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Decision '92 : VOTING IN THE VALLEY / AN ELECTION GUIDE : STATE SENATE / 21st DISTRICT : Q and A

October 25, 1992

Questions were sent to candidates in September. Answers have been edited to fit the space.

State Spending

Q. What do you believe is the single most wasteful program in state government?

Dewey: The two-thirds vote requirement to pass spending bills in the Legislature or for Californians to pass a bond measure to finance badly needed school and state infrastructure improvements has led to gridlock in Sacramento. This has empowered a small, non-representative wing and has prevented state representatives from passing new legislation.

New: Welfare.

Russell: Workers' compensation. The cost of this $11-billion system is among the highest in the country, but the benefits to workers are among the lowest.

Tucker: Enforcement of drug laws. I agree with proposals to decriminalize cocaine and to legalize marijuana to end the wasteful clogging of our court, law enforcement and penal systems.

Indispensable Program

Q. Are there any state programs you believe should never be cut? If so, what?

Dewey: Education.

New: All state programs are excessively funded.

Russell: We have many important services and programs that the state provides, but there is not one that could not be improved upon, streamlined or made more efficient.

Tucker: Abortion funding for the indigent, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, education.

Rebuilding L.A.

Q. What specific steps should be taken to rebuild riot-scarred parts of Los Angeles?

Dewey: Stopping red-lining by banks that prevents investment and capital from flowing into disadvantaged communities, setting up community-operated banks that will serve the entrepreneurs and residents, providing low-interest loans to small businesses.

New: Reduced government involvement.

Russell: The Senate Special Task Force, of which I am a member, has made 25 recommendations addressing this issue. That is a good place to start.

Tucker: The assets and property of all enterprises shut down over the years in the rubber, auto and other major industries should be expropriated without compensation and used for publicly financed and worker-controlled enterprises to provide jobs, manufacture transportation, produce energy and for public housing.

Taxes on Wealthy

Q. Do you support a November ballot initiative that would raise taxes on wealthy individuals, corporations and banks while repealing 1991 sales tax hikes?

Dewey: Yes.

New: No.

Russell: No.

Tucker: Yes.

Gay Rights

Q. Do you support legislation to ban job discrimination against homosexuals in California?

Dewey: Yes.

New: No.

Russell: No.

Tucker: Yes.

Business Exodus

Q. Do you believe businesses are leaving California due to a hostile business environment? If yes, how would you make California more attractive to business?

Dewey: No. Not to a significant extent. Most of the state's job loss has been a result of the recession. However, it is imperative that we reform our health care and workers' compensation systems.

New: Yes. Reduce government restrictions, reporting, red tape etc., as well as taxes.

Russell: Yes. Begin to create a favorable business climate. Reduce over-regulation and excessive fees, require cost and economic benefit considerations in developing regulations. Reform the tort system and workers' compensation. Make government less adversarial in its relations with business. Implement many of the recommendations of the Council on California Competitiveness, whose report is severely critical of our state government.

Tucker: No. I believe they are leaving California because they want to take advantage of the socially irresponsible policies of right-to-work states and foreign countries in which they can shoot union organizers and dump toxics and pesticides into rivers or wherever else they feel like putting their wastes.

Health Insurance

Q. Do you support requiring California businesses to provide health insurance to employees or contribute to a fund to provide health care for the uninsured?

Dewey: No.

New: No.

Russell: No.

Tucker: No.

School Vouchers

Q. Do you support giving state money to parents to allow them to enroll their children in schools of their choice, public or private?

Dewey: No.

New: No.

Russell: Public schools, yes. I have some concerns about giving state money to religious schools.

Tucker: No.

College Tuition

Q. Should tuition at state universities and colleges be increased to help offset state budget deficits?

Dewey: No. Tuition should not be raised until all other revenue sources, such as closing tax loopholes for the rich and large corporations, have been explored.

New: Yes. We should strive to get government out of education.

Russell: Yes. These institutions are supported by taxpayers' dollars and are part of the budget. Therefore, the question answers itself as these institutions must be part of the downsizing of government.

Tucker: No. We need to get back to Gov. Edmund G. (Pat) Brown's tuition-free education by taxing the rich.

School Bonds

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