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Candidates & Issues : CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 23

Rep. Anthony C. Beilenson, 55, a Tarzana Democrat, has been in the House 12 years after 14 years in the state Assembly and Senate. An attorney, he sits on the powerful Rules Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He has a generally liberal voting record, but tends to be a maverick on some issues. He is a Harvard Law School graduate. He and his wife Dolores have three children and a grandchild.

Jim Salomon, 32, a Beverly Hills Republican making his first bid for public office, is a foreign trade consultant for a laser system manufacturer. In 1986, he served as Los Angeles County director of Republican Ed Zschau’s unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign. He has a master’s in business administration from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University. He is divorced and shares custody of his daughter.

John Vernon, a Van Nuys Libertarian, and John Honigsfeld, a Los Angeles Peace and Freedom candidate, are also in the race.

SUMMARY: Beilenson emphasizes his role in preserving the Santa Monica Mountains and his refusal to accept any special-interest political action committee contributions. Salomon attacks Beilenson’s support for tax increases and his opposition to several anti-crime measures.

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THEIR VIEWS

Questionnaires were distributed to candidates in September and were returned in October. Answers have been edited to fit the available space. Honigsfeld did not respond.

Q. Would you support an income tax increase to reduce the budget deficit?

Beilenson: Yes. Would establish new top rate higher than current 28% for taxable income of more than $100,000 (single return) or $150,000 (joint).

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Salomon: No.

Vernon: No.

Q. Would you support increasing any other tax to cut the deficit? If so, which one?

Beilenson: Yes. Raise excise taxes on gasoline, cigarettes, and beer and wine.

Salomon: No.

Vernon: No.

Q. Do you support a tax decrease to stimulate growth?

Beilenson: No.

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Salomon: No, not at this time.

Vernon: Yes, after budget is balanced.

Q. Do you support amending the Constitution to require a balanced budget?

Beilenson: No.

Salomon: Yes.

Vernon: Yes.

Q. Briefly, but specifically, please describe any cuts in spending or increases in revenue that you would support to reduce the federal budget deficit. How much will this save and/or increase revenue?

Beilenson: Many billions of dollars could be saved through reforms in defense procurement, the farm support program, and Medicare reimbursement to physicians and hospitals. Raise income taxes for top earners and raise excise taxes on gasoline, cigarettes, and beer and wine.

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Salomon: Cut “pork-barrel” projects and subsidies to inefficient businesses. Eliminating waste in the federal bureaucracy could save $424 billion, according to the Grace Commission appointed by President Reagan.

Vernon: Phase out military commitments to Japan, South Korea and Western Europe ($150 billion), farm subsidies ($26 billion), and all direct transfer payments and direct subsidies to business ($200 billion estimated).

Q. In your opinion, was too much of the federal budget spent on the military buildup during the past eight years?

Beilenson: Yes.

Salomon: No.

Vernon: Yes.

Q. Do you believe that there is a realistic likelihood that President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, commonly known as “Star Wars,” can accomplish its goal of providing a space-based shield against incoming missiles?

Beilenson: Not in the foreseeable future.

Salomon: Yes.

Vernon: Possibly.

Q. With regard to SDI, do you believe that we should: Discontinue all funding? Fund research but not development and testing? Fund deployment?

Beilenson: Fund research but not deployment and testing.

Salomon: Fund research and testing, deployment when feasible.

Vernon: No funding until military budget is cut by 10%.

Q. Do you think that the United States should assist guerrillas who oppose left-wing governments in Central America, as we have done in Nicaragua?

Beilenson: No.

Salomon: Yes.

Vernon: No.

Q. Do you believe that the changes occurring in the Soviet Union will lead to significant improvements in U.S.-Soviet relations?

Beilenson: Yes.

Salomon: Hopefully. Still too early to tell.

Vernon: “I hope so.”

Q. Should the United States try to influence Israel to exchange Palestinian autonomy on the West Bank for the PLO recognizing Israel’s right to exist?

Beilenson: “The U.S. should do everything possible to facilitate negotiations and an eventual settlement rather than trying to force our own solution to the problem.”

Salomon: No.

Vernon: No. “We should stop interfering in the Middle East.”

Q. Do you favor opening up additional parts of the California coastline to oil exploration under any circumstances other than a national emergency?

Beilenson: No.

Salomon: No.

Vernon: Yes.

Q. Given the proliferation of drug use, do you believe that Congress should consider the legalization of marijuana? Cocaine?

Beilenson: “Congress is not going to consider legalization of drugs.”

Salomon: No.

Vernon: Yes. Favors legalization.

Q. Do you support the routine seizing of boats, cars and other vehicles in which illegal drugs are found?

Beilenson: No, unless the boat or car owner is proved to use or possess the drugs.

Salomon: Yes.

Vernon: No.

Q. Do you favor more control over the availability of handguns to the general public? If yes, what sort of control?

Beilenson: Yes. Favors a 7-day waiting period for handgun purchases and banning firearms that are undetectable by airport security devices as well as armor-piercing bullets.

Salomon: No.

Vernon: No.

Q. Has the United States done enough to influence the South African government to abandon its policy of racial separation?

Beilenson: No.

Salomon: No.

Vernon: Yes.

Q. Do you support the unrestricted right of a woman to have an abortion during the first three months of pregnancy?

Beilenson: Yes.

Salomon: Yes.

Vernon: Yes.

Q. Do you favor additional limits on the amount of money that congressional candidates may accept from political action committees?

Beilenson: Yes. Ban political action committee contributions and publicly finance campaigns.

Salomon: No.

Vernon: No.

Q. Do you support federal financing for child day care for working parents?

Beilenson: Yes. Favors federal aid for day care for children of low-income working parents.

Salomon: “Yes, for parents under certain income limits. My preferred approach is tax credits.”

Vernon: No. But would support a tax credit for the cost of child care if both parents work or for a single-parent household.

Q. Do you support a significant increase in federal spending for research into AIDS?

Beilenson: Yes.

Salomon: Yes.

Vernon: No. Favors federal AIDS tax credit for contributions to AIDS research. Would also allow AIDS patients to use experimental drugs not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Q. Should public health officials trace the sexual contacts of anyone with AIDS or the AIDS virus?

Beilenson: No.

Salomon: No.

Vernon: Undecided.

Q. Do you support a significantly greater role of the federal government in paying for health care for the elderly and chronically ill?

Beilenson: Yes.

Salomon: Yes.

Vernon: No. Must seek private alternatives.

Q. Do you believe the immigration reform laws that offered amnesty to some illegal immigrants while cracking down on employment of those illegally in this country have been successful? Briefly, what, if any, changes do you support?

Beilenson: Yes. Favors investing more money to enforce the law.

Salomon: Premature to make final decision. Must ensure that law “is strictly enforced for those employers that habitually employ illegal aliens. Also, harsh action must be taken against individuals who smuggle illegal aliens into the country.”

Vernon: Supports “the right of all persons to immigrate and emigrate freely.” Phasing out social service programs is best way to discourage “unproductive elements from immigrating to the United States.”

Q. Do you believe that the government should acquire a significant amount of new land for national parks?

Beilenson: Yes.

Salomon: “Yes, particularly in the Santa Monica Mountains.”

Vernon: No.

Questionnaires were distributed to candidates in September and were returned in October. Answers have been edited to fit the available space.


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