Assembly: 37th District : Questionnaires were distributed to candidates last month. Libertarian Party candidate David Harner declined to respond. Answers have been edited to fit the available space.

School Vouchers

Q. Do you support giving state money vouchers to parents to allow them to enroll their children in schools of their choice, public or private?

Berger: No. The system should be worked on from within. The voucher initiative has too many potential problems. What about special education students? Equal funding laws (Serrano vs. Priest) ? Will public schools be able to say no to students enrolling like the private schools do?

De Blauw: No. I am for smaller government. Vouchers would require more administrators, more government.

Guggenheim: Yes. Parents, more than government, know what is best for their children. By having parents make a decision as to the education for their children, it makes the parents more responsible for their children's success. This will also strengthen the public schools, by using the marketplace to show which schools and which teachers or curriculums are weak.

McGrath: No. This would have a devastating effect on an already financially strapped school system, and certainly does not address the true problems which have caused this educational crisis.

Roberts: No. Local school principals must have greater authority for hiring and supervising teachers, and they must be accountable for specific performance.

Schaefer: Yes. I support the concept of parental choice in schools. However, I do not support the proposed initiative because it fails to address basic educational standards, has federal tax implications for families and will create the need for another gigantic bureaucracy.

Takasugi: No. The voucher proposal has the potential to gut the public school system.

We need to find better solutions to improve our education system than this proposal. Good teachers must be rewarded with the best pay. We must reinvest in our public school buildings--we must cut administration and add more teachers. Local school districts must have more power to determine what is best for local students.

Williams: No. I support public education.

School Bond Votes

Q. Do you support reducing the votes needed to pass a school construction bond issue from two-thirds to a simple majority?

Berger: Yes. In most cases the majority of the people in a community do not have children. It is almost impossible to get 66.7% of the people to agree on anything--let alone when over 60% of them will not be directly affected by the school construction.

De Blauw: No.

Guggenheim: No. Since it is the property owners who directly pay for the bonds, it is best to make sure that a small majority cannot control the fate of homeowners. The system works best when a super-majority supports a policy that directly affects the pocketbook.

McGrath: Yes! In Ventura County the last three bond measures have been lost due to this restriction.

Roberts: No.

Schaefer: No.

Takasugi: Yes. I support majority rule, not minority rule. Recently, Measure "O" in the Oxnard School District received about well above 50% of the vote yet fell short of the required two-thirds majority. I support a strong reinvestment in our schools. To do so, we must make reinvesting in our schools easier. Requiring a two-thirds majority encourages minority rule. I support reducing the requirement to 50% plus one vote.

Williams: Yes.

Abortion

Q. Do you support a woman's unrestricted right to an abortion within the first three months of pregnancy?

Berger: Yes. I support the right. I do not support state funding for abortion (except in unique cases). I would encourage alternatives to abortions; however, the woman should choose.

De Blauw: Yes. I would initiate legislation to stop state funding of abortions, except in cases of fear of the mother's life, rape or incest. People must take responsibilities for their own actions.

Guggenheim: No. I support the right to life of unborn children.

McGrath: Yes. Safe, legal and accessible abortion should be available to all women (including teens), regardless of economic status.

Roberts: Yes. Minors should have parental consent as is required for any other medical procedure.

Schaefer: Yes.

Takasugi: Yes. This is a decision between a woman, her family and her own morals. It is not a decision for government.

Williams: Yes. Absolutely a right of a woman to make in the privacy of a doctor's office, without government involved.

Abortion Funding

Q. Do you support state funding of abortions for women who cannot afford them?

Berger: No. The only exception would be when the abortion is necessary for medical reasons (life of mother endangered) or for rape or incest.

De Blauw: No. Only in cases of fear of the mother's life, rape or incest. People need to be responsible for themselves.

Guggenheim: No. It is not the place of government to pay for the private decisions of individuals.

McGrath: Yes. Abortion should not be a right reserved for the affluent. Consider how many prisons are filled with convicts who were once unwanted children.

Roberts: Yes.

