2011-10-06 / Community

Redistricting may pit Pavley vs. Strickland

Election 2012
By Stephanie Bertholdo

Pavley Pavley The newly formed state Senate district has thrown Fran Pavley and Tony Strickland a curveball.

The redrawn legislative district, which include portions of each senator’s former territory, could pit the two incumbents against each other when their terms expire next year.

Pavley’s mostly coastal 23rd Senate District and Strickland’s mostly inland 19th will morph into District 27 at the end of 2012.

Pavley, an Agoura Hills resident whose current ground is solidly Democratic, and Strickland, a Moorpark resident whose territory leans Republican, will face new political realities should they meet each other on the 27th battleground.

The new turf is considered a swing district with competing Democratic and GOP tendencies.

But while Strickland hasn’t tipped his hand just yet, Pavley has declared she will be a candidate in the district’s inaugural primary election next year.

Strickland Strickland The winner will represent the Conejo and Las Virgenes valley communities of Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Oak Park, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills and Bell Canyon. The district shoots north and west, and also consists of Simi Valley, Moorpark and the Santa Rosa Valley.

Also included are portions of Santa Clarita and slices of the North San Fernando Valley, including Stevenson Ranch, Porter Ranch, Granada Hills and the West San Fernando Valley. Topanga, Malibu and beaches from the Pacific Coast Highway near the Getty Museum and across the county line to Point Mugu are in the new district.

The current boundaries are being challenged in court, and while he said it’s his “intention” to run for reelection to the Senate, Strickland added, “I’m just waiting to see what transpires.

“I’m not convinced that these are the final district lines. . . . I’m not willing to announce,” Strickland said.

Waiting for the courts to decide whether the new political landscape is legal isn’t the only reason Strickland is hesitating. The senator may decide to run for Congress if U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Camarillo) retires from his 25-year career.

“No one knows what Elton will do,” Strickland said.

Pavley said she doesn’t know how the California courts will proceed with the newly formed district.

“The court has options on what they do,” she said. “They can keep existing lines for the 2012 election cycle, modify them or not change the Redistricting Commission’s decision. Opinions vary on what they can or may do.”

Platform building

Pavley, a former schoolteacher and three-term member of the Assembly, spent her first term in the Senate as a champion for clean air and healthy living.

“Cleaner, more sustainable en- ergy sources create 21st century jobs,” Pavley said.

She sees the potent ial for economic growth in California through manufacturing, and she said China’s exploding population could drive the state’s economic rebirth. General Motors, which already has a small manufacturing presence in California, is negotiating with China to open its market to the U. S., which could lead to new jobs in California, she said.

Three electric car companies already are operating in the state, she said.

More manufacturing jobs could stimulate the economy and help close the widening gap between the rich and poor through more assembly line jobs.

Pavley said, “We’re losing the middle class.”

She said that when she speaks with business leaders in the Silicon Valley, their main concern is not over-regulation. Most hightech firms are concerned about the lack of an educated workforce, she said.

Strickland, also a former three-term Assembly member, said if he decides to run again for the California Senate he would revisit the state’s sales tax policy on manufacturing companies, expedite the business permitting process and create incentives to help people invest.

“We are one of only three states to tax manufacturing equipment,” Strickland said.

“(Manufacturing companies) are not coming to California. We need to understand that. We overregulate in California. There are too many agencies doing the same thing.”

For example, “There’s a lot of duplication with water agencies,” Strickland said.

The Franchise Tax Board and the Board of Equalization are agencies that should be dissolved, he said.

Strickland said legislators must focus on jobs.

“We can’t be focused on a thousand different things,” he said. “We can’t have quality healthcare, quality education if we don’t have money. This should be everybody’s priority.”

Pavley took a jab at the state’s conservative leaders, saying their no-tax pledge has made it virtually impossible to remove the surfeit of tax credits that corporations currently receive.

Both Strickland and Pavley supported streamlining the approval process to expedite a new professional football stadium for Los Angeles.

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