This is an archive of a past election.
See http://www.smartvoter.org/ca/state/ for current information.
LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA June 3, 2014 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
United States Representative; District 33


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 Economy and Jobs, Health Care, Energy Policy, National Security, Immigration Reform

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

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

Answer from Mark Matthew Herd:

First and foremost we need to reduce military spending and foreign aid by 15%. At the same time we need to bring those dollars home and spend them responsibly on infrastructure, education, healthcare and publicly financed elections. This would mean a complete change in foreign policy from one of aggression to one of peaceful coexistence and non intervention. This will improve not only our economy and sustainable job growth, but it will create a more peaceful world which helps promote overall free trade globally. Next year we are spending 85.5 billion propping up a government in Afghanistan. Were sending billions to Iraq, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel,Saudi Arabia, Brazil and so many more countries around the globe. We have 900 bases in 138 countries. Were not focusing enough on diplomacy and those billions are needed here at home. We can't tax businesses and individuals to death to pay for it and we can't bankrupt our country by printing money (trillions) to pay for all this militarism either. We are leaving future generations with massive federal debt, now over 17 trillion. The Democratic and Republican leadership under Bush and Obama support our aggressive military spending and both parties need to be held accountable on June 3rd. Vote for real policy change, vote libertarian. We cannot continue to spend 40% of our national budget on military spending and foreign aid. I would also push for progressive change by supporting the following policies.
1. Legalize cannibus and tax it to help balance state and municipal budgets
2. Repeal NAFTA.
3. Lower taxes on businesses and individuals.
4. End the war on drugs.
5. Reject efforts to privatize social security.
6. Increase investment in renewable energy and the infrastructure needed to support them.
7. Lower student loan rates to 1%.
8. Stop NSA domestic spying and funding for it.
9. Simplify the tax code.
10. Respect the Constitution.

Answer from Ted Lieu:

As the son of hard-working immigrants who achieved the American Dream, I am committed to strengthening the middle class by focusing on job creation, raising the minimum wage, making higher education more affordable and helping workers save for retirement. Here are my economic, job creation and Middle Class priorities:

Extending to students the same low interest rates on their college loans that the federal government currently charges to big banks.

Protecting Social Security and Medicare and stopping plans to privatize them.

Raising the federal minimum wage.

Overhauling the federal government's approach to workforce investment by focusing precious resources for job training in areas where there is a pathway to a good, high wage job.

Expanding investment in research and development to directly help job growth around Silicon Beach and UCLA.

Expanding job creation by investing in infrastructure and improving our transportation system.

Answer from Barbara L. Mulvaney:

Improving the economy should begin with the government. We need to close tax loopholes and cut spending on wasteful pursuits such as the War on Terror and the War on Drugs. Raising taxes is not the solution; it does nothing to collect money from individuals and entities that are already avoiding payment. By closing loopholes we will hold these people and corporations responsible for paying taxes owed.

Next we need to address the student loan debt crisis and come to a solution that will allow the next generation to prosper and participate in a robust economy rather than drown in years of debt. I believe that encouraging companies and positions focused on research and development of new technologies is fundamentally an ever-growing field. Focus on future technology will create a foundation for jobs in years to come.

Answer from Lily Gilani:

In a global economy we not only have to compete with other countries, we have to compete with other States. If other States have lower taxes and less bureaucratic obstacles than in California, we will have a difficult time attracting new business to our district much less retaining good paying jobs.† Recent events clearly demonstrate this phenomenon.† Toyota, one of the largest employers in our district is leaving Torrance and moving to Texas. Toyota is taking with it 4000 jobs.† Others will follow, if California does not become more competitive with other States.† Our good weather alone is not enough to retain or attract businesses. When taxes are lowered, there is more money available for business investment as well as personal consumption.† Increased business investment and personal consumption, together with regulatory reforms can have a positive effect on job creation.† I am in favor of policies that allow entrepreneurs to spent more time developing their business and less time dealing with bureaucratic obstacles, so they can create jobs and help grow the economy.† As the economy grows, even with lower taxes, more money will come to the coffers of the State and Federal governments.† The solution is not higher taxes but more effective growth promoting policies that will result in job creation.

Answer from Vince Flaherty:

Politicians talk about creating jobs. Creating jobs from what? Jobs are created by purchasing demand, which is created by people with purchasing power for affordable commodities. An economy as large as the United States can't recover unless it is supported by a robust "middle class". Moreover, enormous international corporate and financial trading enterprise interests, that bear no allegiance to America, are squeezing the economy through our legislators that they lobby and pressure. These international corporations, that make few decisions based upon what is good for our country, are effectively ensuring that fewer citizens will be able to maintain the cost of living, let alone earn disposable income that would sustain a demand for commodities and products and thereby require jobs to fill that demand.

Therefore, important steps to improve our nation's economy and sustain job creation could include;

1) Enacting an overall tax system on the transfer of money that lowers taxes for everyone while requiring that the highest earners also pay the same. 2) Re-enacting laws like the Glass-Steagall Acts to prohibit the international financial trading enterprise from unsupervised and unregulated monopoly power over the origination, sale, rating and securitization of debt instruments such as mortgages originated within the United States. 3) Enacting laws to provide effective oversight of shadow market derivatives transactions regarding international banks operating within the United States. 4) Lowering taxes on all citizens. 5) Enacting a flat income tax rate lower than that presently imposed on the middle class. 6) Enacting tax incentives. 7) Confronting each and every of the above-mentioned kinds of unfair international corporation and financial trading enterprise manipulated and corruption abetted oppressions upon the people, because any economic improvements gained by lowering taxes or enacting a flat income tax rate lower than that presently imposed on the middle class, including tax incentives, will not be enough by themselves to sufficiently eradicate government debt, lessen consumer debt, create sufficient buying power, and hence demand in the consumer markets, and the jobs to fill that demand for production.

