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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Orange County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
State Senator; District 35

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 Budget Crisis, Education, Water, Health Insurance

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

1. What does California need to do to address the current budget crisis?

Answer from Timothy Lee Johnson:

The two major political parties have controlled this State's finances for decades. The result is the most dire financial record California has ever faced. Only by reducing grossly bloated, redundent government programs -- and in some cases completely eliminating them -- Californians will manage to have, for the first time in many years, a budget surplus along with a reduced tax burden. There's little doubt that if the size of state government and programs were cut back, there would be a loss of highly specialized programs. Many special interest groups who rely on the funding of these programs for their political influence (and in some cases, their existence) will likely cause a great stir. For far too long, these groups have had the attention of politicians in Sacramento. California is nearly bled dry and we cannot afford further complacency. We must reduce our government's size and influence -- now.

2. What should the state's priorities be for K-12 education? For the Community College System?

Answer from Timothy Lee Johnson:

California is spending more per child and getting less results than at any time most educators can remember. Despite record levels of school funding through taxation, bonds, Lottery shares and other sources, California's schools have never been in more desparate need of books, qualified educators and building improvements. So where has all the money gone? The answer is simple -- the bureaucratic nightmare that has become the California Department of Education. We need to dramatically reduce the CDE by eliminating most of the upper management and consolidating more control at local levels.

3. What measures would you support to address California's water needs?

Answer from Timothy Lee Johnson:

The Western United States is in the midst of a 5-year-long drought with no sign of imminent change. Some experts have concluded that it may take as long as 7 seven years of average rainfall to bring water sources back to their normal capacities. Southern California has long imported water from far away sources. Our reliance on these extenal sources have cost us much in both political and financial resources. Still, we continue to allow growth and new construction in semi-arid areas further complicating our ability to control the coming water shortages. Elected officials must begin to make the hard choices to address this issue: Limit growth to amounts sustainable by more reasonable (reduced) levels of water importation; Reduce red-tape and Coastal Commission requirements for installation of desalinazation plants; Establish individual reasonable-use guidelines and increase water rates on those wanting to use higher levels (hopefully reducing expansive lush green lawns and wasteful habits).

4. What should the Legislature be doing to address the needs of Californians without health insurance?

Answer from Timothy Lee Johnson:

It seems the more the government involves itself in the area of healthcare, the more the problems are compounded and costs increase incrementally. While many Californian's face difficult issues in healthcare, the state must reduce its influence and presence in the healthcare industry thereby reducing costs and allowing the industry itself to provide solutions to those without the benefit of insurance. This was the case many years ago and it worked successfully until government became more involved through unnecessary legislation and restrictions.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League. 

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily.

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Created: December 15, 2004 13:39 PST
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