How many of you know of a family that has left for another state, or have friends who are thinking about leaving? People who can leave have done so or are making plans to do so. Those who have commitments and can’t leave are terrified about the future. This situation is an absolute indictment of the lack of leadership shown by our elected officials.

Over the past ten years, the opportunity to enjoy a middle-class life style in California has dwindled greatly. For the middle class the reality is: take home pay is not keeping up with the rise in the cost of living, housing is unaffordable, traffic is unbearable, criminals are being released early from prison back into our neighborhoods, kids aren’t getting adequate training in school for the real world, healthcare is too costly, food is expensive, utility costs are soaring, and homelessness is everywhere.

Income inequality in California is at historic highs despite the liberal politicians in Sacramento pouring taxpayer money out to fund their pet projects and to continue welfare and spending programs that aren’t working. These programs lock recipients of assistance into a lifelong cycle of poverty. We need policies that lift people into the middle class. We need to shift our priorities to help expand the middle class, which is paramount if we are to REBUILD THE CALIFORNIA DREAM.

Both political parties have failed to protect the California Dream. Their response to every challenge has been to shout past each other while letting our state’s problems get worse. We are running out of time to sit down and fix the problems dragging us under.

My record in public and private life has been to fix things – to get beyond the talking and get something done. I am a builder. I know how to get people to work together to solve complex problems. That is what I will do as Governor.

The politicians and special interests are doing everything they can to preserve the status quo. They are content with letting things continue, if their little piece of the government spending pie is left alone. The last thing they want is someone who knows how to focus on success and abhors failure, and is committed to putting the interests of citizens first and above those of the moneyed lobbyists and special interests.

That’s today’s reality of politics in Sacramento. Both parties are in on it. Democrats spout off for big government, higher taxes and more over-regulation. Republicans shout from the corner about how conservative they are, but then lack the ideas required to solve problems. Lobbyists sit in the gallery and keep tabs on their pet projects while winking and nodding at each other as if there is some inside joke.

When I am Governor, those days will be over. My goal in running is to create jobs, improve housing, reduce crime, educate our kids, and rebuild the California Dream without raising taxes. I will do that by bringing people together based on mutual interests and shared values. My public and private successes have been based on solving problems, and I will continue to do that as your Governor.

Three words: Experience. Respect. Deliver.

I am the only Republican candidate with governing experience. I understand the limits of what government can do. I understand how to move legislation through the process. I know how to get my working partners to tell me what their goals are. I have direct governing experience on economic issues, environmental issues, water issues, education issues, housing issues, public safety issues, transportation issues, agricultural issues, Native American issues, trade issues, tax issues, energy issues, border issues, and a host of others. I ask questions and get answers. I have learned that you can get further when you compliment in public and criticize in private.

I am the only Republican candidate that practices respect toward "the other side." The process of governing requires extending respect to your working partners whether you agree with them or not. The only way to successfully govern is to listen to your working partners and understand their concerns and objectives. A little bit of respect goes a long way in solving problems.

I deliver. When I served in Congress, I was part of the House majority that delivered on national security, economic growth, water supply, trade, regulatory reform, tax relief, and a host of other issues. We identified the areas of agreement and made something happen for the benefit of the American people.

The Governor of California must always be focused on policies that provide for economic growth and job creation, as well as being constantly alert for foolish policies that will undermine economic growth and job creation. Today, growth in California is very uneven, with huge growth occurring in a few areas while the rest of the state is struggling or stagnant.

Taxes in California are too high and regulation is too burdensome. The governing elites have sold this approach to us as the price for protecting California’s unique lifestyle. The facts tell another story: companies are leaving California for other states with better business climates, and our middle-class jobs are going with them. Employers are recognizing that high taxes and intrusive regulations means lower profits and less opportunity to stay in business or grow. My priority as Governor will be to lower the tax rates and reduce the regulatory intrusions into the lives and businesses of people who live and work in California, especially if they employ others.

Of all the people who are running for Governor, I am the only one who has actually built housing in California. I know the process. I know where the costs are. I know where savings can be achieved. I know what not to do.

