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Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen On His Run For Governor

California gubernatorial candidate, Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen, discusses the state's housing problems at a conference on March 8, 2018, in Sacramento.
Associated Press
California gubernatorial candidate, Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen, discusses the state's housing problems at a conference on March 8, 2018, in Sacramento.
Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen On His Run For Governor
Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen On His Run For Governor GUEST: Asm. Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach

> You're hoping to repeal the gas tax in November. Without that, how do you pay for road improvements? >> When Jerry Brown was first elected governor the general fund was $86 billion. It is $131 billion. That is an increase of 45 billion or 50% since he was elected governor. We do not need another $52 billion tax to fix roads and expand freeways and get us out of this traffic. We need to use existing revenue much better and run the state like a business. >> You think the issue is immigration, more so than the gas tax? >> I think they're both winning issues. California has been mismanaged by Democrats for 39 of the last 40 years. They have dominated running both houses, Senate and the assembly. Every year except one for the last four decades. We have exploding home costs and rising violent crime. All of these issues are issues that Californians care the most about. >> What about crime? What -- one of your top priorities is to send local offenders to early jails. The Public policy Institute of California found that filing crime grows for% in 2016. It is also at a historic low overall, what it was in the 60s and property crimes fell in 2016. How do you draw the connection directly between realignment and crime rates which have gone up and down in the past few years? >> We need to correct the record. Violent crime has increased according to the FBI in California from 2014 to 2017 by 15.4% across the state of California. Crime has gone down for decades because we are a state of three strikes. Thanks to softer on crime laws, we have seen this huge upsurge in violent crime in the last three years. So it started in 2011. That allowed a lot of offenders to be released from jail early. We simply did not have the space and the governor was unwilling to build more jails in California. The next is proper -- prop 57 and 47. That turns felonies into misdemeanors. Criminals are being released early. 10,000 sex offenders. The answer is very simple. California must get tough on crime again. We do not have to have soft on crime laws which will only lead to increases in violent crime. We don't need to become a statistic. Violent crime is up 15.4%. These soft on crime laws are impacting communities. We must reverse them. We need to be safe. >> One suggestion you had recently was to put the chronically homeless in state run mental institutions, even if they did not want to go there. Only about one in five people who are homeless have a serious mental illness. I just want to make clear, are you suggesting you would in solution -- institutionalize all of the population? >> We need institutions where people can go and get the help they need, mental services substance abuse, a roof over their head, they need to get a leg up and get that first job and get back on their feet. No longer will people be allowed to sleep out on the streets and sidewalks and under bridge in California. >> These would not be mental institutions, these would just be shelters that would provide mental services in addition to other services? Not just for the mentally ill? >> Correct. These are services to those who need them. Substance abuse services. If you just need a leg up and get back on your feet, that will be provided. We will enforce our anti-loitering and anti-camping and vagrancy laws. We have a right to clean streets in California. >> If someone does not want to go to the shelter, you would enforce these laws and make them go? >> That is the plan? >> Everyone has a right to go wherever they want to go. They were no longer be allowed to sleep out on the streets. >> One more question. There was a report last year by the Ocean protection Council on the threat of rising sea levels. You call that report bogus science. Generally, what metrics do you use for that? >> I am a Southern California surfer. We are not seeing sea level rises here at all. Not in any way. Any expert will tell you that real sea level rise will not be measured in months or years. Decades to centuries. >> That is what the Ocean protection Council said. In general, someone says there is a new report and it says this. How do you determine whether you have faith in that or not? >> It is not a question of faith. You cooperate. You look at the policy prescription to draw from. This is the difficulty. Is -- there is a theme, certainly here in Sacramento and in the Bay area of San Francisco that we must act immediately for this impending sea level rise. The answer is that there is no impending danger in a period of months or years. At most, decades or centuries. California has many more pressing problems. Sea level rise we have not seen a measurable increase in. We have rising filing crime. These are the issues that impact Californians. See rise may or may not happen. It will take decades or centuries to see. >> Travis Allen, thank you. >> Thank you very much.

Support for both Republicans in the California Governor's race has nearly doubled in recent polls.

Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach, was a close third behind Republican businessman John Cox of Rancho Santa Fe in the latest UC Berkeley poll. Whichever candidate comes in second in the June election will move ahead to November, likely facing Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.

RELATED: San Diego Republican John Cox In Second Place In New Governor’s Race Poll

Allen, who grew up in Chula Vista, is one of the leaders behind the effort to repeal the state gas tax. One of his top priorities includes reversing prison-realignment, which shifted custody for low-level offenders from state prisons to local jails. On the campaign trail Allen has also touted a plan to build state-run institutions for homeless people.

RELATED: Newsom’s Campaign For Governor Makes A Stop In El Cajon

Allen joins Midday Edition in advance of this weekend's state Republican convention in San Diego.