Congress: 26th District

Questionnaires were distributed to candidates in March. Answers have been edited to fit the available space. Democratic Rep. Howard Berman, Peace and Freedom Party candidate Margery Hinds and Libertarian Bernard Zimring are unopposed in the June 2 primary. Their answers to The Times' questionnaire will appear before the November general election, along with the winner of the Republican nomination.

Federal Deficit

Q: Do you support, in principle, reducing the federal deficit or spending more on social programs by raising the taxes of upper-income Americans, defined as individuals making about $100,000 and couples earning about $150,000? Forsch: No. It would penalize those who are creating jobs.

Glass: No. The federal deficit should be reduced by cutting expenditures, not by increasing taxes.

Capital Gains

Q: Do you favor President Bush's proposal for a capital gains tax cut as an economic stimulant?

Forsch: Yes. It would create new jobs and increase economic activity.

Glass: No. Capital gains tax cut will not stimulate investment and economic growth. The sale of an asset is the transfer of cash from one person to another person without any effect on the economy.

Balanced Budget

Q: Do you support a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget?

Forsch: Yes. We are trillions of dollars in debt. Congress spends more than it takes in. How can we get out of debt if we don't have a balanced budget?

Glass: No. Congress and the executive branch should have the self-discipline to balance the budget. A constitutional amendment would limit the options in the event of a war or severe depression. A line-item veto is a better alternative.

Defense Reductions

Q: With the end of the Cold War, do you favor deep reductions in the $290 - billion annual defense budget? If so, how much could it be safely reduced in one year? Five years?

Forsch: No. I would favor a gradual reduction to allow time for defense workers to move over to the private sector. I can't tell you how long it would take.

Glass: Yes. The defense budget should be cut $75 billion in the first year, and increasing each year thereafter to reach the $75 billion.

Defense Savings

Q: What should any defense savings be used for: lower taxes, reduced deficit, spending on domestic programs?

Forsch: Lower taxes.

Glass: Reduce the deficit and invest in rebuilding the infrastructure.

Medicare Benefits

Q: Should the government reduce Medicare benefits for the wealthy to help alleviate the federal budget deficit?

Forsch: No.

Glass: Yes.

Wasted Money

Q: Do you believe a lot of money is being wasted on social welfare programs?

Forsch: Yes. The Grace Commission is full of examples.

Glass: Yes. Inefficiencies and mistakes are bound to occur when bureaucratic organizations administer any program.

Welfare Benefits

Q: Do you support reducing welfare benefits of parents who do not go to school, attend training or find a job; do not make sure that their children attend school or get basic medical care, or who continue to have more children while on welfare?

Forsch: Yes. I support welfare for those who truly need it.

Glass: Yes. Schooling, training and job requirements should be imposed only after adequate day-care and medical-care programs are available.

Costly Programs

Q: Do you support significantly increased funding for the following programs, all of which are costly and controversial and employ significant numbers of workers who live in yours and surrounding districts? a) The B-2 "Stealth" bomber, b) The Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars"), c) The Space Station. Forsch: Yes on all three.

Glass: No on all three.

Employee Insurance

Q: Do you support requiring businesses either to provide health insurance to employees or contribute to a fund to provide health care for the uninsured?

Forsch: No. It would put lots of small businesses out of business. It would be better to have affordable insurance available.

Glass: No. The funding of health insurance should be spread among employers, employees, other individuals and state and local governments.

Health Care

Q: Do you support a national health-care system in which the government establishes fees, pays all the bills and collects taxes to cover the cost?

Forsch: No. A national health-care system would give us health care with all the compassion of the IRS, the efficiency of the FDA, at Pentagon prices.

Glass: No. A universal health-care system should be administered in the private sector as the government could not manage a program efficiently and with reasonable costs.

Soviet Aid

Q: Should the United States be contributing significantly more non-military aid to the former Soviet Union to help it achieve economic reform and long-term stability?

Forsch: Yes. Within limits and not a simple giveaway.

Glass: Yes. Soviet Union must become a viable democratic country in order not to become a threat again. The U.S. should contribute significant aid to ensure stability.

Saddam Hussein

Q: If Saddam Hussein continues to refuse to obey United Nations orders to dismantle Iraq's arms-making nuclear capability, should the United States urge the United Nations to take military action with U.S. participation?

Forsch: Yes. Other countries must know we mean what we say.

Glass: Yes. The nuclear threat of Saddam Hussein must be eliminated and the United Nations is the appropriate organization to ensure that goal.

Israeli Loan

Q: Would you have unconditionally supported Israel's request for $10 billion in loan guarantees to help resettle refugees from the former Soviet Union?

Forsch: Yes.

Glass: No.

Israeli Settlements

Q: If not, did you support the request under the conditions that the Bush Administration sought to impose: that the money would be made available if Israel promised to stop building new settlements on the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip?

Forsch: No.

Glass: Yes.

U. S. Citizenship

Q: Do you support a proposed constitutional amendment that would deny U. S. citizenship to U. S.-born children of illegal immigrants?

Forsch: No.

Glass: No. The 14th Amendment should not be changed for a relatively minor problem.

Japanese Imports

Q: Should the United States make it harder for Japan to export goods into this country if Japan does not open more of its markets to American goods?

Forsch: No. We should correct any unfair trade practices by convincing the Japanese to open their markets.

Glass: No. Japan is our ally and friend and should be persuaded to open its markets to the U.S. through mutual agreement, not by temporary retaliations.

