Campaign '94: Issues and Answers

Three candidates are running in the Nov. 8 election to represent the 48th Congressional District. They are Democrat Andrei Leschick of Valley Center, Peace and Freedom candidate Donna White of San Diego and Republican Ron Packard, the incumbent, of Carlsbad.

Health Care

Leschick: "I support universal national health insurance, providing consumers a full choice between private providers, financed by a broad-based national sales tax, incorporating cost controls through competition, malpractice law reform, reduction of red tape, and stiff penalties to prevent fraud and abuse. . . . (I support) a system that includes reasonable co-payments for certain services to discourage abuse and to encourage proper individual health maintenance. I also support standardized forms to reduce the cost of paperwork, which now represents 25% of the total cost of health care in America. . . . I oppose using employer mandates to finance health care because they drive up the cost of American labor, reduce employment and create bureaucracies. . . . (A national sales tax to finance health care) is fair and efficient because it will encourage savings and investment and because it will apply to services and imports as well as American-made products."

White: Did not respond.

Packard: "As a former health-care provider, I am anxious to contribute my ideas to the debate about health care reform. I do not support the Clinton-Mitchell-Gephardt approaches to turning one-seventh of our economy over to the federal government. One only needs to examine the programs already administered by the federal government--Medicare, Medicaid and welfare--to know that waste, fraud, abuse and escalating costs would replace the efficient market-driven industry we now enjoy in America. I support the reform embodied in the Republicans' health care reform bill. . . . It expands access while preserving choice and containing costs. It does so without new taxes, government price controls, or complex bureaucracies. It also prohibits insurance companies from refusing coverage for people who switch jobs and allows Americans the luxury of choosing their own family doctor; (it keeps) intact the patient-doctor relationship that the Clinton-Mitchell-Gephardt plans would destroy."

Education and Health Care Benefits for Illegal Immigrants

Leschick: "I strongly support the efforts of the states and municipalities to seek federal financial assistance for immigrant education and social service expenses. All of America enjoys the benefits immigrants provide to our work force and culture; all of America should pay the costs. I also support efforts to create and strictly enforce fair and reasonable laws affecting immigrants and guest workers and protect civil rights, including the establishment of a tamper-proof North American identification card, a modern expanded guest-worker program and the creation of a guest-worker tax and insurance account to pay for their health and social service expenses. I oppose proposals that would deny education and health care services to any children living in the U.S. both because of the dangerous and expensive impact to public safety and because these proposals are contrary to fundamental American principles and long-term national interests."

White: Did not respond

Packard: "I favor ending taxpayer-financed benefits for illegal aliens. An amendment I authored was passed as part of the earthquake disaster bill in January. My amendment excluded illegal aliens from receiving long-term disaster assistance, with the exception of emergency medical care. . . . Providing benefits to those who break the law to enter this country undermines our laws and acts as a magnet, attracting thousands across our borders to take advantage of free health, education and welfare. Americans are tired of feeding more and more of their hard-earned dollars to support those who have broken our laws to come into this country. Shouldn't the government make every effort to identify illegal immigrants and exclude them from receiving benefits? You bet it should. But most Americans would be appalled to know that federal agencies make no attempt to identify a person's legal status. It is absolute hypocrisy that we forbid employers under penalty of law to hire illegal immigrants, while at the same time our federal agencies that dispense benefits are not required to even make an attempt to determine a person's legal status. I intend to end this practice."

Crime

Leschick: Platform includes support of "truth-in-sentencing" laws, boot camps for juvenile offenders and work programs "to make criminals pay back their debt to society and to their victims." It supports community policing to include crime prevention, substance abuse and after-school programs and "values-based" education to teach ethics and respect of the law. "I strongly support a 'three strikes' law, which would assure incorrigible and dangerous felons remain behind bars. However, the current California law as written may inadvertently apply to non-dangerous felons whose incarceration costs may divert funds from truly dangerous criminals and result in increased costs and taxes. . . . The biggest crime problem facing Southern California and America today is unemployment. . . . Building a new economy, creating constructive jobs, putting people to work is the most essential and cost-effective solution to crime in America."

White: Did not respond

Packard: "There are many reasons to oppose the $33-billion crime bill now before Congress. However, one provision points to the very core of the crime problem and why the Democratic Party leaders controlling our government are incapable of dealing with the crime problem. The bill denies us the right to fill the very spiritual void that is responsible for our crime crisis. It makes it virtually impossible to impart to our young people such basic values as the Ten Commandments. The $630-million Family and Community Endeavor schools grant program, more commonly known as FACE, funds crime-prevention programs designed to reach the most vulnerable members of our communities--our kids. The bill's language states that none of the money may be used for religious worship or instruction. This means teaching kids the Ten Commandments is prohibited. . . . Our children need to understand that values are important, respect for others is paramount and community participation is vital (as well as) being responsible for and accountable for your actions. . . . If we fail to teach these lessons, we doom the future of this country to the fatal grip of lawlessness and violence--anarchy."

El Toro Marine Corps Air Station

Leschick: "My plan helps us protect our national security by preserving our defense industrial capability while at the same time utilizing it to produce a clean, fast and efficient high-speed ground transport system for Southern California based on magnetic levitation (maglev) train technology, integrated with automated people-movers and electric station cars. . . . I oppose creation of a commercial airport at El Toro because there is a better alternative, in terms of both community environmental impact (and) economic impact and job creation. Rather than construct new airports, Southern California needs an integrated high-speed ground transportation network which puts an international airport-- without runways, noise, or potential crashes--conveniently close to every community. To create the city of the future for developers and residents, El Toro should be utilized as a maglev station: check your bags, get your boarding pass, catch your first flight--250 m.p.h. "magnetic flight" to the runway--aboard a maglev USA system designed and produced in Southern California."

White: Did not respond

Packard: "I oppose the development of an international airport at El Toro. I have studied and participated in the planning and implementation of transportation and aviation projects during my service in Congress. I am convinced that in the long term, an airport that must be built to truly serve Southern California's needs will not be at El Toro. Southern California will not have four small, regional airports; one for Los Angeles County, another for Orange County, another for San Diego County and still another for the Inland Empire. The planning process must seek to find a site for an airport to serve all of Southern California. Converting El Toro does not solve any of the problems we are already struggling with at John Wayne Airport or (San Diego's) Lindbergh Field."

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Source: Individual candidates. Researched by GEBE MARTINEZ / Los Angeles Times

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