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Sacramento County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Smart Voter

Sacramento Bee - Letter to the Editor

By Curt Michael Taras

Candidate for United States Representative; District 7

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Open Primary Congressional Election
On May 7, 2012 voters can begin voting by mail in California's first "Top Two Open Primary". Previously, candidates running for office appeared only on their own party ballot. The top vote-getter from each qualified political party and any candidates who qualified using the independent nomination process would then move on to the General Election. Now, under the "Top-Two Open Primary Act", all candidates running, regardless of their party preference, will appear on a single combined ballot, and voters can vote for any candidate from any political party. The two candidates who receive the highest and second-highest number of votes shall appear on the November ballot as candidates in the General Election.

For the first time, voters can select a "No Party Preference" candidate in the primary election. This change will give voters the option to select a Moderate candidate that balances the views of both parties. The effect of this change could bring an effective new dynamic to government and politics. In the past, voters have complained of having only two divergent choices with little opportunity to elect a moderate who shares their opinion. The California Legislature and Congress are both locked in gridlock because of ideology battles between the two major parties. By electing "No Party Preference" candidates, voters can break the gridlock. In office, a "No Party Preference" candidate holds a powerful vote to break stalemates between the parties. This vote can be instrumental in passing budgets, approving projects, and making decisions.

I am the "No Party Preference" candidate for the United States House of Representatives California District 7. This new district represents the Sacramento County Suburbs including the cities of Folsom, Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Elk Grove, Carmichael, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Murietta, Citrus Heights, and Arden. It's a more compact district and was designed by the Citizen's Commission for Redistricting to eliminate the gerrymandering which snaked the previous district all the way to Alpine county and the Nevada border. In my opinion, it's a better district for the voter because it is centered in Sacramento County to more effectively represent the needs of a growing suburban population.

As the Sacramento County Suburb's only "No Party Preference" congressional candidate, I am focused strictly on addressing our economic recovery and not on fighting political ideology. My goals for my first term are: 1) Create jobs by landing a company headquarters along the Hwy 50 and 99 corridors, 2) Reduce commutes by building a bridge across the American River between Watt and Sunrise, and 3) Interconnect Elk Grove to El Dorado via a beltway. These important tasks have been ignored or delayed by a lack of leadership and I intend to complete them.

Infrastructure is the key to the success of our economy. Businesses depend on an efficient transportation network, affordable and reliable power, and educated employees. By investing in infrastructure we are laying the groundwork for businesses to succeed. The American Society of Civil Engineers report card gave the United State a "D" for its infrastructure. Here in Sacramento our highways are clogged due to a lack of local routes. We are a river city but we have very few bridges. All highway traffic passes downtown. Driving from from Elk Grove to Tahoe without a direct beltway takes 20 extra minutes wasting gas. And the recent I-80 causeway shutdown proves we need a secondary delta highway alternative across the Yolo bypass. Building roads and bridges are what elected officials used to work on. Instead, today they are caught up on social issues and grandstanding while the economy sputters.

While I was collecting the hundreds of signatures to list my name on the ballot, voters asked me how I would fund such ambitious plans. They were upset by the Wall Street bank bailout and tied of being taxed with little to show for it. I told them I would fund infrastructure by enforcing the repayment of the $7.7 trillion dollars that Bloomberg News discovered was lent, spent, or committed by the Federal Reserve to Wall Street Banks during the 2009 Bailout. That's more money than 3 years of federal tax revenue. Before we raise taxes we need ensure that money we loaned is repaid. We can then use the Wall Street repayment and interest to invest in our infrastructure which is where the money should have gone in the first place,

Our tax structure is also in need of reform. It's a shame no-one can know their own tax liability until tax filing season. Our government doesn't even know its revenue until all of the returns are filed. Every year is a guessing game and it is keeping us from planning for the future. To fix this recurring problem and to make taxes easier to understand I propose a revised tax table that eliminates deduction and credit loopholes. I do not propose increasing tax revenue as a whole. My review of the federal budget shows there is already enough revenue to fund our most important priorities. What we need is a Congress that is more efficient in making spending decisions and revising the tax code.

To create jobs for our area, I recently wrote George Lucas, director of the Star Wars movie series, to invite him to locate his new Lucas Films digital arts campus at Mather Field or at the recently annexed expansion of Folsom. This was in response to an announcement George Lucas made titled, "Lucas Films pulls out of Marin." The announcement complained about the government delays and opposition it faced and said, "We are not a real estate developer. We need the spaces we build to do our work. Movies are waiting to be made, ...We have several opportunities to build the production stages in communities that see us as a creative asset, not as an evil empire, and if we are to stay on schedule we must act on those opportunities. As Congressman, I will continue to invite employers like Lucas Films to locate here and do everything I can to retain the employers we already have.

Attracting a company like Lucas Films to locate in Sacramento County takes a well-run community that invests in its infrastructure and a leader who is proud of it. In my invitation to Lucas, I promoted our proximity to his studios in San Francisco. I showcased our trained workforce, educated by CSUS, Los Rios, and UCD. I also highlighted the availability of housing and the affordability of our construction trades to build the campus he envisions. This is what cities are doing to bring in employers. This is what Chicago did to encourage Boeing to move its headquarters there from Seattle. This is what I will do for the Sacramento region if elected your Congressman. Please consider a "No Party Preference" candidate this election and break the party stalemate so we can get down to business.

Captain Curt Taras, Professional Engineer USAF Veteran Candidate for Congress 7th Congressional District Sacramento County Suburbs

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