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Conservative Candidates Take On Christian Values, Spending, Taxes

A crowd of nearly 60 turned out for the candidates’ forum hosted by Southwest Conservative Republicans.

Local voters got up close and personal Friday night with four Republican candidates who are vying for the 67th State Assembly District seat that includes Lake Elsinore and Wildomar.

A crowd of nearly 60 turned out for the candidates’ forum held at Menifee Lakes Country Club and hosted by Southwest Conservative Republicans.

The 90-minute forum featured mostly partisan questions pitched to the candidates by the Southwest Conservative Republicans board, the audience and event emcee former Senator Dennis Hollingsworth (R). The candidates were not provided questions ahead of time, according to event organizers, and responses were held to a time limit.

The event offered watchers a chance to spot some differences among the four. Click here to read more about the candidates and see links to their campaign websites.

When asked if it is ever ok to raise taxes, candidate Phil Paule promised no new taxes if elected, while contenders Bob Magee and Melissa Melendez offered careful answers.

“No net gain,” Magee said; Melendez urged she would only consider an increase if it “balanced out” for taxpayers.

“We need to strangle the beast,” said candidate Ken Dickson of taxes, but added, “I’m not an anarchist. We have to pay the bills.”

On the question of controlling “runaway government spending,” Magee said he would first get control over government pensions if elected, and Paule explained he would work to kill the state’s high-speed rail proposal.

Magee said that while serving on the Lake Elsinore City Council he has voted in favor of some difficult-to-make city staff cuts. As a result, he argued that the state needs to follow the city and county’s lead in making the hard decisions.

“The state is the last domino that needs to fall,” he said.

Of the high-speed rail project, Paule said, “It’s an unnecessary liberal pipe dream.”

When the candidates were asked what their first piece of legislation would be if elected, Magee said he would introduce a bill to cut Caltrans.

“It’s a 14,000-person bureaucracy,” he said, adding that roads and bridges need to be built, but “Caltrans is in the way.”

Melendez said her first piece of legislation would be to get California waived from participating in “Obamacare.”

“We can’t afford to participate,” she said.

On the question of what the candidates would do to “restore Christian values in Sacramento” and how they would contend with current legislation designed to open the door for students to learn about important people in history who were gay, Dickson said, “Homosexuality is confusion. We need to be diligent … for our culture,” adding that he sees such legislation as a “a serious threat” to conservative values.

Paule called the legislation, AB 48, “absurd,” and said he would not allow his child to go to school on “gay history day.”

In response to the question, Melendez said she would partner with church groups, and Magee offered that there should be less emphasis on what makes people different.

When asked who they would pick for president if forced to vote now, Melendez said she would cast her ballot for Newt Gingrich, while the rest of the candidates said they would choose Mitt Romney.

