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THE CALIFORNIA ELECTIONS / A VOTERS' HANDBOOK: DECISION
'98 | The Top Jobs: Where Leading Candidates Stand
in Gubernatorial, U.S. Senate Races

Senator: The Issues

November 01, 1998

Barbara Boxer

* Schools: Wants to improve public schools by hiring more teachers and building more classrooms.

* Vouchers: Opposes school vouchers, saying she wants To help all kids. Vouchers won't fix crumbling schools. Vouchers won't make schools safer for all kids.

* Standards: Supports President Clinton's $1.2-billion initiative that demands that schools set higher standards for instructors and students.

Matt Fong

Teachers: Supports merit pay for teachers and an end to tenure systems that guarantee teachers employment.

* Vouchers: Wants to create competition in the marketplace by offering parents financial support--through vouchers and tax-free savings accounts--for sending children to private schools.

* Standards: Would push for back-to-basics methods, such as teaching spelling and using phonics to teach reading.

MILITARY PREPAREDNESS

Barbara Boxer

* Spending: Has supported cuts in military spending in order to redirect money to domestic needs.

* Terrorism: Believes that major terrorist threat is from suitcase" bombs and other low-tech devices.

* Weaponry: Agrees with Pentagon estimates that it will be years before more countries will be capable of launching long-range ballistic missiles at U.S. Opposed recent bill in Senate calling for immediate construction of anti-missile defense system.

Matt Fong

* Spending Believes that 1990s military cuts were excessive.

* Terrorism: Believes that the end of the Cold War has unleashed ethnic rivalries, regional disputes and freelance" terrorism that demand U.S. vigilance. Sees a more dire terrorist threat.

* Weaponry: Has called for a military buildup similar to the one launched during the early years of the Reagan administration, and would pay for it with a "supply side" tax cut.

ENVIRONMENT

Barbara Boxer

* Regulations: Supports the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. Wants the federal government to adopt tougher food safety regulations.

* Radioactive waste: Has helped block legislative attempts to transfer federal land to the state of California for establishment of a nuclear dump site in Ward Valley before completion of key tests at the proposed site.

* Offshore drilling: Opposes offshore oil drilling; is working to keep inactive offshore land leases from becoming active.

Matt Fong

* Regulations: Supports clean water and food safety laws but believes such regulations often go too far, hampering business interests. Has proposed that the Endangered Species Act be amended to streamline process of removing species from protected list.

* Radioactive waste: Supports the proposed Ward Valley nuclear dump site.

* Offshore drilling: Supports permanent ban on offshore oil drilling.

ABORTION

Barbara Boxer

* Limits: Wants to keep abortion legal and provide federal funding. Opposes parental consent requirement for minors. Voted against a proposed ban on third-trimester abortions because it did not include a provision permitting such abortions to protect the life and health of women.

Matt Fong

* Limits: Supports keeping first-trimester abortions legal. Opposes federal funding for abortions. Supports parental consent requirement.

GUN CONTROL

Barbara Boxer

* Limits: Supports widening federal ban on assault weapons and banning Saturday night specials. Wants childproof locks on handguns.

Matt Fong

* Limits: Supported original federal ban on assault weapons but does not want to see it broadened. Opposes banning Saturday night specials. Favors tougher sentences for criminals rather than more gun laws.

Source: Los Angeles Times news files and staff

Researched by TRACY THOMAS / Los Angeles Times

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