What Questions Do You Have for Assembly Candidates?

Tell us in comments: What inquiries do you have for candidates Michael Cacciotti, Chris Holden, Donna Lowe and Victoria Rusnak?

Update: Victoria Rusnak, President/General Counsel at Rusnak Auto Group, filed papers Wednesday to join the 41st Assembly race. Here is her bio, according to Pasadena Sun:

Victoria Rusnak

Rusnak, 43, is president and general counsel of the Rusnak Auto Group, a series of car dealerships in the San Gabriel Valley.

She is an attorney who previously worked for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Club in Washington, D.C., and for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington state. She graduated from the University of Southern California and earned her law degree from the Gonzaga University School of Law.

Rusnak said her experience running a 700-employee company will help her shape policies in Sacramento that will be friendly to small business while balancing environmental concerns. 

Update: Patch has updated this story to include background information on candidate Donna Lowe. We will continue to add to this article if more candidates arise. 

Please let us know what questions you'd like us to pass along in the comments sections below!

To learn more about each candidate, click on his or her name.

Donna Lowe

Lowe is a lifelong Republican. Married to Gary Lowe with two young children of their own and two step-daughters, Donna is a business professional residing in Claremont, Calif.  

She is the founder of the Claremont Conservatives Tea Party, Former Board member for the Mountain View Republican Club (which represents nine cities), Spokesperson for Claremont Taxpayers for Common Sense, and currently serves on the Claremont Community Services Commission and is an alternate on the 59th Assembly District Committee.

Lowe believes "Sacramento must stop excessive taxes and unnecessary spending" and that the state should "adopt an 'open for business' attitude and repeal the excessive regulations that are destroying our economy." 

Original Article: South Pasadena Mayor Michael Cacciotti will face Pasadena Councilman Chris Holden in the 41st District Assembly race this year.

But before you vote in June, Patch wants to get your questions answered. Tell us in comments: What inquiries do you have for each candidate?

Here's some background about Cacciotti and Holden:

Michael Cacciotti

A Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice, Cacciotti has served the people of South Pasadena since 2001. He's currently in his third term as Mayor and has served two terms as Mayor Pro Tem. 

An environmental advocate and former teacher, Cacciotti's platform focuses on economy, environment, education and energy. He has been an advisory board member on the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy since 2001 and a governing board member on the South Coast Air Quality Management District, representing the eastern region of Los Angeles County since 2008. 

He was a volunteer at St. Vincent's Meals on Wheels for over a decade, currently volunteers at South Pasadena’s local Senior Center, and has served as a youth (AYSO), high school, and college soccer coach for over 30 years. He and his wife, Annie, live in South Pasadena with their Labrador retrievers, Winston and Romeo.

Chris Holden

Son of former Los Angeles City Councilman Nate Holden, Holden has served on the Pasadena City Council for 21 years. From May 1997 to May 1999, Holden became the first African American male to serve the city as mayor.

His accomplishments include the creation of a living wage ordinance, charter reform (creating an elected mayor and compensation for councilmembers), utility deregulation, redevelopment of the city’s civic center and chair of the Charter Reform Task Force for schools.

As the champion of Pasadena’s slumlord ordinance and drug-free zones, Holden has regional interests as well, serving as an officer on the Burbank Airport Authority. He lives in Pasadena with his wife, Melanie, his four children: Nicholas, Alexander, Austin, Mariah, and his stepson, Noah.

