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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
United States Representative; District 28


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 Adam B. Schiff:

Even though the economy has improved from the depths of 2008, growth has come far too slowly for most Americans. The unemployment rate still hovers at 8-plus percent and we are not creating the number of new jobs we need to get Americans back to work. Fixing the economy is my highest priority, and I believe it should be the highest priority of every Member of Congress.

Still, there's no simple fix for the economy, but there are some steps that virtually all economists agree would cushion us from the worst economic blows and get us situated to experience robust economic growth again. America's banks and businesses are sitting on trillions of dollars in assets, but they're not investing in new hires, new factories, new stores, and new capacity. We need to generate demand and invest in America in the form of lasting improvements to our nation's infrastructure, public services, and education system. And we need to help small businesses that are the engine of our economy, to hire new workers, and expand their businesses.

An economic recovery that leaves behind working families isn't an economic recovery at all. And I've also supported a one year extension of the payroll tax cut that benefits working families, putting a little extra in their pocket to help make ends meet while also stimulating spending and creating jobs. I think the President laid out a roadmap that includes several good ideas to kickstart the economy. The plan would temporarily cut payroll taxes on small businesses to give them an incentive to hire. It would create jobs for 400,000 teachers, fire fighters, and police officers who are facing layoffs due to local budget crunches. And it would invest in America's decaying infrastructure in the form of new schools, mass transit, and revitalized neighborhoods. Finally, the plan would be fully paid for, adding nothing to the national debt.

Answer from Massie Munroe:

Provide Construction loans to Americans to be able to build. Mass-produce solar energy products to make them cost effective for the consumers to install solar energy systems. Contribute to clean air and this will result in many employment opportunities.

Strengthen wrongful termination laws and enforce penalties for such.

Create effective job training and placement programs.

Expand the budget for job development programming, particularly in needed areas.

Initiate statutes to ban and penalize workplace mobbing, bullying and violence.

Answer from Sal Genovese:

My number one priority is to bring stability to California's and the Nation's economy, by creating jobs. I support sensible measures to grow the economy with payroll tax cuts, a refinancing plan to help homeowners with their mortgages, and tax credits for employers.

Answer from Jenny Worman:

The federal government needs to stop taking action which inhibits growth and free markets. Favoring failing industries with bailouts and rewarding bad business practices, gives an unfair competitive advantage to losing enterprises. Instead, repeal restrictive legislation like the 1970 ban on industrial hemp growing, a hugely profitable cash crop, which could help our farmers prosper. Roll back onerous federal regulation on small farmers, and other businesses, and keep government away from regulating the internet, the greatest hope for a prosperous future for entrepreneurs.

? 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 Jenny Worman:

We need to end the costly and illegal foreign occupations, stop waging undeclared wars, return to a non interventionist foreign policy, and close our foreign bases. We cannot and should not be the world's police force. This is completely antithetical to the doctrine of our constitution. The military industrial complex is bankrupting our nation. Billions are being spent on other federal programs like the TSA, NSA, DHS, DOE to mention a few, and the corruption within agencies like the FDA needs to be rooted out. Other agencies need to be scaled back. Social programs should fall under the jurisdiction of the states.

Answer from Adam B. Schiff:

As Congress debates deficit reduction measures, I strongly believe we must protect the safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security that have served our nation well for decades. Social Security is the cornerstone of the New Deal and the most successful anti-poverty program in American history. We also have to preserve and protect Medicare beneficiaries, and to continually improve the Medicare delivery system, which has provided excellent health care for seniors for the last 45 years. While it's not perfect, I look to Medicare as an example of a successful program which has allowed millions of seniors to enjoy a dignified and healthy retirement.

It's important that we craft serious solutions for our nation's looming deficit and debt problems, which pose a serious threat to our economic future. I've long advocated for common sense solutions to the nation's growing budget problems, and as a member of the Committee on Appropriations, I am deeply engaged in efforts to implement a reasonable solution. Unfortunately, the budget plans recently offered by the House Majority would continue an unsustainable policy of upper-income tax cuts, while turning Medicare into a voucher program. These proposals are not new and do not meet a test of basic fairness. Instead, they reflect a policy that was evident in recent debates over funding the government, which would hold harmless multibillion dollar tax subsidies of the oil industry, while cutting home heating oil assistance to the poor. I've been supportive of proposals that take an even-handed approach to deficit reduction -- cutting spending while raising necessary revenues -- and protecting our safety net programs. I believe that we cannot exempt any part of the budget from possible cuts and that we must always re-evaluate our nation's security needs and how best to ensure them at the least cost to American taxpayers and to our priorities here at home, especially at a time when so many are still out of work and too many American children go to sleep hungry. At the same time, we cannot continue upper-income tax cuts we cannot afford, or extend them by going into further debt.

