Highlights from The Talk Of Santa Clarita’s Interview with Katie HillMai Nguyen Do September 20, 2018 0 COMMENTS
Stephen Daniels of The Talk of Santa Clarita recently interviewed Representative Steve Knight (R-Palmdale), and we put together some highlights from the interview to help our readers get to know the current Representative. Daniels also spoke briefly with Democratic challenger Katie Hill on the evening before her first debate with Rep. Knight. This week, we’re featuring snippets from Daniel’s conversation with Hill to familiarize our readers with the challenger.
Stephen Daniels: Do you want to tell us what’s going on with the debates right now? Congressman Knight said that he was open to doing debates but the ones I’ve seen seem to be with the Chambers of Commerce. Is that going to change?
Katie Hill: So as far as I know, we’ve got this debate tomorrow at the Lancaster Chamber. Then we have another one scheduled on the 20th with the Palmdale Chamber and I believe that we have another one that we’re trying to schedule, but it’s been difficult to pin down. He’s made it pretty clear the only kind of debates he’ll do are Chamber-related. I think it shows you that he only wants to go into friendly territory. I mean, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce paid a lot of money for a TV ad supporting Steve Knight.
Stephen Daniels: They endorsed him too.
Katie Hill: Yep. Some know where they stand, but I don’t think that necessarily means that all the members of the local Chambers of Commerce are supporting Steve Knight. So that’s why I’m willing to do [the debates].
Stephen Daniels: One of the things we talked about with him [Knight] about was his availability as a Congressperson. It seems to have changed in the past three years. If you’re elected, how are you going to do things? What are you going to do to make yourself available to the public?
Katie Hill: I definitely recognize the time challenges with this. It’s even something that I’ve had to come to terms with during this campaign for me. I’m not even being able to respond to my own family’s calls and text messages, let alone constituents. I understand that’s going to be a challenge moving forward. I think making sure that you’ve got a really solid team that’s here that can help to sort of facilitate a lot of things, that can make sure that people know where you stand on things when you’re not able to be there and also being in the district as much as possible doing town halls — and I mean actually doing real town halls so that people can ask me questions — and having, you know, for lack of a better word, office hours where I’m in the district and I’m willing to meet with people regardless of what it’s about. And you know, where they stand on issues.
Stephen Daniels: Knight said that he has been doing tele-town halls which are more effective than regular town halls and that at regular town halls people just yell a lot at him and having’ been to one I can’t disagree with them on that. What’s your thought on that? II get the impression that a lot of why he doesn’t want to do them is because he feels they ineffective. What is your feeling on that?
Katie Hill: To be honest with you, I’ve watched him at a few of these town halls and I can see very distinctly how I would handle things differently. I do think that, you know, some people are going to be disruptive no matter what. This not something that you can avoid completely sure. But I think that the way that he handled those disruptions was not conducive and when you’re avoiding questions, when you won’t answer questions that the audience is posing to you, then you’re going to get a negative reaction. So to me, hearing that — “Oh, it’s not effective because people yell at me” — that isn’t a good enough answer. I think the tele-town halls might be effective to a certain extent because you can do them more frequently. There’s logistically there’s just not as much involved. I would probably try to do something similar, or also do something like the Facebook live town hall. We’ve done that before. Sure. But I do think that the in-person ones are important and it shows, honestly, that you’ve got the courage to stand up to people who might be upset with you. And to do that in person. There’s a big difference between being willing to take selective questions through a tele town hall and to stand up in front of your constituents, even the ones that are mad at you and answer them, looking them in the eye and saying why you voted a certain way. That’s something that I think we need. We need members of Congress who are going to have the willingness to do so.
Stephen Daniels: One of the other things we talked about was gun control. He is completely against any type of gun control. He supports the idea of the concealed weapon reciprocation act. In particular, he also seemed to think that the 3D gun issue was a first amendment issue. What are your thoughts? You’ve received some flack for being a gun owner yourself. Do you want to get rid of guns? What do you want to do?
