Arianna Huffington

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Arianna Huffington
Independent
1575 Westwood Blvd, #301
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone: (310) 477-6900
Fax: (310) 477-6901
Website: www.ariannaforgov.com

Biography

Arianna Huffington is a political columnist and author. A former conservative Republican, she now describes herself as a 'compassionate and progressive populist.'

She says she is running for governor to reach out and motivate 'the 13 million disenfranchised voters' who gave up on politics.

Huffington is a strong supporter of better fuel efficiency and renewable energy sources, and says all state employees should drive hybrid cars to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil. She also says she supports ending big-business tax breaks and cutting the state's prison budget to address the state's budget crisis.

Fifty-three year-old Huffington was born in Athens Greece and moved to the United States in 1980. She is the ex-wife of businessman and former GOP Congressman Michael Huffington, who lost a senate race to Dianne Feinstein in 1994. She lives in Los Angeles with their two daughters.

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Background

Name: Arianna Huffington

Party: Unaffiliated

Age: 53

Birthplace: Athens, Greece

Residence: Los Angeles, California

Occupation: Syndicated columnist, political commentator and author.

Political Experience:

None (I consider this one of my greatest assets. We're never going to find a way out of the mess we're in if we continue to elect the same politicians, backed by the same special interests, that got us into it)

Career Highlights:

Best-selling author of 9 books, including "Pigs At the Trough" and "How to Overthrow the Government". Nationally syndicated columnist. Co-created 2000's Shadow Conventions.

Education:

Cambridge University, 1975, MA Economics

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To help take back our political system from special interests. To fight for good schools, affordable health care, and a safe clean world. To make sure corporations pay their fair share of taxes.

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  1. Get big money out of politics: I'll support public financing of campaigns.
  2. Protect the environment: I'll support clean, renewable energy sources.
  3. Education: we need better schools, not bigger jails.

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This budget deficit is the result of a long-term problem, stemming from the way California collects revenues. Because it relies too heavily on income tax and sales tax, our state is subject to enormous fluctuations in revenues. As governor, I would work to stabilize our finances by shifting our emphasis to a more predictable revenue source -- namely, property taxes. And that means being willing to touch the electrified third rail of California politics and reform Proposition 13.

I'm not talking about doing away with the protections Prop. 13 gives to seniors and middle-class homeowners. But we ought to stop the way Prop. 13 is being used to artificially lower the tax burden on corporations and wealthy homeowners.

In the short term, I would generate revenue by closing the outrageous "change-of-ownership" loophole that allows corporate owners of commercial property in California to avoid paying over $2 billion in property taxes a year. I would also shut down the domestic corporate tax shelters that are costing our state roughly $1.34 billion a year. And I'd take in another $1.5 billion by taxing cigarettes and alcohol.

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This recall election has given us an unprecedented opportunity to take back our political system -- to reorder our policy priorities so that our public servants will finally, at long last, get back to serving the public.

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To oversee the removal of the corrupting influence of money in politics. The most effective means for restoring the integrity of our electoral process, and repairing the public's tattered faith in its elected representatives is through the public financing of political campaigns. If I am elected I will make a Clean Money bill my top legislative priority.

And the good news is, the Clean Money/Clean Elections concept is not some pie-in-the-sky fantasy. It's already the law in five states. And in the two states where it's fully implemented, Maine and Arizona, the results have been inspiring: more contested races, more women and minorities running, and a more independent pool of legislators elected.

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As an independent candidate, I'm in a unique position: I'm not constrained by party loyalty. My only loyalty is to the people of California.

There are a lot of good people in the Legislature, and I believe that if there was real leadership coming from the governor, they would be much more likely to make the hard choices needed to solve our economic crisis.

And if that didn't work, I would take my proposals directly to the people in the form of initiatives and, using the bully pulpit, motivate and mobilize the electorate.

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Education

The education of our children must be our top priority, and I pledge never to cut funding for education. I would reduce the emphasis on testing, make sure teachers are given the support they need, and work to create greater autonomy for school districts. I am a strong supporter of public charter schools; as governor, I will equalize per pupil funding for charter schools, and make it easier for qualified educators to receive funding for building, buying or leasing school facilities.

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Health Care

If elected, I will lead the fight in Sacramento to provide universal health care coverage to the people of California. In a universal health care system, over 95% of all money dedicated to healthcare goes toward healthcare, and not to bureaucratic overhead and profits. And it requires no new spending. In fact, recent studies show that the actual savings of a single-payer system would range from $3 to $8 billion dollars a year.

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Abortion

I strongly support a woman's right to choose. As governor, I will oppose any additional restrictions that jeopardize safe abortions in California, and would ensure that MediCal continues to pay for them.

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Public Safety

Along with supporting law enforcement efforts, fighting crime also requires us to reinvest in education so that every child in the state has a fair and equal opportunity to become a productive member of society. This means restoring cuts to higher education, modernizing our inner-city schools and hiring more teachers. In addition, we need to expand drug treatment for non-violent offenders, and spur investment and job growth in impoverished neighborhoods.

