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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
Ballot and voting information for San Bernardino County.
This is an archive of a past election.

District 55California State AssemblyJune 7, 2016California Primary Election

June 7, 2016California Primary Election

California State AssemblyDistrict 55

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Election Results

  • 90,341 ballots counted.

About this office

State assembly members introduce and vote on new laws, hold hearings, and draft the state budget. They are elected to two-year terms.
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Who’s Running?

For this office, only the two candidates who get the most votes in the primary election appear in the general election. This is because of California's "top two" system. In some cases, the two candidates may be from the same political party.
Candidates are sorted in order of election results.
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Democratic
Social Worker
32,439 votes (35.9%)Winning
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  • Creating a dedicated freight truck roadway parallel to the 60 Freeway by linking existing underused four-lane service roads, thereby reducing 60 freeway traffic and streamlining freight truck traffic flow
  • Supporting a sustainable healthy economy my shifting financial support and tax relief away from the wealthy and corporations, and toward the middle class and small businesses
  • Shifting away from finite energy sources (coal, oil) and toward renewable energy (solar, wind)
Profession:social worker
Children's Social Worker, County of Los Angeles (1986current)
California State University, Los Angeles Master of Science, Psychology (1985)
University of Southern California Bachelor of Arts, Psychology (1981)

I was born in Covina and have lived most of my life in the San Gabriel/Pomona Valley area, attending public schools in West Covina and Covina. I currently live in Walnut, where I became an active voice in City affairs immediately, twice running for City Council, and continuing to advocate for protection of the last remaining open space in the city. More recently, I joined the fight to protect the city of Walnut from the adverse effects of a proposed NFL stadium in the City of Industry.

I enrolled in the University of Southern California at the age of 16, earning a bachelor's degree in psychology. I subsequently earned a master's degree in psychology from California State University, Los Angeles. I've worked for 28 years as a social worker for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

I'm also an active voice for working Californians, serving in several capacities with SEIU Local 721 and one of its predecessor unions, SEIU Local 535. As a worksite steward for the past 25 years, and for 13 years as a Local 535 statewide Executive Board delegate, I've stood up for my co-workers not only to management but also to leaders of the union itself. As a bargaining team member in contract negotiations several times since 1995, including serving as bargaining team chair in 2007, I've fought for manageable workloads for child welfare social workers. As a member political activist, I've visited the State Capitol on nearly an annual basis since 1992 to fight to protect funding for child welfare services, which are annually threatened with cuts despite State analyses that show that social worker caseloads are over twice the numbers necessary to ensure that at-risk children and families are adequately supervised.

  • Jay Chen, Member, Mount San Antonio College Board of Trustees
  • Rose Espinoza, Councilmember, City of La Habra
  • Democratic Party of Orange County
  • Chino Valley Democratic Club
  • Tri-Counties Democratic Club
  • California Democratic Party
  • Orange County Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
  • California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
  • Ben Wong, Councilmember (retired), City of West Covina
1.
Drought

Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in California. What new strategies do you believe would ensure that California is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific. 

Answer from Gregg D. Fritchle:

Because water is essential for everyone's survival, we have to look at water access as a right of every Californian.

In addition to ongoing conservation education and local conservation measures, we need to protect the water we have by preventing contamination with toxic chemicals. Our current water shortage only underscores the need for existing regulations on businesses over drainage, as well as prohibitions on releasing contaminated water or toxic chemicals into the ground where it may commingle with previously uncontaminated groundwater.

Technological interventions like cloud seeding or saltwater desalination cannot bring us out of this water shortage. Cloud seeding can only be expected to bring small increases in precipitation, and desalination remains very expensive.

I've looked at measures currently taken by the State, as well as the Governor's proposed plan, and what I see is little if any application of the State's already-declared eminent domain over California's water supply. Historically, heavily-populated but less water-rich areas have had to negotiate with more water-rich ones in counties like Mono and Inyo to obtain an adequate water supply for the residents of those heavily-populated areas. But exporting water to distant counties provides a benefit for those less-populated but water-rich areas beyond the monetary compensation, by reducing the need for more people to move near those areas, preserving open space and a quiet, rural atmosphere that makes those areas desirable places to live for those who already reside there.

Rather than negotiating, it's not clear to me that the State is fully utilizing its power to claim a portion of the water in these areas for public use as provided under the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution, to ensure that no Californian goes thirsty and no family farm runs dry. The State can then determine just compensation to the water source municipalities based on local water supply rates.