Answer from David C. Kanuth:

Congress must work for the people, not against it. In order to promote continued job growth, we must incentivize hiring and small business growth. In addition, we should expand the visas available to immigrants that want to create businesses in America, and make it easier for those educated in the US to stay here to work.

Answer from Kevin Mottus:

My number #1 priority-Address Transportation problem. You cannot have economic growth without the infrastructure to support it. Every business person knows this. We must address our inadequate and deteriorating transportation system.

We must invest in more double level freeways, subways, light rails, buses to get people where they must go and off the roads polluting our environment. We need to reduce our current rush hour from 4 hours to 30 mins a day to reduce green house gases and get you to work.

We are wasting 20-30% of our productivity every day commuting. We cannot wait any longer. Our efforts to force people out of their cars through inadequate infrastructure is not working.

We need to provide capacity to manage our transportation needs so our economy can thrive again by facilitating the exchange of goods and services. If we are going to serve the role as the Market Place of the World then we need the transportation system to support this global vision.

Answer from Kristie Holmes:

1) Restore and Repeal. 2) Invest. 3) Purchase. 4) Eliminate

1. RESTORE America's Manufacturing Base and repeal Unfair Trade Deals. The 33rd district can lead by adopting and pursuing a national manufacturing strategy. The Economic Policy Institute, ranked CA 1st in the US with over 124,000 jobs exported as a result of NAFTA. NAFTA has cost the US over one millions manufacturing jobs, and pushed wages downward. Repeal it.

2. INVEST in California's Transportation Infrastructure + By expanding mass transit in rural areas, we can upgrade our transportation system and get thousands of California workers back on the job. Let's bring the parties together to pass legislation upgrading and expanding California's highways, roads, and bridges.

3. PURCHASE Goods Made in America- In America today, a 1% increase in the purchase of American goods would create 200,000 jobs. Our goal should be to create 3M American jobs by purchasing American-made goods. Let's upgrade the Buy American Enhancement Act, which requires that at least 75% of goods and material purchased by the federal government be made in America.

4. ELIMINATE Tax Loopholes and Lower Taxes + The Simpson Bowles Commission reported that the US could generate $100B per year by eliminating tax loopholes for corporations and individuals who are not paying their fair share. I disagree with the notion of raising taxes for Americans If an American is not paying their fair share of taxes on 36%, what makes us think that they will pay them on 39.5%? The goal is to be revenue neutral: where the US, as a result of the elimination of tax loopholes of corporations and individuals, is increasing its revenue stream without cutting vital government programs or raising taxes on hard-working Americans.

Also, if elected I pledge to follow Colorado's lead and push for the legalization of recreational marijuana use in all 50 states. "Colorado and Washington have set the foundation. Decriminalizing the recreational use of marijuana will bring this district millions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs. The time has come to legalize it as outlined by Representatives Blumenthal and Polis:http://blumenauer.house.gov/images/stories/2013/The_Path_Forward.pdf

Answer from Michael Ian Sachs:

Reform the tax code. Root out waste and abuse in our biggest federal programs.

Answer from Zein E. Obagi, Jr.:

To improve our nation's economy, we need to immediately focus on the lower and middle class. We must increase the federal minimum wage to get more people earning closer to a living wage. We need to increase the categories of people who are classified as "non-exempt" employees, so more Americans get wages that account for all of the work that they do. We need to invest in local rail infrastructure, which will create jobs and economic activity around rail stops, and otherwise stimulate depressed areas.

We need to invest in the infrastructure that is going to bring us water, now. The costs of desalinization have dropped by 50% in the last few years. We need to start intelligently planning our water facility investments.

To cut our deficits, we need to continue to crack down on Medicare and Medicaid fraud. We must keep our healthcare and social security promise to seniors and simultaneously ensure that our seniors hold their healthcare providers accountable for the charges passed through to Medicare. We can save a lot by educating and calling upon our seniors to exercise a more scrupulous eye when they got to the doctor.

Answer from Elan S. Carr:

Taxes: "Although taxation is a necessary feature of good government, our tax code today is neither fair nor efficient. We need to make our tax system simpler, reduce the many burdens placed upon job creators, and close the many loopholes so that all of us pay our fair share."

Jobs: "Too many Americans today are not finding the kinds of opportunities that our economy provided only a decade ago. The Government's top priority must be to implement a tax and regulatory structure that rapidly grows our economy and encourages job creators, so that all of us, and our children, will be able to find the jobs and careers that they deserve."

Answer from Michael Shapiro:

A greater stimulus investment rebuilding our nation's infrastructure. Passing a stronger Clean Water Act. Passing a Living Wage Bill, passing Equal Pay for Equal Work legislation, passing a NATIONAL BACK TO SCHOOL ACT for all Americans to improve and increase technical, professional and working skills. Cut taxes on middle class workers. And pass lower taxes for US companies that bring jobs BACK to America under the American Patriots JOBS Act.

Answer from Marianne Williamson:

I believe that we must invest $3.6 trillion to repair and replace our outdated and crumbling infrastructure by way of a Green New Deal to lay the foundation for a Green American Century ahead!

Answer from Thomas Louis "Tom" (Fox) Fox, II:

We need to revise the tax code to ease the burden on the middle class because they have always been the engine for our economy. We need to lower the corporate tax rate to make investment in the U.S. more attractive. We need to give an incentive to business to bring back the cash that they have deposited overseas by providing some tax incentives to do so, but with the requirement that they invest that money here with a focus on creating jobs. We need to recognize that small business start ups have a difficult road to prosperity and provide them with tax relief for the first few years in exchange for their providing jobs. We should partner government with business in the high tech field, whether it be in the new smart manufacturing jobs or coding, by letting business provide the instruction to our community college students. This would provide training for young people and retrain older people as well. The people would get immediate training with state of the art skills and business would have an immediate pool of employees, already trained and ready to work. In short, we need to seek both innovative solutions and common sense to solve our problems, not political dogma and party bickering.

