Questions were sent to candidates in September. Answers have been edited to fit the space.
Q. What do you believe is the single most wasteful program in state government?
Fuhrman: Workers' compensation takes first place in waste, fraud and mismanagement.
Hoge: The budget allocation for the state Legislature. There is enormous duplication of staff work and frivolous expenditures on legislative perks.
Saurenman: Mass transit--transportation. A simple example: the Los Angeles to Long Beach Blue Line. A single round trip costs $33 to $35 per passenger. Tickets sell for $2.20.
Q. Are there any state programs you believe should never be cut? If so, what?
Fuhrman: My top priority is our schools. I concede that not every dollar is well spent. We need to slim down administration and make the best use of every dollar we allocate. But I will not ever vote to cut per-pupil spending.
Hoge: Public safety programs should be protected. The spread of dangerous gangs throughout our communities requires the maximum funding for law enforcement.
Saurenman: Probably none qualify.
Q. What specific steps should be taken to rebuild riot-scarred parts of Los Angeles?
Fuhrman: Most of the job has to be done by the private sector. We in government simply have to get out of their way. If a property owner simply wants to rebuild what was previously on the property, I would waive all permitting and review processes at the state and local level.
Hoge: The private sector provisions of the Ueberroth Commission Report will provide a sound foundation for rebuilding Los Angeles. Specifically, enterprise zones will encourage businesses to relocate into these scarred neighborhoods.
Saurenman: Enterprise zones, increased police protection, parental choice of schools, and political control of transit are but a few. Cost could be from contract savings by ending prevailing union wage law requirements.
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?
Fuhrman: No. The intent is reasonable, but the proposal is flawed. I do support increasing taxes on households whose income exceeds $200,000. But I oppose raising bank and corporate taxes or property taxes. Further, the proposed sales tax cut is only one-quarter of one cent--not much of a cut.
Hoge: Proposition 167 should be defeated. Moreover, I was opposed to the 1991 state budget tax increases that included raising the sales tax. We need to help locate businesses into our state with tax deductions, not tax hikes.
Saurenman: I favor repeal of the sales tax hikes. But increasing taxes elsewhere would accomplish nothing but turn banks and corporations into tax collectors.
Q. Do you support legislation to ban job discrimination against homosexuals in California?
Saurenman: No, although such discrimination is shortsighted.
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?
Fuhrman: Yes. Some are leaving; others are not expanding, and others are opening elsewhere. We can clean up workers' compensation and streamline our regulatory process. But the key to attracting and retaining future industries is to invest in our children, schools and colleges and infrastructure.
Hoge: Yes. A serious change in attitude by the bureaucracy. The recent tax increase seriously burdened many retailers and added internal costs for compliance. Reform workers' compensation.
Saurenman: Yes. Cut deeply into the political rules, regulations, codes, laws, taxes and fees that make it impossible for the poor to start a new business and slow the growth of existing businesses.
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? Fuhrman: Yes, with an exception for small businesses. Group health can be a tremendous cost, one that could put small businesses out of business. But by the same token, health care costs can bankrupt employees. We need some way to control health costs that will make insurance more affordable.
Hoge: No. Government-dominated mandatory health programs will provide poor service, be costly and further drive businesses from California.
Saurenman: No. This fringe benefit was started by companies to entice and hold onto quality employees. Smaller companies that couldn't afford this didn't. If forced to do so, they will create loopholes, not hire employees or cut employment.
Q. Do you support giving state money to parents to allow them to enroll their children in schools of their choice, public or private?
Q. Should tuition at state universities and colleges be increased to help offset state budget deficits?
Fuhrman: Yes. I don't like the idea, but given our dramatic budget deficit, everyone will need to bear some added burdens.
Hoge: The answer to higher education is to cut administrative costs.
Saurenman: No. First we can get rid of budget deficits.
Q. Do you support reducing the votes needed to pass a school construction bond issue from two-thirds to a simple majority?
Q. Do you support capital punishment for any crimes? If so, which ones?
Fuhrman: Yes. First-degree murder with aggravating circumstances. Generally, I support the current laws. The only extension might be for repeat major drug distributors.
Hoge: Yes. The current capital requirements.
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?
Fuhrman: We still have a "glass ceiling" for both women and minorities, and we need continued pressure to encourage businesses to prepare them for, and promote them into, senior management. But we are definitely making progress.
Hoge: I do not support quotas in any guise. Affirmative action leads to quotas.
Saurenman: It is probably time to consider repeal. The goals must certainly have been reached by now.
Q. Do you support a woman's unrestricted right to an abortion within the first three months of pregnancy?
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?
Saurenman: Not answered.
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?
Fuhrman: No. I support deferring cost-of-living increases and limiting payments to new residents to the level they received in their prior state of residence. But I do not support this sort of punitive reduction.
Hoge: Yes. The reforms in welfare must address the bureaucratic waste in federal, state and county welfare agencies.
Q. What single change would most improve life in Southern California?
Fuhrman: Truly implement mass transit, which would dramatically improve air quality, reduce freeway congestion and improve the economic viability and attractiveness of the region.
Hoge: A resolution to the conflict between the environment and the economy, a better tax structure, lessened bureaucratic domination.
Saurenman: Election and reelection of Libertarian candidates.