Port, border security a top priority for Michael Jackson

michael-jackson-photo.jpgBY NICK DIAMANTIDES
Staff Writer

Michael Jackson is running against fellow Republican Gabriella Holt in the upcoming June 3 primary election to determine which one will run in the November general elections. Jackson and Holt both want to replace Democrat Betty Karnette who now occupies the 54th District State Assembly seat but has termed out.
Jackson is currently an aerospace project manager for the Raytheon Company. He and his wife Elissa founded Government for the People, an organization that endorses judicial candidates. Jackson was the Republican nominee for the 54th District seat two years ago and received 39 percent of the votes.
Jackson recently told the Signal Tribune what the voters could expect if he was elected to office. His top priority would be to secure the ports and the borders. “The first thing we need to do is verify that all truck drivers coming into the ports are U.S. citizens,” he said, noting that several processes have been suggested to accomplish that goal. “Right now a large portion of the truck drivers going in and out of our ports are illegal immigrants,” Jackson stressed. “All it takes is one jihadi going in there with a truck bomb.” He added that he would push for legislation requiring the installation of X-ray machines to scan the contents of trucks entering the ports.
Jackson said that parts of California’s border with Mexico are already secure, but more needs to be done to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the state. “We need to pressure the federal government to secure the rest of our border, and the state needs to do more to enforce immigration laws, which the federal government allows us to do,” he said. “There are too many crimes being committed by illegal aliens.”
Jackson noted that securing the borders and enforcing immigration laws are the first step toward making America a country of law and order once again. “Then we can invite immigrants to come who would make America better,” he said.
Relating illegal immigration to healthcare, Jackson noted that illegal immigrants who are receiving free medical care are largely responsible for skyrocketing healthcare costs. “I am against the universal healthcare coverage being pushed by the Democrats,” he said. “If we reduce the number of illegal immigrants, our healthcare costs will drop significantly.”
Jackson’s second priority if elected would be to solve budget problems by lowering spending. “We’ve outspent inflation and population growth again,” he said. “As an assembly member I would try to bring sanity to the budget process while informing the public about what the real problems are.”
Jackson insisted that the state has more than enough revenues. “We have a spending problem,” he said. “We are spending the taxpayers’ money on all kinds of frivolous things and not getting down to the core functions of government.” He noted that eliminating unnecessary programs and inefficient operations would free up enough money to fund all services truly needed by the public.
“One thing I would do is redirect part of those funds to reenergize our vocational system,” he said. “We need to have a system that trains our young people and enables them to secure living wage jobs.”
Jackson noted that for a year or so after Arnold Schwarzenegger was first elected as governor, state spending actually declined, but then it skyrocketed. “We were getting by in 2003 so we need to compare that year’s budget with our current budget to see where we increased spending and then eliminate the unnecessary programs,” he said.
Doing so would enable the state to put more money into education, Jackson stressed. “We also need to look at the entire budget for schools, divide that amount by the number of students we have and figure out how much money is being spent on the school system bureaucracy and how much is being spent on our kids,” he noted.
On environmental issues, Jackson said he favors a middle-of-the-road approach. “We have to protect our environment, but we have to protect our businesses too,” he said. “The revenues that businesses generate are what pay for the environmental protection and cleanup that we need.”
Turning to a more controversial topic, Jackson said he would vote against any bill that would authorize same-sex marriage in California. “I would oppose that because history has shown that great civilizations are built upon nuclear families – a man and a woman married with children,” he said. “On top of that, a few years ago the voters of this state by an overwhelming majority rejected the concept of same-sex marriage. No governmental body has the right to counteract the will of the people.”
In his concluding remarks, Jackson insisted that he was better qualified than Holt to fill the 54th Assembly District seat because he is more familiar with the electoral process. “I had a five-year plan to get elected in 2008. I ran in ‘03, ‘04 and ‘06 not expecting to win any of those,” he said. “By doing that I was able to learn the process, meet the voters and be independent of any party structure so that I could truly represent the people.”

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