Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 29
Congressional candidates square off in Lompoc
BY JEREMY THOMAS
Jobs, immigration, and the economy were at the forefront of a debate between U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) and her Republican challenger Abel Maldonado, who met at a women’s forum in Lompoc on Sept. 24.
The two candidates, battling for the newly redrawn 24th U.S. Congressional District, spoke at the event sponsored by the Lompoc chapter of the American Association of University Women. They addressed a wide range of topics, including the DREAM Act, abortion, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which Capps helped introduce.
Capps, the incumbent Democrat currently representing the 23rd District, defended the federal health-care law as being successful at providing cheaper prescription drugs to seniors and giving younger adults better access to health insurance. Capps said that if re-elected, she would focus her efforts on job creation and on ending federal regulations stifling the growth of small business.
“The policies that will stimulate the economy are what put people back to work,” Capps said. “Those are targeted investments in infrastructure, and getting clean energy to the forefront.”
Capps added that as a congresswoman she previously voted for tax cuts to support small businesses 18 times.
A former Santa Maria mayor, state assemblyman, and lieutenant governor Maldonado reiterated his belief that “Congress is broken,” and stated he would do everything in his power to promote ideas for job growth, regardless of the political party affiliation.
“I am not running for a party,” he said. “I am running for the 24th Congressional District.”
Maldonado spoke out against the health-care law and expressed support for the DREAM Act—a bill in Congress that would provide undocumented students with conditional permanent residency—and for a temporary guest-worker program. The Maldonado camp released a statement following the forum, saying the debate provided a “clear contrast” between the two opponents.
“While she talked tonight about having a record of bipartisanship, Congresswoman Capps’ 1,930 votes with Nancy Pelosi reveals a different truth,” the campaign said. “Politicians in Washington who have no record of accomplishment seem to know only one truth—attack, attack, attack—because they are more concerned with saving their own job instead of creating one for the rest of us.”
The election to decide the seat will be held on Nov. 6.