Schaefer: Yes. Court decisions upheld this right. I support abortion prevention by education.

Takasugi: Yes. The option of choice should be available to women of all economic levels.

Williams: Yes.

Death Penalty

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

Berger: Yes. 1) Murder (first degree). 2) Drug dealers convicted of selling major amounts of certain substances or causing the death of another. 3) Treason/attempt to overthrow the government--this, of course, would not be tried by the state (federal court would handle).

De Blauw: Yes. Only for first-degree murder.

Guggenheim: Yes. For premeditated murder.

McGrath: Yes. For first-degree murderers/serial killers/habitual child molesters/hate crimes resulting in death, etc.

Roberts: Yes. Murder. The appeals process should be expedited to allow for timely completion of the sentence.

Schaefer: Yes. All crimes as outlined in current law.

Takasugi: Yes. Murder under special circumstances. In addition, criminals who are convicted of violent crimes should measure their sentences not in weeks or months, but years and decades.

Williams: Yes. As the law specifies now.

Illegal Immigration

Q. Do you support the adoption of new measures such as increased border patrols and physical barriers to try to stem the flow of illegal immigration from the south?

Berger: Yes. And I support Elton Gallegly's proposal to deny citizenship to babies of illegal aliens born in this country.

De Blauw: Yes. We could use the military to hold military exercises on the border. Presence alone would deter border crossings at no additional expense.

Guggenheim: Yes. The economic, social and human cost to blatant illegal alien activity must be stopped. Those here legally are losing quality education, health care and jobs due to this "invasion."

McGrath: Yes. Illegal immigration from the south must be stemmed.

Roberts: Yes. This mission could be given to existing military units at minimal additional expense.

Schaefer: Yes. Taxpayers contributed $5.4 billion dollars for services to illegal aliens in 1990. We must take whatever steps are effective to stop this drain of tax dollars. Taxpayers can no longer fund the cost of medical care, social services, education, police, courts and jails for illegal "visitors."

Takasugi: Yes. America has always been the melting pot, and it should continue to be. When my father came to this country, he came as a legal immigrant. Similarly, immigrants entering our country today should do so according to laws set down by the United States.

I believe we need to stem the flow of illegal immigration from all access points, including airports and ports of entry.

Williams: Yes. Although all measures will fail until there is more economic incentive to stay in Mexico.

Business Environment

Q. Do you believe businesses are leaving California due to a hostile business environment? If yes, how would you make California more attractive to business? Berger: Yes. 1) Simplify regulatory processes. 2) Tax incentives for businesses. 3) Reform workers' compensation (notably, change requirements for claims (esp. stress), increase prosecution of fraud, control medical costs, etc.)

De Blauw: Reduce the time it takes to get permits for new business and expanding business, also reduce the time and expense it takes for new construction. Relax environmental laws by reducing fines, giving businesses more time to adhere to current environmental laws. Also, reform workers' compensation so businesses can pay a premium based on their safety record. In addition, make available a deductible so the overall rate will be lower. This would save money for companies with good safety records. This is why I am pro-business/pro-jobs. Companies are leaving the state and going where the business climate is friendly.

Guggenheim: Yes. We need to re-evaluate regulations, the workers' compensation system, cut the overwhelming number of state boards and commissions. We must end the practice of taxing people and corporations to meet expenditure goals.

McGrath: Yes. Workers' compensation fraud in this state is obscene, and requires immediate attention. California's workers' comp premiums are some of the highest in the nation, yet provide the least employee benefits.

Roberts: Yes. Streamline and expedite the permit review functions. Reduce business bashing and attempting to have business solve all our personal and societal problems.

Schaefer: Revamp the workers' comp system ASAP. Give tax incentives for new plants and equipment-tax credits for environmental improvements; require state agencies to review, justify and simplify all paperwork demands on business and industry; collaborative rather than adversarial discussions between business and all levels of government to seek solutions to problems.

