Scott Shafer: But what about your record? That's what I'm referring—
Gavin Newsom: As it relates to broader issues, I'm very proud of the fact that as we speak, we're sending out billions and billions of dollars in inflation checks. We're sending out $9.5 billion to be exact, up to $1,050 for hardworking Californians to address the issues of inflation, address issue of the cost of gas and food and other pressing issues in the state of California. As relates to the broader issues, as it relates to climate change and the work we've done, we have no peers. California's leading the way, my opponent consistently opposed those efforts. In fact, you'll hear today unquestionably his efforts to reinforce big oil's talking points, double down on the efforts that put us in this very difficult place as it relates to extreme weather and extreme drought that we are working through in the state of California. But I'm very proud of our record over the course of the last few years. I'm very proud of the work we've done to seed reforms into the future. I'm very proud of the efforts we're making as it relates to these ballot initiatives as well, particularly again on Proposition 1.
Marisa Lagos: Well, Senator Dahle many of the positions you do support are out of line with the majority of Californians. The governor mentioned abortion, we could talk about gun control, LGBT rights. Why should the majority of Californians give you a chance if they do disagree with you on some of these fundamental issues?
Brian Dahle: Well, first off, I want to thank Scott and Marissa for putting this debate together. And I want to start out by thanking the governor for taking time out of his going forward on his dream of being President of the United States and actually coming to California and having a debate. So I really appreciate, Governor, you taking the time out of your busy schedule to focus on those issues that we just talked about here in California. No. 1, first, the governor talks about climate change and he talks about the issues that are happening in California. Look, there's nobody that cares more about the climate than myself. I'm a farmer. I'm in tune with the climate every day and it is changing, no doubt about it. But the policies that he's put forth aren't actually doing anything to help the climate. He is driving up the cost of gasoline and electricity. By the way, Californians pay 70% higher electricity rates than they do across the nation. two and a half dollars a gallon higher gasoline than they do in Nevada, just a few miles away from our state. Here are more than the state of Hawaii, which has no oil wells.
Marisa Lagos: And yet this climate package and, you know, positions have been very popular with voters.
Brian Dahle: Well, I don't know if he's been out on the street or if you've been on the street talking to people who can't afford to live in California. People are fleeing California because they can't afford to live here. He's driving up the cost of everything in California. And I get calls in my office every day from hardworking Californians. In fact, just yesterday, I was at the gas pump and a lady put $2.37 of gas in her car, a third of a gallon of gas. And Governor Newsom obviously doesn't care about the folks that are having to pay these high rates. So Californians are suffering. They're fleeing California. They're going to other states where he's campaigning nationally to expand on his California — or his dream, while Californians are suffering.
Marisa Lagos: We're going to get the gas prices. Governor Newsom ...
Gavin Newsom: I just — I'd love to pick up a little bit. I mean, every single instance, you've opposed common sense efforts to address the issue of climate change. You've opposed our climate package. You continue to double down on talking points of the big oil companies. You consistently vote against efforts to address the underlying issue. We're trying to address in not only the state of California, but across this country and around the world. The hots are getting a lot hotter, the dries are getting a lot drier. We have atmospheric rivers with unprecedented extremes, leaving in a position where we're dealing with unprecedented drought and wildfire. Yet you consistently vote against common sense efforts to address those issues, including, by the way, you voted against $2.7 billion to address the issue of wildfire prevention, forest health, vegetation management. You consistently have opposed, including these rebate checks, efforts to provide relief for gas. And you've doubled down, doubled down on the talking points of big oil. And you know why big oil is supporting your campaign? The hundreds of thousands of dollars you've received from Big Oil is not only because you doubled down on their talking points, but you consistently oppose efforts, including the latest effort to go after their price gouging. They're ripping us off the ripping you off. They're ripping every one of us off. And we're going after these companies and we're getting serious about the stress and pain Californians are facing.
Marisa Lagos: Senator Dahle, like to respond?
Brian Dahle: Well, first off, you know, the governor talks about ripping people off. I have not received one cent from my campaign, from anybody in the pro-life movement or from oil in this campaign, not one cent. The governor wants to talk about climate change and global warming as the issue. We're exporting jobs and our environment out out of California to places like China where they're produce — they're making coal fired power plant every three weeks. Governor Gavin Newsom talks about the reality of climate change. I presented a bill a couple of years ago to count carbon from forest fires. Do you know that in California we don't even count emissions from forest fires? But every day he's regulating combustion engines and driving up the cost of energy in California. Californians [unintelligible]. I have nothing to do with big oil. They haven't supported my campaign. The governor is focused on his message to America. Californians are fleeing California for one reason, because they can't afford to live here. And he's out of touch with everyday, hardworking, middle class Californians. Now, yes, his elite friends can afford Tesla's at $70,000, but Californians on the whole have no opportunity but to just suffer from the policies that Gavin Newsom's put forth.
Marisa Lagos: Before we go too far down the policy path, I do you want to ask you one question. He's repeatedly referred to you being out of state. And I want to ask very clearly, you're asking voters for four more years. Do you commit to serving all four?
Gavin Newsom: Yes, I have barely been out of state. I was out of state for a few hours to take on his party and his leader of his party, Donald Trump, who he is a passionate supporter of. And what they're doing to democracy. And how they're attacking women's right to choose, how they're banning books at unprecedented [unintelligible] and how they're banning speech and rewriting history. This is a serious moment in American history, California history. There is demonization, they're demeaning of the gay and lesbian, bisexual, transgender community. I've had enough, so I'll proudly and happily stand up. What you don't do is stand up to big oil and these big interest. The reality is we don't by the way. You know, it's interesting in fact I love all this energy stuff. They pay higher electricity bills in Texas, in Florida and Indiana than they do in the state of California. We've seen energy costs go through the roof in those states. They're doubling down on stupid, on coal and nuclear, on issues — I say nuclear in the context not of our Diablo Canyon extension, but on old fossil policies, including gas that are actually creating the problems we're trying to solve. California's moved in a different direction. We now have six times more clean tech jobs, clean jobs than we do fossil fuel jobs. This is the next great opportunity and economic benefit for Californians and Americans and we want to seize on that opportunity.
