Issues


Bob Brunton is seeking election as your next State Assemblyman with the goal of making the 25th District, and the State of California, a better place to live. Our quality of life has gone down, while our costs of living continue to spiral upward, all because our government has been failing us. Our taxes and debt are too high and increasing, we overspend and misspend, and we do not receive the amount or quality of the services that we are paying for.

Bob is running for office as a systemwide reformer. His core priorities for this District are to improve the quality of education, traffic, and housing without raising taxes, and to restore people's fading trust in government.

Education

Quality education is vital to any developed society, and our District, which stands at the center of early 21st Century innovation, is obviously not an exception. In California at large, some 54 percent of our state budget is allocated to education, but we as taxpayers aren't getting our money's worth. The decaying buildings and facilities are a metaphor for overall decay of education in our state, and indeed nationwide. Instead of fixing it, Sacramento is wasting time, effort, and money by focusing those vital resources on things that have nothing to do with our students actually getting a good education. We can improve education without raising taxes by changing that. To do so will require changing the status quo. We as a state can keep the special interests as our top priority, or we can again elevate our children to that place. Bob Brunton chooses the latter, which means that our education system has to be made to function normally again. He has 12 years of experience as an elected trustee for Ohlone Community College to bring to bear on carrying through the needed reforms.

Traffic

Everyone in Silicon Valley is familiar with our traffic gridlock. It is becoming like Los Angeles, in that many of our freeways are virtually impassable during commute hours, and sometimes at other times too. Like our educational system, our transportation system is decaying, because we aren't maintaining it properly. We aren't going to fix it by misallocating our transportation money, or by inventing new ways to tax people locally, like the proposed 1/2-cent increase in the Santa Clara County sales tax, just so we can try to keep up. This was done in Alameda County, which is now among the heaviest-taxed counties in the state. We aren't going to fix this by nickeling and diming people to death. We are running uphill, and the only way to stop it is through a more realistic allocation of existing funds, not new taxes on our already over-tax-burdened citizens. For example, a gas tax was passed, but it was made full of loopholes, to exempt special interests from having to pay it. Bob Brunton will reverse these loopholes and exemptions and other similar defects. In the interest of fairness, he pledges to enact a plan that will peg the amount paid toward building and fixing roads to the amount of usage, and wear and tear, done by different categories of drivers, and by different types of vehicles.

Housing

Bob Brunton's Great Cities Project that he will enact in the five cities in the 25th District - Fremont and Newark in Alameda County, Milpitas, Santa Clara, and San Jose in Santa Clara County - will involve his working with the five City Councils to improve the overall governance of the district. He is the only candidate with a novel plan to encourage more mid-priced housing, reduction of traffic, and general improvement of conditions. His plan will reallocate the existing sales tax for the District to meet those immediate needs, and thus to also compensate for the cities' loss of their state Redevelopment Agency money. Specifically, he will move to reallocate 1% of the current sales tax from place of purchase to zip code of residence. That means this percentage of the sales tax money will now go to where people live, instead of to where they shop. This change will encourage and reward the cities for doing the right thing with regard to housing and services within residential areas.

Trust in Government

To the extent that government has become incompetent, it is because too many officials have become accountable to the wrong people. This has happened, not suddenly, but over a period of decades. In California, this takes the form of government using its powers and your money to serve special interest constituents at the expense of the broader population. Bob Brunton is accountable to his fellow citizens, not special interests. Many laws and regulations are passed simply because some special interest or another asked for them, not because they are really beneficial for most people. Over time, the clutter overtakes the entire legal and bureaucratic environment, like weeds taking over a garden. We are in that place now, and it's time to clean it up. For every bill he introduces, he will move to retire two unnecessary laws or regulations. Our laws and regulations are too numerous, complex, burdensome, and outdated. Too many of them favor the well-connected special interests and waste enormous amounts of your money. Together, they form an overbloated legal regulatory structure that has chased many good paying middle-income careers out of our state and country.

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