Takasugi: Yes. Some well-intended environmental regulations have become unintended job killers. While we need to maintain strict environmental regulation, we must do away with overlapping areas of authority. There are four areas where businesses have been affected by horrible public policy:

A) Workers' compensation--last year, California businesses paid $8.4 billion in workers' compensation. This system is full of incentives for fraud and manipulators of fraud. I will see that we repair the system. B) The tax and fiscal policies of the state--California's corporate taxes are the highest in the Southwest. We also have the highest sales taxes and the highest marginal rates on personal income than any state in the Southwest.

We must stop reaching into the pockets of business because if we continue to do so, those pockets will be across the state line employing people and paying taxes in another state. C) Land-use policies, especially regarding housing--current policies have driven the price of housing up 600% in the last two decades.

While we must have strict land-use policies, builders should not have to adhere to ridiculous regulations.

If the employers cannot find affordable housing for employees, they will go elsewhere. D) Overlapping environmental authority--the gauntlet of complicated environmental red tape is forcing many job providers out of California. We need to make it possible for business owners to go to one central location to find out exactly what environmental rules apply to them.

Williams: Yes. Revise and reform workers' compensation and health care costs. Closely evaluate recommendations of the Ueberroth Commission.

Government Contracts

Q. Do you think state government contracts should be awarded on a "Buy American" basis, with winning bidders being those who promise to use specific percentages of American workers to produce goods and services? Berger: This is too tough to monitor in the way you present it. Many "foreign" cars are manufactured in the U.S. However, many parts in American cars are produced abroad. The idea sounds good but it is probably not workable.

De Blauw: Yes. If the bids were equal, my consideration would be to those contractors and workers who live and work in the state. It is those Americans who contribute to the economy and to the tax base, whereas foreign contractors would not.

Guggenheim: No. This, in the long run, will cost us more as taxpayers for products and services. We will create similar laws in other countries, meaning less exports of American goods. But, we must work to reduce and eliminate other nations' discriminatory laws against American products, such as Japan's against American rice.

McGrath: Yes. It is imperative that we support American firms and the American worker now more than ever. Other countries have operated in this manner for decades. We must protect our own work force before the work forces of other nations.

Roberts: Yes. A "Buy American" specification included in the bid package would not exclude foreign-owned companies being awarded a contract, and it would improve relationships with American subcontractors.

Schaefer: Yes. I believe there should be a weighted component in the bidding process. However, competition is healthy, usually produces the best price and the best quality, which is what we, the taxpayers, have a right to expect.

Takasugi: Yes. Whenever possible we should buy not only American, but Californian. When the sought-after products are actually foreign built. For example, I understand the Toyota Camry is made in Kentucky, but marketed by a Japanese company, while some Fords are made in Mexico.

Williams: Yes. It does make sense to provide jobs here at home.

Health Insurance

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

Berger: No. To put this mandate on business would cause even more businesses to leave California. We must use market forces, reduction in medical fraud (which raises costs), cost cutting within the existing system, and incentives/education to encourage a healthful style of living.

De Blauw: No. Give individual and business tax deductions for all medical premiums and all medical costs.

Guggenheim: No. This would not solve the health care crisis. It would only increase the cost of doing business and make the health care industry even more inefficient than it is today. A monopoly or mandated system does not create efficient business practices.

McGrath: Currently, I cannot rule out this option, however I feel an across-the-board measure of this nature could have devastating repercussions on California's smaller businesses. Health care is a national crisis, and thus should be addressed on a federal level, but administered by the state.

Roberts: No. Health care is a complex issue. Controlling the ever increasing costs of health care must be included in any solution. Improvements in existing health services delivery systems should be made before other alternatives are introduced.

Schaefer: No. Having adequate health care coverage is a critical issue for every Californian, yet government should stay out of business as much as possible.

Takasugi: Yes. I agree as long as consideration is given to small and medium-sized businesses who may have problems sponsoring a complete health insurance package for all employees. I think we must be careful not to add another burden, while making the insurance plan a means of helping businesses provide insurance for employees. Healthy employees mean better business.

