Last night it was standing room only, as an estimated 100 people met at the Ranch House Restaurant for the CRA candidate forum in East County. The evening began with a reverential reciting of the Lords Prayer in song led by Father Halverson.
The candidates for Sheriff were up first. Jim Duffy and Bruce Ruff were present. Unit presidents, Frank Hilliker (Greater Santee Unit) and Sylvia Sullivan (East County CRA) ran the forum. Each candidate was given one minute for opening and closing statements. The majority of the time was spent in answering questions submitted in writing by the members and guests.
To be considered for endorsement each candidate had been mailed a questionnaire to be filled out and returned before the meeting night. CRA is committed to the importance of knowing a candidate’s core values and principles. The questionnaire also acts as a tool for accountability.
Ruff explained his refusal to answer his questionnaire except for one gun questions as,
“…the law enforcement member is not legally entitled to let their personal opinion about laws impact the enforcement of laws.” This was a new approach for Ruff, since he has answered our questionnaires in the past. The questions are designed to reveal the fundamental principles that guide the candidate. It would seem that he could reveal in writing, his views and still enforce the law.
Duffy was questioned about his support for hate crimes legislation and the adoption of children by same-sex couples. His explanation was he had added that his “oath is to support the law.” It became confusing, contradictory when he responded that he opposed abortion on demand and taxpayer funded abortions. Yet they, too, are the current law.
Duffy was asked in light of the illegal activity that takes place at the Gay Pride Parade, if he would be marching in it. He said that he had already marched in the parade when he became a candidate. He would continue to do so as Sheriff.
Bruce Ruff said he would not march in the Gay Pride Parade.
Both Duffy and Ruff expressed their support for the second amendment. They both disagreed with the methods of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Bill Gore and Jay La Suer were unable to attend due to prior commitments
The questionnaire scores were as follows: Bill Gore 0% (none turned in), Bruce Ruff 4%
Jim Duffy 81% and Jay La Suer 100%
Then the 36th District State Senate candidates were next. This included Kenneth Dickson, Greg Stephens and Jeff Stone. Joel Anderson was to attend but was delayed at another event. His chief of staff Collin McGlashen, spoke briefly on Anderson’s behalf.
Dickson, Stephens and Stone expressed strong pro-life and pro-family positions. All three stressed fiscal responsibility and agreed that Californians are taxed enough already.
Stone forcefully criticized Anderson several times regarding his campaign contribution sources and Anderson’s vote to confirm Abel Maldonado.
On a light but sad note, the candidates were asked if they had ever been accused of having an affair. This was considering the damage done to the Republican Party by Mike Duvall’s problems. Thankfully, they all answered -NO.
All four candidates answered their questionnaires and received perfect scores as strong conservatives.
The final part of the forum dealt with the 77th Assembly candidates. All four were present – Richard Bailey, Brian Jones, Christine Rubin and Bill Wells.
Early on, Rubin was asked about her support for adoption of children by same-sex couples. She explained that for the sake of the child who might end up in an institution, she favored such adoptions. This drew strong responses from Wells and Jones who stated that it was for the well being of the child that they opposed these adoptions.
In an unusual move Bailey said he agreed with Rubin also favoring same-sex couples adopting children. He stated he could not recall how he answered his questionnaire. A quick look revealed he had opposed it. In it he also opposed the Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. It also showed he supported physician-assisted suicide legislation.
Rubin was further asked about her support of medical marijuana usage as is currently allowed under Proposition 215. Rubin went into details of the many problems Proposition 215 has caused. When asked if she had changed her position to now opposing Prop 215. She confirmed her support for Prop 215.
All candidates described themselves as strong fiscal conservatives. Their questionnaire scores were as follows: Bailey 84%, Rubin 92%, Jones 100% and Wells 100%.
The evening ended on a positive note with many attendees joining and/or renewing their CRA memberships. They are looking forward to the next CRA event since this was an interesting and informative experience.
East County CRA President