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Government Corruption

The root cause of all our problems with government is the inherent corruption that is bound to occur whenever people have power over other people. In fact we should remember that many government departments and regulations were established because of the corruption in the private sector. Of course then the government agencies overseeing an industry then are co-opted (bribed) by corrupt individuals in the industry.
To try to fight this corruption we have many laws requiring public access to meetings and documents. Despite the current laws, our government often makes this information difficult to access or at least makes sure not to advertise it's availability.
We also have the problem of corruption in the election process. With the two-party system, we see each party dominated by corporations, unions and non-profits all throwing money at candidates to buy influence.
With powerful government officials being corrupted by the power of money, and the desire of corrupt people to hide their dirty deeds, it makes it difficult for voters to trust anyone running for elected office or anyone in government.
We must continue to chip away at the corruption in our government as well as that in the private sector. We need to make it easier for grassroots candidates to challenge political party incumbents. For example, based on data from the past few elections, in this 2018 election the Democratic incumbent will likely receive as much as $1 million from the Democratic Party for the primary election to defend his seat. $4 million by the general election. The Republican challenger will likely receive a similar amount from the Republican Party to try to unseat the incumbent.
Only one candidate in this race can be considered a true grassroots candidate. I do not belong to any political party, and I will not accept campaign donations from a political party, a business, a union, or a non-profit organization.

Represent.Us is one organization that is working to address corruption of our government. I support their policies to:

Fix Our Broken Elections including using Ranked Choice Voting and expanding the public funding of candidate campaigns.

Stop Political Bribery including not allowing lobbyists to also donate to candidate campaigns, and closing the revolving door of elected officials going to work for lobbyist firms after leaving elected office.

End Secret Money including requiring immediate disclosure of campaign donations, including disclosure of donors to Political Action Committees.

Safety and Our Environment

They Don't Care About You!

Torrance Refinery: In February 2015 there was a major explosion at the refinery which almost ruptured tanks holding Modified Hydrofluoric Acid (MHF). The refinery continues to say that use of MHF at the refinery is safe, but multiple studies show that it is not. HF, even when modified, is a highly toxic chemical that will form a ground-hugging fog of toxins that will quickly kill anyone in it's path.

The incumbent Assemblymember said he was for banning HF and MHF, and even a bill, AB 1645, to do so. But he let his bill be set aside in committee. He is no longer advocating for banning MHF at the PBF Torrance refinery and Valero Wimington refinery which are the only refineries in California that use MHF. He is letting the SCAQMD decide a way forward. Their solution is to delay a ban for 3-8 years. That makes no sense.

The SCAQMD has decided that MHF is unsafe, and therefore MHF should be immediately banned, and an injunction issued to close the both refineries, or if their belief is that only the PBF refinery is unsafe, then it should be closed.

Clearly it makes no sense to allow an unsafe ultrahazardous facility to continue to operate for 8 years. If it does, then why not 10? 15? 30? It appears that our Assemblymember and the AQMD are more concerned about gas prices and protecting refinery profits than they are in protecting the community.

Cap and Trade: The incumbent voted for AB398 which weakened the cap and trade program, eliminated the ability of SCAQMD to have local rules limiting emissions. Cap and trade also is the main source of funds for the High Speed Rail program.
I was against AB398. I was for a stronger version, SB775, which the Senate Environmental Quality chair wrote, but let die in his own committee. SB775 set a much higher price on carbon and did not allow for trading of credits. In addition, with SB775, the money collected from the carbon tax would have been returned to tax payers whereas the funds collected under AB398 go to fund the High Speed Rail "bullet train".

Rancho LPG Storage Tanks:

The facility was built back in the 1970s with multiple exemptions from regulations and permits.  It was also built within the only earthquake rupture zone in the entire Los Angeles Harbor region (a convergence of multiple faults causing greater seismic vulnerability) on land designated by USGS as "landslide", "liquefaction" and "methane" areas.  The two largest tanks (containing 12.5 million + gallons each) were built without LA building permits to a seismic substandard of 5.5 while sitting in the sensitive earthquake zone with a magnitude potential of 7.3.   Each 12.5 million gallon tank has a blast radius of over 3 miles.  Government agencies including the Port of LA, City of LA, and State and Federal agencies have all washed their hands of responsibility for taking any action other than to leave the tanks as they are. 