Marisa Lagos: I want to be clear that —
Gavin Newsom: And we are not interested in outsourcing those jobs. We want to dominate in this clean energy —
Marisa Lagos: Just want to be clear, that was a yes on four more years.
Gavin Newsom: Yes.
Scott Shafer: All right, Senator Dahle, simple question. Did Joe Biden legitimately win the 2022 election against Donald Trump?
Brian Dahle: Yeah, actually, he did win the election. But the big question is, is he does he know that? That's that's what I wonder sometimes. And I want to talk about —
Scott Shafer: You're talking about he being who?
Brian Dahle: Joe Biden.
Scott Shafer: What do you mean by that?
Brian Dahle: Well, I, I, yes, I agree that he won the election. But I wonder sometimes if he actually realizes that he's President of the United States.
Gavin Newsom: Of course, he recognizes —
Brian Dahle: If I may —
Gavin Newsom: You're insulting the President of the United States. Of course, he understands he's President of the United States.
Marisa Lagos: Go on.
Brian Dahle: If I may, I want to talk a little bit about doubling down on stupid. Doubling down on stupid is telling people that they're going to be forced into an electric car and then two days later saying that you can't charge your car. The policies that this governor's put forth don't work in California. Californians are suffering from the cost of living in California. Crime is running rampant. I know the governor talks about all this national stuff. He wants to talk about, you know, a president that's not even in office. He wants to talk about our party. He wants to talk about everything but the facts of what I see and hear every day on the street. Californians are suffering because your policies. I know that your friends and the people you run with don't actually — can afford to live in California. But the everyday, hardworking middle class Californian, governor, is suffering from the policies you put forward. At the same time, we have no water. We have — we have no electricity. We have no plan. Your plan? There is no plan. There's just throw money at it. You've had more money in the time you've been in office than there's ever been in California and people are fleeing California. That's the facts. I know that you don't want to recognize that and you want to talk about all these national issues because you can't talk about the facts that Californians are suffering because of high inflation. and and the policies that you put forward.
Gavin Newsom: California is suffering from high inflation. And that's why we've provided $18.5 billion in tax rebates, which you opposed. You opposed $9.5 billion in rebates that are going out right now to help offset these inflationary costs. The question to you is why did you oppose —
Brian Dahle: That's not true. I actually vote —
Gavin Newsom: Why did you oppose —
Brian Dahle: I supported that you need to go look at the record I actually supported.
Gavin Newsom: That's just not true.
Scott Shafer: Let me ask a slightly different question. You have called, and your fellow Republicans, for a gas tax holiday.
Brian Dahle: Yeah.
Scott Shafer: To get rid of the 50 or so cent gas tax, but there's no guarantee that they'll end up in the pockets of consumers. So how do you propose the state bring down the gas price in a meaningful way for consumers?
Brian Dahle: Well, there's 1,200 oil wells sitting at the desk of the governor waiting to get permitted in California. He prefers not to get those permits out.
Scott Shafer: But you've called for a gas tax holiday.
Brian Dahle: Yeah, well, the gas tax holiday is the fastest way you can actually help drive down inflation. I own a trucking business. In the last eight months because of the governor's policies. It's cost $200 a day to put diesel in that truck. $1,000 a week. It's $4,000 a month. That drives up the cost of a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs for every hardworking Californian. So if you lower that gas tax across the board, it lowers your food, not only the gas you put in your tank. So those are the policies we put forth. We had the budget to backfill, to take care of the highways in California. We should have done that. It would give California families about a $1,700 rebate a year ago.
Scott Shafer: But how do you guarantee that if the if the tax goes away, that it's actually going to go to consumers and not just to the oil companies?
Brian Dahle: Well, you make sure that it's dropped at the pump.
Scott Shafer: How?
Marisa Lagos: How do you how do you ensure that? I mean, they're private companies that don't have any obligation to the government.
Brian Dahle: The biggest tax in California on gas and oil, the biggest profiter of it is the government. They make actually, that's just — $0.54 is the highway tax. All in, all government taxes is $1.42 a gallon.
Scott Shafer: So you guys want to take all of those?
Brian Dahle: No, I'm just saying, at the end of the day, if you drop down the gas tax, you're driving down across the board food for people and when you put gas in their car and we'll force the companies to make sure that the money goes to actually lowering the price of a gallon of gas.
Scott Shafer: How do you force them?
Brian Dahle: Well, we make sure that they do it through tax, through their taxes, that we push down.
Marisa Lagos: Governor.
Gavin Newsom: May I just, I mean, because this is a talking point from the right. And we've seen other states that have moved with gas tax reductions and we haven't seen the commensurate reduction because there is no guarantee. It means more money in the pocket of big oil companies. Everything he just said is literally stripped and ripped from the talking points that big oil provides to him and his colleagues.
Brian Dahle: Why is it not — Right. Let me —
Gavin Newsom: It's $2 that we — we're paying a few weeks ago upwards of $2.60 more than the national average because these companies are ripping you off and ripping us off. And that's why I want to move forward with a price gouging penalty to address this abuse period. Full stop.
Scott Shafer: Governor —
Gavin Newsom: You have five refiners that represent 97% of that industry. They have record profits, $26 billion just last quarter, 276% increase. Chevron Corporation alone. They're funding your campaigns —
Brian Dahle: No, they're not.
Gavin Newsom: And the campaigns of others like you. But let me be very clear. This whole idea that a gas tax somehow is going to provide relief, as you suggest in your questioning, has been refuted not just by the examples of other states, but by leading economists that say it's nothing more than a gimmick. These rebate checks we're providing and what I just did, and this is important, we have seen a 65 cent reduction since peak in the last few weeks because we ordered the winter blend through the air resources board. And we have seen gas prices go down in the state of California without a gas tax repeal. That could not guarantee —
Scott Shafer: You're calling for a special session of the Legislature to enact a windfall profits tax. That would be after the election, December 5th, when the new Legislature comes in. We've seen no legislation. There's no details. There was a similar effort in the assembly that died earlier this year. So how do we know that it's not a gimmick on your part?