Williams: Yes. I am not in support of the CMA ABC plan but some aspects of the Garamendi plan make sense.

State Payroll Tax

Q. Do you support state Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi's proposed $34 - billion plan, financed by a state payroll tax, for health care for California workers, people with pre-existing medical conditions and the unemployed? Berger: No. This will drive people and businesses out of California, which will further reduce the state's tax base, which will result in an even worse budget problem.

De Blauw: No. We want business to stay in California. Some will close their doors. It is just another social program that will trickle down to the taxpayer.

Guggenheim: No. Again, this is counterproductive, as mentioned in answer No. 9. Worse, it guarantees a depression in California as employers leave in droves. This is the type of 1930s liberal answer to community problems--tax-spend-elect-destroy.

McGrath: I do support this in theory. However, if this plan were made law, how would we safeguard California's borders from a large influx of the sick and unemployed from other states in the union?

Roberts: No. Improve delivery of health services through existing state and county programs. Create neighborhood clinics to reduce patient loads on general hospitals.

Schaefer: No. This plan currently calls for a 1% payroll tax, which I am opposed to. The federal income tax started small, too. We all know what happened to that!

Takasugi: No. From what I understand of this plan, it will only increase tax burdens on California citizens. This proposal could also seriously damage the quality of health care in the state. If this passes, in addition to businesses, we will see medical care providers leaving the state.

Williams: Yes. With a lot of changes. Basically a good idea with adoption of the Oregon prioritized health services. We need to provide rowboat coverage to prevent drowning, but not a cabin-cruiser. All insurance plans must be kept private.

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? Berger: No. Only if the oil companies can convince me that there will be no environmental harm and the local population agrees to allow the drilling.

De Blauw: Yes. If the oil is consumed by California residents only.

Guggenheim: This should only be done with the support of the people in the community affected.

McGrath: No. Developing alternate energy sources creates jobs and requires immediate exploration.

Roberts: No.

Schaefer: No. It would probably take a very severe oil shortage for oil companies to want to explore for oil off our coastline. Current technology in offshore drilling is fraught with environmental risks.

Takasugi: No. The California coast is very fragile and we should do our best to protect it.

Williams: No. Too dangerous.

Air Quality

Q. Should state and federal air quality rules be eased to reduce the financial burdens on California industry?

Berger: Yes. But we should provide incentives for meeting goals in the area of pollution. We should also provide incentives for "pollution solution" companies to come to California.

De Blauw: Yes. We should give business more time to adhere to the air standards and reduce the fines. Let's keep businesses from leaving the state.

Guggenheim: Yes. Current rules are based on national standards, rather than local needs. Ventura County is different from Pittsburgh. That is the inherent problem with setting national standards.

McGrath: No.

Roberts: No. I support the alternative of allowing business to market and trade their air quality allocations. This type of creative problem solving should be encouraged by other government agencies.

Schaefer: No. As mayor of Thousand Oaks and as a county supervisor, I worked to bring more jobs to Ventura County. This would allow more people to work in Ventura County, lower the number of commuters and help clean up the air.

Takasugi: This question is impossible to answer, as it is two questions in one.

No, state and federal air quality rules should not be eased. Yes, we should ease burdens on California industry and simplify the reporting and record keeping systems.

Today, business pays 80% for air quality management, while only contributing to 20% of the problem. We must stop reaching into the pockets of business to solve all our problems, otherwise those businesses will take their jobs to other states, leaving no pockets to reach into at all.

Williams: No. It's way too unhealthy now! What's good for business may not be good for people's health. We have an obligation to protect!

Gun Sales

Q. Do you support any limitation on the sales of guns to individuals? If so, what? Berger: Yes. We need to prosecute those caught misusing guns; we need to prosecute to the full extent of the law! However, convicted felons should not have the right to own any guns! Also, the mentally incompetent should not be able to own guns.

De Blauw: Yes. Machine guns should not be sold to the average citizen.

Guggenheim: Yes. Criminals and the mentally ill should not be allowed to have weapons. But, the law-abiding citizen should be allowed to have guns, without a waiting period, nor with any registration. Current restrictions tend to penalize the law-abiding citizen wanting to protect themselves and their families. The police cannot be with us 24 hours a day. Therefore, laws should not withhold weapons from good people wanting to protect themselves from criminals.

McGrath: Yes. I support a two-week waiting period and mandatory training. Furthermore, citizens with a history of violent behavior, mental illness or involuntary manslaughter involving armed weapons should be restricted from gun ownership.

Roberts: Yes. Waiting period for handguns. Restrictions on the sale of assault types of weapons and specific types of ammunition.

Schaefer: Yes. I support current laws.

Takasugi: Yes. I support a waiting period for handguns and strong controls on the sale of assault rifles.

Williams: Yes. I have been shot three times, been stabbed (9/79) in Oxnard in a house break-in. I do not support unlimited gun ownership.

Officer Intervention

Q. Do you support making it a crime for a police officer to fail to intervene if he / she witnesses a fellow officer using excessive force against someone? Berger: No. Not a good question--this is too open to interpretation on all sides.

De Blauw: No. Police officers should have the same rights as private citizens.

Guggenheim: Any time an officer sees a crime being committed they should intervene. If they fail to do so, then action should be taken against them. The problem with the question is that what is excessive in one instance may not be in another. This is a judgment call that respectful and honest people would not agree on in all instances. To make it a "crime" would potentially weaken the ability of a police officer to responsibly act. We need better training of officers and more community support for crime prevention.

McGrath: Yes. Police officers are sworn to "protect and serve." Excessive force is neither.

Roberts: Yes. It's a shame to have to legislate values. Academy and continuing training for all officers must strengthen values and interpersonal skills training.

Schaefer: Yes.

Takasugi: Yes. There are already laws on the books for officers failing to arrest a criminal, we don't need more.

A policeman, regardless of who is committing the crime, should report and take action on that crime. I believe incidents of officers neglecting to follow this procedure are isolated. We are fortunate to have such well trained and dedicated people serving Ventura County.

Williams: Yes. It is wrong to condone abuse of authority.

Job Bias Veto

Q. Do you support Gov. Pete Wilson's veto last year of legislation that would have outlawed job discrimination against homosexuals?

Berger: Yes. The employer should have the discretion to decide whether homosexuality is a factor in the job.

De Blauw: Yes. I don't believe people should have minority rights based on sexual preference.

Guggenheim: Governor Wilson was right to veto AB 101. You can not protect everyone, for to do so, protects no one. To make sexual orientation a protected "minority" demeans blacks, Hispanics and others. Instead, we need to look at people as individuals, rather than as masses.

McGrath: No. Discrimination based on sexual preference has no place in the work place.

Roberts: No. Individuals should not be denied employment or advancement based on race, religion or sexual orientation.

Schaefer: Yes. Legal protections have been in place to prohibit discrimination in housing and employment. This legislation would have provided greater opportunity to litigate in an already burdened court system. I believe that sexual preference is a private issue.

Takasugi: Yes. No one should ever be discriminated against for race, religion, color, sex or sexual preference. Yet, we don't need another law.

One of the biggest problems to California is the number of excess laws and the resulting burden on taxpayers. There are laws on the books that outlaw discrimination for any reason. I support those laws and we should adhere to them.

This legislation would have led to lawsuits and incredible problems adding additional burdens on California business. This piece of legislation is an example of political grandstanding and game playing on the part of Sacramento politicians.

Williams: No. It's very hard to prove or disprove sexual orientation. I support equal rights for all--period.

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? Berger: I feel that it has gone too far at times. Just like a minority person should not be kept from a job because of the reason for being a minority, a member of the majority should not be punished for being of the majority. I do not support quotas.

De Blauw: Yes. It has gone far enough. The best person for the job should be hired, and if a person is discriminated against because of their race or gender, the person responsible for that decision should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. These laws have been on the books for more than a decade.

Guggenheim: Affirmative action programs have gone too far. Minorities hired are looked upon as less than qualified, because people question whether they were hired because of their "status" or their qualifications. This is a disservice to the qualified job applicants.

Moreover, racism, black or white, is wrong. If it is wrong to discriminate against "minorities," (and it is) than it is wrong to discriminate against "majorities." Affirmative action creates distrust of other people, and government actions in most cases is counterproductive and disruptive of the workplace. Let employers hire the most qualified people for a job.

McGrath: Affirmative action in the employment of the qualified underemployed should actively be encouraged.

Roberts: About right. Active recruitment and promotion of qualified women and minorities must be encouraged at all levels of business and government.

Schaefer: It's just about right. Let's get back to the basics--businesses should hire the best qualified for the job.

Takasugi: Current affirmative action laws are excellent. Unfortunately, these laws are not always carried out. We must be vigorous in continuing to go forward. Today, some businesses and public agencies have made great progress, others have failed.

Williams: It is clear that there are more men, non-minority, higher-paid employees; therefore, we have not achieved equality yet.

'Right-to-Die' Initiative

Q. Do you support the so-called "right-to-die" initiative on the November ballot that would allow doctors to end the lives of people who are terminally ill in a "painless, humane and dignified manner"?

Berger: Yes. If a person chooses to die painlessly because the prognosis is a long, protracted and painful illness, the individual should have the right to choose a dignified and painless death.

De Blauw: No.

Guggenheim: No. This measure has no controls on it and the possibility of abuse is probable. Importantly, I note that liberal groups supporting this measure opposed the death penalty for Robert Alton Harris, a convicted murderer, but support "painless" killing of the innocent. The philosophy behind this measure is that people become "inconvenient" to society, so do away with them. At what point do we determine the handicapped, those with lower IQs than average and those who don't believe as we do as "inconvenient" and should be killed?

McGrath: Yes. It is humane, and dignified.

Roberts: Yes. With the consent of the next of kin through prearranged agreement by the patient.

Schaefer: Yes. One only needs to see a loved one suffering horribly in the last days of a terminal illness to understand the necessity of the right of that loved one to chose death with dignity.

Takasugi: Yes. I support the patient's right to make that decision.

Williams: No. It's a moral question, impossible to legislate to decide if a doctor should ever kill a patient. Poorly worded question.

Cuts in Welfare Benefits

Q. Do you support Gov. Pete Wilson's proposal to reduce welfare benefits for a family of three by 10% immediately, to $597 a month, and by another 15% for families with able-bodied adults who were not working?

Berger: Yes. Welfare should be changed from a handout to a payout for a job that is performed.

De Blauw: Yes.

Guggenheim: Recent surveys show that forcing people to work increases their take-home pay, gives them pride and allows more money for those truly in need. The current system creates dependency on the welfare system, harming those who are receiving public assistance. Policies like those promoted by Governor Wilson point us in the right direction to help society as a whole.

McGrath: No. I do not support an obligatory 10% cut on families of three, however I do support cutting at least 15% from benefits paid to families with able-bodied adults who will not work.

Roberts: Yes. Social programs must be designed to allow the recipient dignity and a sense of self-worth.

Schaefer: Yes. As taxpayers we are footing the bills for this massive program. Welfare was designed as a temporary assistance but in California more than 20% of the recipients have been collecting welfare for more than eight years! This is wrong--families like yours and mine are struggling to make it. We can't afford this kind of "temporary" program. Enough!

Takasugi: Yes. Able-bodied men and women should work. We must stop keeping the poor down with welfare. We must help these folks with a helping hand out of the poverty cycle. Today, California pays the highest welfare costs. Some people, as one would imagine, come from far and wide to take advantage of our goodwill.

Williams: Yes. It does make sense.

Child-Care Subsidy

Q. Should businesses be required to subsidize child care for employees?

Berger: No. Not required--but incentives for doing so could be provided.

De Blauw: No. I want less government involvement. Let's make child care a 100% deduction for individuals and businesses.