Answer from Sal Genovese:

I support a strong "Balanced Budget Amendment," to end the reckless spending by an out-of control Congress, that would restrain Congress by placing strict limitations on Congress' use of taxpayers' money.

Answer from Massie Munroe:

The billons of dollar budget for war, security and surveillance should be cut. Such budget should be used to provide construction, homeowner, property, and investment loans. We must legislate serious bills to monitor the applications of Nano/energy technology and HAARP which are being used to hurt the people of America. This technology should be used to build America. If such technology is applied in its proper and safe capacity, all aspects of our industry, can benefit. The deficit will be minimized and we can assist Europe and the world in their economic growth.

? 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 Massie Munroe:

There should be emphasis on clean energy. We no longer can sustain our existence the way we have lived in the past. I would press for mass production of solar energy products and other alternative energy systems. This has to be made cost effective and readily available for American consumers. Also, applications of Nano/Energy technology have to be available to Americans.This technology is well developed and is the state of the art technology.

Answer from Adam B. Schiff:

I've been a big supporter of investment in clean energy and efforts to reduce carbon emissions. We absolutely must reduce our dependence on foreign oil and develop our own domestic sources of renewable and sustainable sources of energy. Last year, I fought hard to increase funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) program. At ARPA-E, they're working on potentially game-changing research in renewable energy, as well as projects that allow us to be much smarter, and more acutely focused on our utilization of resources. These are the kind of projects that this country should be at the forefront of investing in if we're to be a leader in innovation, technology, and sustainable resource allocation in the 21st century.

Answer from Jenny Worman:

the US could easily be energy self sufficient, but this becomes a complex issue because even if more sources are opened up domestically, the oil would still be sold on the world market and would be unlikely to result in lower domestic energy prices due to Wall Street speculation and volatility on the world market. The greatest concern with the tar sands XL pipeline is leakage into valuable agricultural heartland. Alternative energy is always desirable, as long as it is not sponsored by government handouts like the Solyndra debacle. Again, free markets win out over other interventionist options, and local government needs to leave people alone who figure out creative ways to have their own energy sources and "get off the grid".

Answer from Sal Genovese:

We need to invest in clean enery, and I support an energy policy, that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, as well as will lead our Nation to clean burning fuels. Mars is millions of miles away from earth, and we can travel there, and land a Space Craft on it's surface, without using a drop of gas, but I cannot drive down the street without gas. We need to have proven leadership in Congress that is prepared to support new alternate energy sources, to reduce our demand for oil, by fifty percent by the end of this century.

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

Answer from Sal Genovese:

We are the greatest Country on earth, however, when it comes to Healthcare, we are inadequate. The "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," also know as "ObamaCare" which was passed by the 111th Congress (Only Democrats),will increase costs on businesses and individuals, should be repealed, especially the individual mandate, which forces Americans to either buy health insurance or pay a government fine. I will be proposing a modified Healthcare Bill, the "American Comprehensive Healthcare Bill," that will keep the coverage for a child up to the age of 26, as well as coverage for pre-existing conditions, which is now part of "ObamaCare." The cost of healthcare and controlling it, should be the number one priority of any healthcare policies or program. We can provide adequate healthcare for all Americans that is fair, affordable, and available to every American that seeks medical care, by controlling the cost of services, and giving indivuals the freedom to obtain insurance coverage for their medical needs, as well as providing low cost medical care, based on ability to pay systems, which are not mandated.

Answer from Massie Munroe:

The exposure of millions of Americans to satellite energy weapons and HAARP has to be addressed in any health care reform or plan. What is the use of going to the hospitals while being bombarded with satellites and energy weapons? Without consideration of such, which is an ongoing reality in America, all our efforts in any health care plan will result in failure.

