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Supe, props on ballot today

Judges also up for election

Posted: June 3, 2008 2:22 a.m.
Updated: August 4, 2008 5:01 a.m.
 
In 1980, Michael D. Antonovich did something that has not been done since - unseated an incumbent county supervisor.

Today, as voters head to the ballot box, Antonovich hopes he will not be unseated and that the electorate of the fifth supervisorial district will keep him in office for another term.

His only competition is 30-year-old warehouse worker Stephen Hinze, one of two candidates representing the Party for Socialism and Liberation in the race for county Supervisor.

Hinze, who lives in Burbank, has focused his campaign on immigration rights and gang control. Yet he also seeks to have the county budget provide for health care, affordable housing and education.

"L.A. County is one of the richest counties in the United States, even the world," he said at last week's Board of Supervisors meeting. "Why is it that the people lack free health care, free education, job programs and affordable housing?"

He specifically called for full rights for everyone, including illegal immigrants.

"The Board of Supervisors should go on record by declaring L.A. County a sanctuary for all immigrants," Hinze stated. "This is the only humane and just thing to do. No human being is illegal. Continued silence on this issue reinforces the status quo. The people of this county want action taken on their behalf, not hollow political posturing and scapegoating."

Conversely, Antonovich's priorities include public safety, transportation and smart growth.

"I want to continue to prioritize public safety and find foster homes," he said. "We also need to continue acquiring aerial support for our firefighters, so in the first instance of a fire, we can respond immediately."

He also said he would continue his focus on transportation issues if he is re-elected today. Specifically, he said that he would seek to expand carpool lanes along Interstate 5 through the Santa Clarita Valley and seek light rail from the SCV to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.

Additionally, he said he hoped to eliminate trucks from local highways by developing inland ports, thereby improving traffic flow and controlling pollution.

In terms of growth, Antonovich said that protection of open space and private property was vital, yet so is maintaining the county's general plan.

"We need to ensure we have ample parks and recreation for people," he said. "We need to also make sure private property is protected ..."

Antonovich also addressed rising gas prices, stating that Congress must intervene to control rising costs. He called on Congress to introduce legislation to expand alternative energy and drilling. He added that current oil drilling techniques are contributing to higher gas prices, and legislative efforts pushing for ethanol use make no sense.

Discussing immigration, the supervisor said that expansion of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was necessary to enforce immigration laws and keep undocumented immigrants in jail.

As for his competitor, Antonovich worried that Hinze may lead the Board of Supervisors in the wrong direction.

"He is advocating big government, which I disagree with," he said. "We need to empower our communities and give our taxpayers proper representation without taxing them to death."

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