Monday, February 15, 2016

Duf v. Del in the SacBee

The Sacramento Bee recorded the substantive answers of the two main Republican candidates running for the US Senate seat in California this year.

Here’s where California’s Republican U.S. Senate candidates stand on issues

Rocky Chávez is a candidate no more

Duf Sundheim and Tom Del Beccaro talk policy

Chavez' exit has made the decision so much easier.

I announced my endorsement yesterday: Duf Sundheim.

Now let's move on to their answers.

Republican Rocky Chávez stole the stage in Monday’s U.S. Senate radio forum by announcing he was dropping out and running for reelection to the state Assembly.

Then he left.

“Not something we expected, I guess,” KOGO-AM’s Cliff Albert said.

“No. Not at all,” the host-moderator, Carl DeMaio, added.

No one was expecting this event, but everyone who is anyone wants to the CA GOP field thinned considerably. The Democrats have two top-heavy contenders for the seat. The last thing that we need is two liberal Democrats pretending to be Republicans for four months

But the show went on, with GOP candidates Duf Sundheim and Tom Del Beccaro sharing their views on a range of topics – from taxes to immigration to cutting funding for Planned Parenthood. The discussion, frank and cordial, with little crosstalk (DeMaio, himself a veteran debater, kept things moving briskly). Here’s a rundown of where the candidates stand. Their answers are summarized below for clarity and space.

Great work so far. I do not have a great deal of respect for DeMaio. He ruined a GOP pick-up in San Diego. The candidate was so liberal, that conservative groups actively campaigned to reelect liberal Democrat Scott Peters!

DeMaio: What is your plan to deal with the impacts of illegal immigration? Particularly, how would you secure the border?

Sundheim: Wants to use modern technology to its full advantage. Believes we need drones, sensors and big data to help Border Patrol agents target the places where people are coming across the border.

He shared the same views at the Beach Cities GOP debate in January.

Del Beccaro: Opposes “comprehensive” approaches. Wants GOP to concentrate on the national security aspect of immigration beginning with visa reforms. Up to half of the 11-1/2 million unauthorized people who are here illegally have overstayed their visas. Wants a bill stipulating they must leave in 90 days.

I agree. Immigration is too complex an issue to deal with in one big bill, a terrible move which is hurting a Presidential candidate and has left the country wondering if they can trust anyone in Washington to do anything about immigration.

Q: Would you support a bill providing a path to legal citizenship or legal status?

Sundheim: Would vote for a pathway to legal status. Needs to be strict, and strictly enforced. Eligible people would apply for status and pay a fine. It would exempt criminals and unemployed people. It also would provide a 10-year probationary period before they could attain permanent legal status.

Not happy with any talk  about legal status for anyone.  I want to hear about security for the border, then we can talk about what to do afterwards.

Del Beccaro: We need to first find people who have overstayed their visas and give them 90 days to leave. Those who stay would be fined and then deported.

What about other people in the country illegally?

Q: Do you believe we should end the Syrian refugee visa program?

Sundheim: We should stop it until we have control of who is coming into the country.

Del Beccaro: We need to pause until we “get our act together.”

Great answers. No Syrian refugees at this time.

Q: How would you take on ISIS?

Del Beccaro: ISIS is Islamic terrorism. We have to be “more defined” when we send people into battle. But we cannot be everywhere in the world at once. Unless a country is exporting its terror we should not go into it militarily. With ISIS we need to support our allies in the region.

Sundheim: There is no substitute for American leadership. Make sure we have a very clear mission and objective before we go in. Then look to Harry Truman and what he did with Arthur Vandenberg for guidance concerning economic, political and military policy.

Spot on. I liked Duf's point about American Leadership as preeminent!

Q: Are we at war with radicalized Islam?

Sundheim: Yes.

Del Beccaro: Yes. But we need to define the precise enemy and offer a defined response.

Q: Do you support combat ground troops to fight ISIS?

Del Beccaro: Yes. But first you dry up their banking; launch air attacks on their oil fields and also support allies. As it becomes clearer what mission is, additional troops will probably be necessary and we should not be afraid to use them.

Sundheim: While you must leave all options on the table, cautions against large numbers of troops because there isn’t now a clear strategy. Open to troops, but not with Obama as leader.

"Open to trooops, but not with Obama" I agree with that sentiment.

Q: Should we repeal Obamacare, and what to replace it with?

Del Beccaro: Must not repeal it until we have a new plan. Proposing a flat tax and the ability to take ones health insurance across state lines. Also, people should be able to take their plans from job to job.

Sundheim: Repeal the healthcare overhaul and replace it with a modernized system.

Yes! Del Beccaro was a little more hesitant. I want O-care repealed and replaced!

Q: Medicare for illegal immigrant children. Is it proper?

Sundheim: You have to deal with it in bigger context. It’s a state problem. Would not revoke it at this time. (Also, see answer to what to do with immigrants here).

Del Beccaro: Opposes it. There are too many magnet benefits in the U.S. State services like schools, colleges and hospitals are already strained.

It does need to be repealed. Duf needs to change his mind on this one.

Q: What would you do to fix Veterans Affairs?

Del Beccaro: Give veterans vouchers to seek care at private hospitals. Require firing of people in current administration.

Sundheim: Generally agrees with Del Beccaro.

So do I. If we want to see how bad government health care is, look no further than the terrible treatment of our warriors in these hospitals.

Q: Tell us about your philosophy on tax reform?

Del Beccaro: Proponent of flat tax for three decades. Has a plan supported by many, including most recently Steve Forbes. Would reduce the IRS and with it class warfare.

Sundheim: Lower marginal rates; dramatically simplify the process. IRS has too much power. Flat tax would “devastate” the middle class because it removes the tiered system needed to provide enough revenue to pay for needed services.

I have been hearing all this talk about a Flat Tax. Lowering taxes is a no-brainer. I want to hear about prosecutions against the IRS for their abuse.

Q: Do you support the bullet train (high-speed rail)?

Sundheim: “Absolutely not.” Too many people here are struggling to get basics like clean water. We need more water projects.

Del Beccaro: Against. A luxury way beyond our need. Airlines work just fine. Gov. Jerry Brown should work on water delivery systems.

Kill the crazy train! Congressmen Jeff Denham and Doug LaMalfa are moving against this terrible waste of money.

Q: Should Congress eliminate Planned Parenthood funding?

Del Beccaro: Would vote to defund the organization. Most of what it does is abortion-related or donating money to candidates and causes.

Sundheim: Agree. It’s a subsidiary of the Democratic Party. But would need to protect healthcare for women in the interim.

Thank God! Duf wants Planned Murderhood defunded. I want this!

Q: Do you support defunding sanctuary cities?

Sundheim: Yes. Need comprehensive immigration reform.

Del Beccaro: Yes. Too many loopholes now. But comprehensive immigration bills are “pathway to gridlock.”

Q: Should we raise the federal gas tax to pay for roads?

Sundheim: No. We pay enough taxes for roads and only a fraction actually goes to fixing roads. But not for signing a pledge opposing all tax increases.

Del Beccaro: No. Wouldn’t support any new taxes and has signed a no-tax pledge.

That's more of what I want to hear.

Final Reflection:

Sundheim and Del Beccaro basically affirmed each other in their responses.

The last thing that any Republican needs to do is alienate the base in this state.

The state is a 15% advantage for the Democratic vote. However, I have spoken with Democrats in the South Bay, and they are disillusioned by their party, which has done nothing for the poor and working classes while the rich get richer.

No water. No security, and little opportunity for prosperity will push more Democrats to rethink whom they vote for, or to rethink their party affiliation altogether.

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