"Independent" isn't just a lack of political affiliation, it's a mode of thought. I'm a native of District 39, and I believe I have what it takes to defeat incumbent Republican Ed Royce in this heavily Republican district. It seems we, as a country, are always bouncing back and forth between two parties, both of which are predominantly pro-war, pro-Wall St, and anti-liberty. They only care about us when they need our money or our votes. Their corporate donors decide what they do in congress, not their constituency.
I don't believe the answer in my district is to bring in another Democrat (or Republican). It will just result in more of the same, but with a different face. The answer is someone like me: Someone willing to stand up for regular people because I am a regular person.
I want to make Congress accountable to the voters again. My first step in doing this is to introduce legislation to base congressional pay on the median wage in the district they represent. If they want a raise, they'll have to make sure we get one first. And I'm not a hypocrite, so I'll be donating all of my pay above the median in my district back to my district. That's in the ballpark of $100,000 per year.
I also want to introduce legislation to exempt war veterans from federal income taxes on their first $100,000 of taxable income every year for the rest of their lives. I believe this is more than fair considering all they've sacrificed for this country and its government. It will also serve as a disincentive to send our military to war in the first place, which is something our government desperately needs, having been at war for the last 16 years.
I believe we, as Americans, deserve truly universal healthcare, whether it comes via Medicare For All, Single-Payer, or some other method. We spend far too much (18% of our GDP) on healthcare only to ensure massive profits for executives and shareholders.
I believe the wealthy need to pay more in taxes. I also believe waste in the federal government is a major problem that absolutely must be addressed, and it's almost always found at the intersection of government and private industry.
I want to completely end the war on drugs and the war on terrorism and instead focus on healing our nation here at home.
Unlike partisan politicians, I'm not dogmatic. The answer isn't always "government" or "the free market." The answers vary depending on the question.
I strongly supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primaries, and calling me a "Berniecrat" isn't far off, but my beliefs are not based on what Bernie Sanders or any other person tells me to believe. We have a moral obligation to take care of each other, and that obligation supersedes the "rights" of any billionaires to buy more homes, yachts, or businesses.
I believe I have what it takes to defeat a Republican incumbent in my district because I'm not a Democrat, not in spite of it. Republicans in California tend to be very pro-gun, because California is very hostile to gun ownership, and a large percentage of Republicans in California are single-issue voters on guns. I happen to be pro-gun as well, which means Republicans will not have to fear a restriction of their ability to defend themselves and their families by voting for me. Instead, all they have to look forward to is a more harmonious society where, hopefully someday, they won't even feel the need to own a gun in the first place - a decision that should be entirely theirs to make for themselves.
I believe I know the path to victory in this district, but I can't do it by myself. I need your help. Please donate what you can, and remember the maximum is $2700 per individual, so for those of you who would like to throw more support than that behind me, hopefully your spouse can handle the rest.
Thank you for reading this far. There is much more to come.
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March 16, 2018
I’ve had a passion for politics since I was in my early teens, and most people close to me knew it was just a matter of time before I started down this road of running for national office. But it wasn’t an accident that I began this journey *now.* I’m an independent, and the signs were pretty clear in 2016 that the country has had enough of partisan platitudes and bickering: First off, Donald Trump won the White House, and all you have to do is talk to most of those who voted for him to find out that they did so because they hoped Trump would represent a needed change to the culture of DC. (As it turns out, not a lot has changed, as he has hired the swamp rather than draining it...) And then there was Bernie. I became really aware of Bernie Sanders around the time that Barack Obama won the presidency, and I knew he was something special. And as an independent myself, I always loved that he continually rejected partisanship as well. If the powers that be in the Democratic Party are smart, Bernie Sanders will be their nominee in 2020. But that’s a pretty major assumption...
The thing is, being an independent isn’t just a lack of party affiliation, it’s a way of thinking. When you’re an independent, it becomes much easier to see things for what they are, rather than tinting everything through your partisan glasses. And people are catching on. Around the country, last I checked, 44% of voters are now independent, which is more than the number who identify as members of either of the Big Two parties. And that number is growing. Soon, the majority of the country will be independent.
This is a great thing.
And while the other 18 people (that’s right, there are officially 19 candidates running in California’s 39th congressional district) I’m running against here were busy trying to raise money, or just decide what they were going to do as we approached last Wednesday’s filing deadline, I was already locked-in. In fact, I’ve been canvassing, with my staff of volunteers (which grows larger every day) since late-January, starting in my hometown of Chino Hills.
And the response I get when I knock on doors is almost always the same:
Me: “Hi, I’m Steve Cox, and I’m running for congress in this district.”
Resident: (Eyeballing me up and down.) “Which party?”
Me: “I’m an independent.”
Resident: (Relaxes.) “Oh, okay...”
