Analysis of the 15th CA State Senate District seat race

Besides the US Presidential race, the race for the 15th CA State Senate District seat is the most impassioned and prominent in my area. Unfortunately the information about each candidate being presented to us is so uninformative that I have been forced to do a little research on my own. Not that that’s a bad thing. The following comprises what I have learned so far.

To get a biography of each candidate you may go to their respective campaign web sites. What really matters to me is where each candidate stands on the issues and how likely it is for that candidate to act on their beliefs.

Abel Maldonado

Abel Maldonado

Peg Pinard

Peg Pinard

From what I’ve found both Able Maldonado (R) and Peg Pinard (D) have personalities of getting things done. In contrast to some politicians who ride on the coat tails of others these two get things done. Maldonado has introduced 32 bills in the last 4 years in the state assembly and Pinard has been active in the Avila Beach cleanup project and lead the fight for the San Luis Obispo ban on smoking in public places.

Maldonado is the Vice-Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee (being a former Santa Maria farmer himself), is on the Assembly Business and Business and Professions Committee, and the Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee.

Pinard, was president of the Old Town Neighborhood Association in downtown San Luis Obispo which helped to define the “historic district.”

Maldonado authored a bill which successfully passed both houses that created a pilot program to provide free fruits and vegetables for school children at meals, in kiosks, and in free vending machines. The program also requires schools to provide nutritional education. He has been a protagonist in the efforts to reform Megan’s Law to get critical information available on the internet and was one of the co-chairs of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign.

One issue which each candidate has been campaigning in favor of is the environment. Pinard, as is all over the television, helped to clean up Avila Beach, and Maldonado has been opposed to off shore oil drilling. According to WILD PAC , an organization endorsing Peg Pinard, Maldonado “voted 9 times out of 10 against Sierra Club’s environmental votes and abstained for the last vote.” The Sierra Club is also endorsing Pinard. However, from the list of bills on theSierra Clubs’ web site of the 11 bills sent to the Assebly for a vote Maldonado voted in favor of 8, against 3, and did not abstain from any. Of the three Sierra Club’s bills that he voted against one would have raised vehicle registation feees, one would have extended smog checking to all vehicles regardles of age, and the third would have ultimatly raised domestic water costs by expanding metering. His voting record is as follows:

Ayes:

AB 1369 – 2004
AB 2055
AB 1699
SB 1319
SB 1369 – 2003
SB 1462
SB 1478
SB 1648

Noes:

AB 2572 -Increased metering of water
AB 2683 – Deletes the 30-year rolling exemption from smog check.
AB 2880 – Raise vehicle registration fees to fund local air pollution mitigation programs.

According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Maldonado “made news during last summer’s state budget battle for breaking ranks with GOP colleagues and voting against proposed education cuts. If elected, he said he would focus on coastal protection, funding education, the economy and jobs” and that he “favors a ‘balanced approach’ to the state’s lingering budget woes, but does not favor tax increases for which many Democrats have called.”

Pinard’s says one of her top priorities is to extend medical insurance to California residents. She supports the current bill that would require all large and medium-sized corporations to offer health insurance to their employees.

Maldonado is opposed to the health insurance bill sighting the damage it will do to the CA economy that is already struggling to keep businesses in the state given steep workers compensation prices. He has introduced bill AB 2315 to allow CA residents to create Health Savings Accounts. Maldonado also authored Gov. Schwarzenegger’s Workers Comp reform bill ABX4 1.

Pinard is in favor of Proposition 72 that would give drivers licenses to illegal aliens.

Maldonado sides with Gov. Schwarzenegger and is opposed to Prop 72.

Peg Pinard says her main focus is: