Jon Ossoff on Principles & Values



Parents' success helped me, I want to help others

Both of my parents were the first in their families to graduate college. My mother immigrated to this country alone as a young woman when she was 23 years old. And I'm grateful that their success allowed me, for example, to graduate college without debt, a privilege that so many Americans don't have, to pursue service in public service and as a journalist. And now I want to serve the state of Georgia in the U.S. Senate so that others can have the opportunities to pursue their dreams.
Source: CNN State of the Union on 2020 Georgia Senate race , Jan 3, 2021

Refusal to debate shows arrogance & sense of entitlement

[Upon Sen. David Perdue not showing up for the runoff debate]: "I regret that someone who is supposed to be a public servant didn't join us. I truly regret that we haven't had the opportunity to debate the issues, because the people deserve it," Ossoff said in his closing remarks.

"It shows an astonishing arrogance and sense of entitlement for Georgia's senior US senator to believe he shouldn't have to debate at a moment like this in our history," Ossoff said.

Source: The Independent on Senate Runoff:2020 Georgia Senate debate , Dec 6, 2020

Standard for Senators higher than not being prosecuted

The standard for conduct for a US Senator needs to be higher than that he wasn't criminally prosecuted. This conduct is obviously deeply unethical and his lies all year, that he doesn't personally direct his stock trades, have been exposed as lies. We have to have a higher bar for those who represent us in office that they avoided indictment for conduct that is obviously unethical.
Source: Senate Runoff: 2020 Georgia Senate race press conference , Nov 30, 2020

On Day One, I'll place my stock portfolio in a blind trust

On day one, I will place my stock portfolio in a blind trust. Senator Perdue still refuses to give up control of his stock portfolio and he's been lying about his personal day-to-day control of that portfolio, because we now know that he's been personally directing stock trades. I'll introduce legislation to ban members of Congress from trading individual stocks. This is unethical, it's a huge conflict of interest. It's part of this deeper corruption in Washington that we have to root out.
Source: Senate Runoff: 2020 Georgia Senate race press conference , Nov 30, 2020

Criticizes "cultural elitism" of Hollywood

Despite his close ties to the entertainment industry, Ossoff decries the "cultural elitism" of Hollywood. "There is a sense in the rest of the country that some folks in Hollywood look down [on them] and that cultural elitism can be a distraction, and corrosive to the effort to build a broad coalition focused on improving our quality of life, solving our healthcare crisis and delivering investment and infrastructure," he told Variety.
Source: Fox News on 2020 Georgia Senate race , Nov 4, 2020

Multiracial coalition with shared values emerging

Republicans have tried to divide people along racial lines to prevent the emergence of a multiracial coalition that recognizes shared economic and health issues and shares a commitment to civil rights. It's a multiracial, multigenerational coalition with a shared sense of values that will carry us to victory.
Source: The Nation magazine on 2020 Georgia Senate race , Oct 26, 2020

Dedicated my career to fighting corruption

Lobbying and political contributions should not buy bailout money, unfair subsidies, or impunity for labor and environmental abuses. I've dedicated my career to fighting corruption. I run a business that investigates bribery and the abuse of power worldwide. I'm not taking contributions from corporate PACs or Congressional lobbyists. As Georgia's Senator, I will be accountable exclusively to the people of our state.
Source: 2020 Georgia Senate campaign website ElectJon.com , Jul 2, 2020

His faith informs his approach to politics

Ossoff, who is Jewish, said that his faith informs his approach to politics. "The experience of persecution and flight and massacre of my ancestors," he said, "influences and strengthens my commitment to standing up alongside marginalized, dispossessed and persecuted people in solidarity with them to defend the human rights of all."
Source: The Jewish Insider on 2020 Georgia Senate race , Jun 5, 2020

Early campaign pledge: "Make Trump Furious"

One topic Ossoff diligently avoided: Trump. Ossoff jumped into the 6th District contest earlier with a pledge to "Make Trump Furious," but the 30-year-old political newcomer has since largely distanced himself from that rhetoric in a bid to win over independents and wobbly Republicans.