? 2. What, if any, changes should be made to federal health care policies or programs?

Answer from Marianne Williamson:

I applaud the important attributes of the American Care Act which expand coverage and access to medical care for millions of Americans, however I strongly believe that access to quality medical care is a basic human right and continue to be a steadfast advocate of Medicare for All. I believe that Alan Grayson's proposed bill previously HR4789, now HR500-The Medicare You Can Buy into Act to be the very best proposal for moving all Americans into the Medicare system.

Answer from Lily Gilani:

This is an issue that is dear to my heart. My husband is a physician and I have been intimately involved with assisting individuals and families through my own work to find better and more affordable healthcare.

I believe in order to maintain a world class health system there are several things we need to do. First of all, any governmental policy must ensure that they will not limit competition by restricting providers in a network or making the bureaucracy so convoluted and time consuming that doctors will opt-out of these networks. A policy that limits competition also limits consumer choice. In order to reduce cost we must expand consumer choice by expanding both providers within a network as well as the choice of networks. I will not support any legislation that gives government bureaucracies inordinate amount of power and undefined responsibilities. Healthcare legislation should not be so complicated that neither the legislators, physicians and patients understand the mandates or how to comply with it. It should try to reduce cost by streaming paperwork involved. I would fully support the upgrading of paper medical records to electronic records in order to reduce cost and medical mistakes as long as patient privacy can be maintained.

Answer from Vince Flaherty:

Medical bills are the number two cause of bankruptcy in America, and notwithstanding the Affordable Care Act, 39 million Americans still do not have health care coverage. Millions more Americans are under-insured causing bankruptcy and tearing families apart when struck with a life threatening illness.

The American people wouldn't even be having a healthcare debate right now if Big Insurance and the medical industry hadn't been allowed to spend record amounts of contributions toward the election of our legislators, in order to stack the deck.

Sadly, like the situation with the financial trading enterprise dominated U.S. government, many of the laws on the books today, including the Affordable Care Act, have been written by attorneys from Big Insurance, at the expense of the people.

As such, the Affordable Care Act, while providing apparently low rates to start, is designed to eventually allow escalation of premiums and will at that point then offer hardly any affordable options at all for middle class families, unless they are working for government or large corporations that can foot the bill.

To allow middle class families to be gobbled up into bankruptcy because they cannot afford medical care is not only unethical, but it exacerbates a major financial drag on the United States economy. We need to envision the reality of legitimate healthcare reform, a national Optional healthcare program, as a safety net for Americans who work just as hard as those working for government or corporations. But one of the main arguments against it comes from Big Insurance, and their ability to capture the minds of those fortunate to be satisfied with their present insurance, sometimes because it is paid for by their corporate or government employers.

Those who dissent may rightly believe their existing corporate or government paid insurance programs are fine for them. They don't need or want any change, and so many can be persuaded to believe that their insurance would be threatened by a genuinely optional publicly funded insurance plan. But properly structured publicly funded insurance wouldn't force anyone to change carriers. If everyone had a first-hand experience of seeing just how low down, dirty and rotten Big Insurance can be, often willing to stop at nothing in order to worm their way out of legitimate claims for life-threatening illnesses, then many people would change their minds about the need for Healthcare Reform. President Obama appeared to be attempting to take a step in the right direction. The problem is that the administration is operating from a platform built upon a corrupted corporatocracy that can't help itself from increasing bureaucracy and deficit spending at a dangerously unsustainable rate.

It appears that the only option other than a national insurance safety net, is for government to properly regulate Big Insurance. But that has proved to be an insurmountable task for our corporately supported legislature, especially because Big Insurance's formidable lobby met with the president shortly after he entered office and agreed upon a system that mostly benefited them.

Still, we must pry Big Insurance from its mainstream stranglehold of our healthcare system. We need to persevere in instituting an optional type of American Healthcare, that doesn't discourage first class treatment, or encourage welfarism like the Socialist Marxist model. The last thing we need is the soft tyranny, authoritarianism and irrationality of more bureaucratic power. And again, we wouldn't even need healthcare reform right now, if it had been illegal for the Big Insurance and medical industry lobbies to pay record amounts of contributions to our legislators in the first place.

Turning to a related subject, America needs to improve the benefits and the physical and mental health care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It needs an honest single payer healthcare option to safeguard veterans from going bankrupt due to medical bills and catastrophic illness.

We need to step up and make sure that those who enlist in our armed forces, and thereby show their gratitude and allegiance to our country for the opportunities under a democracy can afford, are not forgotten but instead rewarded. We need to make sure not one more of our veterans is lost because they couldn't receive medical treatment in time.

Finally, Congress should be barred from the conflict of interest inherent in having a separate health care system than that is available to the American people.

Answer from Kristie Holmes:

The important issue that we don't yet know about Health Care Reform is whether or not it will lower health care costs. That to me is the single most important issue. I support many aspects of the health care reform law; ending discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions, closing the prescription loophole for seniors, extending from 18 to 26 the age to remain on parents coverage. However, I question if we should be mandated to purchase coverage only to see premiums skyrocket. I'm concerned that the cost-control mechanisms (the health insurance exchanges) will not work. If that is the case, then we need to re-examine the mandate and instead `encourage' people to buy via incentives.

Answer from Ted Lieu:

I support strengthening the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and will fight to protect Medicare in Congress. As a legislator, I have voted regularly to support the ACA, including the creation of the health exchange, setting a minimum level of benefits and expanding MediCal.

Additionally, with the increase in health insurance marketing to communities whose first language is not English, I authored and passed a law to ensure that for insurers who advertise in a language other than English, the documents must also be in that language.

