YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Ventura County Perspective | VENTURA COUNTY PERSPECTIVE

35th and 37th Assembly Districts

Roz McGrath, a Democrat, and Tony Strickland, a Republican, seek election in an area of changing demographics.

October 25, 1998|BOB RECTOR | Bob Rector is an op-ed page editor of the Ventura County and San Fernando Valley editions

It's an unusual contest, even by today's increasingly bizarre political standards.

On one side is a kindergarten teacher who is running a low-key campaign as a Democrat while trying to steal a traditionally Republican seat in Ventura County.

On the the other side is a 28-year-old self-described "true conservative" given to walking precincts with his father and mother and who was married at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Welcome to the 37th Assembly District, which represents Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Oxnard and Camarillo.

Roz McGrath is the Democrat, a member of a prominent farming family who is a teacher by day and a candidate by night and who is pressing Democratic leaders for big bucks to fuel her candidacy. By the most recent reporting date, Oct. 17, she had raised $105,000.

The Republican is Tony Strickland, a former top aide to Assemblyman Tom McClintock (R-Granada Hills) who had raised $452,000 by that date.

Once this part of Ventura County favored Democrats but the outward movement from Los Angeles has sent more suburbanites in the costal parts of the area to the other side. The Times recently asked both candidates a series of questions reflecting local and state concerns.

* * *

Question: Proposition 5 would sanction casino-style gambling on the state's Indian reservations. Do you favor or oppose it and why?

McGrath: Because I support and respect the sovereignty of Native American tribes, I am in support of Prop. 5.

Strickland: Prop. 5 is not about the expansion of gambling. It is about Indian sovereignty. Therefore, I support Prop. 5, which would simply allow Indians self-reliance on their sovereign land.


Q: Do you support Proposition 9, which would rewrite the state's electricity deregulation law to require a 20% rate cut and prevent utilities from charging customers $28 billion for the cost of nuclear plants and long-term purchase contracts?

McGrath: Because Prop. 9's passage could result in higher taxes and higher electric rates for working families, it could ultimately result in cuts to our schools and police and fire services and would undermine incentives to develop alternative energy sources. I am opposed to this initiative.

Strickland: Prop. 9 hurts families and would increase utility rates. We also must keep our contract with the electrical industry. After we passed deregulation in Sacramento, the industry posted bonds. If Prop. 9 passes, the taxpayer would have to pay back those bonds. Prop. 9 hurts taxpaying families.


Q: Do you believe parents should be given vouchers to help them afford private schools for their children?

McGrath: Our mission is academic excellent in every public school. Vouchers are not the answer because they take needed funds from our already underfunded school system. I support charter and magnet schools, which give students and parents more options.

Strickland: I believe in opportunity enrollment for all students. Like our community colleges, we can allow students and parents to choose the best school for their needs. This saves tax dollars and allows us to pay our best teachers more through a merit pay system. Expanded opportunity is best for the children.


Q: Do you support more rigid gun-control laws?

McGrath: I support the right of law-abiding citizens to possess firearms. However, I favor banning assault weapons and I favor requiring trigger locks that can help save children's lives by preventing unintentional discharge. I also support the 10-20-life proposals calling for more prison time for using a gun to commit a crime.

Strickland: I support the punishment of criminals. I supported 10-20-life proposals, which add from 10 years to life to the sentence of a criminal who uses a firearm. I also support truth-in-sentencing and expanding the death penalty to include serial rapists and child molesters.


Q: Do you support a woman's right to an abortion in all cases?

McGrath: People must take personal responsibility for their own lives and actions. This decision must be made by a woman with her God and her family. It is personal, private and the most important decision a woman might ever have to make. I oppose government interference with the right to choose.

Strickland: I do not support abortion. I support a common-sense approach, like parental consent and opposing government funding. When a teenager has to get parental consent for a pierced ear, they should also have to get permission for an abortion. I also oppose the gruesome practice of partial-birth abortion.


Q: Do you support Measure B, the Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources (SOAR) initiative that would prevent--through 2020--farmland and open space outside cities in Ventura County from being rezoned for development without voter approval?

Los Angeles Times Articles