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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
California State Government June 5, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
United States Senator


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 John Boruff:

  • The Economy must be turned around
  • Federal Government Regulations must be curtailed
  • A new Tax system must be implemented
  • Energy dependence must be stopped
  • With the above even begun, jobs will start to flow

Answer from David Alex Levitt:

Instead of wasting trillions on war and giving $7 trillion for too-big-to-fail banks to gamble, with as we have the past 4 years, we need to invest in education, infrastructure, and 21st century energy jobs.

Answer from Kabiruddin Karim Ali:

High unemployment is the main issue in California and in the USA. I will bring back jobs in California by creating more investments in Manufacturing and infrastructure; I will give Tax holidays, break to the small businesses and micro projects building measures. I will attract foreign investment and create good relations with peaceful nations. I will penalize American corporations to outsource work because our Americans are available to do the jobs.

Answer from Diane Stewart:

As of March 2012 the United States exports were worth 186.6 Billion USD but our imports were worth 238.6 Billion USD. We are on of the top three exporters of the world and the most significant nation in the world when it comes to international trade. Our main exports are: machinery and equipment, industrial supplies, non-auto consumer goods, motor vehicles and parts, aircraft and parts, food, feed and beverages. But we do not assemble these products. Major corporations have sent the manufacturing jobs overseas because it costs them less and earns them more products to have their products produced outside the United States.

First important step is to export products produced by workers here in the United States. But most Americans are not willing to work for the low wages companies want to pay to perform this work.

So the second important step is to lower the price of consumer products so that low wage earners can afford the products they need.

Third create jobs which help the US Government with accountability of federally disbursed grants.

Fourth create jobs that teach US citizens how to budget their finances, save for their own retirement aside from 401Ks, depend less on online banking tactics, and restructure the credit system.

Answer from Colleen Shea Fernald:

End all policies, and funding for strike-first missions of choice, in all branches of national security; so we stop the massive debt we incur, each day this remains unchanged.

Funding incentives for training and hiring of military veterans, by small business owners, and American owned corporations is a start.

Funding incentives for training and hiring of Green jobs workers, by small business owners, and American owned corporations is a wise next step.

End all tax breaks to multi-national corporations; and nuclear energy, natural gas, oil, and coal business.

End the Federal Reserve; create Publicly owned banks for each state.

A fair and balanced, simple tax structure would help: no tax for very low income, 10% for low income, 20% for middle income levels, 30% for high income rates.

I'd like to see one flat sales tax for each state, to even the playing field and restore our infrastructure and basic services.

I'd like to hear from Californians; and see what solutions the majority agree on.

Answer from Greg Conlon:

There are three steps that must be taken to decrease the unemployment and improve the economy--create jobs with tax incentives, resolve the housing crisis with new refinancing methods and balance the budget without increasing taxes. Each are covered in detail on my website but the first two I will cover here.

First,Create jobs with tax incentives--there is close to $2.0 trillion of cash on hand in certain major corporatons today. Assuming for every $1.0 billion spent on new plant and equipment 10,000 jobs are created, if we could influence these corporations to invest even half of this cash an estimated 10 million jobs would be created. See my website for the details on how this has and could be done. Second develop new refinacing methods to get home owners the opportunity to reduce their mortgage payments to market rates and have the savings invested in consumer spending to increase jobs. See website for more detail.

Answer from Rick Williams:

Reduce the size, scope and intrusiveness of our federal government and take back control of our money by ending the Federal Reserve System. Our bloated government is crowding out free enterprise and genuine entrepreneurship; once we eliminate this interference the economy will flourish and new employment opportunities will be created in the private sector all over the place.

Answer from Dan Hughes:

It's time for leadership that encourages job creation and protects our American tradition of innovation, creativity and opportunity.

The United States currently has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world. Businesses and opportunities are leaving our shores in alarming numbers because our policies are no longer competitive with the rest of the world.

I have decided to endorse, adopt and be a leader to implement the 9-9-9 plan in its entirety. I have spent many hours conversing with the architect of 9-9-9, Rich Lowrie, and I believe that this plan achieves the goals of being fair, transparent and will make the U.S. more competitive in the world marketplace. The highlights from my perspective are:

  • 9-9-9 taxes the broadest possible base at the lowest possible rates

  • 9-9-9 is fair, simple, transparent, efficient. It taxes everything once.

  • 9-9-9 gets Washington out of picking winners and losers

  • 9-9-9 unites Flat-taxers with Fair-taxers

  • 9-9-9 unites eliminating deductions with lower rates

  • 9-9-9 unites income and payroll taxpayers so we can all pull for low rates

  • 9-9-9 gives us a clear direction and gets government out of the way

Answer from Dirk Allen Konopik:

I believe that the U.S. should significantly reduce burdensome regulations and taxes that make many of our businesses noncompetitive when compared to the rest of the world. Taxes, such as the estate/inheritance tax, should be eliminated. The U.S. should shift from the worldwide tax system to a territorial tax system seeing how our current system traps much needed capital abroad. Additionally, I believe that NAFTA has greatly contributed to a vast amount of detrimental consequences that primarily affect American blue-collar workers and, therefore, should be reevaluated as to whether or not it should be altered/eliminated. Legislators in D.C. should set policies that promote business in the U.S. and benefit American workers. Increased support of small businesses is vital.