Overall, Republican Karen Handel aligned herself with the president when asked about the biggest items on his agenda, but she also indicated she wasn't afraid of disagreeing with him. She backed the Trump's proposal to temporarily block visitors from six primarily Muslim Middle East nations, but was also was critical of Trump's constant social media use.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 2017 Georgia House debate , Jun 6, 2017

Supported by national anti-Trump neophyte networks

Ossoff, one of 18 candidates on the special election ballot, was lifted from obscurity on a wave of local and national anti-Trump sentiment. He raised a jaw-dropping $8.3 million, more than quadruple the haul brought in by the next-best fund-raiser, the Republican Dan Moody. Much of that money came from angry liberals outside Georgia hoping to send Trump a message at the ballot box.

Locally, Ossoff was aided by formal and informal networks of progressives that sprouted and grew like mushrooms after Trump's victory. Many participants were political neophytes and women who had taken part in the anti-Trump marches after the inauguration. Hundreds of highly motivated volunteers knocked on doors, wrote postcards to voters and drove them to the polls.

Georgia's Sixth District, which encompasses a number of majority-white suburbs north of Atlanta, is home to a well-heeled professional class. Ossoff's résumé, if not necessarily his politics, is the type that would make any soccer mom proud.

Source: N.Y.Times on 2017 Georgia 6th House special election , Apr 19, 2017

Campaign slogan: Make Trump Furious

Though his campaign used the slogan "Make Trump Furious," Ossoff, in person, takes the opposite of a sound-and-fury approach. As a candidate, he tends to run more cool than hot, with a deliberative, professorial style somewhat similar to Barack Obama's. He is unabashed about his support for traditional liberal causes, including abortion rights, but in television ads, he often emphasizes more anodyne positions, like fighting wasteful spending in Washington and creating more tech jobs at home.
Source: N.Y.Times on 2017 Georgia 6th House special election , Apr 19, 2017

Interned for Rep. John Lewis and Rep. Hank Johnson

Ossoff's interest in politics was first stirred as a 17-year-old student at the Paideia School when he read John Lewis' autobiography and was moved to ask the congressman for a job. That turned into an internship in the Atlanta Democrat's Washington office. As a student at Georgetown University, Ossoff volunteered for Hank Johnson's 2006 campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney. After Johnson's congressional victory, Ossoff worked as a legislative aide to the new congressman.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 2017 Georgia 6th House race , Apr 18, 2017

Promises to move to 6th district after girlfriend graduates

Ossoff, a north DeKalb County native, does not reside in the 6th Congressional District, living just south of it so his girlfriend of 12 years, an Emory University medical student, can walk to work. Members of Congress don't have to live in their districts, but Ossoff has said he will move to the 6th after she graduates.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 2017 Georgia 6th House race , Apr 18, 2017

Create Commission to investigate Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

Ossoff voted YEA creating a January 6th Commission

Bill summary:The select committee must (1) conduct an investigation of the relevant facts and circumstances relating to the attack on the Capitol; (2) identify, review, and evaluate the causes of and the lessons learned from this attack; and (3) submit a report containing findings, conclusions, and recommendations to prevent future acts of violence, domestic terrorism, and domestic violent extremism, and to improve the security of the U.S. Capitol Complex and other American democratic institutions.

CBS News summary, by Grace Segers on June 30, 2021:H.R. 3233 would have created a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the root causes of the breach of the U.S. Capitol, modeled after the 9/11 Commission.

On May 28, the House passed the bill by a vote of 222 to 190, including 35 Republican votes. It then failed in the Senate, where it received an insufficient number of Republican votes to advance.

In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on June 24 that the House would establish a select committee [appointed by House Democrats, instead of a bipartisan independent commission] to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection and general security issues related to the incident. Pelosi said its leadership and members would be announced later. The House passed the resolution to form the committee on June 29, 2021, by a vote of 222-190.

OnTheIssues note: The Senate voting record refers to the earlier rejected bill H.R. 3233, and the House voting record refers to the later bill H.Res.503. The later bill had no Senate vote (but the two House votes were almost identical).

Source: Congressional vote 21-HR503 on May 28, 2021

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Page last updated: Dec 26, 2021