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Jul 23rd
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Election Breakdown

vote-smartA guide to the candidates

With the June 5 primary election around the corner, the race for the county Board of Supervisors, state offices, and congressional seats are heating up. Whether or not you have already made up your mind about who you will be casting a vote for at the ballot box, we hope you will take a gander at the candidates’ responses to four important questions below.

Board of Supervisors
1st District
Gary Richard Arnold, Businessman
What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the county in the upcoming year? Oppressive over-regulating, over-taxing government has been, will be, and is now our primary problem. It strangles our incentive, exports our jobs and imports slave labor products from our enemies who have vowed to kill us. Our businesses are shackled and our freedoms suppressed. Our water is being poisoned by the political machine (fluoride) who think that they know what is best. … We don’t need another bike path or a bureaucrat with badges ... we need jobs and the freedom to create them. Arnold is the Answer.com.
How do you plan to make your district’s voice heard on the board? Loudly and often, about that which is relevant; what is really important to this district. Our local politicians are mere pawns and prostitutes of big money, ignoring even the potholes. The local machine follows the UN Agenda 21 coordinated with the managed media. It’s not the billionaire lobbies like California Forward and the California Reform Institute that will have a voice with Gary Richard Arnold—it’s the people. I will serve the people, not rule them.
How would you approach issues related to prison realignment in the county? It creates a dangerous prison archipelago. I will vote to demilitarize local police. This is not Nazi Germany or Communist China yet, but headed in that direction. I support posse comitaus. Many of the politicians need to spend one term in office and one term in prison. I will separate any link between our police and Homeland Security. They are peace officers here to serve us—not the banksters and bureaucrats.
What qualifies you to represent your district on the board? I could give you a long list of credentials. I won’t. Any taxi cab driver, housewife, small-businessman, plumber or a retiree at a trailer park knows what the problems are here in Santa Cruz. Just drive down the street and see the vacant businesses and foreclosures around us. We want to end the occupation of Panettastan now and return this area to constitutional government. It is one of the jobs of the supervisors to set policy, not carry out the alien policy of David Rockefeller, Julie Packard, and Ben Bernanke.

John Leopold, County Supervisor
What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the county in the upcoming year? Helping families facing foreclosure or otherwise in need and planning for sustainable economic development. I have led efforts to help the most vulnerable in our community. Working with the community I helped create the economic development program at the county.
How do you plan to make your district’s voice heard on the board? Throughout my term I have worked to include hundreds of community residents in local decisions. More than 500 participated when we were doing community planning around our redevelopment agency. Hundreds have been involved in re-imagining our criminal justice system. I meet weekly with constituents and hold community meetings around topics ranging from construction projects, homelessness, and parks planning.
How would you approach issues related to prison realignment in the county? As one of the founders of Smart On Crime Santa Cruz County, I am working to engage the public about how we spend our resources in the criminal justice system. We must build a system that holds people accountable but is also sustainable over time. I support our pre-trial release program and the custody alternatives program to ensure that we have resources and space for the most dangerous criminals.
What qualifies you to represent your district on the board? My broad experience has helped me be effective as supervisor. My drive to include our community in decisions at the board has allowed many to have a say in what county government is doing.

Charles Paulden, Health/environmentalist, Psychologist
What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the county in the upcoming year? Directing growth to where it does the most good (Dominican Hospital/41st Avenue area) and least environmental harm. Mixed use along major transportation corridors, protecting farmland and open-space. Water issues. Permeable surfaces to recharge our wells, stop urban runoff pollution. No desalination plant. Support local businesses.
How do you plan to make your district’s voice heard on the board? As a 40 year resident, I am familiar with our issues and people’s concerns. Advocating for our community I have worked with the Board of Supervisors, Coastal Commission and Neighborhood organizations.
How would you approach issues related to prison realignment in the county? Support education for good long-range choices. Promote skills in management for stress, anxiety and depression, reducing the use of drugs to self-medicate. Support services that help people learn to live healthy, purposeful lives. Redirect RDA funds, including the $44 million for the new Sheriff Station. Taxes are better spent on staff and programs. Help offenders make better choices to turn their lives around. This reduces recidivism and long-term costs.
What qualifies you to represent your district on the board? As a community and environmental advocate, member of the Sierra Club’s Executive Committee, studying the County’s General/Coastal Plan, CEQA and Urban Planning, I work proactively, with others, to build a better Santa Cruz County. Understanding local businesses are of high value; we will build a strong local economy to thrive.