Patch Asks: What questions do you have for the Assembly candidates? What issues are most important to you in the upcoming election?

reality check May 27, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Having attended the outreach meetings that Metro has been hosting about the 710 freeway EIR we have learned that they are not looking at the alternatives as they have promised. The EIR is a joke. What is taking place right now appears fraudulent. And Holden is either asleep at the switch or in on the deal. Here are 3 alternatives that the ports could use instead of killing our area with CARGO TRUCK induced CONGESTION and pollution: 1) the GRID - a sorting and zero-emission container supply chain http://planetforward.org/idea/the-grid-project-green-rail-intelligent-development/ 2) CargoWay - flexible (CNG/electric) trams that travel on both roads and rail lines. http://www.megarail.com/pdf/CRLBLA-7a.pdf 3) Freight Shuttle – Electric powered transporters over elevated guideways. http://www.freightshuttle.com/
reality check May 27, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Holden has talk about "mitigation" for the pollution that the 710 freeway Cargo tunnel will pump out – the engineers working on the project have said that the type of scrubbing system that would be necessary for actually removing the pollution is “NOT practicable” – you’d have to have a system like in an operating room and on the scale needed, it would be “too costly”.
reality check May 27, 2012 at 02:49 PM
The 710 Tunnel will be a tolled freeway. _Tolled freeway costs can skyrocket: _http://news.yahoo.com/states-looking-tolls-pay-highways-161604357.html;_ylc=X3oDMTNuNGRpcmEyBF9TAzIxNDYwMjEzNzMEYWN0A21haWxfY2IEY3QDYQRpbnRsA3VzBGxhbmcDZW4tVVMEcGtnAzg1ZGFmYWVmLTc1MDMtMzc2My1hYjQzLThhMjVlZjA3N2M2NARzZWMDbWl0X3NoYXJlBHNsawNtYWlsBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3 _5th to last paragraph: _“Some tolling agencies could also use "a dose of sunshine," Baxandall said. Because many are quasi-governmental, public disclosure, open meeting and other transparency rules don't always apply, he said. As a result, they frequently operate out of public sight, creating opportunities for corruption or manipulation by industry, he said.” 3rd to last paragraph: _“The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey recently raised cash fares on six Interstate bridges and tunnels to $12 for CARS. By 2015, it will cost a five-axle TRUCK paying cash $105 to cross between New York and New Jersey, three times as much as for any other bridge or tunnel in the country, according to the American Trucking Association.” Tolling is how they recoup the cost. Unless it's used as a trucking corridor they wont be able to conclude a Public Private Partnership deal.
reality check May 27, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Part 2 The 710 Freeway is being built for use by the LA/LB ports for "GOODS MOVEMENT". http://www.everythinglongbeach.com/metro-transportation-projects-2011/ In this article, Doug Failing FROM METRO gave information to the reporter explaining that while 18 projects” in the works “are designed primarily to give people a better commute” – 3 other projects; the I-710 south, 710 NORTH gap closure, the High Desert Corridor are intended to “ADDRESS THE DEMANDS OF COMMERCE — specifically goods movement” (this means trucks) Quote from Metro regarding increased truck traffic from the ports: http://www.metro.net/projects_studies/images/final-2009-LRTP.pdf _page Sec1:42 5th paragraph "This trade activity, in turn, will result in DAILY PORT-generated TRUCK traffic increasing from 60,000 in 2005 to 140,000 truck trips PER DAY by 2030 despite significant efforts by the Ports to increase on-dock rail capacity and usage." PG 18 http://www.metro.net/projects_studies/images/2009_lrtp_techdoc.pdf "Currently, goods movement-related traffic is growing at a faster rate than that of automobiles. DAILY TRUCK TRAFFIC on I-710 ALONE is expected to increase from 38,000 to _approximately 90,000 trucks A DAY by the year 2035." Also, is everyone aware that the tunnel will have no on or off ramps? It’s obviously not intended for local traffic congestion relief (another aspect Metro and Chris Holden don't advertise).
Alan Reynolds May 27, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Reality Check, I find all the information you have provided in your comments above to be accurate. There are real alternatives to the 710 extension, and the process that has been undertaken is neglectfull to say the least and potentially criminal. Voters need to know this is a big issue, not just for South Pasadena, but the region as a whole. Chris Holden is NOT my choice. Alan Reynolds South Pasadena Freeway and Transportation Commission


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