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ELECTIONS / CONGRESS : A Guide to Issues Facing Candidates in District 22 Race

May 24, 1990


The Democratic primary in Congressional District 22 features two political newcomers vying for attention in a predominantly Republican district that for the past 18 years has been represented by the low-key incumbent, Rep. Carlos J. Moorhead (R-Glendale). David Bayer, director of adult education in Burbank, has gathered more money and endorsements in the race than his opponent, teacher Thomas G. Vournas. Bayer has emphasized his abortion-rights stance and his support for a national health program, while Vournas has stressed programs to aid poor children and workers and to strengthen the nation's infrastructure.


David Bayer, 46, was a Peace Corps volunteer and professor in Peru before becoming a teacher. He is endorsed by the California Democratic Party. Raised in New York, he received a bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College, a master's degree in science from Cornell University and a doctorate from the University of San Francisco. He and his wife, Rosa, a special education teacher, live in Burbank and have a grown son who serves in the U.S. Navy.

Thomas G. Vournas, 66, of Altadena received his bachelor's degree from USC in comparative literature and accounting and did graduate work at Columbia University and the Sorbonne. He served as a U.S. Navy officer in World War II and taught public school for 40 years. He and his wife, Grethe, have three grown children, two in theatrical professions and one entering medical school.

Republican Congressman Carlos J. Moorhead, Libertarian William H. Wilson and Jan B. Tucker, representing the Peace and Freedom Party, are unopposed in their primaries. Their names will appear on the general election ballot in November.


Questionnaires were distributed to candidates in contested primary races and were returned this month. Answers have been edited to fit the available space.

Q. Do you believe that there will be a "peace dividend" as a result of reduced tension with the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact nations?

If yes, would you generally be most inclined to use the dividend to: a) spend more on domestic needs, b) reduce the deficit, c) cut taxes? Bayer: Yes. Spend more on domestic needs.

Vournas: Yes. Infrastructure and education, if it is not eaten up by the savings & loan bailout.

Q. Do you believe our present system of criminal prosecution, interdiction of supplies and imprisonment of dealers and users will ever significantly reduce the level of drug use in the United States?

If no, what should be done? Bayer: No. More money, smaller classes, better trained teachers to educate people so they can change their communities, to control them and to build meaningful lives not tied to the profit motive.

Vournas: No. Inner city must be totally restored economically, educationally and aesthetically. Head Start programs work--kids stay off drugs, do better and finish school, and go on to higher education.

Q. Would you consider the possibility of decriminalizing drugs?

Bayer: No.

Vournas: Yes, if drugs are closely controlled and addicts are closely monitored in treatment centers.

Q. Under the Gramm-Rudman law, the federal government is supposed to cut the budget deficit to zero by 1993. Is that a realistic goal?

Briefly explain your answer.

Bayer: No. Small budget deficits in and of themselves are not dangerous. When they become unmanageable relative to anticipated revenues, no money is available to rebuild the infrastructure, educational systems, mass transit.

Vournas: No. The Administration has just realized the deficit is $60 billion more than what they figured. Not unless bigger cuts are made in the defense budget and a progressive and fair increase in income tax is levied.

Q. Rising property values in the Santa Monica Mountains have made it more difficult for state and federal parks agencies to buy land for public use. Land prices have escalated in part because local officials have allowed developers to build more houses than provided for under zoning laws. To keep property prices more affordable to parks agencies, should governments in Los Angeles and Ventura counties refuse such so-called "up-zoning"?

Bayer: Yes. The price of land has increased and the profits of owners have risen when they haven't added any value to the land. Such profits cannot be tolerated.

Vournas: Yes. Certain seashores, canyons and mountain land belongs to all of the American people. This land must remain wild and pristine. Resorts, gated communities and golf courses are used by the rich.

Q. Do you support President Bush's call for a capital gains tax cut to stimulate economic growth?

Bayer: No.

Vournas: No.

Q. Do you support capital punishment?

Bayer: No, but no parole or pardons for murderers.

Vournas: No.

Q. Do you support a woman's unrestricted right to an abortion within the first three months of pregnancy?

Bayer: Yes.

Vournas: Yes.

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