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Decision '94 / SPECIAL GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA'S ELECTIONS : Statewide Races : STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION

October 30, 1994

THE OFFICE

As the nation's only elected tax commission, the five-member board oversees the collection of 25 different taxes, including sales taxes, alcoholic beverage taxes, cigarette taxes and gasoline taxes. It also assesses the value for tax purposes of property held by privately owned utilities; acts as an appellate body for decisions made by the Franchise Tax Board regarding state income taxes, and adopts rules and regulations interpreting and clarifying California tax law. Four of the five members of the board are elected from districts. The fifth is the state controller.

District 2

The district encompasses a 28-county area stretching from Chico to Chino that includes Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Bernardino counties and the Lancaster area of Los Angeles County.

MAJOR PARTY CANDIDATES

ROBERT PRESLEY, Democrat

* Born: Dec. 4, 1924, in Tahlequah, Okla.

* Residence: Sacramento

* Current position: Member of the state Senate

* Education: Associate of arts degree, Riverside City College; graduate, FBI National Academy

* Career highlights: Army service in World War II, 1943-1946; Bronze Star for heroism. Riverside County sheriff's officer 24 years, last 12 as undersheriff. State senator since 1974; chairman Senate Appropriations Committee.

* Family: Married, three children

*

DEAN ANDAL, Republican

* Born: Oct. 23, 1959, in Salem, Ore.

* Residence: Stockton

* Current position: Member of the state Assembly; president of Andal Communications Co.

* Education: Bachelor's degree, UC San Diego

* Career highlights: Aide to former Rep. Norman Shumway (R-Calif.) Member of San Joaquin County Board of Education. President of Andal Communications marketing company. Elected to the state Assembly in May, 1991.

* Family: Married, one child

MINOR PARTY CANDIDATES

* ERNEST VANCE, American Independent, retired college administrator

THE ISSUES

Calling Presley a carpetbagger from Riverside, Andal charges that the senator only recently moved to Sacramento so he could run for the board. Presley replies that he has been a homeowner and taxpayer in Sacramento for nearly 20 years. Presley promises to create a business-friendly atmosphere at the state board and to use his powers to stem the exodus of jobs from California. Andal says he has never voted for a tax increase and will give the best break to the taxpayer.

District 3

The district stretches from Long Beach to the Mexican border, includes all of Orange County and a small portion of Los Angeles County around the Long Beach-Torrance area.

MAJOR PARTY CANDIDATES

ERNEST J. (ERNIE) DRONENBURG JR., Republican

* Born: Aug. 9, 1943, in Washington

* Residence: El Cajon

* Current position: Member of the State Board of Equalization

* Education: Bachelor's degree, San Diego State

* Career highlights: Auditor and sales tax audit supervisor for the State Board of Equalization. Elected to the board in 1978.

* Family: Married, three children

*

MARY CHRISTIAN-HEISING, Democrat

* Born: (declines to give date of birth) Minneapolis

* Residence: La Jolla

* Current position: public relations businesswoman

* Education: Bachelor's degree, San Diego State

* Career highlights: chairwoman, San Diego Housing Board; founder, San Diego chapter of the National Women's Political Caucus; president, San Diego Canyon Preservation Society. Elected to the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee.

* Family: Married, four children

MINOR PARTY CANDIDATES

* KEN MASON, 37, Libertarian, budget manager for the Long Beach Press-Telegram

* MAXINE B. QUIRK, 72, Peace & Freedom, apartment owner/manager

THE ISSUES

Christian-Heising says it's time for the "all-male bastion" at the Board of Equalization to be invaded by a woman who would be an advocate for consumers. She promises to fight to eliminate what she calls loopholes in Proposition 13, which she says unfairly benefit businesses and large property owners. Dronenburg, the board's most senior member, says he has a long record of providing assistance to taxpayers and helping to eliminate unfair bureaucratic regulations.

District 4

* The district is located entirely in Los Angeles County and includes all of the county except the Lancaster and Long Beach-Torrance areas.

MAJOR PARTY CANDIDATES

BRAD SHERMAN, Democrat

* Born: Oct. 24, 1954, in Los Angeles

* Residence: Santa Monica

* Current position: Chairman, State Board of Equalization

* Education: Bachelor's degree, UCLA; law degree, Harvard Law School

* Career highlights: A lawyer and certified public accountant, he worked as an accountant and then as a lawyer certified as a tax specialist. Elected to the State Board of Equalization, 1990. Elected chairman, 1991.

* Family: single

*

ERNIE DYNDA, Republican

* Born: June 20, 1934, in Chicago

* Residence: Agoura Hills

* Current position: President of a taxpayers' organization

* Education: Bachelor's degree, University of Illinois; graduate studies, UCLA

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