California District 31

    Press release from the Pete Aguilar campaign on the cessation of the recount


    Pete Aguilar Statement on Completion of Recount

    (San Bernardino, CA) – In response to the completion of the recount in California’s 31st Congressional district, Pete Aguilar released the following statement:


    “I’m very pleased that the recount leaves the primary election results unchanged and demonstrates the integrity of the voting process. I look forward to a spirited debate with Paul Chabot over how best to ensure a brighter economic future for the Inland Empire.”


    Pete Aguilar is a small business owner and Mayor of Redlands. He is a strong advocate for economic growth and fairness in the Inland Empire, a leader who has reached across party lines to serve the best interests of the middle class in San Bernardino County

    There appears to be a lot of interest in this race (not so much that people actually voted, mind you), probably because of the Red to Blue aspect of it. Anyway, I thought I would break this out for people who just want to know the unofficial results. The top two advance to the November 4, 2014 Statewide General Election, and the winner will represent the 31st Congressional District of California in the United States House of Representatives, Replacing Gary Miller.


    These results are from the California Secretary of State’s website, based on the final unofficial election night results from the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters:

    U.S. House of Representatives District 31 – Districtwide Results
    June 4, 2014, 3:08 a.m.
    Incumbent CandidateName Party Preference Votes Percent
    FALSE Pete Aguilar Democratic 7368 17.4
    FALSE Joe Baca Democratic 4799 11.3
    FALSE Eloise Gomez Reyes Democratic 6746 16
    FALSE Danny Tillman Democratic 3648 8.6
    FALSE Paul Chabot Republican 11329 26.8
    FALSE Ryan Downing Republican 1421 3.4
    FALSE Lesli Gooch Republican 6978 16.5

    I obtained this brochure today from Pete Aguilar’s campaign office.  It is a handout that the campaign is using as they canvass California’s 31st Congressional District ahead of the June 3, 2014 Primary.

    And now, something completely different.  This brochure from 31st Congressional District Candidate Eloise Gomez Reyes arrived yesterday.  The 31st Congressional District of California includes what appears to be all, if not all, of the City of San Bernardino, the City of Redlands, Mentone, Grand Terrace, Loma Linda, Colton, about half of Rialto, some of Fontana, and a lot of Rancho Cucamonga. This is the first brochure received in the mail from any of the declared candidates in this race.

    My first impression of the brochure is that is very professionally done.  Though I have not seen many brochures, fliers or cards yet in the November 5, 2013 San Bernardino Primary Municipal Election, I know that they range from amateur to minimally professional, but you can see that with this brochure that the Eloise Gomez Reyes campaign used paid professionals to assemble the brochure.  That means using professional photographers, professional graphic designers, and they weren’t mailed out of someone’s office. This kind of mailing is very expensive, but might make the difference in a close race.

    This is the type of brochure that can be considered a “Meet the Candidate” mailing.  The brochure is a sturdy, color, gate fold, six page document.  The front features a portrait of Eloise Gomez Reyes and appears to be standing in the field of a park, though I cannot identify the location.  I would presume a park in Colton, south San Bernardino or Rialto.  The title in large red letters is “ELOISE GOMEZ REYES DEMOCRAT FOR CONGRESS.”  The title below or on the portrait is “PUTTING INLAND EMPIRE FAMILIES FIRST” and continues “OPEN HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ELOISE.”

    I won’t quote the entire document which you can visit by clicking on the link above.  However, in the vein of being a “Meet the Candidate” mailing, under the heading Eloise Gomez Reyes – Daughter of the Inland Empire, it starts “Meet Eloise Gomez Reyes.”

    There are pictures on the second page, including a black and white family photo, a color picture from the 1970s of the candidate graduating, one of her getting married, one of her with Hillary Clinton, another one with her husband, Frank, and their son, and a current photo with her husband.