Let’s start with the approval process for a subdivision. In California, this process can take years to complete. The homebuilder has to carry the land and pay the costs of entitling the property with the ever-present risk of litigation.

Next, let’s look at the fees a homebuilder must pay upfront for a building permit. In some communities the upfront fees exceed $100,000 per unit. It typically takes four to six weeks to get a building permit.

How about site preparation? Local air boards have imposed extensive engine modifications on heavy equipment to control particulate matter emissions. In many cases, heavy equipment operators have had to purchase new equipment in order to comply.

You ask about materials. Concrete is more expensive in California because many plants have shut down due to dust mitigation requirements, among other regulatory requirements. Lumber is more expensive because so much of the timberland in California is off limits to harvest. Paint is more expensive because of volatile organic compounds that have been banned. Appliances have gone up in price because most of the appliance manufacturers have re-located to another state and must now ship their products back to California.

The net effect of all these onerous regulations is to drive the cost of housing beyond the grasp of middle class Californians.

The first step to providing relief to the cost of housing is to shorten the time to obtain final approval of projects. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) needs to be amended to impose sanctions on individuals or organizations who engage in specious litigation over housing developments. Additional initial steps include: increasing the number of concrete plants that can operate in California; reopening the lumber mills along the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges who historically milled local timber into lumber for construction of houses; and providing incentives to persuade the appliance manufacturers who left California over the past ten years to come back.

Even California’s favorite curmudgeon, Governor Jerry Brown, has recognized the need to reform CEQA, but has failed to get it done.

The Legislature did get one thing right recently when they made it easier to build Granny Flats on an existing property, allowing existing infrastructure to be more effectively used with virtually no new public investment. Again, this was a good idea; however, we need more than one good idea every eight years.

Under Pat Brown and Ronald Reagan, California’s transportation system was the envy of the world. Today, we rank at or near the bottom on every metric for transportation. It is a disgrace that our roads, bridges and highways have deteriorated to this point. In my opinion, this deterioration is directly connected to an agenda by certain elements of the Democratic majority that oppose any new roads, bridges or highways.

A few years ago, the politicians sponsored a huge transportation tax that they said would solve our problems. As part of the tax hike, the politicians weakened the Gann spending limit that was keeping state government spending under control. The results were disastrous. Money was diverted to pay for pet projects of the politicians. Millions of dollars were squandered on transit systems that are horrendously expensive to operate and have declining ridership and don’t lessen congestion one whit. Yet, we still have crumbling roads, bridges and highways.

Recently, the Legislature imposed on the public a new tax to pay for additional road work. Only thing is, there is no guarantee that the new taxes being collected every time you and I fill our gas tank will be used to maintain our roads, bridges and highways. Expenditures of these new taxes are subject to annual appropriation by the Legislature. In addition, the legislation specifically prohibits using any of this money to expand roadway capacity, as well as diverting about 30% of the tax to pay for pet projects of various politicians. This tax needs to be repealed by the voters. At the very least, this legislation needs to be amended to direct that all of these funds be used for road maintenance AND capacity expansion. My focus as Governor shall be to use transportation funds and any gas taxes for proper maintenance of our roads, bridges and highways and for expansion of capacity where needed.

All of my Democratic opponents have stated that they intend to change Proposition 13. Their objective is to extract more taxes from Californians. This is the stupidest idea they have yet come up with.

Prop 13 is one of the most effective laws ever passed in California. For the record, it was adopted over the active opposition of Governor Jerry Brown 1.0 in 1978. At the time, escalating property taxes were forcing retired folks out of their homes as Democrats sought more funding for their pet projects, as well as putting young families at risk with higher and higher property taxes on their recently purchased homes.

Let me be absolutely clear: I OPPOSE ANY CHANGES TO PROP 13. Every one of the Democratic candidates has promised to change Prop 13 so they can have more money to spend on their pet projects. The phrase "split roll" is special interest political doublespeak for raising taxes on California businesses. The net result of what the Democrats are proposing will result in more businesses fleeing this state in even greater numbers than at present.

