Three Assembly candidates square off |

Three Assembly candidates square off

Assemblyman Dan Logue met his two challengers Wednesday night in a sparsely attended League of Women Voters forum that brought out stark differences between the candidates.

Democrat Mickey Harrington of Magalia (in Butte County) and Grass Valley Libertarian Gary Bryant are running against the Republican incumbent in November.

Questions from audience members and a panelist of local journalists ranged from single-payer health care, marijuana legalization, water rights and California’s high unemployment rate.

“Big businesses are trying to starve us out,” said Harrington, who proposed more grants and loans to small businesses for job creation. “Banks are hanging on to the money.”

Bryant’s job creation strategy was cutting back government, and he railed against corporate bailouts.

“Corporations are like alcoholics,” Bryant said. “You’ve got to let them crash, and hopefully, they’ll recover.”

“People are fighting over a shrinking pie,” said Logue, who serves on the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy. “We need to allow the private sector to create wealth.”

Logue said his signature legislation also would create jobs: Prop. 23 would suspend the implementation of AB 32’s greenhouse gas emissions regulations until unemployment lowers to 5.5 percent and stays there for a year.

On marijuana legalization, candidates staked a range of positions.

“Cops are wasting time on pot plants instead of pedophiles and people on the road,” Bryant said, but he opposed heavy taxes on marijuana.

Harrington emphasized the importance of disabling Mexican cartels; Logue opposed Prop. 19 outright.

“It’s a bad bill,” Logue said, adding that 99 percent of law enforcement officers oppose it, and loopholes would allow people to come to work while high.

Logue and Bryant both applauded Harrington for showing up to the forum less than a week before he undergoes triple-bypass heart surgery. Harrington apologized for his halting speech, something he said the surgery would fix.

To contact Staff Writer Michelle Rindels, e-mail or call (530) 477-4247.

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