For generations, we Americans have labored to establish a more just, secure, and prosperous nation. One in which all are treated fairly, and all are provided with the opportunity to excel. And while we have made considerable progress over the years, we have yet to establish the kind of more perfect union envisioned by our most thoughtful founders and descendants.
We have fallen short, in large part, because our governing infrastructure is as outdated as many of our roads, ports, and bridges. Partisan gridlock, government dysfunction, and political disinformation abound, and our imperfect democracy is in danger of becoming even more flawed.
Strengthening Democracy and Governance
To fix this, we need to do more than simply changing who we elect every two to six years. We need to think bigger and act boldly. More specifically, we need to substantially reform our governing practices and institutions and eliminate the excessive and corrupting influence that money, wealth, and misinformation have over our politics and government.
I am running for the United States Senate because I want to help in furthering this critical work by advancing long overdue legislative and constitutional reforms that will not only aid in strengthening our democracy and economy, but also help in protecting our rights (including women's reproductive rights) and freedoms, and assist in addressing such pressing problems as climate change, uneven economic prosperity, inadequate health care, shoddy infrastructure, underperforming schools, and insufficient retirement security.
Doing More for Maine
I am also running because I want to help in ensuring that all Mainers have access to affordable, quality healthcare and are provided with the education, job skills, and other life enriching opportunities to thrive. Having grown up in Old Town in a working-class family, I can appreciate the challenges confronting many of Maine’s less affluent families. For too long, too many Maine communities have watched the promise of the next generation slip away for lack of good paying jobs and career prospects.
As Maine’s Senator, I will fight for more funding for education and worker training programs; transportation, clean energy, and communications infrastructure; and innovative economic and community development initiatives.
Ideas Matter - So Too Does Experience.
With more than twenty-five years of senior-level government experience, I believe that I have the knowledge and skills necessary to make a meaningful difference in Washington. During my career, I have managed complex, multi-million dollar programs and operations including initiatives to combat climate change, revitalize communities, protect public health and the environment, and advance peaceful democratic change in such conflict-torn countries as Cambodia, Haiti, Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, and Kosovo.
In closing, I would add that I am the proud son of an Army veteran and AFL-CIO organizer and grandson of French and Irish American shoe, textile, and railroad workers. I know the value of hard work. I understand the importance of a solid education, and I appreciate the constructive role that democratic government is obliged to play.
I will work hard for every vote, and I ask for your support.
P.S. Please check out my ambitious Reform Agenda and Policy Priorities pages for more detail.
MAINE VOICES: TOO HOT TO IGNORE – MUCH MORE ACTION IS NEEDED TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE August 17, 2023 We need to immediately develop and implement an aggressive national, science-based climate plan, including a panel that evaluates and reports on our progress and recommends needed adjustments.
DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATE DAVID COSTELLO SAYS AN ALL THE ABOVE APPROACH WOULD LIKELY WORK BEST TO TACKLE GUN VIOLENCE IN THE UNITED STATES June 26, 2023 Like many Mainers, I grew up learning to hunt and shoot and to handle guns safely and responsibly. I took gun safety very seriously then and, given the long-standing rise in gun violence, I take it even more seriously today.When people talk of gun safety today, hunting, target shooting, and gun ownership are seldom, if ever, really at issue. At issue, is the proliferation in the sale and violent misuse of non-hunting guns and magazines and the counterproductive weakening and rejection of laws designed to reduce gun violence. While I would never support denying responsible, law-abiding citizens their right to own a gun, I do support markedly strengthening our nation’s gun safety laws and regulations. Gun violence is on the rise throughout the United States, and appallingly, since 2020, it has surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death for American children. The fact that the U.S. House and Senate have done little over the last 30 years to address gun violence is unconscionable. Everything that can be done - from expanded mental health services, stricter gun crime sentencing, and increased community policing to waiting periods, universal background checks, and assault weapons bans – should be done to reduce gun related deaths, injuries, and crime in the United States. To continue to do less is unacceptable.
DEMOCRATIC U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE DAVID COSTELLO URGES SUPPORT FOR TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY FOR MAINE'S FOUR INDIGENOUS TRIBES June 26, 2023 Brunswick – Democratic Senate Candidate David Costello today released a statement urging support for tribal sovereignty for Maine’s four indigenous tribes. Costello stated, “unlike the Nation’s other 570 federally recognized tribes, Maine’s Penobscot, Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, and Passamaquoddy tribes are unnecessarily and detrimentally excluded from automatically receiving a range of federal health care, economic development, environmental protection, emergency response assistance, and other benefits.” Costello noted that a recent Harvard University study concluded that tribal self-determination and government has contributed to significant economic growth and other benefits for the vast majority of other indigenous tribes in the United States. Additionally, and importantly for many rural towns and villages in Maine, the study also concluded that there were significant spill-over benefits for neighboring non-tribal communities. Costello added that the study found: “Unique to Maine, the federal Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 (MICSA) empowers the state government to block the applicability of federal Indian policy in Maine. As a result, the development of the Wabanaki Nations’ economies and governmental capacities have been stunted. Today, all four of the tribes in Maine—Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot—are stark economic underperformers relative to the other tribes in the Lower 48 states. The subjugation of the Wabanaki Nation’s self-governing capacities is blocking economic development to the detriment of both tribal and non- tribal citizens, alike. For the tribal citizens of Maine held down by MICSA’s restrictions, loosening or removing those restrictions offers them little in the way of downside risks and but much in the way of upside payoffs. Importantly, we find in this study that “nowhere to go but up” also applies to the Maine state government and Maine’s non-tribal citizens. From case after case, the pattern that has emerged under federal policies of tribal self-determination through self-government is one in which tribal economic development spills over positively into neighboring non-tribal communities and improves the abilities of state and local governments to serve their citizens.” Costello concluded, “As the study emphasizes, there is ‘nowhere to go but up’ for Maine and Maine communities and thus there is unlikely to be any substantial downside to granting tribal sovereignty to Maine’s four tribes. Moreover, granting Maine's tribes sovereignty is long overdue and the right thing to do both morally and ethically.”