2nd District
Daniel Beckett, Small-business owner
What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the county in the upcoming year? County finances need to be put in order. My first step is to take a 25 percent pay reduction like Supervisor [Greg] Caput did. I would like to put the savings into a road repair fund (mainly to start fixing the potholes). I would ask other board members to follow suit. The county is bloated at the top.
How do you plan to make your district’s voice heard on the board? I would come from a fresh perspective where common sense and constitutional administration of government would guide my decisions. Who would argue with that?
How would you approach issues related to prison realignment in the county? The issue pertaining to prison realignment should not affect existing neighborhoods. Very low-density residential areas (no neighborhoods) might accommodate non-violent persons. The use permit would be reviewed on a regular basis and should be revoked if problems were to arise.
What qualifies you to represent your district on the board? I’m a lifetime resident of the 2nd District and, as a result, I know the people, the issues and the problems well. A strong background in business, history and the constitution will help guide my decisions. I am committed to serving the 2nd District with integrity and full-time dedication. The position on the board will not be used as a stepping-stone to higher office.

Douglas Deitch, Nonprofit executive director
What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the county in the upcoming year? The most pressing issue that must first always be addressed is community safety. Speaking as a resident and business owner since 1970, I no longer feel generally safe and secure here in Santa Cruz County. Many others have expressed this same concern to me during this election. Next issue, due to the enormous costs, must be a Monterey Bay regional plan and solution to our water supply question here necessarily involving no more than one “non” SCMU/SqCWD multi-hundred million dollar regional desalination plant.
How do you plan to make your district’s voice heard on the board? After elected, I plan to be appointed to the California Coastal Commission to envision and establish the regional water solution above described.
How would you approach issues related to prison realignment in the county? I would trust but verify the recommendations made by Sheriff [Phil] Wowak, who understands and knows the issues and how to follow our laws very well with great results, like he has with the Secure Communities program.
What qualifies you to represent your district on the board? The job of county supervisor is to supervise the affairs of the entire county and region. In order to know something isn’t working, one must know how that something properly operates in the first instance. I do.
I’m running for this office because I believe there is a need for a proactive and regional creative, sensible, entrepreneurial, and environmental thinker on the Board. That’s me. I am the best that money can’t buy. Learn more at thebestthatmoneycantbuy.com.

Zach Friend, Santa Cruz Police Department spokesperson
What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the county in the upcoming year? Continuing to provide vital services during times of significant funding cuts. We need to ensure stability in public safety funding, community programs, parks and infrastructure—even in the face of this economic headwind. I’m confident that these challenges allow for innovation and positive risk taking, and ultimately it can be done.
How do you plan to make your district’s voice heard on the board? By bringing together disparate interests for a common goal. Community empowerment, be it neighborhood associations, chambers of commerce, students or seniors, will amplify our collective voice.
How would you approach issues related to prison realignment in the county? While realignment creates a number of challenges it also creates a number of opportunities. I’d much rather trust our local jail decisions to our sheriff than State Corrections. We have to recognize there will be real growing pains, but my sense is the sheriff will improve outcomes with this opportunity.
What qualifies you to represent your district on the board? I have dedicated my life to public service working in Congress, the White House and most of the last decade in local law enforcement. I manage a $23 million budget and during these tight times have managed to provide innovations that increase accessibility, transparency and the outcomes of our department.