Gavin Newsom: Because we are working with legislative leaders and we're working to make sure that we get it right. We're, look, you know, reviewing what's happened in other countries that are pursuing similar policies, different and novel strategies here in the United States. There have been leaders across this country that have promoted similar efforts. And we're looking at the unique characteristics and a deeper dive of understanding of what's driving these gas prices here in California. There's no justification, none whatsoever for these outrageous usurious costs in the state of California. It is not $1.42. That's nonsense. That's inaccurate. There is an increase in our environmental rules and regulations, which he wants to roll them all back. There is an increase in terms of those costs, but nowhere near the $2.60 above average national cost that we were paying a few weeks ago. Today, it's $1.97. The reality is, they're ripping you off, taking advantage. And we are working with legislative leaders to get this right. It's never been done at the state level. We want to do it right, and it's the first day back in session on December 5th. We mean business and we will be publishing and introducing that legislation very, very shortly. And we'll have ample chance to review it. And I hope — I hope, Brian, you support the effort.
Scott Shafer: I want to note, we asked our audience and partner stations what they wanted to ask you both, and we received over 200 questions. So a lot of the topics we're talking about today, gas prices, homelessness, water did help shape what we're asking you. We also got a question from KVPR in the Central Valley for you, governor. As the state moves to phase out fossil fuels, what are you doing to make sure that places like Kern County, which rely heavily on oil for their economy, aren't being left behind? What do you say to workers there who are just worried about their ability to continue making a living?
Gavin Newsom: We don't believe in a just transition rhetorically, we put $600 million in this year's budget. My opponent opposed that $600 million allocation to create a framework to provide support and economic opportunities in that region. We modeled it after something called Fresno Drive, which we launched a few years ago, and BK3, which is around the Kern County area in Bakersfield, a novel strategy to build partnerships, public private partnerships, public public partnerships. We added this $600 million appropriation so that we can drive a different conversation about what the world looks like in a post oil future. And also —
Marisa Lagos: Talk about where that money goes.
Gavin Newsom: It goes to model programs like the Fresno Drive. The reason I bring up the Fresno Drive, it's a model example of partnerships between the universities, between the private sector, and local and regional, as well as state agencies to drive a new economic and workforce vision for the region. It was such a success that we put that — those resources up and we want to see those resources invested. That said, I'm also very proud to see the transition in Kern County already it's one of the world's leaders in renewable energy because of our renewable energy policies, because the policy's been an accelerator of providing unprecedented investments in the state. Let me be specific. There are 200, 200 headquartered green energy companies specifically targeting zero electric vehicles, zero and electric vehicles, 43 ZEV manufacturers already in the state of California. It's a trillion dollar industry and we are going to dominate this industry. Just last week, against all of the counsel and efforts to undermine the the transition, we saw 18%, 17.7% of Californians purchasing electric vehicles. We know this works. These strategies and policies work to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. We also know they work to accelerate our economic growth and development in the state of California.
Marisa Lagos: Senator Dahle.
Brian Dahle: Well, I'd like to respond. The governor talks really slick and smooth about all these processes he's doing. He's had $100 billion in surplus revenue and what he's done in the last four years is throw money at every single issue, more than there's ever been. And what are the results for Californians? Higher gas prices, inflation, homelessness on our streets, our schools are failing our children and people are fleeing California. So I just want the listeners to understand that he's very good at talking about numbers and all the things he's doing. At the end of the day, you can't turn the water on in California. Electricity prices are 20% higher this year than they were last year in California. And people are fleeing California because the policies that this governor puts out. And he wants to demonize the party that I represent and he wants to talk about those issues. But at the end of the day, he's been failing California and Californians know it. Every day Californians understand what's happening here in California. And the governor is focused on running for president and he's going to leave California, just like he left San Francisco with homeless people all over the street when he said he was going to solve those issues.
Scott Shafer: Let's see, Senator Dahle, question about labor. We have some of the strongest protections for workers in the nation. The fifth largest economy in the world. You've consistently voted against expanding labor protections for workers. As governor, which labor protections would you move to get rid of?
Brian Dahle: Well, I actually just want people to have a relation — have a good relationship with their workforce. I actually employ people. I don't need a union representing my employees, we have a great relationship. And, you know, the governor's really good at getting a lot of campaign contributions from these unions that support him. Like California Teachers Association. We saw they did everything to keep our kids out of school and lock our parents out while they were making sure funding his campaign. So he follows those unions. For labor, I want there to be a free market between the owners of the companies and their employees. It's good in California, we have more labor laws than anywhere. In fact, California labor people are actually — people that work for other businesses are leaving California because they can't afford to live here and they can't — their dollar goes further than in other states. California has 400,000 regulations, more than any other state in the nation. The closest state is New York with 300,000. There's 1,000 bills a year that get through the through the to the governor's desk. California is overregulated, overtaxed and overpriced. And they can't afford to live here.
Gavin Newsom: Can we just — I mean, I got to keep unpacking. I mean, there's a series of talking points. You hear a redundancy in terms of the talking points coming from my opponent. Let me let me unpack just on the issue of the economy. California has no peers. The state of California grew at 7.8% GDP last year, outperformed the United States, which was at 5.7%. We created 569,000 jobs since 2019. And just this week, my opponent won't bring it up, I will. Once again, the lowest recorded unemployment in California history. Yes, we had a $101.4 billion operating surplus because of the entrepreneurial spirit and energy and innovation that is alive and well in the state of California. Our approach, our strategy's about growth and inclusion. You talk about the issue of worker protections. You talk about giving voice to labor. We believe in more voice, more choice, and we believe we have to do a better job addressing the issue of our time outside of the existential issue of climate change, and that is the wealth and income gaps in this state. And I'll tell you what, I couldn't be more proud of the fact that we received recognition — it's not an assertion — recognition from a bipartisan national education group for our unprecedented education reforms. You continue to push down what we're trying to do on education, not surprisingly, because you opposed universal preschool. We have fully funded it. You opposed the $3.5 million billion we put in to retain and support the professional development of our teachers. You opposed after school for all you opposed summer school for all. You opposed a nine hour days and reimagining the school day. You oppose, consistently, all of these efforts, all of these reforms to give parents choice and to give kids a much more robust and comprehensive education. We have seen it, transformative reforms, and I couldn't be more proud of those efforts despite your consistent opposition and those of your colleagues. Year in and year out.
