Let me start by thanking the CRIHB and its Board of Directors for inviting me to speak to you today.  I feel very honored to be able to share my comments of where this nation and this state of California are today and where I believe we are headed and what we can expect.   As a Republican I am speaking only for myself and not for the Republican Party.  I was a Republican candidate for the U S Senate race running against 34 candidates to occupy Barbara Boxer’s present position in the U S Senate.  Unfortunately, I did not garner enough votes to run in the November General election. One of the successful candidates will speak to you later in the week.



Let me start by thanking the CRIHB and its Board of Directors for inviting me to speak to you today.  I feel very honored to be able to share my comments of where this nation and this state of California are today and where I believe we are headed and what we can expect.   As a Republican I am speaking only for myself and not for the Republican Party.  I was a Republican candidate for the U S Senate race running against 34 candidates to occupy Barbara Boxer’s present position in the U S Senate.  Unfortunately, I did not garner enough votes to run in the November General election. One of the successful candidates will speak to you later in the week.

My campaign although not successful allowed me to understand better the voters of California and why almost 250,000 of them voted for me in the June 7th Primary Election.  I placed my cellphone telephone number on my website and in the Secretary of State Voter Guide and as a result, much to the personal surprise of the callers, I answered all of these many calls myself.   It was truly a learning experience.  I received many calls asking about my position on abortion, 2nd amendment, my religious faith and other very personal questions.  I dealt with them directly and tried to explain why I took the position that I did.  Some voters were satisfied others were not. 

I was, with only minimal funds, able to interest people to visit my website,, to watch the two videos explaining who I was and what was my background to feel qualified to run for this important position.  I also tried to explain on my Issue pages and the two videos on my home page my positions taken.  Let me discuss briefly these two points:

Who I am and my background:        

            First, I am a businessman, attorney, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and an Air Force veteran who spent three years serving as a pilot.

            Second, I have had extensive public service experience as a Commissioner, and two years as President, of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and also as a Commissioner of the California Transportation Commission.  These two experiences help me understand how government works and how it should work and what expectations from the public sector are realistic. 

            Third, I had extensive experience in the private sector as a businessman and CPA with an international public accounting firm and as a business consultant for both large and small businesses.

            Fourth, I have a dedication to giving back some of my success in the private sector by spending my time and finances supporting the non-profit sector, serving among other things, for 12 years on the board of Self-Help for the Elderly, a senior citizens social service agency which also provided home health care and other social services to over 20,000 seniors in San Francisco.  In addition, I served on the Board of a sub-agency of Self Help which build an 85-unit Senior Citizen Housing Project in the center of China Town in San Francisco.  Other non-profit experiences include my helping establish two charter schools now serving over 800 students from K-12 in the City of Alameda just outside of Oakland.  I learned the importance of giving back to society some of the success I was able to attain.

            Fifth, I decided after finishing my six-year term at the California PUC that I should try and stay in the public sector by running for public office.  I felt I could use the experience I just mentioned in all three sectors of society—public, private and non-profit-- to continue to give back and to enjoy the experience at the same time.

What were my major positions in running for U S Senate?

            First, I felt strongly that the State and the nation needs to keep creating jobs to meet the needs of the young people today to be successful with hard work and proper education.   I felt strongly that these two factors were the most important to success in life and business—hard work and education.    My approach was to advocate creating tax incentives for large corporations to bring to the U S the cash that they are now keeping overseas. They are doing this to avoid paying the highest corporate income taxes rates of any country in the world.  This incentive would be offering a much lower tax rate to give them the incentive to bring the two trillion dollars in cash from overseas only if used to create jobs for young people in our society.  This cash could create between 1.0 to 2.0 million jobs to help grow our economy and reduce unemployment.

            My second position was to try to fix the immigration challenges this country and state are facing today because I believe there are too many undocumented workers taking jobs from citizens or those who have work visas.  This is a very complex challenge and I could spend my entire time discussing it.  I suggest you go to my website and there is a six-minute video that goes through the steps to my comprehensive immigration reform plan.  It starts with strengthening our borders and ends with an e-verify system which makes sure that all workers are valid citizens or have a valid work permit (Green Card) in order to work in our society. 

            Because I am a Certified Public Accountant, my third position is to stress the importance of balancing the national budget without increasing taxes and keeping our nation financially strong for the future.

            The fourth position is one I feel passionately about is the need to increase the number of California students attending our University of California schools. Today there are about 15,000 out-of-state or out-of-country students who because of their admission to the universities are denying our California students from attending the UC System universities.   I recently testified before the California Senate Education Committee to support AB 1711.  This bill attempted to put a specific cap on the number of non-resident students who could be admitted to the UC System schools.  It was modified in the Senate to only specify that the non-resident student applicants had to have academic scores at least equal to the average scores of the top half of the resident students applying.  This bill did not pass but there is language in the Budget Act to encourage the UC System to decrease the number of admissions of non-resident students.  Recent Press Release from the UC System announced last week that there are 1,000 more resident students being admitted this coming year than last year. 