Answer from Marsha Feinland:

We need an federal stimulus program that puts people to work doing the things we need to have done. Build housing, fix schools and hospitals, and improve public transportation. Clean up toxic sites, restore habitats, and install rooftop solar energy systems. Tax rich people and corporate profits for funding.

Answer from Nachum Shifren:

Immediately lower corporate, business, and personal taxes. Give generous tax credits, up to one year tax-free, for businesses that have moved off-shore to reestablish their base in the US. Allow investors and businesses to compete for contracts extracting oil. Allow the winning bid with the most committed to hiring the largest number of American workers, while at the same time committing to preserve the environment. The entity that will succeed in getting the job done fastest, should be free from corporate taxes for one whole year as a motivation for getting Americans back to work. We must lure companies from China with a combination of tariffs and lower taxes

Answer from Nak Shah:

I am the Candidate that can fix the American Economy. I Believe fixing the American Economy is my most important strength and that is the main reason I am running for this Office If All American People were happy than I would not run for this office. I have Promised to bring the unemployment rate down to zero percent in 2 Years. Decrease Taxes for All Americans so they have more money to spend which will in turn improve our nation's economy. Create Good Jobs for All Americans without any accuses. Create jobs in transportation and clean energy sector End tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas and give those breaks to small business and the middle class in America. Push for Made in America Products so we can create lot of jobs. Give Tax Incentives to businesses who create jobs in America. Increase American Export and Decrease Imports. Provide Incentives including tax breaks to Employers who hire unemployed people Provide Incentives for further education to all unemployed graduates. Inspire short term vocational training to unemployed for jobs that are in demand. Grant tax credits to seniors who continue to work. Provide bank loans at low interest to small businesses and industries to stimulate business growth. Increase Import duties on certain luxurious items to create Revenue for Government. Reduce all other types of taxes including property taxes. Punish Employers who send jobs to foreign countries if they are doing only for greed of profit and not just for cost cutting if Americans can do those jobs and getting layoffs by the same companies; Punishment being raise there Taxes unless they hire Americans twice the number of layoffs in the same year. Stop Layoffs and outlaw Layoffs if those Businesses are making Profits and CEO's are making profits. (I intend to make a Federal Law that Prohibits Layoffs If the CEO is doing to make more money for his own Greed) Hold Government Accountable if they can not create good jobs for Americans Work with Ceo's to give them Bonus if they Double American staff more than the past year staff. I promise to bring unemployment down to zero percent after two years of being in office if my full economy stimulation plan is implemented it takes two years to reach out to all companies in America to create enough Jobs to bring unemployment rate to zero for an elected official). I Support Carly Fiorina's Plan to stimulate the Economy: Carly Says" We must start by supporting our nation's job creators, the small businesses and entrepreneurs that employ about half our nation's private-sector workforce and create two-thirds of the new jobs in our country. As outlined in my Jobs for Americans Plan, we must provide tax certainty and regulatory sanity to our economy. Particularly during these difficult economic times, the last thing we should be doing is raising taxes on our state's families, communities and enterprises. To get Californians back to work, we must fight for every job; that requires incentivizing investment and, in some cases, re-investment in the American economy. I have proposed, for example, the creation of "Jobs for Americans Zones," where selected geographic areas would be created throughout the country to help lure manufacturing jobs back to America through targeted, substantial federal tax benefits, in partnership with state and local regulatory relief. I have also called for a Five-year payroll tax holiday for small businesses and start-up businesses that hire unemployed workers".I Support Carly's Plan 100 percent. I also believe in protecting environment and health which will create Millions of Jobs for Americans, I Support Women in California to take Leadership positions so we can create More Jobs in California because they are Experts in Networking and Have Compassion to get things done for All Americans. I also Support Senator Barbara Boxer's Plan to Stimulate the economy:Senator Boxer says "My priority is to create good California jobs and to turn our economy around. We should end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and instead support American manufacturing. I support cutting taxes for the middle class, creating jobs by rebuilding roads and bridges, and increasing loans to small businesses.I also strongly believe that America must lead the new clean energy future".I Agree and support Senator Boxer 100 percent with this above plan. Bottom Line is We have to work hard and eliminate Unemployment and use all plans available to us to stimulate the American economy regardless of party lines we are Americans first and our economy must be Good and I INTEND TO DELIVER on that promise without any accuses.

Answer from Gail K. (Lightfoot) Lightfoot:

Government needs to get out of the way so business can operate. Regulations only help the business that is already set and large enough to handle all the paperwork. Regulations set artifical 'norms' that we may or may not think are too high or too low. There are many ways for consumers to learn which businesses operate with safety for customers and the community. 'We The People' should be the bottom line on which business succeed and which ones fail not government regulations.

