After the recent California gubernatorial debate hosted by NBC, a poll showed that 72 percent of respondents believed that Republican candidate Travis Allen won the debate.
Allen was the only candidate in the debate who had supported Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. He gave an interview to The Epoch Times to explain why this poll in a blue state gave such an overwhelming lead to a Trump supporter.
Allen’s campaign slogan is “Make California great again,” similar to Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America great again.” In the same way that Trump boosted the U.S. economy, Allen vows to reduce taxes and regulations in the California government so that more opportunities for businesses and jobs will be created in California.
“What we need is a governor that will actually put a sign on this building right behind me, that says ‘open for business,’” said Allen, standing in front of the California State Capitol.
Allen believes that cutting taxes and regulations will create more jobs and increase wages.
“That will bring Californians back to our state, bring them back from Texas and Tennessee and Arizona and Florida, and all the states that they’ve gone to,” he said.
Recent studies have shown that middle-class and low-income residents are moving out of California in droves.
A report written by Next 10, a liberal San Francisco organization studying the California economy and environment, stated: “California experienced negative net domestic migration of 1,090,600 from 2006 to 2016. In other words, 1,090,600 more people moved out of California to other states than moved in from other states.”
As a Californian, Allen described his personal experience with his family and friends moving out of the state.
“My whole family’s left. My parents left. They now live in Oregon. My brother’s left. He now lives in Arizona, and my best friend now lives in Texas, where he pays no state income tax. He doubled the size of his house and doubled the size of his business,” Allen said.
With a career background as a private investment advisor, Allen has also experienced his clients moving out of the state.
“All of my clients started here in California; they’re now in 22 other states because of the terrible policies of the California Democrats,” he said.
Historically, the Democratic Party has been known for favoring heavy taxes and more regulations. The California State Legislature has been under a majority of Democrats for 39 of the last 40 years.
Allen believes that the reason the state legislature continuously makes policies in the same direction, driving businesses and residents out of California, is due to the Democratic majority in the state-level government lacking checks and balances.
“There has been absolutely no balance in California, which is why now we have the nation’s highest income tax, highest sales tax, one of the highest gas taxes, and one of the highest corporate taxes,” said Allen.
He believes that changes can only be made if checks and balances are brought back to the state capitol so that Californians can again hear the stories from both sides.
“I’m running to bring balance back to California,” said Allen.
To reduce the taxes in California, Allen’s signature effort is to repeal SB 1, a bill that raised gas tax, in the November 2018 election.
SB 1 was approved in April 2017 by the Democratic-controlled legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown. Under SB 1, Californians pay an additional 12 cents per gallon in gas tax, an additional 20 cents per gallon in diesel fuel excise tax, and a new annual vehicle fee ranging from $25 for cars valued under $5,000, to $175 for cars worth $60,000 or more. For Californians who own electric vehicles, a $100 annual fee will be charged starting in 2020.
The original intent of SB 1 was to raise $5.4 billion annually for road and bridge repairs and improvements to mass transit. However, Republicans believe that by reducing taxes, government regulations, and government waste, the economy in California will grow more quickly as the U.S. economy did under Trump’s policies, resulting in more tax revenue for maintaining roads and bridges.
Besides repealing the gas tax, another important element of Allen’s campaign is the California water project, which is about reducing the state government regulations.
Californians went through three years of historic droughts from 2014 to 2017. As they watched their lawns dying and tried to reduce their shower time by a few minutes each day to save water, Californians all had the concept “there’s not enough water in California” deeply embedded in their minds.
To Allen, California never had the water shortage problem, but only the problems caused by excessive regulations.
“California voters passed the water bond in 2014. It’s [a] 7-billion-dollar bond, out of which 2.7 billion dollars were supposed to go to build new water storage. To date, Democrats have not spent one dollar on any new water storage anywhere in California,” Allen said.
So why didn’t the state government spend the funds approved by voters to build new dams and reservoirs to save the much-needed water for California?
U.S. Representative Devin Nunes (R), who serves California’s 22nd congressional district, wrote in an article: “Due to environmental regulations as well as a lack of water storage capacity (attributable, in large part, to activist groups’ opposition to new storage projects), 70% of the water that enters the Delta is simply flushed into the ocean.”
Nunes called the drought in California a “man-made drought” in his article.
“From my experience representing California’s agricultural heartland, I know that our water crisis is not an unfortunate natural occurrence; it is the intended result of a long-term campaign waged by radical environmentalists who resorted to political pressure as well as profuse lawsuits,” Nunes wrote.
Allen believes that it was the overly restrictive environmental regulations made by the state legislature that caused the water shortage in California. Once those radical regulations are repealed or removed, California will enjoy a significant boost in its agriculture and lifestyle, he thinks.
California produces more than half of the nation’s fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Allen said that to help California’s agriculture, new rainwater storage must be built in California.
“We will grow all of our fruits and vegetables right here in California cleanly and safely. We will have long showers and green lawns in the front yard and backyard. California has enough natural resources, and we just have to use them cleanly, safely, and in an environmentally safe way,” Allen said.
California has been a blue state for as long as many people remember. It is hard for most people to imagine any Republican candidate winning a gubernatorial campaign in California, except those with star power, like Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
However, the recent post-debate poll seemed to indicate that the messages from Republican candidate Allen have reached the hearts of many Californians.