Q&A: Devon Mathis

Why are you running?

Devon at GOP Convention1I am running because I believe in a better California for us and our children, a California that is great. I have seen what has happened to our once great state and it is a shame. I did not enter this race until the last day. I looked at who was running and believe that I am better qualified, better suited and that I will represent the people better.

How would you work with a strong Democratic majority at the state level?

Throughout my life I have built relationships, networks and coalitions to get things done. I was taught that everyone is in green and we all bleed red. When working with people from different backgrounds and cultures, which is what party lines truly are, everyone on the legislature is going to have different ideas and viewpoints. I have the leadership ability to work across the aisle with anyone. I believe in open door and open door policy and I am not afraid to sit at the table with anyone. We have grown too strong with the divide of partisanships and must work together to build a better California, period. I believe that I will be able to follow the footsteps of President Ronald Reagan and even President Bill Clinton, they both worked with political opponents to confront the challenges facing the nation and created bipartisan solutions. Reagan worked with a Democratic Congress to pass comprehensive tax reforms. I believe I can do the same here in California. It is simple – it is not about me, it is about doing what is right for the people, period.

How are you different from other Republicans?

I stand apart in this race as the war veteran who then went to college and got a BA in Public Administration. I was raised here in the Valley and grew up a country boy. I was raised with simple core values and beliefs. “Your word is your bond.” “If you say you are going to do something, you do it.” “If you are going to do something, do it right the first time, do not cut corners.” I was raised a patriot. I know what hard work is, and I know what it is like to hit rock bottom and have nothing. I believe I am the only candidate that has had the lives of others depend on their decisions. I know the difference between leadership and likership, I know how to swallow my pride and work with others to get things done.

Who will you support for governor?

The governor’s race is simple. While at the California Republican Party convention in Burlingame a few months back, I met Tim Donnelly. I met a few of the other candidates too, but Tim showed me respect and gave me his time of day, which shows a lot. I had a few very good conversations with him, he gave me a few pointers. “Thank you Tim.” He is a person who has common sense like me and he is willing to listen to people, that shows true leadership. From what I saw, he made time to talk to anyone who wanted his ear. The others seemed to have their own agendas, Tim was there for the people. I believe we need a governor who is for the people and not for an agenda.

What are your views on guns?

When do you want to go shoot? “This is my weapon, this my gun, this one’s for fighting, this one’s for fun,” – Full Metal Jacket. Guns are not the problem, it is the people behind them, people are the problem. Cars do not kill people in crashes, bad drivers do. I teach my boys weapons safety with Nerf guns so that they know how dangerous they can be. One of my favorite quotes in regards to the matter is, “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.” Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. Coming from the Army National Guard, I believe that we should uphold to our second amendment rights and that the idea of creating a list pushes us even farther down the slippery slope to taking away our personal rights and freedoms.

The ACA will not cover undocumented people. What are your thoughts on this?

Do people need medical coverage? That is an easy yes, the hard part is who pays for it. The ACA or Obamacare sets tax penalties onto those who do not get a plan. Can you set a tax penalty on someone who is undocumented? No you cannot. Our people and businesses are bearing the brunt of Obamacare. I believe we need to take care of our citizens first and foremost. If people want to have the benefits of being an American citizen, then they need to follow the steps to do so. Yes, our country is great because we are the great melting pot of the world and we take immigrants from around the world, but they became Americans. In order to pursue the American Dream you first need to become an American.

What are your views on fracking?

I am not against it, however at this time and based on the current research, Fracking is a poor choice for our Valley and our state, as it produces extreme amounts of waste-water which cannot be treated through current water treatment facilities. Until further research and better practices are set into place, it is of too high a risk and will waste the much needed water that our industries and our people require. We need potable water not waste-water.

What are your views on the water bond initiative?

Is there ever enough water? The answer to that is no, so how much is too much? There is never too much when it comes to water. When you hear that phrase, “Water is the element of life,” it truly is just that. We use water for everything from drinking to irrigation all the way to using it in our power plants. Bottom line is that California’s water infrastructure is horribly outdated. As to what should be in a water bond, our current legislators are still arguing over who is going to have the better idea. We should have passed the Water Bond in 2010. If we had, maybe then we would not be in the mess we are in now, and instead we would have built and stored the water versus hurting for it. As far as what should be in a water bond, I believe we should consult the experts, the Association of California Water Agencies. Their list has groundwater cleanup, safe drinking water, watershed protection, resources development projects including Integrated Regional Management programs.

What are your thoughts on the high-speed rail?

I feel that we should spend that money on fixing our outdated roads, bridges and water infrastructure. A passenger train is not going to bring businesses back to our state; however, a solid infrastructure will. Providing well-paved roads for shipping and receiving, having enough water to maintain power plants so we do not have brownouts – those are the things our state needs. When those issues are addressed we will begin seeing jobs flooding back into the Valley.

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