Q&A: Alex Balekian. From Glendale Physician to Fox News Regular Guest

Balekian (R) is a candidate for US House of Representatives, CA-District 30.

7 mins read
A man wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera
Alex Balekian, M.D., candidate for US House of Representatives, CA-District 30. Photo: Campaign
This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series 2024 General Election Candidates

Q – How does it feel to be on the national media circuit?

A – I’m happy they’ve given me that sounding board. I’m hoping it spreads. I don’t mind going on CNN or MSNBC for a hardball interview. I think journalists should be objective and allow their audiences to make that determination on their own. I think people are hungry for different viewpoints.

Q – What surprised you about the primary election results?

A – Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I say that because I am a numbers geek. I am proud to be a numbers geek. I excel in math and am really good with budgets. I went into this campaign after crunching the numbers because I needed to justify to myself and my husband that this upheaval of our lives was going to be justified. Hence, nothing in the primaries surprised me.

I said that if we got 18 percent of the vote, we would solidly be one of the top two candidates, and we got 17.5 percent of the votes. The numbers are in our favor for the general election, and that’s where we’re going, full speed ahead.

Q – How are you getting out your message?

A Fox News Tonight has started having me on as a regular guest. After I made it past the primary, they liked how I spoke, and they’ve invited me back a few times since.

Now that I’m a proven candidate, someone who is able to influence voters with a strong independent platform, more people are starting to take notice. I’m happy about that.

Q – Are you making any progress with your issues with the Glendale Unified School District?

A – The school district teachers’ unions have claws so deep in the board that they are going to double or triple down on their failed policies.

People may say that the election was stolen, but I say when 65 percent of your troops stayed at home and didn’t vote, you cannot call it a stolen election. You call that a failed battle.

In the short term, policies are not going to change at GUSD. It looks like individual families are going to pull their kids out of GUSD and place them in private or charter schools. Unfortunately, they’ll vote with their feet.

Q – What are you doing to get out the vote?

A – With any presidential-year election, you’re going to get a good turnout, and the projected turnout is about 70 percent. So, that is what my calculations are based on.

People will come out for the controversy surrounding George Gascón’s re-election. They’ll come out because there are upcoming propositions to make it easier to increase property taxes. ACA One is already on the November ballot. But I think the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is going to work very hard against it.

A recent LA Times/UC Berkeley poll found that only 15 percent of Californians surveyed actually support higher taxes to offset the deficit.

“I’m running as a Republican and defining my vision.”

Alex Balekian

Most importantly, we’ll get turnout because of the recall of the current Glendale Mayor, Elen Asatryan, and her dubious methods of securing the Mayorship despite clear instructions from the Glendale ordinances. This has triggered widespread ire in the city. A recall attempt on the ballot will actually bring people out in the city of Glendale. She is highly unpopular.

Q – Do you do you have any Republican Party help at all?

A – The California GOP has been decimated within the last decade. The Republican National Committee is focused on more attainable races. The Republican Party needs to redefine itself, and by redefining, I mean redefining its platform.

I have done that for my race, and people have gotten behind me, not just Republicans but also independents and moderate Democrats.

The Democratic Party has defined its progressive, far-left, liberal ideas, and the Republican Party needs to define its platform, hopefully in a more socially moderate light, as I have. I think people naturally gravitate towards that. I’m running as a Republican and defining my vision.

Q – Have you had any focus groups or town hall meetings?

A – We’re planning regular town hall meetings, the first of which will be on April 25 at The Garden Café in Tujunga. We will discuss matters that are important to the community, like homelessness, the high cost of living and high un-prosecuted crime.

It’s an opportunity to demonstrate that my campaign has real solutions and to educate people about the civic process so they feel empowered to vote in these elections and have a real path to solving problems.

Q – What kind of legislation would you introduce to Congress?

A – I think the government is too big and cumbersome. In 1776, our founding fathers put forth a 15-page document to run the entire country. Since then, it has ballooned uncontrollably, so I would identify archaic, cumbersome laws and start undoing them to make life easier for people.

I would also pass laws that would restrain our government. For example, term limits not only for elected officials but also their congressional staffers who have been there for several decades and are effectively running the show unbeknownst to the rest of us.