Scott Shafer: Senator Dahle, a quick response then I want to move on.
Brian Dahle: Well, I want to address two issues. Three hundred companies' headquarters left California under his watch in the last three years. These aren't just some small — these are worldwide companies. Tesla, Oracle, HP, have left California under his watch. He wants to talk about business in California, they're fleeing. I want to talk about education for a minute. You know, the governor talked about all these programs he put forth. And, yes, there is more money in our education system than there's ever been governor. That's a fact because of Prop. 98. But 50,000 students didn't show up for school the first day in LA Unified School District this year. Why is that? Because the policies you put forward are pushing kids and parents away from the public school system because it's not teaching our children the things they need, like, you know, curriculum and ABC's. We're getting all kinds of other social stuff that's being shoved on to our children and parents are leaving our system. And that's a fact. He talked — he throws money and everything. But the everyday Californians and parents understand that they want education for their children. It's not about money, it's about the policies and what grade scores we're getting. They're plummeting in California. California education system is 70% — kids cannot read at grade level 70% of kids can't read at grade level. And that's due the facts of the teachers association and your policies.
Gavin Newsom: It's just —
Marisa Lagos: Well, governor —
Gavin Newsom: I take offense, at our policies and strategies. I mean, what you identified are problems. We're identifying solutions every single day. High dose tutoring, reading specialists in high poverty schools, providing more staff, changing staff ratios, community schools, the investments we're making after school and summer school that we know work preschool to allow people the opportunity to have that early start in life. All things you have consistently opposed and we know these policies work.
Marisa Lagos: But yet —
Brian Dahle: So why are the test scores so low?
Marisa Lagos: Governor can I —
Gavin Newsom: We just made these investments the last few years.
Brian Dahle: Of course.
Gavin Newsom: I can't make up for the 10years you've been in the Legislature, but I can talk about my record in the last three and a half, four years as governor of California. And there's never been investments targeted at addressing these vexing issues like the investments we're making. And I have confidence they're going to work. And one thing I know, I have confidence you'll continue to oppose all of these common sense reforms.
Marisa Lagos: Governor, it's true. There's been a huge investment in public education, and yet there are still huge challenges, teacher shortages, teacher burnout, families leaving public schools. You've chosen to put your kids in private schools. Obviously, there's a lot of, you know, things that go into a family decision like that. What do you say to parents who wonder if you have faith in our public schools given that personal decision?
Gavin Newsom: I'm passionate about public education. I'm a product of public education. My kids are going to school right behind our house, a Waldorf school, which is about creativity and critical thinking and the kinds of things that we're advancing in our public education system. And the approach we've taken is to provide that same kind of choice and opportunity that my kids are afforded, for every single one of our six plus million Californians going to public schools. In fact, this year we did something no other jurisdiction in America has done. My opponent opposed it, and that was providing college savings accounts for 3.4 million incoming kindergartners, $1.9 billion investment. We put a partnership for achievement with our higher education system. We not only provided community college for free, we now have new attainment goals and we're lowering the cost of tuition and attendance at our higher education system. From community college to the CSUs, the UCs, the K through 12 education system. We are on the precipice of order-of-magnitude reform. Again, not one of these efforts were supported by my opponent.
Scott Shafer: I want to move along unless —
Brian Dahle: I want to talk about education. I actually put my two older sons through public education, but I have my daughter in private education because you and I both know that the better education is a private education because our schools are failing no matter how much money he throws at every single issue in the state, by the way, it doesn't matter.
Marisa Lagos: Well, we want to get to those issues, so we do want to talk about homelessness.
Brian Dahle: Our education system is failing our students and parents know it, they're leaving our education system. No doubt they are. And you can tell a lie as much as you want. But people are walking with their feet and they know it doesn't matter how many times you say it doesn't mean it's true. California parents are leaving our education system because it's so poor and it's, it's not being fixed under your watch or the watch before. And you want to blame anybody? You can't blame Republicans, Republicans who haven't been in control in California for the last 10 years.
Gavin Newsom: I blame you for not having one imaginative idea except those that were promoted by people like Betsy DeVos and vouchers and privatization of our public education system, ending public education as we know it. That's what you promoted. That's what you're for. You've identified problems, we've been consistent identifying solutions and strategies we know work.
Scott Shafer: All right, we want to move on.
Brian Dahle: And the result is still the same. Zero.
Scott Shafer: All right. Obviously a lot to talk about with education, but we want to move along. Senator Dahle, you oppose abortion and as governor would have the veto power, power of the pen when it comes to the budget. This year, California's budget includes some $200 million in reproductive rights and protecting access to abortion. If you were governor, would you remove that sort of spending if the Legislature puts it in the budget?
Brian Dahle: Well, first off, I want to say, yes, I am pro-life, No. 1. No. 2, I want to talk about Prop. 1 and he brought that out in the opening statement —
Scott Shafer: But the question is about the budget, just to be clear.
Marisa Lagos: As governor.
Scott Shafer: As governor.
Brian Dahle: Well, the governor put $200 million in there to pay for abortions for people from out of our state to come here. That's No. 1. No. 2, the law today is six months. You can have an abortion up to six months. The governor proposed Prop. 1 and the Legislature put it on the ballot to expand abortion to the minute before birth. That's what it would be in California. At the same time, he wants to make this a sanctuary state where all of Americans can come here and get an abortion at the expense of California taxpayers. And I know that's a great platform when you're running for the President of the United States. But here in California, people are struggling. And yes, I would absolutely take that out of the budget,
Gavin Newsom: I thought it was money for reproductive services, that was not all for out of state travel. Would you line-item all of them?
Brian Dahle: I will absolutely fund reproductive services, but I am not going to fund out of state abortions.