2.
Money in Politics

Many Californians are concerned about the influence of money in politics. What can the state legislature do to ensure that decision-making by elected officials is not swayed by moneyed interests at the expense of constituents?

Answer from Gregg D. Fritchle:
I share the concerns of most Americans that the wealthy have too much political power to maintain a democracy.

I support the California DISCLOSE Act (AB 700), which will require paid media campaign advertisements to list the true names of the top three donors to the campaign.

I support a resolution by the voters of California calling for a Constitutional amendment overturning the Citizens United v FEC (2010) decision.

Ultimately, I'd also like to see at least two more reforms:

1) a requirement that all post-primary campaign advertising must include only the name and/or image of the supported candidate and neither the name nor the image of the opposed candidate; and

2) a public campaign financing system with a mandatory reimbursement mechanism for any candidate who is elected after using public campaign funds for that election campaign.

3.
Minimum Wage

There are a variety of proposals to raise California's minimum wage. Many of these proposals face opposition from business groups who are concerned that they would kill jobs. Do you support increasing the minimum wage in California?  In your answer please explain your position on the relationship between wages and jobs with specific reference to the situation in your district. 

Answer from Gregg D. Fritchle:

In 1968, a full-time minimum-wage worker earning $1.60 per hour could live self-sufficiently. By contrast, a full-time employee today must earn nearly $16 per hour to be able to afford to pay for basic living expenses (housing, utilities, food, etc) without assistance. Thus, we are already subsidizing full-time minimum-wage workers through public assistance. And most of these minimum-wage jobs are offered not by small businesses, but by rather large corporations such as fast-food chains that make billions in profits annually and can afford to pay their workers a living wage. Large cities such as Seattle have shown that raising the minimum wage has not cost jobs, nor has it had a significant impact on prices (though surveys show that most Americans are willing to pay a little more to support a living wage for workers).

The recently-signed SB 3, raising the minimum wage in modest increments until it reaches $15 per hour in 2022, and indexing further increases beyond 2022 to cost-of-living increases, is a reasonable solution. It will reduce significantly the taxpayer burden for public assistance by making more working families financially self-sufficient.

4.
Fiscal Priorities

What are your top three fiscal priorities, recognizing the need to balance the state’s income with its spending?

Answer from Gregg D. Fritchle:

The middle class is the backbone of our economy. A sustainable healthy economy depends on support for the middle class, which is the largest group of consumers in a market-based economic system. This means we need to shift financial support and tax relief away from corporations and the wealthy and toward the middle class and small businesses.

California's current taxation system does the opposite. For decades we have relied primarily on revenue-raising measures that hit the middle class and working class the hardest, like increasing sales taxes, to close budget gaps. On the other hand, we've left gaping loopholes for wealthy special interests virtually untouched. Let's look at some examples of the unfairness in California's tax system:

1) In Alaska, oil companies are charged a 25% severance tax for oil extracted from their wells across the state. In Texas, another state which has faced large budget deficits for several years, the oil severance tax is 12.1%. Here in California, it's 0%. California is the only state among the 22 oil-producing states that does not charge wealthy oil companies for compromising the landscape by drilling on its lands.

2) Wealthy property owners are paying a fraction per square foot of what middle-class single-family homeowners pay in property taxes, taking advantage of a huge loophole in the reassessment language of the property tax code that was left in place when wealthy real estate investor Howard Jarvis wrote Proposition 13 in 1978 (now known officially as the Jarvis-Gann Amendment). This loophole allows wealthy and corporate property owners to avoid reassessment upon change of ownership by one or both of two means: a) buying in partnership and selling in minority share; and/or b) temporary corporate merger between the buyer and seller of commercial property. Property tax revenue numbers clearly show that, over the past 30 years, single-family homeowners' contribution to the state's property tax rolls has increased as a percentage of the total revenue collected, while commercial property owners' contribution has decreased. They're paying mostly 1970s- and 1980s-era property tax rates (some even paying three-digit figures), while single-family homeowners pay 1990s- and later-era rates. The middle class is therefore subsidizing the wealthy.

3) California's corporations continue to pay a flat income tax rate that is lower than the rates of some individual Californians.

