Politiwatch: TDR 2020 Coverage- Former Rep O'Rourke

Basic Information:

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Name:  Robert Patrick “Beto” O’Rourke (known as Beto O’Rourke)

Age: 46 Years Old

State: Texas

Occupations:  Former Senatorial Candidate for Texas; Former Representative for Texas (16th District); Former Mayor of El Paso, & Former Councilman in El Paso, Texas

Party Affiliation: Democratic Party

Announcement Date: March 14, 2019

Motto:  We’re all in this together 

(Source: O'Rourke- Source#1; Campaign)

Accomplishments as Representative

  • As a Representative, O’Rourke was the primary sponsor of the “Honor Our Commitment Act”, which helped provide adequate mental health care within Veterans Affairs for our veterans.

  • Addition to Honor Our Commitment Act, O’Rourke added a new provision before exiting his position in Congress- the mental health provisions requires a screening for separating service members.

  • Along with supporting the annual defense spending bill at Congress, O’Rourke got a provision approved into the bill, creating Castner Range (around El Paso) a permanent protective land in order to reject any corporations from being able to purchase lands surrounding the range. 

(Source: Accomplishments )

Signature Issues:

O’Rourke campaigned on multiple issues throughout his journey, from his former campaign as a senator of Texas and a prospective 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. O’Rourke’s 2020 issues stand as following: Campaign finance, healthcare, education, unions, equality, criminal justice reform, immigration, national security, veterans, climate change, foreign policy, democracy, and economic security. 

(Source: O'Rourke)

Additional Positions on:

Disability Rights:

  • According to TheResponsbilityReport.org, O’Rourke is…

    • A Strong supporter- his sister is a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities, so he truly believes that the future has a pathway for entire demographic of People with Disabilities.

    • Within his short stint as a former Representative, O’Rourke had a strong voting record for the People with Disabilities while sponsoring two massive legislative bills: 

      • Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment Act (TIME)

      • Disability Integration Act

    • He promised to include more people with disabilities in his Campaign and Administration  (The Deaf Report yet has to find a reliable source whether O’Rourke has paid employees or volunteers whom are people with disabilities in his 2020 campaign)

(Source: O'Rourke- Disabilities)

Women Rights:

  • O’Rourke downplayed his expectations for Women’s Rights in his town hall in Iowa showcasing his goals as follows: 

    • Increasing funding for Title X

    • No restrictions on federal funds for abortions

    • Declare future presidential executive orders to reverse all of the Trump adminstrations efforts towards abortion restrictions 

    • Ensuring bipartisan committees to increase constitutional protections for all women, especially ones in low-income areas and communities of color

(Source: O'Rourke- Women)

LGBT Rights:

  • Similar to the view of the entire Democratic Party, O’Rourke has promised legislation providing and protecting LGBT community in these ways:

    • Reversing Trump’s transgender ban in the armed forces

    • Reversing “deploy or get out” policy towards the people who are HIV positive in the armed forces

    • Restoring protection policies towards LGBT students who are attending all schools/universities taking funds from the Department of Education 

    • Rejecting conversion therapy

    • Reforming the policy towards blood donations

    • Increasing LGBT visibility in the government- donation to campaigns, creation of a caucus and census.

    • Increasing protections for LGBT at workplace and healthcare

(FYI- O’Rourke did state all of these LGBT expected rights from statements prior to his attendance in New York’s Pride celebration)

(Source:O'Rourke & LGBT)

Criminal Justice Reform: 

  • O’Rourke promised the following from his campaign announcements:

    • Terminating cash bail on all state levels

    • Targeting all profitable prisons labeling them as “illegal”

    • Terminating mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenders

    • Confronting overpolicing in the “black and brown neighborhoods”

    • Reversing the federal prohibition on marijuana

(Source: O'Rourke- Criminal Justice)

Income Inequality:

  • From O’Rourke’s presidential candidacy announcement, he declared that every child should see a future for themselves as how everyone should, receiving equal monetary benefits. He stated “Opportunity must be fully shared with all”. 

(Source: O'Rourke- Income Inequality)

Climate Change:

  • Similar to Booker, O’Rourke continued to state that he would propose a new idea to combat income inequality in America 

(Source: O'Rourke- Climate)