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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Napa, Contra Costa, Sacramento Counties, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
State Senator; District 3

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Budget, Government reform, Higher education, Major issues

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

? 1. How will you prioritize the budget choices the Legislature must make to align the state’s income and spending?

Answer from Gary Clift:

State of California must reduce management levels to levels that existed before 2000. There must be a cap on State employee pay. Possibly at the Governor's level. Prison Doctors making upwards of $400.000. and University Executives making upwards of $300,000. is unacceptable. These should not be considered Public Service positions and I believe we can recruit highly qualified candidates for much less pay. We must immediately abolish the Retired Annuitant program for managers. We must abolish "Air Time" an unfunded liability that is not necessary.

? 2. What types of changes or reforms, if any, do you think are important to make our state government function more effectively?

Answer from Gary Clift:

We need a multi-year State budget. The current yearly budget cycle creates a culture of crisis management and is wasteful and inefficient. We need citizen representatives on State hiring panels, they currently are not objective and allow State hiring authorities to hire and promote friends and family ahead of more qualified candidates.

? 3. Fees for public higher education have gone up dramatically and funding has been cut. Is this a priority concern, and if so, what measures would you propose to address it?

Answer from Gary Clift:

I believe the Deans and Chancellors are paid too much. The emphasis should be on teaching not rewarding the beauracrats who have turned our higher education into a financial entitlement instead of a public service profession.

? 4. What other major issues do you think the Legislature must address? What are your own priorities?

Answer from Gary Clift:

We need Pension reform. State employees must contribute a more significant amount to their pension.

Water is a precious resource. We need more storage facilities like run off basins and lakes to protect against flooding and to store the excess water for dry periods. This can be done with minimal cost. Bonds for construction can be repaid with revenue from the recovered water.

Energy cost in California are among the highest in the nation. This impacts our standard of living significantly. We need a more responsible State energy policy.

Education costs are the highest in the nation and the results are among the lowest of fifty states. We must reduce management costs and direct those resources to the classroom.

Prison costs are the highest in the country if not the world per prisoner. Surely we can do better.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. References to opponents are not permitted.

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: July 26, 2012 13:02 PDT
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