Guggenheim: Subsidized child care is another opportunity to lose jobs in California. This sends us in the wrong direction of trying to entice business and jobs to California.

McGrath: Yes, based on the number of employees, tax credits should be awarded to businesses required to subsidize such facilities.

Roberts: No.

Schaefer: No.

Takasugi: No. I do not support giving business one more reason to leave the state--one more costly regulation. We should encourage child care through tax incentives, not fees.

Williams: No. Voluntary programs do benefit employers to retain good employees but legislation would not work.

Tuition Increase

Q. Should tuition at state universities and colleges be increased to help offset state budget deficits?

Berger: Yes. But the increase should be used specifically for the colleges. Businesses should be encouraged to provide low- or no-interest grants/loans to students (the student could commit to working for that same company).

De Blauw: No. Then we will have less students going to universities and colleges.

Guggenheim: The main beneficiaries of a college education are those who receive it. Therefore they should be willing to pay for the benefit. Improved loans and scholarship programs need to be developed in the private sector, so that potential employers would be willing to use their funds to support a student who would later become an employee.

McGrath: Not for students who have lived and been educated in California, however I would support increasing tuition for those coming from other states and foreign countries.

Roberts: No. A well-educated work force contributes to the economic vitality of the state. Increases should be charged to out-of-state and foreign students.

Schaefer: No. Our best and brightest have already had a 40% increase in two years. Why should we jeopardize our future leaders by pricing them out of an education?

Takasugi: No. The problem with the state budget is not with the in-flow side, but the out-flow side.

While we should cut back on "frilly" course offerings, the last thing we should do is try to balance the budget on the backs of young people seeking a quality education. On one hand, the tax-and-spend Democrats are asking us to increase welfare, then on the other hand forcing students to pay more for an education to get off welfare. It does not make any sense.

Williams: Yes. But only for non-residents. State residents, no increase.

Changing Proposition 13

Q. Do you support any change in the laws enacted by voters in 1978 as Proposition 13? Berger: No. I would only support a change in the requirements for passage of a school bond issue because I think education is so important.

De Blauw: No. I will not change Proposition 13.

Guggenheim: Proposition 13 protected the right to keep a home. This measure prevented government from using our homes as collateral for their spending habits. In the long run this is equitable and stable. Those who buy homes today know the exact amount of property taxes and can predict with real certainty the cost in the future. Otherwise, our homes would be a lottery prize for bureaucrats.

McGrath: No.

Roberts: No.

Schaefer: No.

Takasugi: No. Proposition 13 did a great deal to ease the burden of runaway property taxes on homeowners, especially seniors. I would support studying ways to further ease property tax burdens on new homeowners today.

Williams: No.

Presidential Nominee

Q. At the beginning of the campaign season, whom did you support as your party's presidential nominee?

Berger: George Bush.

De Blauw: Patrick Buchanan. I do believe President Bush got the message from conservatives and I will stand behind the candidate who wins the nomination of the Republican Party.

Guggenheim: I supported and continue to support President George Bush.

McGrath: Quite honestly, it's an ongoing process of evaluation.

Roberts: President George Bush.

Schaefer: President George Bush.

Takasugi: President George Bush.

Williams: George Bush.

Campaign Financing

Q. Should political campaigns be taxpayer-funded to reduce the importance of special-interest money? Berger: There could be a limitation on campaign spending. I might support that over "taxpayer-funded" campaigns (we are all taxpayers so I'm not sure "taxpayer-funded" is the correct term). Elections should be financed on the free market economy concept.

De Blauw: Yes. As long as it is not a tax increase, but from state tax returns on a voluntary basis, like presidential donations on federal tax returns.

Guggenheim: Tax dollars should be used for public service, not given to politicians to continue their careers. Individuals with a common interest join together to give money to a candidate through a common source (a political action committee). To stop this would be to silence the individual who volunteers to donate to a candidate or cause.

McGrath: Some form of reform is needed. However, I do not believe campaigns should be the financial burden of the taxpayer.

Roberts: Yes, it would open the process to more participation and provide real choice to the voters.