Answer from Robert Lauten:

1st Reinstate Glass-Steagall to put our financial system through bankruptcy reorganization. "Google" "CA derivatives bubble" $1.5 quadrillion global, = 25x Global Gross Domestic Product GDP; $600 Trillion USA derivatives bubble, = 10x USA GDP; Cap and Trade is a $2 Trillion derivatives bubble potential (I'm on page one, http://www.robertlautenforussenate2012.com ). Place the Federal Reserve System under the Treasury Department and thereby under Congressional control. 2nd Reestablish the Hamiltonian Credit System. 3rd Start the NAWAPA infrastructure project. (Visit my website for videos and text explaining #1 - #3).

? 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 Dirk Allen Konopik:

The federal budget, like every other budget, should be handled in a manner that is consistent with the principle of living within one's means. The federal government has treated our citizens like a bottomless checkbook for far too long and it must stop now. We will not stand by any longer and allow the absurd, reckless, and wasteful spending to continue. The U.S. is going to have to make drastic spending cuts across the board and take immediate, well reasoned action to eliminate our national debt.

Regarding national defense, this should always be the number one priority of any government, to include America, and, therefore, while the efficiency and effectiveness of defense spending should always be continually assessed, I do not believe it would be wise at the present time to reduce our defense spending and thereby weaken our national security. As to domestic programs, many of them will have to be assessed and funding reduced/eliminated. Our nation's federal budget problems must be addressed before it is too late, and, frankly, it is going to hurt. However, it must be done if we are to prosper again.

Answer from John Boruff:

I believe we must enact a Balanced Budget Amendment. Until we have brought the budget under control budget priorities and such subjects as defense and domestic program adjusting is academic. I would advocate a thorough study be made as to where our armed forces should be deployed and are really needed.

Answer from Nak Shah:

First All Americans agree that we have a spending problem and not Revenue problem thus we need to cut wasteful spending. We have to get the deficit and debt under control and balance the budget.I support Barbara Boxer's Plan. Barbara says "support President Obama's plan to cut the deficit in half by 2014.During the Clinton Administration, we not only balanced the budget, we also created a surplus and 23 million jobs. We can do it again, and we will. We can save $1.1 trillion over ten years by bringing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to a close, and we can use those savings to reinvest in our economy and for deficit reduction. It is time to re-build our nation. As the challenges facing our nation evolve, our national priorities must also adapt. Regardless of what these future challenges are, we must move quickly to eliminate the billions in wasteful spending that restrict our nation's ability to respond to pressing issues as they emerge." I agree 100 percent with Senator Barbara Boxer's Plan. I also Support Carly Fiorina She says " The fact is that Washington has a spending and accountability problem + and the last thing we should be doing is sending it more of our hard-earned money. Instead, we must work to cut waste, restore accountability, control spending and pay down the federal debt so that our country has the fiscal footing to swiftly respond to critical priorities that arise. That is why I have proposed a plan to reform our national budget, improve transparency into how our tax dollars are spent and pay down our debt." I Support Carly's Plan 100 percent to address the deficit problem. You can find out about what I stand for on my web site at http://nakshah.webstarts.com. I Agree With Carly Fiorina that"We must continue to invest in our military men and women and fund our national security efforts to fulfill government's most fundamental role: protecting the safety of our fellow Americans. At the same time as we continue pursuing these goals, we must also ensure that we cut waste, restore accountability, find efficiencies and then make priority decisions. This is work Congress has put off for too long." I stand with Carly Fiorina on this issue. I will work with Republicans and Democrats together to solve this problem becuase when this is the issue we are All Americans First and do what is right for America Together Regardless of Party Affiliations I will Reach Across to All Senators to Fix the Budget Deficit So All Americans don't Suffer.

Answer from Dan Hughes:

Excessive government spending is destroying America.

Even as unsound federal laws distorted lending rules and destabilized our once solid housing market, excessive government spending has caused dire concern about hyper-inflation of our currency and uncertainty in the American economy. Excessive spending combined with corrupted regulations + the picking of winners and losers of questionable value + have further distorted the marketplace.

Consequently private job-creators across the economic spectrum have lost confidence that their business ventures will be successful. They've delayed further investment and further hiring; and recession leery consumers have cautiously put off spending.

Washington D.C. has created the perfect recipe for economic decline.

We must stop the government spending addiction.

As your U.S. Senator I will ask this question about every government expense: is borrowing money for it so important, so critical, that it is worth putting our economic sovereignty in the hands of Saudi Arabia or China or any other nation to pay for it?

The U.S. Dollar must be returned back to a sound monetary footing. I support a complete audit of the Federal Reserve and tightened control of its activities in matters of money supply and manipulation.

Answer from Kabiruddin Karim Ali:

The Federal Budget deficit is in trillions of dollars due to WAR and IFRA (Ignorance of the Financial Regulatory Authorities)Wall Street and Banks created a financial meltdown for working class Americans; the financial crises forced the house value down up to almost 50% and created unemployment in the USA. We are Nation of Laws, let us do financial reforms to protect the American Nation but at the same time cut WAR funding, not the Defense Fund. Hence, budget priorities should be adjusted now and in to the future.

Answer from David Alex Levitt:

This will be straightforward once we have leadership and can stop pretending we're broke or that austerity is a good way to end a recession. It's the opposite. Americans need jobs and education. See the Contract for the American Dream for details.

