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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
United States Representative; District 27

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Economy, Federal Budget, Energy, Health Care, Campaign Financing

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

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

Answer from Brad Sherman:

I have been working to ensure the government provides struggling families and small businesses with assistance. I am focusing on methods that maximize the stimulus now while minimizing the increase to the national debt. I voted for legislation has saved or created 3 million jobs that would otherwise not exist today. Millions of dollars have flowed to the San Fernando Valley, like the 405 Sepulveda Pass freeway widening project. Hundreds of teachers who were slated to be laid off in this economic crisis are still teaching our kids.

Answer from Mark S. Reed:

I will push for legislation that will lower taxes and stimulate and encourage economic growth. I firmly believe that raising taxes stifles growth, weakens the economy, and will put more people out of work. Our economy works best when the government gets out of the way, businesses have money to invest and add jobs, and when individuals have more of their income to spend.

? 2. How should federal budget priorities be changed, now and into the future? How will you balance the costs of military action overseas and national security with the costs of domestic needs?

Answer from Mark S. Reed:

We need to cut all spending across the board back to 2002 levels

We need to set a special committee that will eliminate any government programs and agencies that we can live without and do not meet the deliverable.

? 3. What, if anything, should be done by the federal government to address our dependence on fossil fuels or spur the use of clean energy?

Answer from Brad Sherman:

Protecting our environment, both around the world and here in the San Fernando Valley, is one of my top legislative priorities. I have consistently earned a 100 percent vote rating from the Sierra Club for my work in Congress.

Improving Vehicle Mileage & Reducing Greenhouse Gasses

California leads the nation in passing progressive environmental policies. I have worked to make sure that the federal government does not prohibit California from implementing those policies. In 2007, the Bush administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejected California's request to regulate motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions.

I introduced the Right to Clean Vehicles Act (H.R. 609) to force the EPA to allow California to regulate vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. Shortly thereafter, the Obama administration's EPA reversed the previous decision and allowed California to maintain its regulations.

Subsequently, the Obama administration issued new nationwide rules designed to reach reduction levels similar to those adopted by the State of California. The new rules will begin to be phased-in beginning in model year 2012 for cars and light trucks (pickups, vans, and SUVs). The rules are estimated to increase fuel economy standards to as much as 35.5 miles per gallon by model year 2016. The standards will require cars, SUVs, minivans, and other light trucks to meet combined emissions levels that the agency estimates will average a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared to current levels.

Answer from Mark S. Reed:

I support common-sense environment policy that will help reduce pollution and preserve our precious open spaces. In order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we need to abolish the Department of Energy, and drill in this country where we can. We need to support reasonable and appropriate development of alternative energy sources such as: wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal and improve hydroelectric facilities. I oppose a national cap and trade program because of the higher cost that families and businesses would incur. It will also drive more companies out of this country, leaving more Americans unemployed.

? 4. What, if any, changes should be made to current federal policies or programs that promote or provide health coverage for Americans?

Answer from Brad Sherman:

Protecting Medicare Benefits

The official budget plan put forward by the House Minority increases the minimum age of eligibility for Medicare, and new enrollees would no longer receive coverage through the current program, but would be given a voucher to purchase private health insurance. Who knows what kind of coverage the insurance companies will offer in return for the voucher? I oppose efforts to create a "voucher" system that effectively eliminates Medicare's guaranteed health care benefits.

Improving Economic Security for Seniors

Currently, Medicare does not cover prescription drug costs between $2,830 and $6,440 per year. Under legislation I helped pass, seniors who spend more than $2,830 and are affected by the donut-hole gap will receive a one-time, non-taxable $250 payment. Medicare recipients do not have to do anything to get the $250 check--once their drug costs for the year hit $2,830, the check should be issued automatically.

Beginning next year, the costs of prescription drugs falling in the donut hole will be discounted by 50 percent, because of this legislation. The out-of-pocket costs for seniors' drug costs falling in the donut hole will be further reduced incrementally every year. In nine years, the donut hole will be eliminated entirely.

Answer from Mark S. Reed:

I'm opposed to the recent health care bill that was recently signed into law. I agree with many of the anticipated results of the legislation. But can we afford them as currently written? This law will raise taxes, increase government spending and lower the quality of care, especially for elders on Medicare. I support policies that will strengthen the existing private market system, drive down cost and make it easier for people to purchase affordable insurance.

? 5. What, if any, changes should be made to federal rules on campaign financing or disclosure of political expenditures?

Answer from Mark S. Reed:

I would like to limit donations the candidates can receive from outside their districts, to be no more then the total money the candidate gets from his district up to the end of each giving period.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' responses are not edited or corrected by the League. No candidate may refer to another candidate in the response.

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily. Candidates who did not respond are not listed on this page.

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Created: January 6, 2011 15:01 PST
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