Dog February 18, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Many important questions remain unasked; what are their opionions on dry vs canned dog food? Are any of them cat owners (ggggrrrrrrr) Would they give LEAF unlimited funding? How about free pooper-scoopers? Is tire-peeing really a crime? These and other questions must be addressed...woof
Ken Mayes February 18, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Katheryn, how do you think you got the roads you drive on, the water you drink and water your lawn with, your sewer service, etc. Before any housing tracts were built in Alberhill there was nothing. If the developer had doubled the price of your home to pay for all these things you would have never bought there. How is it you think that everyone in the valley should be taxed for the infrastructure required for you to live where you do.
Katheryn February 18, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Alberhill Ranch Bonds: $21,526,711.00 dollars, the City Council spent the money and no more inprovments in Alberhill Ranch. Did Castle & Cooke (aka the aggregate mine Pacific Aggregates/Pacific Clay Products) get all that money? Now the SLUSH FUND IS GONE what have they been doing for the City? SLUSH FUND FOR THE DEVELOPERS = MELENDEZ and the rest of the Lake Elsinore City Council, Hickman, Weber, Magee. Don't forget Genie Kelly is also part of this as well as Mosch, O'Neal, Jordan, Gonzales and so many other players who aren't presently sitting on the City Council. Earlier this week the Lake Elsinore City Council voted Big Bonds (Alberhill Ranch style) for La Laguna without most of the homeowners knowing. Anyone who votes for melendez or Magee are voting for HIGHER TAXES. Thomas Buckley was the only person who voted against these bonds. The Big Question: How many homes will be lost in La Laguna to foreclosures now the City has given them the big bonds which is a possible $800.00 per month added to their mortgages. THE GREEDY POLITICIANS OF LAKE ELSINORE, should spread the bonds though out the whole city, did you know many areas of the city don't pay these bonds but are getting all the benefits improvements in their areas from the Alberhill Bond money Tuscany Hills, this list goes on an on, yet Alberhill Ranch has no more money to complete. The City wasted the money spending elsewhere, now it's time for the city to spread the tax to everyone in the City equally. ...
Steve February 19, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Please explain the $800 a month increase for the Lalaguna residents. I live there and don't understand the statement. Could one of our council answer this.... I know several of you read the Patch
Diana February 19, 2012 at 02:52 AM
I thought that La Laguna is in the County, unincorporated area of Lake Elsinore???? I don't think that statement is correct.
Diana February 19, 2012 at 02:57 AM
If you read the article on the Patch about burglary last night this is the La Laguna area "the unincorporated area of Lake Elsinore". I think you are wrong Katheryn.
Roberto February 19, 2012 at 04:29 AM
La Laguna is a 86 hone development in the unincorporated area North of Machado and off Grand Ave. They have an HOA and are on 1/2 acre lots. There is another development "Rancho La Laguna" near McVicker Park. FYI...the city spelled the name wrong McVicker Park should have been spelled McVicar aptly named after the canyon.
Katheryn February 19, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Steve and Diana: LaLaguna is the K. Hov homes off of Grand and McVicker (now called Encore) which is not County.. Watch the attached link it's Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012 City Council Meeting. http://lake-elsinore.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=427 You are thinking of the homes close to Macahado and Grand (the other LaLaguna Homes in Lake Elsinore)
Steve February 19, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Katheryn, Thank you for the post and link. I do live in the La Laguna to which the Council is referring to. Your previous post stated; "which is a possible $800.00 per month added to their mortgages." That statement is incorrect. It would be $800 a year added to the property tax bill which is broken down into (2) payments as we know.
Roberto February 19, 2012 at 07:29 PM
800 hundred dollars added to the property taxes WOW!, Another City of Lake Elsinore catering to developers at the expense of future home owners. The McVicker Fire Station took at least 10 years to build even though fully funded through mitigation fee's. Why? Lake Elsinore didn't have the funds to staff it for a decade and put the community at large at risk. I remember the name of your devolopment now...It's "La Laguna Estate's" the one down by Grand Ave. is Rancho La Laguna.
Steve February 20, 2012 at 01:57 AM
I agree with you Roberto, the taxing of this city is outrageous. For a low end city, we have nothing to show for it.
Ray A February 20, 2012 at 05:12 PM
A bill to slash CalTrans? Boycotting schools if they recognize famous gay citizens? Cutting peoples pensions? No new taxes? Kill high speed rail? Where are the jobs? You all sound like you are running on platforms of intolerence and resentment. What are you going to do about our employment problems? It sounds like everything you support is going to create pain and suffering to someone, and contribute nothing positive to address the serious social and economic problems that our community now faces. Where are your christian values? I guess we can all pray that we don't lose our jobs.
lamar hightower February 21, 2012 at 03:55 PM
"Get control over govt pension", back In the day Magee you were the recipient of a govt pension, do you forget the time you spent here with the city of Lake Elsinore? You're so quick to take from others because it's politically correct, you're a douche bag
Diana February 21, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Awesome, Hightower sees Magee for what he is too!!!!!!!!!!!

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