Monthly Archives: October 2012

    Is it too early to handicap the November 2013 City of San Bernardino Municipal Elections?  Considering the bankruptcy and the whispers of disincorporation, perhaps.  But let’s not let that stop a first look, with no handicapping.

    When we last left the City of San Bernardino Municipal Elections in 2012 (because of the General Election for City Clerk), we had Georgeann “Gigi” Hanna winning a four year term as City Clerk, James F. “Jim” Penman winning a seventh term, Wendy McCammack winning a fourth term in the Seventh Ward, Chas Kelley re-elected to the Fifth Ward, Rikke Van Johnson re-elected to the Sixth Ward, and John Valdivia elected to his first term in the Third Ward, as well as David Kennedy re-elected as City Treasurer.
    What positions are open in November 2013 in the City of San Bernardino Primary Municipal Election?

    Mayor

    First Ward Council

    Second Ward Council

    Fourth Ward Council

     

    As always, there may be a charter amendment initiative consolidated onto the primary election ballot.

     

    This mailer, sent by the California Republican Party shows what hath the top two primary wrought.

    In it, career Republican politician (Gary Miller) accuses career Republican politician (Bob Dutton) of trying to “keep his Gravy Train chugging.”  Now, of course, Gary Miller, moved to Rancho Cucamonga, home of Bob Dutton, because his “Gravy Train” was redistricted.

    After following City of San Bernardino politics during the 2011 primary, it is refreshing to see better graphics in the better funded California Congressional District 31 race.  There must be a repository, somewhere, of bad Jim Penman photographs trotted out every four years for elections. However, Gary Miller does not need a grainy, out of focus picture of Bob Dutton. No!  They just need Adobe Photoshop to make him the conductor of the “GRAVY TRAIN.”

    Even better was a paid slate mailer called “Election Digest, a project of the Coalition for Literacy.”  Gary Miller’s dollars bought this language in the slate mailer:

    There is no Democratic candidate for this office.  Miller has the experience and the clout to bring good paying jobs back to San Bernardino County.

    I have not seen any data on this race, but I would not be surprised if Gary Miller wins this race based only on the sheer volume of money being spent on the race.

     

     

    There was a letter to the editor of the Sun regarding the California 8th Congressional District and writing in a name.  It may be a protest vote, but it will not count.   In the top-two primary nomination for the general election system, the California Secretary of State has this frequently asked question and answer:

    Can independent or write-in candidates for voter-nominated offices run in the general election?

    No. All candidates, including candidates who would have used the former independent nomination process, are allowed to run for a voter-nominated office in a primary election. All primary candidates for an office are listed on a single ballot, and only the two candidates who get the most votes in the primary election will move on to the general election.

    Write-in candidates for voter-nominated offices can still run in the primary election. However, a write-in candidate can only move on to the general election if the candidate is one of the top two vote-getters in the primary election.

    Candidates running for the office of U.S. President, however, can run in the general election as either a Presidential Elector using the independent nomination process or a Presidential Elector write-in candidate.

     

    However, in local elections, certified write-ins can be elected if they follow the process, as long as it is not a run-off (such in a City of San Bernardino general election).  There was recent news that bona fide certified write-in candidate has qualified for City of Redlands City Clerk, but I have not seen too many specifics, and once again, it is outside the purview of this blog.  I’ll leave that to the general San Bernardino County blogs.

    A reader asks: How much is postage to mail an absentee ballot in San Bernardino County California?

    The answer is $.65 (sixty-five cents).  That’s the amount in the instructions that came with the vote-by-mail ballot, and it is also the amount that successfully carried my ballot by mail to the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters last week.

    For some reason, the Sun failed to run anything other than a paid obituary on the death of George H. Schnarre on October 16, 2012.  Apparently, unless you are a former Mayor (Al Ballard, Tom Minor, or Bob Holcomb), or someone as high profile as Martin Matich, you don’t even get a passing mention in the newspaper of record in the City of San Bernardino.  In that spirit, here are the remarks of Joe Baca, entered into the Congressional Record on the floor of the House of Representatives on January 29, 2002

     

    TRIBUTE TO MR. GEORGE H. SCHNARRE — HON. JOE BACA (Extensions of Remarks – January 29, 2002)

     

    [Page: E55]  GPO's PDF

    HON. JOE BACA
    OF CALIFORNIA
    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    Tuesday, January 29, 2002

    • Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today to pay tribute to Mr. George H. Schnarre for his service as the President of the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce.
    • Mr. Schnarre is an individual of great distinction, and we join with his colleagues, family and friends in honoring his remarkable service to the San Bernardino community. He has truly achieved the American dream while retaining a firm commitment to his community exemplified by his work with the Chamber of Commerce.
    • George Schnarre was born during the Great Depression to Missouri sharecroppers. In the 1940’s the Schnarre family migrated to California setting down roots in the San Bernardino area. After graduating from San Bernardino High School, George began studies at Valley College, but they were cut short by the Korean War. George Schnarre answered the call of duty joining the United States Navy as a dental technician. Upon the completion of his duty to his country, George returned to his studies at the University of California at Riverside while working part time in the grocery business. Thus began George’s career in the Southern California business community.
    • While working his way up in the grocery industry, George Schnarre earned his real estate license. After moving back to his roots in San Bernardino, George entered the real estate business full time. Eventually George began his own real estate firm, George H. Schnarre Inc. Real Estate. Over time George’s firm grew to encompass 13 offices.
    • While George built his real estate firm, he always made sure there was time to serve his community and his industry at the local, state and national levels. He obtained lifetime credentials to teach any real estate subject at the Community College level. Among numerous activities within the community, George participated in area little league and girls softball leagues, and is an active Rotarian, Mason, Shriner, and member of the San Bernardino Elks. George Schnarre’s dedication to the community and expertise in the business culminated in his service as Director of the San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce as well as on four other local Chambers.
    • George Schnarre is not only a business and community leader, he is also a family man. We are joined in recognizing the accomplishments of this outstanding individual by his wife, Claudia A. Schnarre, son George W. Schnarre, daughter Cindy Schnarre Healy and grandson David Jones.

    And so, Mr. Speaker, I join George’s loving family, recognizing George’s long and distinguished career in real estate, and we express admiration for his service to the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce.

    The problem with the Sun is it is undercapitialized, it is not an integral part of the community, and it has close to zero institutional memory.  The people of San Bernardino deserve better.

     

    Because of the magic of one of our nation’s largest technology companies, this site’s posts regarding Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar when he was running for California Congressional District 31, many people searching for Pete Aguilar’s web presence land here.  He is running, along with a whole host of other candidates, for one of two spots on the City Council of the City of Redlands on November 6, 2012.  The website for Pete Aguilar’s congressional run in the June primary is not working as of this moment, and I know of no other website or Facebook page for Mayor Aguilar at this moment.  However, I believe the email address of  pete@peteaguilar.com works for the City Council campaign.

     

    Additionally, if you are looking for the address of Friends of Pete Aguilar for Redlands City Council, 2012, it is PO Box 8686, Redlands CA 92375, and the FPPC ID is 1297710.

     

    I received, at the same time as a ballot, the “Official San Bernardino County Law Enforcement Recommendations Voter Information Guide” in the mail yesterday.  It is targeted towards voters in the 31st Congressional District, presumably, other mailers went out for different areas.  The mailer was paid for by the San Bernardino County Safety Employees’ Benefit Association Local PAC.  San Bernardino County Safety Employees’ Benefit Association is the recognized bargaining unit for San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriffs, District Attorney Investigators, Welfare Fraud Investigators, Probation Corrections Officers and others.

    The mailer is full color and two sided and folded.  The front has a message from Laren Leichliter, the President of SEBA and sets the tone for the mailer.  It says “SEBA represents over 3,200 law enforcement professionals in San Bernardino County.  We’re your deputy sheriffs, crime scene investigators, and district attorney investigators, and law enforcement personnel. Our mission is to make our neighborhoods, schools and businesses safe.  As a service to the community, we are recommending that you support the individuals and issues in this mailer.  Each of the candidates and issues has been reviewed, analyzed, and approved by SEBA.”

    The inside says “THESE CANDIDATES & ISSUES HELP PUBLIC SAFETY.”

    The inside of the mailer is dominated with a discussion of Measure Q, one of two competing Charter initiatives regarding pay for the Board of Supervisors, and placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors.  A large text/graphic box dominates and says “MEASURE Q – VOTE NO” and “FRAUD ALERT.”  It continues “Measure Q was placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors to protect their $270,000 compensation packaged. It has a sneaky loophole that keeps the Board’s salary in place for their current term in office.  It’s an underhanded attempt to confuse you. Clean up county government. VOTE NO ON Q – IT’S A FRAUD”

    Of local interest to the voters that received the mailer, it endorses Bob Dutton for Congress, Mike Morrell in the 40th Assembly and John Futch for San Bernardino Community College District.  It also recommends a vote no on Proposition 34 (abolishing the death penalty), Yes on Proposition 35 (Human Trafficking), and No on Proposition 36 (weakening three strikes).  A large portion of the bottom of the inside is devoted to No on Proposition 32.