Answer from Robert Lauten:

There is zero probability to reduce the federal deficit while remaining the United Nation's policeman. Unconstitutional UN wars are bankrupting the nation, - Korea, Viet Nam under the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, a `regional arrangement' of the UN, Balkan wars under NATO, a `regional arrangement' of the UN, numerous Mid-East wars to enforce UN mandates under Bush 43, and now more unconstitutional UN wars under Obama in Libya and Syria for United Nations "humanitarian reasons". Visit my website, click "Impeach".

It's logically impossible to have a `DE-industrialization' policy (since the 1960's) and a federal deficit reduction concurrently. It's either Glass-Steagall + Credit System + NAWAPA or killer austerity as in Europe.

Answer from Diane Stewart:

We must stop going to war if there is not going to be a positive financial benefit for every American citizen. Historically, the United States has run up deficits during wars and recessions. By reducing the defense budget by at least one trillion USD we can focus the money back to Social Security and veteran services, allow it to earn its proper interest and reduce the deficit.

If the US Government continues to borrow against Social Security with reckless abandonment then in the future we should give employees the option to pay into the Social Security system or not pay into it and give them other interest earning savings options untouchable by the federal government accessible on retirement.

We must reduce wasteful spending such as the six Billion USD allocated to the war on marijuana. Decriminalize marijuana and we can return the monies taken from cities and states across America to fund the two previous wars and reinstate the appropriate police force and fire fighters needed to protect our communities.

Budget priorities need to be given to domestic programs. We must fix our problems here before interfering with the cultures of other lands even when the interference is at their request. We must provide an affordable national health care system with major medical costs being paid for by the insurers and premiums paying for basic medical visits.

We must restore the funding to our educational systems and develop legislation forbidding governments from cutting any budgets for educaion.

We must invest in foreclosed and abandoned homes and provide housing structures for homeless veterans. These facilities will have services to guide able veterans back into the workforce by providing training and assistance with using their GI Bill towards obtaining their degree.

Support our troops means more than sending a care package when they are deployed abroad or forming a welcome home party for their safe return to their families. It means more than displaying a yellow ribbon around a tree, on your vehicle or providing them with a nice burial plot when their days have come to an end. It means providing them with an adequate VA medical system instead of merely over medicating their symptoms.

Answer from Colleen Shea Fernald:

We fund our values. The values of Californians, are not reflected in our Federal budget; nor have they been for quite some time.

My values are reflected through a budget based on this:

De-fund all unconstitutional wars of choice; right now.

Fund only missions of defense, always.

Fund AmericaCARE; "Made in America" & "Made in California" branding programs.

Fund emergency services.

Fund affordable wellness care for all.

On a State, local, Federal, and University level, fund holistic wellness research; and training for wellness services providers. Integrate mental and physical wellness care.

Support the natural wellness businesses of California.

Legalize hemp, and assist in adding this crop to our agriculture economy.

Fund our food security. Protect California's organic crop industry, small farmers,and organic foods & products business owners.

Fund affordable, effective education at all levels.

Fund our Libraries.

Do not privatize our Postal Service; or Social Security.

Provide tax breaks for businesses offering a living wage, and good benefits.

Provide tax breaks for businesses, and investors of products, and services which eliminate, or dramatically reduce pollution; and reduce energy demand with efficiency.

Protect State's rights.

Most of all, protect our Constitutional rights; and return of due process for all.

Answer from Gail K. (Lightfoot) Lightfoot:

Cut spending across the board. Shift government services to Fee for Service so those services no one needs or wants are eliminated by the choices we make not government edict. Stop funding by borrowing. Save up for projects and use the money on hand wisely. The old adage 'Let the Market Decide' is not that far wrong. The market will decide because every time anyone spend money, they are influencing the market be it a government service or a loaf of bread. Right now we have no choice. Give back choice and see what survives.

Answer from Marsha Feinland:

End military occupations abroad and slash the war budget. Restore the inheritance tax, and raise taxes progressively on high incomes and corporate profit. Prohibit offshore tax shelters and tax corporations that move factories to other countries. More jobs at home will increase tax revenue and decrease welfare costs. We need to increase spending on housing, social services, a free national health care system, environmental protection and restoration, and development of efficient public transportation.

Answer from Greg Conlon:

Again my website addresses several steps to accomplish this difficult task, including cutting Fedeal government salaries by 15% accross the board similiar to what was done in California in the early 90s on a temporty basis until the budget is balance; reforming both medicare and medicaid as outlined on my website and a new white paper on how this should be done. This reform would include tort reform by placing an award cap for pain and suffering claims and allow open competition for health care insurance companies to operate in all states, but with the elimination of their anti trust exclusion. See website for more steps and explanations on how they can be implemented.

Answer from Nachum Shifren:

by eliminating the EPA, the "agencies" fraudulently established to grow government, by eliminating the Dept of Education, by stopping federal assistance to non-citizens, deporting criminal aliens languishing in our jails, et al

Answer from Rick Williams:

I propose to cut our federal deficit by more than half with $1 trillion in spending cuts in my first year in office. From there we'll see a rebirth of entrepreneurial spirit which will spread across the nation. Cut spending; cut spending; cut spending-- including overseas military spending on unnecessary and wasteful interventions where United States interests are not at stake. I would immediately terminate five cabinet level departments-- Education, Energy, HUD, Commerce and Interior. Social security and Medicare restructuring is clearly essential; however, reduction of benefits to existing seniors would be the last area to look for cuts. We will be moving to individual medical savings accounts in the future which will, over time, reduce the healthcare burden on our taxpayer resources.

? 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 Greg Conlon:

Our number one priority should be to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Every one has been trying to do so for years without success. This foreign oil and the related uncontrolled price increases in the world market has driven our gasoline prices up to $4 to $5 a gallon from $1.50 only a few years ago. Part of this increase is the devaluation of the dollar over the last several years and nothing to do with the import of foreign oil. Sound fiscal policy could stop the dollar's decline.

Natural gas seems to be in abundance but building pipelines has been a major problem. The Keystone Oil Pipline and its siting problems are a good example. Nuclear Power is still an untapped resource yet to be expanded. If new plants are build taking into consideration the problems in Japan, this would reduce our carbon emissions without any new carbon emissions created.

Answer from Robert Lauten:

The global warming debate - it was never about the science. http://larouchepac.com/node/10018

The `Green Agenda' is to reduce world population by 2/3, "Fewer Emitters = Lower Emissions," `and it's no secret, they plainly state their goals of population reduction in their reports and studies. See http://larouchepac.com/node/12807

My national energy policy priority is to modernize our 30+ year old nuclear power plants. Some plants have 50 year old technology.

Answer from Kabiruddin Karim Ali:

If we want to save money and not to be dependent on any foreign Nation then we have to re do or re visit our Energy Policy by different means, clean energy is one of them; I will have priority to reform on our " Energy Policy"

Answer from Diane Stewart:

We are the leaders in reuseable sources of energy. My priorities are to continue to support research in to alternative sources of fuels and eneries that are produced within the United States. I will support all efforts to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy.

However we must not export more of the energy than we consume here. I will not support buying back the energy we produced here at a higher price because we sold it to another country and did not retain enough to dispense to ourselves.

Answer from David Alex Levitt:

In California I have neighbors with small houses and solar panels on their roofs which produce more energy than they use -- and the electric company pays THEM. Installing panels, building wind energy farms, innovation with tidal energy - all of these are the 21st century variants of the thinking that let Tesla harness Niagara falls to provide electricity for NYC over a century ago. We can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and tax its wealthy beneficiaries enough to help fund its replacement.

Answer from Nachum Shifren:

Our highest priority must be to develop all of our energy resources, in the shortest amount of time, thereby reducing our vulnerability to despotic regimes abroad. Where clean energy can be developed without impeding upon the stated goal above, this would be a positive step.

Answer from Gail K. (Lightfoot) Lightfoot:

Again, Get out of the way of business. A business knows what is profitable or not and will fail if the consumer does not need or want their product. Right now Americans need and want energy they can afford. As the market shifts to more costly sources, they become more affordable and more consumers shift to them making them even less costly. IF the industry is free to drill here on U.S territory, there will be plenty of oil for Americans.

Answer from Dan Hughes:

Our current energy policy makes it harder for us to get our economy growing again and transfers trillions of tax and private dollars into unproven technologies. Instead, we need a sensible energy policy designed to incentivize outcomes rather than one which picks winners and losers.

When bureaucrats in Washington, DC pick which technologies to invest our money in and which ones to force us to implement, a broken web of regulations, subsidies and mandates makes energy more expensive and less efficient.

A better policy would focus on long-term outcomes, establishing goals and incentives to develop cleaner energy that attract private investment, similar to the "X PRIZE," which sent a three man vehicle into space, a competition which motivated 26 teams from seven nations to invest more than $100 million in pursuit of a $10 million prize. A similar contest motivated Charles Lindbergh to fly from New York to Paris in 1927 for the first time in history, in a contest that saw nine teams invest $400,000 in pursuit of a $25,000 prize.

When we get out of the way of the free-market and stop believing that bureaucrats in Washington are smarter than America's best innovators, we achieve real solutions that grow our economy and improve the lot of mankind.

These are the types of solutions you can expect from me as your United States Senator, ones that leverage the creativity and spirit of the individual to do great things for society, not policies that limit our freedoms and create government managed "crony capitalism."

Answer from Dirk Allen Konopik:

My priority, with respect to our nation's energy policy, is to promote all viable sources of energy in order to reduce the great expense that our nation's citizens are paying when it comes to filling up their vehicles, cooking their meals, heating their homes, etc. I also greatly support the immediate reduction of dependence on foreign energy and for the federal government to open up currently restricted federal land for energy exploration and drilling. That being said, as a Christian I am also concerned with protecting our environment to the best of my ability, within reason.

To be direct, in my perspective human beings will always take priority over the environment when a question of conflict arises pertaining to quality of life versus conservation. In addition, it must be noted that the war currently being fought by special interest groups who are only focused on "green energy" sources is, in fact, hurting us all. The federal government should allow all forms of energy to compete in a free market and, therefore, the citizens will decide what suits them better.

