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Presidential candidate Andrew Yang promised to do what no other candidate has ever done at the third Democratic debate, and he revealed his legally-suspect strategy in his opening statement.
The entrepreneur announced that he would give $1,000 a month to ten randomly selected families that signed up at his website.
Yang’s campaign got a lot of attention when they hinted about the offering on Wednesday.
Andrew Yang’s campaign manager just called to tell me that at tomorrow night’s debate, Yang will be doing "something no presidential candidate has ever done before in history.” He declined to go further than that.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) September 11, 2019
Yang made the announcement during his opening statement.
“In America today everything revolves around the almighty dollar,” he began.
“It’s time to stop trusting politicians and start trusting ourselves – so I’m going to do something unprecedented tonight,” he continued.
“My campaign will now give a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month for an entire year to 10 American families,” he announced.
Many in the audience excitedly applauded.
But some experts believe that using money from the campaign to give to voters to use as they will might be a violation of campaign finance laws. The Yang campaign said they had investigated the matter and saw no problem.
“If you believe that you can solve your problems better than any politician, go to Yang2020.com and tell us how $1,000 a month will help you do that just that,” Yang concluded. “This how we will get out country working for us again, the American people.”
The give-away is a part of his official platform — he wants to provide a basic income of $1,000 on a monthly basis to every American adult if elected. The proposal is estimated to cost upwards of $2.8 billion.
Yang also raised some eyebrows when he jokingly remarked later, “I’m Asian, so I know a lot of doctors…”
Here’s the video of Yang’s announcement: