State of California (Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, Sonoma Counties) November 3, 1998 General
Smart Voter

National and District Issues

By Ernest K. "Ernie" Jones, Jr.

Candidate for United States Representative; District 1

This information is provided by the candidate
Campaign finance reform; social security; education; gun issues; budget and spending; environment; and proportional representation.
A Thought...

"The state of nature (democracy) is not a state of war, but a state of individual freedom where creativity flourishes. Since a fully mature person is a social person, a social contract is established to regulate social interaction. This contract between citizens establishes an absolute democracy which is ruled by the general will, or what is best for all people." unsigned quote.

My political philosophy is left-liberal. I prefer self-government in personal matters and central decision-making on economics. I want government to serve the disadvantaged in the name of fairness, and I applaud social diversity and will work for economic equality.

Equal Rights and Liberties

I believe in a world free from all forms of oppression. Capitalism uses every difference in society, including sex, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, age, and physical abilities to divide the people in order to depress wages, maintain a surplus labor pool, and prevent working-class unity. I will work for:

Adoption of an equal rights amendment.

Equal pay for equal work; comparable pay for comparable work.

Enforce non-discrimination in hiring and promotion with affirmative action where necessary.

Provision of free, high-quality, community-controlled child care.

Free abortion on demand. Convenient provision of safe, free birth control information and materials to men and women of any age.

Stop forced abortions and sterilization.

End violence against women.

Freedom, Justice and Crime

Capitalism and poverty breed crime and repression.

Impose truth in sentencing for violent criminals so they serve full sentences with no chance of parole.

Fund programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.

Expand funding for community policing programs.

Increase penalties for the possession of any illegal firearms.

Increase funding for local Boys & Girls Clubs and other independent organizations in communities with at-risk youth.

Stop state-sponsored spying on and violence against progressive

Establish democratically-controlled police review boards with powers of subpoena and discipline.

Abolish capital punishment.

Stop unwarranted searches and seizures of persons and property.

Decriminalize victimless activities including drug use and consensual sex.

Legalize marijuana.

Prosecute crimes of the wealthy and powerful against workers and the environment.

End the war on drugs, which is primarily directed against poor and working-class people.


Education is critical to individual survival and civilized human values, but U.S. capitalism is dismantling public education. Inadequate and unequal funding of schools perpetuates racism, crime and inequality.

Integrated, democratically-run schools with up-to-date plant and equipment and smaller classes.

Teach the history of workers' struggles and labor's creation of society's wealth and progress.

Multi-lingual and multi-cultural education.

A federal law requiring and funding equal average per-pupil expenditures by every public school district, with extra funds for students with special needs such as disability or economic

Tuition-free higher education available to all.

Restore cutbacks in public education and public library services.

Support national standards and testing in reading and math.

Allow parents to use vouchers send their children to any publicly funded school.

Allow parents to use tax-free savings accounts to send their children to any publicly funded school.

Increase funding to states to help them hire additional teachers.

Budget and Spending

The federal budget surplus should be used to support:

Social Security


Tax cuts to low and middle income wage earners

Federal debt reduction

Free higher education Federal spending must be increased to adequately fund:

AIDS programs

Arts funding

Education (k-12)

Environmental programs

Housing projects

Job training programs

Defense plant conversion



Student loan programs


Native Americans

The original great fortunes of this country were made form the seizure of land from Native Americans, and after hundreds of years of conquest and genocide, the exploitation and oppression continue. Native Americans have been somewhat effective in fighting back during the last 25 years, and have regained some vestiges of their original sovereignty, but they are under constant attack. The treaties negotiated with California nations were never ratified--their rights should be firmly established in law. I strongly support self-determination of indigenous people and sovereignty Native nations.

Campaign Finance Reform

Political reform means changing the way we govern ourselves from bottom to top. Community involvement will create leadership around the most troubling issue from which will come solutions and direction. From direction of the people, will our leaders follow.

As your Representative I will work to bring about:

Elimination of filing fees for all candidates.

Provide public funding for federal candidates who comply with campaign spending limits.

Establish spending limits on congressional campaigns.

Strengthen and enforce legislation that encourages full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information.

Prohibit Political Action Committee contributions to candidates for federal office.

Provide free or low-cost television advertising to candidates who agree to voluntary campaign spending limits.

Ban unregulated campaign contributions known as soft money.