The current debate on climate change is a perfect example of how politicians are ruining things for most Californians. Between cap and trade, renewable fuel standards and endless other laws and regulations, the cost of all forms of energy in California is higher than anywhere else in the nation. Since so much of what we do requires energy, everything is more expensive in California.

The problem is that these burdens are crushing the working people and those struggling to make ends meet. At the same time, the elitists can afford these luxuries of higher prices and think nothing of the pain being inflicted on most Californians. The net effect of these policies is to drive the middle class out of California.

There is no question that we should be concerned about the amount of carbon being put into the environment. However, there remains considerable ambiguity about the natural cycle of climate change over the millennia. We should not unilaterally destroy the economy of this state based on the current level of scientific research and understanding. People living here need to be able to eat and pay their bills. We will solve the climate change problem, but we should not put all of the burden on the people of California who can least afford it. Let’s handle this in a manner that does not hammer the working people.

Access to a solid education is the civil rights issue of the 21st Century. The purpose of providing a public education is to create the engaged citizen of the future.

Our existing system of education was developed in the late 19th Century. Class schedules accounted for the demands of an agricultural economy. That format is no longer the dominant community structure.

I am a strong supporter of the public education system. I graduated from a public high school, as did my children. Today, many schools are not performing adequately in preparing our children for the demands of the workplace. While I recognize the value of going to college, not every child is going to do that. Our schools need to acknowledge and respond to the reality that some children will thrive learning industrial arts. As a result of the dynamic nature of our economy and the workplace, our goals need to change to emphasize creativity and foster entrepreneurial activity.

The key element to achievement is the ability to read. As Governor, I will have a focus on teaching every child to read by the third grade.

In K-12, kids need to learn the survival skills that will provide them with the opportunity of employment after they graduate. Our academic plans need to set milestones of achievement that ultimately yield graduates with a basic understanding of civics, U.S. history and basic economics.

As Governor, I will promote letting parents seek out the best educational opportunities for their children. Financing for education will change to allow portability of funding that is assigned to each child. Parents will be empowered to compare different schools and enroll in the one that the parents deem best, rather than based on some geographic determination. Our public K-12 school system will have to learn to compete for customers, and that will improve the options offered to parents. The days of "one size fits all" are over.

Our societal safety net needs to change with the times. When I last checked, California was spending $44 billion per year for assistance to needy persons. I am intent on ending public assistance as a lifestyle choice and focus assistance to the truly needy.

My goal as Governor is to get people off assistance and back into the workforce. I understand why politicians increase assistance levels during times of high unemployment. What I don’t understand is why these same politicians refuse to tighten eligibility when unemployment reaches an historic low. Today, employers cannot find enough able-bodied, sound-minded individuals to fill the need at plants, factories, and businesses up and down the state.

As Governor, I will figure out who among the assistance recipients is able-bodied and of sound mind. These individuals will be removed from the assistance rolls and told to get a job. Their lives will go from being one based on dependence to one based on self-sustaining activity. This is sound public policy, especially during times of tight labor markets.

In addition, we will finally acknowledge the impact of drugs and alcohol on individuals and their ability to function and obtain employment. Legislation will be offered that ties public assistance to drug and alcohol testing.

I was an early supporter of Donald Trump for President and served as co-chairman for the Trump 2016 campaign in California. I know which elected officials helped and which didn’t.

My Democratic opponents are making a career out of "resisting" the efforts of the Trump Administration. Their tactic of choice is to file lawsuit after lawsuit to try to stop the federal government from fulfilling its lawful responsibilities. Most legal analysts recognize that these are show-boating lawsuits with little or no chance of success. Let’s stop the nonsense and focus on what we can get done.

The other Republican candidates either voted for Gary Johnson or stayed on the sidelines until October 7, 2016. Neither of them exhibited any leadership, backbone or understanding of what was going on in the most important election yet in the 21st Century.

The federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars each year in California. Elected officials would be wise to understand that those funds support a vast array of services here in California. Hurling insults at people you disagree with is a flawed negotiating approach. The 2016 election is over and now the job is to get something done. It’s time to leave the partisanship and bickering outside. People need to grow up and treat others more respectfully so we can accomplish something.

California agriculture is a huge success story. Our farmers make the food and fiber that feeds and clothes people here and around the world. Exports are a big part of the success and a key part of the overall economy. Farmers are the best stewards of their land, helping in the offseason with a variety of conservation programs for migrating waterfowl and endangered species.

Under Democrat control, farmers have been under a constant assault over water supply, horticultural practices, labor, wastewater discharge, air quality and a host of other issues. These unrelenting attacks have now displaced agriculture from its position as the number one industry in California.

The Democrats and their special interest allies regularly attack agriculture’s access to water. Even though federal and state law clearly spells out water rights, the extreme environmental wing of the Democratic Party continues to demand that farmers get less water. These efforts are usually bureaucratic in nature as filings and hearings occur at the State Water Resources Control Board or the State Water Commission.

When I am Governor, there will be an entirely new focus within these bureaucracies. Instead of fighting over a limited supply, the State will expand the State Water Project with new off stream storage. One facility will be constructed north of the Delta; one will be built south of the Delta. Heavy excess flows on our rivers will be pumped into and stored in these new facilities. The days of standing by and watching these waters flow out to sea are over.

In addition, I will work to address water scarcity created by geographic conditions. I will focus significant effort toward constructing new desalination plants along the coast that utilizes existing technology to create potable water.

I strongly oppose the construction of the so-called Delta Tunnels. My reading of the supporting documents shows that the added increment of water from the construction of the Tunnels is 400,000 acre feet while the cost of the Tunnels (if you believe the projections) is $25 billion. Do the math. Even if the increment is 4,000,000 acre feet, it is still more efficient to build off stream storage.

It is disgraceful and dangerous that California’s elected leaders have allowed our dams to fall into disrepair. Oroville Dam came close to collapsing last year. The catastrophe that would have followed of water overwhelming communities and wiping out whole towns was dodged this time. Public safety for the citizens of California is a prime responsibility of government. In this case, the government failed in its duty to properly maintain Oroville Dam. We got lucky this time.

Within our political dialogue, we have neglected the issue of mental health for decades. The last time any meaningful legislative capital was expended on this issue was 1967. Immediate attention is required to improve outcomes for patients and families. Mental health treatment is worth spending so-called "political capital" on, and I swear that when I’m Governor, we are going to do better than we are doing right now.

We must recognize that mental illness/injury requires medical attention and individuals should not be stigmatized any more than someone with measles, tuberculosis, or the common cold. We need to pair that recognition with making help readily available to patients, families, law enforcement and communities. When state facilities were closed in the 1960’s, the community centers that were supposed to replace them were never built. We need community centers where patients, families and law enforcement can get the proper level of assistance. We need to do that as soon as possible.

We need to change the legal framework regarding how to help someone suffering from mental illness/injury. At present, an individual can only be held involuntarily for a very limited period. Our constitutional concerns over potential civil liberty violations are valid, but individuals suffering from mental illness/injury do not permanently recover within 48 or 72 hours, if ever. We need to acknowledge that longer holds are appropriate and figure out how to implement longer holds within constitutional limitations. Releasing back onto the streets someone who is suffering from mental illness/injury is not humane; it is not safe for the patient or the community; and it is not sound public policy.

Families with members suffering from mental illness/injury need to have places where they can get help. At the federal level, Congress passed and President Obama signed the ABLE Act, giving families the opportunity to provide tax-free financial support to family members suffering from mental illness/injury. The federal legislation left to the states the adoption of rules regarding the way such custodial accounts would operate. In California, the rules for implementing the ABLE Act have been sitting in the Treasurer’s office for over two years. The rules need to be finalized and issued immediately. John Chiang needs to do his current job before he comes asking for a promotion.

