Small business owner Jeff Gorman is one of the candidates running for California’s 20th Congressional District seat. Gorman is a Republican. This is his first time running for the House of Representatives.
Michelle Loxton (ML): If you are elected, what will your work be like if Donald Trump wins reelection?
Jeff Gorman (JG): The reality is, if I win and Donald Trump wins, it's likely that the House of Representatives has gone Republican. I'll be voting for a new Speaker of the House and building relationships. It's a two year run, so there'll be quite a lot of hiring staff and that sort of thing. So should be interesting, to say the least.
ML: And a follow up to that would be how would this be different… How would your work be different if Joe Biden wins?
JG: Well, I think that being in the opposition party to a presidential candidate or presidential campaign that is victorious, of the other party, you have to decide where to draw the line on working with them. And of course, as a junior Congressman, I would be in the position of probably struggling to have standing to shape that debate. But I would look forward to being able to use my vote to affect policy.
ML: If elected, what does your work look like if Republicans maintain a majority in the Senate?
JG: Well, one thing is I think you'll continue to see the filibuster. That's a very important effect on the Senate and therefore on what gets passed Congress. So if it's a case where the Republican Party is in control of the House and you have the Senate, then it becomes: is it possible to work with senators of the other side to overcome the filibuster. On the other side of the coin, you know, anticipating your next question, if the Democrats gain the Senate and they've shown desire to get rid of the legislative filibuster, then the House becomes much more hot. It's going to cause the potential for a lot more activist legislating. And I'm a strong advocate for Congressmen voting no. I actually think it's very important to limit how many laws you inflict on the American people.
ML: So how would you reach out to members of the opposing party to work together on issues and attempt to find compromise as a Congressman?
JG: Well, I would look for Congressmen that have an indication of similar interests to me. So a friend of mine is in the Marine Corps, and he informed me of a sitting Congressman in Massachusetts who's a U.S. Marine infantryman and I... even though he's in the Democrat Party, I would say he has a sense of national interest. And I really want to form a national interest and speak to the national interest for the benefit of the American people. And when I say national interest, I mean, compared to other nations, you know, there's a lot of talk about globalism and so forth. So articulating that, even if there's disagreement, getting to where we have common language would be a hope.
ML: Why does the Monterey Bay and beyond need you representing them in the House rather than your opponent, Jimmy Panetta?
JG: It's really a sea change I'm asking people to consider when they consider voting for me. I believe that the government is over wrought. It has too much influence on our lives. We're in the position of relying on government for so much of our lives and it's a very common thing in urban areas. Here in the Monterey Bay Area we have a very pleasant, from my perspective, suburban or even rural feel. And there's a self-reliance I expect is alive and well in the Central Coast people. But we, in my opinion, have... the populace has been lulled to sleep by government promises. So, the reason that you need me is we have a huge deficit, it's the obligation of the House of Representatives to fund the government. And we have way too much going on at the federal government level and honestly at the state government level as well, which is begging, literally begging now for a bailout from the federal government.
ML: Could you choose just three words that you think describe the things or the issues that are most important to residents in this district?
JG: I would say liberty would certainly be top. Independence is one that I would wish for a resurrection and then federalism and checks and balances. Which is don't expect so much for your federal government. They should be focused on national matters, not trying to get into our personal lives. So, liberty, independence and federalism.
ML: I'd like to now hear from you about some of the key issues that this country and California have been facing in recent months, and I'd like you to rate the response. Let's start with the coronavirus pandemic. How has this been handled, in your opinion?
JG: I think the California response has been heavy handed towards business. I do understand that there was both a very real problem at the initial discovery and understanding of how COVID was penetrating our community. And part of pandemic is the pervasiveness and we needed to get a handle on that. So two weeks to flatten the curve made a lot of sense to me. When we got over four weeks and we stopped having the objective be: flatten the curve, there is a point at which we were asking businesses to dip into their savings. We started promising trillions of dollars of bailout money to people that were not at that time facing a pandemic outbreak in their small communities. Health laws need to be locally administered. And there was a major breakdown. My belief is it was partisan, that democratically controlled communities saw that they would have the opportunity to damage the U.S. economy and therefore damage President Trump's reelection campaign. Now, as the disease spread more, what I think we did is beyond damaging the economy wantonly, we also depleted people's reserves and ability to hang in there by making them shut down when there wasn't a massive health threat locally. Now when there is more of a health threat, they don't have the resources left because they've spent them already.
ML: Let's talk now about wildfires. So, homes have been destroyed. Tens of thousands were evacuated, our air quality has been horrid in recent weeks. Our future looks like one where we have to coexist with fire. How should California be approaching this ongoing challenge?
JG: Well, you know, regardless of the magnitude and causes of climate change there is a need to manage forest fires. In all of recorded history of California there have been forest fires. So what has happened, in my opinion, is that global climate change has been the scapegoat to let Democrats off the hook. So I think the various aspects of government, the PUC is in charge of making sure Pacific Gas and Electric in our area and the other utilities that do energy in the state of California, making sure that they are maintaining their fire lines. But the PUC has been mandated by the California Democrat legislature to take on global climate change, which is a massive problem instead of the core mission, which is safe energy.
ML: And my final question today is what about Black Lives Matter and policing? How can we build trust or more trust between minority communities and the police?
JG: I think everyone should have, as their objective, to not be the focus of a police action. I was brought up to be respectful of police and it has served me well. Now, I can't account for race as a function of that. I have talked to people who are of different races and I find that those with that attitude of respect for the police and an intention to follow the law have far less and far more pleasant interactions with police. I definitely take the law and order approach on that. And with regard to Black Lives Matter, I know there are many innocent, kind people that feel Black Lives Matter, and I have no bone to pick with them. But the leadership and the founders of Black Lives Matters have bragged about being Marxist trained in Venezuelan Marxism and I am concerned about a communist upsurge in the United States, to be honest with you.
You can find our conversation with Gorman’s opponent, Democrat Jimmy Panetta, here.