Midterms are fast approaching, weeks have now turned into days.
In this latest segment, California Attorney General Rob Bonta joins Elex Michaelson on The Issue Is to make his latest contribution to voters.
Bonta is seeking his first full term as California AG as he was appointed to the role in early 2021, part of a revolving door in California politics, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Bonta to complete the term of then-AG Xavier Becerra, who was as Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Biden administration.
In a wide-ranging interview, Bonta discusses his work fighting the fentanyl crisis and the new investigation into that leaked racist audio of LA City Council members. He’s also responding to critics who accuse him of being too closely associated with controversial LA County District Attorney George Gascon, as well as those who criticize his decision not to participate in a televised general election debate with his AG challenger Nathan Hochman.
Debate also took place this week on Proposition 30, a November ballot initiative that would impose a 1.75% income tax on California’s top earners making more than $2 million a year to fund electric vehicle infrastructure and wildfire prevention efforts.
In support of Eli Lipmen’s measures. Representing the opposition, Matt Rodriguez.
THE ISSUE IS: THE LAST PROPOSAL FOR CALIFORNIA VOTERS
REPRESENTATIVE GENERAL BONTA’S CENTRAL TAKE: “My excellent experience for this role, my priorities that are aligned and in sync with the people of California, and my effectiveness, in a nutshell, whether it’s my vast experience working on state affairs at the state level or as an elected official who has spent more than a decade and a half dealing with all the issues Californians hold dear, from public safety to housing to climate justice to health care to rights, including the right to reproductive freedom and the right to be free from gun violence, holding the powerful, including corporations and polluters accountable when they break the law – my record is full of that. That’s what I was doing. This is what I fought for. understand the role as an advocate for the people leading your struggles, the people of California, my struggle, I stand by your side…”
THE PROBLEM IS: BONTA’S DECISION NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN AG TELEVISED DEBATE
REPRESENTATIVE GENERAL BONTA’S CENTRAL TAKE: “I think debates are good for democracy. We had two debates in this race, one in the primary, on video that’s still available, available on real-time TV, where questions were asked of all the Candidates and objections were also provided, provided a real opportunity for a wide-ranging debate, presented a stark contrast of the various candidates. And then we did it again in general, recently, and again it’s available, it’s on video, it’s been real-time and live that provided an opportunity for rebuttal and contrast. And I think that contrast is absolutely clear that what I’m presenting to the people of California and what my opponent is presenting, or in his case, is unable to present in terms of being effective an attorney general who will fight on all the issues people are interested in. My opponent talked about one issue, one issue only: crime — a very important issue, public safety is the number one, two, and three issue for me, and le actually I do things like I mentioned and he talks about it and does nothing…”
THE PROBLEM IS: IS GEORGE GASCON DOING A GOOD JOB AS LA DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE?
ATTORNEY GENERAL BONTA’S CENTRAL TAKE: “So I joined the majority of Los Angeles voters at the time in supporting George Gascon and the promise he presented as a candidate to fight for safety, justice and fairness. And there are many district attorneys throughout the state of California. I work with all of them. They all have different approaches and different perspectives and I do it my way too. I have my own approach and my own perspective and style and it’s different from the others, there’s no one who does it like me, I do it my way our own, driven by evidence and data to keep people safe and our system fair…
“There was this very clumsy attempt at guilt by association during my opponent’s campaign, but the facts speak for themselves in the way I approach criminal justice, public safety, holding people accountable. I’ve said that time and time again.” again, when people commit a crime, any crime, misdemeanor or crime, you have to arrest them. The data shows that the thing that deters people from committing a crime is knowing that they will be arrested if they commit that crime, so we need to arrest people and arrest people and hold them accountable, commensurate with the crime they have committed…”
THE PROBLEM IS: FIGHTING THE FENTANYL CRISIS
ATTORNEY GENERAL BONTA’S CENTRAL TAKE: “We’ve made this a top priority because we know that the fentanyl and the harm and the injury and the pain and the death that’s stemming from our fentanyl crisis is that it’s a total crisis. It’s a total emergency. And we’ve been working on this problem for months and throughout my tenure as attorney general, and whether anyone wanted to be informed and did their research or not, we’ve been doing the work, we’ve been cutting billions, B billions, of dollars out of settlements against to the opioid manufacturers and distributors who helped fuel the opioid crisis statewide and nationally and brought that money into communities where they can help treat and alleviate drug addiction and provide services and programs to address drug addiction and improve and promote education to help stop fentanyl crisis and the opioid crisis across the state and the country….
“I asked for and got a fentanyl task force, 25 new positions, $8 million in the first year, $7 million in about year 2 to take on the fentanyl crisis, to go after the manufacturers who are making fentanyl and the distributors who are we will bring it to California and move it around California. And we also made arrests, more than 200 arrests. We’ve seized over 1,000 pounds of fentanyl, we’ve taken 4 million pills off the streets, each one of those pills represents someone who could be hurt, injured or even killed. And that’s how we save lives. We take fentanyl. We leverage our resources, prioritize and move the needle so we make a difference every day…”
The problem is: with Elex Michaelson is the only national political show in California. Check TheIssueIsShow.com for showtimes and more information.