Rich McInnis, tavern owner
What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the county in the upcoming year? Jobs. I will walk my district and meet with local business owners and find out what I can do as their supervisor to get our county government out of their way so they can hire more of our local residents and help get our local economy growing. More jobs will help unemployed residents pay their mortgage and keep their homes from being foreclosed as well.
How do you plan to make your district’s voice heard on the board? I will use [my] connection with the two other board members who get elected, along with…my unique perspective as a small-business owner, to educate my fellow board members on county regulations that need to be repealed so that other small-business owners aren’t forced into bankruptcy or out of business by our county government. If elected, I will also educate the other two seated board members on my business-friendly agenda, but worst case all I need is three votes to get my agenda passed, and I think I’ll have the votes from day one.
How would you approach issues related to prison realignment in the county? I will listen to our county sheriff and his recommendations as to best handle this situation so that we can continue to keep our neighborhoods safe.
What qualifies you to represent your district on the board? As a resident and small-business owner of a restaurant and home in the 2nd District that was forced into foreclosure and bankruptcy by our county government’s revenue traps, I am sensitive to these issues, and will work tirelessly to repeal county regulations that strangle our small businesses, which keep them from hiring more employees. I will also work hard to stop the illegal foreclosure tactics the banks we bailed out in 2008 are using to evict our friends and neighbors and driving home values down in our county.

Antonio Rivas, School counselor/teacher
What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the county in the upcoming year? To maintain and improve a viable Economic Development for the county and have an Economic Development Summit with the coordination of our local governments. This will start the process in bringing and keeping our business in the county. My main purpose is to have good paying jobs, job training, a viable tax base, and at the same time provide services to our communities. Improve our county infrastructure and fix our neglected roads, sidewalks and bike lanes. Public safety is another priority of mine and for our county. [The] Sheriff’s Department will need to have the needed resources in order to combat the increases crime within our county. Also, I continue to advocate the coordination between the local police departments with the County Sheriff’s Department in order to catch the criminals and the gangs, or any other criminal activity.
How do you plan to make your district’s voice heard on the board? I will continue to have meetings with local organizations, businesses and  educational institutions (Santa Cruz County Chamber, Pajaro Valley Chamber, Santa Cruz County Realtors, nonprofits, educational institutions, Santa Cruz County Office of Education and others) along with community meetings with Mid-County and South County residents. This was done as the mayor and city councilmember for the City of Watsonville.
How would you approach issues related to prison realignment in the county? Due to the prison realignment from the state, [it] is important as county supervisors work together with our Sheriff’s Departments and the Justice Department to create and ensure a system that can be financially maintained and be accountable in meeting the needs of our public safety.
What qualifies you to represent your district on the board? First, I will cut my salary by 20 percent. I am a leader with experience, integrity [and am] trustworthy. I am a two-year term mayor and [spent] eight years as a city councilmember. [I spent] 35 years in public education. [I] have experience as commissioner / board of directors member on various community boards. [I am] knowledgeable in city, county, state, federal, education and environment issues, in order to meet the needs of our Santa Cruz County communities.

5th District
Eric Hammer, Local business owner
What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the county in the upcoming year? Protecting our environmental resources, I will prioritize moving our county toward more renewable resources, improving county services, and strengthening resources for our children and families.
How do you plan to make your district’s voice heard on the board? Collaboration is my strength. I have already been working with Zach Friend and John Leopold, we have great respect for each other and have all been endorsed by the Democratic Central Committee and the Democratic Women’s Club.
How would you approach issues related to prison realignment in the county? I’m proud to be a member of the Human Care Alliance through the Mountain Community Resources and Community Bridges. I’m confident that our existing social service agencies, the Sheriff’s office and the county probation department will continue to work together to develop model programs that ensure public safety and provide for successful reintegration of offenders into society.
What qualifies you to represent your district on the board? My involvement with the community and my ability to build local partnerships. My years of voluntary public service that began as a child and continued through high school, college, and as an adult. My love and passion for my community. My ability to lead by tapping into our culture of collaboration. My willingness to roll up my sleeves and work to solve problems and create better outcomes.

Bruce McPherson, Businessman/journalist
What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the county in the upcoming year? Prioritizing services and levels of delivery to ensure that essential services are provided to residents.
How do you plan to make your district’s voice heard on the board? Needs in the 5th District are the most visible in the county. We have a compelling story to tell, with many active residents and me to tell it.
How would you approach issues related to prison realignment in the county? Santa Cruz County has been smart and innovative in implementing realignment, along with probation-serving services. We’ll need to be as innovative in upcoming realignment of social services.
What best qualifies you to represent your district on the board? a) Experience, 26 years as a newspaper editor/news writer writing about 5th District/county issues; b) Knowledge of the issues, as a newsperson, leader of numerous charitable causes here, and being elected twice to both the California Senate and Assembly; and c) Personal contacts I’ve made, and respect I’ve earned, from local, state and federal leaders in my professional, political and public service career. I will work hard to find solutions, increase transparency and see that we receive our “fair share.”

