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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Ventura, Los Angeles County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
United States Representative; District 26

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Economy, Budget, Energy, Health care, Campaign financing

Click on a name for candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

? 1. In this time of high unemployment, what are the most important steps that should be taken to improve our nationís economy?

Answer from Linda Parks:

Congress needs to stop the brinkmanship politics and work together to balance our nation's budget and restore our bond rating. This will give businesses the certainty they need to invest in capital projects and expand their workforce. This in turn will create demand for goods and services that will buoy our economy. If Congress can't pass a budget on time, they shouldn't be paid.

Here are the step to improve our economy:

1. Reduce payroll tax for new hires.

2. Control the debt that brings uncertainty to the economy.

3. Increase job training programs in growing sectors of the economy.

4. Invest government resources in infrastructure ‑ e.g. Sacramento Delta levies.

5. Keep agriculture a viable industry with reliable water supply and farmland protection policies.
6. Provide tax incentives for emerging technology and start‑ups without subsidizing foreign competitors.
7. Support our Naval Base, protecting it from closure and respecting the Military Influence Area.
8. Attract businesses with our area's high quality of life (low crime, low congestion, good air quality, great schools, low sales tax, etc.)
9. Streamline bureaucracy so business expansions and new projects can move forward faster and workers can get on the job sooner.
10. Invest in higher education to train the next generation of scientists, technicians, innovators and entrepreneurs.

Answer from Julia Brownley:

I understand that our economy is beginning to improve, but we still have a long way to go toward full economic recovery. That's why I will advocate for strategic investments in infrastructure and new innovations and energy technologies to create jobs now and simultaneously reduce our dependence on foreign and domestic oil. Small businesses are the backbone of Ventura County's economy and I believe that we should break down barriers and help provide access to capital for small business job creators so they can start hiring again, compete in the global marketplace and be a part of Ventura County's full economic recovery. Additionally, investing in our public education systems will ensure that California's youth are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.

? 2. How should the federal budget deficit be addressed, now and into the future? How should budget priorities for defense and domestic programs be adjusted?

Answer from Linda Parks:

We need real solutions that will bring our budgets into balance and put our financial house in order. We must stop borrowing against our children's future to pay for today's excesses. As a former Thousand Oaks Mayor and Councilmember and current Ventura County Supervisor, I've worked with my colleagues and balanced budgets year after year. As your Representative, we can take that same kind of budget discipline to Washington. We could immediately reduce multiple billions of dollars in spending by changing the way we deliver health care, by closing corporate loopholes, and bringing our troops home from Afghanistan.

Answer from Julia Brownley:

We clearly need to address our debt and deficit. I would make common sense approaches to reducing spending but would also ask the very wealthy to pay their fair share; I would also use a common sense approach to defense spending that does not jeopardize our security, but that takes advantage of advanced technologies and streamlines wasteful spending; I would close corporate tax loopholes and end unnecessary subsidies to oil companies. Balancing the budget must be among our highest priority but it should not come off the backs of the middle class or our seniors who have sacrificed greatly in this recent economic downturn.

? 3. What are your priorities with respect to our nationís energy policy? Should there be an emphasis on clean energy and reducing carbon emissions, and/or on reducing our dependence on foreign sources?

Answer from Julia Brownley:

Protecting the environment and preserving it for future generations is essential and requires careful stewardship of our precious natural resources. Environmental protection is also key to growing our vibrant 21st century economy. I have been a staunch advocate for moving America away from our dependence on dirty fossil fuels and foreign oil. We must become energy independent and make strategic investments in clean, renewable and sustainable energy right here at home and we should set a national goal to do it over the next few decades. I will continue to fight for the protection of our coastlines, open spaces and for a healthy environment for our community and for our country. I have been and will continue to be deeply involved in cleaning up chemical and radioactive contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, and the clean up of the former Halaco metal smelting operation to better protect the health and safety of our community.

Answer from Linda Parks:

Our nation needs to wean itself from oil from the Middle East not only for the sake of our economy but also for our national security. We can also reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by encouraging investment in renewable energy including solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels and hydropower. While government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers (like they did with Solyndra), we should encourage innovation, research and development. Our country currently exports more refined oil than the crude oil we import, a demand and supply paradigm that leaves Americans with high gas prices and a sluggish economy. Marshaling our own oil reserves in environmentally friendly ways, keeping more of the oil we export here for Americans, and transitioning to non-fossil fuel sources will lead to energy independence, a more robust economy, more dollars in people's pockets and a strengthened national security profile.

? 4. What, if any, changes should be made to federal health care policies or programs?

Answer from Linda Parks:

Our nation needs common-sense healthcare reform that puts patients first, protects Medicare, improves access, lowers costs, and strives for quality care. We need to look to new ways to deliver services with higher quality and lower cost. We need to reduce the cost of prescription medications. For example, Ventura County cut the costs of prescription drugs by $6 million a year by buying in bulk and partnering with the private sector. Providing the option of in-home care can increase the quality of life for the ill and elderly who would otherwise end up in nursing homes. We can encourage preventative care that keeps people's health in check and avoids expensive emergency room visits. We can empower patients to be good consumers and prod health care professionals to end needless medical tests and procedures. We can and should crack down on Medicare fraud.

The gains that have been achieved through the Affordable Care Act, i.e., allowing for people with pre-existing conditions to get health care insurance and having children up to 26 years of age covered by their parent's health insurance, are tremendous benefits that must not be lost. However, the healthcare reform legislation as enacted is far from perfect, and the Supreme Court will likely overturn the individual mandate. As your representative in Congress, I would work to eliminate the unacceptable expenses and inefficiencies of the system while providing high quality care.

Answer from Julia Brownley:

I strongly believe that every American deserves access to affordable high quality health care. The Affordable Care Act passed in 2010 made some much needed improvements to our health care system like eliminating pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parent's insurance until age 26, but the law also has some problems like reducing increased future spending on Medicare. While health insurance premiums soar, so do insurance company profits at the expense of hard working middle class Americans. In Congress, I will continue to work on reducing the cost of health care, improving the quality of health care, holding insurance companies accountable, and to putting all of us and our doctors back in control of our own health care.

? 5. What, if any, changes should be made to federal rules on campaign financing?

Answer from Julia Brownley:

Following the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows political groups to give unlimited money to political campaigns and advertisements, campaign spending has reached unprecedented levels. In the California Assembly I have championed campaign finance reform as author of the California Disclose Act that would require the top donors of political advertisements for candidates and initiatives to be clearly identified on all mediums of political advertising, whether TV, radio or print. In Congress I would support the federal legislation known as the DISCLOSE Act, that would create the same transparency on a national level.

Answer from Linda Parks:

The influence of big money special interests diminishes the voice of the people. The answer to ending special interest influence is simple -- don't take the money. Linda is not beholden to any special interests. She is running for Congress to fix the system and to do so she is not going to get rich off special interests, she is not going to take contributions from unions, she is not going to take money from corporate political action committees (PAC's), or from political parties. Linda is running for Congress with the support of people instead.

One of Linda's goals if elected will be to end the influence that special interests have on decisions of government and help rectify the impacts of Citizens United on campaigns. An advocate for fair campaigns, Linda has written the first campaign reform law for the City of Thousand Oaks and ushered in the first campaign reform in the County of Ventura. She incorporated into both laws a requirement to disclose on campaign material the major contributors who funded it.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. References to opponents are not permitted.

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily. Candidates who did not respond are not listed on this page.

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Created: July 26, 2012 13:02 PDT
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