Industrial Emissions

Q: Should the United States move more rapidly to limit industrial emissions that may be depleting the ozone layer and contributing to global warming even though such steps may hurt some businesses and eliminate some jobs?

Forsch: Yes. We should find a solution that won't hurt business or cost jobs.

Glass: Yes. The U.S. must be the world leader in limiting global warming and should have a program in place to assist businesses that may be hurt by this policy.

Oil Exploration

Q: Barring a national emergency, would you ever support opening up more of the California coastline to oil exploration? If so, under what circumstances?

Forsch: Yes, under the right conditions.

Glass: No.

Public Parkland

Q: Do you support increasing the amount appropriated by Congress to buy public parkland in the Santa Monica Mountains, which is $14 million this year?

Forsch: Yes.

Glass: Yes. More land should be set aside for public use and enjoyment, but not if it means deficit spending.

Campaign Contributions

Q: Do you support reducing the amount of contributions that can be made by special-interest groups to congressional campaigns? If so, to what level?

Forsch: Yes.

Glass: Yes. No contributions should be accepted from special-interest groups.

Congressional Perks

Q: If elected, would you decline to accept any of the congressional perks? If yes, please specify which ones.

Forsch: Yes. The House bank, the House post office, the beauty salon, gym, free drugs, free parking, etc.

Glass: Yes. The only perks acceptable are those that relate directly to the job, such as parking.

School Vouchers

Q: Do you support giving government vouchers to low- and middle-income parents to allow them to pay their children's tuition in private or parochial schools? Forsch: Yes.

Glass: No. This program would lower the standards in the public schools as the better students and leaders would leave.

Death Penalty

Q: Do you support capital punishment for any crimes? If so, what?

Forsch: Yes. Murder.

Glass: No.

Gun Sales

Q: Do you support any form of limit on the sales of guns to individuals? Forsch: Yes. I would forbid sales of guns to convicted criminals, mental institution patients and recently released mental patients.

Glass: Yes. In addition to the 15-day waiting period in California, which should be nationwide, sale of semiautomatic weapons should be banned.

Affirmative Action

Q: In general, do you think affirmative action in employment of women and members of minority groups has not gone far enough, or has gone too far, or is about right? Forsch: In some cases, it is about right and in others, it has not gone far enough.

Glass: Salaries of women are still below men for equivalent work and minorities are still unemployed.

Abortion Rights

Q: Do you support a woman's unrestricted right to an abortion within the first three months of pregnancy? Forsch: No.

Glass: Yes. Freedom of choice in personal matters must be protected.

Abortion Funding

Q: Do you support federal funding of abortions for women who cannot afford them? Forsch: No.

Glass: Yes.

Art Restrictions

Q: Should Congress impose any content restrictions on what it considers obscene or indecent materials in reauthorizing the National Endowment for the Arts? Forsch: Yes. Why should taxpayers be forced for pay for "art" that is offensive?

Glass: No. This is a subjective value judgment that cannot be defined by law. Such decisions are best left to artistic directors of local museums.

Striking Workers

Q: Do you support a law to forbid businesses to hire permanent replacements for striking workers? Forsch: No.

Glass: No.

Hill or Thomas?

Q: Who do you think was more likely to have told the truth, Anita Hill or Clarence Thomas? Forsch: I really can't tell.

Glass: Neither one told the whole story. Passing the lie detector test does give some validity to Anita Hill.

Quality of Life

Q: What single change would most improve life in Southern California?

Forsch: Get rid of unnecessary governmental influence in people's lives.

Glass: Jobs for everyone wanting to work.

Public Figure

Q: What public figure do you most admire? Forsch: Sen. Phil Graham (R-Texas).

Glass: Ross Perot--for his willingness to run for President against entrenched politicians.

Literary Influence

Q: What, if any, book have you recently read that influenced your view of public policy? Forsch: "An American Life" by Ronald W. Reagan.

Glass: "Thinking About America: The United States in the 1990s," Anderson and Bark. "Current Issues 1992 Edition," Close-up Foundation.

CONTENDERS Gary Forsch, 40, of Sun Valley, is manager of a hardware store. A Republican, he ran unsuccessfully for his party's nomination in the same district two years ago and has been endorsed by the California Republican Assembly, a large conservative group.

Bill Glass, 66, of Sherman Oaks, is a certified public accountant. A Republican, he is making his first bid for public office. Glass holds master's degrees in electrical engineering and business administration. He has lived in the San Fernando Valley since 1967.

Congressional District 26 Overview: Two Republicans are vying for the nomination in the new district, hoping to win the right to run in November against powerful incumbent Howard L. Berman, a Democrat. The district is heavily tilted toward the Democrats, who hold almost a 2-to-1 majority among registered voters. Only 25% of the district's residents are registered to vote. Where: The district includes the communities of Arleta, Pacomia, Panorama City, San Fernando, Sylmar and Valley Village, and portions of Lake View Terrace, North Hollywood, Sun Valley, Sunland and Van Nuys. To find out if you live in the district, call the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder's office at (213) 721-1100.

Demographics

Anglo Latino Black Asian 34% 53% 6% 7%

Party Registration

Demo GOP Others 58% 31% 11%

Candidates: Democrat Howard L. Berman, congressman Peace and Freedom Margery Hinds, medical assistant Republican Gary Forsch, businessman Paula L. Boland, assemblywoman Bill Glass, certified public accountant Libertarian Bernard Zimring, contractor

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