Fresno Bee voter guide

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4th Congressional District

Fresno Bee stories about the raceLongshot challengers hope to dislodge entrenched Valley congressmen

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  • Candidate picture

    Robert W. Derlet
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Tom McClintock
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

Do you support immigration reform? Why or why not? And how important is it for any immigration reform to include a provision for agricultural workers?

Should the United States increase operations in the Middle East, including the reintroduction of large scale ground troops, in an effort to defeat ISIS?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has introduced a bill in Congress to try to resolve conflicts (or at least balance interests) among competing California water interests. Do you support Feinstein's bill, and how would you try to resolve those conflicts?

Do you support the Trans Pacific Partnership? Explain your answer.

Do you support U.S. Senate Republicans' refusal to consider a replacement Supreme Court justice for Antonin Scalia this year? Is it the right decision to hold off a decision for more than a year until a new president is elected?

Do you support or oppose the Affordable Care Act? If you oppose it, what, specifically, would you change about it? If you think it just need tweaks, what are they? Or is it just right as is?

Do you support the state’s high-speed rail project? Please support your stance — be it pro or con — with specific reasons.

Members of Congress are much criticized for being unwilling to compromise and failing to work more collaboratively with the opposing party to get things done. How would you change that environment to get the people’s work done more effectively and respectfully?

Why are you the most qualified person for this seat?

Age 69
Residence Sonora, CA
Family Wife-Mikla Derlet, MD Four grown daughters
Education BA- Biology UC Santa Cruz 1971 MD-UC San Francisco 1975
Occupation Physician
Facebook/Social media Derlet For Congress
I support immigration reform
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Age 62
Residence Elk Grove, CA
Family Wife - Lori Children - Shannah and Justin
Education UCLA, Political Science, BA 1978
Occupation United States Representative
Public service experience United States Representative, 2009-Current California State Senator, 2000-2008 California State Assemblyman, 1982-1992, 1996-2000
Facebook/Social media http://www.facebook.com/jointom
The principal problem with our immigration laws is that they are not being enforced. We already have a “path to citizenship” that is followed by millions of LEGAL immigrants who have respected our laws, have waited patiently in line and have done everything our country has asked of them, while more than 15 million ILLEGAL immigrants cut in line in front of them.

Our immigration laws were written to assure that as people come to America, they come with a sincere desire to become Americans, that they adopt a common language and a common culture and share a devotion to American constitutional principles. ILLEGAL immigration undermines the process of assimilation essential to the immigration policy of any nation and makes a mockery of the rule of law.
No. When we put our young people in harm’s way, we owe it to them to assure they have ALL the might and resources of our country behind them and the UNDIVIDED attention of our government.

It is obvious that neither the President nor Congress – despite all their bluster – have any intention of doing so. Prior to Iraq, this nation did not attack another nation unless we or an ally were attacked, and when we did, we put everything we had into a single objective – victory. Absent an attack, we surrounded potential adversaries with superior force, contained them, and waited them out.

The Islamic State is a greater and more immediate danger to its neighbors than it is to us, and we should assure that those regional forces that are focused on fighting the I.S. have all the material support our nation can provide – specifically of the Kurdish Peshmerga that are begging for basic arms, and the Jordanians who are begging for spare aircraft parts.

In the meantime, we must secure our borders and focus on protecting our country against a growing fifth column that is infiltrating our nation through the administration’s lax immigration enforcement.
I support HR 2898 (Valadao), that funds new reservoir construction, authorizes enlargement of Shasta and construction of Sites and Temperance Flat reservoirs, strengthens Northern California water rights, provides operational flexibility to prevent unnecessary spills and diversions and that streamlines regulations to assure that human needs are treated with the same seriousness as environmental demands. It passed the House of Representatives on a bi-partisan vote and is being blocked in the Senate by Sen. Feinstein, for the third Congress in a row. Had it been enacted last year, HR 2898 would have delivered hundreds of thousands of acre feet of additional water for beneficial human use this winter that has instead been lost to the ocean.

Meanwhile, her bill has not even been heard by a Senate committee, and would have done nothing to capture the water we have lost to the Pacific Ocean this winter.
I have not yet reviewed the Trans Pacific Partnership. Generally speaking, I believe that the free exchange of goods –whether between people or nations – means that both sides go away with something of greater value than they had, or the trade wouldn’t take place. History is very clear that free trade produces prosperity for all nations that engage in it and that protectionism impoverishes every nation that practices it.

More markets for American products mean more jobs and higher wages for American workers. More products entering our economy mean more consumer choices and lower prices.

I am skeptical, however, that the Obama administration is capable of competently negotiating an agreement of this nature, so I reserve judgment until I can review it thoroughly.
I would have preferred that Senate Republicans had announced they would consider any nominee the President sent them who has consistently demonstrated the same fidelity to the Constitution as Antonin Scalia. But that is a distinction without a difference, since there is nothing in Merrick Garland’s background that suggests he would be any different than the four liberal justices already on the court who consistently vote in lockstep.

The Constitution gives the President the prerogative to nominate Supreme Court justices, and he has. It gives the Senate the prerogative to approve them, reject them, or ignore them. The Senate is doing the right thing by ignoring Merrick Garland.
Obamacare has caused premiums to skyrocket for millions of Americans and has denied them the health plans and doctors that they had, they liked, and they were promised they could keep. It has caused the equivalent loss of 2.5 million American jobs, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. It is, in short, an unmitigated disaster that I have opposed every step of the way. There is no substitute for its complete repeal.

Once we have done so, there are many reforms to improve access and affordability. We should provide the same tax advantages we currently give to employers to the employees themselves so that they can select and afford to own a plan that best meets their own needs. We should provide the freedom to shop anywhere in the nation for the best plan. We should expand Health Savings Accounts, so that people can meet their health care needs with pre-tax dollars; reform cost drivers like malpractice; and strengthen assigned risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions.
I fought the high-speed rail since its inception more than a decade ago. The cost figures for this project were absurd from the start – currently $68 billion (more than $5,000 for every family in California) for a train that goes from Los Angeles to San Francisco in two hours longer than it takes to fly. Energy consumption for the HSR is estimated at 16,000 kilowatts of electricity per trip at a time of sky-rocketing electricity prices and when we can’t guarantee enough electricity to keep your refrigerator running this summer.
Compromise is a means to an end – it is not an end in itself. I have always been willing to compromise on any measure that moves our country in the right direction --- but not when it moves us in the wrong direction by adding to our staggering debt or to the burdens that government is placing on our economy.

The checks and balances built into our system were designed to generate friction and disagreement. But we have also evolved a process to resolve our differences. The problem today is that the process of conferencing between the two houses is thwarted when the Senate routinely refuses to negotiate with the House on fundamental matters like funding the government or developing water policy. It is able to do so today because of an archaic provision in Senate rules that requires a 60-vote supermajority even to consider legislation. That rule must be repealed.
People know where I stand and can trust that I will stand firm. The National Taxpayers Union – the largest grass-roots taxpayer organization in the country -- has rated me the best vote for taxpayers in the entire House of Representatives for two years running. This year, Citizens Against Government Waste rated me as one of only two Congressmen with a 100 percent voting record in fighting wasteful government spending. I have devoted my life to reducing the cost and burdens that government has imposed on our families and our jobs, and I have worked to restore the uniquely American principles of individual liberty, constitutionally limited government and personal responsibility that produced the happiest, freest and most prosperous society in human history.

Even those who disagree with me know that I have never wavered from these principles and never will.