By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Education is a good piece of it. My generation was more educated than my parent’s generation, and we did better financially. And the next generation -- education costs so much if you’re going to pay for higher education, even at the public universities. I do think we have to raise the minimum wage, though, and continue to raise it.WEEKLY: At the Federal level, a number of folks in Congress support indexing the minimum wage. Is that one way to keep raising it?
KUEHL: It would be an interesting way to go about it, because that way, you really do get all the ships rising, which was the theory.WEEKLY: The other argument you can say for that is it’s not at the whim of Congress. It just happens once you pass that. KUEHL:You know, the problem, too, with the minimum wage being the only thing that you raise is that in California, it seems like a very high percentage of the workers are working for small businesses. And I’m not certain whether saying the small business has to pay higher wages, and it has to pay health care, and the health care is getting more expensive, and we’re not regulating that, so maybe they’ll drop the health care in order to pay the minimum wage. I don’t think it’s an empty threat on their part. We’ve got to do something to help small business where other businesses may not need it. But we really also have to do everything we can to keep the jobs here. WEEKLY: Looking at this race for voters, it’s hard to see the distinctions between you and Wally --what’s different and why this is a real race. KUEHL: Well, I think I made it in my very first statement. My whole history has been fighting effectively for underrepresented, unrepresented, voiceless folks. And I have an almost unparalleled record in the Assembly of not just one or two or three pieces of legislation, but 55. Any way you cut it, they are important and big bills which have taken on really powerful interests. The hospitals, the HMOs, the DAs and doing the child support stuff. The work that I’ve done on the environment. There’s just a much stronger, longer, bigger record of accomplishments.
The second thing is, I’ve volunteered for leadership. And it’s interesting to me that Wally characterized that as being an insider. And I thought, you know, if a lesbian woman, working class, could be an insider, then America must be a wonderful place indeed. But it’s work that makes a leader. You are aggressive on behalf of your constituents. You get stuff for your district, but you also make sure that if you want pollution of the ocean to stop, you do something about it, you know, in the Storm Water Runoff Bill. If you don’t want MTBE in the water, you do something about it, make the oil companies liable. There’s just a bigger record, a longer record, and, I think, a stronger record.
And the third thing is, if my colleagues choose me as the most intelligent person, or the one with the most integrity, or both, that really means something in terms of effectiveness. So, I have a stronger record, I’ve been more effective, and, I think that I have more respect on both sides of the aisle.WEEKLY: Great, what was the last book you read?
KUEHL: The third Harry Potter book. I love Harry Potter. I was so surprised. I thought, "Yeah, I’ll get Harry Potter for my niece and my nephew, but I’ll just read it first," and Oh, man, I couldn’t put it down. I really, really liked them. But I’ve always been a science fiction fan.