Answer from Adam B. Schiff:

I supported the Affordable Care Act, a bill that I believe will make important strides over the next few years toward addressing the skyrocketing costs in both the public and private health care sectors and that will expand coverage to millions of Americans without healthcare. The Affordable Care Act also explores new ways of incentivizing "best practices" in medicine: treatment that is both smart and effective. For a long time now, we've paid our providers across the spectrum for the quantity of care measures they utilize, rather than for the effectiveness of that care. The Affordable Care Act looks to make sure we're doing better at coordinating that care and reducing unnecessary or duplicative measures. Additionally, the newly established State-based Health Insurance exchanges will allow small businesses and self-employed people to combine their purchasing power with millions of others to get more affordable coverage. By giving consumers greater choice and access to information that is often hard to come by, and by pooling the collective purchasing power of those in the exchanges, we should bring down costs in the private insurance market.

Answer from Jenny Worman:

Medicare part D needs to go, as it is nothing but crony capitalism and government handouts to Big Pharma. Some drugs under Medicare D are marked up to absurd levels. Patients should be allowed to buy drugs from overseas and other sources, without fear of repercussions. Also, federal bans on alternative health remedies should be abolished. People should be free to seek any treatment they feel is the right regime for their health needs. Again, the solution is free market capitalism.

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

Answer from Sal Genovese:

In a perfect World, we would give each candidate the same amount of money, to run for the same office that they are seeking. The winner would be the candidate that the voters felt best respresented them, not who could raise and spent the most money on getting their name and message out. Money is always going to be part of campaigns, no matter what campaign financing rules exists, for incumbents will also be able to out spend their opponents. We can certainly modify the rules governing the amounts given to candidates that are currently part of the campaign financing reforms by Congress, and rights granted by the Supreme Court, however, that will do little to take money out of campaigns. The only way to take money out of the equation, is to get local news outlets to cover all candidates, and to inform the public who the candidates are, and what their positions are on the issues affecting them and their families, as well as everyone involved in the political process should be involved in getting out the vote on election day.

Answer from Jenny Worman:

No lobbying should be permitted on Capitol Hill. Our representatives are there to govern, not to make deals with lobbyists. We do not pay them to hobnob with lobbyists. There needs to be stricter conflict of interest rules. The FDA for instance, is a revolving door to the interests of Big Pharma, not to speak of the Financial Services industry and Wall Street, which basically run our Executive Branch.

Answer from Adam B. Schiff:

I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case. The Court's decision freed corporations to spend unlimited funds to run advertisements directly appealing for the election, or against the election, of a candidate and cast aside decades of restrictions on campaign finance and corporate participation in elections. The influence of powerful special interests in our democracy was pernicious enough already before the ruling. Sadly, our fears about the effects of this decision have been realized, with potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in anonymous donations polluting our elections.

Campaign finance reform is of great interest to me. In 2000, I was elected in what was then the most expensive Congressional race in history. The first bill I cosponsored was the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform and I worked hard for its passage. The Court's decision in Citizens United now repeals a part of that important reform.

I am an original cosponsor of the DISCLOSE Act (H.R. 4010) which would rein in corporate spending to influence the outcome of elections by creating additional transparency requirements. In this election cycle, we have seen the emergence of powerful Super PACs that are able to raise and spend unlimited sums of money with weak or no disclosure requirements placed on them. The DISCLOSE Act imposes tough new disclosure requirements on Super PACs' and corporate spending, so that viewers of a television advertisement know who is funding it and can judge for themselves what interest the group may have in promoting or attacking a candidate or issue. Specifically, it would require that corporations, Super PACs and other outside groups report large donations to the FEC in a timely manner, include their leaders' endorsement of television and radio ads (just as we require of candidates themselves) and notify their shareholders when they make political campaign contributions. Citizens United allowed the flow of corporate money into our elections and now, at the very least, we have to ensure that there is enough transparency to show us exactly where this money is coming from.

Though the DISCLOSE Act will help mitigate the effects of the Citizens United decision, more needs to be done to take corporate money out of elections. We must ensure that elections are free and fair and that Americans can trust that their representatives are working for them, and not for wealthy special interests, and I am continuing to explore ways to reign in corporate spending and rebuild that trust.

Answer from Massie Munroe:

Funds must be available to all candidates equally at all levels. Not only funding issues have to be corrected, also we must be aware that the re-districting in California could be utilized to equally adversely affect qualified candidates.


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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