Within our criminal justice system, many individuals are incarcerated due to severe mental illness/injury. Courts make the determination that some individuals are Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity or they are so mentally ill/injured as to not be competent to stand trial. In such cases, the individuals are taken into custody and cared for by the state. Some of these individuals are very dangerous. We need to ensure that the personnel doing the difficult work of providing care for such individuals have the tools to ensure their own safety.

We need to create and expand centers of research into neuroscience so that we can figure out how to treat mental illness/injury. We have many teaching hospitals that could create/expand such programs to advance the treatment of mental illness/injury. This would be an area receiving new funding when I am Governor.

Let me repeat my message: I promise that when I’m Governor we are going to do better on this than we are doing right now. In my opinion, it is leadership malpractice to continue to ignore this issue and its consequences. I am running against a bunch of people who have established that they are "do nothing" politicians on this issue or hide behind some other excuse for never having said or done anything to help. It is not a violation of civil liberties to get people help from trained professionals so that they can hopefully become functioning members of society, and it is compassionate to do so. It is neither good public policy nor humane to release back onto the streets people who cannot care for themselves.

Every Democrat running for Governor has said they support single payer healthcare. However, none of them can define what it is, or how it works, or how it is funded. My opponents have idealized some fuzzy concept of a big government bureaucracy that possesses your medical information and can tell you what medical services you are permitted to have as well as those services you can’t have. When my opponents attempt to describe their ambiguous and fuzzy vision, what they describe is "MediCal for All." None of my opponents are doctors. They probably don’t even know now to use a stethoscope. What they do have is feedback from their political consultants about how great the phrase "single payer" works with focus groups. Expanding government like this is pure idiocy, and these nonsensical ideas have to stop so we can actually improve our healthcare.

At the heart of any healthcare system is a private relationship between a patient and a doctor. Single payer violates that privacy by giving the government access to your medical records. A successful healthcare system gives patients choice. Single payer makes the government the ultimate decision maker for any treatment you may need. A good doctor helps a patient find a solution for a medical issue. Single payer shifts that responsibility to some nameless, faceless bureaucrat. For all we know, the medical decisions under single payer end up being made by some sort of artificial intelligence that looks at statistics and profit margins.

What we need is a healthcare system that provides treatment utilizing the best in medical science and technology. The way to get to that outcome is to give patients choices about which healthcare plan best suits their needs and the needs of their family.

"Single payer" is political doublespeak driven by people who aren’t doctors. It’s a terrible idea.

We need to stop giving lip service to homelessness and fix it. Every community in California is being affected by homelessness. Billions have been spent by the state and local government on trying to cure homelessness, yet today it is at epidemic levels. Multiple studies have shown that there are a wide variety of reasons for homelessness and that there is no single magic solution.

Many homeless individuals would be helped by the steps I outline above for dealing with mental illness/injury. I won’t repeat those steps here.

The issue of drug and alcohol abuse is a major contributor to homelessness. The laws governing who is eligible for public assistance do not allow for mandatory drug or alcohol testing to receive assistance. These laws need to chain to require such testing. We are not helping individuals suffering from drug or alcohol dependency by not requiring accountability. I will work with the Legislature to rewrite the laws so that individuals suffering from drug or alcohol dependency who are homeless can get effective treatment. Testing to see if they are improperly self-medicating will be part of that.

My experience has been that addressing the mental illness/injury homeless and the drug/alcohol dependent homeless will go a long way to significantly reducing the level of homelessness in our communities.

To the extent that there are able bodied, sound mind, non-dependent individuals or families still experiencing homelessness, I am prepared to commit resources on a case by case basis to get these people back on their feet and integrated back into our society as contributing members. I do not subscribe to any theory that says that it is the responsibility of the rest of us to support able bodied and mentally competent individuals who want to camp-out in public spaces.

Immigration is a federal issue, and there is little the State can do one way or another, as recent court cases have shown. We desperately need reform, and you should be for that regardless of your political registration. The current system is broken. The world has changed since the last immigration law reforms were adopted in 1992. I encourage Congress to take this issue up and stay at it until progress is achieved.

