by Brandi E. Baumeister
In one of the most targeted and watched races of this year, Rep. George Brown (D-Colton) is being challenged by Judge Linda Wilde for the 42nd Congressional District seat.
Rep. Brown has held this seat since 1972 and before that he served for nine years in the Monterey Park district, giving him 33 years in Congress.
Wilde, the Republican nominee, is California’s youngest Superior Court Judge. Wilde supports term limits and says she would limit her term in Congress to eight years.
Rep. Brown strongly supports responsible tax reform and the need for tax fairness.
In his Issue Update, Rep. Brown said, “I support tax cuts for the middle class and moderate income Americans, a targeted reduction in the capital gains tax for those who invest in America and creating jobs in this country. To afford this, we must continue to make sure that millionaires and the wealthiest Americans pay for their share in taxes.”
Rep. Brown also said in Issue Update, “Our challenge is to design policies that can meet these goals and reflect deeply held American values.”
In 1996, Rep. Brown voted for the “Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2,” supporting a gas tax repeal for working families and supports tax relief for small businesses.
Wilde is basing her campaign on three main issues: crime, the local economy and taxes.
“The reason she is running for Congress is not just for change but for leadership,” said Wilde’s campaign press secretary, Christian Nelson.
“When you look at the economy and the blight and rampant crime rate, you need a member of Congress who is proactive. There needs to be an active presence in the communities to accomplish this. And Linda will be here every week to do this,” he said.
Nelson said the three main aspects of her campaign are crucial to each other because no one can be done without the others.
“We’re not going to have businesses here and jobs created if owners are worried about getting murdered outside. We’re working to provide people the opportunities to find work and that will take people off the street. Reducing crime and helping the economy are the first steps and the third step is reducing the tax burden,” said Nelson.
Wilde has received endorsements from Dan Quayle, House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Rep. J.C. Watts from Oklahoma, Republican National Chairman Haley Barbour, California Gov. Pete Wilson and California Attorney General Dan Lungren.
Rep. Brown co-sponsored the middle class “IRA” bill which assists Americans in funding their retirement plans. Rep. Brown likewise supports the Earned Income Tax Credit, which, in turn, is a tax relief for moderate income working American families.
Rep. Brown is making education a priority in this election.
He says he is convinced that the federal government should continue its vital role in the education of all individuals. Furthermore, he believes that “the key to our community’s economic viability lies in the education of our children.”
Rep. Brown strongly believes in making schools safe and drug free by providing security officers in schools. In the area of college aid, Rep. Brown fought Republican attempts to cut college loan programs for students.
Rep. Brown voted for the “School-to-Work Opportunities Act,” which enables high school graduates, not presently attending college, to make a successful transition into the work force.
Rep. Brown’s future plans for education include fighting for smaller class sizes and more computers. On the college level, he will continue his fight for financial aid and as the lead Democratic member on the House Science Committee, Rep. Brown has dedicated himself to bring more high-technology aid to schools.
Wilde’s campaign maintains that education is on her priority list and that the loan program needs reform.
“The default rate (for college loans) is so high, the highest ever. Students need to get loans but there needs to be accountability and more responsibility,” Nelson said.
Wilde left high school one year early to attend Cornell University on a full academic scholarship. While a freshman there, she worked in the law library and read that in California, a bachelor’s degree is not required to attend law school. She decided to leave Cornell after her first year to take the exam that would let her enter law school early. She passed the exam and entered California College of Law at the age of 18. She passed the bar on her first attempt and at 23 she began to practice law.
In addition to her law degree, she is finishing her Ph.D. at the Claremont Graduate School in foreign policy/crises management of international conflict.
Wilde ran for Superior Court Judge in 1992 and assumed the bench in 1993. She beat an 18 year incumbent. Wilde took an unpaid leave of absence to run for Congress.