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Politics: Pay Raise for the Legislature

May 26, 1994

Ironically, the first newspaper article I read about the $20,000 pay raise being given to California's lawmakers was reported on the same page as news that our state's unemployment rate had risen a full percentage point in the last month.

It's hard to envision a group of employees less deserving of a pay hike than the politicians representing us in Sacramento. California's economy continues to falter and a million residents can't find a job to support themselves or their families. And businesses continue to flee California, taking jobs with them.

Our economic plight can be traced to the openly hostile, anti-business attitude of our state Legislature, which has raised almost every tax on the books and added thousands of pages of regulations in the past few years. Yet our elected leaders continue to look elsewhere for solutions, refusing to admit that they are the cause of our economic troubles.

Accepting a pay raise in the middle of economic tough times is a slap in the face to California's taxpayers. Unfortunately, our Assembly representative Betty Karnette is silently accepting the raise, toeing the line for her mentor, Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (who actually wants a larger pay raise).

I'm running for election to the state Assembly because I'm fed up with the nonsense, and I believe I can make a positive contribution in Sacramento, not because I want to line my pockets with taxpayer money. I've pledged not to accept the $20,000 pay hike. I hope my opponents will do the same.

JEFF EARLE

Rolling Hills Estates

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