Bill Smallman, Civil engineer
What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the county in the upcoming year? Economy.
How do you plan to make your district’s voice heard on the board? Listening and being a leader.
How would you approach issues related to prison realignment? Mr. McPherson feels he is the best to oversee “realignment.” Realignment AB 109, a result of the federal government mandating the release of prisoners is what he and the rest of career politicians who are running California into the ground lacked vision or leadership to develop decades ago, and/or control immigration and the legal system. I believe I know what is needed for success. We need to make sure the money from the state is permanent.
What qualifies you to represent your district on the board? I’m someone who isn’t, or does not want to be a career politician, an excellent listener, educated in the sciences, experienced in building infrastructure, and has really good ideas.

Congress 18th District
Anna Eshoo, incumbent
What is the most pressing issue currently facing the 18th District, and how do you plan on addressing it if elected?
Rebuilding the economy is the most pressing issue facing our district. Working with large and small businesses to remove roadblocks to expansion, investing in research and development and opening doors to new capital are the ways I make government a productive partner in getting the economy moving. In addition, we must restructure our national budget to reflect the reality of limited resources and we must invest in our people.
How will you make the district’s voice and concerns heard on the national level?
As the ranking member on the House Energy Sub-committee on communications and Technology, I lead on many of the major issues affecting our district’s workforce. I have written legislation that allowed digital signatures in e-commerce, led the charge that defeated SOPA in the House and forged a bi-partisan compromise on broadband. My work on health and environment increased funding for medical research and expanded protection for America’s forests.
What qualities or experiences make you the best person for this position?  Tenacity, pragmatism and idealism make me an effective member of Congress.  In a large legislative institution like Congress, you must be persistent and creative to succeed. You can’t take “no” for an answer. I don’t. You must be practical. Understanding what is possible avoids stalemates. Having strongly held beliefs focuses my work. I believe in the decency and judgment of the American people and the importance of protecting the rights of individuals.   America can and will succeed.

David William Chapman, Software engineer
What is the most pressing issue currently facing the 18th District, and how do you plan on addressing it if elected?
Most pressing Issue: Jobs, and the problem of immigration fraud causing Americans to be unemployed. Solution: Abolish guest worker programs such as H1-B; support efforts to reduce the trade deficit.
How will you make the district’s voice and concerns heard on the national level?
Increase the district’s visibility. Get ahead of issues such as Internet freedom by advancing proposals, rather than just responding to the other team’s initiatives.
What qualities or experiences make you the best person for this position?
Why I am better than Anna Eshoo: I actually understand the technology issues. She is a career politician.


20th District
Sam Farr, incumbent
What is the most pressing issue currently facing the 20th District, and how do you plan on addressing it if elected?
Without a doubt, jobs are the most critical issue. I am already addressing the issue by: 1) Buttressing our ag industry with new research facilities that will allow them to expand their operations; 2) Bringing new tourism dollars to the district to support our hospitality industry—like the new Fort Ord National Monument, the Pinnacles Visitors Center and the new Monterey Bay Sanctuary Visitors Center; 3) Setting up “swat teams” to help with crisis unemployment incidences, like the recent Capitol One lay-offs.
How will you make the district’s voice and concerns heard on the national level?
My voice is already heard on the national level, bringing local concerns to the highest quarters. I am the guy who speaks for organic ag and specialty crops in Congress. I am the guy who is known for and called on for national ocean policy.  I am the guy who is the acknowledged expert in Congress on travel and tourism.  All these issues represent the economic lifeblood of our district and I bring them with me to work every day.
What qualities or experiences make you the best person for this position?
My experience as a Peace Corps volunteer, my public service as a county supervisor, as a state assembly member and as a member of Congress bespeaks my ability to deliver for the district. Leadership means getting results.  Whether it is bringing the NMFS lab to the UC Santa Cruz campus, or lobbying the White House to include Salinas in its gang prevention initiative, I deliver for the district. That’s what effective representatives do; that’s why I am the best person for the job.

Dan Caudle, Realtor, broker, contractor
What is the most pressing issue currently facing the 20th District, and how do you plan on addressing it if elected? How will you make the district’s voice and concerns heard on the national level?
We have become a nation of “what’s in it for me?” We have lost the spirit of John F. Kennedy [saying] “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” As I began running for office I received questions as to what I can do for special interest groups, not for the nation as a whole. The problems we face are problems that have been around for decades. We can only blame ourselves for putting the leaders in office that we believe will give us what we want, but not what we need. We must work as one to rebuild our nation and then our nation will help rebuild us. Our community needs the nation as a whole to be healthy, so our community can prosper. I believe we need to restore confidence in the federal government and reduce the burden of over regulations on small businesses.
What qualities or experiences make you the best person for this position?
I’m a small business owner and have faced the government regulations that make it very difficult to be profitable. I offer my services to you as your representative. I bring honesty and integrity.

Ronald Kabat, Certified Public Accountant.
What is the most pressing issue currently facing the 20th District, and how do you plan on addressing it if elected?
[The] most pressing question is how can the government help create an ‘environment’ that will help private industry create jobs. Part of the answer to the puzzle is to have the government try to generate an environment to help private industry create jobs via a well-designed tax system. … I mostly agree with the Simson-Bowles Report on changing our tax system. However, I would recommend that we change the individual income tax benefit currently given to individuals with dividend income. My proposal would allow an individual income tax rate of -0 percent to 15 percent to those citizens who want to invest in companies that have at least 60 percent of their job force here in the U.S.. It would cause higher taxes on the dividend income of those individuals who would want to invest in companies who have sent most of their jobs off shore. … Lowering the cost of energy, focusing on economic policy and reducing regulatory policies are some of the other things that would have to be done to supplement the tax system change and address the jobs environment question.
How will you make the district’s voice and concerns heard on the national level?
I believe that our district shares many similar concerns with other districts throughout our nation. I would communicate with representatives with similar concerns and create a coalition through compromise to achieve success for our district.   
What qualities or experiences make you the best person for this position?
I am an independent Certified Public Accountant who has been in a private tax practice since 1982. I have seen that a well-designed tax system can create jobs, bring more manufacturing back to the U.S.A., pay down our public debt, generate revenues to support government programs, etc. However, we must undo much of the damage and unfairness that has been put into the tax system by Washington lobbyists, special favors of our government officials, and unintended consequences of poorly thought out income tax law changes.

Michael Labarre, Agricultural technician
What is the most pressing issue currently facing the 20th District, and how do you plan on addressing it if elected?
Jobs, energy, and economic growth. I am the only candidate that has put forth sound plans to create jobs and move our economy forward. I will work to pass my Simplified Revenue tax reform plan that leaves more money in our pockets, lowers the price of gas, and gives business the tools to put six million Americans back to work. I believe it is essential to provide solutions not political rhetoric.
How will you make the district’s voice and concerns heard on the national level?
I believe we are Americans first and not defined by party registration. I will work with either party to pass legislation that is good for all Americans and be a vocal opponent to bills that makes our lives harder. I will be effective because I will listen to my fellow members of Congress and work to solve the challenges we face as a nation.
What qualities or experiences make you the best person for this position?
I believe that with hard work and an open mind we can solve the problems that arise in life. Challenges, both large and small, require thoughtful individuals willing to listen and incorporate the best ideas, from either party, into legislation that helps all Americans. Finding common ground to build upon is one of my abilities, unfortunately, one that is in short supply in Washington, D.C.

Jeffrey Taylor
Did not participate in the questionnaire.

