The #FabFour were not there in unison but I still thought there was tremendous value in doing the candidate forum at the American Legion in Newhall, Post 507 last night. Special thanks to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal Editor-in-Chief, Jason Schaff, for serving as moderator and also to those who organized the event: Los Angeles Universal Preschool, the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, the Santa Clarita Valley Latino Chamber of Commerce, and the American Legion. Below are photos and footage of the full program as well as 7 Takeaways. There will be at least 3 more forums before our June 5th primary. It will be interesting to see who shows up and what they have to say.
- Job Creation & Education are Top Priorities.
- The majority of the scripted questions focused on these two priorities, especially in the context of unemployment and higher education challenges for Veterans. Coupled with public safety, they are three of my top priorities.
- The forum was set up so that candidates could not question each other. Some chanted the Palin "Drill, Baby, Drill!" mantra, spoke about socialist takeovers and then make pie-in-the-sky claims like "Nothing is going to change until we have a Republican majority in the legislature." While I gave some pushback on the absurdity of them, I also went in the other direction and offered specific solutions as well as certain public policies I would pursue.
- It was very clear that I am by far the most independent of all four candidates and will not paint myself into ideological corners like some have done with the Grover Norquist Tax Pledge. When it comes to our children's future, political ambition, partisan dogma and party labels should go out the window.
- DKDK is a leadership training tool and translates into "You don't know what you don't know." It is a reminder that as leaders we need to ask questions and get information--because we often don't know what we don't know. It was readily clear that at least one of us up on the stools really does not know some of the contributing causes to our crisis of governance in California. I will not name names but at a bare minimum we should all be able to articulate why ballot-box budgeting (i.e. mandated spending without a revenue stream) is bad for the Golden State and handcuffs legislators in doing what they were elected to do.
- We need to fully fund education from and make the investments to get us there. That starts with stopping the Prop. 98 "borrowing" every year and also giving school districts the flexibility on how to teach and where to put resources.
- To the men and women who have served us in uniform, I say the least we can do to honor their service is serving them upon their return. This includes addressing their needs on a range of issues from housing, employment, education, homelessness and the like. The red of the flag that we pledge allegiance to is dyed a richer hue because of their sacrifice of life and limb.
- I've never been a registered lobbyist. I've never been a fundraiser. And I'm certainly not someone with a famous political last name. I'm just a dad, a small business owner and a taxpayer. The Signal refers to me as the purple option but in truth I am the independent option. I have three opponents and question how any of them--being much further to the right and far more conservative than Cameron Smyth or the late Keith Richman--could be impactful in Sacramento. While they are all good and decent people on a personal level, they will just be part of the status quo and raise a ruckus one time a year during budget negotiations. And even then, because at least two of them have kissed the Grover Norquist ring, they will be completely irrelevant to the conversation (because they've taking their one negotiating tool off the table and the majority party doesn't have to deal with them). As Reagan once uttered, it is "A Time for Choosing." If you are one who cannot look past party labels, then you have three ready-made conservative choices. But if you're like me and want to solve problems and get someone who can truly make a difference and also be a voice for people with real life problems, then I would be honored to have your support on June 5th.