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San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara County, CA June 8, 2010 Election
Smart Voter

First term plans

By Fred L. B. Strong

Candidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 33; Republican Party

This information is provided by the candidate
Reform areas of high cost and that create systemic problems of governance and wise tax dollar use.
There are two areas in which work must be done. One is presenting specific legislation to be enacted or placed on the ballot for voter approval. Second is those issues that require careful research and development of legislative solutions in concert with others.

In the first category are:

1. Eliminate the ability of big money to "buy" government and the law by making it illegal to pay someone to get signatures on initiative, referendum or candidate petitions and make it illegal to receive money for that purpose also. This will return the governance process to the people where it was intended to be in the first place.

2. Eliminate the onerous and costly waste of taxpayer dollars by changing the prevailing wage structure for government projects. Preliminary investigation indicates that there is not sufficient support to eliminate that requirement. Therefore, I propose to regionalize the formula so that prevailing wage will be a local amount not the outrageously high amounts paid in Los Angeles or San Francisco. It is fair to everyone.

3. Oppose implementation of any existing unfunded mandates and oppose the creation of any new ones that are not necessary to life and safety. This includes my present proposal that is in process to ask the Governor and the Legislature to suspend the implementation of all climate change mandates for one year, as provided for in the legislation itself due to the present fiscal emergency.

In the second category are:

1. Reforming the criminal justice system to bring sense back to the three strikes provision and the costly incarceration of prisoners for white collar and non-violent crimes. This will require some imaginative and innovative approaches, and includes the unjustified expense of caring for persons that are in this country illegally.

2. Pay attention to detail in conservation and regulatory legislation and its implementation to prevent unfair and inequitable application of the law. The water conservation proposals are a good case in point where the formula is grossly unjust.

3. Reduce government costs by consolidating departments with overlapping jurisdictions; using current technology to reduce expenditures for automobiles, garages, parking lots and mechanics in State government; remanding to highly professional organizations the responsibility for licensing and regulating their peers; reforming the Brown Act to either apply to all elected and appointed officials, including the legislature, or require some proof of wrong doing before a charge can be brought; revising operations and procedures to make the recipient of government services the primary focus rather than the people providing the service; and use dedicated funds for the purpose they were intended. Some examples of these things include multiple departments which regulate various aspects of water and other resources; departments whose purpose was achieved long ago but which keep reinventing themselves to continue to grow and prosper at the taxpayers' expense; having non-professionals license and regulate highly specialized professionals at taxpayers' expense doesn't make sense and it should be reformed; the Brown Act is used to cast doubt on the integrity of all representatives of the people and leaves the actual governing in the hands of those with special job protection and no responsibility to the voters; too many of our regulations are designed to make government jobs easier rather than to give a reasonable amount of service to the people of California; budget "shell games" avoid taking responsibility to govern the finances of this state reasonably and allow the Governor and the Legislature to wrongly steal money from funds that were voted by the people for specific purposes.

There are many other specific areas that must also be paid attention to. Issues change almost daily and the focus of the public in that regard is subject to considerable manipulation by the media. A good legislator must continue to pay attention to all of the issues of the state including those that are not the flavor of the week.

Fred Strong has been doing exactly that for over 40 years as he fought government projects that endangered public health; ridiculous regulations that attempted to preserve all natural resources at the expense of jobs and the economy as well as, in some cases, public safety. He has been a leader in tax reform and reduction for decades and has accomplished that on multiple occasions, including as a county chairman for Proposition 13 and by voting for three property tax reductions as a City Council Member. He has been a leader in researching government project and service needs in multiple jurisdictions and then took the issues to the public on the ballot as the leader of the effort over a more than 40 year period.

Strong has written legislation to support the family farm and protect agriculture from onerous lawsuits, to support the ability of school officials to properly plan for the future, to protect private property rights; provide for adequate transportation infrastructure and the public's safety.

He has supported and advanced protections for local government control against regionalism and unfunded state mandates throughout his public life as a citizen, citizen advocate and elected or appointed official. He believes that we deserve the essential services that we can afford and advocates that services must be tailored to the minimum necessary to achieve their purpose within the public's mandate and ability to pay. He has supported attractive design elements when they fit within a voter approved budget package.

He has supported "pay as you go" finance techniques whenever cost effective and he was able to secure concurrence and bond financing when there was a voter approved secure funding source that yielded a final project at lower real dollar cost than "pay as you go" financing or when there was an immediate and essential health or safety requirement.

Strong believes that we must follow the laws of our nation, state and local government until we can change them to something better. He has consistently worked to make changes of that type to protect people and a republican form of government. With a decades long public record in that regard it is reasonable to assume that he will not act differently in the legislature.

Strong has had experience with campaign financial support pressure to vote in particular ways. His rejection of all such attempts has caused him to lose the campaign financing of some special interests. He is relying on the people to support his effort to reach the Assembly and work for the same things from the inside where he can accomplish more on their behalf.

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