Why are you running?
America is the best concept for good, prosperity, and freedom the world has ever seen and I’m tired of seeing it lose its force in the world because of a gridlocked and ineffective government. We’re losing ground on the world stage and we’re losing ground with our own people as they lose faith in their government.
I think veterans from the new greatest generation are a critical piece to making our country and government healthy and working again. I’m tired of hearing how bad our country is, and how it is destined to fail. We’ve been through tough times before, and I believe our greatest days are ahead of us, if we elect the right leaders to get us there.
I have the right mix of integrity, character, responsibility, accountability, service and experience to lead the types of coalitions that can get results for America and its citizens.
The 4th District is my home. I grew up in Auburn, and my parents still live in the district in Lincoln. I attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School and graduated from Placer High School. I spent 12 years in local Scouting, reached the rank of Eagle Scout and spent time in leadership of Auburn’s Troop 19 and summers in Soda Springs and Truckee as a shooting sports and wilderness skills instructor. I know the District and its people, and I know they want a Representative who lives here, and will work hard for their interests in Washington. I will keep an open door and work past gridlock. I will work for jobs, individual liberties, roads and water infrastructure, rational federal lands management, and ensure we keep our promises to America’s veterans and seniors.
We need ethically strong dedicated and motivated leaders to make tough and critical decisions for the future of the 4th District and for America.
What do you believe are your qualifications for this office?
I am a West Point graduate, Iraq War combat veteran and Bronze Star recipient, with a combined fourteen years of Active Duty and National Guard service, including thirty months deployed overseas. My career also includes eight years as a business executive in the building products industry and U.S. Intelligence Community. I am proud to have earned endorsements from former U.S. Senator and California Governor Pete Wilson, Congressman (Ret.) George Radanovich, The Fresno Bee, Combat Veterans for Congress PAC and numerous County Supervisors.
I experienced first-hand the consequences of defense and foreign policy decisions made in Washington. As an executive in the building products industry and as a management consultant, I experienced the challenges of trying to create jobs in the face of ever-growing regulations and red tape, taxes, and other mandates coming from unaccountable bureaucracies. As a life-long outdoorsman, I have seen how the federal lands of our District have changed as resource questions have been stymied by gridlock rather than guided by good science and sound management practices. I have seen and experienced how decisions made in Washington affect people, both for the good and for the bad, and as your Congressman my decisions will be guided by what is best for the people of this District.
What is your top priority currently?
My top priority will be to rebuild middle class jobs. While most coastal areas of California now show some jobs growth, this economic recovery bypassed most of the interior regions including the counties of the 4th District. More critically, this economic recovery skipped many of our middle class jobs, with job growth predominantly in the higher and lower wages. Unemployment remains unacceptably high. Even those with jobs face underemployment, working only part-time, and far too many have simply given up and left the workforce.
Rather than tackling the recession with actions to stimulate job growth, the federal government responded with decisions that made things worse. Tax increases hurt investment and left families with reduced incomes. New rules increased the cost of hiring new workers and therefore decreased the likelihood that new workers will be hired. Continued court rulings took federal statutes intended to conserve our natural resources, and turned them into an ungovernable mass of rules that hinder natural resource management and the jobs that depend on reasoned and balanced planning. A continuing stream of new regulations has increased costs, threats of litigation, and uncertainty to businesses trying to create jobs.
Tell me your position and why, on water rights.
California has a well-developed system of water rights, and federal agencies need to respect this structure by working in partnership with state and local agencies rather than continuing to seek regulatory and procedural ways around it. Of the three key classes of California water rights, probably the least developed from a case-law perspective is Area of Origin rights, but this class is also of primary interest to the counties of our District and their ability to ensure future water supplies for local community and economic needs as the rest of our state continues to grow.
The 4th District holds many of the key resources and water infrastructure that not only supply our area, but also contain critical components to state-wide, regional, and other local systems. Given the importance of the state and federal decisions to the water resources of our region, we need to be the leader and not the follower in how and when these decisions are made.
State and federal agencies have spent nearly a quarter of a century and well over $5 billion on studies, planning, and other measures intended to ensure reliable water supplies needed by farms, cities, and the environment in our growing state. When state and federal water projects announced they reduced water deliveries to zero earlier this year, the enormity of their failure became clear.
There is no reason why our jobs and our quality of life should now be at such risk. We need to stop wasting public funds and resources on yet another quarter century of studies. We need to start making the hard decisions now on improvements to our water infrastructure, starting with additional above ground water storage required to meet the needs of all water users in the state.
Tell me your position and why, on the Affordable Care Act.
