As we have done with other races, the California Globe presents a question-and-answer series with the candidates, this time Scott Jones and Kevin Kiley – two of the four people in the race to represent California’s newly re-drawn Third Congressional district.
The district stretches from the San Bernardino County border all the way up to Placer County and beyond, hugging the Nevada border.
The California Redistricting Commission reports on the newly drawn CD3:
“CD 3 includes the whole Counties of Placer, Nevada, Mono, Sierra, Inyo, Plumas and Alpine, portions of Yuba, Sacramento, and El Dorado Counties to balance population while considering communities of interest. This district includes the whole Cities of Auburn, Bishop, Colfax, Folsom, Grass Valley, Lincoln, Loyalton, Nevada City, Portola, Rocklin, Roseville, and South Lake Tahoe, and the towns of Loomis, Mammoth Lakes, and Truckee. This district incorporates communities based in the Sierras, its foothills, and Placer County suburbs. The mountainous communities of the Eastern Sierras are kept together in this district, including the entire Tahoe Basin. Communities in this region share a more rural lifestyle and have common interests in protecting their undeveloped lands and natural landmarks. “
Usually, we focus on a single question and answer for each of these pieces. However, as only two of the candidates are participating we thought it would be better this time to share the answer to a few questions side-by-side.
As for the other candidates – Democrats Dave Peterson and Kermit Jones – they will not be participating. Peterson proved unreachable – the phone number listed on his Federal Election commission forms seems disconnected and multiple emails went unreturned (though, since Ballotpedia notes his end of March campaign finance statement as having “0’s” in both donations and contributions and that he has run rather spectacularly unsuccessfully in other races in the past, it is doubtful if his participation in this series would have mattered, though it would have been nice).
The Jones campaign, however, agreed to take part in the series and then went very “radio silent” when asked – multiple times – to provide any answers. Unlike Peterson, Jones seems to have amassed a bit of a war chest and at least his phone hasn’t been turned off.
That being said, the hubris of a seemingly serious candidate – any candidate, no matter party distinction – involved in refusing to answer legitimate questions (re-printed un-edited) is not only distressing but also very telling of the candidate’s attitude towards the public.
And if his campaign staff was concerned Jones would be mocked like AG Rob Bonta and Newsom in previous series’ if they simply stayed silent, they were wrong. Anyone reading any of these stories would clearly and plainly note that only by not answering does the mockery occur.
Good job, Kermit. We’re sure your potential constituents appreciate it.
That being said, here are the first three questions for Mr. Kiley and Mr. Jones:
In the past week or so, the Supreme Court has been roiled by the leak of a draft of an opinion that could overturn Roe V. Wade. Do you believe that leak was appropriate and what is your opinion of the call to “codify” the right to an abortion – at least in some way – in federal law?
KILEY – I am pro-life. I share Chief Justice Roberts’ view that the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion is an egregious abuse of trust. The court’s decision in this case will not change anything in California, yet politicians are already using it as a pretext to push radical policies that go far beyond what the vast majority of Californians of either party support.
SCOTT – I was deeply troubled by the leak of this draft opinion. Our Justices should be able to confer among each other in confidentiality as they work to arrive on their final rulings. Our United States Supreme Court must remain partial only to the Constitution, and not prevailing political winds. I hope that this leak is thoroughly investigated and that whoever was responsible is held accountable for their actions.
I am pro-life. Attempts to codify abortion in Federal law are not just premature – since the ruling has yet to even be made – but a political power play. I would oppose such efforts.
Wildfire and forest management are critical issues in the newly re-drawn district. Do you support proactive measures – such as prescribed burns, targeted clearing, undergrounding power lines– to reduce the chances of a catastrophic fire? If not why, and if so, what should the range of Federal involvement be in effort?
SCOTT – Simply put, yes. Wildfires have devastated Northern California and it is a direct result of a massive failure of both Federal and State governments. Our forests are overgrown, barely managed, and full of dead and dying trees. Policies that have prevented forestry management resulted in jobs leaving our forested communities and those who remain are in danger of repeated forest fires. I will support increasing timber management, biomass power, and changing Forest Service policy to favor aggressive attack on the initial start of fires. The federal government can no longer monitor fires and hope nature puts them out, the risk to our people and the environment is too great.
Further, we must have a larger buffer around towns and major infrastructure, such as power lines, to contain fires and protect homes. Federal law must change to prevent lawsuits from limiting our ability to do post fire salvage, restore forests, and do proactive forestry to prevent major fires. We must continue and enhance cooperative leases of federal lands with ranchers and farmers that beneficially manage these federal lands.
My passion for forest management and fire protection isn’t just a political talking point; it’s personal. As Sheriff of Sacramento County, I serve as the Mutual Aid Coordinator for 11 counties, helping deploy regional law enforcement to assist in – among other things – evacuations and community patrols. As a personal evacuee of the 2021 River Fire in Placer and Nevada Counties whereby my next door neighbors’ homes burned to the ground, working collaboratively to address forest management and fire preparedness is something I care deeply about. In Congress, I intend to work diligently to ensure that responsible management and cooperation finally occur.
KILEY – The mismanagement of California forests has made catastrophic wildfires regular events, with devastating damage to life, property, and the environment. I favor proper forest management through prescribed burns, elimination of ladder fuels, undergrounding of power lines, strategic tree removal, and other steps that have been proven to mitigate risk. I also favor rolling back regulations that have decimated the timber industry and caused our forests to become dangerously overgrown.
The District is home to Mono Lake and vast mountain ranges that can “store” water as snow for later use. Do you believe the state and federal governments have been proper stewards of this resource and how would you approach water issues – such as the current approximately 50 percent use of the state’s stored water supply for “environmental purposes?”
KILEY – There is one reason California’s are once again being subjected to rationing, cutbacks, shorter showers, and fallow fields: neglect. It has been generations since our state has significantly expanded its water storage capacity. In the Legislature I proposed a Constitutional Amendment to dedicate a fixed portion of the budget to water storage projects, and in Congress I will advocate for expanding storage and eliminating regulations that divert water from productive use.
SCOTT – We must increase water supply in California, period! We must build more storage systems of every type, from new reservoirs to groundwater recharge. We have a water system that was built for a state of half the current population. We must have a better ability to store rain and snow runoff to protect against both floods and help through our regular drought periods. The water we are storing is chronically mismanaged by the State and Federal governments, saving too little for our local use and sending the water that falls in our district to benefit the Bay Area and Southern California at the expense of our Northern California citizens, farmers, and environment.
We must build more water storage and change the management of the system to protect Northern California water from those that would drain our most needed resources for their benefit. We have statistical data that should drive not only our immediate response today, but planning for a changing future as well.