Answer from Michael Shapiro:

Ideally, eventually easing into a single payer health care national program. In the immediate future fix any of the ACA's weaknesses or omissions.

Answer from Michael Ian Sachs:

Improve Obama care. I support single payer health care. Medicare for all.

Answer from Thomas Louis "Tom" (Fox) Fox, II:

The Affordable Care Act is just not going into effect and it is going to need some additional legislation to make it work for the benefit of us all. To those who continue to seek it's repeal, I would simply ask, what do we go back to? The way it was, with insurance companies to drop their insured's on their whim? To not allow kids to stay on their parent's policies? Realistically, the health care environment has now changed. I would listen to anyone who had ideas on how to make it better, whether it be politicians in the Republican or Democratic parties, but mostly to my fellow citizens who are the ones who are affected by health care.

Answer from Zein E. Obagi, Jr.:

The Affordable Care Act is hallmark healthcare legislation, but like most legislation it has its fair share of problems. We need to ensure that Covered California operates the right way + I keep hearing horror stories about people were erroneously dropped from insurance; that there is a way to ensure healthcare is provided where a mistake by the government has been made. We need to increase education to seniors about their health, Medicare and Medicare abuses so that seniors take an active role in helping us keep down the costs of Medicare.

Answer from Kevin Mottus:

Insurance Portability, Lifetime Insurance Caps, Previously Existing Conditions, Affordability, and Access are issues that need to be addressed because a healthy America is a happy and productive America.

We need to address these issues with minimal government involvement, cost and maximum efficiency while also taking into account market forces and reactions so we do not create new problems while solving old problems. We need to address the issue of non-citizens seeking medical care through our hospital Emergency Rooms financially straining and bankrupting our hospitals due to expenditures for non-covered care.

Answer from Elan S. Carr:

Healthcare: "We need a healthcare system that covers all Americans while maintaining our country's qualitative edge in terms of medical care and expertise. As the husband of a medical doctor in private practice, I believe that we need to balance universal coverage with a reimbursement system that will allow patients the broadest possible choice of doctors."

Answer from Barbara L. Mulvaney:

I am for universal healthcare. As a breast cancer survivor I know what it is like to negotiate the healthcare system while also undergoing chemotherapy. There is no reason that our country can't move towards a more universal model of healthcare, citizens shouldn't be struggling with bills while fighting to survive.

I would support extending Medicare to include everyone. Medicare is the only medical plan that has fixed prices and therefore possess the bargaining power to set prices with the healthcare industry. Insurance companies are being run for profit and artificially driving up the costs of treatment and medicine. Healthcare needs to be treated more as a human right than a luxury commodity.

Answer from Mark Matthew Herd:

I'm a big fan of government helping individuals when they can't help themselves, especially medically. The ACA is far more than that. Like many tax payers, I'm not a fan of big government and the ACA is just that, more big govt. First of all the ACA was written by Big Insurance and the medical industry to help increase profits. It forces ordinary people to buy health insurance at rates that will go up faster than a north Korean nuclear missile program. I promise you, and I'm saying this from experience, there will be NOTHING affordable about the ACA in 10 years. Govt can support items in the ACA but these kinds of mandates are not authorized in the constitution. At the minimum we need to amend the ACA to at least have an "opt out" option and a "keep your own Dr." Option.

? 3. What are your priorities with respect to our nationís energy policy?

Answer from Michael Ian Sachs:

We should move towards sustainable energy as soon as possible. Preferably solar and wind.

Answer from Mark Matthew Herd:

Los Angeles is moving quickly to turn the DWP into one of the nations largest sustainable energy providers. We need to duplicate our best renewable energy practices here and promote them in other cities. Ultimately we have to get off fossil fuels and build out a 100% renewable energy grid where homes and housing complexes provide solar power to the grid and benefit financially from it. We also need someone confident and tough in congress to advocate for these policies. Partisan politicians won't move out of their comfort zone to do it. Like many in this race, too much money influences too many politicians and the result is always more bad govt policies. Be the change, vote Libertarian June 3rd.

Answer from Michael Shapiro:

Becoming energy independent without increasing pollution in our Air, Water or Land! Pass a Manhattan type Energy Research and Development act for developing synthetic fuels.

Answer from Kevin Mottus:

We need to strive for national energy independence for a strong America but we need to balance our efforts with strong provisions to protect our environment and the health of our citizens-our nations most precious resource.

Answer from Kristie Holmes:

Putting America on a path to a lead the world in addressing climate change must become a priority in Congress. Meeting the challenges of global warming will require reforming our energy policies, reducing carbon emissions, and investing in clean energy. We must address the environmental and safety issues that hydraulic fracking poses.

Answer from Ted Lieu:

We must be aggressive in our approach to ending the use of fossil fuels. I believe Congress needs to enact a renewable portfolio standard the way California has done. We also need to create national policies that incentivize the installation of solar and wind projects, including mandating solar net-energy metering and permanent federal tax incentives for large and small solar and wind projects. Coupled with an energy tax incentive for solar energy, California and America would be able to exponentially expand the installation of small business and residential affordable solar. Increased installation means more jobs.

Answer from Thomas Louis "Tom" (Fox) Fox, II:

We have an economy that is petroleum based. We need to change that to one that doesn't rely on fossil fuels as it's very foundation. It is easy to say that clean energy is the answer, but, it is harder to achieve. First of all, we should instigate a carbon awareness matrix where business and the public are made aware of their impact. Utilizing the Matrix, we could allow both business an citizens a certain amount of carbon emitting which would decrease over time. We could then utilize the Cap and Trade concept but with a diminishing allotment with the goal of minimal carbon emissions in the foreseeable future. Citizens could sell their allotment to business to offset any cost increase that business imposes. Finally, as a country, we should set a national goal, as we did with the space program and landing a man on the moon, to prioritize the investment and research into green, sustainable energy.