Prohibit non-U.S. citizens from making contributions to federal campaigns.


Drug use in our country is rampant. The pharmaceutical industrial complex, medical profession and street drug peddler all serve the money master. When there is nothing to gain from selling heroin or not finding the cure for cancer, we as a society can begin treating the life style choices that cause so many to engage in drug use and other unhealthy behavior.

Create more medical schools and sponsor gifted students regardless of their incomes.

Adequately fund cancer research and HIV.

Increase funding of federally-sponsored drug education and drug
treatment programs.

Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Recognize industrial hemp and support commercial development.

Social Security

Invest a portion of the budget surplus into the Social Security trust fund.

Limit Social Security benefits based on recipients' other income and assets.

Require individuals to pay the Social Security tax on income above $68,400, which is currently exempt.

Gun Issues

The Federal government must take responsibility and end the carnage guns have brought on society.

Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.

Maintain federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.

Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.

Labor and Full Employment

Demand a socially useful job at union pay levels or a guaranteed
dignified income for everyone.

Provide tax credits for companies that move job-creating industries into areas with high employment.

Increase funding for national job-training programs that retrain
displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.

Establish empowerment zones in areas with large numbers of
unemployed people.

Increase the minimum wage.

Pass legislation that encourages employers to offer their employees the options of flex-time scheduling, comp-time and unpaid leave to attend to their family responsibilities.

Provide tax credits for businesses that provide on-site child care.

Call for a 30-hour work week for 40 hours' pay and abolition of forced overtime.

Expansion and enforcement of job health and safety laws.

Restoration of all labor rights previously won by women and their extension to men as well.

Paid parental leaves and time off work for child care.

Prison labor to be paid at union scale with no deductions for room and board.

Workers' rights to organize, form union caucuses, strike, and boycott.

No replacement of striking workers.

Federally funded public works programs to rebuild the nation's
infrastructure and restore the environment.


Require the state to fully compensate citizens when
environmental regulations limit uses on privately owned land.

Strengthen the Clean Water Act.

Revise the 1872 mining law to increase the fees charged to mining companies using federal lands.

Encourage development of alternative fuels to reduce pollution.

Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline or diesel powered engines, including cars and trucks.

Impose stricter national air quality standards.

Strengthen the restrictions on clear-cutting on federal lands.

Planning for urban and regional environment based on principles
of sound ecosystems management.

Tighter regulation of pesticides, herbicides and industrial wastes to protect human food, air and water, employees in the workplace, and species habitat.

A multi-source energy system - development of solar technology and other renewable, non polluting energy sources.

Eliminate nuclear power plants.

Protect the ozone layer.

Protect species habitat such as old-growth forests to preserve bio-diversity.

Native Americans

Honor treaty obligations with Native American nations and recognize California tribes.

Stop the theft of natural resources located on reservation lands.

Honor Native American water, hunting and fishing rights.

Proportional Representation

Proportional representation is the voting system used by most of the world's major democracies. Under PR, representatives are elected from multi-seat districts in proportion to the number of votes received. PR assures that political parties or candidates will have the percent of legislative seats that reflects their public support. A party or candidate need not come in first to win seats.

In contrast, in the United States we use winner take all single seat districts, where votes going to a losing candidate are wasted, even if that candidate garners 49.9 percent of the vote. This leaves significant blocs of voters unrepresented. Voters sense this, and so often we do not vote for a candidate we like, but rather the one who realistically stands the best chance of winning; the lesser of two evils. Or, all too often, we don't bother to vote at all.

Health Issues

The Federal government must take responsibility for providing adequate health care to all.

Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.

Implement a government-financed, single-payer national health care system similar to that of Canada.

Support health care strategies focused on prevention, including
health education and natural medicines and remedies.

Support legislation to define and enforce the rights of insured patients, including greater access to specialist and emergency rooms, wider choice of health care providers, and appeal mechanisms when claims are denied.

Allow small business owners, the self-employed and workers whose employers do not provide health insurance to have the same deductibility for health costs as corporations and large employers.

Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts, which
would be taxed if used for any purpose other than medical costs.

Allow states and local communities to use federal funds for needle-exchange programs to combat the spread of HIV.

Classify nicotine as a drug and cigarettes as drug delivery devices, which should be regulated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration.

Provide citizens age 55-65 the option of purchasing Medicare
Health coverage.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 31, 1998 13:32
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