Update: 65th Assembly District candidate Sharon Quirk-Silva finally took a position on the issue of the proposed tax increase that California Governor Jerry Brown wants to put on the ballot. Quirk-Silva told the O.C. Register that she does not support sales tax increases, but her answer made it clear she is okay with other tax increases. She stated that ” I believe that any increase in revenue should be a fair and equitable tax.”
She also told the Register that the biggest issue in California besides the budget is education. But she did not mention the public employee pension crisis, which is quite an oversight on her part.
Less than half — 49% — of those recently surveyed said California’s books should be balanced by a combination of cuts and tax hikes. Nearly as many — 45% — said the state’s taxes are already too high and the estimated $9-billion budget gap should be closed with cuts in government services, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.
I know how Assemblyman Chris Norby, who is running for the redistricted 65th Assembly District, will vote on the tax increase that California Governor Jerry Brown will place on the November General Election ballot. Norby says on his campaign website that “California cannot tax and spend its way into prosperity, but we can allocate existing public resources more effectively. Local school boards must have greater flexibility to respond to local needs, not the dictates of Sacramento bureaucrats. We must reward excellence, not protect mediocrity.”
And her ballot statement only states that “She works hard to protect our tax dollars.” Okay, but does she support the Brown tax?
The pro-Brown tax crowd says we need to raise taxes to save public education. Well, is that true?
Although California is considered a relatively low-spending state when it comes to education, the Los Angeles metro area comes in third place for average real spending in a 2010 study by the Cato Institute.
The average real per-pupil spending figure of $19,000 is a stunning 90 percent higher than the $10,000 the districts claim to spend. In addition, real public school spending is 127 percent higher than the estimated median private school spending of $8,400, according to the Cato study.
David Crane, a Democrat and a former member of the California State Teacher Retirement System (CalSTRS) says whatever new money is raised by the Brown ballot initiative will have to cover teacher pension contributions.
Norby says he supports pension reform. Quirk-Silva? No response. That is inexcusable. She has been a teacher in the Fullerton School District for the last 24 years. If anyone can comment on the need for pension reform it is Quirk-Silva. But she doesn’t mention the issue on her website or in her ballot statement. Fail!
Norby is up front about the need for pension reform and he says he does not support tax increases. Why won’t Quirk-Silva tell the voters where she stands on these important issues?
Ironically, Quirk-Silva’s next fundraiser is entitled the “Educators for Sharon Quirk-Silva.” This reception will be held from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, May 3, at the Tlaquepaque Restaurant in Placentia.
Perhaps Quirk-Silva will let us know before that event if she truly stands for real education reform or if she instead is just another tax-raising Democrat with no clue as to how to resolve our education crisis.