Schaefer: Only on a voluntary basis.

Takasugi: No. Grass-roots government has been, and should continue to be, the basis for democracy in the United States. We need to work to reduce the cost of government to the taxpayer.

Williams: No. We waste too much already.

Public Policy

Q. What, if any, book have you recently read that influenced your view of public policy? Berger: I read a minimum of three newspapers daily (L.A. Times, Daily News and the News Chronicle). I also read approximately 10 magazines a month. My view of public policy is continually influenced by these periodicals.

De Blauw: Conservative Chronicle and National Review.

Guggenheim: Most recently I read "Reinventing Government" by Ted Gaebler. This explained the trend away from government solutions and toward private alliances.

McGrath: "Women and Children Last," by Ruth Sidell.

Roberts: "Building California's Tomorrow."

Schaefer: "Suddenly" by George Will.

Takasugi: "Bionomics" by Michael Rothschild. Although I don't agree with everything in Mr. Rothschild's book, he does provide the reader with a very unique look at our economy. He writes that we must look at our economy as a natural mechanism for the betterment of society. I disagree with some of his understanding of public schools. Yet, I do agree with his conclusion that many elements of our tax system destroy incentives to save.

Williams: Barry Goldwater's books.

Hill or Thomas?

Q. Who do you think more likely told the truth, Anita Hill or Clarence Thomas? Berger: Clarence Thomas has been accepted as a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. I agree with our legislators' decision that he is eminently qualified for the job.

De Blauw: Clarence Thomas.

Guggenheim: At issue is not who more likely told the truth. The issue is the obnoxious way the Democrats in Congress handled this situation.

McGrath: Without a doubt, Anita Hill.

Roberts: Unable to make a judgment without reading a hearing transcript.

Schaefer: It no longer matters as the decision made is irrevocable.

Takasugi: I was appalled by the entire circus. Because it became a public spectacle, it was difficult to say who was telling the truth. Sexual harassment is a horrible crime. A crime that our society must not allow. I was ashamed by the actions of all involved: Hill, Thomas, but most of all the U.S. Senate.

Williams: I think Anita did but. . .

CONTENDERS Michael D. Berger, 45, of Thousand Oaks is vice principal of Moorpark High School. He has been an administrator and teacher in the Moorpark and Conejo Valley school districts for 23 years. A Republican, he has been elected twice to the Conejo Parks and Recreation District.

Ronald E. De Blauw, 35, of Oxnard is the owner of a small trucking business. A Republican and Army veteran, he has lived in Ventura County for 20 years. He promises a "commonsense approach to government" and has written a lengthy platform detailing his positions.

Alan Guggenheim, 42, a Republican, is president of CalCar Investment Services, a financial-consulting firm. A native of France, he emigrated to the United States in 1981, settled in Newbury Park in 1989 and became a naturalized citizen last year.

David A. Harner, 40, is the Libertarian candidate. He is a clinical laboratory scientist and lives in Newbury Park. He has been a member of the party for 10 years. Harner declined to answer the candidate questionnaire.

Roz McGrath, 45, is the only Democrat in the race. Part of a pioneer Ventura County family, she is a schoolteacher and farm manager who lives in Camarillo. She was formerly executive director of the Coalition Against Household Violence and is former president of the Ventura County Fair Board.

Madge L. Schaefer, 50, of Thousand Oaks was a member of the Thousand Oaks City Council for eight years and the Ventura County Board of Supervisors for four years until 1990, when she was defeated for reelection. A Republican, she has lived in Ventura County for 22 years.

Nao Takasugi, 70, is mayor of Oxnard and has been on the City Council for 16 years. Born in Oxnard, he is the former owner of a grocery store. In 1988, he spoke at the Republican National Convention.

Jon H. Williams, 49, is a Camarillo podiatrist who is on the surgical staff at Pleasant Valley Hospital. He took a medical retirement after serving 10 years in the Army, including two tours in Vietnam, where he was wounded. A Republican, he has lived in Ventura County for 13 years.

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