The Lumberjack

HSU professor Kevin Murray exits race for California’s 2nd State Assembly district

Humboldt State political science lecturer Kevin Murray. Photo by Tyrone McDonald.

“Politicians are owned by corporations and businesses.”

Humboldt State political science professor Kevin Murray announced that he is exiting the race for California’s 2nd State Assembly district on March 18. It’s Murray’s third year of lecturing political science at HSU and his 27th year of teaching in total.

Campaign donations play a big role in winning an election, and the majority of the people in the 2nd State Assembly district live in Sonoma County. The 2nd State Assembly district stretches from north of Santa Rosa and ends at the Oregon border.

Murray’s opponent, Jim Wood, lives in Healdsburg, which is a city located in Sonoma County.

“Politicians cannot afford to run for office unless they raise money,” Murray said. “Politicians raise money from the traditional contributions of [businesses] and corporations.”

Murray said that the Democratic Party has turned into “Berniecrats” and “Corporatecrats.”

“Politicians are owned by corporations and businesses,” Murray said.

Murray chose to only accept private campaign contributions and no corporate or business campaign contributions.

“If I were to take business contributions, I would be obligated to [vote] for those business contributors’ interests,” Murray said.

In Murray’s press release about stepping out of the race, he talked about the need for publicly financed campaigns.

Murray has keen insights into the social, political and capital interests prevailing in America.

“The marketplace of Ideas is a fallacy and a farce until we have publicly financed campaigns,” Murray said. “It takes any candidate at least two years to raise enough money to run for office, and that is no guarantee the candidate would have raised enough money.”

Murray believes in single-payer healthcare, where the California State Health Care Commission receives healthcare benefits and the commission would, in turn, pay the doctors. This eliminates the insurance companies with public stock.

“Health care should never be surrendered to the marketplace,” Murray said.

Murray is for farmworkers receiving overtime pay, as Murray’s mother was a farmworker.

Murray is for corporations that don’t hire personnel from overseas at half the salary of an American citizen and those that don’t have a negative impact on the environment. He also measures corporations and businesses on how well they treat their employees.

“Arcata has no rent control. Every student at Humboldt State will see their rent increase at least once in the time they spend at school,” Murray said. “What if their rent doubled? It could happen without rent control.”

Murray said that our society is based on special interest groups funded by the wealthy and powerful.

“We cannot elect progressive members who are not beholden to corporate and business interests to pass policies to provide the majority with more money, time and a higher quality of life,” Murray said.