The Ripon Forum
Volume 41, No. 2
April - May 2007 Issue
Hometown: Bakersfield, CA
Occupation: Congressman representing the 22nd District of California
Previous Jobs: Assemblyman in the California State Assembly, Republican Leader in the California State Assembly, Trustee for Kern Community College District Board, District Representative for Congressman Bill Thomas, and owner of Kevin O’s Deli.
Individuals who inspired me as a child: 1) My Mom because she is a strong Italian woman with an infectious laugh and a personality that makes everyone feel like they are a part of the family from the first time they meet her. 2) Satchel Paige because he not only was a pioneer for ending segregation in Major League Baseball, but was also one of greatest pitchers in history. 3) Teddy Roosevelt because he was not afraid to lead.
Historical figures I would most like to meet: 1) The Founding Fathers because they created a government of individual liberty and freedom that defeated every obstacle of tyranny threatening our way of life over the last 230 years and represented a force of good in the world. 2) Abraham Lincoln because he never gave up and brought the country together by finding the best in people at a time when he was distrusted and disliked by millions of Americans. In the end, even with all the hatred, he won because he stood for a vision that was good and worthy.
Issues Facing America that no one is talking about: Global competitiveness. We lose sight of the big picture and get caught up in single issue debates when we should be analyzing more broadly how to win the future. To continue great American prosperity, our children need to be able to compete with China, India, and the European Union. Our innovators need less Washington regulations and a tax code that keeps us competitive in a free market economy.
What the GOP must do to reclaim its congressional majority: Earn back the trust of the American people by revitalizing our status as the party of bold ideas and Washington accountability.