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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 53

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California and asked of all candidates for this office.

See below for questions on Budget Crisis, Education, Water, Health Insurance

Click on a name for other candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

1. What does California need to do to address the current budget crisis?

Answer from James R. Smith:

-Oppose the Schwarzenegger $15 billion bond bondoggle that will put Californians in hock paying the interest for years.
-Raise taxes on those most able to pay, the wealthy and the corporations.
-End the imbalance between what Californians pay the federal governement and what it receives back. Converting from sales tax to income tax will cut this imbalance by half ($27 billion a year). Investigate how to get more services from the feds.
-Support Prop. 56 to cut the percentage needed in the legislature to pass a budget.

Answer from Ethan M. Boivie:

Significantly reduce the size of government. Consolidate or eliminate superfluous, redundant and oppressive government programs and regulations.

2. What should the state's priorities be for K-12 education? For the Community College System?

Answer from James R. Smith:

-Make California public school teachers the best paid in the nation. This is an investment in the next generation.
-Begin foreign language education in grade one. Support bilingual and multi-cultural education.
-Free quality public education from Head Start to post-graduate. There is no such thing as "too much education."

Answer from Ethan M. Boivie:

Since educated populations are the most tolerant and informed, I believe that ensuring education to the population is vital to stability of the country. However, that doesn't mean perpetuating the status quo. Since the quality of education has continued to decrease, as the amount spent by the bureaucracies in place have continued to increase, I find it clearly evident that there must be a better way to educate California's youth. Evidence has shown that private schools cost less, offer a better quality of education, and are often safer than public schools. The most important thing is that the children receive a safe, quality education, and if they are not getting one, then parents should have the right to move them without paying for both schools.

3. What measures would you support to address California's water needs?

Answer from James R. Smith:

-Support conservation measures such as low-flush toilets
-Oppose privatization of California's resources
-Promote less water-intensive agricultural crops
-Make polluters pay for fouling our lakes, rivers and ground water
-Promote desalination

4. What should the Legislature be doing to address the needs of Californians without health insurance?

Answer from Ethan M. Boivie:

Prop 72 is a terrible idea. This is a perfect example of why we have terrible business-friendly ratings and why businesses are leaving California. If the government were to impose this, everyone would have the same health plan. You can choose to buy an inexpensive or a luxury car - you should be able to decide how big a health care plan you want. We all know that the government does things in a most inefficient way. This prop would lead to everyone paying for luxury but getting "economy class" health care. Mandating health care coverage would drastically raise costs for small business owners. They wouldd be forced to pay less wages (and the difference in pay would be more than the workers could buy their own health care for), or businesses would have to hire fewer employees, or go out of business. Or more likely they'd just pick up and go to Nevada. Make no mistake, Prop 72 is a terrible idea + more of the same from Sacramento, and it will cost California jobs.

Answer from James R. Smith:

-Legislate SB 921 - Single-payer health care, which will provide ALL Californians with quality health care without a net increase in taxes.
-Make the state an "owner of last resort" to prevent hospital closings by private corporations.
-Increase funding for county hospitals.
-Enforce strong patient to nursing care ratios in all hospitals.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League. 

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily.

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Created: December 15, 2004 13:39 PST
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