Today at 3:30pm: Mr. Michael Eggman is running for the Congressional seat presently held by Jeff Denham. Mr. Eggman has worked in farming all of his life, specializing in beekeeping and growing almonds. He was raised locally and knows extremely well the district he seeks to represent.
Farming Background and Climate Change
Michael Eggman runs a thriving beekeeping business. His business has taken him all over California with bee hives for crop pollination. He also operates an almond orchard, so he knows the challenges of crop farming. Mr. Eggman has experienced the problems that small businesses face and knows the help they need and don’t need.
Mr. Eggman mentioned how climate change has adversely affected his hives, including colony collapse disorder. He attributes the disorder in part to wide swings in air temperature. He can no longer take his hives to some parts of California because of local toxins and extremes in weather such as drought.
“Kids Need a Shot at the American Dream”
Mr. Eggman said that the major social and economic problems in the Great Valley can be attributed to the lack of jobs. The high unemployment rate has resulted in extreme poverty and a high crime rate. The high crime rate has deterred business from moving into the area.
Inadequate job training makes an escape from poverty difficult. School infrastructure needs to be upgraded in large parts of the district Mr. Eggman seeks to represent. In Congress, he plans to bring home money that will enable the building of better community.
Helping Small Business and Improving the Tax Code
According to Mr. Eggman, Congress needs to focus on building small business through tax incentives for startups. With a simplified tax code, he would also like to see tax loopholes eliminated and the budget balanced without raising taxes. He said that a combination of a better tax code combined with the elimination of expenditures that are not worth their cost can bring the national budget into balance.
For every $1 that Californians pay in federal taxes, only 75 or 76 cents is returned to the state. Mr. Eggman said that California is being shortchanged and that a greater effort is needed in Congress to bring home money that can be used to improve the economic health of the state. More money is needed for roadway infrastructure for improved commerce. He plans to help his district obtain more grants.
Mr. Eggman attributed California’s lack of a fair federal funding level to lobbyists who use their money to influence Washington to steer tax dollars into dubious projects in other states. He wants campaign disclosure laws strengthened in make the money in politics more transparent. A Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizen United ruling may be necessary.
Candidate Eggman spoke passionately about the need to provide better education to students within the congressional district he seeks to represent. He favors the principles of common core that set minimum standards and expectations for student achievement. He believes that students in less affluent school districts should have the opportunity to enjoy the same quality of education as those who live in wealthier areas. He supports the efforts of the federal government in that endeavor.
Federal grant money should be targeted to lower income districts, with Common Core as part of the accountability effort. There has to be accountability in student achievement.
Mr. Eggman said that California’s water infrastructure has not been upgraded in over 40 years and it is overdue. He intends to secure federal funds to improve water transport and storage. He thinks desalinization plants are needed not only along the coast, but inland where water quality needs to be improved in order for local water to be usable. He approves of the City of Modesto’s water recycling program and wants more programs implemented.
As a representative for the Central Valley, Mr. Eggman stated that he will be active in the effort to upgrade the water system. That being said, he does not support the twin tunnels program through the valley river delta. He said that the project is too expensive because it will not create any additional usable water, just move water from one place to another.
Mr. Eggman expressed strong support for the adequate funding of the U.S. military. On the other hand, he does not support the squandering of resources on foreign wars that have an unsound entrance strategy and no exit strategy. Diplomacy and working with allies toward solutions with belligerents are preferable to committing troops.
The military should be maintained as a strong fighting force with the proper equipment. Expenditures that do not contribute to the goal should be eliminated.
Michael Eggman was highly critical of the incumbent’s stand on immigration. He noted that Jeff Denham only embraced immigration reform when his seat came into jeopardy. Previously, the incumbent said and did nothing to promote a solution to a problem that has grown over the years.