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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
United States Representative; District 13

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 Economy, Federal Budget, Energy, Health Care, Campaign Financing

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

? 1. In this time of high unemployment, what are the most important steps that should be taken to improve our nationís economy?

Answer from Chris Pareja:

California is often rated the least business-friendly state in the union. As such, we are seeing jobs exit the Bay Area and the state at an alarming pace. Unfortunately, Washington DC is implementing more and more of California's anti-business attitudes and legislation. Small and mid-sized businesses, in particular, are impacted by excessive taxes, bureaucracy and regulations. While some of each of these items may be necessary, businesses and jobs die and the economy suffers when excesses exist. I will fight to maintain a sensible balance of taxes, bureaucracy and regulations while allowing businesses to compete and re-establish economic strength.

? 2. How should federal budget priorities be changed, now and into the future? How will you balance the costs of military action overseas and national security with the costs of domestic needs?

Answer from Chris Pareja:

National security has to be a priority for the Federal Government, however, that does not mean we should be involved in every military skirmish in the world. We need to assess when and where we should be militarily involved in the world. We also need to go through the proper channels before entering a war. We are engaged in military actions globally that have not gone through the proper process of authorization by Congress. This isn't acceptable. Additionally, I don't believe we can afford to be the world's police force or respond to every call of the United Nations. We need to focus more on our own domestic security needs. We need to put more of our funds toward protecting our own borders + not just the southern border, but all of them and our air and seaports. Without securing our own borders, we will continue to suffer health, economic, safety and other issues. By reallocating dollars toward domestic issues, we will reduce the overall financial strains put upon the government + freeing up resources for other issues.

? 3. What, if anything, should be done by the federal government to address our dependence on fossil fuels or spur the use of clean energy?

Answer from Chris Pareja:

We should always be looking for new ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, but the solutions have to be sensible. Wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, nuclear and bio-fuels are all possibilities, but many of them have geographic or cost limitations. I don't believe we will be able to completely replace fossil fuels in the next few decades, but we can make strides by using a hybrid approach when possible to provide energy to homes and businesses. I don't believe the Federal Government should mandate that we standardize on energy sources that cost double or triple existing sources. I stand strongly opposed to cap and trade legislation which has been proven to enable corruption without improving the impact of energy sources on the environment.

? 4. What, if any, changes should be made to current federal policies or programs that promote or provide health coverage for Americans?

Answer from Chris Pareja:

Every American should have access to quality emergency health care. But I don't look at elective procedures as a right. One of the factors driving up the cost of health care, which limits access to people with lower incomes is the excessive use of emergency rooms as health care clinics. Emergency services are much more expensive to provide. We need to empower emergency rooms to redirect non-emergencies to community-based health clinics where more cost-appropriate services can be provided. I believe we can bring insurance costs down by allowing insurance companies to provide a larger variety of policies that cover only the services needed by the people buying them. This would give the insured more control over matching a policy to their needs and budget. I disagree with insurers that cut off policy holders when they become too expensive to insure, but I also realize that being forced to accept all existing conditions will open the door for fraud and eventually bankrupt the insurance companies. I am not a fan of universal health care, but think there may be times when it makes sense for the government to provide riders or policies to people who cannot get cost-effective insurance for certain ailments through the private insurance system.

? 5. What, if any, changes should be made to federal rules on campaign financing or disclosure of political expenditures?

Answer from Chris Pareja:

Campaign finance reform is an issue I am very interested in. I supported the recent Supreme Court ruling bringing corporations up to par with "freedom of speech" already provided to unions. There have been recent attempts to skew the system by forcing newer political action communities to disclose donors when older, more established groups were held to a different set of rules. Laws should apply equally to every entity. I would prefer an entirely different approach. My preference would be to only allow campaign contributions from humans. I realize we allow legal "personhood" for non-living entities like corporations, unions, PACs and others, but I would prefer that personhood did not include non-living entities in the political process. If entities can't breathe, they shouldn't be given free speech. I think politicians should be limited in the amount of money they can contribute to their own campaign. If a donor can contribute $2400, the politician should be limited to the same donation, evening the playing field for average citizens. Additionally, I think there should be limits on how much can be raised for a campaign. For example, we might establish a limit for Congressional candidates of 10 times the annual salary. Senatorial and Presidential campaigns may be different amounts because of the geography covered. I oppose having the tax payers finance campaigns.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' responses are not edited or corrected by the League. No candidate may refer to another candidate in the response.

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 6, 2011 15:01 PST
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