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Mike Barkley, candidate for Congress, answers some very tough questions

Mike Barkley answered the tough questions unlike his Democratic opponent, Michael Eggman, who requested the written interview but never sent his answers back to this columnist.
Mike Barkley answered the tough questions unlike his Democratic opponent, Michael Eggman, who requested the written interview but never sent his answers back to this columnist.
Mike Barkley

Mike Barkley, a Democrat who is running for Congress in California's 10th Congressional District, answered some very tough questions in a written interview. Barkely's Democratic Party opponent in the Open Primary, Michael Eggman, was offered the same opportunity but did not respond to the written interview questions after requesting the interview. Here are the questions and Mike Barley's answers verbatim as they were sent to me in response to my questions:

1) Where did you grow up?

Albany, Danville, Danville, Alamo, Orland, Yuba City, Orland, Oroville, Walnut Creek, Benicia

2) Where are you residing currently?

167 N. Sheridan Ave., Manteca, CA 95336

3) What is your educational background?

See bio at

4) What is your professional background?

See bio at

5) What kind of law do you practice and where do you practice?

By the time I passed the bar I was working as a computer programmer and I
enjoyed that more than the practice of law. Even so, I've done some
environmental and water rights litigation here in Manteca and in U.S.
District Court in Sacramento which is continuing.

6) What preempted your interest in running for office, and why did choose to run for U.S. Congress in 2014?

I decided in January 2011, ran in 2012 & 2014. After the Tucson shooting it
became obvious that waiting for other people to solve our gun problem wasn't
happening, the only place it can be solved is Congress, and thus I decided.
"Why don't they do something?" "Well, what's wrong with you? Why don't YOU
do something?" So I am.

7) What do you see as the three major issues for the San Joaquin Valley over the next couple of years or so?

How about 2?
1) jobs
2) water and flooding

8) How do you intend to address those issues as a Member of Congress?

My big 4 issues are, and what I hope to do about them:
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1) Bring the jobs back from overseas and strenghthen the unions so we can
do that, each dependent on the other, collecting ways at ,
And note that my platform is the strongest pro-labor platform in the country.
2) 32 million acre-feet of additional water storage, plus 3 new conveyances,
to reduce the flooding risk in the Central Valley plus solve every other
water problem we have, from 100 years of federal and state plans and
reports, and ,
3) Balanced U.S. budget that produces a surplus now and funds Medicare for
all, , which will help with deficit reduction,
infrastructure overhaul, jobs programs, education & law enforcement
assistance, and so on, and
4) We need to do something about guns, .
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These will solve a number of the bigger problems facing the valley. I have
sent this list to 3 newspapers. What they have printed is unrecognizable
as having come from this list.
Many other proposed solutions for many other problems facing the Valley and
the country are on my website at . And I have
more to add when I get to it.

9) What committee assignments will you seek when you are elected to Congress and why those committees?

I haven't considered this. The Democratic Party, and I've been a Democrat
for half a century, has been so hostile I will probably have to take what
I can get.

Once even one Irrigation District grasps the scope of my proposals at I believe there will be pressure to get me into
whatever committees are useful to advance that plan.
On caucuses, which you didn't ask, I will seek to join the Progressive Caucus
and the Multiple Sclerosis Caucus, among others.

10) What are the major differences between your views and those of incumbent Congressman Jeff Denham and those of your other opponent, Michael Eggman?

Oh, wow.
Denham's world view is do as little as possible and avoid controversy at all
Eggman's initial campaign speeches centered on fixing potholes in Central
Valley highways. Since then he's broadened his focus but I don't believe
those positions are initially his, as in somebody is talking in his ear
See #27 below.

11) How do your views more accurately reflect the beliefs, views and passions of the residents of the 10th Congressional District than those of Congressman Denham and of Michael Eggman?

A tough question.
What are those views. Well there aren't views, there are 704,000 views, a
set of views for each person in the District. My view on any individual
subject accurately reflects a view of a subset of those people, but of
course all of my views combined are probably not shared one-for-one by
any other specific District resident. Still, for every view I have, I can
find at least one District 10 resident who agrees and another who opposes.
My proposals at will help everyone in this valley, and
will do so far more than any proposals I've seen from Denham or Eggman.

See #27 below.

12) What are your views on the extension of unemployment benefits to those who are currently receiving benefits?

Extend them. Now.

13) What are your views on raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour?

Raise it. Now.

14) What are your views on the Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi affair?

