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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
California State Government November 2, 2010 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
United States Senator


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 Edward C. "Ed" Noonan:

Forbid the Federal Reserve access to American taxpayer money. Once the International Banksters have been removed and can no longer rape the American taxpayers and American businesses, recovery will start immediately and employment will improve, and properity will return!

Answer from Duane Roberts:

I favor a green jobs program that puts millions of unemployed back to work at union wages rehabilitating or building affordable housing, schools, libraries, community centers, hospitals, parks, and other socially useful projects.

I also support creating a publicly-owned high-speed passenger rail system in the United States that would connect Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Seattle, and other major cities. This would put many people to work.

Answer from Carly Fiorina:

We must start by supporting our nation's job creators, the small businesses and entrepreneurs that employ about half our nation's private-sector workforce and create two-thirds of the new jobs in our country. As outlined in my Jobs for Americans Plan, we must provide tax certainty and regulatory sanity to our economy. Particularly during these difficult economic times, the last thing we should be doing is raising taxes on our state's families, communities and enterprises.

To get Californians back to work, we must fight for every job; that requires incentivizing investment and, in some cases, re-investment in the American economy. I have proposed, for example, the creation of "Jobs for Americans Zones," where selected geographic areas would be created throughout the country to help lure manufacturing jobs back to America through targeted, substantial federal tax benefits, in partnership with state and local regulatory relief. I have also called for a two-year payroll tax holiday for small businesses and start-up businesses that hire unemployed workers.

Answer from Barbara Boxer:

My first priority is to create good California jobs and to turn our economy around. We should end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and instead support American manufacturing. I support cutting taxes for the middle class, creating jobs by rebuilding roads and bridges, and increasing loans to small businesses.

I also strongly believe that America must lead the new clean energy future.

? 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 Barbara Boxer:

We have to get the deficit and debt under control and balance the budget. I support President Obama's plan to cut the deficit in half by 2013. During the Clinton Administration, we not only balanced the budget, we also created a surplus and 23 million jobs. We can do it again, and we will. We can save $1.1 trillion over ten years by bringing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to a close, and we can use those savings to reinvest in our economy and for deficit reduction. It is time to re-build our nation.

Answer from Duane Roberts:

I support immediately withdrawing all U.S. military troops, private mercenaries, and independent contractors from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and using the estimated $200 billion in taxpayer money currently being wasted each year on these bloody colonial wars to guarantee that every academically-qualified student living within the United States--regardless of immigration status--will be able to obtain a tuition-free education at a public college, university, or technical trade school of their choosing.

Answer from Carly Fiorina:

As the challenges facing our nation evolve, our national priorities must also adapt. Regardless of what these future challenges are, we must move quickly to eliminate the billions in wasteful spending that restrict our nation's ability to respond to pressing issues as they emerge. The fact is that Washington has a spending and accountability problem + and the last thing we should be doing is sending it more of our hard-earned money. Instead, we must work to cut waste, restore accountability, control spending and pay down the federal debt so that our country has the fiscal footing to swiftly respond to critical priorities that arise. That is why I have proposed a plan to reform our national budget, improve transparency into how our tax dollars are spent and pay down our debt. You can find that plan on my web site at http://www.carlyforca.com.

We must continue to invest in our military men and women and fund our national security efforts to fulfill government's most fundamental role: protecting the safety of our fellow Americans. At the same time as we continue pursuing these goals, we must also ensure that we cut waste, restore accountability, find efficiencies and then make priority decisions. This is work Congress has put off for too long.

Answer from Edward C. "Ed" Noonan:

The Federal budget is guided by two corrupt and dishonest political parties. Until both of the big-buck parties are punished and removed from power, nothing will change.

No current military action is constitutional until Congress declares WAR. Police actions are unconstitutional and cannot be tolerated.

Payment for "Domestic needs" must be authorized as per the 18 items that is allowable by the US Constitution. Else all of these "Domestic needs" are State issues and must be addressed by the States and American people in general.

? 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 Carly Fiorina:

I believe we can both reduce energy costs and improve our environment by reducing our dependence on foreign oil and by investing in clean technology. To do this, we need a comprehensive, national energy policy that promotes the development of all domestic forms of energy. We must also significantly increase energy research and development, harnessing the power of innovation to build on the advancements in clean, green technology that we have made so far.

Answer from Edward C. "Ed" Noonan:

There is no Constitutional authorization which allows the Federal government to address the matter of fossil fuels or clean energy. It is a State issue, else the US Constitution needs to be amended to allow the Federal Government authority to address these two issues.

