Kate Monroe is a retired Marine, the mother of a young boy, a businesswoman, a disabled veteran advocate, a published Christian author, a Fox News commentator, and has been on numerous media shows.  Matt Gunderson has run for elected office in the past, is a small businessman, and is the father of four daughters. Below is an interview with two candidates running for the 49th District Congressional seat.

EC:  What would you do about the border?

Matt: The border needs to be closed right now.  We should reinstate the remain in Mexico policy, tighten the asylum laws, and enable the border security agents to do their job. The wall has shown its value.  Two years ago, there was not a massive problem in California because there is a wall there, while Texas and Arizona were getting inundated.  Now the cartels have found a breach in the Southern wall here in California and they are coming across in mass. 

Kate: If there is no repercussion for breaking and entering this country it will continue to happen. The Senate bill says to limit it to 5,000 per day.  If that is the case, why not just shut it off? The solutions I would support is calling up the National Guard to protect this country while the wall is built.  We need to round up everyone in the country, immediately vet them, and put-up work-force housing at the border. I think about the long term, putting funds toward immigration. I took razor wire and secured one of the holes at California’s border. The immigrants come across in a coordinated effort, are put in our buses, sent to our airports, given our airline tickets, food, and a translator phone. This is ridiculous.

EC: Why do you think the Democrats want an open border?

Matt: They accommodate those coming across illegally in the name of compassion. Recently, there were 1300 illegal immigrants who came across the border in California near San Diego. They were young men, not families.  They are going to wreak havoc in this country.  It is a national security issue, a public health issue, and a public safety issue. It is unsustainable. The 20 million already here have already committed a crime by entering this country illegally.  They need to be sent back and told to get in line legally.  We need to expect those coming into this country to follow our laws and assimilate.

Kate: In the 2030 census the head count will change to redraw the lines to have Democratic supremacy. I will not support any bill that does not support our border, including the Senate bill that passed. I support the stay in Mexico policy because the immigrants’ countries of origin will not take them back. We need to fast-track those people who could fulfill the needs of this country. We also need to consider those who have been working for at least a decade, in the work-force labor. 

Elise Cooper: Would you vote for a Palestinian state, and do you support a cease fire in the Israel-Hamas War?

Kate: Being a Marine Corps veteran, I strongly feel that if a similar action was taken against our country, we would not have a cease fire. Only the Democratic side is asking for a cease fire. The horror show is that people are trapped there in Gaza.  I do not think Israel will accept a cease fire. I would like to get more of the hostages out. My husband, who is from that region, always says that those living here do not understand the hate over there, and not from Israel’s side.  They are only satisfied if Israel is gone. 

Matt:  I do not support a cease fire.  The answer is to stand by and with Israel.  If it happened here, what happened on October 7th that would mean roughly 60,000 dead Americans and 6,200 hostages.  Does anyone think for a minute we would stop and think about coming to some terms?  We would have retaliated hard to stop Hamas.

EC:  Do you think the Biden administration is very naïve when they speak of a two-state solution? Netanyahu posed some questions that must be answered: Should they be allowed an army, can the terrorists be in control, are they going to be allowed to preach the destruction of Israel, and would they be forced to recognize Israel?  

Kate: Yes, they are. They are even trying to run our country as if it is a two-state, the red versus the blue.  Looking back, it was not always this divisive. They have no idea what they are talking about. Netanyahu posed those questions to put everything in perspective, forcing people to think about it. None of the other Arab countries want to take in those people in their country and give them any land. 

Matt: There should be no conversation about a two-state solution until Hamas is obliterated, eliminated, and decimated. The Palestinians and Gazans elected Hamas to be their leaders.  People need to understand this is a complicated decision. I think that the Biden Administration is naïve on every issue.  Remember what Obama’s Secretary of Defense Gates said, Joe Biden is wrong on every foreign policy issue over the last 42 years. 

EC:  Where do you stand on aid to Ukraine?

Matt:  I would not have voted for that bill. I do think there should be some fundamental support of Ukraine. The Biden Administration made a mistake early on to not give Ukraine the resources to nip this whole issue.  They only seem to want a stalemate, which is not productive or feasible. There should be a support system that includes accountability and is structured leading to a resolution, not an open check idea. If elected, I would want to have single item bills in Congress, like the Republican Congress put out that just has aid to Israel and is a clean bill. Every Congress person should be exclusively judged on their position on Israel, Ukraine, and the border. This idea of lumping them together is not constructive.

Kate: We should be concerned about securing our border instead of securing another nation’s safety, I would not vote for it. To me, it prioritizes them over us. While I do see Russia as a threat, I also think there should be a timetable of a draw down. There is no accountability. Aid to Israel and aid to Ukraine do not have any overlapping features. It is crazy to me that those same people calling for a cease fire in the Middle East want to fund a war in the Ukraine. BTW: Congressman Levin voted against the aid bill to Israel put forward by the Republican Congress. 