State Senate 17th District
Bill Monning, Assemblymember
What is the most pressing issue currently facing the 17th State Senate District, and how do you plan on addressing it if elected?
There are many important issues facing the 17th Senate District including local and regional economies, protection of our environment, and support for K-12 and higher education. All of these issues require the prioritization of the State Legislature and a state budget that is based on fair and equitable taxation. If elected to the State Senate, I will continue to be a strong voice for local businesses, including agriculture, hospitality/tourism, education, and environmental protection. As a member of the Assembly, I have convened stakeholder groups in all of these sectors and am proud of the endorsements I have received which from all sectors, which can be reviewed at billmonning.org
How will you make the district¹s voice and concerns heard on the state level?
I believe that my track record during my three and one half years representing the 27th assembly district provides the best evidence of my capacity to be a strong and effective voice for the district. I have worked effectively and in a bipartisan manner to win support for important district issues including the transfer of parts of De Laveaga Park to the City of Santa Cruz, development of the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery at Fort Ord, and achievement of the multi-stakeholder agreement for the removal of the antiquated, and seismically unsafe San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River. I am also proud of how my district offices have attended to constituent issues in a professional and responsive manner.  
What qualities or experiences make you the best person for this position?
I consider it to be an honor to represent the 27th assembly district and am excited about the prospect of continuing to serve in the State Senate. I believe that my life’s work and training as an attorney, mediator, and practitioner of organizing and conflict resolution has qualified me to be an effective and responsive representative. I do not underestimate the tremendous responsibility that one carries as an elected representative and draw strength from the incredible natural and human resources that distinguish the Central Coast region from any other in the state. At the risk of sounding corny, I love this region and I love the State of California. I am deeply troubled by the current economic and budget crises and am committed to working toward the restoration of the California Dream for all working families including children, students, workers, veterans, and senior citizens.

Larry Beaman
Did not participate in the questionnaire.

State Assembly 29th District
Mark Stone, County Supervisor
What is the most pressing issue currently facing the 29th State Assembly District, and how do you plan on addressing it if elected?
The pressing issues that I would like to address in Sacramento are: 1. Improve the educational system by increasing funding and giving schools and teachers more flexibility. 2. Increase services to children, families, and seniors so that they have better access to health care and they know to whom to turn to when in need. 3. Protect our environmental resources, like water supplies, critical habitats and our fragile oceans for generations to come.
How will you make the district¹s voice and concerns heard on the state level?
With my experience and the relationships that I have developed at the local and state levels, I will continue to build the coalitions necessary to be effective in Sacramento. One vote in the Assembly is not enough. I am already respected in Sacramento enough to be able to be heard among 80 colleagues and to effectively advocate for the Central Coast.
What qualities or experiences make you the best person for this position?
I have served five years on a local school board, eight and a half years on the Board of Supervisors, and I am Vice-Chair of the California Coastal Commission. I serve on the First Five Commission, the local transit district, transportation planning agency, library board and other local and regional agencies. I am supported by elected and community leaders throughout the Assembly District. You can see my supporters and join my team at FriendsOfMarkStone.org.

Bon Fultz, Small business owner
What is the most pressing issue currently facing the 29th State Assembly District, and how do you plan on addressing it if elected?
With unemployment around 11 percent and real unemployment higher, California ranked dead last as the worst state in which to do business and the economy not growing nearly fast enough to produce the jobs that we need for our high school and college graduates to move into, the No. 1 issue is the economy and jobs. We need to unleash the creativity of the people of California by removing unreasonable impediments to economic growth and by being smarter and more efficient in how we open up our economy. Small business and startups will lead us into a brighter future as they always do. California has tremendous resources—not to mention a mild climate and natural beauty—so there’s no way that we should be losing to Texas.
How will you make the district’s voice and concerns heard on the state level?
I will bring a different tone to the conversation at the state level. Rather than engaging in usual partisan bickering and finger pointing, my focus will be on working with anyone who is committed to making California a better place. By doing more listening than talking and by engaging in discussions focused on problem solving, I believe that people will respond in kind.  
What qualities or experiences make you the best person for this position?  
For many years, Californians have been sending “professional politicians” to Sacramento and hoping that they will fix things.  Unfortunately, the very means by which the politicians climb the political ladder—the support of the status quo special interests—is the very reason that things do not get fixed in Sacramento.  Politicians that get to the top by catering to the special interests will not then go against those supporters once in legislative positions. The good news is that we all know what’s wrong with Sacramento. Fixing it requires sending different leaders to Sacramento. Please vote for Bob Fultz for Assembly to start that process.

Tom Walsh
Did not participate in the questionnaire.