It doesn’t seem to matter if I’m talking to a Democrat, a Republican, or an independent/third-party voter, when I say that I’m an independent, they relax and immediately open themselves up to dialog. The truth is, I thought going door-to-door was going to be a miserable experience with people hating me every time I knock on a door, but as it turns out, I love it. And, as I had hoped, it seems people really can tell when a politician’s being honest with them.
This campaign started, at least in part, to test a few beliefs that I’ve held for a long time, and chief among them is this: I believed that people will support honest politicians even if they don’t agree with some of the things the politician says. Now, I can honestly say that I was right.
Last Sunday, I was canvassing for over 9 hours (I canvass almost every day for at least four hours per day), and I ended up speaking to a Trump-supporter who had a lot to say about illegal immigration, and by the end of the conversation, he and I had come to an understanding about some of the realities of our immigration process (all of which are detailed on my website at www.voteforcox.com). Then, I walked across the street, and the very next door I knocked on belonged to a man, now 50, whose parents came to this country illegally and were granted amnesty during the Reagan Administration. He lived in Tijuana, just across the border from San Diego, until he was 29, and his dad used to cross the border every day (after he received amnesty) to go to work in San Diego. This man came here 21 years ago, when he was 29, as the cartels started really making life dangerous where he lived, and he’s now a citizen who votes.
In both cases, at the end of *honest* conversations, these people supported my candidacy and put my lawn signs in their yards.
Running for congress has been an eye-opener for me, and I firmly believe that this is my calling. And I believe I can win in my first attempt.
As I already pointed out, there are 19 total candidates in this race, with 8 Democrats, 7 Republicans, two people who registered as American Independent Party (probably by accident, as at least one is actually a Democrat and probably wanted to register as an *actual* independent), and then myself and one other NPP (No Party Preference, which is California’s version of “independent”). With the partisan votes being split among 8 Democrats and 7 Republicans, and with my ground game going as strong as it is, I believe I will be in the top two in the June primary (which will pit me against the other candidate who finishes in the top two for the November race). My campaign staff and I figure it will take a maximum of about 12,000 votes to get there, and I’m well on my way to that number doing it the old-fashioned way: Walking the streets and talking to people.
And whether I win or lose on June 5th, or in November, I’m going to be running until I build enough support to win. I love how well my inclusive message is being received, and although I’m not on *anybody’s* radar right now, you can bet I will be very soon. I’m a grass-roots candidate, and I’m not going anywhere.
But the one thing I definitely need right now is money. I hate asking for money (and I’m actually donating most of my congressional salaries to teachers in the district after I win to pay for their supplies), but I need money for printing campaign materials (primarily), postage, gas, and new shoes, because I’m wearing mine down walking the streets of my district.
Please consider joining Cox’s Army with whatever you can afford to give. Together, we can start our country moving forward again.
January 26, 2018
This past Wednesday night, I was invited to participate in a Candidate Forum put on by the League of Women Voters in Diamond Bar. They did a fantastic job of organizing and moderating the debate, and there were about 400 people in attendance.
I drew the middle seat, which I liked. After the "other independent" in the debate, Julio Castaneda, endorsed a Democrat and ran away, I was left as the only independent not only in the debate, but in the election itself.
I was nervous going into the debate, because what if politicians were smarter than I thought? What if they knew stuff I don't know?
Once it got going, I was fine. I treated it like the old motocross-racing days, and I handled business. More than one person approached me after the debate to tell me that I was the most well-informed person up there, and that they appreciated that I was answering the questions asked of me directly, rather than doing the typical "politician" thing where they skirt the question so they can talk about what they want to talk about instead.
Frankly, the reason I threw my hat into the ring to run for congress was because I don't believe politicians are any smarter or better informed than we are. And this candidate forum certainly served to confirm that belief for me. There were some polished politicians on stage with me, and most of what they delivered were simply platitudes lacking substance or principle.
But I also have to say that the most fun I have is in talking with individuals from the community. I didn't expect to love doing that, but I do. After the forum on Wednesday, I was approached by two different people who told me (paraphrasing) that I was dead-on on my facts, and my delivery, and both said it was "too bad" I'm not running as a Democrat, because they're Democrats and they'd vote for me if I was one, too.
I politely told both of them that putting parties in front of principles is exactly why we ended up with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as our two choices for president in the last election, and that any "democracy" that delivers two candidates like them as the top two choices is obviously in a very bad way. And I'm running as an Independent because I want to fix the system, not just "win."
I know it's a big goal, but that's what needs to happen, and that's why I'm running.
I'm more confident than ever that I represent the change we need in Washington, DC. And, again, I'm not just running to change policy; I'm running to change the system itself. When I win - and I will, whether it's in 2018, 2020, or 2022 - my hope is that a "regular person" defeating the establishment here will wake up people around the rest of the country and help them see that they, too, can defeat the
establishment. We can take our government back from this corporate
And we have to, before it's too late.
I hate asking for money, but I need it. I have a $1740 ballot-access fee due on March 8th, and I need to print more campaign materials and things like that as well. Please consider donating.
Thanks for reading.