CANDIDATES & ISSUES : ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 38

Assemblywoman Marian W. La Follette, 62, a Northridge Republican, was first elected in 1980. Vice chairwoman of the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee, she has a conservative voting record. She may run for state superintendent of public instruction in 1990. A UC Berkeley graduate, she is a former trustee of the Los Angeles Community College District. She and her second husband, John, have four children.

Mark Lit, 69, a Northridge Democrat, is a part-time economics professor at West Los Angeles College. He is making his second race against La Follette; he won 33% of the vote in 1986. He has been active in more than a dozen Democratic campaigns and serves in the California Senior Legislature. He has a master of science degree from USC. He and his wife, Estelle, have two children and three grandchildren.

SUMMARY: La Follette is focusing on efforts to break the Los Angeles Unified School District into smaller districts and environmental concerns. Lit is pointing to the problems of health insurance, latchkey children, education, growth, crime and senior citizens.

THEIR VIEWS

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

Q. Do you favor additional limits on campaign contributions to make officeholders less beholden to special-interest groups?

La Follette: Wait to see impact of the limitations on contributions from Propositions 68 and 73, which were passed in June and take effect Jan. 1.

Lit: Yes.

Q. Would you support a ban on speaking fees for legislators from special-interest groups?

La Follette: Yes.

Lit: Yes.

Q. Who is your first choice for Assembly Speaker?

La Follette: There are many talented Republicans and conservative Democrats who are preferable to Speaker Willie Brown. Speaker's powers should be reduced.

Lit: Undecided.

Q. Briefly, what, if anything, should the state do to ease traffic congestion?

La Follette: More funding for highways and more emphasis on bus and light rail. San Fernando Valley needs a coherent transit plan. Light rail in the Valley should be put underground in sensitive neighborhoods.

Lit: Establish a circular mass-transit route, preferably via subway, around the San Fernando Valley. Must be non-polluting.

Q. Do you favor an increase in the gasoline tax to pay for road improvements and construction?

La Follette: Yes.

Lit: Yes.

Q. Should the state offer tax incentives to encourage private industry to institute staggered hours, car-pooling and other measures to reduce traffic?

La Follette: Yes.

Lit: Yes.

Q. Do you believe that the state should try to contain the cost of automobile insurance? If so, how?

La Follette: Yes. Recommends that the governor create a blue-ribbon commission of consumers, insurance companies and trial lawyers to come up with recommendations to reduce costs.

Lit: Yes. Through an insurance commissioner and by opening insurance company books for inspection.

Q. Do you support a "no-fault" automobile insurance system, under which a driver would be compensated for damages by his or her own insurance company regardless of who caused an accident?

La Follette: Yes.

Lit: Yes, but not the proposal contained in Proposition 104.

Q. Do you favor a mandatory reduction of insurance rates for all drivers and homeowners unless an insurance company can show that this would threaten its solvency?

La Follette: Realistically, every insurance company will show it's threatened with insolvency. We must solve the root problems of litigation and outrageous damage suits.

Lit: Yes.

Q. Do you support imposing a limit on the percentage of an insurance settlement that a lawyer may accept as a fee?

La Follette: Opposed to more government regulation. However, as the last resort, we may have to impose limits on lawyers' fees.

Lit: No.

Q. Should the state raise the spending limits imposed by the Gann Initiative on state and local governments to make more money available for health, education, transportation and other programs?

La Follette: No.

Lit: Yes.

Q. Do you believe that the Legislature should take urgent action to improve the performance of public schools? If so, what? (Money for lower class size? Higher pay for teachers? Testing to ensure teachers' competency? More demanding graduation requirements?)

La Follette: Absolutely. Need to create smaller school districts in Los Angeles so parents have more input and control. Schools should be made safe and drug-free. School districts should be allowed to negotiate to get the best possible teachers. Teachers should receive higher pay, merit pay and be tested for competence regularly. Qualified people in noneducation fields should be permitted to enter the teaching profession.

Lit: Yes. Supports all of the items mentioned in the question.

Q. If it can be done legally, should the state help parents pay to send their children to private schools?

La Follette: Yes.

Lit: No.

Q. Do you support significantly greater state funding for AIDS research, counseling, testing and treatment?

La Follette: Yes.

Lit: Yes.

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

La Follette: Yes.

Lit: Yes, if the patient is willing to give the information.

Q. Do you support more state funding to aid the homeless?

La Follette: Encourage cities to revise their building codes so that units appropriate for single people can be refurbished, increase child support enforcement, establish revolving fund on local level to help working homeless with first and last month's rent, and provide state assistance to counties to serve the mentally ill homeless.

Lit: Yes.

Q. Do you support the death penalty for any crimes? If so, which?

La Follette: Yes. First-degree murder with special circumstances, murder in a drug case, murder by a terrorist or a frequent repeat offender found guilty of selling drugs to minors.

Lit: Yes, for multiple murderers and killers of law enforcement officers.

Q. With the state's prisons at capacity, should the state build more prisons, shorten sentences or punish nonviolent criminals in other ways?

La Follette: Build more prisons.

Lit: Punish nonviolent first offenders in other ways.

Q. Do you think that a woman should have the unrestricted right to an abortion during the first 3 months of pregnancy?

La Follette: No.

Lit: Yes.

Q. Do you believe that the state should impose additional restrictions on the right to own a handgun? If so, what?

La Follette: No.

Lit: Ban mail-order guns. Require training and testing of all purchasers of weapons.

Q. Should motorcyclists be required to wear helmets?

La Follette: No.

Lit: Yes.

Q. Should the state re-establish Cal/OSHA, the state's worker safety agency that Gov. George Deukmejian eliminated?

La Follette: No.

Lit: Yes.

Q. Would you support a bill to automatically extend developers' building permits for 6 months when cities pass slow-growth measures?

La Follette: Yes.

Lit: Yes, if the permit had been granted at least 2 months before the slow-growth measure was passed, or construction had started.

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