Katie Hill: I definitely don’t want to get rid of guns, but I also think we need to be reasonable in terms of saying that there are restrictions that should be put in place with it. It shouldn’t be a free for all with this, and I think the 3 d guns, it’s an example of saying, “alright, the plans are out there, right? We’re not going to be able to stop that once something’s been on the Internet, it’s on the Internet forever” But what we can do is say that it is illegal for somebody to manufacture their own weapon without the proper licensing and background checks that come with buying any kind of weapon. And frankly, I think that there should probably be the more restrictions in place for anyone to manufacture their own weapon because of safety reasons. I mean, you could have an accidental discharge. We don’t know what the effectiveness of these guns are. it can blow up in someone’s hand, it could blow up in a kid’s hand. So I think those are the things that you can’t stop somebody from doing it just like you can’t with any crime, but you can say that it is illegal for you to do and I think that’s the route that we need to go.
Stephen Daniels: Do you support the idea of banning the AR15?
Katie Hill: Yeah, I think the trick with talk about assault weapons bans is that it’s very open for interpretation and ultimately here in California, we already have the that as one of the weapons that were not allowed to have. And I think taking that to the national level is something I would advocate for.
Stephen Daniels: When I did the podcast with Congressman Knight. He made an indirect dig at you. Where he said, “I don’t leave pictures of my guns on the Internet, I believe in safety and safety response immediately guns” You want to counter back to that or respond to that?
Katie Hill: I heard that and I thought it was a pretty passive-aggressive way of saying something about it. I also thought it was really funny coming from one of the most NRA-friendly members of Congress that he would say anything about my guns. What I will say is that picture was posted years and years and years ago. I was in my early twenties and my whole entire point with posting it was to say that I am a gun owner and I believe in common sense gun control and it’s not like I just own one gun that’s locked away like I actually owned guns. Okay. Would I do that again? No, but it’s there. it’s something that’s on the Internet is on the Internet forever and I’ve had to deal with the consequences of that. But I think that what actions that are far more important are whether you’re going to actually do anything to stand up to the gun lobby and fulfill what you said you’re going to do for your community.
Stephen Daniels: Congressman Knight is a co-sponsor is the concealed reciprocity act. What are your thoughts on it?
Katie Hill: I think it’s really dangerous. And law enforcement agencies overwhelmingly do not support concealed carry reciprocity, I think it’s one of the things that surprises me is that Steve Knight, as a former police officer is supportive of. He’s always talking about local control and about ensuring that local governments should have the ability to do what they need to do and this is taking away that authority from local law enforcement and saying that whatever weakest national law is in place can happen across the board. I think that’s completely hypocritical and unacceptable. It’s dangerous. so I stand with law enforcement on this that his bill is something that would put more officers in danger as well as our communities.
Stephen Daniels: Congressman Knight and I talked briefly about his bill for no separation of the illegal immigrants families. what’s your opinion on the situation with illegal immigration right now and the borders.
Katie Hill: I think we need to have secure borders. I don’t think anyone’s arguing with that. To me, the thing that we’ve really got to keep in mind is that most of the people who are coming here, especially the ones with the kids are coming here are desperate. They’re coming here because the places that they’re fleeing are so dangerous that they’re willing to risk everything to get their kids across the border. Recognizing it as people who are seeking asylum, People who are not criminals, they’re not trying to break the law, They are trying to come here out of complete desperation so I think we’re going about it in the wrong way. We should allow for people who are coming here for asylum to have an opportunity to do so. We’ve always had that tradition and continuing that is important, but we need to do so in a way that they can do it legally as opposed to breaking the law.
Mai Nguyen Do is a Vietnamese American poet and researcher. She is a lifelong Santa Clarita resident and a College of the Canyons graduate. She is also the author of Ghosts Still Walking (2016) and Battlefield Blooming (2019). Find her on Twitter @DoNguyenMai.