Answer from Nak Shah:

I SUPPORT Carly Fiorina and Barbara Boxers Plan to become Energy Independent: Barbara Beleives" We must end our dependence on foreign oil, cut carbon pollution, and give refunds to consumers. I support extending clean energy tax credits and making permanent the Research and Development tax credit. I believe the best way to create jobs now, and to build the foundation for long-term prosperity is to make California the hub of the new clean energy industry. We must defeat Proposition 23, which would overturn our clean energy law. If we keep pushing forward we will unleash billions of dollars of private investment, allowing clean energy technologies to thrive. I want to see the words "Made in America" on wind turbines, solar panels and other clean energy innovations of the future." Carly says"I believe we can both reduce energy costs and improve our environment by reducing our dependence on foreign oil and by investing in clean technology. To do this, we need a comprehensive, national energy policy that promotes the development of all domestic forms of energy. We must also significantly increase energy research and development, harnessing the power of innovation to build on the advancements in clean, green technology that we have made so far." I Agree and Support Both Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina plans on Being Energy Independent. I beleive me must be Energy Independent by 2014. Under Nak Shah's Plan we should be energy independent in 2014 if All Senators and Congress support my plan that is what all Americans want after all.

Answer from Colleen Shea Fernald:

We need to end all toxic energy production, no matter where the source.

De-fund all nuclear energy in California and the rest of the US.

No to fracking here; or across America; we cannot sacrifice, or even risk our water security.

All extraction and burn based fuel sources need to be phased out, as we replace them with safe, clean methods such as: wind, solar, bio fuels, wave, etc.

Cap and trade is not enough to undo the damage done to our environment. We need a net gain of new forests planted ASAP, to avoid a collapse of our natural systems from Ecocide.

Replacing water intensive crops with dry farmed, and low water ones is a wise investment.

Covering our aquifers with solar paneled shade structures would pay off well too, with power to use and sell, while you reduce evaporation.

A solar powered electric rail transportation system is way overdue.

GeoEngineering/Weather Modification is not the solution to climate security; it is a great risk being delivered on us at our unwitting peril.

I am against SmartMeters.

I support Publicly owned clean power providers; and small scale clean power generation businesses.

California has an abundance of ingenuity; we can build our economy, as we create the clean, safe solutions to our energy challenges.

Here's one example; I have worked for Sol Solutions, a small California business, which crafts portable solar generators - the Sol Man, for clean energy security.

This is the kind of product, which needs to get to the next level, of providing well paying Green jobs; while making a quality product, for a reasonable price.

Providing incentives for investments in ramping up to assembly line production levels for the Sol Man, and products like that; is far sounder than giving tax breaks to large multinational corporations; whose products harm our water, soil and air; and damage human & animal health in great numbers, each day.

Every voter, consumer & investor, has the power to make California the leading clean power state; and put an end to our nuclear & dirty fuels nightmare.

Answer from Marsha Feinland:

We need to reduce carbon emissions by enforcing strict limits. We need to develop efficient, non-polluting public transportation at all levels, from local to national, to reduce our dependency on private automobiles. We need to encourage the use of safe and non-invasive forms of alternative energy, like rooftop solar panels. We need to plan collectively and democratically to have housing, work, and recreation located so that people do not need to commute long distances every day.

Answer from John Boruff:

Our primary energy problem is our dependence on foreign oil. We can have clean energy without resorting to the restrictive efforts of the EPA. Global Warming has been shown to be a farce and, while I believe in a clean environment, there must be some sensible way to assure that we are caring about our environment without putting industries out of business. Some experts claim that we have over 600 years of oil within our own national jurisdiction. There is no need to pay dollars to those who would destroy us. Let's pay those dollars instead to the workers who will bring that oil safely to our homes for heating as well as our automobiles.

Answer from Rick Williams:

I'm a strong believer in development of our domestic energy sources, including a major increase in oil drilling both onshore and offshore. We must end our dependence on foreign oil. The federal lands in our western states should be opened to private ownership and development; our national government is a poor steward and has no business acting as a land owner. This act alone (opening up our western lands) will result in a strong economic rebirth and enhancement of our floundering economy. And the converse is also true-- there can be no economic recovery as long as our federal government is clogging up the system and blocking entrepreneurship.

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

Answer from David Alex Levitt:

59% of Americans want Medicare for All -- a single-payer, not-for-profit system of universal insurance with an even larger, healthier client base at a lower rate. 35 countries have proven it. If our politicians weren't captive to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and listened to the people instead, we would have adopted this years ago.

Answer from Diane Stewart:

Premiums paid for by the insured should cover basic medical visits without having to pay a co-pay or meet a deductible.

Penalties to individuals and companies should be eliminated if they choose not to buy in to the federal health care program.

Remove the clause concerning Abortion. It is discriminatory unless we are willing to impose the same restrictions on the procedures for organ transplants or any other medical procedures.

Allow for alternative sources of medicinal medicine instead of being innundated with and force fed prescription drugs that kill when improperly combined.

