2nd District Congressional Seat, Best if Held by Huffman

William Rohrs, Staff Writer

After interviewing California State Assemblyman Jared Huffman and opponent Dan Roberts, the Oak Leaf is confident Huffman’s campaign platform holds the best interests for SRJC students for the 2nd California District seat in U.S. Congress.

Huffman has served in the California Assembly since 2006. During his career as a state legislator, he authored or co-authored nearly 60 pieces of successful legislation, including support for education, preservation of the environment and assistance for integrating undocumented residents through the California Dream Act.

“I’ve proven myself as a legislator. If you’ve done it before, particularly if you’ve done it well, then that should count for something,” Huffman said.

Roberts has no prior political background. “I am a private citizen that heard the call, and I have things to say that are important for the constituents to hear,” he said.

Roberts runs a small broker dealership firm out of San Francisco. A Vietnam veteran, he was shot in the war and now works alongside the Disabled Veterans program. His platform focuses heavily on improving veteran rights.

Most important to SRJC students, Huffman has a double-edged plan to help students pay for their education. He wants to keep tuitions low and affordable while providing wider access to grants and scholarships. Second, he wants to provide relief to students who pay off their loans by capping their payment terms based on their gross income instead of a flat rate. “I want you to have a job, but I also want you to have lower tuition and accessible student loans,” Huffman said. He supports Propositions 30 and 38.

Roberts believes that competition will improve education. Cutting funds that go through educational bureaucracy, he said, will provide schools with more money to reintroduce elective programs into the curriculum. He is against Propositions 30 and 38.

Regarding Obamacare, Huffman thinks it should go further. He wants insurance companies to compete with a federal provider, believing that competition will keep prices fair and coverage optimal. Roberts opposes Obamacare; he thinks the federal health insurance plan is dysfunctional and relies too much on taxpayer money to justify its services.

Huffman supports the Dream Act on both federal and state levels. He opposes instant amnesty, but wants the government to allow DREAMers to be able to apply for citizenship. Roberts opposes the Dream Act, but proposes that anyone who wants citizenship should earn it by serving in the military.

Huffman wants to regulate Wall Street and its banks and re-instate the Glass- Steagle Act to make the banks invest with their own money rather than the peoples’ money. Roberts also wants federal regulation of banks and Wall Street, but he does not hold them responsible for the economic meltdown and supports removing Glass-Steagle.

Huffman does not support a federal law permitting gay marriage because he believes the constitution already permits it. He wants to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Roberts also opposes a federal law permitting gay marriage but for different reasons. He believes that it is a state issue.

Huffman and Roberts both believe it is a woman’s right to choose to carry children or have an abortion. However, Huffman is shocked that there are still attacks on Planned Parenthood’s federal funding. Roberts thinks it is unethical to take tax money from someone who opposes abortion and send it to an organization that practices it.

The Oak Leaf agrees unanimously that Huffman will better represent the interests of SRJC students in Congress and is far more qualified for the position.