There is a difference between legal immigration and illegal immigration. The United States currently welcomes over one million legal immigrants each year. Applicants follow the law, submit their paperwork, take the interview, learn our culture and become residents. They follow the rules and wait their turn, recognizing how precious a gift it is to be allowed into our country.

Despite the protests of the advocates for no borders or immigration controls, we need to recognize that there is a big difference between legal immigration and illegal immigration. Much of the illegal immigration undermines the economic prospects of legal immigrants. Illegal immigration has reduced wages and undercut jobs that would otherwise be available to legal immigrants.

I oppose the concept and practice of sanctuary states and sanctuary cities where the federal government in inhibited in their responsibility to enforce the current law. Creating sanctuaries are exceedingly questionable in the face of clear federal preemption on immigration law, and they unnecessarily introduce uncertainty for law enforcement personnel and citizens.

The Congress must address the issue of DACA individuals. I support having Congress adopt standards for resolving the cases, create an adjudicatory process for resolving each case, fund the establishment of DACA courts and administrative law judges, and get on with resolving these cases.

Concurrent with the resolution of how to address the DACA individuals, Congress must address the issue of border security. If we don’t have secure borders, then we don’t have a country.

President Reagan was right when he described the United States as a shining city on a hill. We are a beacon of light for people who seek freedom and opportunity, but they must adhere to the generous immigration policies our country has.

California elected officials over the past 20 years have created an unsustainable employee retirement program. By and large, most of those programs for the State, cities, counties, schools and special districts are managed by CalPERS or CalSTRS.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle have turned a blind eye to the long-term impacts of the compensation embedded in the collective bargaining agreements they have signed. The unfunded balances in the various retirement programs exceed hundreds of billions of dollars. There are only three sources for a funding mechanism for curing the unfunded balances: higher employee contributions, higher employer contributions, and better portfolio returns.

In 2012, an effort began with the California Public Employees Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) to address the shortfall in the pension funds by allowing new employees to be hired using a different system for calculating pension benefits. Existing employees were grandfathered in and protected under the old system, but it is still clear that the current defined benefit system will not be 100% funded any time soon.

The required contributions to the retirement system at the local level (cities, counties, schools and special districts) are now crowding out the ability of local government to fund other local services. In San Francisco, one member of the Board of Supervisors has lamented that while he thought serving in local office would be a great opportunity to make improvements to his neighborhoods, he had discovered that he was spending most of his time figuring out how to pay the pensions that the county was on the hook for to previous employees. This phenomenon of crowding out is being played out all over the state and keeping them from addressing real problems in their jurisdiction.

Ultimately, the pension reform solution is to change to a defined contribution pension plan that allows the employee to manage their own retirement account. Efforts are underway to achieve that goal, though it will take at least twenty years to get there. In the meantime, local services will continue to be constrained due to mandatory contributions to shore up the underfunded pension plans.

I support using the S&P 500 index as the benchmark against which portfolio performance is compared.

In the absence of a change in who has a majority control of each of the governing boards of the retirement programs, I support revisiting the pension benefit accrual system so as to reduce the taxpayer obligation when the portfolio underperforms the S&P 500.

I support elimination of the ability of beneficiaries to spike their pensions in their last few years of employment.

I support changing the retirement programs to defined contribution plans rather than defined benefit plans.

I support changing the membership of the governing board of the retirement programs to prevent program beneficiaries from controlling the majority of the board.

I support removing all political officeholders from the boards of the pension programs during the two years preceding an election year.

I support limiting any annual pension benefit to no more than the maximum salary a beneficiary earned.

Over the past few months the public has learned of the predatory sexual culture that has existed in the State Legislature for decades. Recent revelations have included several of the candidates for Governor in California. Such behavior is unacceptable. These candidates should withdraw and get counseling. Those who facilitated such behavior should withdraw and find a new line of work.

There has never been any question about my public or private behavior. There is a reason for this: I know how to behave and I treat people with respect.