    The entire back of the mailer is devoted to Yes on County Charter Amendment Measure R.  The tag line is “Yes on MEASURE R – IT REFORMS THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.”

    An info box titled “Measure R – In a Nutshell” gives the following argument:

    Reduces Salary & Benefits

    The Board of Supervisors is paid five times more than the average San Bernardino county family earns. Measure R cuts the Board of Supervisors salary and benefits from a an average of $270,000 to $60,000 a year, still more than the average San Bernardino County family salary.

    Cuts Staff Budget

    Taxpayers spend over $6 million per year on the Board and their bloated staff budget. Measure R cuts this budget to $250,000 per Board member.

    Part Time Pay for Part Time Work

    The Board met barely 50% of the time last year. They hired an unelected manager to handle day to day issues so they can play politics. Measure R makes the Board of Supervisors PART-TIME and pays them part-time wages.

    The other side continues “MEASURE R CLEANS UP TH COUNTY GOVERNMENT MESS – ‘R’ IS FOR REFORM” and argues the following:

    In the past three years, three county supervisors and three of their top aides have been charged for numerous crimes, including corruption.  One aide allegedly received a Rolex watch, prostitutes, and a trip on a developers’ private jet to New York City as gifts.  One supervisor pled guilty to campaign money laundering. The Board of Supervisors is out-of-control and must be reformed. Measure R brings the reforms we need.”

    It continues with a break-out box of white text on a blue background: “Vote Yes on Measure R. It’s time to reform the Board of Supervisors and return ‘Citizen Legislators’ to county government.” quoting Burrel Woodring, identified as a past Foreman of the San Bernardino County Grand Jury.

    Underneath is a box with three pictures, with no names under  “INDICTED” in large black letters.  It also includes a picture of a wanted poster of former Supervisor Paul Biane.

    The image appears to have come from an Inland Valley Daily Bulletin online story dated May 10, 2011 by Joe Nelson, Mike Cruz and Will Bingham titled “Four indicted in San Bernardino corruption probe”.  Though the voter guide does not identify them, the story identifies them as Jeffrey Burum, Jim Erwin, Mark Kirk and Paul Biane.

    From the Registrar of Voters, here are the important dates in this election, starting with today, October 9, 2012:

    Oct. 09 – Early Voting Begins
    Oct. 10-12 – Voter Information Guide and Sample Ballot Delivered to Voters’ Mailboxes
    Oct. 15-16 – Mail Ballots Delivered to Voters’ Mailboxes
    Oct. 15 – Mail Ballot Drop-off Sites Open
    Oct. 22 – Last Day to Register to Vote
    Oct. 30 – Last Day to Submit Vote by Mail Application
    Nov. 06 – Election Day

    Election day in San Bernardino County is November 6, 2012, and the last day to register to vote in San Bernardino County is October 22, 2012.

    I heretofore have not devoted much space to the race in the California 47th Assembly District race.  I am referring to the newly redistricted 47th Assembly District, not the current district in Los Angeles County.  Though the redistricting maps have a terrible interface, after some review, I have made out the general dimensions of the District.  It is pyramid-shaped and covers all of unincorporated Muscoy, starting on the corner of Highland Avenue and California, heads north on California, excludes Delman Heights in the City of San Bernardino, bisects the 215 north to a point on the 15 (including Glen Helen Regional Park, but none of Devore’s populated places, moving south with both some artificial lines and along a tributary stream to Lytle Creek which is not immediately identifiable on the map, proceeding  west and then south including Hunter’s Ridge in Fontana then back to the 15; then south to roughly Foothill Boulevard in Fontana, then proceeds west around the California Speedway, then proceeding south of the 10, looping around to Etiwanda Boulevard, south to the County line, which then proceeds east along the County line to Reche Canyon Road, north on a zig-zagging along what I believe to be the borders of Grand Terrace, Colton and Loma Linda, north to Barton Road and then Waterman Avenue, up Waterman Avenue bisecting the east and west parts of Hospitality Lane and continuing on past Seccombe Lake to Tenth Street, then proceeding west through Tenth Street in the City of San Bernardino to the 215, across to roughly 16th Street, south on I Street, west on Evans Street, north on Garner, west on 16th Street, south on Mt. Vernon, then west on Evans Street, South on Western, west on West Gilbert, north on Medical Center (excluding the main campus of Community Hospital), west on Highland Avenue, back to to California Avenue.  So, it covers most of Fontana, all of Rialto, all of Grand Terrace, all of Colton, all of Bloomington, and West and Downtown San Bernardino.  It is surrounded by the 40th, the 52nd, the 60th and 61st Assembly Districts.

