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Fong Won't Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 1 month ago on
April 24, 2024
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House candidates Vince Fong and Mike Boudreaux recently answered some of the burning questions facing members of Congress. (GV Wire Composite/David Rodriguez)

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Vince Fong will not debate Mike Boudreaux for the May 21 special election to serve the remaining Congressional District 20 term. But the candidates did answer GV Wire questions about hot Washington topics.

GV Wire and The Maddy Institute invited both to square off in a forum so that voters could compare and contrast the candidates. However, Fong’s campaign declined to participate.

Fong, a Republican Assemblymember from Bakersfield, and Boudreaux, the Republican sheriff of Tulare County, not only face off on May 21, but also on Nov. 5 for the full-term seat that starts Jan. 3, 2025.

Both answered questions during separate interviews last week at the Fresno County GOP Lincoln Reagan dinner.

Do You Back Speaker of the House Mike Johnson?

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, succeeded Bakersfield Republican Kevin McCarthy last year. McCarthy subsequently quit Congress on Dec. 31, necessitating the special election.

Johnson is facing backlash from the right wing of the Republican party, which is threatening him with removal, as they succeeded in doing with McCarthy.

Fong, before winning office for Assembly in 2016, worked as McCarthy’s district director.

GV Wire asked Fong and Boudreaux if they would support Johnson.

Fong: “I don’t think we need any more chaos. So, I think we need to just try to govern and figure out what’s going on. I’m waiting to see what’s going on, but, I’m like, I’m on the outside looking in, trying to figure out what’s happening.”

Fong said that yes, he does support Johnson.

Boudreaux: “What I’m seeing in the Republican Party is embarrassing. We have to start unifying our party, working together, supporting each other. What’s happening, though, with some of the decisions that are being made, is so political that we have separated ourselves. … I believe we must support the Speaker of the House who’s a Republican. The unified Republican Party must come together and do what’s good.”

Boudreaux did have reservations about “signing off on this budget.” But, he does not support Johnson’s removal.

Where Do You Stand on FISA Renewal?

One area Speaker Johnson is at odds with others in the party is over renewing the FISA Act.

As described the Justice Department, the act “sets out procedures for physical and electronic surveillance and collection of foreign intelligence information. Initially, FISA addressed only electronic surveillance but (it) has been significantly amended to address the use of pen registers and trap and trace devices, physical searches, and business records.”

The act also established the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), a special U.S. Federal court that holds nonpublic sessions to consider issuing search warrants under FISA. The government is is the only part present during FISC proceedings.

Fong: “We need to renew it. I mean, we need to know what’s going on and connect the dots. … We need to figure out whether there’s terrorist activity going on in the United States. Now, there needs to be guardrails. And, we’ll look forward to seeing what’s going to happen on the Hill. I know there’s a lot of amendments and getting guardrails and, and a significant debate that’s going to happen.

Boudreaux: “I’m going to have to put … some serious thought into what I agree or disagree with at this point. … I’m not in completely in agreement with the renewal, but I have to tell you that what the decisions that I’m seeing on Capitol Hill, what I’m seeing, impacts real life people here at home.”

Are You in Favor of More Israeli Aid?

The House approved a $26 billion package for Israel that included humanitarian aid in Gaza. The overwhelming 366-58 vote in support came with 21 Republicans opposed.

The entire Central Valley delegation — Jim Costa, D-Fresno, David Valadao, R-Kings County, John Duarte, R-Modesto, and Tom McClintock, R-Roseville — voted in favor. So, too, would Fong and Boudreaux.

Fong: “I support Israel. I think I think we also need to look at everything, a step-by-step process, secure the border. We need all those things to happen.”

Boudreaux: “We must support Israel. … You have Israel surrounded by 22 other countries who just want to destroy and eliminate the people of Israel. That’s wrong.”

Boudreaux also advocated for supporting Taiwan “because the microchips in Taiwan are supporting everything that we do in the United States.”

UPDATE: President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he was immediately rushing badly needed weaponry to Ukraine as he signed into law a $95 billion war aid measure that also included assistance for Israel, Taiwan and other global hotspots.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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