Claremont COURIER/Saturday, September 8, 2012
Lowe brings conservative approach to addressing special interests
n order for California to flourishonce more, we need to return toa 2-party system with properchecks and balances. We need a seatchange.”It is with this ideal that RepublicanDonna Lowe takes the leap from Clare-mont Commissioner to candidate for theState Assembly’s 41st district. If elected,the businesswoman and mother of 2 plansto bring her strong convictions and dedi-cation to her district to overhaul the wayCalifornia is doing business.
Q. From a Claremont Commissionerto candidate for state legislator—what motivated you to go all the way up to thestate level?
A. My motto in life has always been“go big or go home,” and so when I de-cided that Fort Worth, Texas was too smallfor me, I didn’t move to Dallas, I movedto Los Angeles. It’s in my personality topush myself and seek challenges, and withthe state of our economy and with thepoliticians in Sacramento seemingly withtheir heads in the sand, I thought therewas really only one position where I couldbe effective and that is the State Assembly.The assembly is basically where most billsare born—most regulations, new taxesand penalties. If you want to start tochange the state, I think you’ve got to getin where the problem starts.
Q. One of your main objectives is to“re-open California for business.” What has gone wrong in the past and what is your plan to solve this?
A. We all have to be realistic about theproblems. The next few years in Califor-nia are not going to be fun. I wish that wehad a governor who was more like ScottWalker (Wisconsin) or Chris Christie(New Jersey), because they came in anddid some of the really heavy lifting. Cali-fornia is unsustainable; the unions have avice grip on our state. Governor Brown’srecent plan doesn’t even begin to tip thescales on where we need to be. His initialplan was very bold and robust and ad-dressed how to put us on a good track of sustainable growth and spending, but hehad to back down because he has to bowdown to special interest groups.In order to fix California, we have gotto stand up and say, “the unions do notown us, special interests do not own us.”That will start the change in tide and [alert]the rest of the country that California iswilling and eager to be competitive again.Competitive is the key word. Because welive in a free market society, the only wayto be successful is to be competitive. Cal-ifornia is ranked 50th in business-friend-liness. That puts us 50th in competitive-ness. Why would companies want to comeand start their company—start theirdream—here? Why would companies al-ready here want to expand here? Whywould a company who is nimble and ableto move not move? California’s ability tobe competitive with our neighbors is themost important issue we will face in 2012.
Q. How do we make California com- petitive again?
A. You have to have a complete seatchange in the legislature. The legislatureright now is beholden to one entity andthat’s special interests. They are not be-holden to the taxpayers that put them there;they are not beholden to the businessesthat drive the revenue that then funds thevital services that government provides,like public education. What we have seenunder democratic rule in the state Senateand Assembly is cut after cut to education.The money is stuck in Sacramento andnever makes it down to the classrooms.School started on Wednesday and we gotpaper after paper of supplies needed, fun-damental supplies needed to teach our chil-dren that we are not providing. Instead, itgets pushed down to the taxpayers. We arealready paying taxes to provide that vitalservice of education. We need a completeoverhaul.Our infrastructure is crumbling. Theyare talking about high-speed rail whensouthern California is in a water crisis.But because of special interest in Sacra-mento we are not able to work together,we are not able to sit on the floor and de-bate topics because we already know howthe Democrats are going to vote. Theydon’t need Republicans (there are only 27of us) for any healthy debate. This reallyis a one-party state.
Q. You are a proponent of free market enterprise. How will this help the Califor-nia economy?
A. If you go and look at Chris Holden’s460s (fundraising reports on the Secre-tary of State website), he has raised virtu-ally no money in the [41st] district. All hismoney comes from SCIU, Prison GuardsUnion and the Teachers Union, all out of Sacramento. He is not representing thepeople here. If you go to my 460s, you willsee businesses, taxpayers and retired folksare what are funding this campaign. Yes,the obvious can be pointed out that wehave a registration problem in our district,but I really feel that of those registered—43 percent Democrats, 34 percent Repub-licans and 19 decline to state—the 19 per-cent decline-to-state population see, feeland hear the problems that California hasput them in, and I think they are going tovote for free market.This free market plan is only good if wepick up a strong number of seats. Withstrength in numbers of those in Sacra-mento who believe in free market, theunions don’t have the votes that they needto put further regulation on businesses,further taxes on the taxpayers and to tie thehands of the legis-latures. I think themost telling andmost egregiousform of special interest voting going on inSacramento right now happened this weekwhen the Democrats, yet again, votedagainst a bill that would have held teach-ers and school districts accountable forheinous acts on children. The unions didnot want to relinquish any control overwages and work conditions so they boughtthe votes of the Democrats, who votedalong party lines to not protect our chil-dren. That type of mentality in Sacramentois corruption, and it’s broken. We needthat spark so we can gain a few seats in theassembly and fight back against special in-terest.
Q. In addition to stopping the over-reg-ulation of businesses, one of your sugges-tions to revitalize the economy is throughtapping into the state’s oil reserves and natural resources. Can you go into moredetail about this plan?
A. I think Romney hit on this fantasti-cally. We have talked for so many yearsabout being energy independent, yet westill send jobs and resources to the MiddleEast and to other parts of the world andbuy oil from dictators. We must stop that.We have made great strides in slowingdown the consumption of our oil usagethrough hybrid cars, solar energy and otherresources, yet we are never going to slowthe use of oil because we keep growing asa country. That’s not a bad thing, but youcan’t just flip a switch and be completelyoff of oil. We need to tap into our coal, ournatural gas and our oil; we must do thathere in California. We are resource-rich inthis state, and what a way to put our mid-dle class back to work. We have veryoverzealous environmentalists that I guessare happy to see unemployment rates sky-rocket in our state and are happy to seefamilies struggling because we could fixthat in a heartbeat if we really wanted to.I have visited and spent many hourswith oil companies in Bakersfield becauseI wanted to learn about the industry. I’mfrom Texas so, of course, I know some-what, but I never went out onto a field be-fore and watched them drill and watchedwhat they put back into Mother Earth.They [the oil industry] are probably ourcleanest industry and help the environ-ment the most. Just because we are pump-ing oil out of the ground doesn’t makethem dirty. Chevron and Shell and othercompanies are continuing to innovate andfind new ways of cleaning and using theoil, and I think it’s exciting. We reallyshould be tapping into that.
Q. You believe irresponsible spendinghas kept California from flourishing. Howwill you change this if elected?
A. We spend too much time on the leg-islature trying to figure out how to legis-late to every human need. It’s not possible.That’s not what government was createdfor. Government is best when it is smallerand allows for free market to really helpthe people flourish and create jobs. Just to-day, they [the assembly] were debatingon giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.Why are we rewarding bad behavior?They are also talking about giving those il-legal aliens voter registration cards whenthey get a license because everyone is ableto register to vote when you go to theDMV for a driver’s license. It just seemsso backward to our whole philosophy of our government. We have rules, we havelaws and we have to abide by them, but thestate legislature wants to give free educa-tion to illegals, free driver’s licenses to il-legals. There is a reason they are called il-legal: They are here illegally. We have tofix that problem, but instead Californiakeeps dangling carrots to entice people tocome here illegally and not do it the rightway.I am one who is well qualified to talk onthis subject because my father-in-law andmother-in-law emigrated here from Chinaand they did it the right way. They waitedtheir turn, they learned English, they putthemselves through an American univer-sity and they went out and worked theirentire lives never taking anything fromthe government. Don’t tell me I am againstimmigration, because my husband would-n’t be here today if they hadn’t taken therisk.
Q. Part of your platform revolvesaround solving California’s problem withillegal immigration. What needs to be fixed and what is your plan?
A. Just enforce the laws we have. Wehave got to work with our House of Rep-resentatives and our senators to secure ourborder. So many of our problems stemfrom the lack of concern that goes onsouth of San Diego. We’ve got to workwith Mexico and find out why these peo-ple want to leave Mexico so desperately.Why is it so bad down there and what canwe do as Americans to help them?It all stems back to the need for a 2-party system to create change in this state.The apathy rate in California is so aston-ishing. You have just a few people who aredetermining who your leader is in Cali-fornia—just look at the primary numbers.I’m glad I made it through the primary be-cause I feel I’m the best person to repre-sent this district. I am my own free personand I don’t have to rely on a vote to makesure my campaign coffers are filled. Idon’t have to bow down to any special in-terest group, only look at how we can getmore jobs back to California, more com-panies believing in California, because weall win when that happens. I hate that weare borrowing and kicking down hard de-cisions, putting them off because it’s justputting that burden on my children. As aparent and as an American, you alwayswant better for your children; we certainlyare not leaving this state or country in abetter place than when we found it.Learn more about Ms. Lowe’s platformby visiting www.votedonnalowe.com.
Up next in our candidates’ series: Demo-crat Carol Liu of the 25th senate district.
COURIER photo/Steven FelschundneffRepublican Donna Lowe is running forassembly in the 41st district.