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    Steve Kuykendall Opens Assembly Campaign Office in Marina Marketplace

    (August 14, 2004) -- Sporting the recent endorsement of CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Kuykendall has opened a campaign office in LB's Marina Marketplace center (PCH just south of Westminster), gearing up for what he said would be a tough Assembly campaign against LB area state lawmaker Betty Karnette. (Senator Karnette is term limited in the Senate and seeking the Assembly seat now held by fellow Democrat Alan Lowenthal; Lowenthal is term limited in the Assembly and seeking Karnette's Senate seat.)

    Kuykendall opens LB campaign office, Aug. 14/04Republican Kuykendall, a former Rancho Palos Verdes Mayor/Councilman, went on to serve two terms in the state Assembly (1994-98) and a term in Congress (1999-2001) and his Assembly bid has the endorsement of the LB Area Chamber of Commerce.

    Mr. Kuykendall told supporters at an August 14 campaign office open house:

    This campaign will be very, very tough. We don't have any doubt about it. It'll be a close race. I have never had anything but close races in this district...My first win in this seat...we counted the votes three weeks after the election was over with to determine we'd won...When they finished counting the absentee ballots and the provisional ballots, we had won by about 450 votes...

    The biggest issue for us in the campaign is the budget's got to get balanced. It's not balanced yet and it's not done on time, so we need to change some people in the legislature to help both of those, and to quit spending more money than we're taking in and balance the budget and get it out on time.

    And once we do that we'll stimulate the jobs in this state to such an extent that we'll create more tax revenue and then we can go back and address the question of how do we improve education, how do we improve health care, how do we improve any other list of things that the state government's currently in...

    On his campaign web site (, Mr. Kuykendall says that in the Assembly district (which includes LB, San Pedro, Signal Hill, the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Catalina) "57% of voters supported the recall of Gray Davis. Governor Schwarzenegger won 55% of the vote, nearly doubling the 28% garnered by Democrat Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante."

    Kuykendall opens LB campaign office, Aug. 14/04As Mr. Kuykendall wrapped up his impromptu remarks, Signal Hill Councilman Larry Forester spoke up from across the room: "I want to thank Steve personally for taking a stand early on to help the cities protect their funds." [applause]

    Mr. Kuykendall noted that a ballot measure to protect city revenues from fiscal raids by Sacramento will be on the ballot and urged a vote for it.

    Observing alongside Councilman Forester was Straight Talk cable TV host Art Levine.

    Kuykendall opens LB campaign office, Aug. 14/04Also attending was retired LB Mayor Eunice Sato.

    "She's one of our stalwarts, very much appreciated," said Mr. Kuykendall in acknowledging her presence. "Thank you, Steve, I'm all for you," Mayor Sato replied.

    Kuykendall opens LB campaign office, Aug. 14/04Yard signs were a hot commodity.

    Asked by if he would vote today for Assemblyman Lownethal's AB 2042 (specifying no increase in air pollution with port growth), which is supported by the City of LB (unanimous City Council vote) but opposed "as written" by LB's non-elected Board of Harbor Commissioners, Mr. Kuykendall said:

    The idea of limiting the impact of pollution on the community is an important concept, but I don't know specifically about this bill, whether it's one that I would support in the form it's in. [Mr. Kuykendall indicated his staff would research the issue and provide us with an answer.]

    Does he support a proposal by a Mitsubishi subsidiary to build an 80 million gallon Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in the Port of LB?

    I have taken no position on it. I don't know enough about that proposal and right now there's a dispute between the state and fed over who has authority over it [jurisdictional dispute between CPUC and FERC]. I am familiar that there is a proposal to do so but whether or not I would support it as it is proposed right now, I don't know.

    What you're touching on, to me, is a good example of an issue area that I don't think is getting enough attention in California, and that is the whole concept of our energy issue in general...There hasn't been a great deal of what I would call kind of macro oversight of the state's energy needs and how are they going to be met as the state develops further into the future.

    This may be one of the answers, or it may not be, or it may be the answer but in the wrong location, but right now what I'm a little concerned with is I'm not seeing the state legislature in its current form [dealing with] -- and that's one of the reasons I think they ought to replace them -- and that state legislature needs to take a more aggressive role in helping derive statewide policy by oversight hearings. And this would be [such] an area, whether it's that terminal or gas transmission lines or power transmission...

    ...Right now I don't have a position on that particular [LNG] terminal [in LB] but whatever the position would be is going to be more in tune with a broader energy policy as opposed to just one terminal issue... Should the Governor take a position on this?

    Mr. Kuykendall: I would certainly say that that's an area the Governor should look at with the legislature, because the legislature ought to be doing this energy oversight and the Governor has staff that they should be working with...

    Does he favor a part time legislature?

    I don't think a part time legislature is appropriate for California. California has got a trillion and half dollar economy and a hundred plus billion dollar budget, and I think, to me the issue for [the legislature] should be they should quit acting like kids and start acting like adults and in doing so, make themselves an equal third force in the state government and run the state government appropriately...

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