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Senate District 27 Race Focuses On Jobs, Education

Jillian Olivas |
October 15, 2012 | 6:11 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Sen. Fran Pavley and challenger Todd Zink compete to win State District 27. (Dawn Megli/Neon Tommy)
Sen. Fran Pavley and challenger Todd Zink compete to win State District 27. (Dawn Megli/Neon Tommy)
Democratic Sen. Fran Pavley and Republican candidate Todd Zink feature the economy and education reform at the head of their campaigns for California's 27th State Senate District.

The district was newly drawn to include parts of eastern Ventura County and western Los Angeles County, including Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, Camarillo, Moorpark, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village and Simi Valley.

This election is significant as it has the potential to give Democrats a supermajority in the state senate. Democrats need two more seats to control two-thirds of the senate. A supermajority would, among other things, give Democrats the ability to raise taxes.

"It is incredibly crucial for the future of our state that Sen. Pavley does not create a supermajority for the Democrats," Zink said. "They would then be able to raise taxes without a vote of the people."

Walt Sembauer, a voter in District 27, says he is not concerned with the idea of a supermajority.

However, he does want to make sure that the candidate he votes for champions fiscal responsibility.

"There is so much waste in California," Sembauer said. "[Politicians] spend a lot of money that we don't have."

While he has not decided who to vote for, Sembauer says that he wants to vote for the candidate that will not create new taxes or stifle the economy.

In order to win, the candidates need to convince voters that they can improve California's economy and education system without resorting to unpopular tax increases.

Pavley and Zink will also need to focus on the voters' concerns that the economy and education systems can be reformed by politicians in Sacramento. 

Job creation will be a crucial point for both campaigns.

Zink is endorsed by the California Small Business Association, a non-partisan organization that seeks to provide a voice for small business in government at the local and national level.

"California's economy and employment relies on small business. The legislature's job-killing policies are absolutely crushing our state," Zink said. "We must revive our economy by creating legislation that allows for and encourages small business to flourish."

Zink plans to reverse the practice of businesses leaving California by creating a favorable atmosphere for them to operate.

"It is time to attract and retain jobs by creating an authentic economy, removing the political tape that inhibits growth," he said.

Making California more business-friendly is one of Pavely’s goals as well. In 2011, she co-authored SB 617, a bill designed to improve California’s business climate by requiring agencies to look at compliance costs in addition to the effects on the environment and public health.

Pavley's plan for job creation focuses on green energy and jobs. Her television ad boasts that her clean energy bill has brought in over $30 billion in investments and created over 30,000 new jobs.

Creating jobs is crucial to the campaigns because it offers a way to increase tax revenue without raising tax rates. Every new job creates a new taxpayer and each new company creates more tax revenue for the state. 

In addition to the economy, the candidates have plans for improving California’s education system.

"Education is, and will remain, a top priority in my campaign," Zink said. "Like any high functioning entity, the education system needs to use common-sense methods of operation, such as the ability to hire good teachers and remove bad teachers. There is too much infighting within California's school system."

Zink also plans to incorporate more technology into classrooms to address the needs of students while also offsetting costs. 

"Offering solutions through technology is one of the few options that can actually relieve budget straining over the long haul," he said.

Pavley, who taught middle school for 28 years, added that her experience in government and education would be crucial to getting California back on track.

“We need to go back and look at that formula that made us great, invest in education, innovation and infrastructure. I can’t wait to go back to Sacramento because those are my priorities,” she said.

Specifically, Pavley is working on ways to cut down costs for students attending state colleges and universities without raising taxes across the board. She is writing legislation that would lower the cost of textbooks for students and supported the Middle Class Scholarship Act that aimed to lower fees for students whose families earn less than $150,000. 

Zink edged out Pavley in the primary, winning 51 percent of the vote. However, 41 percent of District 27 is registered Democrat while only 34 percent is registered Republican.


Reach Staff Reporter Jillian Olivas here.


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Anonymous (not verified) on October 17, 2012 5:54 PM

You want to talk about campaign contributions??? The CTA is fully backing Pavley and they fight to keep sexual offender teachers from getting fired!!! I can't believe you really have the nerve to talk about campaign contributions! Want proof? Watch the video!


Anonymous (not verified) on October 16, 2012 4:32 PM

This is not a Republican district, this is a Democratic district. Registered Democrats in the 27th out number Republicans by more than 10%. Pavley has served the people well, she is a real public servant who cares about Californians. Zink is a far right tea bagger who works for the Koch brothers and big oil, he has no place in the California Senate or in the liberal 27th district.

