I believe every child is entitled to a first rate education, a safe learning environment and the opportunity to succeed academically. Unfortunately, the State of California is failing to meet the needs of many children.

Throughout California voters elect Trustees to their local schools boards. Unfortunately, local school boards often have their hands tied. For too long Sacramento has handcuffed local educators and local school boards in the form of mandates and purse strings that remove the flexibility local educators need to do what is best for their students.

I am committed to returning control to the local level. I believe that local school boards, administrators, educators and most importantly PARENTS know what is best for their children, not bureaucrats in Sacramento. I believe that given the flexibility to determine what is best for their students, local decision makers, those closest to the students, can and will meet the needs of everyone of our children.

California’s economy is sputtering. Some of our neighbors have lost their jobs, their homes and their way of life. The road to recovery for California is going to require putting people back to work in good paying jobs. We must do more to encourage job growth and business expansion. California’s regulations and taxes are some of the most punitive in the Country forcing small and big businesses alike to flee our State. We can’t allow this to continue. We must take aggressive steps to make California more competitive.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote:

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” – (Commonplace Book, Thomas Jefferson)

The 2nd Amendment guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms. As a profound believer in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, I find that laws that limit the rights of law abiding citizens to bear arms to be both foolish and unconstitutional. Criminals, by their very nature, ignore laws. Creating more gun laws has never and will never reduce crime.

History has proven that in order to reduce crime, lessen violence and increase safety we must aggressively pursue, apprehend and punish criminals. California already has the most restrictive gun laws in the Country and its time that we started enforcing the laws we already have, not writing more. Those who commit acts of violence, regardless of how they do it, should be put in prison, where they belong. We can make our schools, neighborhoods and cities safer by limiting the ability of criminals to commit crime, not by limiting the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens.

The tax and spend politics that has become commonplace for our government is unacceptable and must come to an end.  We need enforceable caps on government spending, and that starts with a balanced budget.  The federal government must be held accountable just as localities, municipalities and states are held accountable for every tax dollar that is taken and spent.  In order to create jobs and start the process of a real economic recovery, we must take measures today.  We need to pay down the national debt to a sustainable percentage of our GDP, reduce the annual deficits until the United States can cover its yearly budget, and institute long-term budget and debt policies that ensure the future viability and financial soundness of our government.

Our national government must take a look within, evaluate its spending practices and make the tough choices for our economic future.  With this being said, our defense budget should never be on the chopping block.  As multiple conflicts arise and expand throughout the world, the power and financial capacity of those who view the United States and our way of life as the quintessential international issue are expanding.  We must continue to focus on diplomacy, support and utilize our allies across the globe, and provide our military with the capacity to keep conflict from knocking on our front door.  I will always defend individual freedoms and do not condone the governmental intrusion of privacy that has occurred in the recent past, but I will always invest in the men and women who are dedicated to keeping our citizens and our families safe.

The U.S. is at a crossroads. Internationally, we need to support our allies, the young democracies fighting for their new constitutions, and the right of their people to remain free. Our leaders must work with regional and international governments, as well as NGOs to address the humanitarian crises that have developed, while doing our best to broker a peaceful end to multiple conflicts.

The conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the situation in Russia, and the abhorrent occurrences taking place in Iraq due to the invasion of Isis and its Islamic fundamentalist movement all present extremely difficult situations that cannot be taken lightly and should not be approached with a broad stroke resolution.

We must support democracy and the efforts of our allies across the globe. As a veteran and the son of a Vietnam fighter pilot, I understand the necessity of war but I will never be a proponent. As the leaders of the free world, we must ensure the safety of our citizens and accommodate the growing desire for a Democratic form of government.

The Country’s immigration policy must be addressed for its deficiencies, and updated to reflect current issues as well as the 21st century characteristics of immigration. Our border with Mexico is both dangerous and abused, and it must be secured and defended with adequate border security. The drug war in Mexico must not be allowed to spill over to the United States, resulting in harm and untold trauma to American families and communities.  A plan that deals with the number of immigrants who have come here illegally must involve a strategy that allows our Country and its economy to benefit.  The proliferation of unmonitored immigrants crossing into our Country must be reduced, and our number one focus should always be the security of our borders and the safety of our citizens.  Furthermore, any type of immigration reform that is considered in the future must protect the jobs of American workers.

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