steered SB 562, a single-payer health care measure, through the Senate [Sac Bee, 4/20/16; Leginfo, 5/26/2017].

 

  • De León believes that what he’s accomplished in California – the nation's most populous state – should serve as a template for extending Medicare for All nationwide. De León has pledged that, if elected, he will join Kamala Harris in co-sponsoring Bernie Sanders’ Single-Payer proposal and lead the fight to secure quality healthcare access for all Californians [@KdeLeon, Twitter, 5/8/18; Los Angeles Times, 10/25/17].

  • And even researchers backed by the Koch Brothers couldn’t help but find that Medicare for All would save “$2 trillion over a 10-year period” [The Nation, 7/31/18; ThinkProgress, 7/30/18].

 

KEVIN DE LEÓN SUCCESSFULLY PASSED THE STRONGEST GUN CONTROL LAWS IN THE NATION

 

  • In the summer of 2016, then-California Senate Leader Kevin de León authored and passed the nation’s strongest raft of gun control legislation yet – including a de facto assault weapons ban, and an ammunition sales regulation inspired by victims of stray bullets criss-crossing his own Senate district [Sacramento Bee, 7/09/16; L.A Times, 7/30/16].

 

  • During today’s discussion, Senator Feinstein agreed with Senator de León that she and Democrats in Washington missed an opportunity from 2009-2011 to push major gun safety reforms – including renewing the assault weapons ban that expired almost 15 years ago – when they controlled Congress & the White House.

 

HARASSMENT ON CAPITOL HILL

 

  • Here's the Anita Hill op-ed Kevin mentioned during the PPIC conversation. Senator de León shares Hill’s frustration over the lack of process in the U.S. Congress to handle allegations and complaints of sexual harassment & sexual assault.

 

  • Legislation introduced may have passed the House & the Senate, but it never became law. Staffers on the Hill still have no real protection [Buzzfeed; 9/20/18].

 

There are 20 days until California voters take to the polls. Register to vote online today.

 

For a stronger, more progressive California, visit www.kevindeleon.com.

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