There are plenty of people in Washington looking out for the billion dollar corporations and lobbying for Wall Street. I've been an outsider, but for years, I've been fighting for middle class families, taking on big banks, putting forward new ideas, and working to turn those ideas into a reality that makes a difference for people. That's what I'll keep doing once I'm in the U.S. Senate. I'll be there fighting for small businesses and middle class families.

I want you to know what I believe, where I stand, and what I'll fight for as your United States Senator. I want to help rebuild America's middle class. I want people who work hard and play by the rules to have real opportunities to get ahead.  I want us to build a better tomorrow for ourselves and our children.

During the Great Depression and the years after World War II, our country made two remarkable decisions. First, in a boom-and-bust world, we created a basic set of fair rules that ended the financial panics and provided almost a half-century of economic stability and growth. Second, we invested in ourselves and our children, creating the basic building blocks for a strong middle class and a strong economy: education, roads and bridges, mass transit and rail, water and sewage, research, and energy. It worked. America's middle class prospered. We celebrated success, but we always paid ahead, making sure that the basic ingredients would be in place so the next generation could do even better.

But about a generation ago, Washington turned in a different direction and changed the rules.

Financial cops were taken off the beat, and government regulators began to work for those they were supposed to regulate. We fought wars we didn't pay for, recklessly piling on debt. Powerful companies got subsidies, and ordinary families and small businesses had to pick up the burden. We didn't repair our roads and bridges, and we cut back on research.  We stopped investing in our future.    

We now face a serious choice about what kind of people we are and what kind of country we are going to build.

Are we going to be a country that continues to subsidize old industries like big oil that are already profitable? Or are we going to be a country that invests in the future, like education and clean energy?

Are we going to be a country that continues to provide giveaways to the big banks that brought down the economy? Or are we going to hold them accountable and help level the playing field so that middle class families can build a future?

Are we a country that believes, "I got mine, and the rest of you are on your own?" Or are we a country that believes that we make investments in our future so that we can thrive and our kids can do better than we do?

I believe we must be a country with a level playing field, where everyone willing to work hard has a chance get ahead. We need laws and regulations that hold even powerful interests accountable, not laws that tangle up entrepreneurs, small businesses, and families that can't hire an army of lawyers. We must be a country investing in opportunity--in first-class education, in basic infrastructure, in 21st century manufacturing, and in research. This is what defined America once and it can again.