Scott Baugh, candidate for Congress in the 47th Congressional District, which includes a significant Jewish population, shared his views in an interview with Jlife’s Ilene Schneider. Baugh wants to be a voice for limited, constitutional government and believes in lower taxes, more freedom and strong borders. He is staunchly pro-Israel.
Jlife: What is your view on supporting Israel?
SB: Israel is our greatest friend in the Middle East. The goal is the protection of a fellow democracy with similar values. Israel is strategically important in a cultural, geographical, political and military sense. The U.S. policy should be to seek peace in the Middle East and make sure that Israel is not harmed by Iran and is protected from Hamas and Hezbollah. If Israel is forming alliances with other countries in the Middle East, so much the better.
I’m baffled that the Iran nuclear deal could go through with such little fanfare or objection. The policy of appeasement with a hostile actor only leads to more aggression, whether dealing with a child or a country.
Jlife: Where do you stand on the environment and energy?
SB: I oppose drilling off of the California coast. There are far less consequences to drilling on land than offshore, where the environmental risks are higher. Government and businesses need to respect the legitimate science and work together to effectively deal with climate change in ways that do not cost jobs or harm the economy.
Ivory tower theories are driving the cost of fuel up at a tremendous social cost. We barely have enough energy production to avoid blackouts, and there would be an energy shortage if there were more electric cars. Electric cars also require 132 pounds of copper, while conventional cars require 18 pounds. We should have an energy policy that is sensitive to the impact on the lives of everyday Americans.
Jlife: What would you do about the border situation?
SB: Two million people, including 50 who are on the international terrorist watch list, have come across the border since 2021. The border crisis has led to drug trafficking and human trafficking. Deaths from the drug fentanyl are rising alarmingly; 2021 saw 41,587 people between the ages of 18 and 45 die of fentanyl overdoses. We don’t have to build a wall to limit people coming across the border, but we can use technology and negotiations to establish border security.
Jlife: How would you fix the economy?
SB: Inflation is at a 40-year high. When you cut off the supply, the price goes up. Energy independence is critical. Unchecked government spending causes inflation and drives up interest rates. I support a balanced budget that can be achieved by reducing waste and ending bloated government programs that have outlived their usefulness. Raising taxes will further damage the economy. Taxes on the middle class and small business are too high. The new gas and car taxes should be repealed. Excessive government regulations drive businesses and jobs away. I will fight to reduce the regulatory burden, so the economy can keep growing.
Jlife: What is your approach to reducing crime?
SB: We need to enforce laws. There is a cultural problem of isolation for people who are immersed in video games, which leads to hopelessness and crime. Teens are playing video games that promote the slaughter of human life. I am a board member for the highly successful Orange County Gang Reduction Intervention Program (GRIP) that has reduced gang activity and made local neighborhoods safer.
Jlife: How would you solve the homeless crisis?
SB: Public safety must remain the No. 1 consideration when addressing the problem. While homelessness is primarily a state or local issue, we need to respect private property, provide care and intervention for the mentally ill and find solutions to take homeless people off the streets and make them productive.
Jlife: What is your view on abortion?
SB: While I believe that life begins at conception, when the life of the mother is in jeopardy, the decision should be between the doctor and the patient. While there could be extenuating circumstances, I would like to see abortion limited to the first trimester. This is a complicated issue, and reasonable people can disagree. The issue on the California ballot to allow abortion until birth is a bridge too far.
Katie Porter, the incumbent candidate for Congress in the 47th Congressional District, was unavailable for an interview.
Ilene Schneider is a contributing writer to Jlife Magazine.