I would also introduce an innovative law about a balanced budget limit. If the yearly budget deficit for the year exceeds a certain percentage, then no one, including elected officials and congressional staffers, gets paid a salary for the whole year. If the government is unable to manage the finances of the American taxpayer, then neither they nor their staff deserves to get paid for that year.

It would be a three-year plan. If Congress is unable to pass a balanced budget for one, two or three years, neither they nor their staffers would get paid. Even before a shutdown happens, they’d be the first people to have their budget taken away.

I’ll get a 100 percent approval rating for that.

Q – What environmental legislation might you put forward?

A – I would acknowledge everyone’s desire for clean air and water, but I would link it to demonstrable findings. For example, if we’re worried about clean air, then we look at the asthma hospitalization rates, and if the rate increased by 10 percent year over year, then that would trigger a review to see about lowering greenhouse gases.

Then, we could tie it to the CDC reports year-over-year for the development of asthma in children or adults. We tie these pie-in-the-sky goals to actual tangible data that we can follow.

“Every year, the US sends over $850 billion to NATO countries. Even if we used a quarter of that for wildfires, that would be a lot of money.”

Alex Balekian

Another thing that I would do is encourage the Bureau of Land Management to conduct prescribed burns in wildfire areas like California or Montana. These places have been hit hard and do prescribed burns during the non-fire season so that there is less fuel to burn.

We have plenty of money that we’re sending over to Ukraine. Every year, the US sends over $850 billion to NATO countries. Even if we used a quarter of that for wildfires, that would be a lot of money.

PG&E estimates it needs a $6 billion budget to bury several hundred miles of electrical wire in high-fire areas. However, the California Utilities Commission balked at allowing them to spend that money and then pass it on to consumers.

With Prop 1, we just took out another $6 billion loan for homeless housing to add to the $20 billion that our state has already wasted. Why couldn’t we spend $6 billion on burying power lines that are causing these spectacular wildfires? This is a global safety measure that most Californians can agree on, rather than throwing more money at this homeless housing dumpster fire.

Q – If these solutions were enacted, would it help insurance companies stay in California?

A – Absolutely. An insurance company has to make calculations on how much it’s going to cost to build things, not only using the higher cost of materials that we have here in California, not only using the higher cost of wages that California has mandated but also taking into account the onerous excessive environmental codes that California has enacted.

“This is a global safety measure that most Californians can agree on, rather than throwing more money at this homeless housing dumpster fire.”

Alex Balekian

Certain energy-efficient double pane windows or certain energy-efficient shingles, these specialized niche materials, increase the cost of building a house, and that is why insurance companies are leaving the state. Even if you suddenly decrease the risk of wildfires, your roof caving in is still going to be just as expensive to fix from a hard rain, for example. Why? Because you have to build it up to California Code, which is very limiting in the types of materials that you could use.

Q – What do you think about the recent closing of the female inmate prison in California?

A – It seems like an endemic problem of abuse in prisons. Back in 2020, we passed a law in California so that prisons could go from private hands into public hands because of abuses. The US government runs this federal prison. A private company does not run it.

So, I think there’s an overall culture change that needs to occur among correctional officers, among people who represent staff, be it at the government or private corporation level because there’s nobody to blame it on other than this culture of abuse that seems to find itself again and again in these prisons.

They’re just going to redirect that culture to the rest of the female prisons. This seems pointless to me.

Suppose there are poorly performing people in whatever area, be it the Postal Service, the Veterans Administration or even Congress. In that case, these people are just taken a few levels underground and then shifted elsewhere. They cannot easily be fired because of their unions, and then eventually, people forget about them.

Q – What do you want people to know about your campaign?

A – I tell people there are three important things for my campaign and in this order. Votes. Contributions. Introductions.

Voters out of my district may wish they could vote for me, so I tell them these are the three ways they can help me network and get out the grassroots vote.

Series Navigation<< Q&A:  Scott Harden. Building a PUSD for the FutureQ&A: Elizabeth Wong Ahlers. Generational Consequences >>
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Sheryl Turner

Sheryl is Local News Pasadena's Publisher and Pasadena Media Foundation's Founder. When not saving local news, she devotes her spare time to finding the best meatloaf in town.
Email: [email protected]

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