EC:  What would you do to help the veterans?

Kate:  There are 500,000 who have already served this country and were never made citizens even though we had promised to. There are 35,000 currently serving.  The first reform is to create a third-party agency to process these veterans and fast track them to become citizens.  If someone serving in the US military, not a citizen, is sent overseas, there is a form that must be completed to make them a citizen. While overseas they are a US citizen, but the second they come back here they are not a citizen. 

Matt: Since we have Camp Pendleton in this district, anyone elected to Congress from this district should be serving the Veteran population. I want to be on the Veteran Affairs Committee. I want to help them get access to healthcare, improve the VA system, and create avenues for assimilation into the real world as they leave their military service. They have paid a price for our country that many of us have not and should be rewarded for it. The VA health system is a bureaucratic mess. Why not allow them to have the same high quality of care as we do instead of going to the VA.

EC:  Do you think the Federal government should do something about the homeless?

Kate:  The Fed and the State should coordinate.  I support building base camps with the infrastructure from the Feds and the outcomes played out by the State. A forward operating base can be built in 3 to 5 days. They look like cities.  In California it would take six of these. We should give people a choice to either go to these camps or go to jail. The base camps would be an actual community and have rehab therapy. Families and women would be partitioned There are enough homeless vets to fill Petco Park. Someone who sleeps in their car or in a shelter are not considered homeless. The veterans completely understand how the camps would work. Every veteran I speak with thinks this is a good idea.  It is infrastructure camping. Then there is the homeless industrial complex that has made homelessness into a business and does not want to fix the problem because then they are not necessary. All the grant money for homelessness should be performance based funded with accountability because many services do not do anything.  

Matt:  Most of the homeless issues are driven by the state. 85% of the homeless issue are related to mental issues or addiction. The Federal level should give the states the infrastructure and financial support. It is not compassionate to allow them to stay on the street just because the homeless say they want to.  The government owes it to the existing population and the homeless to put together an apparatus that allows them to get the help that they need. Sometimes people must be forced into treatment. Here in California, they cannot even be drug tested. There is a need to have a fundamental change in philosophy on how the Federal government will assist the homeless. 

EC:  What do you think Americans want solved?

Matt:  Affordability is a major issue.  California is becoming a state only accessible to the uber wealthy and the poor because government is giving them everything. I want to address the inflation issue and I realize taxes and regulations do not solve the problem but drive up the cost of living. Our children and grandchildren are leaving because they cannot afford to live here.  The environment is also an important topic. We live in a beautiful coastal district and Mike Levin’s priorities is to have you give up your gas stove and get a bicycle.  I want to focus on coastal preservation and sand replenishment. I want to sustain it and protect it.  It is not possible to do it on the backs of the middle class with excess taxation and regulation. Levin is not an advocate. I will push the issue showing the ridiculous stands of the Super Majority in Sacramento and Newsome. 

Kate:  I am running on a platform of safety: border, economic, school security, and personal health safety. This district has a massive number of veterans.  Mike Levin was put on the Veteran Affairs Committee so he could say look at the good work I have done for veterans.  He has done nothing.  I have reports that say veterans have reached out to his office and never get a call back. 

EC:  What would you want to say about Mike Levin, and would you support President Trump?

Kate:  I will vote for President Trump.  I do not know of a single Republican who would not vote for him if he were on the menu. I am not going to be disingenuous. I would rather people look at me more as a competent person who will provide good leadership in Washington with good solutions rather than a nice person. I realize there is a two-way runway.  My endorsements include Penny Harrington, the CRA, Congressman Ronny Jackson, and the support of the American Legion. I would rather be the news than be the commercial in between the news. In fact, Matt Gunderson had deferred to me on topics.  Why would he do it, on any topic? The last four panels we were on together he deferred to me if the topic was veterans, military, foreign affairs, or homelessness. 

Matt:  I am the only candidate on the campaign trail who is fully vetted. Anyone of my Republican opponents will be a better Congress person than Mike Levin. The only time I defer to Kate is when speaking of veteran issues.  If someone wants to speak of small business issues or about how the Democrats are banning biological males in women’s sports, speak to me, the father of four daughters. Americans are frustrated with the tug of war that is going on between the two parties and a dysfunction of Congress.  I consider myself a political outsider. I want to make my voice clear, consequential, and to be heard. I will expose the hypocrisy of Mike Levin who is a very good politician and a bad Congressman. He is AOC in a man’s suit, and a Green New Dealer. This race has national implications. We are endorsed by Reform California. I will support whoever is the Republican Presidential candidate.  I care that Steve Garvey is on the ballot in November because I do not want two Democrats on the ballot since that will drive Democratic voter turnout.




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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.