Gavin Newsom: What about in-state abortions.
Brian Dahle: No, I will I will propose that. Yes, I'm pro-life, I don't think we should — reproductive services absolutely but for abortions, no.
Scott Shafer: So you'll take out of the budget any any help with seeking abortions.
Brian Dahle: No governor has full control over the budget. He has to work with the Legislature and I'll work with the Legislature to put a budget together that will work for California.
Scott Shafer: Would you allow abortion funding in the budget you sign?
Brian Dahle: If I — that's what it takes to get the deal done, I'll sign a budget that I that I worked through with the Legislature [unintelligible] of the budget.
Gavin Newsom: With respect, you're not pro-life. You're pro-government mandated birth. If you were pro-life, you would support our efforts to provide support for child care and preschool and prenatal programs. You've consistently opposed those programs. We believe in reproductive freedom. We believe in reproductive care. California's values are well established in statute. We want to codify them under Prop. 1 in the Constitution. I was proud to support and promote a budget of $200 million to reduce co-pays and access to reproductive care. And yeah, we don't — we're not embarrassed and we don't apologize for having the back of women and girls all across this country that are fleeing persecution. and fleeing the kind of, well, extreme policies you're promoting. And let me just close on that. What my opponent believes is some 10-year-old that's raped by her father should be forced to bear her brother or sister. His position is extreme. And that is something I hope the people of the state of California consider when they go and vote this November.
Gavin Newsom: Governor, I want to change topics to something that's been mentioned, which is water. We're in the fourth —
Brian Dahle: I want to respond to that. You know, he talks about extreme. Extreme is is not ever having a conversation. Your party just put on the ballot. The Californians will decide whether Prop. 1 extends the life — the abortion, to the minute before birth. And then —
Gavin Newsom: To be clear, you're saying that that could possibly allow that. But there's nothing in there to say they're changing the viability limit, which is in statute right now.
Brian Dahle: My point is, is that we don't ever get the opportunity to have that conversation. It's just all or nothing. That's what the what's going to happen under this Prop. 1. And so — and the people will choose and we'll know November 8 —
Gavin Newsom: We will.
Brian Dahle: Where they're going to be.
Gavin Newsom: Well, we know where you stand and we know your opposition to Proposition 1. It's demonstrable. You put $20,000 —
Brian Dahle: I did not put any money against any proposition. That's not true, prove it.
Gavin Newsom: Twenty-thousand dollars went to oppose Proposition 1. And the bottom line is the people of the state of California will have the opportunity to adjudicate different points of view. We're very proud of this state. We're proud of its leadership, proud of the women's caucus, proud of the Legislature —
Scott Shafer: All right, we're going to move along.
Gavin Newsom: For putting this on the ballot.
Scott Shafer: All right, we're going to move along. We are in the fourth year of a drought. And unlike Governor Brown, Governor Newsom, you have not issued an executive order mandating statewide restrictions on water use. You're leaving it to local water districts to make the hard decisions. And it doesn't seem to be working. In fact, the state water boards conservation manager recently quit accusing your administration of, "a gut-wrenching unwillingness to take big steps to reduce water use." So the question is, why have you not been more aggressive in ordering water conservation?
Gavin Newsom: We have, there's — the 436 agencies have.
Scott Shafer: That leaves a lot of mixed messages.
Gavin Newsom: Hardly, just the opposite. In 2012 to 2016, the last drought, we put out a comprehensive report, provided it to my opponent in the Legislature: lessons learned from the drought. One of the principal lessons learned is hydrology is different in every region of the state. What the water agencies requested of us, as the basis of a deeper understanding, is that we provide flexibility, what they refer to as level two plans. Four hundred thirty-six water agencies move forward with that mandate of mandates. We've seen 11% reductions in that use. We also put out a detailed, comprehensive plan as it relates to not just water conservation, but framework of abundance to invest $8.8 billion on new strategies and approaches to create more water, wastewater, storm water capture and diversion efforts and the like.
Scott Shafer: So why not as governor, why not as governor, use your authority to order — to maybe give a sense of urgency about the situation?
Gavin Newsom: Why would I — what was the point of an after-action report that analyzed the best practices of the previous drought and made a recommendation not to do one size fits all as it relates to a mandate where the conditions in Riverside County are completely different than the conditions here in San Francisco County? And that's why we moved forward with the flexibility that was recommended in that plan. And it's proven successful, 11% reductions. The differentiation between regions now affords new strategies, and it's consistent again with what was promoted —
Scott Shafer: But clearly, these local water agencies are not all getting the message.
Gavin Newsom: Well, most are. And I want to just applaud Californians. In the aggregate, 11% reduction, some doing far —
Scott Shafer: Is that enough?
Gavin Newsom: We have to do a little bit more. But I will say this. We came into this drought using, per capita, 16% less water use and we went into the last drought. Here's what I though believe. And this is important. It's not just the mindset of scarcity. It's also about creating more water. And that's what our specific strategy set forth in our water plan. We have 37 desalinization plants in the state. We want more. We're promoting different strategies on conveyance and groundwater capture, different strategies specific on storage below ground, not just above ground storage. And we've invested, despite my opponent's opposition, some $8.8 billion to advance this cause, unprecedented general fund support. And again, consistent with his previous record on topics we've discussed today, he opposes those investments.
Scott Shafer: Senator Dahle.
