Repairing State Government
Our State Legislature is not working. They spend too much and get too little. Taxes are unfair and too high. We need good paying jobs, but government policies punish those who create them. And our schools, roads, public safety and the safety net for our children and the elderly continues to deteriorate, but our state elected leaders do not appear to have the political will to solve the problems we face. It’s time to end this bull and get our state back on track.
Jobs and the Economy
The state’s jobless rate is now among the nation’s highest. Our business climate is rated “the worst.” Good-paying manufacturing jobs are being replaced with minimum-wage service jobs. Companies are leaving, expanding elsewhere or refusing to locate here. As a dairy farmer and small business owner, I have seen how government is hurting job creation. There are too many regulations, too much red tape, and too much bureaucratic meddling where it’s not needed. We need to encourage business, not declare war on it. The state must take concrete steps to show California is “open for business.”
As a County Supervisor helping create jobs has been a top priority. I worked to create local jobs by expanding enterprise zones offering tax-based incentives to businesses willing to locate or expand in the county. Since 2008, 1,460 employers have participated in local enterprise zones, generating 18,662 new jobs for San Joaquin County. The tax incentives have provided those employers nearly $700,000 in cumulative tax savings. I am also a member of the Board of Directors of the San Joaquin County Partnership, an organization formed to attract and retain business and industry in San Joaquin County. The Partnership has been successful in bringing in companies like Dole Packaging, LLC, Waste Recovery West, Wine Bottle Renew, Turkhan Foods and many more. In 2010 alone the Partnership helped bring in 1,667 jobs paying nearly $80 million in wages to local workers.
As a State Senator I will make job creation and helping our struggling economy a top priority. I will fight job killing red tape, high taxes and unfair regulations. And I will stand up for businesses and the workers they employ to make sure government helps not hurts job creation.
Taxes and Government Spending
California has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation and sadly we have little or nothing to show for it. Californians can no longer afford to bear the burden for an over-bloated and inefficient government. Consistently the Legislature has shown they will not make the tough choices to solve our state’s budget or job crisis. To get our budget in order we must take better control of the checkbook and take away the credit card –– quitting this out of control spending habit “cold turkey.” It’s time the Legislature stops trying to balance the budget on the backs of hardworking taxpayers and gets to work making the tough decisions needed to get California back on track and Californians working again.
As a County Supervisor I’ve worked tirelessly to keep families and business safe. In the State Senate I intend to do the same. I believe protecting the public is government’s top priority — and a job that I have always taken seriously. As Chairman of the Jail Expansion Committee I have fought to ensure the State’s realignment plan meets its stated goals and doesn’t force the early release of dangerous criminals back into local neighborhoods. I believe Valley residents deserve a safe place to live, work and raise a family — and if elected to the State Senate I promise to stay true to my convictions and never sacrifice public safety when so much waste and inefficiency in the state budget should be cut first.
As a third generation dairy farmer in San Joaquin County and a ten-year County Supervisor, I have long been deeply involved in agricultural issues. Agriculture is a vital industry for our community and important part of the state’s economy.
I’ve witnessed first-hand how excessive government regulations are making it hard for farmers and ranchers to make a living. Sacramento has literally put farming on a path to unsustainability because Legislators have inundated farmers with too many regulatory burdens, and too much red tape where it’s not needed. Government should be helping famers flourish, not standing in their way.
As a County Supervisor I successfully fought to strengthen the county’s Right to Farm ordinance to protect our local farms. I have been a strong supporter of the Williamson Act –– the foremost land conservation program in California. The Williamson Act has saved family farms and allowed them to successfully expand their operations. As a founding member of the San Joaquin County Citizens Land Alliance I helped support and promote private property rights, the independence of the farming and ranching community, and healthy local economies. And I led efforts to stop illegal dumping, which was damaging local farmland, and costing local taxpayers over $1 million.
As a State Senator, I will protect the rights of the agriculture community and speak up for our interests. I will promote private property rights and stop eminent domain abuse. I’ll work tirelessly to roll back the regulations that are stifling business and job creation for farmers and ranchers. I will also work to ensure family farms and ranchers have a clear path to economic sustainability and a voice in the state legislature so policies reflect the best interests of our communities.
Water is vital to Valley agriculture and to our communities. As a ten-year San Joaquin County Supervisor and third generation dairy farmer, I’ve been at the forefront of the fight to keep Sacramento legislators and powerful special interest groups from diverting California’s most prized commodity. Water is literally the lifeblood that runs our local economy. More than half of the country's vegetables, fruits and nuts are grown in the Golden State — and a majority of that is located in the San Joaquin Valley. We must constantly defend our water supply, quality and reliability.
As a County Supervisor I have continued the efforts of our community for the last 30 years in opposing the Peripheral Canal and all efforts to send water south over our objections. As part of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley’s Water Work Group I have focused on ensuring an adequate, diverse water supply for the San Joaquin Valley. Together with other elected officials on the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, we approved the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan Framework in 2009 to conserve and better utilize our water.
As a State Senator I will promote water policies that ensure an adequate water supply for San Joaquin Valley to support our residents, support economic growth, retain our world-class agricultural base, maintain a reliable urban water supply and protect our local environment.