Michael Avenatti told Heavy Tuesday he’s exploring a run for president and will have more details in the “weeks ahead” but for now, he hopes sharing a list of “What I Believe” positions on issues of national and political significance shows the American people “where I stand.”
In a text and email exchange, Avenatti told Heavy, “Hopefully, this will provide people with a high level idea of where I stand on the issues.”
He’s referring to his tweet of late Tuesday morning where he outlined his stance on issues including jobs, climate change, immigration, college affordability, Race, Discrimination and LGBT Rights, Medicare for all, trade, unions, and paid family leave among others pressing national political concerns. Avenatti emailed Heavy a copy.
In his tweet he wrote, “Many have asked me my position on various issues.” He provided his list, his “What I Believe,” saying this is where he “stands” but points out it’s not an “exhaustive list.”
Avenatti stressed, “…I didn’t have to hire a pollster or political consultant to tell me what to say or what to believe.”
When asked by Heavy if the “What I Believe” is a platform precursor for a 2020 presidential run, Avenatti said he’s examining and considering the likelihood.
He said he’d provide, “far more detail …in the weeks ahead while I explore this.”
But in his position’s paper, it reads pretty clearly he’s proposing specific plans, like his “Real Deal,”proposal on infrastructure. Looks like he’s running.
What does he believe?
Avenatti on Jobs, Medicare For All, College Affordability, Women’s Health & Opportunity
He says the U.S. needs “an economic plan that delivers good quality jobs for American workers, not billions for billionaires and wealthy corporations.” On Medicare for all he said, “every American deserves affordable, quality health care. I support the expansion of a basic Medicare plan for all Americans that covers everyone including those with pre-existing conditions.”
On being able to afford a college education Avenatti said “No young person in America should have to forgo education because it is too expensive.” His position on women’s health and opportunity is solid: “I support a women’s right to choose. Full stop.” He even says the previously proposed and defeated “Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution should be ratified and that women and men doing the same work deserve to take home the same pay.”
He also supports expanding “legal protections for workers against rampant sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.”
Avenatti on Trade, Immigration, Race & Gender Discrimination, Paid Family Leave, Infrastructure & Unions
On trade he says, “trade deals that prioritize corporations” leaving workers out of jobs and shuttered factories. “…we need to be aggressive …but smart about how we fight back to avoid inflicting unnecessary harm on American workers and farmers. Especially when it comes to this issue, we must think ahead and play chess, not tick-tack-toe.”
On immigration, he agrees the U.S. must have a “strong, efficient border,” but says the country needs an “immigration policy that secures our borders while ending the separation and destruction of families at the border, and that stays true to our history of welcoming those who seek a better life, like my great grandfather Agostino. We should provide DREAMers, who contribute so much to this country, with a path to citizenship. We should not construct a wall on the southern border – it’s a waste of money better spent on a real infrastructure plan.” He does not think ICE should be abolished.
On race, discrimination and LGBT rights he says “America deserves a president who is a uniter not a divider, who moves us forward not backwards, and who leads for all Americans – regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or identity. We should ensure our laws fight against all forms of discrimination. We must guarantee that the Supreme Court’s prior decisions protecting those in the minority are never overturned.”
He supports paid family leave for women and men “who are caring for a new child, a family member with a serious medical condition, or a personal health issue.” On infrastructure Avenatti, who “fully backs unions,” says “We need to finally pass a real infrastructure package to build bridges, airports and roads that make our country more competitive, while putting hard working Americans to work in good paying jobs. My detailed plan will be called the ‘Real Deal.’”
Avenatti on Education, Money in Politics, Marijuana, Gun Control, Foreign Relations & Climate Change
“I believe that teachers shouldn’t have to work two or three jobs just to pay their bills – we must provide more financial benefits to our teachers. I believe that a kid’s zip code shouldn’t determine their future,” he says about education.
Avenatti says “money is the root of all evil in politics.” He wants to “pass meaningful campaign finance reform that corrects the Citizens United decision.”
“If I choose to run for office, I will not take any corporate PAC money. I believe all candidates for president in 2020 should refund all corporate PAC money they have received since January 1, 2016 if they are sincere about campaign finance reform, otherwise it is all talk designed to deceive voters.”
Avenatti says the federal government should decriminalize marijuana and that existing “marijuana regulation and enforcement disproportionately impacts Black and Latino communities. It also costs the federal government too much money for what it accomplishes. If the states wish to legalize or criminalize marijuana, they should be permitted to do so.”
“I support sensible gun control, including background checks and bans on assault weapons and bump stocks. I also support requiring gun manufacturers to be held to the same civil liability standards as other product manufacturers in the U.S.,” he says about gun control.
On foreign relations, he says “We need to restore America’s place in the world and reassure our allies that America stands with them. We must also negotiate denuclearization agreements with North Korea and Iran.” And not surprisingly, he says “we cannot choose Vladimir Putin over our own intelligence officials who put their lives on the line to keep our country safe. We should forcefully call out Russia as a serious threat to our democracy and make it clear that we do not serve at the hand of Vladimir Putin. We must impose severe consequences, not lip-service, for Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections and ensure that it never happens again.”
On climate change, Avenatti says it’s an “urgent threat …I believe America should be a leader in taking bold steps to tackle climate change, including by rejoining the Paris Agreement.”
Avenatti also comments on the “role of the Cabinet.
“A president’s cabinet should be comprised of experts in their field, not political stooges. Cabinet members should be listened to, consulted on a regular basis and relied upon to help lead the United States.”