By Pat Sherman
La Jolla Light
recently spoke with Republican congressional candidate John Subka about his bid to represent the newly redrawn 52nd District. Interviews with other candidates in the race — Democrats
Wayne Iverson and John Stahl
— ran in previous editions of the
Data warehouse engineer John Subka says he believes 50th District congressman Brian Bilbray isn’t living up to his promise to create jobs in the region — a reason Subka says he’s running for the newly redrawn 52nd District seat alongside Bilbray and others.
Though lacking Bilbray’s war chest, Subka said sound policy ideas and the public’s distaste for career politicians might open a window for him to advance beyond the June 5 open-primary election.
“When I look at the bills he (Bilbray) did pass — and there’s only about 10 or 12 — none of them even address the major issues of the community,” said Subka, who attended Santa Fe Christian School in Solana Beach and holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and business administration from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
“The number one problem in the 52nd District right now is jobs,” he said. “I own several rental properties and I’ve got three tenants who moved out because they’ve lost their jobs. The jobs in the community are not paying what they were 10 or 15 years ago.”
Subka said that while Bilbray and some other Republicans blame illegal immigration, he believes the economy and tax base are taking a major hit due to the government undercutting the local talent pool through the issuance of H-1B visas (or those that allow U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations).
“Qualcomm is bringing in all these people from China and India (with) H-1B visas that they should be paying, let's say, $80,000 to $90,000 (a year),” Subka said. “If you go down to Qualcomm and you look at some of these people who have masters degrees in computer science from India, they’re paying them $35,000-$40,000 a year. They can barely live on their own salary.
“I will guarantee you that it just spills over to the local community like you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “The whole point of H-1B visas in the first place was to bring people over here and train them; it wasn’t meant to be exploited like this. A guy who graduated from UCSD can’t get a job because there’s 5,000 people from India over here taking their jobs.”
Subka said his experience serving as a consultant to the chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies, including IBM and Hyundai North America, lend him the experience needed to serve in Congress.
“I know how business is going down; I know how they’re offshoring operations and why they’re doing it,” he said. “The companies that are doing well are shipping everything offshore and they’re not coming back. They’re growing, but they’re not growing in America.
“There are a lot of policies that could take place that prevent stuff like this,” he added, “but it’s just not happening.”
Subka also cites tax law as an important issue for him.
“A lot of companies would love to get their feet off the ground but there is just so much state and federal litigation and bureaucracy that it’s not even possible to start a business today,” he said. “There’s too much red tape, and the incumbent hasn’t done anything about that.”
While Subka considers himself a fiscal conservative and supports a citizen’s right to bear arms, he also favors more moderate social issues, such as the legalization of marijuana and a woman’s right to obtain an abortion.
A Rancho Bernardo resident who resides with his wife and two young daughters, Subka said he admires the style of Texas business tycoon and former presidential candidate Ross Perot.
“He kind of comes from my background,” Subka said. “He worked for IBM; he’s worked with corporate America. He saw where a lot of the stuff was going, he knew how the games were played and he wanted to make the changes. He didn’t have to go to these companies like a lot of the incumbents — Democrat or Republican — to get their pockets lined. I think that’s a big issue with a lot of the incumbents. If there’s nothing in it for them, then they’re not going to do it — and that’s literally the problem with the system. It has nothing to do with ideology.”