Answer from Dirk Allen Konopik:

If elected to the Senate, I will vote to immediately repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare). That is, if the Supreme Court hasn't already ruled it to be unconstitutional by that time. Seeing how there could be many changes set in motion regarding healthcare by January 2013, when I will potentially be seated as your U.S. Senator, instead of rattling off what I plan on doing if elected, as much could possibly change, I will instead hold certain guiding principles that could be applicable to my position on healthcare policy no matter what the political landscape looks like.

These principles include ensuring that all American citizens, regardless of how much money is in their bank accounts, will be treated fairly and compassionately when legislation pertaining to healthcare is brought before Congress. Furthermore, as a devout Christian, I will stand against anyone or any organization that would wish to promote abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and/or promiscuity through federal legislation. Additionally, if certain citizens are concerned about their inability to obtain birth control due to a self-perceived financial burden, then those individuals have two options: get a job and purchase birth control on your own dime or don't have sex. Rather straightforward. On these issues, I will not be moved.

Answer from Dan Hughes:

Already, the Obama healthcare law has increased healthcare and insurance costs, and most of the new law won't become effective until 2013 and 2014. In an already down economy, employers are scrambling to understand the new law and the dozens of increased costs and regulations they will be forced to comply with.

My plans to increase Access and make healthcare more Affordable include the following key elements:

Competition
-Restore free market competition over time + the `price fixing' reimbursement system ensures that the uninsured pay the most for services and that `gamesmanship' occurs at all levels of pricing. The reimbursement schedules stifle improvement of care and quality of care and stand in the way of innovation.

Allow competition across state lines

-Allow `pooling' of small businesses to achieve lower cost insurance

Reduce RegulationIntegration

-Elimination of duplication + One of the greatest drivers of cost in healthcare is the duplication government oversight to healthcare facilities and services.

Lead culture change and incentivize providers to focus on prevention + the current model rewards providers based on people being sick.

-Incentivize personal accountability by discouraging costly lifestyle choices (eg. Smoking) which lead to high health care costs

-Utilize innovative new technologies to increase early diagnoses of health issues and reduce costs

Personal Insurance

-Transition from employer provided insurance to individual purchased insurance like auto, life and homeowners

Answer from Colleen Shea Fernald:

This was mentioned before in my affordable wellness care for all statement.

Answer from Robert Lauten:

Rejoice when the Supreme Court finds ObamaCare unconstitutional. If the Court makes an exception for ObamaCare then here will be no limit to Congressional power. Bipartisan tyranny will reign.

Stop subsidizing sugar and tobacco. Remove the authority of the Food and Drug Administration to make the "law-ruling" that `Only a drug can treat, prevent, or cure a disease'.

The BPA scandal at the FDA http://www.therealfoodchannel.com/videos/the-food-industry/bpa---what-is-it-how-it-has-been-hidden-in-our-food-supply.html

Recommended Reading: "Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau

Answer from Kabiruddin Karim Ali:

Yes, we should have a change in health care policy to a "Universal Health care program"

Answer from John Boruff:

The Federal Government must get out of the health insurance business.

Answer from Greg Conlon:

The first step would be to repeal Obama Care and implement a competitive market based system discussed above and included on my website. To be added to my website will be a new white paper similiar to my website comments with steps including, tort reform; allowing interstate sales and operation for health care providers; means test receipt of participants' benefits and allow an income tax credit of $6,000 to pay premiums for private insurance.

Answer from Nak Shah:

Majority of Americans believe in free choice and I support that, Constitution requires Americans to make their own choices and I support that, Having said that I support all Americans should have access to affordable health care coverage. Health laws should prohibit insurance companies from dropping coverage when you get sick or denying coverage with pre-existing conditions. I Support government give free health insurance to all people but buying your own health insurance should not be mandatory it should be a choice that Americans should make on their own (Voluntary).What ever the Majority Of Americans want I SUPPORT.I know people who never get sick it is not fair to them to force them to buy health care even better if we put this question as a referendum on the ballot for Americans to vote on. I support what ever the Americans want. My Personal choice is buying health insurance should be voluntary and not mandatory but am open to support what Majority of Americans want.

Answer from Rick Williams:

Individual medical savings accounts are the health care solution for the future. We need to return the healthcare decision making process to individuals, families, and their doctors. "Single-payer" healthcare delivery has proven to be an economic disaster everywhere it has been tried-- driving up costs and driving down quality. It doesn't work.

Answer from Gail K. (Lightfoot) Lightfoot:

Reform Medicare and Medicaid [Medical] so that the patient decides how to spend their medical dollars. With complete freedom of choice and direct selection of service providers, competition re-enters the medical market and the consumer benefits. The reason medical costs have risen so rapidly is the patient and their family never sees the bill until after it is paid - or not - by some insurance company. There is no control on costs when you don't see the bill or think about it at all. Patients might decide to forego some of the tests and treatments if they took the time to study and evaluate the costs as well as the benefits.

Answer from Nachum Shifren:

Let there be interstate commerce for health coverage, opening up competition and lowering cost. Absolute removal of any government impositions on America's health care.