Based on existing studies we are already aware that the tanks are unsafe based on a number of potential scenarios. As Assemblymember for the 66th District I will not let the situation stand as is. I will work with State Agencies to make sure that the State and City take responsibility for the risk that they have placed on our community, and ensure that we take action to reduce the risk to a reasonable level. There are a number of alternatives that have already been proposed, but to date, no government agency is taking the situation seriously. When I am elected as Assemblymember I will make sure that we take action at the State level to reduce this risk.

Wasteful Government Spending, Loss of Freedom and Over Taxation

Our Republic and Democracy Have Been Stolen!

Regardless of which political party is in charge in Sacramento, they are wasting our tax dollars on projects that don't work. They do this to give their corporate and special interest campaign donors a fantastic return on their investment. We no longer have a true Republic or democracy. We have a fascist takeover by a team of elite industry and government masters.

High-Speed Rail (HSR) "bullet" train is one example. While it may be working well in Europe and Asia, it will not work here in California, and especially not for LA. The problem implementing it here is that LA has already been built as a large sprawling city. To build a new rail line into LA, they would need to use eminent domain to take property from people and businesses that are in the planned pathway. 

The "Water Fix" or "Twin Tunnels" project is another example of a corporate/government elite money grab. Check out and other organizations that are promoting other approaches including conservation and local water storage.

LA Olympics Transportation Projects: Senator Bradford and LA City and Inglewood City officials want to use eminent domain to build new transportation projects and developments for the Olympics. Who is going to have their homes and businesses taken for this? How much are we all going to have to pay for this? And they want to waive the environmental review process, so they won't even evaluate the impact to traffic, blocked views, impact to our water and electricity and sewer systems. No public comment or review. We just live with whatever the developers and their bought off elected officials want. This is another theft of taxpayer money and bribery of our state and city elected officials!

Rail Projects, Auto-Drive Cars and High Density Housing: These are the approaches that our state is taking, which is counter to what economic theory and sustainable environmental concepts would conclude. I'd rather see more focus on incentivizing companies to use telecommuting. Focusing on auto-drive cars only continues wasting energy on moving people around. Voluntary telecommuting seems like a more empowering transition for people than taking away cars, reducing parking and increasing density. I'd also rather see a focus on conservation of water rather than the Governor's TwinTunnels WaterFix which seems like another waste of taxpayer money.

California's Legislative Analyst's Office is an excellent resource for legislators and for the public regarding ways to improve government of our state, especially related to improving efficiency and effectiveness , and reduction of wasteful spending.

Campaign Reform

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.” 
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

To a great extent, FDR described the state of our nation at the time, and the current state of affairs. The decision of the Supreme Court in Citizens United has given corporations unlimited power to control the information that voters receive, and our two party system is nearly entirely bought out by corporations and other special interests.

Unless the people themselves begin to form alliances in first small and then ever-growing groups to share information and bring common sense discussion of the issues, we will continue to be controlled by the force of money. 
Following the 2016 Presidential election many groups have formed on the political spectrum, not to establish their own fortress to fight from, but rather to reach out to people of differing political views. One of the points of evidence is the rise of No Party Preference as the most popular political party. In addition, within both of the top two political parties we see strong insurgent groups. While this all seems very chaotic in the short term, we should see it as the storm that we needed to wake us from our largess. 

In the short term we have the opportunity to push for one small change by pressing our elected officials to vote for the DISCLOSE ACT which requires the top 3 donors for ballot initiatives and candidates to be posted clearly on campaign material.

People Powered Campaigns

Another important step is to empower the voters to help finance challengers to our incumbents. The current two party system results in 90% or more incumbents being re-elected because the party leadership gives the incumbent an over-whelming amount of money so that no one else within the party can compete in the primary. The same goes for the other party which gives a huge amount of money to one candidate. Too often voters are then left with the less of two evils, both controlled by corporate and special interest money.