Business groups and their advocates claim that lowering taxes for corporations increases job creation, and that raising their tax rates will cause them to move out of state. To show the fallacy of this argument we need only go next door to the state of Nevada, where corporate tax rates are lower than here in California, yet the unemployment rate is higher than California's. Politicians who support corporations (or vice versa) often try to portray themselves as protecting small businesses. But small businesses don't have access to the kinds of tax loopholes described above - they're basically in the same boat as middle-class working people.

I believe that the middle class is the backbone of the economy, working people are the backbone of business, and the consumer is the backbone of capitalism.

I believe that true democracy requires us to protect rather than restrict the right to vote. I believe that true democracy requires equal opportunity for all, and as such a democratic government must play a role in ensuring equal opportunity.

I believe that one of the hallmarks of democracy is the ability to admit and learn from mistakes, and therefore we cannot deny the mistakes we have made in our history by burying them under a cloak of false patriotism. True patriotism is not arrogance. It does not allow for us to believe that we are better than others - only that we are standing for what we believe is right for all.

I am not interested in protecting MY liberty - I'm interested in protecting EVERYONE'S liberty. We must all share our communities, our state, and our nation with others, and therefore we maximize all our liberties by caring about others as well as about ourselves.

Email gregg55ad@verizon.net
Email gregg55ad@verizon.net
Republican
Small Business Owner
19,684 votes (21.8%)Winning
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Profession:Small Business Owner
Total money raised: $511,157

Below are the top contributors that gave money to support the candidate(s).

1
CHEN, PHILLIP
$140,000
2
California Association of Realtors
$17,000
3
Mebo International
$16,400
4
Ali Navid
$8,200
4
County of Santa Barbara
$8,200
4
Mebo Travel
$8,200
4
RNG Group
$8,200

By State:

California 98.14%
Texas 0.69%
District of Columbia 0.29%
Michigan 0.29%
Missouri 0.29%
Ohio 0.29%
98.14%

By Size:

Large contributions (99.82%)
Small contributions (0.18%)
99.82%

By Type:

From organizations (38.80%)
From individuals (61.20%)
38.80%61.20%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.
Email phillip@phillipchen.org
Republican
Taxpayer Advocate/Councilman
18,737 votes (20.7%)
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  • No more taxes. California already has the highest state income tax, highest gas taxes, second-highest auto sales tax, and the ninth-highest state sales tax rate.
  • Protect homeowners and Prop. 13. By limiting property tax increases to no more than 2% per year, homeowners aren’t surprised by sudden massive increases.
  • I’ll fight to protect Californians; to stop criminals before they strike and make sure they do the time (all of it!) for committing the crime.
Profession:Taxpayer Advocate/Councilman
Chief of Staff, San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman (2014current)
Partner, Citadel Campaigns (2007current)
Councilman, West Covina City Council — Elected position (2013current)
Chief of Staff, California State Assembly, for Assemblyman Curt Hagman (20082014)
Chief of Staff, California State Assembly, for Assemblyman Joel Anderson (20072008)
Governing Board Member, West Covina Unified School District — Elected position (19912003)
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Bachelor , Political Science (current)

When Mike was first elected to the West Covina School Board in 1991 at the age of 25, the district had closed schools, declared bankruptcy and was required to have a state overseer. During the next 22 years Mike served on the school board, he led the district in restoring its fiscal health, eliminated the need for state supervision, paid back the loans they had to take out not just on time but early, opened new schools, expanded school choice and charter schools for kids, raised academic performance levels for students district-wide and protected parental rights.

When Mike was elected to the West Covina City Council in 2013, his 7th election victory courtesy of the voters of West Covina, the City had cut their police force by a third, managers were leaving, lawsuits were proliferating and the financial picture was precarious. After only two years on the Council, Mike has helped to add police officers, cut city council perks, create a citizen based audit committee and demanded reforms from the bureaucracy that give more information to the public. He was also responsible for bringing in the State Controller to audit the financial mess he inherited and give the city a blueprint for change.

This is very ironic, since fifteen years earlier the city unsuccessfully sued citizen Spence over his opposition to a proposed tax increase. The City lost the lawsuit, Mike won, and the voters of West Covina subsequently agreed with Mike by rejecting the proposed tax increase.

