2 GCC Students in the Race for Governor

El Vaquero Staff Writer

Imagine being a student, holding a job, and running for the position of future governor in the upcoming recall election. Current Glendale Community College student Laurence Steven Strauss, a Republican, and former GCC student Christy Cassel, an independent, are among the 135 candidates running for governor Oct. 7.

Both candidates offer diversity in an election that is making California history. The California Constitution was amended in 1911 to give the people the right to recall their state elected officials. Although there have been 31 previous attempts to recall governors, none actually reached the ballot.

Petitions were signed to remove Davis out of office, because Californians are not very pleased with his overall performance as governor.
The ballot will consist of two questions, one of which will ask whether or not Gov. Davis should be recalled and the second asking who should take his position as governor. If he is recalled the running candidates, Strauss and Cassel, may have a chance at continuing his position as our new California Governor.

Strauss has been a lawyer in Glendale since December of 1991 and is currently enrolled as an aviation student at the college taking aviation courses. Although Strauss was not planning on running as governor, he received encouragement and made the ultimate decision to run.

“My friends encouraged me to run,” said Strauss. “They said you’re an ethical person, and you have a lot of integrity.”

Strauss plans on highly encouraging businesses with a strong emphasis on lowering taxes. His main concern as a governor would be to bring budget and income into California. Strauss plans to bring people back to California through incentives, and also by increasing the revenue base by bringing business.

For instance, if a business or an individual remains in the state for five years, a tax credit should be given the following year.

“I don’t want to impose a burden on the ordinary people with State debts,” said Strauss. He is concerned with making sure that everyone pays a fair amount of taxes, including large corporations and casinos.
“The gaming casinos don’t pay any taxes, and generate 3.4 billion dollars a year,” said Strauss. He would also like to focus on lowering vehicle taxes and tax the tourism industry. Amongst his many plans for the state, Strauss is also pro “informed” choice and feels women should be aware that they have options.

Strauss believes his diversity is an aspect that sets him apart from the rest of the many candidates. “I have a lot of different interests. I’m a lawyer, a parent, and a student,” Strauss said. Strauss feels he has been a dedicated lawyer who has stood by his principles, and he is not afraid of continuing the same path as governor.

Strauss has been introducing himself by attending various public events, including a recent march in Sacramento and the USS Hornet in Alameda where 42 candidates were present. The event was a weekly forum held for the candidates to gather and discuss various issues pertaining to the election, for instance media coverage. Strauss has also been doing television commercials for the California Channels and participated in an audition for a game show where all candidates were encouraged to attend.

In opposition, Cassel brings a few of her own ideas onto the campaigning table.
Candidate Christy Cassel was a student at GCC from 1999-2001. She was enrolled mainly in dance courses. She enjoys dancing and feels it creates new brain paths and helps improve coordination. Using the sharpness that she learned in her training for dance, she decided to run as governor because she began to get frustrated with what was happening in California.

“I saw the demise of our state and so I wanted to make a difference, and I thought I could do that by running as governor,” said Cassel. “I was born in California and care about our state.”

Cassel is currently campaigning full time and is traveling around the state visiting various different schools, two of which include Mission College and Stanford University. “My main focus is campaigning at the colleges and universities, and meeting with the newspaper staff.”

Cassel plans as governor to work together with experts and aim towards bettering our state. By doing that she feels we need to continue to improve and maintain our environment. She believes “Project Pollution Prevention” will help us maintain our essential life resources.

Cassel is also requesting bids in order to build a statewide monorail system which will go over our freeways. She also wants businesses to invest into our state and the tax paying companies.

“If I become Governor, I will take a team of accountants to the capital and have them take a look at the books, and see where the money is going and reprioritize,” said Cassel.

Cassel is a write-in candidate, which she feels sets her apart from the rest, because voters do not have to search through pages to find her name. She also feels that she is a determined individual who cares for the well being of California.

“I have integrity and I am not going to be involved with a bunch of interest groups that are going to hurt our state through the expense of receiving cash,” said Cassel.

The election will be held on October 7 and the last day to register to vote is September 22.