Answer from Marianne Williamson:

I believe that we must make a complete break from fossil fuel energy sources by means of a Green New Deal that would include the creation of a carbon free energy grid. I believe that the move to a carbon neutral energy grid must be done with the same urgency and total commitment as the Manhattan Project and the Race to the Moon of the last century.

Answer from David C. Kanuth:

The best solutions ensure that the costs that using carbon imposes on our planet are borne in the present. I'll make sure that there is a price on carbon, building on success we've seen at the state level here in California in limiting carbon emissions and on the efforts that have worked nationally to curb other emissions like sulfur dioxide. In creating costs for carbon emissions, we can correct a market failure, take advantage of market efficiencies, and generate meaningful revenue to fund rebates for all U.S. residents. This will also increase investment in energy efficiency, renewable energies, weatherization of U.S. homes, and spur simple deficit reduction.

Answer from Barbara L. Mulvaney:

Climate change is a reality. That is why we need to incentivize clean energy programs and put money into the research and development of clean and sustainable energies. It is an issue on all levels, local, state, national and global, which compounds exponentially on a daily basis. Everything is based on carbon emissions on a global basis; this includes everything from deforestation to burning coal in China. Humans and industry unavoidably contribute to climate change, which results in both natural and man-made disasters.

We need to listen to research and science to create evidentiary-based laws that charge known polluters with clean up costs. Comparatively taxing and fining corporations that impose on the environment can help to fund federal disaster relief funds, whether that disaster is man-made or natural, an oil spill or a hurricane. Environmental disasters create climate refugees and this type of emergency mass migration has socio-economic and political consequences. Examples include Syria and New Orleans.

Answer from Zein E. Obagi, Jr.:

We need a responsible long-term energy plan. Businesses will not invest into America's renewable energy sector unless they have firm assurances that the regulatory framework will remain unchanged for a period long enough to allow them to recoup their investments. Our permitting processes for all energy projects needs to be streamlined and centralized to give companies prompt decisions - yay or nay - on projects. Businesses need to see the U.S. as the most friendly place to develop renewable energy.

While natural gas is our cleanest fossil fuel, we cannot frack our way to energy independence and the in the interim cause ourselves potential health catastrophes from contaminated drinking water. We need to ensure that any decision to frack in California independently undergoes a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review. We must bolster our alliance with Canada as an energy trade partner, and ensure that our neighbor to the north extracts its resources in an environmentally sound manner.

Our purchase of foreign oil sends billions of hard-earned dollars to the Middle East. Americans pay increased gas prices when the volatile governments make threats to disrupt the peace. We simply cannot afford to become reliant on oil from the various unstable regimes in the Middle East. Instead, we need to increase our domestic sources of clean energy by establishing a continuous and long term commitment to responsible energy sources.

Answer from Lily Gilani:

Our energy policy should have the goal of energy independence as its number one priority and implementation of renewable energy. We should not be only concerned with the raw material needed for energy consumption but the development of front end technology that increases the efficiency and reduces carbon emissions. I also have great concerns about so called "State-Business partnerships," because the State and Federal government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers.† It is the responsibility of the government to make sure there is equal opportunity for all and not just for those with "influence and money".† It is not the job of the government to guarantee equality of outcome or results but only the equality of opportunity, otherwise it will inevitably favor some over others.† I am in this race to fight to make sure the same opportunities that have existed for myself will exist for my children and yours.

Answer from Vince Flaherty:

About 86% of all types of energy used in the United States is derived from burning fossil fuels. While the administration of President Obama purports to propose aggressive energy policy reform, including proposed reduction of CO2 emissions, with a cap and trade program, in order to encourage more clean renewable, sustainable energy development, the United States of America still has no comprehensive long-term energy policy whatsoever.

Meanwhile, no matter what the level of human responsibility for adverse climate change or deadly radiological sources, when compared to other factors such as natural under-sea volcanoes or naturally occurring radiation, it still remains, aside from overriding economic concerns to phase out dirty energy without penalizing the worldwide economic network, that we must nonetheless act responsibly and aggressively to phase out man-made poisons in our environment, particularly the toxic by-products of coal, oil and nuclear fission.

The world's leading science journals report that atmospheric greenhouse gases have reached levels not seen for millions of years. Glaciers are melting ten times faster than previously thought, the Rio Grande no longer consistently makes it to the ocean, and species are vanishing as a result of climate change. In California, we are in the throes of a seventeen year drought that has become progressively worse. If this drought continues at its present pace for another ten years, Lake Mead will be dry, leaving 4,000,000 citizens of the greater San Diego megalopolis without water. Marine life is losing the struggle to survive as the oceans are awash with heavy metals like Mercury, and nuclear by-products such as Cesium and Strontium. It appears we are experiencing an ever increasing succession of extreme weather events, long-term droughts, and rising sea levels. Clearly, further catastrophic events and consequences will continue to occur if no action is taken.

Several CEOs of coal, oil and nuclear corporations maintain they have changed their minds from a few years ago. They say they now believe that global warming or the stockpiling of radioactive waste may be a threat. They say they are phasing their corporations to become green, or more safe. But actions speak louder than advertisements. Those same corporations are aggressively building new plants. They have additional plants on the drawing board, and very little green alternatives by comparison. Meanwhile, the oil, coal and nuclear lobbies are allowed to continue showering money and favor upon regulators, legislators, and the public media.

In fact, many of our most bombastic politicians have repeatedly disregarded the appearance of propriety by appointing representatives from the oil, lumber, pharmaceutical, nuclear and financial trading corporations in charge of the federal regulatory agencies that were designed to protect the people and the environment from the greed of those very entities. The good news again is that big business has always guided the direction of, and been protected by, the countries wherein it operates. History tells us that government exist in large part to protect corporations, and that the direction of nations is guided by the decisions of their corporations.