Answer from Marsha Feinland:

Eliminate insurance company paperwork and profit. Other countries have better outcomes at lower cost. Socialized medicine in Great Britain is the simplest system. The government pays the doctors and the people get treated. Congressman Conyers' "Medicare For All" bill is similar to the Canadian single payer system. Everyone is covered by one government run plan, eliminating the redundancy of multiple government programs, employer provided plans, and individual policies.

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

Answer from Colleen Shea Fernald:

Giving corporations the rights of people is a disgrace; Citizen's United must be overturned.

Political Action Committees must be made to list the identity and contribution amounts of all donors, as individuals.

Answer from Gail K. (Lightfoot) Lightfoot:

Full disclosure without artificial reporting of donors above and below set amounts. The current system is unwieldy and difficult to use and understand. A simple list of who gives how much to each candidate on their and a comparison web site is all that is needed. Individuals should be free to help any candidate as much as they wish. If voter don't like the candidate's backers, they can vote for someone else.

Answer from Robert Lauten:

Repeal the 17th Amendment to the US Constitution which established the direct election of US Senators. The State Legislature should elect the 2 US Senators, and thereby save $10s of millions in campaign fundraising.

Answer from Nak Shah:

There needs to have changes in the federal rules for campaign financing. There should be spending limits on campaign spending at various levels of election. A regulatory board should be appointed and should work out polices for canvassing, spending and banking. Imagine The Amount of Money the Candidate spends in campaigning if he uses that money to rebuilt our nation and stimulate our economy especially in this bad economy regardless of party affiliation we can make America Great. I believe people should vote in election why should money make diference, People will vote for the Person they believe will do a good Job for the Country why should a person who raises billions of dollars Win it should be the best candidate not the person who gets most money from lobbyist and special interest win the election thus we need to reform campaign financing because it is connected with lobbyist and special interest today. The Constitution is clear government by the people for the people in the interest of people it does not say by the lobbyist and the special interest as is the case in Washington today. Voters will vote for best candidates regardless of the candidate raises money or not so let's reform the campaign financing by having limits or eliminate campaign financing and have government sponsor All the candidates After all you want great public servant not great money maker. I Believe All Americans stand with me on this issue so we bring an honest Candidate like me to Washington so we can do good for All Americans.It is time for change that California deserves a honest candidate Like me,Even Better California needs a problem solver like me and All Californians stand with me during this worst time of economy so we can see a brighter tommorrow.

Answer from Marsha Feinland:

Instead of complex campaign financing rules, all candidates who qualify for the ballot should be alloted the same amount of free coverage in all media. We need space for meaningful discourse and debate instead of sound bites and attack ads.

Answer from David Alex Levitt:

Campaigns should be publicly and inexpensively financed using broadband technology -- there is no excuse to outspend opponents when everyone has access to free video distribution through technologies similar to YouTube.

And in case it's not obvious: corporations aren't people and money isn't speech. The effects of the ineptly argued and wrongly decided Citizens United case must not stand.

Answer from Dirk Allen Konopik:

Transparency is key regarding campaign financing. With the rise of Super PACs contributing such an exorbitant amount of money from anonymous sources to candidates, American citizens must be ensured of the integrity of the electoral process. If elected to the U.S. Senate, I will promote legislation and policies that remove the shroud of anonymity that is currently shielding donors who are giving to candidates behind the veil of a Super PAC.

Answer from Rick Williams:

I believe that campaign finance contributions are an essential component of free speech. Our existing structure of limitations on contributions to candidates while allowing unlimited donations to PACs has proven unwieldy and counterproductive. If an individual wants to contribute generously to a candidate, so be it.

Answer from Kabiruddin Karim Ali:

There are many things to fix and change, to give justice for the candidates and democratic process but we have many priorities at this time for our national security and Economic growth.

Answer from John Boruff:

I would be very much in favor of campaign finance reform. I would even go so far as to say that no private individual or company or groups under a PAC be allowed to contribute one penny to any campaign. This is a subject that would require a lot more discussion, but there is a way that this could be accomplished. I will be glad to go into much more detail on this pesky problem.

Answer from Nachum Shifren:

This has been suggested before. Ultimately, it becomes an issue of freedom of speech when attempted to institute

Answer from Greg Conlon:

This is alway a difficult area to address but at a minimum I believe that disclosure of all donors should be required in the super-PACs and elsewhere. The use of 501(c)(4) entities have been used to shield such disclosure. The Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United allowed both unions and corporations to be treated as individuals regarding free speech and this has allow major donors and unions to donate large amounts without any disclosure as to who provided such amounts. This should be changed to required all donors names be disclosed for all to see. Because of the requirement to raise so much money to run for a U S Senate race for a large state, the the upper limit should be increase to at least $5,000 from the $2,500 today. This amount compared to the millions that needs to be raised for a U. S. Senate race is small enough that it would not influence the candidate.

Answer from Diane Stewart:

I do not see any problems with the federal rules on campaign financing. I would like to see the length of time that campaigning takes reduced. With the speed at which we are able to receive communication we do not need to have one state's primary take place six months before another states primary and determine which candidate is going to receive delegate votes.


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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