    The second page features dense text that introduces you to the candidate and why she is running. The next two pages are under the title “Putting Inland Empire Families First.”  The third page (the first of the two previously mentioned) has “Eloise’s Plan to Get Results”  They are:

    “Create jobs right here in the Inland Empire”

    “Prepare our kids to compete for 21st Century jobs”

    “Pass real comprehensive immigration reform”

    “Protect services families depend on”

    “Keep our promises to seniors and veterans”

    The next page details her community service and honors and awards.  Though I have never met her, I have heard her name for years. The last conversation that I had with Roberta Shouse, the Executive Director of Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino, Inc. was regarding Roberta Shouse’s support of Eloise Gomez Reyes’ campaign for Congress. When I was Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino’s staff attorney, I would hear about Eloise Gomez Reyes’ involvement with another Private Attorney Involvement clinic, Inland Empire Latino Lawyers, also known as IELLA. The brochure states that she was the Attorney of the Year for IELLA for 2013, and that she won a California State Bar Pro Bono Award in 2012.

    The brochure urges the reader to “Join Team Eloise Today!” and invites the reader to please compete the attached card, tear off, and mail back or go to  This card asks the reader to give their name, email, address, home number, work number, and cell number.  Four boxes can be checked off, to be a public supporter of Eloise, to host a house party for Eloise, to volunteer for Eloise’s campaign, or to put an Eloise sign in my window or yard.  It also gives space to sign up a friend or family member.

    The back of the brochure (upon which the mailing address if affixed) has a blurb about the 31st Congressional District, including a map:

    California’s 31st Congressional District is located entirely in San Bernardino County and includes all or parts of the communities of Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Loma Linda, Mentone, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, San Bernardino and Upland.  President Obama won the 31st District with over 57% of the vote in 2012, yet a far-right Republican, Gary Miller, represents the district because no Democrat was able to make the 2012 General Election ballot. Under California’s new open primary system, two Republicans defeated the Democrats in the primary and faced each other in November. The district is one of the most Democratic seats in the nation currently held by a Republican and Geary Miller has been ranked as the most vulnerable member of Congress.

    All true.

    I wrote about what went wrong in the 31st District election for the Democrats in this piece published in 2012.  And, it may happen again given the number of Democrats running in this election should another non-Democrat run in the primary.  Those announced for the June 3, 2014 primary include Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, former Congressman Joe Baca, Republican Congressman and incumbent Gary Miller and San Bernardino School Board Member Danny Tillman.

    The brochure gives the following contact information for Eloise Gomez Reyes:


    Twitter @EloiseforCongress (which I was unable to locate, even when clicking from her campaign website.


    Phone (909) 332-2020

    Mailing: P.O. Box 11487, San Bernardino, CA 92423

    1. Massive buckets of money can win against an established local candidate.

    2. Never let yourself be photographed sleeping.

    3. In the top-two primary era, particularly with two Republicans running in a plurality Democratic district, make sure not to make too big a deal about your political beliefs.

    Here are the semi-official results in the San Bernardino County Elections, with an emphasis on those races of most important to the City of San Bernardino, the focus of this site:

    These are semi-official results from the November 6, 2012 statewide General Election, which as you may know, coincided with a national presidential election.

    These numbers are from the San Bernardino Registrar of  Voters stats updated at 6:05 a.m. on November 7, 2012.  They will be next updated at 5 p.m.

    Starting with Congress, in Congressional District 8,  Paul Cook appears to have bested Gregg Imus in San Bernardino County 58.15 percent to 41.86 percent with 133,948 votes counted.  According to the Secretary of State (since there are non-San Bernardino County votes in the district (including Mono and Inyo, Paul Cook won by 57.6 percent (82,653 votes), to Gregg Imus’ 42.4 percent (60,732), as of 6:19 a.m.

    In District 31, the Republican-on-Republican violence has ended, with Representative Gary Miller (R-Brea/Diamond-Bar) officially becoming Gary Miller (R-Rancho Cucamonga).  Gary Miller has garnered 68,892 votes so far, for 55.19 percent of the vote, and Bob Dutton getting 55,940 votes at 44.81 percent of the vote.  We’ll look at the implications of this race on the future of San Bernardino politics later.