Anonymous (not verified) on October 16, 2012 4:28 PM

The last thing we need is Zink, a Koch brothers puppet, representing us in Sacramento, doing whatever big oil tells him to do. He won't balance the needs of the environment with business. He will eviscerate our environmental protections and give free reign to polluters to fill our air and water with cancer causing toxic chemicals. If you breath, if you use tap water, if you have children, if you care whatsoever about your health and the health of your family don't let this pro-polluter Zink get anywhere near Sacramento, Californians would rue the day this Koch-head got anywhere near the State Senate, may that day never come. God forbid.

JD (not verified) on October 16, 2012 3:17 PM

This is a GOP district and should vote for Todd Zink. Vote against that carpetbagger Pavley, she ran as a far left candidate in her old district and now she claims she doesn't want to hurt small businesses with her constant cap and trade tax schemes.
We want someone to represent this district and not someone who's first priority is being a lackey to the California Air Resources Board.

Anonymous (not verified) on October 16, 2012 2:54 PM

Todd Zink is by far best suited to balance the needs of our community. I'm concerned that Fran Pavley says we need to "go back and look at that formula that made us great." She's been in Sacramento for 4 years, why has education suffered when Pavley should be one of its
biggest supporters? All I see on Pavley's resume are advocacies that are overly pro environment, pro cutting jobs, and pro teacher's
unions, when it needs to be pro education. We need Zink in Sacramento ASAP to help balance the demands for business, the environment, and education.

Anonymous (not verified) on October 16, 2012 1:38 PM

Our cap and trade program in California creates jobs and strengthens our economy. Those who say it does not are simply paid trolls for the fossil fuel industry. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-gordon/california-green-energy-_b_196...

Becky (not verified) on October 16, 2012 1:33 PM

Fran Pavley is a wonderful Senator she has done well by our district. I live in Calabasas, I have voted for her in the past and will do so again in November. She has created thousands of jobs, she is a strong defender of workers' rights, women's rights, the environment and other issues that matter to Californians and people in the 27th district. On the other hand Zink is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Koch brothers, he is nothing but a puppet of big oil and big tobacco. His goal if elected would be to squash workers, undo our environmental protections, roll back women's rights and do his best to give our district an unwanted tea party make over. Zink has no place in California, or in the 27th district. He would be much better suited in Alabama or Mississippi. He can take his Koch brothers money and go shove it.

Anonymous (not verified) on October 16, 2012 1:27 PM

Pavley authored the California Cap and Trade Bill (AB32) which is currently and will cost the state over 1 million jobs. For her to portray herself as Pro-Jobs is beyond absurd. She wants to ban black cars and has been responsible for some horrendous legislation. She has voted to increase taxes every time and has been voting for these smoke and mirror budgets since day one. Because of Pavley, California has the third highest sales tax in the nation, the 4th highest sales tax, and the 2nd highest gas tax at 64.5 cents per gallon. People and companies are leaving the state in droves because of Fran Pavley and she must be retired. ASAP.

Becky (not verified) on October 16, 2012 1:18 PM

Todd Zink makes my skin crawl. He is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Koch brothers. He is nothing but a puppet of big oil and big tobacco. I live in the 27th and I love Fran Pavley, she is a wonderful State Senator. She has a fantastic record on creating jobs and supporting the environment, two issues that are very important to me. I am doing everything I can to make sure she gets reelected and not that Kochsucker Zink, he would be a disaster for our district and California. Truly, Pavley is a true public servant and Zink is a corporate lackey, it is as simple as that.

Student (not verified) on October 16, 2012 1:15 PM

Senator Pavley's extreme bills are for her own personal cause to regulate the state around the environment and by making a martyr out of California employers. For instance, her promotion to curb green house gas emissions has only caused lost profits for auto dealerships in CA by mandating that they sell a certain amount of hybrids even at a loss $ to their business. She has been quoted as originally expecting to take a "victory lap" around her old district in her last bid to Sacramento. Why would we should a last term Senator when California needs someone who has the capacity, leadership, and ability to lead real change for our need down here in the district and not just championing enviornmental sanctity. What use is it to my peers graduating from college if the money that should be retaining them here to have a job, buy a house, and raise a family is going backwards into schools that we already left and paid tens of thousands in tuition for?? Many of my friends are leaving California because they cant find jobs here. I think we need to elect someone who understands that priority and Fran simply does not.

Fran's induced enviornmental policies have not only NOT helped our environment but HURT our businesses. What else more do I have to say? Todd Zink brings a new approach to Sacramento law making, one that puts jobs and economy first. No one will be able to afford living in California anymore if we have legislators like Fran Pavley making wrong decisions for us and our future.