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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
San Diego, Imperial County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Smart Voter

Xanthi Gionis
Answers Questions

Candidate for
United States Representative; District 51

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The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

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

As a candidate to U.S. Congress in California's 51st District, where there exists the highest unemployment rate in the nation, this issue is of particular importance to me and is where I will begin my work as Representative. I believe that through good paying and secure employment, many of the other issues that face our citizens at this time, for example, health care costs, cost of education and so forth can be more easily addressed. Economic strength provides our citizens with more choices, more options for themselvese and their families. The most important step to improve our nation's economy is to facilitate the growth of employment opportunities in the private sector and in the business community. Let free market prosper. In order to do this, our representatives in Congress must work intelligently to reduce government spending, stop excessive government waste and stream-line governmental agencies, thereby providing a more robust economy. This in turn will encourage the private and business sector to invest their trillions of dollars of capital into the market. Government can also play an integral role in job production by lifting regulation on businesses which is over-burdening and jeopardizes business growth and expansion. Although we need reasonable regulatory measures for the protection of our citizens, over-burdening regulation is counter-productive to our economic growth. America should also reduce energy consumption and expand domestic oil production in order to make America stronger and more independent. Investment in domestic oil production will not only strengthen us as a nation, it will provide good paying jobs to Americans. Additionally, it is important to encourage the manufacturing and export of American-made products, encourage American entrepreneurs and innovation, i.e., put Americans to work on American products and services. Also, a tax incentive to businesses that hire new employees and expand their operations here in the United States would improve the current situation, as would offering tax incentives to intice American off-shore corporations to return home. Let's put America back to work with contracts(infrastructure, solar, electic, automation, etc. ) to re-build America and the American Dream!

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?

As a long-time businesswoman and co-founder of a small private university in Southern California, I have had to balance a budget in varied economic times. I found that it was important to make tough, sound monetary decisions while not sacrificing either my employee's salaries or the outstanding level of education that I had committed to provide the students of our University. What I learned was that budgets can be cut while still maintaining excellence and while abiding to one's mission statement and core objectives. I believe that the federal budget deficit should be addressed utilizing that same business model, wherein there are pre-determined objectives to be met and each line item budget cut is made with those objectives first and foremost in mind. I believe that what is missing in today's budget considerations in Congress, is a lack of planning and careful consideration to the consequences that cuts to the budget may have on already struggling Americans. For example, would the nation's economy be benefited in the long-run with fewer well-educated citizens? Clearly not. Will cuts to education in the immediate future lead us to where we would like to be in the future? Can we expect to be a globally competitive society without a well-educated and well trained work force? Certainly not. So, let's take the time to thoroughly consider each "line-item" in the budget and make the tough decisions while continuing to be mind-ful of the long-term effects of each budget cut on our citizens and our nation as a whole. That is the minimum that we as constituents can expect of our elected representatives. Our nation deserves the careful consideration of the future by its elected representatives. Afterall, elected representatives are sent to Washington to work on behalf and in the best interest of their constituents. With regard to national defense, for example, there is a fine line between national security, wasteful military budgets and excessive military spending. So, although our military and the men and women who have and continue to place their lives on the line to defend our freedom, must be supported well and at all costs, there is certainly room in the military budget to cut wasteful spending and room to reward efficient budgeting and refrain from bureaucratic mismanagement. With regard to domestic programs, I would say, that cuts to entitlements at this critical time in our nation would not be prudent. With 46 million people living below the poverty level in this nation, to enact legislature that would produce more hungry families, in order to cut the budget, would not solve our problem. However, I believe that entitlements should be provided to our citizens in time of need and should have a component built into the system where participants are helped to become successfully independent of the entitlements which they have recieved through job training opportunities and education. Let's help Americans to help themselves.

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?

National energy independence should be a high priority for our nation and I am in favor of the exploration of fossil fuels. We should encourage American innovation and entrepreneurship in the development of renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, hydroelectic, geothermal, etc. There should definitely be an emphasis on clean energy and the reduction of carbon emissions and we should work hard to become a strong and independent nation with regard to our energy resources.

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

The high cost of providing health care to the medically uninsured in this nation is the reason that the issue of affordable health care is so critical to us. I am a strong supporter of the free market and would support the strengthening of the existing free market private insurance system in order to drive down the cost of health care insurance policies through competition and make the purchase of medical health insurance more affordable to the consumer. This can be achieved by allowing competition across state lines, instituting more widespread tort reform, capping the costs of health care services and actively seeking to eliminate cases of health care and insurance fraud, waste and abuse. Congress and the President must go back to the drawing table and look at drafting legislation that will increase the accessibility and affordability of healthcare for our citizens. Obamacare as it stands is likely to be found by our U.S. Supreme Court to be unconstitutional and will send everyone back to the drawing board with regard to a universal health care program in the U.S.. Obamacare in its current form will drastically decrease the quality of medical care provided to our citizens, it will raise taxes on the middle class, increase government spending and impose upon our free citizens, mandatory participation in a program where freedom of choice and self-determination should instead occur.

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

PAC monies should not be permitted. They serve as the legal "loop-hole" necessary to move forward with essential non-compliance to campaign financing federal rules as they were intended. I believe that PAC monies and large "endowments" to the political campaigns of candidates for office serve as nothing more than pre-determined "conflict of interest" which undermine the representation of public servants of their constituency and lead to truly ineffective representatives of special interests. As with judicial or legal representation, political representation in order to be honest, transparent and truly representative, must be free from even the inference of a conflict of interest. Unfortunately, our political system, although moving toward free and representative government, still has this element of corruption known as "special interests." I have pledged as a part of my campaign platform that when elected to the U.S. Congress in 2012 as the Representative of California's 51st District, the only "special interests" that I will cater to in my daily work in Congress, are the "special interests" of each and everyone of my constituents. Every vote that I will make and every action that I will take as a U.S. Congresswoman will be completely transparent to my constituents and I will continue to make myself available to them, so as to serve my terms in Congress as intended, as a "public servant" a representative of the People who works hard and gets results for them. I look forward to sending good news back from Washington to our 51st District!


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.

Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 20, 2012 21:20
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