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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
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California State SenateCandidate for District 31

Photo of Richard Reed

Richard Reed

51,755 votes (38.8%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Bringing water to Southern and Central California is my top priority.
  • Reducing the size of government and the amount of government regulation is a priority.
  • Lowering taxes will also be a priority.



Profession:I am an attorney licensed to practice in California; retired teacher; former owner of a theatrical business.
none, I have not held public office before. — Elected position (2016–current)
Coordinator, Riverside Arts Foundation (1995–1996)
Director/Manager, Riverside Young People's Theatre (1986–1996)
Teacher, Riverside Unified School District (1975–1986)


California Southern Law School Juris Doctorate, Law (2000)
University of California at Riverside Secondary teaching credential, Education (1975)
California Baptist College (now California Baptist University) Bachelor of Arts, English major with history/theatre arts double minor (1972)

Community Activities

Board member, Riverside Dickens Festival (2008–2012)

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and California Counts, a public media collaboration. (4)

Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in California. What new strategies do you believe would ensure that California is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific.
Answer from Richard Reed:

Water from Northern California should be pumped to Southern and Central California during rainy seasons to fill reservoirs in the South and not rely on seasonal snow melt.  If necessary, the we tunnel under the Sacramento River to avoid the delta.  Communities that, like Riverside, have their own water sources should be given greater control over their own water policies.

Many Californians are concerned about the influence of money in politics. What can the state legislature do to ensure that decision-making by elected officials is not swayed by moneyed interests at the expense of constituents?
Answer from Richard Reed:

Reduce the influence of public employee unions.

There are a variety of proposals to raise California's minimum wage. Many of these proposals face opposition from business groups who are concerned that they would kill jobs. Do you support increasing the minimum wage in California?  In your answer please explain your position on the relationship between wages and jobs with specific reference to the situation in your district. 
Answer from Richard Reed:

I oppose increases to the minimum wage.  It is better to have low-paying entry-level jobs that offer upward mobility than to eliminate those jobs by pricing low-skilled workers out of the market and forcing businiesses to downsize and/or automate.

What are your top three fiscal priorities, recognizing the need to balance the state’s income with its spending? 
Answer from Richard Reed:

Reduce the size of the state's bureaucracy.  Make the state more business-friendly.  Reduce the size of public pensions.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $12,484

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

Employees of REED, RICHARD
Employees of Rich Harris A Law Corporation
Employees of O'Malley Engineering
Lincoln Club of Rverside County
Employees of Ben Clymer's The Body Shop

More information about contributions

By State:

California 96.75%
Oregon 3.25%

By Size:

Large contributions (98.73%)
Small contributions (1.27%)

By Type:

From organizations (1.42%)
From individuals (98.58%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Regulations Kill Economies


Unnecessary regulations are an excessive burden on business and make a free market less free.  There should always be a cost/benefit analysis.  

Position Paper #1

Regulations Kill Economies

Of government it has been said: what you subsidize, you get more of; what you tax you get less of.  The private sector, on the other hand, requires neither taxes nor subsidies.  In a free market economy, you get the results that you allow.  The minimum wage acts as a tax on a business and a subsidy to an otherwise fairly-paid employee.  Fairly paid because the employer and the employee agree on how much the job is worth.

My first job was as a part-time teacher at about $800 per month.  I made that work by renting a nearby studio apartment for $200 per month and walking to work.  I had one pot, one bowl, and one plate and my kitchen was in my bedroom.  In a little over a year, I had saved up enough money to buy a piano which consumed what little space was left.  Twelve years later, I left teaching (at a handsome salary) to run my own theatre company.  Public education lost a good teacher and the business community gained an entrepreneur.  That is the American Dream: going from a job to a better job to owning your own business.  

After ten successful years, I had to close my theatrical touring company because we were being crowded out of the market by other theatrical groups that had access to government subsidies.  We offered a superior product, but we couldn't compete with the government.  Half the time, our group had been paid, not out of the school budget, but by student groups and parent-teacher associations.  But for government interference, I might still have a business that employed the most underemployed worker in this state: the actor.

Just as subsidies interfere with private sector productivity, raising the minimum wage is also detrimental.  If my new entry-level employee is going to cost me $15 per hour, I just won't hire him.  I'll double the workload of my existing employees or I will replace that position with a machine (many restaurants are already using computers to phase out cashiers and waiters).  If I wind up hiring at $15 per hour, my existing employees who make $15 per hour will demand a raise.  If they don't get it, they will quit and apply for my competitor's entry-level position with fewer responsibilities at $15 per hour, unless, of course, the new minimum wage hasn't already driven me and my competitor out of business.  That is how government regulation destroys economic opportunity for both employer and employee.  


When government tries to micromanage the free market through regulation and central planning, the economy suffers and people are deprived of opportunities.  A lower minimum wage and fewer regulations would make California more business-friendly and give businesses a reason not to leave the state as they tend to do.  The free market and the private sector can make California, once again, a land of opportunity, if California will allow it.



Every citizen has sovereignty over his or her own body, but, the state has no authority to take an innocent life, even with the consent of the woman.

Position Paper #2



In 1692, the courts in Salem, Massachusetts began trying citizens for witchcraft, charging them under the flimsiest evidence.  The Salem Witch Trials became a convenient instrument for the elimination of undesirable neighbors.  One such neighbor was Abigail Faulkner who was disliked in the community by those who envied her wealth and position.  She was accused, tried, and convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to hang.  Her sentence was stayed, however, due to the fact that she was pregnant.  The unborn child was an innocent life beyond the government's jurisdiction.  Even the rabidly superstitious judges of Salem knew that they had no authority to take an innocent life. 


Now, taxpayers are asked to fund government-sponsored abortion.  Reproduction is the most private of matters and cannot be interfered with by the state, nor can taxes be used for such a purpose.  Every citizen has sovereignty over his or her own body and a just government must respect that.  However, the state has no authority to take an innocent life, even with the woman's consent.  The law may have to turn a blind eye to the private practices of citizens, but the law does not have to approve.  Taxes should not be used to pay for abortions, nor should the government assist in a practice that it is morally, ethically, historically, and legally forbidden to do.

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