As your Governor, there will be a zero-tolerance policy in effect in the State Capitol and my administration. If you work for me and behave inappropriately, you will be fired.

If you are a Legislator and I find out you acted this way, then I will freeze you out until you resign. I will make it clear that any bill with your name on it is DOA. I will come to your district and campaign against you, making clear why I am there. I will pass the word to the lobbying corps that anyone who contributes to your campaign is persona non grata to my Administration and their bills are DOA.

I will introduce legislation making predatory individuals financially responsible for any misdeeds. The taxpayer will no longer be paying for settlements.

Enough is enough.

California Voters have spoken quite clearly about their views on access to medical or recreational marijuana.

To be clear, I was not a supporter of these changes to state law. The evidence is overwhelming that the effects of marijuana use by young people cause irreversible damage to young, developing brains. The system by which we will be adjudicating various legal cases involving operating a vehicle while under the influence is still being developed. This entire construct is bad public policy. However, I know what the state law is and I will enforce it, even though I believe legalizing recreational use was a mistake.

I am pro-life and would like to see an end to unwanted pregnancies so that this difficult issue was not so contentious. The law is very clear about access and funding for abortion services, as established by both the United States and the California Constitution. Abortion is legal in California and will continue to be a choice that a woman must make in consultation with her doctor. I am opposed to government funding for abortion, but courts continue to require funding for abortions for indigent mothers.

We should stop late-term abortions whenever possible; advances in medical science demonstrate that these are viable babies and should not be destroyed. When I was in Congress, I voted to ban partial birth abortions as unnecessary. I worked to reduce the number of abortions, and voted to increase child tax credits to lessen the financial burden of bringing a baby into this world. The steps we took did successfully reduce the number of abortions.

In those instances where the difficult choice is between saving the life of the mother or saving the life of the baby, then I will defer to the parents and grieve regardless of any decision that leads to a loss of life.

California has very high taxes relative to most other states. The special interests that dominate the Legislature love those high taxes. Those taxes are paid by very few people compared to our total population. We need to be very careful that those who pay the taxes don’t decide that they’d rather have their principal residence in another state. We cannot continue to chase taxpayers out of the State.

At the same time, the structure of our state tax system is focused on capital gains. Taxes on capital gains are highly volatile compared to taxes on ordinary income. In the next economic downturn, capital gains taxes will drop precipitously, just as they have in every other economic downturn.

The problem is apparent when you realize that State spending has grown over the past eight years from about $85 billion to just over $125 billion per year, far exceeding the rate of inflation. (I am hard pressed to find a 47% increase in the quality of life that should have followed that level of increase in government spending.) What have we accomplished with all this extra spending?

It is possible to address this imbalance without raising taxes. First, we stop wasting money on high speed rail. Next, we accept the recommendation of the Legislative Analyst that CalTrans is seriously overstaffed and reduce personnel. Then, we compare all the state government programs with all the federal government programs and eliminate the duplicative ones.

To the extent that money can be saved by eliminating waste and duplication, we start buying back State debt, thereby reducing ongoing interest expense.

I am a Life Member of the NRA. I haven’t hunted in 30 years. I own a 9 mm handgun for personal protection. Given the desires of the Democrats in California to release felons from prison, I recommend that you legally acquire a weapon. Learn how to use it. Keep it in proper operating condition. Store it in a safe place.

Since most gun crimes are committed by criminals, it makes no sense that the Legislature passed a new law to strike the enhanced punishment for those use a gun in the commission of a crime. At the same time, they voted to prohibit teachers from ever being trained to carry a firearm to protect their students. The Legislature has it backwards. We should want good people to have guns, and bad people to be locked up in prison. It is that simple.

We have come to embrace a society where discrimination based on race, gender or sexual identity is not permitted. I believe we can attain that goal and still protect the religious views of those who have a contrary view. The LGBTQ community has faced undue discrimination, and the laws of our state should be designed to protect everyone.

I detest identity politics and the pandering it creates. I will work to ensure that all Americans have opportunities to achieve their potential regardless of who they are or where they come from.