By Nadin Abbott
February 20, 2012 (San Diego)--2012 will prove to be an interesting electoral cycle, perhaps one for the history books. With the Occupy Movement, the Coffee Party, the Tea Party and now Be Your Government (http://beyourgovernment.org/) we are seeing a rise in a challenge to the Beltway Establishment.
Dr. David Levitt, a media scientist and software engineer, has announced a primary challenge to Senator Dianne Feinstein in the Democratic Party Primary. He sees corporate money as a corrupting influence in the system and is running a social media based campaign, with small donations. As he put it in an exclusive telephone interview, “If we have candidates that do not accept corporate money, and people who vote for them, then they will represent the people.”
Levitt has criticized Senator Feinstein for outspending her opponents and said she does not run on her record. He objects to her past support of the Iraq war. He decided to run because he believes that people are tired of voting for the lesser of the two evils. He added that given the effects of Proposition 14th, the new “top two” primary system and that the Republicans are running Orly Taitz—not a prominent political leader--for the seat, we may see two Democrats at the top of the ticket in November.
What are some of his policy planks?
Women’s Rights and Personal Choices: Like Senator Feinstein, Levitt said he is absolutely committed to reproductive rights and a woman’s right to choose. As he put it in a follow up Email, “Americans' decisions concerning family planning, birth, life, and end of life are their own decisions, not the government's.”
Veterans: Levitt believes veterans are “an abused population.” He added, “We need to do right by them,” and take care of our military veterans as promised as a nation.
Jobs: He believes that we need a WPA (Works Progress Administration) to get the state going and said that economists know that no state has gotten out of the malaise with an austerity program. A good example of this is Japan, which lost a decade due to austerity, as well currently Europe. As he put it, the WPA rebuilt the economy in the 1930s and it is time to do what works for our economy.
National Security: We need to get out of the Middle East and spend that trillion plus dollars in the United States to rebuild our badly ailing infrastructure. He believes it is also high time that we put an end to the War in Afghanistan and should have accepted the offer of the Taliban to turn over Osama Bin Ladin in 2001.
War on Drugs: He believes the War on Drugs should come to an end since it has not worked.
Energy policy impacts in the backcountry: He does not claim to be an expert in such issues but said it is essential that the people affected be listened to by those in power. We should consider all costs—including impacts on the land, he believes. “Scenic lands should not be ruined, but all development needn't be banned; there's no need for "progress at any cost", nor "we need this, just not in my back yard" either.” He wants to know the needs of the people throughout San Diego County.
Specifically regarding Sempra Energy and it’s wind farms, he writes in an e-mail, “ I am an engineer with an MIT doctorate aiming to bring a certain level of technical competence to these questions, rather than policies dominated by politics. I'm eager to explore innovation rather than standard solutions, especially when the latter are deemed inadequate by local stakeholders.”
He notes that traditional wind turbines waste energy on windy days and require burning fuel on placid ones. “In Germany some modern wind farms are designed to lift a mass or pump water uphill to store energy, then let the weight flow downhill when the wind or solar energy isn't available. This storage method is ecological and requires no batteries or chemicals,” he notes.” Most important, since wind power does not directly drive electricity generators in such designs, they are less hazardous. Likewise, I have no objection to proposals for solar power generation,” he said, but added, “If designs like Sempra’s are faulty, we shouldn't use them.”
He believes that it is time to replace the people in the Beltway who have proven incapable of admitting to mistakes. Chiefly we need a change in attitude in DC to make the continental United States a priority, not the Middle East, he concludes.
Levitt would like to debate Senator Feinstein on these and other issues.
He has been making stop around the state to raise funds and visibility for his campaign, including attending a Whistleblowers Conference at UC Berkeley, an Occupy our Elections event in Oakland.
For more information on his candidacy, visit the David Levitt Campaign site at