October 23, 2018

2018 Candidate Comparison: California’s 49th Congressional District

Diane Harkey

Republican Incumbent

Mike Levin

Democratic Challenger

Iran Deal


Harkey was highly critical of the Iran deal and her campaign website states: “The Obama Administration’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a complete failure; it has neither curbed Iran’s nuclear ambitions nor reduced its aggressive behavior throughout the world.”


Levin supports the Iran deal: “After two years since its adoption, we can say that the JCPOA has been a success.”

He also pledges to oppose any attempt to undermine the Iran deal including sanctions that may violate it. Levin believes sanctions should not be conducted unilaterally without U.S. allies.

Diplomacy with Iran


Harkey supports a hawkish and conflict prone policy toward Iran: “The United States must confront Iran’s aggression by taking firm action to support our regional allies and establish a clear approach that addresses Iran’s dangerous behavior and the underlying flaws within the JCPOA. We must toughen sanctions against those supporting Iran’s missile program and work to ensure Israel has the means to defend itself against a growing Iranian threat.”


Levin advocates for further diplomatic efforts with Iran: “The United States role and relevance can only be maintained through continued efforts to engage in constructive negotiations. The US must be willing to recognize and reward forward steps through diplomatic efforts.”

Muslim Ban



Harkey supports a hardline approach to immigration, state immigration police, and was even featured in an endorsement by the nativist group San Diegans for Secure Borders (SDSB) until media pressure led her to remove it from her website. She has not opposed the Muslim Ban.



Levin opposes the Muslim Ban which he believes violates the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause and one of the two religion clauses of the First Amendment.

He thinks the ban reflects “hysteria” rather than the hard facts: “Congress should provide more opportunities for hearing and debate on the Muslim Ban.  The Republican-led House convened a task force to evaluate terrorist threats from abroad prior to Trump’s election and did not find that nationals from Trump’s ‘banned’ list posed a threat. Not a single person from the so-called banned countries has ever been involved in a terrorism-related death on U.S. soil. Yet not one of these facts has been raised or debated in an official Congressional setting.”


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