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Gun Control

I strongly favor the gun control measures passed in California over the past few years. In addition, I support imposing a fee on every unit of ammunition sold in California with the revenue generated being used to offset some of the costs incurred by trauma centers and emergency rooms in treating gunshot wounds.

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Energy

As Governor, I would champion a sane energy policy that protects the environment, stresses fuel efficiency, and invests in clean and renewable energy. I would use my bully pulpit to call on all Californians to commit themselves to the goal of achieving energy independence in a decade -- with no more environmentally destructive drilling, with no more unsafe nuclear waste.

We can do this by investing in energy efficiency, modern electric infrastructure, and renewables like solar and wind. We can do it by investing in technologies that bring us closer to realizing the hydrogen future, the next generation of hybrid cars, and advanced transit options that are clean, faster and more convenient.

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Environment and Transportation

The single greatest environmental threat that California is facing right now is the Bush administration. It is trying to open up drilling off the California coast by gutting the federal regulations that allow the California Coastal Commission to review the environmental impact of drilling, and has gone to court to try and overturn California's federally authorized right to set its own air pollution standards.

As governor, I would aggressively resist the Bush administration's ongoing attempts to roll back hard-won environmental protections.

As for transportation, last year Californians passed Prop. 42 to require gasoline sales taxes to be spent strictly on transportation costs beginning in 2003-4. But instead of putting that money into the Transportation Investment Fund, the legislature is "borrowing" the money to cover its deficit. By honoring Prop. 42, we would have an addition $856 million for transportation needs, including expanding public transportation, to ease congested roads.

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Promise

"In spite of a national recession, our economy has grown from the 7th largest to the 5th largest in the world."
"But there's more to do - on our schools, our environment, our economy, and on energy."

Highlights

Since he was re-elected, Governor Davis has…

  • Announced an estimated $35 billion budget deficit in December, and a $38 billion deficit in May.
  • Said in his State of the State Address that his 'most immediate priority' is jobs.
  • Tripled the vehicle license fee in June.
  • Signed a 'compromise budget' on Aug. 2nd
  • Appointed President Clinton's budget chief to lead the effort to fix the budget.
  • Signed legislation reforming the state's workers' comp system.

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Promise

"I will do everything humanly possible not to cut one penny from public safety. If we can increase it, we will."

Highlights

Since he was re-elected, Governor Davis has…

  • Proposed an overall increase in prison funding in his budget plans.
  • Vetoed an early-release prison bill.
  • Proposed to preserve funding for local law enforcement programs in his May budget plan.
  • Signed a 'compromise budget' with some cuts to prisons and local law enforcement programs.
  • Signed gun safety legislation in September.

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Promise

"My fellow Californians, together we've increased education funding by 30% -- and student achievements scores are up three years in a row. But there's so much more to do."

Highlights

Since he was re-elected, Governor Davis has…

  • Proposed significant cuts to education in his January budget plan.
  • Approved nearly $2.6 billion in mid-year (2002-2003) cuts to education.
  • Reduced proposed January cuts and protected class-size reduction and accountability programs in his new May budget plan.
  • Signed a 'compromise budget' with cuts to education similar to those proposed in his May budget plan.
  • Announced in September $1.7 billion in bonds to upgrade overcrowded schools.

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Promise

"I believe we must continue protecting our coastline, our air, water."

Highlights

Since he was re-elected, Governor Davis has…

  • Signed a "polluter pays" bill increasing fees for air and water polluters.
  • Announced funding for coastal conservation and parkland improvement.
  • Proposed some reductions to environmental programs in his budget plans.
  • Signed a 'compromise budget' with additional cuts to environmental programs.
  • Signed coastal protection and air pollution bills.
  • Signed the electronic waste recycling bill.

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Promise

“I won’t be completely satisfied until every child in the state of California has access to quality, affordable health care.”

Highlights

Since he was re-elected, Governor Davis has…

  • Proposed to protect children's health care coverage in both budget plans.
  • Requested federal aid to insure more children statewide.
  • Approved cuts to the Healthy Families outreach program.
  • Proposed and approved cuts to Medi-Cal programs.
  • Signed a 'compromise budget': children's health care coverage was protected and proposed cuts to Medi-Cal were reduced.
  • Signed a landmark bill (SB2) that will require many businesses to provide health insurance to their employers.

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Promise

"...No governor ever spent as much money as we spent this year in real dollars, accounting for inflation, on transportation improvements. We will continue to do that for the next two to three years."

Highlights

Since he was re-elected, Governor Davis has…

  • Said in his State of the State Address that he "will direct his agencies to accelerate freeway and public transit projects by one year."
  • Proposed an estimated $1.5 billion in cuts to transportation.
  • Signed a 'compromise budget' with cuts to transportation.

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