A life long West Covina resident, Mike attended the same public schools as a boy he later led as a School Board Member.  He was Student Body President at Edgewood High School, where he excelled academically and was already an active member of the community. Mike is an Eagle Scout and has been a Boy Scout Merit Badge counselor for over 20 years. He graduated from UCLA majoring in Political Science and then served as chair of their alumni scholarship program.

While Mike had volunteered for the local Republican Party as a high school student, at UCLA he became a volunteer Republican Leader. The College Republican National Committee named him the Ronald Reagan Activist of the Year for his determined leadership at UCLA.

Mike was the youngest person ever elected to be a Vice Chairman of the California Republican Party. He has served on the Executive Board at the State and County level of the GOP. He has been elected President of two statewide volunteer organizations and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Federation of Republican Assemblies.

Professionally, Mike has been Chief of Staff to two state legislators and a partner in several small businesses. As Chief of Staff to 55th District

Assemblyman Curt Hagman from 2008-2014, Mike worked with leaders from every city in the district and hundreds of constituents in resolving problems with state government and protecting local residents.

Mike knows the 55th Assembly District better than any other candidate, is the only candidate to have executive experience at the state legislative level, and is particularly proud to have earned the endorsement of both Curt Hagman and Senator Joel Anderson, the two leaders he served as Chief of Staff.

A sought after political pundit, Mike has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, the Laura Ingram Show, John and Ken Show, Roger Hedgecock Show, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Business Journal, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and many other media outlets.

  • Congressman Tom McClintock
  • San Bernardino County Supervisor, Robert Lovingood
  • San Bernardino County Supervisor, Janice Rutherford
  • San Bernardino County Supervisor, Josie Gonzales
  • Senator Sharon Runner
  • Senator Joel Anderson
  • Senator Mike Morrell
  • Senator John Moorlach
  • Former Board of Equalization Member Dean Andal
  • Board of Equalization Member, George Runner
  • West Covina Firefighters
  • Chino Tea Party
  • Conservative Republicans of California
  • California Taxpayer Protection Committee
Total money raised: $46,097

Below are the top contributors that gave money to support the candidate(s).

1
Curt Hagman for Supervisor 2018
$8,400
2
Burrtec
$4,200
3
Athens Services
$2,500
4
Huebscher Consulting
$1,150
5
California Refuse & Recycling Council South
$1,000
5
Contai Medical Plaza
$1,000
5
Gary Miller for Congress
$1,000
5
Hollywood Sports Park LLC
$1,000
5
Jones & Mayer
$1,000
5
Kendrew Development
$1,000
5
Protect Access to Homecare Coalition
$1,000
5
Sheldon Development
$1,000
5
Storm Properties
$1,000
5
Tax Fighters For Anderson Senate 2014
$1,000

By State:

California 100.00%
100.00%

By Size:

Large contributions (93.39%)
Small contributions (6.61%)
93.39%

By Type:

From organizations (58.31%)
From individuals (41.69%)
58.31%41.69%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.
Taxes

No more taxes, period. How much more can taxpayers handle? We’ve reached a breaking point. Businesses flee the state. Job creators and some of our best and brightest are leaving. And Sacramento wants to double down on dumb by pushing more and more taxes.

California already has the highest state income tax, highest gas taxes, second-highest auto sales tax, and the ninth-highest state sales tax rate.  Yet there have been a slew of looney new tax ideas pushed by Democrats this year:

  • A whopping 416% increase in the taxes paid on real estate transactions;
  • A new tax on all residential and commercial property insurance policies estimated to be over half a billion dollars a year in new taxes;
  • A plan to expand sales tax to services which are currently not taxed. A State Board of Equalization study suggests that could cumulatively amount to a tax increase of over ahundred billion dollars;
  • And then there is the per mile driving tax being tested right now that would allow the government to monitor how much you drive, and possibly snoop much more into your personal driving habits.

We need fighters in Sacramento who will stop this nonsense. I’ve fought against unfair taxation for 30 years. In 1998, I was even sued by the city of West Covina because I opposed a multi-million dollar tax increase. I won and the tax proposal failed.

I’ve got a proven record as a tax fighter, and in Sacramento I’ll continue to fight to protect taxpayers.

Protect Homeowners and Prop. 13

Proposition 13 limits annual property tax increases and requires voter approval of any new local taxes.  These are important safeguards.  By limiting property tax increases to no more than 2% per year, homeowners aren’t surprised by sudden massive increases.

Prior to the passage of Prop 13, some homeowners were being forced from their homes by rapidly increasing property taxes.

Now, there are many that are pushing to change or repeal Prop 13.  I won’t stand for that.

I will fight to protect Proposition 13 and the tax savings it brings to all homeowners.

Illegal Immigration

Others talk about fighting illegal immigration, I have actually been in the fight. When Governor Gray Davis signed the bill giving driver’s licenses to illegals, I led the charge with the Save Our License campaign that ultimately forced the legislature to repeal the law. As a member of the West Covina School Board, I fought for the implementation of e-verify in our school district’s hiring practices.

The cost to taxpayers of illegal immigration in California is astounding. A recent study concluded that taxpayers are on the hook for more than $25 billion per year. That’s a little more than $2,700 per household. Think about that! You and your household pay $2,700 more each and every year directly because of illegal immigration.

  • Justice and law enforcement costs alone, which include policing, court and incarceration, are more than $4.4 billion.
  • Medical services cost taxpayers around $4 billion per year. That includes approximately $388 million associated with the 68,000 births to illegal immigrant mothers.
  • Public assistance for illegal aliens has a $792 million price tag each year.

We cannot afford to turn a blind eye. As your Assemblymen, I’ll fight to end the handout of taxpayer benefits to illegal aliens. For more than two decades, I’ve carried the conservative banner on this issue, and I will continue to lead the fight.

Crime

Crime is on the rise. Since passage of Proposition 47 there has been an average 10% increase in property crime such as burglaries and motor vehicle thefts in California cities. In the city of Los Angeles, not only have property crimes risen, but violent crime has jumped by over 20%.

Californians were sold a bill of goods by liberal do-gooders, and the result is that we are less safe today.

Not only that, but we’re seeing the consequences in areas such as drug rehabilitation programs. Because of changes in the sentencing guidelines, there is very little incentive for a drug offender to take a court-ordered treatment program that could be 18 to 24 months long. They know they’re only facing a maximum 6-month stint in county jail. In reality, these jail sentences are only a few days (or sometimes even a few hours). Our jails are overcrowded because felons are being transferred to the county jails from state prisons, and one result is that addicts are not getting the treatment they need. Enrollment in programs in L.A. County, for instance, is currently down 60%.

We need to stop the criminals, not coddle them. I’ll fight to protect Californians; to stop criminals before they strike and make sure they do the time (all of it!) for committing the crime.

Republican
Small Business Owner
10,881 votes (12%)
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  • DEFENDING PUBLIC SAFETY, DEFENDING SMALL BUSINESS, DEFENDING OUR ENVIRONMENT AND OPEN SPACES, DEFENDING WORKING FAMILIES
  • CORRECT THE ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES OF AB 109
  • ENACT MEASURES TO DEFEND SMALL BUSINESS AND ATTRACT BUSINESS BACK TO OUR STATE
Profession:Retired Firefighter (28 Years), Real Estate Agent (30+ Years)
Real Estate Agent, Self Employed (1986current)
Council Member, Chino Hills City COuncil — Elected position (2013current)
  • California Professional Firefighters Association
Total money raised: $61,327

Below are the top contributors that gave money to support the candidate(s).

1
MARQUEZ, RAY
$8,700
2
Advantage Real Estate
$8,000
3
California Professional
$4,200
3
Chino Valley Professional Firefighters
$4,200
4
Claridyne, Inc.
$2,500

By State:

California 99.54%
Arizona 0.46%
99.54%

By Size:

Large contributions (87.91%)
Small contributions (12.09%)
87.91%12.09%

By Type:

From organizations (50.13%)
From individuals (49.87%)
50.13%49.87%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.
Photo of  Steven M. Tye
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Steven M. Tye

Republican
Small Businessman
8,600 votes (9.5%)
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Total money raised: $92,428

Below are the top contributors that gave money to support the candidate(s).

1
Grand Central Recycling & Transfer Station, Inc
$4,200
1
Zerep Management Corporation
$4,200
2
City of Diamond Bar
$4,145
3
Majestic Realty
$4,100
4
Arrow Pacific Electronics
$4,000

By State:

California 99.63%
0.37%
99.63%

By Size:

Large contributions (97.33%)
Small contributions (2.67%)
97.33%

By Type:

From organizations (49.92%)
From individuals (50.08%)
49.92%50.08%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.
Email electstevetye@aol.com

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