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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 17

Photo of Kennita Watson

Kennita Watson

Libertarian
Retired Quality Engineer
3,125 votes (2.3%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Restore lost civil liberties
  • Expose and eliminate conflicts of interest
  • Eliminate waste in the interests of balancing the budget

Experience

Experience

Profession:retired software professional
Member of Technical Staff, Sun Microsystems (1994–2003)

Education

Stanford University M.S., Computer Science (1989)
MIT B.S., Computer Science (1981)

Community Activities

Member, Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County (1982–current)
Membber, American Mensa (1982–current)
Member, Atheist Community of San Jose (2014–current)
Member, American Civil Liberties Union (2005–current)
Member, National Multiple Sclerosis Society (2003–current)

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and California Counts, a public media collaboration. (4)

Should immigration laws be changed?  What changes would you support?  Please explain why.
Answer from Kennita Watson:

     Immigration is a natural right we all have as individuals.  Immigration has historically also been good for the American economy. Unfortunately, current federal law often limits the opportunities of potential immigrants who could most contribute to our economy, while other laws and policies make immigration attractive to people who may become a burden on the taxpayers. Libertarians look forward to a future in which _all_ individuals are free to move wherever they wish, while at the same time being expected to take responsibility for their own well-being.  Meanwhile, we can move toward that ideal through measures like eliminating all numerical caps in existing programs for skilled/educated people (including the H-1B program, and for students who have obtained advanced degrees at US institutions).  The family preference system should be expanded to allow anyone to sponsor an immigrant based on economic support, without discrimination based on marital status or other factors. Decisions about  bringing refugees to this country should similarly be returned to the private sector, with charities or other organizations taking responsibility for those individuals they deem worthy of help. The US government should get out of the business of favoring specific groups, based on factors such as national origin or proximity to wars or natural disasters.

The political climate in Washington, D.C. has been extremely partisan in recent years. In that kind of atmosphere, what would you do to get things done while in office?
Answer from Kennita Watson:

     The key to getting things done is to know what you want and to stick with it.  Libertarians base their policy proposals on principle -- they are not constructed from the latest political polls or for sale to lobbyists.  On the other hand, because these proposals are also often supported by people from other parties, for other reasons, we can work with them to achieve these objectives when we agree.  While Americans disagree with each other on many things, many do agree with many Libertarian proposals on specific issues, and on those issues Libertarians can work together with others regardless of party to make progress toward more prosperity and freedom.

What, if anything, does the U.S. need to do in order to address national security and terrorism? Please explain your answer in detail.
Answer from Kennita Watson:

     The primary justification for the existence of the federal government is to protect us from attack, but record defense spending far in excess of what is spent by other countries has failed to make us feel safe.  Too much of that money goes for programs that are ineffective and for trying to be "policeman of the world".  Some of it even goes for things that military leaders themselves say they don't need!  The defense budget needs to be streamlined and re-focused on protecting Americans in America.  Meanwhile, terrorism needs a different approach, because terrorism is not primarily a military problem, and can't be solved with bombs. Most current terrorist attacks come from people who have ideas that are hostile to those on which our country was built, but US military action has not deterred them -- if anything, it has made the situation worse by helping them recruit new supporters.  First, the US must stop taking sides among the various dictatorships and would-be dictatorships in the Middle East.  Second, the federal government should end "security theater" policies like what we see at airports, which just waste money and interfere with private lives without making us safer.  Third, law enforcement efforts need to be focused on the people who are the actual threats, without political interference.  Finally, we must recognize that government action is not the answer to bad ideas, whether they arise here or overseas.  Bad ideas must be opposed in the world of ideas, with our own better ideas.  The ultimate solution to the evil of terrorism is for us to have a such a successful economy and society that everybody will want to support us, and nobody will want to support the terrorists.

The Federal Government plays a part in California water allocation and use through a variety of laws.  What, if any, legislation would you support in an effort to handle water shortages caused by the current and any future drought?
Answer from Kennita Watson:

     Droughts are natural phenomena which we can expect to see again and again, but mismanagement by the both the federal and state governments has left us ill-prepared to deal with them.  Existing laws interfere with natural market forces, and make it difficult to apply both old technologies (such as dams) and new ones (such as new methods for desalination and recycling). Water rights laws should be reformed so that holders can sell them for other purposes, creating incentives for more efficient use across all sectors of the economy, rather than subsidizing particular industries at the expense of others.  Regulations need to be streamlined, so that all owners of water resources, public and private, can develop them and cooperate in a common market for water, so that this important factor in our economy can find its best use.

Candidate Contact Info

Email campaign@kennitawatson2016.org

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