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Decision '92 : SPECIAL VOTERS' GUIDE TO STATE AND LOCAL ELECTIONS : THE ISSUES

October 25, 1992

Two U.S. Senate seats on the ballot, four major party candidates, a host of issues: That combination is historic in California, which has not selected two U.S. senators at the same time since statehood in 1850, when they were chosen by the Legislature.

Voters will decide between Democrat Barbara Boxer and Republican Bruce Herschensohn for the six-year Senate term on the ballot. The seat is held by Democrat Alan Cranston, who decided not to seek reelection at the end of his fourth six-year Senate term.

Second on the ballot will be the contest between Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Republican John Seymour for the two-year Senate seat. The need for the election was created when then-Sen. Pete Wilson, a Republican, won the governorship in 1990. In January, 1991, Wilson resigned from the Senate and then, as governor, appointed Seymour to fill the vacancy. State election law provides for the appointment to last until the next general election. The winner will serve the final two years of the six-year Senate term Wilson won in 1988. The seat will come up again in 1994 for election to a six-year term.

Where do the candidates stand on the issues? Their capsule positions are presented here.

Barbara Boxer

ECONOMY

Proposes that the federal government take aggressive action to create jobs and ease the transition from defense spending by rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, promoting education and cleaning up the environment, including hazardous waste found on U.S. military bases. Proposes tax credits for job creation and research and development and reduced capital gains tax rates for entrepreneurial investments. Wants to create a $1-billion transition fund offering loan guarantees to companies in critical industries so they can compete with foreign firms and to firms that are losing jobs because of the end of defense contracts.

FEDERAL DEFICIT

Proposes to devote 20% to 50% of defense savings toward reducing the federal deficit. Opposes the line-item veto, arguing that President Bush supports it but never has submitted a balanced budget to Congress. She supports the balanced budget amendment "to ensure future economic growth."

TAXES

Has supported middle-class tax relief financed by a surtax on millionaires. Calls for tax credits and capital gains tax reduction to stimulate job creation, research and development and business investment.

DEFENSE

Would cut $150 billion from military budget over five years, primarily by calling on European and Asian allies to reimburse the United States for the cost of defending those areas.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Believes United States should support emerging democracies and defend human rights but can no longer afford to be "the 911 of the world." Would work with the United Nations on most international crises, and co-sponsored a successful House resolution calling for unlimited Red Cross and U.N. access to prisoner camps in Bosnia-Herzegovina using "any means necessary." Voted against entering the Gulf War, opposed favored nation trade status for China and voted against an aid package to Russia, saying she would rather see help for American cities first.

IMMIGRATION

Believes in enforcing immigration laws and beefing up the U.S. Border Patrol.

FREE TRADE PACT

Opposes the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiated by the Bush Administration because it will cost too many American jobs and fails to adequately protect the environment. Would support a pact that includes those protections.

ABORTION

Supports full abortion rights, passage of legislation that would codify Roe vs. Wade decision. Will not vote to confirm an anti-abortion justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. Supports availability of abortion-inducing drug RU 486. Opposes so-called gag rule used to deny women abortion information at federally funded clinics.

HEALTH CARE

Favors enacting legislation that would make health care available to everyone, but is not yet committed to a particular proposal. Believes any national plan should emphasize cost containment, preventive care and freedom to choose physicians.

ENVIRONMENT

Has one of the strongest environmental voting records in Congress. Favors retiring Sen. Alan Cranston's proposed Desert Protection Act. Supports recently passed western water legislation favored by environmentalists and urban water districts. Supports energy policy that would require tougher automobile fuel efficiency standards. Favors Endangered Species Act as written. Has authored legislation protecting California coast from oil drilling.

TERM LIMITS

Opposes legislated term limits but says she would serve no longer than two terms if elected to the Senate.

Bruce Herschensohn

ECONOMY

Opposes cuts in Defense Department and spending on national defense that he contends are threatening 500,000 California defense and aerospace jobs. Supports elimination of capital gains tax to spur the economy. Supports flat income tax rate, which he believes would spark the economy.

FEDERAL DEFICIT

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