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Voter’s Edge California
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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election

California State AssemblyCandidate for District 31

Photo of Ted Miller

Ted Miller

Democratic
Engineer, Pilot, Community Activist
3,582 votes (6.5%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Water, Water, Water! The 31st Assembly District needs more water storage, sensible water priorities and long range planning. We need to support and build the Temperance Flat Dam.
  • Jobs!
  • Reduce the cost of Healthcare

Experience

Education

University of Southern California Masters of Arts,, Business Administration (1996)
University of Southern California Bachelor of Science,, Electrical Engineering (1979)

Biography

I was born in Havre, Montana; a town about the size of Firebaugh.  My family is from Turner which is 75 miles away, next to the Canadian border.  I spent my summers in Montana when I was growing up working on my Grandfather’s farm and cattle ranch.

My father was a Truck mechanic and eventually became a Fleet Manager.  Although he never graduated from High School, he learned to use computers and AutoCAD and set up a custom truck manufacturing facility.  He is the smartest Mechanical Engineer I know who never graduated from High School.  My mother was a housewife when we were young.  As my sister and I grew up she went to work as a secretary at a bank and eventually became a Sheriff Deputy for Los Angeles County.

I grew up in Monterey Park, about 6 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles.  After graduating from Schurr High School I went to USC and earned a degree in Engineering.  I was able to attend USC because I received California State Scholarships and federal grants, and I worked while going to school.  When I graduated from USC I had about $5,000 in student loans.

My first job was working at a Pizza Hut restaurant when I was 15.  The manager quit about 3 weeks after I was hired and the regional manager taught me how to do the books, make the deposits at the bank, do all the prep work and close down the store at night.  At 15 I was the night manager of a Pizza Hut restaurant.

My second job was a bag boy at Market Basket.  Way less responsibility than Pizza Hut, and more money because it was a union job.  I stayed there until I graduated from High School.

During College I worked at a Disk Drive plant that made huge drives the size of two stereo receivers with a capacity of 10 Mbytes.  I also worked at a Power Supply company and was a R&D technician at a defense contractor.  I went to work for Hewlett-Packard when I was a Junior in college and stayed with them after I graduated with my Engineering degree.

I moved to Hawaii in the 80’s and lived there for nine years.  I learned to fly while I lived in Hawaii and eventually earned an ATP with a type rating in Boeing 737s.  When Hurricane Iniki struck Kauai in 1992 I was managing an aircraft for a corporate client.  I convinced my client to donate the use of his plane and I donated my flying expertise and I flew supplies and personnel for the Salvation Army for about 3 weeks straight.  During this time I flew Steven Spielberg and some of the cast members from Jurassic Park off of Kauai where they were filming when Iniki struck.

I returned to USC and earned my MBA in 1996.  I worked for KPMG and Racal Instruments before returning to Aviation and becoming the Assistant Chief Pilot for Atlantic Coast Airlines at New York’s La Guardia airport.

I met a wonderful schoolteacher from Caruthers in 2007, and have made my home here ever since.

I have run 6 marathons, completed the Ironman Triathlon and rode a bicycle from Vancouver, BC to Tijuana, BC all the way along the Pacific Coast.  I covered 2004 miles in 21 days, on a bike that weighed 75 pounds with all my gear.  I later would learn that was about the same length and time as the Tour de France.

I grew up in the Lutheran Church, was a Deacon at the Central Union Church in Honolulu, and am now a member of the Caruthers Methodist Church.  I enjoy cooking and have prepared food for the Community Café many times.

 

I want to put my talent and energy to work for the people of the 31st Assembly District.   I’ve been politically active for a couple of years and have observed how broken the political system is in Fresno.  I’ve observed politicians who call themselves Democrats but who vote against the interests of Democratic voters and in favor of wealthy contributors.  I don't have the backing - or agenda - of medical/political PAC's. My only interest is to serve the people of the 31st Assembly District in the way they deserve to be represented – fairly.

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and California Counts, a public media collaboration. (4)

Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in California. What new strategies do you believe would ensure that California is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific. 
Answer from Ted Miller:

Solar is the first thing we need to focus on.  PG&E fights solar installations with a vengeance and their obstruction must be curtailed.

 

High Speed Rail will remove thousands of cars from the roads and have a significant impact on our carbon footprint.  One of many reasons to build High Speed Rail.

