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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 52

Photo of Ryan Cunningham

Ryan Cunningham

Public Finance Banker
5,701 votes (2.5%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Ending illegal immigration
  • Stopping sewage from Mexico that closes our beaches on average 135 days per year.
  • Growing wages for Americans by reducing foreign labor, especially H-1B visas

Experience

Experience

Profession:Public Finance Banker
Director Public Finance, Hilltop Securities (2018–current)
Credit Analyst, Global Infrastructure and Project Finance, Fitch Ratings (2016–2017)
Consultant (North American Regional Coordinator), United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (2014–2015)
Consultant (Asset and Liabilities Management), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (2013–2013)
Vice President Public Finance, Southwest Securities, Inc. (2006–2012)

Education

Indiana University Bloomington Master of Public Affairs, Finance and International Commerce (2004)
Indiana University Bloomington Master of Arts, Latin American Studies (2004)
Saint Vincent College Bachelor of Science, Political Science (1998)

Biography

Ryan Cunningham was born in La Jolla, California and attended public school in La Jolla and Carmel Valley prior to graduating from Mira Mesa High School. His mother was a special education teacher in the San Diego Unified School District and his father a professor and men’s basketball coach at UCSD. In 2006, like so many, he fled California’s regressive agenda and relocated to San Antonio, Texas for the booming economy, low cost of living, and no state personal income tax. Ryan has served as a financial advisor and underwriter to municipalities throughout Texas and California, including many economically disadvantaged communities. His experience includes financing infrastructure projects for public-private partnerships, health care districts, school districts, cities, counties, utilities, and special districts; he has refinanced existing debt and lowered taxes. Mr. Cunningham has also served as a consultant to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative in Geneva, Switzerland in the fields of development and environmental finance: asset and liability management, portfolio decarbonization, green bonds, natural capital, energy efficiency, and responsible investing. Mr. Cunningham was a credit analyst for Latin American infrastructure and project finance transactions with an emphasis on cross-border transportation and energy projects in Peru, Argentina, and Mexico. He has worked in Mexico and across three different continents and is currently a public finance underwriter.

Mr. Cunningham holds an Associate of Arts from Palomar College in San Marcos, CA and a Bachelor of Science from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA; Mr. Cunningham was a member of both the men’s intercollegiate baseball and basketball teams at Palomar College and St. Vincent College. He earned a Master of Public Affairs with a concentration in public finance and trade, along with a Master of Arts in Caribbean and Latin American Studies from Indiana University Bloomington. Mr. Cunningham completed his graduate studies at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, Chile while interning for the Chilean American Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Cunningham has a certificate in Climate and Renewable Energy from Frankfurt (Germany) School of Banking and Management.

Mr. Cunningham is an advanced Spanish and an intermediate French speaker and has traveled extensively. He is an avid backpacker and camper, enjoying our nation’s greatest national parks and wildernesses.

 

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (3)

What financing method(s) would you support to repair or improve roads, rails, ports, airports, the electrical grid, and other infrastructure in the U.S.?
Answer from Ryan Cunningham:

There is a role for the federal government to supplement financing for projects, but project prioritization should be done at the local level. Funding of infrastructure from the federal government should be free of coercion that infringes upon the rights of citizens to organize their communities in the manner they prefer. Any future funding of infrastructure projects should:

1.  Mobilize resources to eliminate sewage spills from the Tijuana River.  This includes utilizing the public private partnership framework in Mexico that will incentive Mexico to pay for the necessary infrastructure improvements.  An availability-based project that only pays the operator of the sewage infrastructure if no sewage comes into the US is appropriate. Mexico has utilized this method of funding under its recenlty implemented public private partnership framework for numerous road rehabilitation projects throughout the country.  The key is to align incentives and appropriately transfer the risk away from the U.S.

2. Increase cap of bank qualified debt which provides municipalities with lower borrowing costs from the current $10M annually to $30M.

2. Federal funding for infrastructure projects will not be tied to development, especially increasing housing density.

3. Continue support for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act and Transportation Infrastructure and Innovation Act loan programs.

 

4. Protect tax-exempt status of municipal bonds and reinstate tax-exempt advance refundings that were eliminated with the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

5. Expand federal monies available to state development and infrastructure banks that will allow for greater project prioritization at the state and local level.