If we ever want to break the lock of the corporations deciding who the two candidates will be for our "decision", then we must create a system where individuals have more control over who the candidates will be. California's top-two primary system has given us an opportunity to have some control by ending the automatic race between one member of each of the two dominant parties. To take advantage of this though, the people need to be more willing to devote their time and money in advancing the candidates of their choice. We're beginning to see many non-partisan groups forming to do exactly this.

Another tool to consider is public matching funds for campaigns. There are some states and cities including New York, Vermont and Los Angeles that have a form of matching funds. In many of these systems a candidate must raise tens of thousands of dollars before they can qualify for matching funds. This defeats the entire purpose of such a program. A matching funds program should start from the very first dollar that a candidate raises. To ensure that the program is not overly burdensome on the taxpayers, a budget can be created, and a minimum number of signatures on the nominating petitions would still be required to limit the number of candidates to those that are able to generate community interest.

Health Care for All Californians

Universal Health Care. Although SB562, does not provide the specifics of a Universal Health Care system for California, I disagree with our incumbent, Assemblymember Muratsuchi, and the Democratic leadership which decided to table the bill for 6 months. Now that the legislative year is over they started a special committee. Instead, the legislature should have been working this throughout the legislative year. 

The Physicians for a National Health Program provide a summary at the link below regarding the advantages of a Universal Health Care program, along with a link to an in-depth analysis of a single payer system with a discussion of various approaches that are viable.

Had the legislature continued to work on the details of the rules and funding, we might have already had a bill ready to be signed into to law. 

While the increase in taxes would likely require a ballot initiative to approve the increase, we could have been providing information to the residents of the state so that they would be informed and have been providing feedback on aspects of the proposed system.

We clearly need to ensure that ALL California residents are covered. The Affordable Care Act has still left many people uninsured-- over 8% of Californians. We need to implement a system that covers all residents of California.


Immigration: CA Law Enforcement

The question is under what circumstances should California state and local law enforcement agencies cooperate with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to deport immigrants who are here in the US without proper identification.  California Senate Bill SB54 provides what I think is a reasonable middle ground. In summary, it only allows state and local law enforcement to cooperate with ICE agents in cases where they are looking to deport an immigrant who has committed a violent or serious felony. The next step is to fix our federal immigration system to provide the 11 million undocumented immigrants with a path to citizenship. The government still retains the right to deport individuals that are seriously a threat to society, and this bill allows local law enforcement to work with ICE in those cases. Immigrants should not be deported just because they have not been able to get through the current process. Businesses,our military and society at large has benefited from the service of immigrants, documented or not. We do not turn our back on those that we have invited to be part of our national family.

Stop High Density Growth

There has been a consistent trend by our California legislators to force high density housing upon our cities. Very little of this housing is affordable housing which is what is really needed. 

Our state has expanded to the point where it will soon be unsustainable.  Our traffic is becoming more unbearable, and we have suffered continued water shortages the last few years. The state is developing a "Water Fix" that it insists will enable further growth, but environmental groups have determined that the fix is not feasible. These groups have studied the "Water Fix" and determined that it will ultimately cause the collapse of the Sacramento Delta ecosystem. We need to further researching alternatives that are truly sustainable.

We need to come to terms with the fact that our state and our district can not continue to grow to unsustainable levels. Infrastructure failures will be inevitable. Instead we need to develop an environmentally and economic plan for our district and our state.

100% Renewable Energy and Transition To Electric Vehicles and Smart Technology

The transition to renewable energy generation and to use of electric vehicles will be a major area in which I plan to introduce legislation and to advocate through enforcement. It is already challenging our society as old fossil fuel businesses are becoming obsolete, so we need to have plans for transition of employees to new technology areas.

Here's a report by the IEA for your information as background.

Paid for by Caney Arnold for Assembly 2018. FPPC#1398348.  
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