Silly and stupid: they cut the embassy security budget and then the
predictable happened and they're blaming everybody but the real culprit,

15) What are your views on immigration reform?

See - I can pull those in here if you wish. The number
one thing is we need to stop splitting up families, stop right now. And
while we are at it we need to offer immediate relief to those refugee
camps that we have caused on the other side of the Mexican border.

16) What are your views on gun control and the Second Amendment?

See , , and the gun links there

30,000 gun deaths a year in this country, 10,000 gun homicides, and the
power seems to be in the hands of people who think that's a perfectly
acceptable tradeoff, which is morally indefensible.

17) What are your views on mandating background checks for the purchase of all guns?

Do it. Now.

18) What are your views on gun shows such as the ones that frequently occur at the Modesto Center Plaza? Do we need to curtail these shows, require background checks of all registrants or continue the shows as they currently are being conducted?

Under my proposals at those will wither away.

19) What are your views on the continual water rights conflicts between Northern and Southern California? Do agricultural claims to water here in Northern California take precedent over the needs of the people to the south, or do we need to provide the people of Southern California the water they need despite our agricultural needs? How would you address this issue as a Member of Congress and how would you be fair and equitable to everyone?

My proposals at (which are needed because of will solve all this. We can get along, we have enough for everybody if we manage it correctly.

20) What is your view on Congressional salaries? Are they just right, too high or not high enough?

Don't care, raise them or lower them as you wish.

21 In your opinion, how many terms should a Member of Congress be required to serve before being eligible for a lifetime pension and what should that pension be?

Don't care, increase them or decrease them as you wish.

22) Do you consider yourself a professional politician? If not, then how do you differ from a professional politician in ideology and in practice?

I haven't been. Professional politicians are good at asking for money which I
am not.

23) Do you accept PAC money and if so, from which specific Political Action Committees do you accept money and why?

I made many inquiries early on only to be ignored, so basically
it hasn't been offered. If I am offered PAC money I will explain to the
offeror how my philosophies and proposals are and will differ from theirs
and offer their money back. If they then state that what I believe and
propose is acceptable, I will spend their money on campaigning without
any qualms.

24) Is any part of your campaign being funded by the DNC at this time? If so, how much and for what purpose?

Nope. Inquiries have been ignored and help hasn't been offered. They seem
fairly hostile.

25) Imagine this for a moment: You are a freshman Member of Congress. You are at the 2016 Democratic Convention. You have been asked to speak to the convention about the issues that freshmen Members of Congress consider to be the most important issues of the day. What would your top three issues be and how would you suggest that we, as a nation, address those issues?

4 issues: see Big 4 under #8 above, put in proper speech form of course. I
doubt they would ask. On the other hand, those 4 are not those considered
by your typical freshman Member of Congress, who seem mostly concerned about
raising funds for the next election.

26) If selected as one of the two top contenders in the Open Primary, will you challenge your opponent to a debate?

No. Denham doesn't want to debate me again, and Eggman has nothing to
debate about. My time is better spent knocking on doors. If offered I
will do it, but I don't expect that to happen.

27) Is there anything else that you would like to say about yourself that has not been covered in this interview that you feel qualifies you to be elected to Congress or distinguishes you from your opponents, Jeff Denham and Michael Eggman?

This is an infinite question.

I am the most qulified candidate because of my education, life's work,
philosophies, proposals, tenaciousness and dedication, see
and the links there.

The other two are slackers:

Jeff Denham is a major league slacker: In Congress, his only bills are
little tiny safe bills, the big challenges that face this valley? the big
challenges he does not touch. (And no, immigration reform is not an exception,
as long as it is "safe" as in not going to happen, he supports it.) What he
does is go along with Tea Party & Republican schemes to destroy the poor and
middle class, nothing major, nothing original. And raise money, lots and
lots of money, see his FEC reports at , an avalanche of money.*

Michael Eggman? the guy who is keeping his past a secret
( )? an unemployed bartender
( ) ?
an occasional beehive delivery guy? 25 years of odd jobs? the guy who
hustled Congressman Steve Israel, the DCCC and the entirety of Labor and
the Democratic Party? See postings on my facebook wall every Saturday
morning since 03/29/2014, . The more
you look at him, the less is there. Call him up and ask him to show you
his Fresno State diploma - if you actually get to see it, you will be the

*except perhaps the ENLIST Act? which I support (which is still a "little"
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Thank you for this opportunity, and best wishes,


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