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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Marin, Sonoma, Humboldt, Mendocino, Del Norte, Trinity Counties, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Smart Voter

Stacey Lawson
Answers Questions

Candidate for
United States Representative; District 2


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?

At a time when the California has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation, working and middle class families are seeing the American Dream fade away. I am fighting to create economic opportunity for the millions of hard-working Californians who are being squeezed out in these tough times.

I'm an educator and small business owner with real-world experience creating jobs. As cofounder and teacher at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at UC Berkeley, I've helped launch dozens of small businesses, created hundreds of high-wage jobs and developed technology to keep American manufacturers competitive. Small businesses create 85% of the jobs in America + and for the last 17 years, I have been involved with creating dozens of small businesses, all of which have generated jobs in northern California.

I'm committed to serving working families like mine and yours. That's why I'm fighting to create the kind of high-wage middle-class jobs that send our kids to college and provide a secure retirement. I've written a detailed plan called "Making More In America" (available at to restore our manufacturing base, develop renewable energy and protect our environment, and make college and trade schools affordable so our kids can learn the skills needed for our changing economy.

In Congress, I will fight for policies that increase investment in American small business, such as making big banks pay back their bailout funds faster and reinvesting more of the proceeds into small business loans.

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?

One critical way to reduce the deficit is to reduce military spending. The U.S. spends 45 percent of the world's expenditures on war. We are forward deployed in over 130 countries. We need to immediately reduce our militarism, bring our troops home, and invest much needed resources in our domestic economy.

Revenue increases are also a critical lever for addressing our fiscal issues. While some believe that the answer to economic crisis is to shrink our government services, I believe that economic crisis is actually the most critical time to make smart government investment in economic stimulus (such as infrastructure, small business and promising new sectors such as clean energy) and to strengthen our social safety net.

And finally + increasing economic activity by rebuilding the middle class will create new tax revenue while reducing tax expenditures on federal assistance programs.

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?

Growing up in a rural, coastal community, I was raised to protect and preserve our resources through sustainable, responsible use and environmental stewardship. Northern California's coast is a natural treasure and lifeline for local economies, supporting fishing, tourism, recreation and almost 400,000 related jobs. That's why I will fight from day one in Congress to prevent offshore drilling along our Pacific coastline.

As we pursue a policy to restore the strategically imperative high-wage manufacturing sector to the American economy, there is one vital raw material that we can start making more of in America -- and that is renewable energy.

There are many reasons to make our own energy. Transitioning from our dependence on fossil fuels to more sustainable, low-impact energy sources is simultaneously an environmental imperative, a national security issue and an urgent economic necessity:

By making more renewable energy we lower the greenhouse gas levels contributing to global warming and environmental degradation.

By making more of our own energy, we lower the "oil subsidy" we now pay to many nations that would do us harm. Ultimately that means a safer America and billions of dollars each year in savings from money we now spend to keep oil shipment routes secure.

By making our own energy, we stimulate our long-term economic recovery -- and stop the flow of high-wage jobs that inevitably follows the billions of dollars we currently send overseas to buy energy we could make right here at home.

My main energy policy priorities include reducing energy consumption and spurring green-collar jobs through building retrofits, creating the next-generation smart electric grid, setting national renewable energy and consumption standards, and making our military and the federal government energy independent.

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

Federal health care policies are not only a social welfare and health issue, but they are also a small business and economic matter. Local, small business owners carry a burden that many of their larger competitors don't carry: they must pay the ever-rising cost of health care which makes locally made goods and services more expensive. According to the Small Business Majority's statement before the House Subcommittee on Health, without reform, "small businesses would pay nearly $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years in health care costs for their workers; 178,000 small business jobs, $834 billion in small business wages, and $52.1 billion in profits would be lost due to these costs."

That's why we must continue to support health care measures such as President Obama's Affordable Care Act - to not only protect Americans' health but to also aid small businesses.

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

Government is meant to serve the people. Campaign financing must be kept transparent to ensure candidates' accountability to their constituents, not to lobbyists or big business. That's why we must work to repeal the Citizens United decision that supports corporate and lobbyist contributions.

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 8, 2012 08:37
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