Editor’s note: A profile of candidate Brian Dahle, as well as his answers to the same questions, will appear in next week’s newspapers.
Senate District 1 candidate Kevin Kiley said he wants to be an agent of change in the state capitol and is far from complacent with the way things are currently done in Sacramento.
Kiley currently represents residents of several Sacramento suburbs in the state’s 6th Assembly district. He will be on the June 4 special election ballot alongside fellow Republican Assemblyman Brian Dahle.
Kiley, a former high school teacher and lawyer, was elected to the state assembly in 2016. He will be available for questions at a forum at the Yreka Community Theater this Thursday, May 9 from 5:30-7 p.m.
Kiley vowed to fight against overreaching Democrats in Sacramento and although he is conservative, he said he values all his constituents, no matter their political affiliation.
Kiley added that he’s not controlled by special interests and is responsive to “ordinary Californians,” asserting that special interests have spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in the race to defeat him and elect Dahle.
When asked the three issues he is most passionate about, Kiley pointed to the high cost of living in California and said the state is in need of “common sense policies to loosen the grip of special interests in the state capitol.”
Secondly, Kiley talked about supporting public safety and said the government has “taken away the tools law enforcement has to make us safe.”
Lastly, Kiley pointed to education, and returning control to local schools.
Kiley said he is running for state senator because in the senate, he would have a larger impact in turning the state around.
If voters are happy with the way California is running now, Kiley said they should vote for Dahle. As for himself, Kiley said he is running on a platform of change.
Q&A with the candidate
Kiley answered the following Siskiyou-specific questions via an email interview.
Q: What is your take on water rights in the north state, specifically related to water bottling and drink manufacturing companies? Do you believe that giving up control of some of our water would be worth it in terms of economic return?
Kiley: I have helped lead the fight against the California Water Commission and the State Water Resources Control Board. Sacramento politicians are seeking to strip the water rights of property owners and local communities, while empowering state officials that do not have our community’s best interest in mind. Their ultimate goal is to place unreasonable restrictions on our water usage. Instead of decreasing access to water, we need to be pursuing policies that increase supply and storage. Namely, the construction of water projects like Sites Reservoir that have been promised for years but never delivered.
Q: What is your position on the removal of the Klamath dams? If elected, what efforts will you make on this front and how will you support those on both sides of the issue?
Kiley: Removal of the Klamath dams would have significant negative impacts not only farmers and citizens in Siskiyou County, it will also be devastating for the local ecosystem. It is critical that we keep the Klamath dams in place and protect the local water supply.
Q: What are your ideas for stimulating the local economies of smaller cities, including Mount Shasta, Weed, Dunsmuir, Yreka, etc. with smaller populations and less infrastructure?
Kiley: First and foremost, we must revive California's logging industry, which as a consequence of misguided environmental policies, has been in decline since the late 1980s. It must be restored not only as a boost to our local economies, but also as an important part of our wildfire prevention strategy. I am proud to be endorsed by the West Coast Lumber & Building Material Association in this race. Second, we need to reduce the suffocating tax burden that Sacramento places on businesses and individuals throughout our state. Third, we must reduce regulations that make it so expensive to build in California. Until we reduce our state’s cost of living, California will continue to be unaffordable for too many. Finally, the statewide minimum wage increase is a threat to every small community in California. That’s why I am looking into ways where we could provide relief to this increase in less populated geographic areas. Costs vary by reason, there is not reason the minimum wage should be the same in San Francisco as it is in Yreka.
Q: In what ways does immigration have an impact on District 1 communities, specifically those in Siskiyou County?
Kiley: Illegal immigration in California can have a huge impact on public safety in Siskiyou County. Especially when our politicians are passing laws to create a Sanctuary State. I was a leading opponent of this movement and will continue to fight against bills that endanger the lives of citizens in the North State.
Q: Do you believe that local towns should embrace the marijuana industry? Do you think encouraging cannabis-based business is a way to build the economies of small communities such as Mount Shasta and Weed, or is it detrimental?
Kiley: I was very concerned when our state moved to allow the recreational sale of cannabis. Now, even the businesses that thought it would be good for them are finding that it is not nearly as successful as they had hoped. That said, the most important aspect of this conversation is that local governments have control to make decisions they see fit for their residents and communities.
Q: In what way would you support forest management and reduction of wildfire risk?
Kiley: It is important that local governments and individuals do their part to ready their communities in case of fires. However, the state needs to do its job as well. I have run bills in the Legislature to require the state to maintain its own land, which (if left untended) can threaten nearby communities who are preparing themselves. I also think we need to hold PG&E accountable for the damaged they have caused, and make sure they are doing everything possible to keep a deadly fire from happening again.
Q: In what ways do you support law enforcement? Siskiyou County has a tight budget for coverage in rural areas. Do you believe there is anything that can be done at the state level to support the Sheriff’s Department and other local law enforcement agencies?
Kiley: I have been a strong supporter of law enforcement in the Legislature, particularly when it comes to opposing bills that will make them and our communities less safe. this year I am fighting against AB 392, which seeks to strip law enforcement of the ability act by imposing dangerous new restrictions on use of force. I will continue to fight for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.