Two Republicans compete for assembly seat
The race for California’s District 1 Assembly seat features a pair of Republicans who strictly adhere to conservative principals; nonetheless, there are points of differentiation between the two candidates.
Rick Bosetti, business owner, former professional athlete and member of the Redding City Council, is vying with Brian Dahle, third-generation farmer, business owner and Lassen County supervisor, to represent the newly drawn first district that stretches from the Oregon border south to Interstate 80 and west to the Sierra foothills.
Each man, in interviews with The Union, presented himself as uniquely equipped with the political experience and individual integrity to tackle severe budget problems the state government continues to face, while addressing the regulatory environment he believes is pushing potential job creators away from the Golden State, while punishing business owners who elect to stay.
The campaign has heated up in recent weeks with accusations bandied about by both candidates with Bosetti painting his opponent as a less experienced politician who favors big government principles.
Dahle said Bosetti’s campaign has been infused with cash from special interests outside of the district, compromising his ability to faithfully represent constituents, and said Bosetti’s talk about job creation is hollow banter.
“Our philosophy is what separates us,” said Bosetti. “He’s a big-government guy, and I’m a small-government guy.
The Lassen County government budget has grown by $35 million in the last five years from $76 million to $112 million. There’s not a fee or a tax increase he hasn’t liked.”
Dahle asserted his conservative convictions, pointing to a “no-tax pledge” that he and his opponent both signed, while emphasizing he believes the only way to improve the state’s budget woes is to relax regulations that he says are forcing small-business owners to leave.
Bosetti has enjoyed an infusion of $150,000 from Charles Munger Jr., a Republican activist from the Bay Area and
son of Charles Munger Sr., the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.
Munger Jr. has spent an estimated $23 million backing candidates and propositions during the present election season, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
“Munger is trying to buy the seat,” Dahle said. “Outside influences are trying to control my opponent, and he is using the money to get his message out.”
While Bosetti is talking about job creation, Dahle said he is busy creating jobs.
“I meet a payroll every month,” Dahle said about his seed business. “Being a farmer helps with budgeting because we basically get paid twice a year, which means we have to be very careful with how we budget our money throughout the year.”
Bosetti dismissed Dahle’s criticism by pointing to a software company he purchased and ran in the 1990s after his career as a professional baseball player wound down.
“I was making payrolls, and as a member of the Redding City Council, I helped create an environment where private sector jobs could flourish,” Bosetti said. “In Lassen County, there are only service-related jobs after Sierra Pacific Industries closed their mill 11 years ago.”
In the June primary, Dahle won with about 34 percent of the vote and Bosetti came in second with about 28 percent of the vote. Both men conceded they are likely to split the conservative vote, making it incumbent to woo independent and liberal voters.
“I’m pragmatic,” Bosetti said, when asked how he will represent Democrats and Independents.
Bosetti pointed to his support of Assembly Bill 1492, which would impose a 1 percent tax on the timber industry to help cover regulatory costs of timber harvest plans as he believed it helped the industry by reforming liability issues and saving jobs.
“I’m not going to be an automaton just pulling the lever,” Bosetti said. “I am going to represent the people of this district.”
Dahle pointed to his conservation work, setting aside conservation easements in Lassen County while functioning as a steward for the land he has inherited from his family, which originally homesteaded plots in Northern California in the 1930s.
“Farmers are good stewards because we take care of our ground,” Dahle said.
The emphasis on stewardship affects his idea on the timber industry, as Dahle believes selective thinning of California’s forests would not only stem the likelihood of large wildland fires but could provide much needed jobs.
“We just need a basic common sense approach to some of these issues,” Dahle said.
To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4239.
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