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Race for the 24th: Benjamin Lucas


In anticipation of forums to be broadcast live on-air by KCRW in Santa Barbara, all candidates for the 24th Congressional district were asked to respond to this questionnaire. The responses have been published without editing.

Given how dysfunctional Congress is now, how do you intend to get anything done?

I profess to be a Reagan-Democrat. I have put forth my ideas at thelucassolution.com on how to move the economy forward, including energy and education. I intend to offer fresh ideas and at the same time I understand the need to envision a bigger picture and not hold to party lines to create solutions.

How would you prevent another oil spill like the Refugio Spill in Santa Barbara?

That oil spill was an onshore event and thus completely preventable by enforcing the federal safety standards. The previous congressperson had been informed of maintenance deficiencies 2 years prior to the oil spill and had not followed up on the pipeline co’s performance. I will use my knowledge of regulations as a previously certified nuclear power operator to ensure oversight of federal regulations.

After the recent San Bernardino shooting and the shootings in Isla Vista, how would you reshape laws surrounding gun control?

I have spelled out specific answers on the subject at thelucassolution.com. I have put forth a 2 part solution: The federal government allows a citizen who passes all of the established criteria, including fingerprinting and a DNA sample, the right to carry a concealed weapon. Secondly, gun law enforcement would prosecute violators with a 10 year minimum sentence and enforce it with maximum effort; minors violating the law will serve in a paid work program for up to 10 years.

This March, Immigration and Custom Enforcement officials raided Bonita Packing Company in Santa Maria and forced the company to fire 291 farm workers because of their non-legal immigration status. According to the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, about 72% of the roughly 17,000 farm workers in Santa Barbara County are undocumented. This comes when there is a 25% labor shortage in the county, according to the Agricultural Advisory Committee. How would you handle the issue of undocumented workers and the need for labor across the district?

Once again, I will quote from the solution that I have put forth on my website: The federal government has to change the penalty for crossing the border illegally from a misdemeanor back to a felony; but allow all undocumented persons the chance to register. They will be given 90 days to register, a DNA and fingerprint requirement, verified legal address, issuance of a government registration card and after 7 years, citizenship will be granted as determined by immigration law.

Recent studies have shown that on average students graduate with $30,000 in student debt. What would you do to help make college more affordable?

I feel that there are plenty of grants, scholarships and access available at an undergraduate level. A student entering a graduate program for a doctorates degree can apply to the government to fund their full program through a service to community exchange for tuition. A qualified student can apply for federal grants and in return that student agrees to a five year paid internship at underserved rural and inner city hospitals and clinics.



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