By Jim Shilander
In addition to the local races, there are obviously a number of federal and state level races San Clemente voters will be voting for on November 6. In addition to the Presidential Election, San Clemente voters will also be choosing a new representative in Congress. Due to the redrawing of district lines, San Clemente has been drawn into the 49th Congressional District, which is currently represented by Vista Republican Darrell Issa, who currently chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Issa has served in Congress since 2001. Republican Ken Calvert currently represents the city in Congress. His district has been redrawn to primarily include Riverside County and other parts of Inland Empire.
Issa is being challenged by Democrat Jerry Tetalman, a Carlsbad Realtor.
A long-time political activist, Tetalman said that he’d volunteered previously on a number of different campaigns and decided to run this year because “it was time.”
“I really felt I needed to take a stand,” Tetalman said.
Tetalman said he would be in favor of phasing out the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
“I believe we need to move to renewables. The risks of San Onofre are too great, in terms of safety.” Tetalman said he also opposed offshore drilling in the area, which he said Issa had favored. The pointed to the damage wrought by the 1969 oil spill near Santa Barbara. Tetalman said he would champion electrifying transportation, as well as high-speed rail if elected.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is also up for re-election. The incumbent is seeking her fourth term in the Senate. The former San Francisco Mayor has served since 1993. She currently serves on the Judiciary Committee, the Appropriations Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, Homeland Security Subcommittee of Appropriations and the Rules and Administration Committee.
She is being challenged by Danville Autism advocate Elizabeth Emken. Emken is the former vice president for government relations at Autism Speaks, a national advocacy organization. She had previously worked at IBM. She had previously run for Congress in the 11th District, which is in northern California.
For State Assembly District 73, San Clemente teacher James Corbett is challenging the incumbent, Dana Point Republican Diane Harkey.
Corbett is best known for his involvement in a 2007 lawsuit while he taught at Capistrano Valley High School. Corbett allegedly disparaged creationism during a lecture, which prompted a lawsuit by a Christian student. The student initially won his suit against the Capistrano Unified School District in Federal District Court, but the suit was overturned on appeal. As a candidate, he has stated that he would champion equalization of state education funding, noting the funding problems of CUSD in recent years.
Harkey currently serves as vice-chair of both the Assembly Committee on Appropriations and Revenue and Taxation Committee. She has recently spoken out against state funding of high-speed rail projects, and has promised to introduce a bill to de-fund the program in January if re-elected. She also serves on also serves on the Assembly Committee on Public Employees Retirement System and Social Security, the Assembly Select Committee on Biotechnology and the Banking and Finance Committee and Budget Committee.
Area voters will also be voting on 11 ballot propositions.
Proposition 30 would increase sales taxes and income taxes for those earning more than $250,000 a year in order to fund schools and community colleges, as well as public safety services.
Proposition 31 would establish a two-year budgeting cycle, as well as force the state legislature to offset any spending over $25 million with corresponding budget cuts. It also forces a performance review of all state programs, as well as allows local governments to alter how laws governing state-funded programs apply to them.
Proposition 32 would forbid payroll deductions by unions or corporations to be used for political purposes. It would also prohibit unions or corporations from contributing directly to candidates or candidate committees.
Proposition 33 would allow auto insurance companies to set prices based on whether a driver has previously had insurance.
Proposition 34 would abolish the death penalty in the state, making life without parole the maximum sentence for those found guilty of murder. It would apply retroactively; meaning those currently under a death sentence would be commuted to life sentences.
Proposition 35 would increase the penalties for human trafficking, allowing for sentences up to life in prison, in some cases. It requires those found guilty of trafficking to register as sex offender, and to provide information on their internet access and identities.
Proposition 36 changes the state’s “three-strikes law,” to impose a life sentence only in the case of a serious or violent felony conviction. It would also allow the state to re-asses those currently facing life sentences for non-violent felonies.
Proposition 37 would require labels on food that either is genetically modified, or processed food if the ingredients were genetically modified. Certain foods would be exempt from labeling. Genetically modified foods would also be prohibited from being labeled as “natural.”
Proposition 38 would increase personal income tax rates on annual earnings over $7,316 using sliding scale from .4% for lowest individual earners to 2.2% for individuals earning over $2.5 million, for twelve years, and allocates 60% of revenues to K-12 schools, 30% to repaying state debt,
and 10% to early childhood programs for the first four years.
Proposition 39 requires multi-state businesses to calculate their state income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in the state.
Proposition 40 would accept the State Senate districts drawn by the Citizen Redistricting Commission. If rejected, the boundary lines will be adjusted by officials, supervised by the state Supreme Court. San Clemente sits in Senate District 36.