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Career politicians are failing us

Our problems stem from a failure of leadership—not just in Washington and Sacramento, but also closer to home. In Bay Area cities like San José, career politicians spent billions of taxpayer dollars, promising they’d reduce homelessness and crime. When the problems got worse, did they change their approach or take responsibility? No, they blamed the federal government and pushed for Proposition 47, a state measure that has increased crime in every corner of California.

We’re paying more than ever for housing, utilities, and groceries, and now these same career politicians want to raise our taxes. To do what? Increase crime and homelessness even more? These are the same people who managed to shield PG&E while killing off California's once-promising solar industry. They’ve turned a $98 billion state budget surplus into a staggering $68 billion deficit! And now they want even more of our money? In the private sector, this level of failure gets you fired. Public service should be no different.

Don’t believe the hype

Why has it gotten so bad? Just take a look at the ads and mailers released by the career politicians in this campaign. See if a political action committee (PAC) paid for it. There is NO limit to what these PACs can contribute to a campaign, and corporations often contribute enormous sums. This support never comes without strings attached (it’s called quid pro quo), so our problems never get solved. It should be illegal, but for now it’s merely unethical. Mark Twain quipped in 1873 that we have “the best government money can buy.” He’d likely be speechless today.

Career politicians haven’t produced results, so they rely on hype. But you don’t have to buy it! Don’t be swayed by glitzy ads and mailers. Take the time to examine each candidate’s record on basic issues like crime, housing, and homelessness.

Exhibit A: San José

The facts aren’t reflecting well upon career politicians who were in charge given the crises San José faces today.

  • In 2022, for example, San José spent $116 million to fight homelessness, but the numbers of unhoused in that city spiked.
  • San Jose has the highest number of homeless young adults per capita in the country.
  • Tragically, over 250 unhoused persons died on the streets of San José in 2022 alone!
  • Violent crime, especially against women, went up nearly 300% between 2014 and 2022
  • Larceny and theft went up 300% between 2014 and 2022.
  • The San José police department spent a staggering $45 million on overtime annually during those years. The police department repeatedly failed their response time. A complete mess.
  • Mayor Matt Mahan is now stepping up to fix the issues, but let’s not forget that the city languished for 8 years prior - with failure after failure.
  • San José’s “leadership” led a botched flood response in 2017, displacing 14,000 residents and $100 million in damages
  • Not to mention San José's chaotic response to George Floyd protests which resulted in numerous civil lawsuits

As you evaluate political resumes, you must ask: Has their time in office been marked more by crises than achievements? Has their tenure been characterized by failure and dysfunction? Failure should be disqualification to run for anything!

PG&E and PAC money pollutes our district

BTW San José Spotlight has recently reported that EVERY career politician in this race is being pushed by Super PACs (aka dark money) and special interest groups. Even PG&E money! Millions of dollars of dark money is flowing into this race. Dollar for dollar, these politicians are the best employees on PG&E’s payroll. It’s a travesty.

What makes Rishi different?

I’m the only candidate in this race who is NOT a career politician. I’ve worked full-time in the software tech industry for decades, even while I served on the Saratoga city council. I’m also the only candidate who has successfully lowered crime, utility rates, and taxes. In 2022, I won 42.2% of the vote in this same congressional district, and I’m ahead in the polls now. Why? Because money can’t buy trust or sway smart voters. I’m committed to grassroots politics and people-centric policies, not holding my hand out for corporate donations.

I believe that elected officials should serve only one boss: their constituents. This is non-negotiable. As an elected leader, I consistently rejected money from land developers, PACs, and special-interest groups. My congressional campaign has not accepted—and will never accept—a single dime from PACs or special-interest groups. I work only for you, and I’m willing to be accountable.

Rishi’s record on crime

As a member of Saratoga city council, I fought crime one home, one family, and one neighborhood at a time. In 2016, my city saw the largest year-to-year drop in crime of any city in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. How did we do it?

  • We held over 100 neighborhood meetings to discuss crime prevention strategies and empowered neighborhoods to defend themselves.
  • We implemented 25 home safety strategies proven to deter home invasions and burglaries. Just like that, we made our city unattractive to thieves.
  • We pulled neighborhoods together, established Neighborhood Safety Watch Programs, launched annual block parties, and watched out for each other. Our city now has over 70 Neighborhood Watch Programs, and hundreds of neighborhood leaders have joined the fight.

Vote for change

As we approach the primary election, I urge you to put the career politicians in this race to the test. Who funds them? How have they voted in the past? Have they ever been the subject of an ethics investigation? Dissect their record. It’s easy to smile and say all the right things, but most don’t have the track record to back up all that pretty talk.

Together we can bring a spirit of public service back to Washington and return our great democracy to the people.

I invite you to join our movement for ethics in politics. I’d be honored to have your support.

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