After the Second World War there was a genuine motive for the U.S. government to work in the interests of America's international corporations because all their interests were aligned.

But a time is upon us where many of the international industrial corporations like British Petroleum, and the financial trading enterprise composed of entities like the Bank of America, Inc. make fewer and fewer decisions based upon what is good for our country, and more decisions based upon their own short sighted profitability.

Legislation is sorely needed so that the representatives of the United States Senate and Congress can make sure that the same level of government protection for corporate powers is afforded to the American people. The representative to Congress from District 33 should be the district's representative to the federal government, and it is unconstitutional for it to be the other way around.

Sadly, disgracefully, for the sake of money, many of the bureaucrats and elected officials entrusted to protect us, have historically conspired with lobbyists to keep America burning the filthiest, most poisonous, most expensive fuels on the planet. For the sake of money, they still conspire to cut down our forests, pollute our water and the air we breathe, and sell us further down the river to the financial trading enterprise.

They repeatedly cover up the pollution and the injuries caused by the production of toxic chemicals like Thimerosal, an abundance of oil based poisons, or the radioactive by-products of nuclear fission. Even if the burning of fossil fuels and the production of radioactive waste had nothing to do with damaging the environment, which it grievously does, the creation of phthalates and synthetic estrogenic chemicals from the production of the vast array of fossil fuel based plastics, and the heavy metals produced by nuclear technologies has been scientifically proven to be causing serious problems in the human reproductive cycle.

It need not be cost prohibitive to produce oil based products responsibly and safely. Reasonably drafted legislation can pave the way. Conversely, the squandering of corporate funding for deceptive propaganda, and the ratification by elected officials and media executives of the repeated cover-up of ongoing damage to the planet and the people, is actionable under federal and state law.

I have taken the time to examine reasonable proposals for implementation of green energy alternatives, and because of the unprecedented enormous worldwide demand for fossil fuel energy I have developed working plans to accomplish the shift to a healthier planet over the long term without impacting American jobs, corporate profitability, or disrupting the national economy.

? 4. What, if any, changes should be made with respect to our nationís security, including our national defense or anti-terrorism measures?

Answer from David C. Kanuth:

I went to law school largely because of my interest in the Constitution and the framework of rights it establishes. And as someone who has spent years working in our justice system, I know that while our government can be a tremendous force for good, the rights of individuals must be vigorously preserved and protected + not just in the courtroom, but in our homes, workplaces, and communities. I have literally stood up to the government and defended the rights of those I represented many times + I'll do it everyday for the people of the 33rd District. Our government must respect and defend our fundamental right to privacy and protect this citizenry from unwarranted or overly broad searches and snooping.

Answer from Elan S. Carr:

National Defense: Only by maintaining the ability to project U.S. power around the world can we ensure the safety of our citizens and our allies. Having spent a year on military deployment in Iraq, I know full well the tragedy of war. I also understand from personal experience that the only way to avoid war is through maintaining an unwavering posture of strength and leadership.

Answer from Barbara L. Mulvaney:

There has been an erosion of civil liberties since September 11, 2001. It will be a fulltime job to regain those liberties that we have lost. I firmly believe that we need to rebuild the trust between citizens and government agencies. I have been at war and I understand the need for security but what I have seen is that civilian privacy needs to be reinstated to conform to constitutional protections. Further, spying on ordinary Americans has not made us safer and tax dollars should not pay for this infringement of rights.

Working for the US State Department in Baghdad I was witness to the waste, fraud and corruption as billions of US dollars were poured into defense. We can maintain a secure nation and still cut funding to the war on terror as well as excessive spending on defense contractors.

Answer from Zein E. Obagi, Jr.:

We need the energy of a fresh representative to tackle one of America's most serious national security threats. There is presently no limit to the public and private information that hackers can steal. In 2011, foreign persons invaded Defense files taking details about U.S. fighter jets, missile systems and unmanned drones. Cyber-terrorists also attacked the websites of the U.S. Senate, the CIA and the FBI. Just recently, in May 2014, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Pennsylvania issued its first-ever indictment of Chinese Army officials for cyber-espionage. The companies spied upon cut across the American economy: SolarWorld, United Steel Workers Union, Allegheny Technologies Inc. and Alcoa Aluminum. I am the only candidate who has called for bolstering U.S. cyber-security since 2012. We need to bring tax dollars back to the 33rd Congressional District to commission tech companies like Yahoo and Google in Santa Monica and defense firms in El Segundo with research and development. We can create local jobs, bolster our economy and serve our national interests through this mission alone. What is clear from the Snowden and Bradley Manning fiascos is that the status quo is not working to protect private or public data integral to our national security or economic prosperity.

Answer from Vince Flaherty:

While I am outraged by the loss of personal privacy exacerbated technological advances, I would have to be briefed by the CIA, FBI, military intelligence, scholars and other experts before forming any opinions regarding specific changes to our nation's security, including our national defense and anti-terrorism measures.

Answer from Mark Matthew Herd:

First we need to adopt a non intervention foreign policy. Prosperity amoungst nations only comes when countries are at peace and trading freely. Our military aggression around the world hurts every country economicaly. A Libertarian vote on June 3rd is a vote for peace and prosperity not just here at home but around the world. I believe we can be the worlds only superpower and promote peace at the same time. NSA domestic spying is another example of big govt going to far. Our intelligence community, homeland security, NSA and the CIA have become far to powerful and they have little respect for our constitutionional rights. Kennedy had good reasons to take action on CIA functions, unfortunately they saw it coming.