Many Californians are concerned about the influence of money in politics. What can the state legislature do to ensure that decision-making by elected officials is not swayed by moneyed interests at the expense of constituents?
Answer from Ted Miller:

1. Send me to Sacramento.

2. Publicly funded elections.  Take money out of Politics.  California is big enough to do this, and we should lead the way.  

Money in politics is much more dangerous to our state, and our nation than Terrorism.

There are a variety of proposals to raise California's minimum wage. Many of these proposals face opposition from business groups who are concerned that they would kill jobs. Do you support increasing the minimum wage in California?  In your answer please explain your position on the relationship between wages and jobs with specific reference to the situation in your district. 
Answer from Ted Miller:

Yes.  We need a $15/hr minimum wage.  No one can live on $8/hr.

What are your top three fiscal priorities, recognizing the need to balance the state’s income with its spending?
Answer from Ted Miller:

1. Reduce Healthcare cost.

2. Reduce the cost of a college education.

3. Improve our Water Infractruction to maintain the economic vitality that Agriculture provides.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

More information about contributions

Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I want to represent the hard working people of the 31st Assembly District.  I do not represent the rich moneyed interests that provide the millions of dollars and call the shots in the "viable" campaigns of my opponents.

 

I am a Democrat.  I support Bernie Sanders for President, and I agree with Bernie on all issues that I have encountered.  If Bernie is not the Democratic nominee, I will vote for the Democrat in November, whomever she may be.

 

 Politics in Fresno is badly broken. 

 

 The Republicans are Trumpsters; a hop, skip and a jump away from Nazi Germany in the 1930's.

 

 Most of the Democrats feel compelled to assure the electorate that they are “Conservative Democrats”.  Once elected, these “Conservative Democrats” act like Republicans.  As a result, the poor people suffer.

 

I am an engineer with an MBA.  I have implemented technical projects and done complex financial analysis.  I understand how business works.  I also understand that people act in their own self interest.  We can’t let the “magic hand” of the free market control everything because the free market would destroy our planet, our society, and us in their never ending quest for profit above all else.

 

 

So, we need balance.  That is what I offer.

 

Position Papers

Health Care Expense will bankrupt our nation.

Summary

We spend three times what on healthcare per capita what they spend in the UK.  This expense is going to bankrupt our society.

In America we spend $9,000 for every man, woman and child in our nation on healthcare.

 

 

In the UK they spend $3,600.  That is $5,400 per year LESS than we spend per capita.

 

 

Here is what that means in California, which would be the eighth largest economy on the planet if it were not part of the United States:

1.       We spend $18 Billion PER MONTH more on healthcare than they spend in the UK for the same population.

2.       We spend $216 Billion PER YEAR more than the UK for the same population.

To put these numbers in perspective, we spend $96 Billion per year on Education in California.  The $216 Billion in excess spending we spend on healthcare is more than twice what we spend on education.

And this point is important to stress:  We actually spend almost $360 Billion per year on healthcare in California.  We spend $216 Billion MORE than the spend in the UK.

 

Our cost of Healthcare is strangling our nation and we must get it under control or we will continue our downward slide.  We can’t afford to manufacture products because our labor cost is so high because of our healthcare cost.  Whether healthcare is paid by insurance coverage or a single payer system, as it should be, we must reduce the cost of healthcare.

Why can't we get money out of politics?

Summary

The largest obstacle to getting money out of politics is the media.

The media picks the winners in elections and they pick the people who have the money.  These are the people who can pay for the advertizing.

The Fresno Bee endorsed a candidate in the special election race on the very weekend the vote by mail ballots were mailed out.  No debates, No forums, nothing.  They had a "meeting" with the candidate (and not with all the candidates) and made thier "choice".

 

Of course, lots of advertising appeared in the Fresno Bee thereafter.

 

On February 16, 2016 I was invited to debate the other two candidates On KSEE 24 by Evan Onstot, via email.

On February 18, 2016 PACS supporting my Democratic Opponent placed $40K in advertising on KSEE 24 and 47, their sister station.  These are public records.

On February 22, 2016 I was "un-invited" from the debate, by Evan Onstot, in a voicemail.

 

Until we get money out of our political process we can't possibly have a functioning government that works for the people.  It always has to do the bidding of the people with money, and that means that you and I will lose.

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