State Senate Candidate Palmer Kain On the California Economy and Helping Veterans
In the race for the California State Senate Seat that represents the Monterey Bay Area, incumbent Democrat Bill Monning is facing Republican Palmer Kain.
Kain is an Army Veteran and a Cabrillo College graduate who, citing the high cost of education in the U.S., earned his bachelor’s degree in Israel. He has held various roles working in local and national politics, and now is running for the District 17 State Senate seat.
Rick Kleffel (RK): As a Republican, what values will guide and inform you as you vote on and craft legislation?
Palmer Kain (PK): First and foremost, the Republican value that I bring not only from the military and my military experience, but my time in California politics is coalition building. The idea that we're as legislators; we’re sitting in the room; we're crafting legislation for all of California; and, we need to work together. We need to bridge the gap and have that discussion. And my 20 years in state and national politics, my five years at the international level, help me bring that not only to the district, but to California as a whole.
RK: Water supplies for agricultural, business and home users are an issue throughout your district. How would you address them at the level of the State Senate?
PK: 80% of our water goes to agriculture. That's a problem. We provide the nation with 2/3 of its produce, so if California runs out of water, it's not a state issue, it's a national security issue. We need at least 5 1/2 million gallons of water a day, just for the city of Santa Cruz, and that includes the U.C. sitting up on the hill there. As someone who has lived in the Middle East, I saw firsthand what desalinization has done for the Israeli economy and also solar-powered water heating. Water and energy in the state of California, the way we do it has to change, and I look forward to working with the state Senate and the State Assembly to make that happen.
RK: What is your understanding of and what are your plans for the Californian economy?
PK: In the last ten years, 9000 business and five million citizens have left our State, never to return. We have the highest corporate tax rate in the nation. We have the highest gas tax in the nation, and yet we produce gas in California. We also have the highest cost of consumer goods in the nation, a gallon of milk here costs us about $6.00, whereas in Ohio or Iowa it's about $1.50. The reason that gallon is $6.00 is due to the over-regulation and taxation of business in California. So first and foremost is, let's cut the red tape. Let's return growth to small business. So my prime argument to all business in this district is I will fight for you, I will cut your red tape, I will help you, I will work with you to find ways to grow your business.
RK: America is growing older and so is this county; how can you help our senior citizens?
PK: So, my parents’ generation, the baby boom generation 50 to 60 million of them are getting ready to retire. And they're looking for their Social Security checks. They're looking for their health care. And as your next State Senator, it's my job to make sure that they have access to what their tax dollars paid for. What's that mean? We need more in-home care. There's going to be a massive strain on the health-care system as it currently exists. If you're a veteran, and you don’t want to leave your home, but you need skilled nursing to come in, there's a program for that, to pay for that, to help offset that cost. I want to do that for our state and our county as a starting point to help our senior citizens.
RK: You’re an Army Veteran. You served on the California Republican Party’s Veterans Affairs Committee. As a State Senator, how can you help veterans?
PK: So we have the largest population of veterans in the nation. 1.8 million. Almost 2% of our population are veterans. Well a third of them are homeless, indigent or in some way, shape or form, in need. So one of my first bills in my first hundred days will be a total revision of the CalVet program, which is the California version of the VA. But also working in conjunction with our Congressional leadership from the federal level to bring money back into the community; in the county of Santa Cruz we have 20,000 veterans. They need jobs, they need housing and I have a plan for that.
Palmer Kain is the Republican Party candidate for the California State Senate Seat, District 17, which represents part of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties.