By Ross Sevy
For Inland Empire taxpayers, this election is about much more than choosing the next president of the United States; this election could determine whether or not our way of life will be taxed into extinction. This is by no means a partisan issue, but an issue of pro-taxpayer candidates and candidates funded by outside special interests.
Economic studies have found more than 40 percent of Inland Empire residents commute out of the area to work.That means we are heavily reliant on transportation costs being reasonable to maintain our way of life. However, there has been a recent push by special interests to increase the costs of transportation fuels, possibly devastating Inland Empire taxpayers. Fortunately, there are examples of representatives standing up for taxpayers against these Sacramento special interests.
One example of this is in the 47th Assembly District, where Democratic Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown is facing off against fellow Democrat Eloise Gomez Reyes. Cheryl Brown was part of a group of taxpayer-friendly Democrats that helped to amend the disastrous Senate Bill 350. SB 350 would have instructed the Air Resources Board to enact regulations to reduce gasoline consumption by 50 percent by 2030. There were no specifics about the regulations, but one thing was for certain – SB 350 would have increased the cost of gasoline and hurt Inland Empire taxpayers. Cheryl Brown decided to stand up for her district because it, “has more ‘mega-commuters’ – those who have to drive 50 or 60 miles each way to get to work – than others, and they would get crunched by the gasoline price hikes that an imposed 50 percent reduction in supply would produce,” the Press Enterprise pointed out in its endorsement of Brown.Now Cheryl Brown is being attacked by Eloise Reyes for putting taxpayers first, and Reyes is being supported by a super PAC funded by special interests.
Another example is in the 40th Assembly District, where Republican Assemblyman Marc Steinorth is facing off against Democrat Abigail Medina. Marc Steinorth has been a friend to taxpayers, having never voted for a tax increase. Conversely, his opponent published an op-ed last year in the Inland Empire Community News where she advocated in favor of passing the same disastrous SB 350.Once again, the 40th Assembly District, which is adjacent to Cheryl Brown’s district, has a number of “mega-commuters” who drive to Los Angeles or Orange County in order to provide for their families. Marc Steinorth understands that, which is why he opposed SB 350 and stood up for taxpayers. Even more frightening is that Abigail Medina is on record seeking to weaken the taxpayer protections in Proposition 13.That disastrous position would lead to higher taxes, job loss, and increased costs for everything from property to groceries, gas and goods.
In fact, the contrast in the 40th Assembly District is even more startling when you look at how the two candidates view responsible stewardship of public tax dollars. Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, for example, has hosted free pet adoption fairs, where he uses non-taxpayer dollars to cover the cost of pet adoptions. This benefits taxpayers in two ways: by keeping money in their pockets by not paying adoption fees, and by reducing the cost to taxpayers for feeding and sheltering animals due to having them placed in more homes. Abigail Medina, on the other hand, has been a taxpayer disaster and even took advantage of education tax dollars while on the San Bernardino Unified School District Board, including paying for lavish, personal trips to Miami Beach and Las Vegas.The differences continue between Marc Steinorth and Abigail Medina when it comes to where they draw support from. Marc Steinorth is endorsed by every councilmember and mayor in the district, including Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, while Abigail Medina, as FPPC filings show, has received over 90 percent of her contributions from outside the 40th Assembly District, including a number of Sacramento special interests who would like to do away with Proposition 13 and raise taxes.This is a stark contrast and demonstrates to taxpayers how obvious the choice is to best protect our way of life for the 40th Assembly District.
This election is about more than the top of the ticket. For Inland Empire taxpayers, there are substantial repercussions up and down the ballot. We at the Inland Empire Taxpayers Association urge voters to look past partisan rhetoric and phony special interest advertisements; vote for candidates like Marc Steinorth who have proven they put taxpayers first and will protect our way of life.
Ross Sevy is President of the Inland Empire Taxpayers Association.
Wes Wodds II, Redlands Daily Facts,“Inland Empire residents commute outside the region,” 3/13/11, http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com/general-news/20110313/inland-empire-residents-commute-outside-the-region
Press Enterprise Editorial Board, Press Enterprise, “Cheryl Brown for Assembly,” 9/29/2016, http://www.pe.com/articles/brown-814535-district-assembly.html
Abigail Medina, Inland Empire Community News, “Our Children Deserve to Breathe Clean Air,” 9/9/2015, http://iecn.com/our-children-deserve-to-breathe-clean-air/
San Bernardino Unified School District Records
Cal-access.ca.gov, Candidate Filings, http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?id=1377340&view=electronic