Mike Thompson for the 5th Congressional District

William Rohrs, Staff Writer

After consecutive interviews with incumbent Congressman Mike Thompson and his opponent Randy Loftin, the Oak Leaf is confident that Thompson is the better choice for California’s 5th District seat in U.S. Congress.

Democrat Thompson has spent two terms in the state senate and 14 years as a congressman, serving on a terrorism subcommittee and as a member health care, education and tax reform committees.

By contrast, Loftin is inexperienced. A tax and financial planner from Napa, Loftin, a Republican, has never held elected office. He believes the secret to America’s success, economically speaking, is the private sector.

If elected, Thompson promises to keep higher education a top priority. He believes that reforming No Child Left Behind will greatly help education as a whole. He opposes Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s proposed budget slashes to higher education. The public education system is changing and it is important the federal government is invested in it, he said.

Loftin is more concerned with balancing the federal budget through releasing federal land holdings in California and generating income through property taxes. He wants to develop potential oil fields in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, claiming the area holds more proven oil reserves than the rest of the world combined. Loftin’s campaign website advocates reverting back to the gold standard.

On the issue of medicinal marijuana, Thompson would prefer that the federal govern-ment withdraw its effort to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have passed laws permitting medical marijuana. “I think we need to redo the California laws so that we don’t stay the laughing stock of the nation, and people who have serious medical problems can have access to medical marijuana and that it’s grown properly so it doesn’t destroy the environment,” Thompson said.

The medical marijuana issue is “a political hornet’s nest,” Loftin said. “Personally I think that if a doctor for legitimate reasons prescribes it, it is a good thing. The federal government has a role to protect us, but I think in this respect they’ve gone too far.”

Thompson approves Obamacare, but believes there is room for improvement. He wants to mandate that insurance companies allocate 85 percent of their profits towards healthcare, not administration fees and commissions. Loftin opposes Obamacare and believes market-based solutions that compete in the private sector are key to regulating healthcare.

Thompson supports the California Dream Act and said he co-authored every Dream Act bill in Congress. Kids brought to America need to be able to get an education and become a part of the community, he said. Loftin’s solution to the immigration problem is to have an immigrant labor program that allows people to get into the country legally, giving them a right to work here.

Thompson supports a full regulation of banks and Wall Street in order to prevent a repeat of the events that led to the recent fiscal crash. Loftin said he doesn’t want to make Wall Street the whipping boy. In his opinion, the financial crash was caused by banks loaning money to people who didn’t qualify for loans.

Thompson supports a federal law that allows gay marriages. Loftin is opposed, saying that it is a state decision and it was wrong for federal court judges to overturn the California decision not to permit it.

Congressman Thompson convinced the Oak Leaf that he is more qualified to represent college students in Congress. Thompson’s experience, combined with his views on issues that matter to California students – education, the economy, immigration, gay marriage, medical marijuana – proves he will be able to make the connections he needs to push his legislation through the House and onto the president’s desk.