 

What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages to secure affordable health care?
Answer from Ryan Cunningham:

Our health care system must return to the free market principles of individual choice and increased competition that are proven to lower costs and provide better service.  This will empower individuals to make the health care choices that are best for them, not government bureaucrats or giant health monopolies that are engaged in crony capitalism.  I support portability of insurance when leaving a job, purchasing across state lines, transparent pricing for services and medication, and the ability of consumers to know in advance what the total cost of services will be, thus allowing them to make informed decisions when making health care decisions.  I will also push to increase the annual contribution limits to Health Savings and Flexible Spending Accounts, as no American should be exposed to financial ruin due to medical costs. Minimum policy requirements should be eliminated as individuals should determine their own coverage, not federal bureaucrats.  

Describe an immigration policy that you would support if presented to the House of Representatives.
Answer from Ryan Cunningham:

The sovereignty of any nation requires secure borders. The most essential purpose of government is to protect its citizens from foreign invasion and to provide for the common good of the people here legally. The United States does not currently have an immigration “system” in any true sense of the term, but rather a jumbled mess of arcane rules and regulations made via backroom deals that serve only the wealthy crony class, career politicians, and unelected special interests. These groups created the current “framework” that undercuts the interests of ordinary middle and working class Americans made up of every race, creed, and religion. This existing “framework” cannot be easily repaired and must be discarded, and any new immigration system must subsequently adhere to the following principles:

1. Eliminate illegal immigration entirely.

2. Reduce legal immigration to a level that does not depress wages for American workers.

3. End chain migration and replace it with a merit based system that does not greatly expand the
total U.S. population.

4. Prioritize US citizens in educational institutions and the workplace.

5. There will be no consideration of any amnesty for ANY illegal immigrants until complete border
security has been achieved (backed up by reliable data).

Ultimately, any reforms that are passed must be enforced, meaning that there must be “teeth” in legislation in order to prevent rogue judges and federal, state, and local governments from ignoring federal laws. This also means that interior enforcement of immigration laws must be greatly expanded, thereby eliminating the current farcical policy of allowing anyone who escapes border patrol detection and gets past the current 50 mile “buffer” zone of the Mexico/Canadian borders to remain without penalty.

In an age of global terror, drug cartels, and criminal gangs, the ultimate goal must be to have ZERO illegal immigrants residing in the United States. Similarly, the level and type of legal immigrants welcomed into the country must be based on what is actually needed for the benefit of the average American citizen, factoring in the cause and effect of immigrants on wages, access to education and other social services, affordability and access to housing and health care, impact on the environment, and the overall influence on American traditions and culture.

An effective and efficient immigration system that prioritizes the interests of its own citizens requires the following policy prescriptions:

1. Pass the Social Security Card Modernization Act.

2. Mandate that all illegal entry, overstaying visas, or falsifying U.S. citizenship or legal residency is a criminal offense.

3. Enforce ALL existing immigration laws.

4. Pass new immigration and asylum Laws.

5. Expedite asylum cases.

6. Tax remittances to fund border security and interior enforcement.

7. Fund the border wall, detention facilities, and hiring of immigration officials.

8. End birthright citizenship.

 

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $17,370

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Ryan Cunningham
$16,000
2
Employees of Fitch Ratings
$250
2
Employees of San Diego Unified
$250
2
Employees of University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
$250

More information about contributions

By State:

California 98.51%
New York 1.49%
98.51%

By Size:

Large contributions (96.43%)
Small contributions (3.57%)
96.43%

By Type:

From organizations (0.00%)
From individuals (100.00%)
100.00%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Fidelity to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and protecting our civil liberties is of paramount importance as they continue to be eroded.  The role of any federal government is to promote the welfare of its own citizens, not foreign nationals.  The sovereignty of the individual is the foundation of the American experience and government should be limited. Individuals should be empowered to make their own decisions.  This includes lower taxation and deciding how to spend their own money, raise their children, and purchase health insurance.  I trust the American people to know what is best for themselves and will work to expand liberty.

Videos (1)

— January 31, 2020 Candidate

Ryan Cunningham's candidacy for CA 52.

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