By Trevor Hill
Photo (left to right): Jim Stieringer, Susan Davis, Joel Marchese, Wayne True, and Larry Wilske
May 29, 2014 (San Diego)--The race for California’s 53rd Congressional district will be narrowed down from eight candidates to the top two vote-getters this Tuesday, June 3. Incumbent Democrat Susan Davis will be on the June ballot, along with five Republican and two independent challengers.
Davis served in the California State Assembly before her election in 2001 to Congress, where she serves on the Armed Services Committee as well as the Education and the Workforce Committee. She has been a strong advocate for women on issues ranging from equal pay to abortion to preventing sexual assaults in the military. She has also been a supporter of services for veterans and strong public education. She opposed the GOP-backed bill that forced the government into a shutdown in 2013. She voted for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and extending unemployment benefits, as well as for the National Defense Reauthorization Act and the recent Farm Bill.
According to Representative Davis’s campaign website, her top priority is to “move us toward an economy that rewards those who work hard and play by the rules. She voted to hold Wall Street accountable, set up a process to wind down failing financial institutes from within to avoid government bailouts, and give consumers the financial protections they need and deserve.” Davis has taken a stand against inflated Congressional salaries by voting against Congressional pay raises every year that she has been in Congress.
For more information on Susan Davis, visit her campaign website at http://www.susandavisforcongress.com/index.asp
One of Davis’s top opponents is Joel Marchese, a Florida-born Republican who, according to his campaign website, believes that “we can do better!” Marchese has directed documentaries in the past and currently teaches General Educational Development (GED )and basic academic instructions for adults.
Marchese staunchly opposes the Affordable Care Act. He urges voters not to “let bureaucrats decide what type of healthcare [they] can have access to.” Marchese believes that Obamacare does more harm than good, and wishes to devote much of his time in congress to repealing it.
Marchese also wishes to lower our corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent or lower. On his website, he cites China and Germany (which have corporate tax rates of 25 and 30 percent respectively) as examples of countries from which he believes the US should take economic pointers. “And you wonder why everything these days is made in China,” Marchese states on his website. “If corporate tax rates were lower, we could manufacture most of the products we now get from China -- right here in the USA!”
In addition to repealing the ACA and lowering corporate tax rates, Marchese wants to impose a flat tax in place of our current progressive rate because he believes that lowering taxes on the wealthiest of Americans will stimulate the economy.
For more information on Joel Marchese, visit his campaign website at http://www.joelforcongress2014.org/
Another one of Davis’s challengers is Republican candidate Wayne True. True is a family physician who has served as the President of the San Diego Academy of Family Physicians as well as on the Commission on Public Health and Scientific Affairs for the American Academy of Family Physicians.
True, too, opposes the ACA, stating that “The implementation of the Affordable Care Act has not improved health care access for all American citizens. It appears instead to be designed to fail, ushering in ‘single payer.’”
True supports current immigration laws. He believes that a clear pathway to citizenship should be available to immigrants and supports their right to work, but he also wants to secure the border to prevent anymore undocumented immigrants from entering the US.
True does not believe that gay couples should have the right to marry. According to his campaign website, “Marriage is a time-honored social contract primarily for the benefit of providing a stable and nurturing environment for the raising of children. Dr. True personally believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. He allows for domestic partnership laws giving same sex partners opportunity for sharing potential tax and insurance benefits, inheritance, etc.”
In addition to his anti-gay marriage, anti-ACA, and tough immigration stance, True is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and fervently believes in Americans’ right to gun ownership.
For more information on Wayne True, visit his campaign website at www.waynetrueforcongress.com/
Yet another Republican challenger is 30-year Navy SEAL veteran, Larry Wilske. During his career, he oversaw hundreds of missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Philippines. He also taught at the Navy Senior Enlisted Academy.
Most of Wilske’s platform consists of encouraging change from a local level up. He believes that educational reform starts with pressure from residents on local schools in order to increase the district’s educational standards.
Wilske also believes in bringing more power to local government. He states on his campaign website, “A distant Washington bureaucracy should not govern communities. The Tenth Amendment clearly states, ‘The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.’ We need to reinvigorate this principle.”
Additionally, Wilske is an avid supporter of alternative energy sources. “Americans should say yes to any and all viable alternative energy sources as explored by entrepreneurs. By lifting restrictions for domestic energy resources, we can keep prices down and contribute to energy independence - a significant consideration for national security.”
Republican Jim Stieringer is also in the running. Stieringer has held several public offices and is currently a trustee on the Grossmont-Union High School District board. He previously served on the Grossmont Healthcare District board and was Treasurer for the City of La Mesa.
Stieringer calls for “meaningful reform” of immigration laws. “It is unfair to ask our Latin neighbors to wait up to 20 years for processing of their visa application,” his website states. “I also support adopting a federal version of the California Dream Act as a means of providing the hope of a college education to minor children of undocumented immigrants.” He also calls for income tax simplication, opposing unisex bathrooms, and pledges to read all bills before voting. In addition, Stieringer, a Vietnam veteran, observes, “It is time that we re-examine both Republican and Democrat willingness to engage in regional conflicts.”
Stieringer has been involved in several past controversies. On the GUHSD, he voted against Alpine parents’ efforts toward unification with the Alpine Union School District, an effort that aimed to allow building of an Alpine high school. The vote came after a Grand Jury advised the GUHSD to either set a clear timetable to build the high school, or cooperate with unification efforts.
He also drew controversy after he retired from the Grossmont Healthcare District Board, then tried to get the position back after a staff job he sought fell through. Stieringer was rejected for the position due to conflict of interest concerns and legal issues over the propriety of seeking to gain appointment as an insider, as ECM previously reported. The board refused to reinstate him, but later named a building after Stieringer.
Other lesser known candidates include Republican John Edwards, a retired aerospace engineer; independent Christina Bobb,and independent John Campbell, who has worked as a founder and co-owner in industries like finance, IT, software, and manufacturing. Although an abundance of information about these four candidates is not readily available, their names will be on the ballot this coming Tuesday, June 3rd, and they are eligible to serve as representatives of California’s 53rd Congressional District.