Immigration reform and the ongoing drought are two issues that are sure to be front and center in the race for California's 21st Congressional district.
Wednesday, we had Congressman David Valadao on Sunrise.
Today, his challenger Amanda Reneteria was on Sunrise to talk about campaign trackers, immigration reform, and her recent support of the $7 billion California Water Bond. She discussed first her stance on building dams for water storage, which $2.7 billion of the bond will be allocated toward.
RENTERIA: "We got to do it. We've got to do it and I wish we had done it earlier. We'd be in a different place now and we'd be able to manage systems a little better. I will really fight for everyone out there who wonders if i'm going to fight for water, you bet I am. And I wish we'd done it before. We've got to be able to manage what's going on here on the ground. And the way you do that is through storage and infrastructure and making sure we have control of our own water so that we're not worried when a drought comes or when things happen around like we're seeing right now."
CARINA: "And the environmental concerns?"
RENTERIA: "We need environmentalists to get on board. The fact that not every single group out there is not on board is a shame. What it gives you is a sense of people don't understand how incredibly important water is to this district, to our farmers and our families and without it we're not going to see food on our tables and our families will suffer. So for me, we've got to fight for every single water and I don't care who it is democrats, republicans, environmentalists, businesses it's time for folks to know what the Central Valley really does."
CARINA: "Now to immigration reform because this has been front and center on both state and federal levels. We have President Obama who is supposed to release his reform by the end of summer. Governor Brown recently announced an open door policy: all immigrants are welcomed, legal or not. Do you agree with that?"
RENTERIA: "I think when you look at what happened, I looked at the comments that he had in context the President of Mexico was visiting and I think Governor Brown was trying to be welcoming and it's good to see people building bridges instead of walls and when I looked at his comments I realized okay he was trying to be welcoming and I think that's a good thing for us. On immigration, we need comprehensive immigration reform. That's the answer period. And I hope we can make some progress with that as we go into September."
CARINA: "Do you agree with the president using executive order to push reform through?"
RENTERIA: "I think when Congress doesn't act we need somebody to help us with what's going on in the Central Valley. When I go out to these districts families are really wondering what's going to happen, farmers are really wondering whether we're going to have folks helping them put food on the table and if Congress can't step up we need someone who can. And I look forward to seeing what happens, I'm hopeful that Congress can do something, we've been waiting a long time."
CARINA: "And next to the issue...we are in election year. Campaigning is well underway. November 4 is the election. You recently came out and accused your opponent, Mr. Valadao, of using trackers. And this tracker went as far as following you into church. Now trackers are commonplace in elections and campaigns, they follow along with candidates to wait for somebody to make a wrong move. Valadao says he's also followed by trackers. We asked him if he used trackers in this campaign and this is what he had to say: "Unfortunately, every time we have an event in my district from community coffees to open houses there are trackers on me as well. It's something we learn to live with. Unfortunately, I think it's my opponent looking desperately for some attention."
CARINA: "How do you respond to that? He came out and said, no we don't use trackers."
RENTERIA: "Listen, a lot of people use trackers, normal part of business, not appropriate to go into a church as I was walking down the aisle and kneeling down to pray, that is not normal. And nor should it be. And I reject the notion, this is the new politics. This is why I'm running for Congress we've got to stop these kinds of things and this isn't public service. And so I'm out there and actually quite surprised and shocked that republicans have come out and said this is wrong, but Mr. Valadao seems to think this is normal business and it's not. It's really not what the voters want. It's not what public service is about."
CARINA: "So he came out and said, we don't use trackers that wasn't my tracker. Do you believe him?"
RENTERIA: "It's 100% untrue. My first experience with trackers was in his hometown at the Hanford Farmers Market where his campaign manager came to tell us what we should expect of trackers and at that moment it was his manager who said we got to deal with this and truth is we said ok."
CARINA: "So you don't believe him, you think it was his tracker who followed him into the church?"
RENTERIA: "No, not who followed us into the church and if you read our letter, and I hope everyone does, it's about this pattern of behavior that we need to define the lines of when it's inappropriate."
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