Answer from Marianne Williamson:

We cannot wage a military war against an abstract noun. Terrorism is a tactic of war. The only way that terrorism is effective as a tactic is if the intended targets of the terror allow themselves to react as the perpetrator intended. Israel sets the best example for how to handle terror attacks- through resilience, not overblown fear and disproportionate reaction. we must counter the effect we have created over the past decade of turning otherwise stable areas into fertile ground for Al Qaeda through drone wars, torture, secret prisons, and the absence of acting in accordance with our own moral dictates. I believe that America needs a robust, updated military appropriate to our modern needs, I am certain that we can maintain this at a substantially reduced cost by means of strategically streamlining our military forces and doing away with outdated Cold War era programs and munitions.

Answer from Michael Ian Sachs:

Our intelligence community is fast becoming a third branch of government. We need more oversight of their activities. The defense budget has to be audited for abuse and waste. The drone policy should have more oversight from Congress. If the Pentagon doesn't have an outlay for a specific program, law makers should not lobby to have them placed in the budget.

Answer from Kristie Holmes:

I support a complete and responsible withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan, and a continued reduction of the US nuclear arsenal. Too many lawmakers demand that weapons systems be built, even when the Pentagon says those systems are not needed, simply because they are built in the lawmakers' districts. Moreover, the Constitution Envisioned a military to "provide for the common defense" of the United States, not one that serves as the world's policeman. Indeed, Many observers believe our penchant for foreign intervention makes us Less safe. Congress should reduce overseas military commitments, avoid foreign wars, and create a leaner force structure. In 2011 Republican Senator Tom Coburn encouraged the President to freeze defense spending, saying `America's defenses are decaying as a result of increasing defense budgets'. Senator Coburn points out that bloated bureaucracies are counterproductive, and that government spending attracts waste, fraud and abuse and compromises the efficiency of our fighting forces. Increased military spending is yielding a weaker military.

Answer from Lily Gilani:

A politically strong and economically prosperous United States is absolutely essential to international peace and stability. As recent events have demonstrated, there are many bad actors on the global stage that have little regard for basic human rights or the rule of law. These dictatorial regimes are emboldened by their perception of United States in decline + a nation that's financially weak and politically ineffectual. I will work hard to turn this around by supporting policies that will promote "peace through strength." It is my firm conviction that any policy approach toward these non-democratic regimes must be aligned with our values of human rights. Our overall objective should be to pursue policies that encourage these regimes to take their proper and responsible place in the community of nations and live up to their obligations under international law as well as to their own citizens.

The kidnapping of around 300 girls in Nigeria by Boko Haram demonstrates that terrorist organizations that consider themselves offshoots of Al-Qaeda continue to pose threat to our interest and those of our allies. The Boko Haram organization should have been designated a terrorist organization by the State Department much earlier. Without the United States taking an active role, the threat of terrorism will not be diminished.

Answer from Ted Lieu:

As an Air Force Reserve Officer, I am committed to protecting our Country and Constitution. When it was revealed that the National Security Agency was violating our privacy, I authored bi-partisan legislation to stop our state government from cooperating with the NSA's spying on American citizens.

For years, the National Security Agency has been violating the Fourth Amendment rights of all 317 million Americans, including more than 38 million Californians, through its searches and seizures of our phone and other electronic records.

Not only is the NSA's massive dragnet unconstitutional, the NSA has produced little to no evidence that the program has been effective.

Answer from Michael Shapiro:

Continue to be aggressive in protecting America while keeping America's 4th Amendment to the US Constitution regarding individual privacy as a guiding beacon of National Security.

Answer from Thomas Louis "Tom" (Fox) Fox, II:

We should should have a strong defense that is capable of immediately squashing a threat to ourselves and our allies. HOWEVER, we should never again enter into wars of choice. They are foolish, history shows us that they never end well for us and they cost the American people trillions of dollars that could be used on national infrastructure and education. We should take steps in surveillance and partnerships and cooperation with our allies to combat terrorism. But, perhaps most importantly, we should stop our meddling in the Middle East and imposing our democracy on people and cultures who simply don't want it.

Answer from Kevin Mottus:

A strong economy is a nation's greatest defense. We need to make infrastructure investment to kick start our economy and support growth.

Our nation's plan to go to Smart Grid Wireless Technology to link all of our homes centralizes control of our power system and significantly increases our nation's vulnerability to cyber attack and terrorism as well as increasing our citizens exposure to Radio Frequency Radiation emitted by all wireless devices and infrastructure.

The World Health Organization has classified the microwaves emitted by wireless as a Class 2B carcinogen so we can no longer say it is safe. Long term exposure to these microwaves has been associated with increased risks of Cancer, Cardiac problems, Immune system disorders and Neurological problems termed EHS-ElectroHyperSensitivity.

Citizens realize that others are getting cancer and other serious disease at younger and younger ages and exposure to Radio Frequency Radiation has now got to be a factor to be considered and mitigated.

Just ask Steve Jobs if wireless is safe. Ask Johnie Cochran if wireless is safe. Ask Lebron James, Sheryl Crow, Mark Ruffalo and Vice President Biden's son Beau Biden who developed tumors where they hold their cell phones if wireless is safe. Ask NFL Quarter back Jim Kelly who is now dying from a tumor on his jaw if wireless is safe.

Without any actual safety standards in place for this technology, we are being used as a massive human experiment on the long term health effects from RF radiation exposure from wireless. See saferemr.com for more information.

It is no exaggeration to say that the expansion of wireless is a quiet, sophisticated, high tech holocaust happening right under our noses. The question is what are you going to do about it? Are you going to continue to believe the denials, constant advertisements and research manipulations of the wireless companies? Or are you going to believe the Italian Supreme Court that ruled that Cell Phones can cause Cancer or research from non-wireless funded sources which like the World Health Organization found a positive association between wireless and cancer?

? 5. What is your position on the issue of immigration reform? What, if any, changes to legislation or policy would you support?

Answer from Vince Flaherty:

Present immigration policy is a failure and in need of bold reform along the lines of the various Dream Acts which reward immigrants of good moral character who have crossed the border as children and chosen to give back to America for college degrees received and military service. We need to step up and make sure that those who graduate school and provide commitments and service to the community, or enlist and are honorably discharged from our armed forces, and who have thereby shown their gratitude and allegiance, are not forgotten but instead rewarded for their faith in democracy.

Answer from Ted Lieu:

Looking for a better life and opportunity, my parents immigrated to the United States when I was three. With the support of hard-working parents and a country that provided limitless opportunity, I would attend Stanford and then Georgetown University for my law degree. I am in public service because I want to ensure that the opportunities provided to me and my family are open and available to everyone. Comprehensive immigration reform must happen. Last year, I lobbied Republican Members of Congress from California to push for immigration reform.

Answer from Thomas Louis "Tom" (Fox) Fox, II:

We need comprehensive immigration reform in conjunction with amnesty. When amnesty was granted in the 1980's, it did not accompany immigration reform which is why we have the problem today. As it is, we are educating the world's young and not allowing them to stay in the US so that we can benefit by their work. They are going to their home countries and starting businesses that compete with us. It is madness. We live in the 21st Century where information is almost instantaneous. Immigration reform should be based on this access to information. A person should apply and we can monitor them until their application is approved. The criteria for admission should be clear and simple. The quotas used can be based on logical and relevant criteria including uniqueness of skills, if they were educated here and whether they have family roots here. I understand some will require a "road to citizenship" but I don't think that road needs to be 14 years as proposed. A 5 -7 year time frame seems more reasonable, coupled with criteria of paying back taxes, learning English, etc. This is America after all, let's be fair and just and remember the concept of mercy. That is who we are as a people.

Answer from David C. Kanuth:

The current immigration policy is unethical, un-American , inefficient and inexcusable. I support a pathway to citizenship for those law-abiding immigrants that are working to support their families. I also support expanded work and entrepreneurship visas that keep foreign-born job creators in this country.

Answer from Michael Shapiro:

We should have a definite road to citizenship for all immigrants without criminal records here or abroad, who have been in the US for more than five years. There should be a faster track for tax paying and working immigrants.

Answer from Barbara L. Mulvaney:

There needs to be a clear path to immigration. As an attorney I have worked on immigration law inside and outside of our country and the laws and convoluted and difficult to understand. I believe in immunity, we need to revamp the system and grant immunity to those people who are here. People should not have to hide in the shadows.

For taxation, health issues, public security and so many other reasons we need to account for all people present in our country and on the books. Immigration policy has failed and now it is a matter of national security and economic sense to get everyone who is present signed up + that means immunity.

Answer from Lily Gilani:

I would support an increase in the number of high skilled professionals if there was a great demand for highly skilled laborers in the US and those positions could not be filled by US workers. If there was an emerging pattern of businesses moving to other countries in search of human capital, than I would want to do everything within my power to retain those businesses and their good paying jobs. We ought to pursue policies that continue to keep our competitive advantage in the global economy and protect the middle class. I oppose policies that stifle the wages of the middle-class, because this will ultimately make us less competitive globally.

Answer from Mark Matthew Herd:

I believe we need more than just a very long and difficult path to citizenship, we need amnesty now. I see college students at UCLA who have been in this country since they were babies, yet they struggle because they are undocumented. This needs to stop immediately. I believe in amnesty for all who have been in this country, in good standing, for more than 10 yrs. We need a new immigration policy that addresses amnesty and increased high tech, low cost, border security solutions. We need to fast track immigrants coming here to start companies and research and develop new technologies.

Answer from Kevin Mottus:

We need to protect our borders. If we cannot control who enters this country then we cannot control the many problems associated with population growth. We cannot have it both ways. We cannot want the benefits of cheap labor associated with temporary foreign workers while also complaining about the strain these workers put on the infrastructure of local communities when they do not leave. We need to clarify our policy as a nation.

Answer from Marianne Williamson:

I am in favor of full documentation of all people living in the United States, issuing workers permits and providing a path to citizenship for those who qualify.

Answer from Zein E. Obagi, Jr.:

We need a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented immigrants who are here and working to ensure that they have a pathway to the American dream. That means that the children of undocumented workers, like all Americans, need universal access to pre-K through 12th grade education, and access to federal financial assistance for college or trade school. Of course, the DREAM is most accessible when we send back those who have broken the law while they have been here, and when we ensure that our undocumented workers do not get a faster path to citizenship than our documented workers.

Answer from Michael Ian Sachs:

A support a path to citizenship while at the same time securing the border. The Dream Act should be law.

Answer from Elan S. Carr:

Immigration: As the child of immigrants who came to this country in pursuit of the American dream, I believe that immigrants have played a central and critical role in building the United States into the prosperous power we have become. Our country should continue to welcome new immigrants into our communities and economy, establish a secure guest worker program for foreigners who wish to work here, secure our borders so that criminals or terrorists do not threaten us, and provide a pathway to citizenship for the many honest and hardworking undocumented residents currently living and working here.

Answer from Kristie Holmes:

With the Dream Act, we are witnessing the severe partisan gridlock in Washington -- the inability to simply do the right thing. I'm a avid supporter of the Dream Act. It is a sensible alternative to deporting 14 million people, by allowing eligible immigrants to contribute to society. The US has an economic initiative to help Mexico get rid of the cartels, and build the Mexican economy to discourage. The U.S. and Mexico conduct over $50 billion in trade at the Juarez/El Paso border crossing alone. It is in our nation's best economic interest that the border remain an open trade zone, and that we do not let Mexico become a failed state. There are 50 Million Mexican citizens on the other side of the border subsisting on $2 per day.


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.


This Contest || Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter || Feedback
Created: July 9, 2014 18:45 PDT
Smart Voter <http://www.smartvoter.org/>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund.
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.