    In District 35, the battle between local Democrats Gloria Negrete McLeod appears to have defeated Working Joe Baca.  In San Bernardino County, the vote count is currently 46,627 (53.96 percent) to Joe Baca’s 39,788 (46.04 percent).   The Secretary of State has it as Gloria Negrete McLeod at 60,866 votes (55.7 percent), to Joe Baca’s 48,385 (44.3 percent), with 100 percent reporting.  Congressional District 35 has precincts in both Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

    Mike Morrell, the Republican candidate has beaten Democrat Russ Warner, by more than 2,000 votes, 51,954 to 49,104 votes.  The contest was for the 40th Assembly District.

    The Baca family misfortune continued with Cheryl R. Brown handily defeating Rialto Council member Joe Baca Jr. for State Assembly District 47.  This district is completely in San Bernardino County, with Cheryl Brown winning 40,871 votes (56.2 percent), and Joe Baca, Jr. winning 31,811 votes (43.8 percent).

    In the San Bernardino Community College District, Gloria Macias Harrison was the big winner with 52,160 votes (16.10 percent), with John Longville, an incumbent, winning the second of four at-large seats, with 42,411 votes (13.09 percent).  The third position goes to Kathleen Henry with 38,344 votes (11.84 percent), whose ballot designation is educator.  In fourth is Nick Zumbos, with 33,573 votes, barely edging out incumbent John Futch, who had 32,490 votes.  That means that one incumbent, John Longville, was reelected, while John Futch, Jess Vizcaino, Jr., and Carleton W. Lockwood, Jr. all lost. Further, with James Ramos winning the Third District Supervisor race, the San Bernardino Community College Board of Trustees is going to look very different.

    Which brings us to the County Supervisor races.  Of course, Josie Gonzales was not on the ballot, having won the primary in June. In the Third District County Supervisor’s Race, Neil Derry lost decisively to James C. Ramos.  Ramos won 53,653 votes (59.09 percent) to incumbent and former San Bernardino City Council member Neil Derry’s 37,143 votes (40.91 percent).  In the First District, which is generally the desert portions of San Bernardino County, a tighter race between Rick Roelle and Robert A. Lovingood.  Lovingood won 38,640 votes (51.22 percent of the vote) to Rick Roelle’s 36,798 votes (48.78 percent).

    In San Bernardino’s sister cities, briefly, Eileen Gomez was reelected as City Clerk handily, only a single candidate was running for City Treasurer, Aurerlio De La Torre, Frank J. Navarro beat Vincent Yzaguirre for Colton City Council District 3, Deirdre H. Bennett won handily in a three person race in District 5 (64.05 percent), and Isaac Suchil won in District 6.

    In Grand Terrace, two new faces appear to have won City Council seats, Sylvia A. Robles, and Jackie Mitchell, with incumbent Darcy McNaboe winning reelection.  Though it is close, it appears that incumbent Lee Ann Garcia has lost, coming in fourth for three seats, by a margin of less than 200 votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

    In Highland, both incumbents, John Timmer and Penny Lilburn were reelected, leaving the status quo in the City of Highland.   In Redlands, Mayor Pete Aguilar was resoundingly reelected, with 9,171 votes, 27.24 percent of the total in a seven person race for two seats.  Former Mayor Pat Gilbreath was returned to the Council, coming in second with 6,651 votes, a little less than 500 votes for then next highest vote-getter.  City Clerk stayed the same, and Robert Dawes was elected City Treasurer resoundingly in a three person race., winning 61.81 percent of the votes (10,792).

    In Rialto, Deborah Robertson defeated Ed Scott, and Shawn P. O’Connell  and Ed Palmer were elected to City Council. City Clerk and City Treasurer ran in Soviet-style one person elections.

    Of interest, in the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District election for Division 2, Gil Navarro beat George Aguilar 8,755 votes to 7,049.

    San Bernardino City Unified School District Measure N, a bond measure, won overwhelmingly,  with 69.60 percent of the vote, needing 55 percent for passage.

    Lastly, Measure Q, put on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors as sort of a poison pill against the citizen initiative Measure R, received more votes than Measure R.  Measure Q received 269,973 votes out of 400,522 votes (67.41 percent), with Measure R receiving receiving 256,014 votes out of 398,468 cast (64.25 percent).

    Measure V in Rialto passed.


    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.



    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 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 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.

    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.


    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 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:


    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.