Answer from Barbara Boxer:

We must end our dependence on foreign oil, cut carbon pollution, and give refunds to consumers. I support extending clean energy tax credits and making permanent the Research and Development tax credit. I believe the best way to create jobs now, and to build the foundation for long-term prosperity is to make California the hub of the new clean energy industry. We must defeat Proposition 23, which would overturn our clean energy law. If we keep pushing forward we will unleash billions of dollars of private investment, allowing clean energy technologies to thrive. I want to see the words "Made in America" on wind turbines, solar panels and other clean energy innovations of the future.

Answer from Duane Roberts:

I support the idea of substantially boosting the amount of money that the federal government spends each year on mass transit because one of the quickest ways to reduce America's dependency on fossil fuels and curb global warming is to get people out of their gas-guzzling automobiles and onto public buses, light rail, commuter trains, and high-speed passenger trains.

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

Answer from Carly Fiorina:

As a breast cancer survivor, I've seen the best and the worst of our nation's health care system, and I believe that our nation's health care system is in desperate need of reform in order to make high-quality health care more affordable and more accessible to all. The health care overhaul recently signed into law was a missed opportunity. It increases the cost of health care and has restricted access to health coverage; it does nothing to improve the quality of patient care or bend the rising cost curve.

Instead, our pursuit of health care reform should focus on measures we know from experience work and that have bipartisan support. Specifically, I believe we should build on programs that provide incentives for receiving preventative care and for healthy lifestyles, reform malpractice on a national level as has been done successfully in California, provide greater access to lower-cost community-based primary care clinics, encourage more transparency about pricing and quality of health care services, allow consumers to purchase any health plan from anywhere in the country, and create more market-based competition for everything from health insurance to prescription drugs.

Answer from Duane Roberts:

I support establishing a single-payer "Medicare-for-all" type health care system within the United States. Driving private health insurance companies out of business will save consumers, taxpayers, and small businesses an estimated $400 billion a year--money that can be used to guarantee everybody has access to the low cost, high quality health care they need.

Answer from Barbara Boxer:

I strongly supported health care reform, which will help ensure that all Americans can get access to quality and affordable health care. Already, health reform has prohibited insurance companies from dropping your coverage when you get sick or denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. The new law has also ended arbitrary lifetime caps on health benefits, required insurance companies to allow young adults to stay on their parents' plan until age 26, created tax credits to help small businesses provide their employees with insurance and lowered drug costs for seniors on Medicare.

Answer from Edward C. "Ed" Noonan:

There is no Constitutional authorization allowing the Federal government to address the matter of Health Care. This is an issue that the Federal Government has no authority to deal with. The US Constitution must be amended before the Federal Government has the right to consider this matter.

Health Care must be a local matter.

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

Answer from Duane Roberts:

I favor any changes in federal rules that make millions of people more aware of who is financing the political campaigns of candidates running for public office.

But I also support the idea that candidates running in state and federal elections be eligible for publicly financing of their campaigns providing they meet minimal requirements.

In addition to this, all ballot-qualified candidates regardless of what political party they belong should be given free airtime on radio and television.

And we need to institute important electoral reforms like proportional representation and instant-run off voting to make elections more fair and democratic.

Answer from Carly Fiorina:

I respect the Supreme Court's decisions on campaign finance laws that have gone "too far" in restricting protected First Amendment speech. Congress should take notice of the Constitutional speech rights of all Americans and proceed with caution before enacting any new restrictions. I am also skeptical about the motives of career politicians who wish to restrict certain kinds of political speech, but insert loopholes in legislation for certain special-interest organizations. I do believe we need to give the public better and timelier access to campaign finance information and hope to work to improve that as a member of the Senate.

Answer from Barbara Boxer:

I disagree with the flawed Citizens United decision, which gave corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts in federal elections. I support the Fair Elections Now Act, which would reduce the influence of special interests in elections. I am also a cosponsor of the DISCLOSE Act, which would provide critical transparency. We must not rest until corporate spending restrictions in elections are reinstated and confidence is restored that our elections are being decided by citizens, not corporations and possibly foreign entities.

Answer from Edward C. "Ed" Noonan:

The US Constitution gives the Federal Government no authority to address campaign financing and/or disclosure of political expenditures.

This is a local/county matter or maybe a State matter, if the State Constitution properly gives the State the right to be involved with this issue.


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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