Brian Dahle: No. 1, this guy — I supported Proposition 1 in 2014, which was a water bond, $2.7 billion to build Sites Reservoir, Temperance Flat was on the table at the time. We have doubled our population in the last thirty years and we've not increased our water supply. We only have ration. And I want to talk about the facts. The fact I represent, my district represents 60% of California's water comes from my district. I have Shasta, Oroville and Folsom Dams all in my district. By the way, 2018 was the wettest year recorded in the history of our state since we've been keeping records. The Oroville spillway broke because we had so much water in California. We need to capture water and we need to save it for the times when we don't have water like right now. And that's the goal of Californians [unintelligible]. The governor talks about it. He talks about rationing. He talks about all these things, not money and throwing it out. But what is the result? What have we actually achieved? In four years, not one shovel [unintelligible] when we've had $2.7 billion to build a reservoir, Sites Reservoir, which environmentalists love, municipalities love, and farmers love. Why aren't we building it? You know, there's — talk is cheap, governor. You got to, you got to perform. You throw money at it, but you get no result. Your policies don't end up with results. And Californians know that. We have to suffer. We're in a constant state of crisis under your leadership. Your leadership has not solved one problem. We have fires that you haven't solved. We have storage you haven't solved. We have electricity you haven't solved. All those things you talk about, but what are the results? Zero. And Californians are suffering with the cost of living and rationing and all those things. And they're leaving our state. And Californians, we can have a California dream and make it a reality if we have some change in leadership.
Gavin Newsom: There is so much misinformation and there's so much distortion. First of all, Proposition 1 — which I supported — correct, was a $2.7 billion bond, 2.5 billion that has gone for seven specific projects. Sites alone, you should know this, is a $3.9 billion dam. We just —
Brian Dahle: And you've had $101 billion to help finish that project, governor.
Gavin Newsom: We just, forgive me —
Brian Dahle: I'm not going to forgive you, it's the facts.
Gavin Newsom: The, the $3.9 billion plan, of which we've utilized from Proposition 1 $875 million. There are six other projects, four below ground, three above ground that also part of that. Everybody recognized when they promoted that policy and promoted that bond that we needed to leverage private sector money and federal money. That's exactly what we're doing. We got $30 million from the Biden administration last week and we're working against the advice and counsel and support of your party, to get $2.2 billion from the infrastructure bill that the Biden administration passed for low interest loans to actually complete that project. I take umbrage with your notion that we haven't laid out a specific, detailed strategy and plan we have. You've opposed that plan. You've opposed the $8.8 billion appropriation in that plan and you consistently oppose our efforts on wildfire suppression and prevention, consistently oppose our efforts across a myriad of issues. You're just laying out talking points, but no substance. The form and substance only a fog in terms of the dilution of reality and facts that you are promoting here today on these critical topics for the people listening —
Marisa Lagos: Senator Dahle, quick response and then I want to move on to homelessness.
Brian Dahle: I want to just say, the dilution of facts is he keeps talking about the party I represent. That's — that party hasn't been — hasn't had control in the state for almost 30 years, governor. Why are all these problems not fixed? Because your policies are horrible. Californians know it. At the end of the day, you talk, you throw money, Californians you're suffering and you haven't solved the problem. Name one thing you solved that's actually fixed and we don't have to deal with right now.
Gavin Newsom: Well, the highest reserves in California history, the highest per-pupil —
Brian Dahle: We have a [unintelligible].
Gavin Newsom: If I may —
Brian Dahle: $4.5 billion —
Gavin Newsom: If there's an opportunity to answer a question or just oppose a response.
Marisa Lagos: All right, can we move on?
Gavin Newsom: Let me continue though, if I may, and forgive me, if I may.
Marisa Lagos: Just want to make sure we have time to talk about homelessness.
Gavin Newsom: I'm very proud, very proud of the fact the state of California is providing free meals for those that are food-insecure in the state of California, against his opposition. Very proud of the fact we became the first state in American history to provide universal health access, first in American history, despite his opposition. Very proud of the fact we have the highest reserves paying down pension obligation. Very proud of the fact we have one of the fastest growing economies in America. Proud of the fact we have a wildfire force resilience strategy and a drought strategy. Very proud of the fact we have real concrete plans on issues of homelessness and housing and education —
Marisa Lagos: Let's talk about that. We —
Gavin Newsom: And Mr. Dahle, on all of these, you've consistently opposed those efforts.
Marisa Lagos: All right, I want to push you on homelessness. It is fair to say that the state has done more to address in the last four years than potentially ever before. And yet, the visible issues of encampments and homelessness and street behavior and drug use appears to be worse than ever in many places around the state. What do you say to voters who feel like this is not getting better?
Gavin Newsom: They're right. It's an outrage, it's unconscionable what's happening on the streets and sidewalks. That's why we're requiring accountability plans. I've 75 accountability plans. We're not going to hand out any money any longer if local governments can't produce real results. We provided them $750 million and encampment grants to address the issue of encampments. We're providing them new tools with a care court to address the vexing issues of mental health. Of course, my opponent opposed the funding for care court. We provided them unprecedented strategies home key and room key that have allowed us to get 68,000 people off the streets. 12,500 new units have been procured just in the last number of months.
Marisa Lagos: Are more people becoming homeless, do you believe?
Gavin Newsom: The bottom line, the last two years with COVID and all of the headwinds of COVID, there was a laissez faire attitude in terms of addressing what was happening on the streets and sidewalks. But you're right, the premise of your question is accurate. When I got here, there was no homeless strategy, no plan, no resources of any merit. Today, there's $15.3 billion, there's a real strategy, real plan, and there's accountability for the first time. All of that, all of that opposed by my opponent, consistently nowhere to be found. His entire policy for homelessness is some illusory policy of, well, we'll just do an audit. I've been around long enough to know, when someone says their response to a problem is an audit, they don't have a response.
Marisa Lagos: All right. Senator Dahle, you have been very critical of the governor's response to homelessness. And I noticed that just last week you joined your Republican colleagues to call on the Legislature and governor to declare a state of emergency and banning encampments within 1,000 feet of sensitive areas. Would that solve homelessness?
Brian Dahle: Well, at least it will help children who are going to school be able to be free and be safe to get to school where there's a homeless camp around schools. But I want to talk about homeless for a minute. There's a theme here. The governor talks about my party and all the things that are happening. But the theme is that he throws money at everything, but what are the results? Exactly. What are the results? He spent $20 billion, $75,000 per homeless person, and we have 22,000 more. It is growing. Absolutely, we know the number, 22,000 more. So the theme of this debate is that the governor has all this great talk. But that, but the policies don't actually fix the problem. If you want to talk tackle homeless — I was a county supervisor for 16 years. He said in 2000 or '03, when he was the mayor of San Francisco, he was going to end homelessness. I just drove down the street today, stepping over people defecating on the street and needles. He hasn't fixed it. He hasn't fixed any —
Scott Shafer: What would you not do that the state's doing now?
