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UPDATE: Pavley, Zink face off in Valley debate

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Posted: September 25, 2012 1:34 p.m.
Updated: September 25, 2012 7:10 p.m.
Todd Zink, left, and Fran Pavley debate at the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys on Tuesday. Todd Zink, left, and Fran Pavley debate at the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys on Tuesday.
Todd Zink, left, and Fran Pavley debate at the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys on Tuesday.

VAN NUYS — Candidates vying for a seat in the state’s 27th Senate District squared off against each other today for the first time this election.

Republican Todd Zink and incumbent state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Santa Monica, took part in a debate hosted by the Valley Industry & Commerce Association at the Airtel Plaza Hotel & Convention Center in Van Nuys.

With heated trays of scrambled eggs and bacon cooling in the background, the decorated United States Marine Corps officer and the seasoned state senator followed an earlier debate between U.S. Representatives Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, and Howard Berman, D-Valley Village.

Addressing more than 100 debate attendees, both Zink and Pavley stressed the need to jump-start the state’s economy.

Pavley, a former teacher, said education is “critical to our state’s economic success.”

Zink called for reviewing state regulations as a way of attracting businesses to California and keeping them here.
“The regulations that are on the books right now are simply strangling our economy,” he said. “We need to look at them.”

Pavley’s old 23rd Senate District shifted to the north and changed numbers in the redistricting process that followed the 2010 Census, and it now takes in the western Santa Clarita Valley.

Zink is a newcomer to politics who won a strong showing in the primary.

On Tuesday, Pavley answered almost all questions put to her by pointing to her 10 years of experience in Sacramento.

Zink, on the other hand, pointed to his leadership experience in the military as an indicator of how he would lead in the state’s Capitol.

Early in the debate Tuesday, each was asked how they would fix the state’s budget problem.

“It’s our money and we trust Sacramento to spend it wisely on our behalf, but they don’t,” Zink said. “They need to prioritize and they’re failing at priorities.

“Each voter out there is tightening their belt. They each have a household budget they’re responsible for maintaining, to keep a roof over their head and keep the lights on.

“If (voters) were to make the same decisions (legislators) make in Sacramento, they would find themselves out on the street,” he said.

Pavley said: “Since 2008, we’ve had a huge drop on the economy, mainly because of the lack of regulation on Wall Street — that is what affected our state. There was a $30 billion drop on our budget.

“Historically, when there was a drop in the economy there was a compromise that was reached by both parties,” she said, citing economic dips such as the “dot com” crash of the early ‘80s.

“They did cuts and streamlining and efficiencies but they also raised revenue — they did both,” she said of previous Legislatures facing economic hard times.

“This is the first time in the last 10 years where we can’t have a compromise that looks at the revenue side. All we’re doing is the cuts and, frankly, that is hurting our economy.”






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