Federal health care reform was supposed to do two basic things: reduce growing health care costs and provide health care coverage for the small percentage who had no other option. It was not supposed to complicate health insurance for the 80-90% who were already covered. It was not supposed to make health care more costly, more uncertain, subject to the whims of an incompetent bureaucracy, and impose an unfair economic burden on young adults and families just starting out in life.
We need to get back to basics. We need targeted programs to ensure health insurance is available to those without the means to afford it on their own, and to ensure affordable coverage is available to those with pre-existing conditions. We need to make good on the promise that those who liked their health insurance, their doctors, and their medical providers can truly keep them. We need real cost saving measures—not simply promises of future Congressional action—starting with lawsuit reforms that ensure our health care dollars go to actual medical care and not to lawyers.
The federal agencies now claim that more than 8 million previously uninsured persons have gained coverage, but much of this gain has come from expansion of the federal Medicaid program—Medi-Cal as it is operated in California. One recent study estimates that of those who have bought policies on the state and federal health exchanges, only 26% were previously uninsured. These are changes that could have been achieved more directly, at far less cost, and with far less disruption to the vast majority of Americans who were already covered by health insurance.
Tell me your position and why, on military support in Iraq.
The entire free world depends on a strong America. Iraq’s vulnerabilities are not only a national security threat to America, but to the entire free world. Coalition partners are looking to America to provide leadership, and we should do so with a rational national security strategy, even if it means putting boots on the ground where appropriate.
Tell me your position and why, on military support in the Ukraine.
The situation posed by the Ukraine provides no easy answers. There are questions over the level of military support that the Ukraine is capable of handling given the conditions of its armed forces, weakness of the government, and rampant corruption. But the Ukraine situation also presents broader questions to how effective US foreign policy can be if our allies can no longer depend on our commitments. The Ukraine voluntarily surrendered its nuclear weapons in exchange for security assurances from the US, the United Kingdom, and Russia--including its territorial integrity--under the Budapest Memorandum. Yet, Russia has seized the Crimea, appears ready to do the same with large sections of Western Ukraine, and has already begun making threatening moves targeting NATO member states in the Baltics. As a non-NATO state, direct military support in the Ukraine should not be part of the question, but provision of training and appropriate defensive weapons should be.
Tell me how you plan to create jobs.
We need to reform government spending—bring spending in line with revenues and eliminate the looming tax increases threatened by our growing debts. Simplify the tax system and reduce its disincentives to creating middle class jobs. Stop issuing new regulations and review the ones we have to eliminate the abuses created by the bureaucracies and courts and take them back to their intended purposes. Ensure that job-creating incentives are available for all our jobs, and not just the politically favored few bolstered by their lobbyists in Washington.
And finally, tell me how you will help the over 100,000 veterans in your district with services, representation and care.
Coming from service in Active Duty and the National Guard, I have considerable empathy over the challenges to our veterans as they attempt to access the services promised them in the face of government shutdowns, funding shortfalls, and the sheer incompetence shown by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The 4th District has one of the highest concentrations of veterans of all the Congressional districts in California, and ensuring adequate veterans’ services should be a priority of anyone who seeks this office. I will keep an open door and continue meeting with veterans’ groups throughout the District, ensure that constituent services remains the highest priority for my District and Washington staff, and vote according to the interests of the District. And unlike my opponent, this will mean opposing government shutdowns that harm veterans, seniors, and small businesses. Voting for and not against Veterans funding. And being willing to engage with bureaucracies such as the Veterans Department to forge needed reforms.
In closing, I would like to allow you to add up to a 300 word count statement so that you may touch on issues I have not put forth.
The framers of the Constitution designed the House of Representatives to be the most democratic body of the national government. Small population sizes and elections every two years would ensure responsiveness and hold representatives accountable to the people they’re supposed to be representing.
I grew up and live in the 4th District. As your representative, I will work to address our tough challenges, and ensure the voices of our constituents are heard and the best interests of the district are represented. I believe in individual liberty, limited government, and personal responsibility; and I am passionate about fixing a federal government that is not working for the district and for the vast majority of Americans.
My work won’t stop with votes cast or floor speeches given, because I know that votes and floor speeches in Washington alone won’t create jobs, recover the damage done by the government shutdown, improve our management of natural resources, prepare for the next drought or flood, defend our 2nd Amendment rights, repeal and replace Obamacare, and keep our promises to America’s veterans and seniors. I will listen to and learn from all constituents regardless of party affiliation. I will work to establish conservative priorities, shape agendas and craft effective legislation that delivers results; and I won’t let partisan gridlock compromise meeting the needs of the district or get in the way of implementing conservative solutions to the challenges our country faces.
Our greatest days are still ahead of us. It’s been my honor to serve you in uniform and I would be honored to have your vote and represent you during these critical times for the region, our state and the nation.