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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Stanislaus, San Joaquin County, CA November 6, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 12

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 Christopher Mateo:

We shall live within our means. We will treat California's Budget like any household budget. We must not spend more than what we earn. If we must borrow, it must be within reason. Like any credit card, we must have a plan to repay within a reasonable amount of time.

Answer from Kristin Olsen:

The Legislature must focus on funding the core services of government including education, infrastructure and public safety while making cuts in other areas and eliminating redundancies in bureaucracy. If we can do this and focus on creating policies that will boost the economy through job creation, I believe our budget would be balanced and the deficit eliminated.

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

Answer from Christopher Mateo:

Two areas that I would like to see a reform would be in the areas of Lobbying and Campaign Contributions. We must return to the consent of the governed.

Answer from Kristin Olsen:

I think tax reforms are a must. The "tax and spend" mentality has got to go. We must also give incentives to the business community to make the state a better place to do business in the private sector. I am also working on making state government more accountable and transparent. I released my office budget without being asked because taxpayers deserve to see how their money is being spent and should be able to hold their legislators accountable.

? 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 Kristin Olsen:

The escalating increase in student fees at our public universities is of great concern to me. To avoid the need for these increases, the Legislature should make state funding for higher education a top priority. In addition, public universities should be required to freeze salaries during times of budget crisis. The executive compensation raises that have been given at the same time student fees have been raised significantly is inexcusable. Education is absolutely a priority of mine. I believe education should be largely immune from budget cuts, especially since there is so much wasteful spending taking place in other areas. When bus service to rural areas was eliminated, I fought and within weeks restored service. It's unacceptable to make our students suffer for the irresponsible spending happening in Sacramento. I also advocate for local control, so that school districts can determine the best use of funds for their communities.

Answer from Christopher Mateo:

Yes, Education in general is our only advantage from the rest of the world. If we do not reform our educational system then we will fall behind even further.

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

Answer from Christopher Mateo:

Since 1980, California built 21 prison facilities and 1 public university. Common sense tells me there is something wrong with this picture. My priority is reversed in this situation.

Answer from Kristin Olsen:

I believe the Legislature should be more accountable to taxpayers. I think government has forgotten that it works for the people -- and it shouldn't run our lives. Transparency is vitally important in achieving this.

Thomas Jefferson once said that, "A government large enough to take care of us is large enough to take everything from us."

Government is getting too big, and I am working to make sure that state government lives within its means and focuses on providing core services.

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: December 17, 2012 13:48 PST
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