The Democrat challenging Republican John Cornyn for his U.S. Senate seat knows he has an uphill battle against a better funded, established candidate. So why is David Alameel running?
“I want to clean up the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party has too many elites who have their own agenda,” he said during a wide-ranging interview with KERA.
Alameel, 62, believes the opportunities that led him from poverty in Israel and Lebanon, to dental school in San Antonio, to making a fortune from the sale of his 26 dental clinics- he believes those opportunities are slipping away from the middle class.
“I’m angry that both the Republicans and Democrats, what I call Wall Street Democrats, they want us to keep fighting each other and divide us over social issues while they continue to transform our country into a minimum wage nation under our noses. I think that is not what the Democratic Party is all about.”
Alameel says he reads more than 50 websites a day to stay abreast of the geopolitical issues he needs to know about as he trades currencies and makes investments.
Eliminate Overseas Tax Shelters
In his view, Wall Street has taken over Washington, rewarding politicians with tax breaks and financial incentives when they take their businesses overseas.
“Over the last 35 years they shipped 50 million of our manufacturing jobs overseas," he said. "That’s five times more than the financial crisis destroyed. They also allowed corporations to offshore trillions of our dollars tax free into offshore accounts and tax safe-haven countries. They nearly destroyed the middle class."
Alameel believes eliminating the overseas tax shelters would bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States. More working people earning decent pay would help fund entitlements for baby boomers who are signing up for Medicare and Social Security, and reduce the deficit.
“Corporations should pay taxes on the money they make overseas. They avoid paying taxes on millions and millions of dollars by buying up a P.O. Box in the Cayman Islands. It’s all a matter of cheating but it’s legal because Washington gave them that privilege,” he said.
Better Planning Before Deploying Troops
Alameel served four years in the U.S. Army, but believes troops are committed too quickly without having an end strategy. He wants President Barack Obama to develop a more solid plan before going after Islamic terrorists.
“Just saying 'let's go bomb, let's put our troops on the ground;' it’s always reactionary after we create the problem,” Alameel said.
He disagrees with Republican opponent Cornyn who wants the U.S. to arm Ukrainians in their fight against separatists and Russia. He believes the solution lies in convincing Ukraine it shouldn’t join the European Union, because that’s inflaming its neighbor.
“Do we need right now to get involved in this conflict with Russia?" Alameel says. "If we cannot solve this problem properly then we’re left with war. Then we will have to do what Cornyn does. But I think this problem is solvable.”
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Where Alameel most sounds like a Democrat is in his support for raising the minimum wage and passing comprehensive immigration reform.
“We have people who have been here 20 years, 25 years," he said. "They have children. They have grandchildren. They deserve a path to citizenship. Not all of them will qualify for that. At least we give others a green card, a permanent stay, we stop deporting them. As long as they’re law abiding, as long as they’re hard working, and they’re productive people we should make them citizens.”
Alameel, who’s lived in Dallas more than three decades, ran unsuccessfully for Congress two years ago. He’s realistic about his long odds for winning this time. But he says running the race is worth it because it gives him a platform for his ideas.