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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
San Diego County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
United States Representative; District 50

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 Climate Change, Health Coverage, Immigration

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

? 1. What, if anything, do you believe the federal government should do to control global climate change?

Answer from Wayne Dunlap:

A dependence on foreign sources of oil will only continue to mandate outcomes destructive to our future in many ways + wars, pollution, increased taxes, etc. We need to reduce excessive government regulation and provide incentives to encourage additional research and the use of renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, tidal, and biomass. Nuclear power could be considered when waste disposal and other safety issues are resolved. While we are moving towards clean energy, lifting the moratorium on exploration of oil in the US should also be considered in an environmental safe way with limitations on views.

Our economic system can be used to provide incentives. Pollution causing industries that use oil and coal create costs to our society, called externalities, such as pollution, health issues, and foreign wars. If these costs were included in the price charged for their products, renewable sources of clean energy would become more economically viable. A "cap and trade" auction framework could be set up where emission permits are auctioned. Funds would transfer from pollution causing industries to clean energy industries and would speed the transition to renewable energy use and conservation. Allowing the marketplace to work is far more effective than government mandates or sending our troops off to war.

Reducing our dependence on oil with an independent clean energy policy combined with a rational foreign policy will go a long way to solving terrorist treats to our citizens. A vital green energy enterprise in American will help clean our environment, create jobs, and shrink our trade deficit by providing export opportunities.

Answer from Nick Leibham:

There must be a national effort to work toward energy indpendence. Congress must spearhead this effort by proposing and passing legislation that moves us toward this goal. Energy and the environment are intrinsically connected; we cannot work towards reducicng the effects of global warming without investing in clean, renewable energy like solar and wind power.

Stripping big oil companies of their ill-gotten subsidies and redirecing them into alternative enrgy development is the most productive way to invest in our future. Tax breaks for investment in alternative energy need to be renewed and extended to encourage innovation and to allow individuals in our community to participate in shaping a 21st Century energy policy.

? 2. What should the federal government do, if anything, to ensure that every American has health coverage?

Answer from Wayne Dunlap:

Americans are eating worse, getting less exercise, and depending on too many drugs. Preventable diseases such as diabetes and others are on the rise at an alarming rate. Wayne Dunlap believes that current estimates for future health care costs are dangerously underestimated. Americans should assume responsibility for their own health with less reliance on drugs and surgery. We should provide better education so Americans can do so.

As recently as the 1960's, low cost health insurance was available to virtually everyone in America including people with existing medical problems. People alive today can remember when doctors made house calls and a hospital stay cost only a few days pay. Also, charity hospitals were available to take care of families who could not afford to pay for health care. Then the government moved in with Medicare, the HMO act, and thousands of regulations on doctors, hospitals, and health insurance companies. Medicare regulations alone run more than 100,000 pages.

Today health insurance costs are skyrocketing. The high cost is one of the major reasons we have so many people without health insurance. Rather than roll back the government obstacles to affordable health care, politicians are standing in line proposing new ones. In every country where government provides or pays for health care services, the results are the same: long waits for substandard medical services, particularly elective services. Under a universal government controlled health care system, patients and doctors will become frustrated because services will be rationed by a government bureaucrat in Sacramento or Washington, not decided by you and your doctor.

The solution is for people to take back responsibility for their own health care programs. Wayne Dunlap supports fully tax free Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and high-deductible health care insurance plans. Letting consumers have choice in their own health care programs will allow them to get the best deal at the best price possible. Without regard for HMO rules, Americans should have the freedom to determine the level of health care and health insurance they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use, and all other aspects of their medical care. Patients are better served by having options and choices, not new federal bureaucracies restricting their options.

Such choices and options will happen only when we unravel our current bureaucratic system of health care and change the tax code to allow individual Americans to fully deduct all health care costs from their taxes, as employers now can. Until we do, patients will pay ever rising prices and receive declining care while doctors continue to leave the profession in droves.

Answer from Nick Leibham:

This country is in a health care/insurance crisis. I believe it to be a moral imperative that our nation ensures that every American family can see a family doctor of their choosing. The federal government must work toward a long-term solution to the health care problem facing millions of Americans.

? 3. What, if anything, should the federal government do about immigration?

Answer from Wayne Dunlap:

Wayne Dunlap believes that one of the important responsibilities of our Federal Government is to secure our borders and enforce our right as a sovereign nation to control immigration. We also need to stop the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a threat to our security, health, or property. This can be done with the use of modern surveillance technology as well as establishing a reasonable and well enforced immigration policy.

America is a nation of laws and we have a number of laws that are not being enforced. We need to enforce Visa rules, not forgetting that a number of 9/11 terrorists had expired Visas. To insure that those who do come here want to work hard and support themselves, we need to remove the incentives such as nonemergency federal requirements for assistance. Non-citizens that are here illegally need to be required to become citizens.

Our immigration policy needs comprehensive reform and this is a complex issue that should not be defined by simple sound bites. We need to balance the need to protect our borders with our country's economic needs for vital labor skills. For example, a few issues vitally important to the 50th District:

1) Our agricultural industry (the 5th largest industry in San Diego) relies on migrate labor to remain competitive.

2) Many foreign scientists from countries like China have come here to complete graduate studies in biotechnology and then stayed helping build our enormously successful biotechnology industry. Recently, because of immigration concerns, many are choosing to return to China fueling a competitive biotechnology industry in China. San Diego's Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs recently stated that federal immigration policies that cap the number of H-1B visas for foreign scientists and engineers do not just hinder U.S. tech firms; they funnel talented people to other countries, resulting in "innovation happening there that used to happen here." Jacobs calls this "very scary for the United States."

3) We should also consider the aging of our society. Because of lower birth rates and the large number of 'baby boomers' entering retirement age, we need younger working residents to pay for the benefits promised to our retired residents.

America has benefited from having people with vital skills come here. It is important for our continued success that we establish an immigration policy that does not impair our economy. We need to cut the red tape at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Guest work permits should be provided for those with vital skills while they become citizens.

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

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily. Candidates who did not respond are not listed on this page.

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Created: January 24, 2009 10:43 PST
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