U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE DAVID COSTELLO'S OP-ED June 13, 2023 To Truly Fix Washington, We Must Substantially Overhaul Our Governing Practices and Institutions For generations, we Americans have labored to establish a more just, secure, and prosperous nation. One in which all are treated fairly and all are provided with the opportunity to excel. And while we have made considerable progress over the years, we have yet to establish the kind of more perfect union envisioned by our most thoughtful founders and descendants. We have fallen short, in large part, because our governing infrastructure is as deficient and outdated as many of our roads, ports, and bridges. Partisan gridlock abounds, and our imperfect democracy is in danger of becoming even more flawed. The latest example being Washington’s current battle over the Nation’s debt limit. To fix Washington, we need to do more than simply change who we elect every two to six years. We need to substantially reform our governing practices and institutions, and we need to eliminate the excessive and corrupting influence that money, wealth, and disinformation have over our politics and government. Specifically, we should, in the near term: · Pass the Freedom to Vote Act. · Ban gerrymandering and eliminate the Senate’s filibuster. · Establish an independent Government Accountability and Performance Commission. · Impose term limits and retirement age requirements on federal judges, including Supreme Court justices. · Increase funding for non-partisan public news broadcasting. · Require social media platforms to adhere to reasonable public interest rules. · Ratify the “For Our Freedom Amendment” to better regulate campaign contributions and spending. And, over the longer term: · Abolish the Electoral College and establish a system of directly electing presidents and include ranked choice voting (RCV) when there are more than two candidates. · Restructure the U.S. Senate so that its allocation of power is more in-line with a state’s population. · Overhaul the U.S. House so that it is comprised of non-gerrymandered, multi-winner districts. · Revise the terms and impose 24-year term limits on U.S. senators and representatives. · Streamline the U.S. Constitution’s amendment process so that it is no longer virtually impossible to update our national charter. Specifically, modify the amendment process to require no more than 60% approval from both houses of Congress and ratifying support from states representing 62% or more of the nation’s population. While pursuing and achieving these reforms will not be easy, the potential benefits of doing so — including better-protected rights and freedoms and more adequately addressed problems like climate change, economic inequality, inadequate health care, shoddy infrastructure, underperforming schools, and insufficient retirement security — make attempting to pursue and achieve them well worth the effort. By David Costello Democratic Candidate for the U.S. Senate www.costelloforsenate.com
GOVERNMENT REFORM ADVOCATE ENTERS RACE FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE April 12, 2023 Brunswick – Government reform advocate and Brunswick resident, David Costello, announced today that he is entering the race for the United States Senate. A native of Old Town, Costello returned to Maine in 2019 after having served as a senior aide to the mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland and having helped to manage Maryland’s environmental protection agency (MDE). Prior to working in Maryland, Costello worked largely overseas for the U.S. Government, responding to political, economic, and humanitarian crises in Cambodia, Haiti, Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, and Kosovo. Costello said that he has decided to run for the U.S. Senate because, “like many Mainers, he’s grown tired of the level of acrimony and dysfunction in Washington and Congress’s inability to act and to act in ways that serve the best interests of all Americans.” “For generations,” Costello added, “we Americans have labored to establish a more just, secure, and prosperous nation. And while we’ve made considerable progress over the years, we have yet to establish the kind of more perfect union envisioned by our most thoughtful founders and descendants.” Costello contends that “we have fallen short, in large part, because our governing infrastructure is as outdated as many of our roads, ports, and bridges. Partisan gridlock, government ineffectiveness, and political disinformation abound, and our imperfect democracy is in danger of becoming even more flawed.” “To fix Washington,” Costello argues “we need to do more than simply changing who we elect every two to six years. We need to think bigger and act boldly to substantially reform our governing practices and institutions, and eliminate the excessive and corrupting influence that money, wealth, and misinformation have over our politics and government.” Costello further added that he is running because he wants “to help in advancing long overdue legislative and constitutional reforms. Reforms that will not only aid in strengthening our democracy, government, and economy, but also help in protecting our rights and freedoms, and assist in addressing such pressing problems as climate change, uneven economic prosperity, inadequate health insurance, shoddy infrastructure, underperforming schools, and insufficient retirement security.” Costello, a democrat, attended the University of Maine in Orono and is a graduate of the George Washington University and London School of Economics and Political Science. For more detail on Costello’s ambitious reform agenda and policy priorities visit www.costelloforsenate.com.