Brian Dahle: I would do, No. 1, about 75% of the people that are are homeless are addicted to drugs. I would, Day One as governor, I would make fentanyl a state of emergency and tackle fentanyl. 5,700 people died from fentanyl in California. Twice the amount of people in this city —
Marisa Lagos: What would a state of emergency do? I want to understand.
Brian Dahle: It would focus on the fact that fentanyl is an issue in California. People on the streets are addicted, we need to get them off of drugs. That's the first thing you do to get them on the projection out, is get them off of drugs. Fund the counties with the mental health programs that they need and the clinicians and then drive down the cost of housing in California are the three things that would need to happen for to take care of homeless.
Marisa Lagos: Governor —
Gavin Newsom: You've consistently opposed all these efforts. We have $11.6 billion of investments on the issue of mental health, fought $3.5 billion specifically for board and care homes and rapid rehousing for mental health that we've just now put up and put out on the next few years, we're going to see the results of those efforts. You've consistently opposed them as it relates to and this is important. Somehow a state of emergency and then we're going to magically solve fentanyl. That's what my opponent just said, somehow magically it will disappear on the basis of a state of emergency, that somehow he will adopt a secret strategy that somehow will absolve any deep accountability for the fact he's consistently opposed our efforts to address fentanyl. Let me be more specific —
Brian Dahle: No, that's —
Gavin Newsom: You opposed the budget that we just advanced of $7.9 million in the Department of Justice for 25, new people to create a new criminal investigations unit. You opposed the National Guard, of which we have 100 National Guard on the border addressing fentanyl. And you know what? You should know this. You're unaware of this. 14,000 pounds of fentanyl we've gotten off the street, 238 search warrants that we provided in last year. It's an — excuse me, 238% increase over the previous years because of our efforts. We put out a strategy, not just on interdiction, which you oppose, but also a strategy to do — relates to fentanyl and opioid abuse, which you opposed, which is a strategic plan with 40 state agencies and nonprofit partners. You opposed the funding for that, that focuses on treatment and prevention, and it focuses on new strategies for managing pain. You opposed all of those things. OK,
Scott Shafer: Senator, quick question or quick response —
Brian Dahle: [Unintelligible] talking about me. I opposed his budget because he spends money with no results. And and all the things he talks about don't ever achieve results. And so, when he — when he's talking about fentanyl and all these things, really walk down the street. I just asked Californians to walk down the street, look in your neighborhoods, you know the difference that this governor is really smooth at talking, but at the end of the day he delivers zero.
Scott Shafer: All right. We're going to move along. If you're elected governor, the Legislature is likely to remain in Democratic hands. And so, but there are some things a Republican governor could do. Governor Newsom, for example, issued a moratorium on executions. There's now 36 people on death row that have exhausted their legal appeals and would be eligible for execution. If you're elected, would you end the moratorium and allow those executions to go forward?
Brian Dahle: Yes.
Scott Shafer: How and when? And how does that square with your pro-life position? I'm curious.
Brian Dahle: Look, they've committed a crime against other people and a jury has chose to, to I support the death penalty.
Scott Shafer: Would you have any qualms about 36 people being executed on your watch?
Brian Dahle: Well, I don't know that they're going to be executed under my watch. But if they're — if the courts have held them up to be in for life, they need to be in for life and they face the death penalty.
Marisa Lagos: All right. I want to ask the governor about Proposition 47. This is a 2014 ballot measure that has become a real political lightning rod in California. It made possessions of small amounts of drugs a misdemeanor and made it more difficult to charge someone with felony theft. Law enforcement and Republicans often blame this ballot measure for an increase in shoplifting. I think the data is very mixed and there's been no proof that it's increased violent crime. Your administration says it saved taxpayers $161 million this year. I wonder if you have any regrets about supporting Prop. 47 or support any changes to it.
Gavin Newsom: No, the narrative's don't fit the facts. We're average in terms of that felony threshold. There's 30 states with the $950 — 30 states that have the same or higher threshold. I mean, the reality at the end of the day, they've used it as a scapegoat or, you know, to excuse their — Well, they oppose all of these criminal justice reform efforts. He's consistently opposed all of these reform efforts. We believe in common sense, criminal justice reform. The reality is he also opposed our crime reduction plan, $758 million investment. That, by the way, included 1,000 new CHP officers, which you opposed $55 million to address their wellness and mental health, which you opposed. $200 million for crime prevention, evidence-based crime prevention plans and strategies or rather grants for strategies which you opposed. We've put out detailed strategies to address this issue, and this issue remains a vexing issue. But Prop. 47 is not the culprit. It's not the reason why we have seen an increase in crime in the state and or in this country. And as you know, when it comes to the murder rate, eight of the top 10 states with the highest murder rates are Republican led states, 40% higher per capita rates in the states that Donald Trump won. This is an issue that has no political jurisdiction. The realities are real. We need to own up to those realities. We put it out, put out strategies and plans. But I'm not going to use the tried and true strategies of the far right to scapegoat a reform that cannot directly be connected to these trends.
Marisa Lagos: Senator Dahle, you opposed Prop. 47?
Brian Dahle: Yes, absolutely I did. Murders went up 40% in the last two years in California. Gavin Newsom let out 30,000 prisoners out of prison. That's a fact. And —
Gavin Newsom: I have no authority to let anyone out. That's not a fact.
Brian Dahle:The other thing is, is that he did support the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, which allows you to rape an unconscious woman, and it's not a violent crime in California.
Marisa Lagos: Well, that is only — if you only get that as a enhancement, but not an underlying rape charge.
Brian Dahle: We actually brought a bill together this year to actually make sex trafficking of a woman and rape of an unconscious woman a felony. And his administration killed that bill.
Marisa Lagos: We're going to leave it there. Governor, in 2020, you emphatically supported and signed a bill to create a reparations task force. Will you support the recommendations, including monetary payments, when the task force finishes?
