Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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California State AssemblyCandidate for District 43

Photo of Mike Graves

Mike Graves

Small Business Owner
24,258 votes (20.7%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • return local control to cities and school districts.
  • obtain a better understanding of where the state is going. Calling for a pause and assessment.
  • Find ways to lower the cost of government, keeping a lid on long term financial liabilities.



Profession:small business owner
owner/operator, Littlejohn's English Toffee House (1981–current)
member, Republican Central Committee 43rd AD — Elected position (2003–2011)


Birmingham High School high school diploma (1981)

Community Activities

member, Stewards of the Sequoias (2007–current)
member, Sierra Club (2009–current)
member, Blue Ribbon Coalition (1998–current)
member, American Motorcycle Association (1987–current)


Mike Graves has lived in southern california all of his 57 years. Mike apprenticed at Littlejohn's English Toffee House in Los Angeles, learning the craft of candymaking. In 1983, Mike purchased the toffee house and has been the owner/operator since that time. Having a love for social science and politics, he prefers to read the morning paper, rather than rushing off to work.

Mike has volunteered for past office holders and candidates, usually walking neighborhoods and distributing candidate information. Mike also has served on the Republican central committee for the 43rd AD.

Once Mike's kids were running and talking, he left the central committee to spend more time with his family. He has coached park and recreation flag football and baseball in Burbank for the last ten years.


Who supports this candidate?

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (4)

Describe what proposal(s) you would support to alleviate the shortage of affordable housing for all income groups in California?
Answer from Mike Graves:

First I will tell you that a legislated 'solution' will not work. We cannot guarantee all groups will benefit from any plans we make. We should begin removing some of the encumbrances to building new housing. We could lower property taxes, streamline permiting, and encourage rezoning where appropriate.

 I will tell you that easy money, negative interest rates, by central banks around the world causes asset prices to spike. People will not leave money in the bank; they have to invest it, and this causes housing to rise in price far more than it should.

Currently the state is attempting to stop new home construction because of the commutes created, because commuting causes more of a carbon footprint. We have proposals to 'infill' urban areas, but it always seems to be something made more expensive than it should be, due to government mandates, and often these infill projects are in areas many do not choose to live in.

State attempts to erase local zoning will not make housing less expensive. Its going to make housing more expensive.


What programs or legislation would you support to meet the water needs of all Californians?
Answer from Mike Graves:

OH YES! I would love to review, read the history, and assess, how we got where we are. There is big work to do on this front. We waste a lot of water. And a lot of water is wasted running out to the ocean. But I would not legislate immediately, and plans to limit our water usage to 50 gallons a day per capita is not the way to go.

To reach a goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, as set forth in a 2018 executive order what, if any, proposals, plans or legislation would you support?  Please be specific.
Answer from Mike Graves:

I don't believe we need to be carbon neutral. I don't think an executive order or the administrative state should dictate this. It must come about as a will of the people. Currently we tax and spend at a rate that is unsustainable. We should pause and assess where we are.

According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, we spend over $81,000 per individual who is incarcerated.  Other than incarceration, what ways can the State address safety and justice?
Answer from Mike Graves:

Start with the ten commandments. The notion of right and wrong. Start with bringing kids up right.

Do not be afraid to incarcerate. Lower the price. The department of corrections is 'larded' with unnecessary expenses. We spend too much on convicts. We could change union contracts, eliminate unessential staff. We could provide only the basics. Why should we be paying for an inmate's transition to another gender?

Who gave money to this candidate?


More information about contributions

Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Mike's first political hero was Ronald Reagan. Philosophically, Mike was drawn to writers such as Ayn Rand and Frederick Hayek. Reading the papers,  scanning the airwaves, and getting the sense of the political preponderance of the citizens around him allows Mike to stand out. Mike is aware that his views are shared by a minority, but that does not change what he thinks. Mike thinks that details matter. He also can see that a number of political narratives sound good on the surface, but upon further review, some groups and insiders are essentially fleecing the public.

Mike believes that stacking up a debt wall the next generation to pay will result in deliterious outcomes. He believes that kids see through much of the propaganda fed to them, and that the next generation feel less obligated to a past that has left them with many good things, many lame rules, and way too much debt.

Mike understands that taxes are a slice of our money earned. That money earned is a function of time spent executing idesa, plans, or physical work for the benefit of others. The function of time is our time on this earth; it is our lives. Taking more taxes equates to taking of one's time, and is the taking of our lives. Higher taxes equate to increased servitude. Increased servitude leads to social problems.

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