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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
State of California (Sonoma, Marin, Humboldt, Mendocino, Lake, Del Norte, Trinity Counties) June 3, 2014 Election
Smart Voter

Harry V. Lehmann
Answers Questions

Candidate for
State Senator; District 2


The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

1. How would you prioritize the fiscal choices the Legislature must make to align the state’s income and spending?

1. We need to break the hold that public employee unions have on the election of office holders from local Councils, to County Supervisors, to members of the Assembly and Senate. These public employee unions have, in short sight, politically compelled levels of pension and benefit payment that are so unsustainable that the bankruptcy of several cities have already occurred, and many more may follow, ultimately hurting the union membership. We need to go to defined contribution not defined benefit and put a $120K maximum cap on pensions.

2. Given our current drought condition, concern for water rights and usage is an important issue. What solutions would you support to address our water problems?

There is no question but that as a matter of general principle we need to focus on increased water storage capacity, such as raising Coyote Dam, and increasing the capacity of other holding areas where possible. At the same time, we need to review and revise water impound release formulae, which are antiquated, so that areas which depend on water for their economy, as in Trinity County, do not see that precious resource taken away and then wasted. We need to practice conservation including appropriate water re-use for irrigation.

3. California high school students rank lower than many states in student performance. What do you see as the ongoing role of the Legislature in addressing this problem?

Monies which were intended at bond issuance or by Legislative action for Education should never be raided for General Fund purposes, which raids should be prohibited entirely, with prohibition of co-mingling. Increased funding for education should be looked upon as a fundamental highest priority. Money should be found by reduction of the number of non-essential public employee positions, and by fairer pay: For example, the Marin County Parks position just filled two "volunteer coordinator" positions at over 120K annual, which is obscene.

4. What other major issues do you think the Legislature must address? What are your own priorities?

The Legislature should immediately and seriously study means to mitigate EMF exposure, which,despite strong science showing harsh risk, has been very wrongly sold by industry as a minor issue, in fact, severe injuries and deaths are occurring from EMF exposure. The main priority for the Legislature should be truth, and all should accept that fact based reasoning should trump Party loyalties; we need true diversity of thought, not Party dogma. On drug law: While marijuana de-criminalization for private non-medical use by adults may be overdue, this need not mean the need for further government involvement; like it or not, legalization may currently be impractical due to federal law. I mention this not because pot is important, but because those enforcement dollars need to be focused on meth, which is ruining lives every day; there we should focus. We need to reduce the number of non-essential government employees, while treasuring those who genuinely help people with their hard work.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. References to opponents are not permitted.

Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 13, 2014 10:40
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