The candidates for the 32nd Congressional District discussed topics ranging from their stance on troops overseas to the ballooning national debt during last night’s forum at the Citrus Valley Association of Realtors in Glendora.
The district, which covers communities including southern Glendora, Azusa, Covina, Baldwin Park and San Dimas, was created following last summer’s redistricting process.
The candidates include Grace Napolitano, currently congressional representative for the 38th district, Democratic candidate Bill Gonzalez and Republican candidate David Miller.
A 14-year veteran of federal government, Napolitano is focusing her campaign platform on her experience and her seniority.
“Let me tell you, in Washington, it’s an issue of seniority,” said Napolitano. “If you don’t have seniority, you’re at the bottom of the line.”
Miller, a Glendora resident and the lone Republican in the race, said he wants to return the country to the Constitutional ideals the country was founded on, repeatedly citing the Constitution as reference.
“If we lose this country to the socialist ideas that have taken over, I will never work again,” said Miller. “But if we can do something to keep this country the founding principles that were given by our founding fathers, we will restore this nation.”
Democratic candidate and Covina resident Bill Gonzalez professed to be a representative for those on the frontlines, the everyday working Americans. “I’m running for you, your children and the new 32nd Congressional District,” said Gonzales. “I’m running for the parents who work hard for the American Dream. I’m running for your children as well.”
The top two of the three candidates from the will advance to the November election.
The following are candidate excerpts from last night’s forum:
“No, I do not support troops overseas. I think we’ve been putting the issue of defending other countries at the risk of letting our general public suffer. There is the attitude in politics that we have to go and say we are king, we are the police person of the world at the expense of the taxpayer, the children the seniors. I think we have to understand that we defend our rights and our honor, but not at the expense of American public need…I voted against the [war] resolution. I do not want to see my child or grandchild or anyone else’s go to war, get maimed or killed. There will be thousands of soldiers coming home with disabilities, it’s going to cost the government and us as taxpayers and ratepayers billions of dollars to help these men and women.”
“I do not support troops overseas. I believe have become that military industrial complex that we have been warned about. I believe that has occurred on both political parties…We are supposed to defend our nation. We aren’t supposed to go around the world creating little kingdoms and places we want to defend for other people We are taking our wealth and our children’s future and we’re spending it to give it to other people. The military budget 2006 was $380 billion. Today, it’s $780 billion, it’s more than doubled. We need to change our understanding of the military, which is to fight wars, win them and come home.”
“I think we have to be strategic about this. I don’t think we can completely say that we should not have troops in parts of the world where our interests lie. The Middle East is an example of that. But I don’t support having troops there indefinitely because we have priorities here at home that we need to take care of. There are too many children not graduating from high school because they do not have the support that’s needed. For example, the state of California spends $50,000 a year housing a prisoner and $8,000 a year on putting a child through school? How does that equate?”
Plan to Pay Off Nation’s Debt
“The first thing I will probably do is stop the bleeding, We have to stop spending more than what we take in. We have to go back to spending according to our Constitutional mandate. Is going to happen overnight? Not a chance. But I believe, potentially, we should default on the federal reserve. Sounds crazy, but they made the money out of nothing and charged us for it and they put our kids in debt…To anyone who has lent us money, we need to maintain our credibility. If a country has lent us money, I believe we owe it to them. But not to some place that has created money out of nothing.”
“In 2011, Congress got together in a bipartisan way and passed the Budget Control Act which set a definite timeline in reducing the national deficit. Both parties need to keep true to their word and make cuts. The cuts will be painful, but we all need to sacrifice, folks. The sacrifices need to be spread in a fair and equitable manner. I don’t think we should balance the budget on the backs of the poor or the elderly.”
“We all need to say enough. If you’re going to have a contract, you need to stipulate there will be no changes, you need to stick to it and not add to whatever it is. Every agency needs to cut down. We did it in Sacramento, we cut down 5 percent across the board. When the economy improves, we can get a better handle on what it is we can cut down on, whether it’s the aerospace or military. I don’t know what the answer is, but we have to keep trying.”
Efforts to Support the Gold Line
“I would have the federal government stop taking so much money out of California so that they can fund the rest of the country in all of their special interest stuff. We would have the money to build the Gold Line if that is what the state of California wanted. I have no legal authority to deal with the Gold Line as a congressman. That’s what you elected me for.”
“I unequivocally support the Gold Line. The Gold Line will bring so many benefits, not only jobs, but relieve congestion on our freeways. All of us have experienced the traffic on the freeways and it’s horrendous. The productivity is lost because we spend it on the freeways. We have to come up with a solution and I think the Gold Line is a step in the right direction.”
“I am already on the record for supporting the Gold Line…We need to have a bigger voice, because much of the funding has gone to projects on the West side, to more affluent communities where they have a bigger voice. We need your voice to the elected officials – county and state level. Let them know what your wishes are. “