    Running are former Assembly Member Joe Baca Jr. (and current Rialto Council Member); and a person who has been active in the community for decades, Black Voice News publisher Cheryl Brown.  Both are Democrats in a Democratic plurality district.  Cheryl Brown is also a legislative aide to Assembly Member Carter.

    According to the Registrar of Voters’ September 30, 2012 statistics, there are 167,107 registered voters in the District, of those, 44,433 are registered Republicans, 34,495 are Decline to State, 6,583 are minor parties, and 81,596 are registered Democrats (48.8 percent).  In the primary election in June, four candidates were running, Jeane Ensley, who came in third with 5,787 votes, Thelma E. Beach, who received 1,685 votes, Cheryl Brown, who came in the top two with 7,566 votes, and Joe Baca Jr., who received 11,033 votes and came in first.  In total, 26,071 votes were cast.  At the time, there were 164,082 registered voters, and 27,825 voted.  That means that 1754 voters either did not cast a vote or their vote did not count in the 47th Assembly District race.

    The reason I am writing about this race is because of the interesting dynamics.  I received an interesting link by electronic mail today to a story from the Los Angeles Wave, titled Black woman’s campaign turns Inland Empire party loyalties on their heads.  You’ll need to login to read it. Here is a quote from the lead paragraph: “It is a race between two Democrats and one of them appears to be so personally despised by GOP party leaders, Republican elected officials and ordinarily right-leaning voters, that they are actually donating money to a Democrat’s campaign and endorsing that candidate for election in droves. ”

    The article states that Jim Brulte directed his campaign committee to donate the maximum, $3,900 to Cheryl Brown’s campaign this week.  Other Republican supporters or donors, according to the article are Supervisor Janice Rutherford, Mayor Acquanetta Warren, Riverside County Supervisors John Tavaglione and Marion Ashley and Marge Medoza-Ware.

    The article continues:

    So, why is Brown getting all this love from people who usually don’t care what happens to any Democrat? From what I’ve been able to determine, a lot of people in high places and low places don’t like Baca, who is the son of Joe Baca Sr., the representative from the 43rd Congressional District. It is said that Junior plays fast and loose with the truth and both of them — father and son — tend to offend people in various ways, which people do not forget.

    The reality is that both Cheryl Brown and Joe Baca Jr. have to appeal, particularly in a Presidential election year, to non-Democrats to win elections.  It seems, from the article, that Cheryl Brown understands this.  If this works, the new open primary system may have a moderating effect on the Legislature.

     

    Undervoting is where a voter does not record a preference for a particular race, or in the case of a race with more than one vote,  someone votes for less candidates than open positions.

    Why would someone intentionally undervote?  One reason is as a protest vote.  For example, say a voter in California Congressional District 31 is a  Democratic voter, but with California’s top-two primary has the choice of  two Republicans: Gary Miller or Bob Dutton.  Thus, the voter has a choice:  Vote for the Republican that is closer to their own political views, or leave the contest blank.   The motives for intentional undervoting in this situation are as a protest against both candidates, since one would expect either to vote with other Congressional Republicans 99 percent of the time.

    Neither candidate is making too big of a deal that they are both Republicans in the general election.  Both their websites tone down their Republican views to make them more palatable to a district that has a plurality of Democratic voters.  However, Gary Miller’s platform, as shown below, adheres more to Republican orthodoxy than does Bob Dutton.

    Bob Dutton, on his website shares his platform:

    On the Issues

    Job Creation

    This country is facing what most economists consider to be the most serious and the most dangerous economic situation in our lifetime. Government must create policies that allow small and large businesses to put Californians to work and keep our economic engine moving.

    Click here for more information on job creation .

    Federal Deficit

    We must balance the budget in Washington—government consistently spends more than it has and the American people have made it clear they have no appetite for new taxes.

    Education

    The first and most important role of government in providing an education is to guarantee a safe environment for our students. We must also ensure that our schools are held accountable, are held to the highest standards possible, and that we are giving local districts local control.

