This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Alameda, Santa Clara County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
State Senator; District 10

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 Fiscal Choices, Water, Education, Your Priorities

Click on a name for candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

? 1. How would you prioritize the fiscal choices the Legislature must make to align the state’s income and spending?

Answer from Peter Kuo:

First our state must make good on the promises we've made to pay our bills are improve our credit score, then essential services of public safety, education and transportation must be the priorities of the legislature. These issues are vital to the success of California and Californians who depend on opportunity to pursue the American Dream.

? 2. Given our current drought condition, concern for water rights and usage is an important issue. What solutions would you support to address our water problems?

Answer from Peter Kuo:

We must get serious about solving our water crisis and pursue a reliable and sustainable policy to address it. Not only do rising water rates hurt the pocket books of Californians, lack of water threatens jobs in the Central Valley and increase the price of food to all Californians. This includes water storage and distribution, our current policies are outdated and unsustainable.

Answer from Bob Wieckowski:

The governor has advocated building two 40-foot-wide tunnels across 35 miles to divert water from the Sacramento River around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta for delivery to points south. This would create irreparable environmental damage and ultimately not solve California's water supply problems. How would you propose resolving the state's water supply challenge?

The pressing issue here is passing a water bond. We need to work on a smaller, targeted bond that is more likely to pass, and I will work with my colleagues to get something on the ballot for 2014. Delta protection and watershed restoration programs must be a part of that plan. I would need to see the specifics of a plan for diverting water to Southern California before deciding if I could support it. It's hard for me to imagine that such a large and costly infrastructure project would generate voter support. I would much rather develop a smaller package of targeted projects that would improve our supply, since I have questions about the impact climate change will have on snow fall vs. rain fall in the coming decades and how valuable or reliable our large network of dams will be on water delivery.

? 3. California high school students rank lower than many states in student performance. What do you see as the ongoing role of the Legislature in addressing this problem?

Answer from Bob Wieckowski:

The achievement gap starts before students begin kindergarten. Research has shown anywhere from a 7:1 to an 11:1 return on investment for early childhood education. Universal ECE should be a goal for our state, and I will work with you to explore funding mechanisms to achieve that goal.

The Legislature should also focus on the successful implementation of Common Core and the Local Control Funding Formula. My partner, Sue Lemke, is the Science Coordinator for Fremont Unified. She's working on developing new curriculum. We talk about it frequently and I want to make sure the Legislature is providing the resources and guidance required to districts around the state to ensure a successful transition.

Answer from Peter Kuo:

The legislature is too busy playing games with misplaced priorities that do not educate our kids. Education funding should be given more local control and must be guaranteed to be spent in the classroom. School achievement and accountability must no longer be window dressing but tough and enforced policies.

? 4. What other major issues do you think the Legislature must address? What are your own priorities?

Answer from Peter Kuo:

The legislature is too busy pandering to interest groups and playing games instead of putting our priorities first. Our current job climate in California is not recovering because our economy has not improved for the last 7 years. Our economy must be the top priority. Secondly, our education system is in dire need of real reform so that we do not fail our students. Finally, our energy policy must be dealt with before it is too late and the crisis gets to a breaking point.

Answer from Bob Wieckowski:

Fighting income inequality and defending low-wage workers: I introduced the Made in California program in 2011 to put people back to work by expanding California's manufacturing base, increasing access to workforce training, and providing tax credits for small businesses. I've also introduced numerous pieces of legislation to update our bankruptcy laws and protect the working poor from wage garnishment.

Increasing college affordability and educating students about debt: Nationwide, students have taken on over $1 trillion dollars in debt, more than all personal credit card debt and automobile loan debt combined. We need to address college affordability by providing more funding for middle-class students and by restoring the State's role in higher education funding. We also need to educate students about the debts that they're taking on by, for example, requiring the same entrance and exit counseling for private college loans that we require for federal and state loans.

Protecting consumer privacy on the Internet: California is a major target for cyber criminals looking to steal personal financial information and the Internet has created new forms of sexual harassment. I've authored legislation to require encryption of personal data, prevent the sale of social security numbers, and require businesses to reimburse customers for identity theft costs in the event of a data breach. I've also introduced legislation to create a new tort statute for online sexual harassment, so-called "revenge porn", that will allow victims to pseudonymously take action against websites and individuals that publish sexually explicit images without their permission.

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.

This Contest || Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter || Feedback
Created: July 23, 2015 14:59 PDT
Smart Voter <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund.
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.