30th District
Luis Alejo, Assemblymember
What is the most pressing issue currently facing the 30th State Assembly District, and how do you plan on addressing it if elected?
Creating and preserving jobs is the most important issue in my district. That is why I have focused in helping our local cities find new tools for economic development and preserve those programs that help attract more employers to our area, like the Enterprise Zone program. I believe we need a comprehensive economic policy to spur business growth and rebuild the middle class. It’s not enough to just think of one side of an equation. The fact of the matter is that farmers need farm workers. Businesses need employees. So let’s make sure the farmers and businesses are able to grow, and make sure our working poor don’t fall further and further behind.
How will you make the district’s voice and concerns heard on the state level?
Things are slowly changing in the State Capitol. Younger legislators are moving state government away from a reliance on new programs to an emphasis on creating jobs. We believe that more jobs paying decent wages are what California needs. I am proud to be a leader in moving us from programs to paychecks. No government program can substitute for a good job.
What qualities or experiences make you the best person for this position?  
I am committed to continuing to work hard for local families both in Sacramento and here at home. Over the last year, I have successfully fought to make sure our DMV and unemployment offices in my district remain open. I have also led the effort to end the multi-million dollar pension abuses like those at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital. In Sacramento, I am working to balance our state budget and stop the spiraling increases in college tuition and fees. There is still a lot of work to do to uplift our families in the years ahead.

Robert Bernosky, Chief Financial Officer
What is the most pressing issue currently facing the 30th State Assembly District, and how do you plan on addressing it if elected?
We need to get people back to work in the 30th Assembly District, keep their homes, and provide for their families. When elected, I will be working to make California a more business-friendly state so that businesses will stay here. We can do this by beginning to sunset laws, regulations, and rules that are crushing businesses and reduce taxes and fees owners pay so that we are competitive with other states.
How will you make the district’s voice and concerns heard on the state level?
I am running to get things done, not to enjoy the perks of being a member of the legislature. I will forge alliances with other legislators, from any party, with the goal of all members earning a successful track record of getting people back to work. I have already developed relationships with members of the legislature and have gotten to know many of the candidates, some of which will be elected, and truly believe we will be able to work together. Anyone that knows me knows that I will not be bench sitter, but will be in the game.
What qualities or experiences make you the best person for this position?
As a chief financial officer with a successful track record, I bring private-industry experience to the Assembly. I bring a business perspective and common sense that is needed in California’s government. My career has been getting involved in distressed companies and turning them around to be highly profitable job creators.  I ran for a school board when my school district was experiencing declining enrollment, budget problems, and was in program improvement.  Together with my fellow board members, the teachers , and administration, we turned things around so that today the school my children went to is now one of the best in the state. I want to do the same thing for the entire state of California.

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by a guest, June 02, 2012
Ugh, Gary Arnold. The guy is so far gone, he's not coming back.
I like Beckett! In fact, I'm voting for him. I think his pay cut pledge and his common sense approach to county government is exactly what we need in the 2nd district. We sure don't need Zach Friend. I don't care who has endorsed him, but the fact Pirie has is reason enough not to vote for him.
However, good luck to all the candidates, I know how hard it is to run for office.

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Using found objects, Victoria May seeks beauty in dichotomy and tension, the creepy and absurd

 

A Year of Creative Self-Expression

Wednesday, after a year in Cancer’s nourishing waters, Jupiter enters fiery Leo. Next Tuesday, the sun joins Jupiter in Leo. Leo is the sign of the three fires of life, of seeking our individuality, our gifts and talents. Life for the next year will be quite dramatic, expressive, creative and generous. Jupiter, the heart of Aquarius, is the planet of expansion and truth, distributing Ray 2 of Love and Wisdom.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 18

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Desserts at Seabright’s La Posta, a pop-up breakfast, local ethnic cuisine, and a long-lost varietal 

 

What is the most outrageous thing you did as a kid?

Santa Cruz | Retired

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Loma Prieta’s Pinotage

Although drinking alone is not half as much fun as drinking with others, after a busy day of dashing around, I came home and poured myself a glass or two of Loma Prieta’s Pinotage 2010 (saving a bit for my husband). There’s something about taking that first sip of a worthy wine that gives one an all-over glow.