    Health Care

    Government health care rationing would be a catastrophe for the quality of health care in the United States. I believe we can look to proposals that would create health care associations allowing people to pool together to explore healthcare options within their state or even across state lines, rather than imposing a government-run option that reads like a one-size-fits-all approach.

    Public Safety

    Congress must ensure that we create policies that are tough on crime and keep Americans safe. This means we develop no-nonsense policies to ensure that dangerous criminals are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    Israel

    Israel should receive our unwavering support. As the only true democracy in the Middle East, Israel has been a longtime dependable ally helping to protect America’s interests in the region. Throughout its 60 + year existence its advanced technology industries have allowed it to share with the United States many electronic and cyberspace systems that have contributed to our own security.

     

    Gary Miller has a similar statement on his website:

    Issues

    Taxes:  Since coming to Congress, I have been a tireless advocate of lower taxes and a believer that Americans deserve to keep more of their hard earned dollars. As as our economy continues to recover from a deep and prolonged recession, I believe that raising taxes will only hinder economic growth and create additional burdens for American families, who have seen their wages and home values fall, while the cost of energy and many consumer goods continue to climb. For small businesses – which produce a net of two-thirds of all new jobs – higher taxes will further hinder their ability to expand and create jobs. To encourage economic growth, I will continue to use my voice and my vote in Congress to ease the tax burden on every day, hard-working Americans and job creators.
    Education: The future of our nation is dependent upon an educated workforce.  Ensuring that our children have access to a quality education remains a top priority of mine in Congress.  States and local school district must be given the flexibility they need to meet their needs without onerous regulations and mandates from government bureaucrats. At the same time, it is important that appropriate accountability measures be put in place to ensure that our nation’s schools and teachers are preparing students for the knowledge-based, technologically-rich world that awaits them.  I will continue to support state and local innovation in our educational system to give our children the best chance to succeed.
    Budget, Deficit, Debt:  Since President Obama took office, out-of-control federal spending has sent our national debt soaring in excess of $15 trillion, putting the future prosperity of our great nation at risk. This outrageous amount of debt also threatens to undermine our economy’s ability to recover and create jobs. In order to move forward and encourage economic growth, it is essential that we get our nation’s fiscal house in order. The government must put an end to reckless spending, prioritize federal dollars, and implement meaningful measures, including a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, to get our debt under control. I will continue to pursue these policies in order to address the serious fiscal issues facing our nation.
    Jobs & the Economy: Job creation is vital to our economic recovery. While there have been some recent modest signs of improvement, the sad fact is millions of Americans remain out of work, are struggling to find full-time work, or have dropped out of the labor force altogether. Job creation is essential to our economic recovery. To get more Americans back to work, it is vital that Congress take common-sense steps now to establish a better economic environment for job creators. This includes increasing our nation’s competitiveness in the global economy by opening up new markets for American-made goods, reforming the tax code, paying down our massive national debt, and removing unnecessary and burdensome regulations on job creators. I look forward to working in the House of Representatives this session to help our economy grow and create jobs by restoring the United States to its position as the world leader in innovation and the best place to do business.
    Second Amendment:  I am an adamant defender of the 2nd Amendment.  Congress must not improperly hamper the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms. If we are to honor and uphold the Constitution, this right cannot be infringed.  While those who use a firearm to commit a crime must be punished, legislation to limit gun rights for those who obey the law will do nothing more but damage our liberties. I believe we can better improve public safety by enforcing current laws on the books to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. I will continue working in Congress to uphold our constitutional right to bear arms.
    Healthcare: I believe it is important that Congress help ensure that current and future generations of Americans have access to affordable, quality health care.  I opposed the President’s health care law, however, because I have serious concerns about its cost, tax increases, large cuts to Medicare, restrictions on patient choice, as well as constitutional concerns about its mandate for all Americans to purchase government-approved health insurance. Instead of costly government mandates, I believe we need free market reforms that will increase patient choice and rein in spiraling health care costs. These include allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines, allow small businesses and the self-employed to pool their resources to purchase health insurance through Association Health Plans, improve health care delivery, and reform the current medical liability system, which forces doctors to either quit practicing medicine, or pay excessively high premiums which raises the cost of providing patient care. I will continue to pursue such common-sense solutions to improve health care quality and affordability.