Gavin Newsom: I want to see the recommendations. By definition, we created the work group to adjudicate the merits of, the merits of different strategies. Now, what I have done is I've supported, I think, very common sense strategies, including the reparation that we did advance on Bruce's Beach, a family that was denied their inheritance, a business that was taken away by the people of the city council in Santa Monica years and years ago. As a point of deep pride that we moved to right that wrong. And so this task force is convening, we'll see where their recommendations come out and we'll make a determination after the fact.
Marisa Lagos: Do you want to add anything?
Brian Dahle: I actually, yes. I actually supported the reparations study as well. And I also supported the Bruce's Beach legislation. I think it's a step in the right for those people.
Marisa Lagos: We found one thing you two agree on.
Brian Dahle: Those — those people who were wronged, and we made it right.
Scott Shafer: All right. We are short on time, but we want to ask you a question that's a little bit of a curveball. And, Governor, let's start with you. Name a time in your life you were wrong about something and did a complete about face. How did you realize your mistake and what did you do to remedy it and make sure it wouldn't happen again?
Gavin Newsom: I mean, there's there's a myriad of issues where that's the case. Look, mistakes are a portal of discovery. I have a failure award in businesses I've started, really one of the great prides in my life is starting a business right out of college. Putting pen to paper and creating roughly 1,000 jobs at peak. One of the things I always encouraged was initiative. Risk taking, not recklessness. And if we make a mistake, we learn from that mistake and we try not to repeat it. Now, let me be specific. Over the course of my life, personally, professionally, in every way, shape or form, I've been iterative. There are things that I asserted that I learned from that didn't turn out to be as clear as I had hoped or consequences intended that turned out to actually produce the results as intended.
Scott Shafer: Can you be specific?
Gavin Newsom: Dozens of them. I'll tell you, one of the perhaps most significant ones, I have a significant learning disability. I couldn't read or couldn't write, and I was doing speech therapy as a kid. I thought I was dumb and I made the mistake of falling prey to that. Back of the classroom, not raising my hand, feeling other than, feeling lesser than. And that's why I don't like bullies. I don't like cruelty. I don't like people that humiliate other people. And I learned I wasn't that person. I'll tell you, that's the most profound mistake I made early in my life that I did not did not learn quickly enough that all of us are unique. All of us have a unique expression, and all of us deserve dignity and respect. And as a young child, I didn't fully embrace that or understand that. And that was a mistake.
Marisa Lagos: Senator Dahle, to you. Name a time in your life you were wrong about something and did an about-face. How did you realize your mistake and what did you do to remedy it and make sure you wouldn't do that again?
Brian Dahle: Well, I've made many mistakes in my life. I'm human. We all make lots of mistakes. I, you know, have of hurt other people. And just a perspective of not understanding the whole issue. And so learning about issues. When I was on the Board of Supervisors, I worked with what was called the Quincy Library Group, and I worked with environmentalist and and learned a lot about things I didn't know. And that's actually helped me expand on my ability to be able to be very sensitive to the environment, how and what people think about their perspective in life. And so having those preconceived notions of the way somebody was when they weren't was something I learned.
Marisa Lagos: Can you give us a specific, though? You talk about environmentalist. I know that water issues was a big part of that. Is there something that you changed your mind about in that in terms of, oh, farm and fish debate, perhaps?
Brian Dahle: Right. I actually learned a lot from my friends in the environmental community and I and I took those approaches to actually educate legislators. And I've had 127 legislators out to my district over the 10 years I've been in Sacramento. Educating them on that one size doesn't fit all in California. I invited the governor to come fishing with me. He didn't take me up on it, but I believe in working together and getting things done with people and listening more and understanding that there's that there's two sides to every story. And when you find out the other side, you can have more compassion, you can understand, you can learn from it.
Scott Shafer: What have you learned from Democrats have come up to your district?
Brian Dahle: You know, I learned — the main thing I've learned is that we have a lot in common. Reggie Jones-Sawyer, who represents USC, Compton, he came to my district. He learned about where his water comes from. When I went to his district, we both found out that we have poor people in our, in our communities. His are, his poor people are Black young men. And I have Native American young men in my community. The highest suicide rate for young men ages 18 to 25 or Native American. So we work together on that issue. Now, our policies, when it comes to law enforcement, crime are way different, but we work in that area. And that's what I've done in the in the Legislature over years, is find things we can work on and the things we disagree on, we set in the parking lot. We can move California in a direction —
Marisa Lagos: Think you might go fishing after this?
Gavin Newsom: I love fishing. Now look, we all want to be respected. We all want to be connected in some way, shape or form. Want to love, we all want to be loved. And we're on a journey together. And so, you know, I appreciate it, it's a nice way to end this debate. And I think we're going have to find these commonalities into the future. I mean, regardless of this debate or the debates that are being had across the dinner table and Thanksgiving, soon as it relates to which direction in this country or in the state, at the end of the day, we all have so many things fundamentally in common and those are things we should be focused on. And I think it's high time in my pledge and look forward to working with you in your role as state Senator, hopefully, if I'm successful and continue in this role as governor of California, to find that unity agenda and to find those areas of commonality and move forward together.
Marisa Lagos: Senator Dahle, you as well.
Brian Dahle: Well, yeah. I just want to say thanks to the governor for the debate. I want to just say to Californians, look, if you like what you've been getting for the last four years, stick with him. If you like change and you want something different, California to head in a direction where you can, you know, make that dream a reality. The California dream. Stick with it.
Marisa Lagos: All right, we'll leave it there. Governor got the first word, Senator got the last one. Thank you to both candidates. Gavin Newsom, Brian Dahle, we really appreciate you participating in this lively conversation about the future of California as we head into this election for governor.
Scott Shafer: And thanks to our listeners and viewers for tuning in across the state, and to our partner stations who helped make it all possible.
Marisa Lagos: For more facts and context about all the races and propositions on the ballot, you can visit kqed.org/VoterGuide to help inform your vote this fall. Election Day is November 8th. Register, vote, make sure your voice is heard. For now, I'm Marisa Largos.