I have copies of my two-page testimony supporting AB 1711 with me if you are interested in getting in to more detail.

Where are we as a State and a Nation? 

First the State of California.  The State is doing better but there is still high unemployment in portions of the state for working class workers.  I assume that many of the young men and woman who are your patients and tribal community members are being challenged and I know one of your topics this week is to address the number of suicides in the communities you serve.  I live in Silicon Valley where there is low unemployment but there are a number of young students who are committing suicide in the Palo Alto Area for many different reasons by standing in front of commuter trains that run through Silicon Valley.  We have somewhere between 10 to 20 suicides a year on these train tracks.  Many are high school student.  The City of Palo Alto is trying to research the causes of high school suicides hoping to reduce the number.  A preliminary report has been issued that shows 12% of the students have considered suicide but the report found that was not out of line with surrounding school districts.    I have been very concerned about the number of deaths overall and have been working on a committee (Rail Committee in the Town of Atherton) addressing this and other train issues in Silicon Valley for almost 10 years. 

Second the status of where we are as a nation.

Although I discussed several key issues in my U S Senate campaign, the events that have occurred in the last two weeks has increased the concern about the number of deaths caused between certain minority groups and the police and vice a versa.  The killings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge of two African American men and the five white police officers killed in Dallas has increased the focus on law and order that we haven’t seen since the 60’s, specifically the 1968 riots relating to the Rodney King beating were very similar to what we are facing today.  

There are going to be many challenges to resolve these law and order issues.  The Presidential race and the races for the Senate and House seats will be battle fields to capture the majority of the voters in the General Election in November.  The victories for President and the two legislative houses, the U S Senate and House, will dictate what solutions will be tried to solve these very serious and complex issues. 

In the November General Election make sure you consider your vote carefully and be sure to vote.  Many are claiming they do not want to vote because they believe there are no acceptable candidates.  People like myself who have served in the military to protect your right to vote would be very disappointed if you do not vote at all.  Make sure you vote. 

Third, who are the likely candidates in the upcoming elections.

The 2016 national election candidates will be finalized in the next two weeks, as both Party Conventions will be concluded and the President and Vice President candidates finally determined.  On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton will be the Presidential candidate and it is yet to be determined who will be the Vice President candidate.  On the Republican side Donald Trump will likely be the Presidential, absence a major upset, and Governor Mike Pence of Indiana will likely be the Vice President candidate.

In the State of California there will be a three major election contest again in 2018, one for Governor, one for U S Senator and one for State Treasurer.  The likely candidates for the Governor race are unsettled at this time but we can talk about those that have announced or possibly could announce.  On the Democratic side both Gavin Newsom, presently Lt. Governor and John Chang, presently State Treasurer, have announced their running for Governor.  Several other prominent Democratic have been mentioned as possible candidates, including Steve Westly, former State Controller, Tom Steyer, a wealthy private investor, Antonio Villaraigosa, former L.A. Mayor, and Eric Garcetti, present Mayor of L. A.  On the Republican side no one has announced their running for Governor, but likely possibilities would be Ashely Swearengin, Mayor of Fresno, and Kevin Faulconer, Mayor of San Diego, or any of the other five candidates who ran for state-wide races in 2014.

The U S Senate race this year in November’s General Election will be the top two winning candidates on the Democratic side, Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez.  In the 2018 U S Senate race it is not clear whether Senator Diane Feinstein will be running again, she has not announced.  Whichever of the top two Democrats in the 2016 U S Senate race who does not win would be logical to run again in 2018.  On the Republican side it is unclear who out of the 11 Republicans who ran in 2016 will try again in 2018.  Who runs for U S Senate will be greatly affected by whether Senator Diane Feinstein decides to run again or not.  If not, it would create an open seat which would attract many more candidates, as it did in 2016 when Barbara Boxer decided not to run again.  

In the State Treasurer’s race for 2018 John Chang, the present State Treasurer, will not run because he has announced he will be running for Governor in 2018.  Fiona Ma, a Democrat and present member of the Board of Equalization has announced she will be running.  No Republican has announced yet, but I am considering it. 

 Closing Comments:

I believe I have covered enough for my time today and would, if time permits, answer any questions you may have.  I will be posting subjects like I have covered today on my website under my Blog postings if you want to follow my comments on these matters in the future.  I also am posting similar comments on Twitter @gregconlon and Facebook at Conlon, if interested.  I will be leaving tonight for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and I will post messages there when I deem it appropriate on twitter.

Thank you again for having me speak to you today.  I am honored and appreciative of the opportunity



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