    Energy & the Environment: Energy independence is vital to our nation’s future prosperity and security. I believe the American people deserve to have an “all of the above” plan that increases the supply of American-made energy in environmentally sound ways, increases alternative forms of energy, and encourages energy and conservation. Increasing access to American-made energy will create new job opportunities here at home, lessen our dependence on oil from unfriendly nations, and help reduce the burden of high gas prices on American families. The United States has long been the world’s leader in innovation and technology. I am confident that we will find solutions to meet the needs of our nation while upholding our commitment to our environment so that future generations of America will continue to enjoy our country’s pristine and unmatched natural beauty.
    Family Values:  In addition to addressing our country’s economic and national security concerns, I have fought in Congress to protect traditional family values and moral integrity. Specifically, I have supported legislation to protect the lives of unborn children and promote a culture of life in the United States, support traditional marriage, and defend the founding principles of our nation. I have also supported efforts to protect Americans’ religious freedom and the religious symbols and traditions which reflect our great country’s heritage of faith. Furthermore, I have long supported protecting the right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing of their children without unnecessary government intrusion.
    Transportation & Infrastructure: Essential to a prosperous economy is a functional, efficient, and safe transportation system. Nowhere is this more evident than in Southern California, where our roadways are a vital conduit for transporting billions of dollars worth of goods and services. Despite our need for an efficient and fluid transportation system, our region is facing a crisis in transportation characterized by dramatic growth in commuter and truck traffic, limited transportation funding, and high infrastructure improvement costs. As a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I have been a consistent advocate for transportation funding and relief for our region. As Congress considers major highway and infrastructure legislation during this session, I will continue to work on federal policies to address Southern California’s growing transportation and water infrastructure needs.
    Medicare & Social Security: As our nation’s budgetary difficulties are likely to continue for many years, a great deal of discussion has taken place in Congress about the future of Social Security and Medicare.  I believe we must protect these programs for the more than forty million current beneficiaries and for the millions of Americans who will one day rely upon these crucial programs. Any reforms to these Social Security and Medicare must reflect our commitment to those who have spent their entire lives paying into the system, but also ensure that younger workers may achieve financial security and health care in retirement. Because of the importance of these programs, I will closely analyze all alternatives for reform to ensure we keep our promises to today’s seniors, while ensuring the long-term viability of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries. 
    Immigration: There is no doubt that America is an open and welcoming society. Our nation has benefited from the experiences and contributions of the millions of immigrants who have come to our shores seeking increased opportunities and a better life for them and their families. At the same time, we are also a nation of laws. The respect for the rule of law is a core American value that has made us the envy of the world. Unfortunately, our nation’s immigration laws continue to be violated and ignored, to the detriment of U.S. citizens, legal residents, and to those who wish to come to our country legally. Congress must continue efforts to strengthen enforcement along the southwest border, remove loopholes in current law that invites manipulation of our laws, and shut down the job magnet that encourages individuals to enter our country illegally.
    Size of Government: While federal spending and interference in the private sector has grown in recent years, our economy has continued to struggle to recover and create jobs. Big government spending and mandates continues to crowd out private investment, innovation and economic growth. I believe we need a smaller government that restores more autonomy to states and local governments, who know their citizens best. While there are areas in which the federal government must invest in – such as national defense and major transportation infrastructure – Congress has a duty to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent effectively and wisely. I am confident that the federal government can eliminate such wasteful spending while preserving programs that keep our nation secure, maintain and restore our essential infrastructure, and ensure that those who truly need assistance are cared for. 
    Ontario Airport: The Ontario International Airport is a vital component of our community’s transportation infrastructure, serving San Bernardino and Riverside Counties and portions of north Orange County and east Los Angeles County. The airport serves over 5 million passengers a year, with 93,000 flights on an annual basis. In addition, this facility generates $5.4 billion in economic benefits to the Inland Empire and is directly attributable to over 7,000 jobs. With the increasing congestion at Los Angeles Airport (LAX) and with LAX having no possibility of expanding, it is vital that we maintain a strong and vibrant Ontario airport, which has faced many challenges in recent years. I believe that transferring control of the airport to the city of Ontario will improve service to local residents who utilize its services, relieve the strain that is being placed on other airports around Southern California, and bolster our region’s economy.
    Agriculture:  Agriculture plays a pivotal role in our nation’s economy. We in California enjoy so many fresh foods locally grown due to our wonderful weather and soils. Unfortunately, agriculture has been an overlooked profession that has dwindled in practice over the years. Those who continue to take part in farming are faced with many difficulties and obstacles. As a nation founded and sustained by farmers I believe we must ensure that federal farm policies are properly balanced to meet the needs of those who produce our food and help hard-working American families continue putting food on the table.