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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
San Diego County, CA November 6, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 78

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 Ralph Denney:

Make the entire process completely transparent. Identify those expenses which are unnecessary and redundant. Cut bureaucracy and the wasteful regulations which feed it while protecting the vital services for those who truly need them. Eliminate committee's and commissions which cost us the taxpayers millions of dollars but exist solely to provide a paycheck to termed out and voted out politicians. Make ALL departments of government more responsive to the lawful citizens of our State. Rein in out-of-control State and Local spending

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

Answer from Ralph Denney:

1. Rein in out-of-control State and Local spending.
2. Make the budget process transparent and timely.
3. Reasonable Pension Reform which both protects the taxpayer and provides a reasonable retirement for their employees.
4. Work towards a Part-Time Legislature.
5. Reform Three-Strikes so the public is truly protected by violent and sexual predators while addressing why our costs to do so are astronomically higher here than in any other in the world.
6. Far more than can be listed in this limited space.

? 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 Ralph Denney:

Very much so... Higher education is vital to the future of our state and ourselves. These students ARE our future, yet we're saddling them with insurmountable debt. At the same time tough, our school system - especially post secondary - is endemic to the over all problem of out-of-control spending facing our government at all levels. Before we can find a responsible solution, we must address two very specific issues;

1. We must establish a balance and timely state budget which all schools can depend on. Too often state and local schools must make guesses as to what the final budget will allocate based on false assurances from state officials, only to find months later those projections had no basis in realty and the Legislature has once again stolen dedicated funds to patch the holes.

2. Funds have been cut only if you accept the principle of Baseline Spending. Budgets have actually increased over previous years, but not by as much as desired. Having said that however, we must do a true audit of the post-secondary education system to determine just why educational costs have increased by from two to as high as five times the rate of inflation almost every year for more than a generation. As just one example, its outrageous the UC System continuously raises fees to support an unjustifiable employee to student ratio of 4 employees to every 5.students. And this doesn't even include independent contractors and `consultants'.

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

Answer from Ralph Denney:

Completely change the way our state does business... and get it out of the way OF business so that jobs... good paying jobs can be created and our economy can once again be the envy of the world.

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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