Brian Dahle, California’s District 1 state senator, well known in the North State and Lassen County through his 25-year public service career, tossed his hat into the California gubernatorial race recently, He spoke to Lassen News about the upcoming campaign.
“The future for our families doesn’t look good in California,” Dahle, a third generation California rancher said. “I’m running so if I get to the top I can veto bills, make good appointments to the agencies and make a big change. I think it’s the right time. People are tired of this one-party system. That’s why I’m running … I can’t sit on the sidelines. I want the future for our families to be better.”
What can a Republican governor like Dahle accomplish with a Democratic legislature?
“You know I’ve been in the minority most of my career, but I’ve done a lot down here (in Sacramento) over the past 10 years in the legislature working with Democrats,” Dahle said.
In addition to vetoing bad bills and making good appointments, Dahle said the governor is a third of the budget process with the two legislative houses and the administration.
“Absolutely, we’ll be able to do a lot,” Dahle said. “We’ve got to get through the primary (election) first, and then we can look at what the general (election) looks like.”
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“We lost our prison in Lassen County, and it was a direct result of the governor,” Dahle said. “He did that himself, and his administration. It was not legislative. Trust me — if I were governor, things would be different because the ranking wasn’t done right. As we all know, our facility should not have been shut down. I would be doing something different. Lassen County would benefit having me as governor, for sure, on several fronts … Now you’ve got a governor you can vote for.”
Dahle offered a litany of problems and concerns across the state including, “the highest poverty rate in the nation, crime — everybody’s getting items taken from them up to $950 — homelessness, cost of living, gas prices — I’m driving on Highway 5 right now, and it’s $5.13 a gallon for diesel. That affects everybody. It hurts the lower income people and retirees on a fixed income more than anybody else.”
Despite the liberal leanings of the state’s voters, the conservative Dahle believes his message will resonate with residents.
“I’ve been doing a lot of media — TV and print — the last few days in San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and I’m getting some traction,” Dahle said. “Government is broken in California. What’s the government supposed to do? Three things. We need to safe, number one. The government’s number one job is to keep us safe. We’re not safe right now. Number two — provide good infrastructure. Make sure the public system things we need, like transportation, are working right. They’re not. And number three — education, that’s broken, too. We (also) need to keep regulations away so we can lower the cost of living. All those sectors impact your everyday life, and quite frankly, it’s all because there’s been one party in control for 25 years.”
Despite his optimism, Dahle recognizes he’s facing an uphill fight.
“This message is a great message, and it resonates with the people,” Dahle said. “But the question is, am I going to have the resources to get my message out? The governor is sitting on $26 million or something like that. He’s doing no bid contracts, so all his friends he’s rewarding with all these contracts are giving him money.
“In a campaign you have to tell your story,” Dahle said. “If you can’t tell your story, it doesn’t matter how good your message is, so I came up with the idea of getting 200,000 people giving me a dollar a day for the campaign, so it’s a third of the cost of a cup of coffee, and that’s how I’m going to raise my money. If I raise that much it will be like $35 million by the general election, and that gets me equal with him (the governor). I’m also getting larger donations, too, but my goal is — subscription we call it — is to get people to buy in. There are three things people need to do. Number one, sign up and donate a dollar a day. Number two, tell 10 of your friends to do the same. And number three, be ready when we call you to action. That means get out the vote. Those are the three things I’m asking people to do. Lassen County, here’s my message. I need 2,500 people out of Lassen County to give me a dollar a day. And then I need 10,000 out of Shasta County, and then I’ll work my way down the state. Right now, I just need to raise a lot of resources to tell our story, and I need people to do what I’m asking them to do … I’m watching my subscriptions, and I’m watching Lassen County. I hope they come up alongside me.”