Decision '92 : VOTING IN THE VALLEY / AN ELECTION GUIDE : STATE SENATE / 23rd DISTRICT : Q and A

Questions were sent to candidates in September. Answers have been edited to fit the space.

State Spending

Q. What do you believe is the single most wasteful program in state government?

Hayden: All state bureaucracy is inherently wasteful. Too often it is based on body counts instead of actual service or quality of performance. From classrooms to cellblocks, bureaucracies are rewarded on average daily attendance, caseloads, etc., and not according to how many minds they develop, lives they improve, or even dollars they save. We need to phase in more performance-based budgeting across the board.

Issacson: The portion of the University of California that supports the Pentagon. Prisons when used for drug offenders.

McRoskey: An inattentive and ineffective Legislature.

Weilburg: Every echelon of state, as well as federal government is mired in waste, but for the sake of answering the question, I'll say the pay for a state senator.

Indispensable Programs

Q. Are there any state programs you believe should never be cut? If so, what?

Hayden: Basic education, environment, public safety and protection of the disadvantaged.

Issacson: Welfare, education, mental health, health care, help for aged, medical.

McRoskey: Wasteful, needless and reckless spending must be eliminated regardless of "sacred-cow" status.

Weilburg: Regardless of the program, the day we quit looking for ways to save even one taxpayer's dollar will be a day that will live in infamy.

Taxes on Wealthy

Q. Do you support a November ballot initiative that would raise taxes on wealthy individuals, corporations and banks while repealing 1991 sales tax hikes?

Hayden: Yes, although I do not agree with every provision.

Issacson: Yes.

McRoskey: Tax-shifting initiatives do not result in reduction of wasteful spending programs.

Weilburg: The 1991 sales tax hikes should be repealed. I'm against Proposition 167's tax hikes.

Gay Rights

Q. Do you support legislation to ban job discrimination against homosexuals in California?

Hayden: Yes.

Issacson: Yes.

McRoskey: Such legislation has become the law of the state.

Weilburg: No.

Business Exodus

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?

Hayden: There are not as many businesses leaving as the special-interest lobbyists claim. The big reasons we've lost 500,000 jobs are a national economic recession and inevitable defense cuts. The old days of "recovery" by over-development are over. We must improve the public quality of life for private enterprise, by improving education, transit and the environment.

Issacson: No. Let's replace any business that deserts California with a state-owned enterprise that duplicates the product or service and keeps jobs here at union wages.

McRoskey: Yes. This exodus can be stopped by a reform of workers' compensation laws, stimulation of capital formation, elimination of detrimental regulations and fees.

Weilburg: Yes. I would work to lower state income and business taxes and to deregulate our over-regulated industries.

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? Hayden: Many California businesses are being crushed by health-care costs now. We need a universal system with cost containment and prevention emphasized.

Issacson: Yes. Health care can be best funded now by the people who have the money.

McRoskey: Some form of self-supporting coverage must be developed. Business entities cannot bear added costs as it exacerbates the state's known hostility toward these entities. Illegal immigration and other factors add to this dilemma.

Weilburg: No. Required health insurance would further harm California's already over-regulated businesses. If taxes were lower, then people could afford their own health insurance.

School Vouchers

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

Hayden: No.

Issacson: No. This would destroy our most democratic institution, public education.

McRoskey: Parents must have a choice of independent or parochial schools and if so elected are entitled to some credit proposals.

Weilburg: Yes. I support returning taxpayers' money so people have a choice.

College Tuition

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

Hayden: No. Student fees have increased 200-250% this decade, and our students are in greater debt per capita than the people of the former Soviet Union. Reduce the tax deduction for business lunches and country club dues and you offset the need for $300 million in student fee increases.

Issacson: No. Cut back the increases of the last two years. These increases fall hardest on the poor and people of color.

McRoskey: Such institutions of learning are part of the state budget for whatever costs are not covered by tuition. Reduction in waste and abuse of state funds would offset deficits.

Weilburg: No. Plenty of government waste can be eliminated to balance the budget.

School Bonds

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

Hayden: Yes.

Issacson: Yes.

McRoskey: Certain limitations would have to accompany this favorable move to protect against abuses.

Weilburg: No.

Death Penalty

Q. Do you support capital punishment for any crimes?

Hayden: Yes.

Issacson: No.

McRoskey: Yes.

Weilburg: No.

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?

Hayden: We need more emphasis on promoting qualified women and minorities, especially in executive boardrooms.

Issacson: Not gone far enough.

McRoskey: Failure of some affirmative action programs suggests revisions are in order.

Weilburg: Affirmative action laws should be repealed.

Abortion Rights

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

Hayden: Yes.

Issacson: Yes.

McRoskey: Abortion is a legal medical procedure. It is a woman's sole decision to undergo such a procedure whenever she so chooses.

Weilburg: Yes.

Right-To-Die

Q. Do you support a November ballot initiative that would make it legal for doctors to "assist" terminally ill patients in dying, such as by giving them lethal injection?

Hayden: It is premature for this complex issue to be on the ballot. The rights of patients and their families deserve extreme attention to detail, which will never be given an initiative.

Issacson: Doctors should follow the publicly declared wishes of the patient.

McRoskey: Patients have the right to demand that no heroic efforts be employed to prolong terminal illness; just allow death to arrive naturally.

Weilburg: Yes.

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?

Hayden: No. This measure not only blames the poor (falsely) for our recession, but it contains a provision allowing a one-third minority of the Legislature to control taxes and all spending in alliance with the governor.

Issacson: No. But I support taxing the rich 10% more this year and 15% more the second year. Raising children is a very important job and needs to be supported by society when necessary.

McRoskey: Welfare reform is demanded to eliminate fraud, to promote the work force and to educate by training for different skills. If there are insufficient funds to cover such obligations, then cuts are the only alternative.

Weilburg: Yes.

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