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Chris Coons on Principles & Values

 

 


Holds divinity degree; preaches at church monthly

Three deeply religious senators spoke about the interplay between religion and politics, and how their faith shaped their personal and political lives. Chris Coons has a master's in ethics from Yale Divinity School, which he acquired while earning a law degree from Yale Law School in 1992. The Delaware Democrat takes time to preach about once a month at different churches around his home state. "I'm encouraged that literally the most popular person on earth right now is Pope Francis," he said.
Source: Rollcall.com, "How Religion Shaped 3 Senators" , Oct 18, 2012

Collaborated with Sen. Rubio on pro-small-business AGREE Act

Chris Coons had been hoping to meet up with Rubio for some time. The conversations built to the point that they decided to collaborate on a bill that ended up having more symbolic value in the divided capitol than legislative success. They called it the AGREE Act, choosing an acronym that left little doubt about the statement they wanted to make about what was happening in Washington. Politico Playbook said, "Do you know what AGREE stands for?" "No," Rubio said. "The actual acronym? No, I don't."

He described what really mattered--not an acronym in a city awash with them, but a concept: bipartisan cooperation.

Rubio didn't just say he knew what was in the bill, he got into the details, rattling off something called "the 179 provision", which he explained would extend the ability of small businesses to write off the costs of capital purchases.

Source: The Rise of Marco Rubio, by Manuel Rogi-Franzia, p.190-192 , Jun 19, 2012

I am not a bearded Marxist; but a clean-shaven capitalist

O'DONNELL: My opponent has recently said that it was studying under a Marxist professor that made him become a Democrat. So when you look at his position on things like not eliminating death tax, which is a tenet of Marxism...

Q: You did once describe yourself when you were in college a long time ago as a bearded Marxist?

COONS: [That was in] an article that I wrote the day of our commencement, and the title and the content of that clearly makes it obvious that it was a joke. My roommates in the Young Republican Club thought when I returned from Kenya and registered as a Democrat that doing so was proof that I had gone all the way over to the far left end, and so they jokingly called me a bearded Marxist. It was a joke. I am not now, nor have I ever been, anything but a clean-shaven capitalist.

O'DONNELL: You wrote that you learned your beliefs from a Marxist professor; that should send chills up the spine of every voter.

COONS: If it were true, I'd agree. But it's not true.

Source: CNN's Wolf Blitzer moderating 2010 Delaware Senate debate , Oct 13, 2010

Described himself in college as a "bearded Marxist"

O'Donnell is facing allegations she used her campaign cash in 2009-2010 as her personal piggy bank, spending more than $20,000 when she was no longer a candidate.

O'Donnell denies doing anything wrong, saying there is, "No truth to it."

To be fair, O'Donnell's opponent is also facing scrutiny. Chris Coons finds himself having to answer questions about an article he wrote in college, where he described himself as a "bearded Marxist." He talked about it earlier tonight on CNN.

Source: Anderson Cooper 360 coverage of 2010 Delaware Senate debate , Sep 21, 2010

Focuses on his experience; will fight on Delaware issues

Coons appeared steady, if not a bit boring--something that could actually prove an asset in this general election contest. He emphasized his experience as county executive while drawing contrasts between himself and O'Donnell without truly going on the attack. "This race is not about ideology, but about ideas," he said. "Not about a narrow social agenda, but about who is going to fight to get this country back on track."

Coons noted the state's long tradition of "constructive and civil debate," emphasizing, "I have not been worried about who would come in from out of state to endorse me or not."

Borrowing a line from Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Coons suggested the race would be fought on issues important to Delaware voters, rather than in the national media spotlight. "It's often said that this is Joe Biden's seat," Coons said. "It's not. It's Delaware's seat."

Source: The Hill coverage of 2010 Delaware Senate debate , Sep 16, 2010

Religious freedom means no religious registry.

Coons signed opposing a religious registry

Press Release from 9 Senators: [Cory Booker and 13 co-sponsors] introduced legislation that would block a registry of people based on their religion, race, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, or nationality. "Religious freedom and freedom from discrimination are fundamental rights central to the very idea of being an American," Sen. Booker said. "Forcing people to sign up for a registry based on their religion, race, or national origin does nothing to keep America secure. It does, however, undermine the freedom of religion guaranteed by our Constitution and promote the false notion that people of certain faiths and nationalities are inherently suspect. Our legislation would block Donald Trump and subsequent administrations from infringing on religious liberty by creating an immigration-related religious registry."

National origin-based immigration registry systems have proven ineffective at combatting terrorism and strengthening national security, but effective at instilling fear in certain communities. The George W. Bush-era National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), registered over 83,000 individuals from 24 Muslim-majority countries, but yielded zero terrorism convictions.

Opposing argument: (GovTrack.us's analysis of S.54): President Trump pledged during his campaign to institute a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration and Syrian refugees "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." He made good on much of that promise with an executive order suspending America's refugee admission program for 120 days and banning all entry from seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days. Trump has defended a Muslim registry as necessary to national security. "They have to be [registered]. It's all about management. Our country has no management," he said when first proposing the idea in 2015. Trump reiterated his plans as president-elect in December.

Source: S.54 & H.R.5207 17-S0054 on Jan 5, 2017

Question Trump on Emoluments clause.

Coons signed questioning Trump on Emoluments clause

Excerpts from Letter from 17 Senators to Trump Organization: The Trump Organization's continuing financial relationship with President Trump raises concerns about whether it is a pass-through for income that violates the Constitution's two Emoluments Clauses: Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 on foreign Emoluments; and Article II, Clause 7 on domestic Emoluments. Please answer the following questions to help Congress understand:

Legal Analysis: (Cato Institute, "Emoluments Clause vs. Trump Empire," 11/29/16): The wording of the Emoluments clause points one way to resolution: Congress can give consent, as it did in the early years of the Republic to presents received by Ben Franklin. It can decide what it is willing to live with in the way of Trump conflicts. If it misjudges public opinion, it will pay a political price at the next election.

FOIA argument: (ACLU Center for Democracy, "FOIA Request," 1/19/17): We filed our first Freedom of Information Act request of the Trump Era, seeking documents relating President Trump's conflicts of interest relating to his business connections. When Trump took the oath of office, he didn't take the steps necessary to ensure that he and his family's business interests comply with the Constitution. Some have even argued that upon taking the oath of office, the new president is already violating the Emoluments Clause.

Source: Letter from 17 Senators 17LTR-EMOL on May 18, 2017

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