Interview of Katherine H. Smith candidate 47th Congressional District

The 47th Congressional District of CA is currently represented by (D) Loretta Sanchez. The District has a population of 640,000. It is composed of sections of Anaheim, Fullerton, Garden Grove and Santa Ana. Demographics of the District report the population made up of roughly 65% Hispanics, 18% Whites and 14% Asians.
My two hour interview of AUHSD Trustee Katherine E. Smith was conducted at her Anaheim home on January 14th. As is true for all of my interviews, I did not provide any of the questions in advance nor did I guide her in her responses, some of which may not have been as direct as some might desire.

During our discussion I told Katherine that I would hold her responses to my questions until the other GOP candidates were given an opportunity to share their viewpoints. Although Quang X. Pham had agreed to an interview we were unable to connect. Assemblyman Van Tran has never responded to my proposal. Therefore we now post candidate Smith’s responses.

Part of her bio is provided at the end of this post. Mrs. Smith said she has pulled papers, is serious about running, and will file her application and candidate statement in the next few weeks.

March 1 update. Mrs. Smith has filed her papers and just confirmed having a campaign web site that I will provide at the end of this lengthy interview.

My opening statement and the Q&A follows:

Trustee Smith. As you enter the 47th CD GOP Primary fray you will need to defeat both Assemblyman Van Tran and Author Quang X. Pham, each of whom have been actively campaigning and raising funds. Please answer the following random questions that you have not seen nor were discussed by me before this interview:

LG Knowing that two other Republicans have already filed for this seat, what prompted you to enter this Primary Congressional race to unseat Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez?

KS I’m worried about the future of this country. I have traveled to 93 countries and have seen the decay of our global standing that neither of the other two can relate to. The time for change is now. We need to reverse this train wreck we are on.

LG What strengths do you bring to the table that the other GOP challengers lack?

KS I am a fourth generation Californian who has watched this country nosedive effecting education, health care and our prison system. I have life experiences they can’t even imagine.

LG What are your biggest concerns?

KS The future of my grandchildren. I bring wisdom, experience and knowledge and I’m not a politicians politician.

LG Do you support the president’s sending of additional troops to Afghanistan?

KS  As a navy wife, my husband was the first medical doctor drafted out of private practice to serve in Vietnam, attached tot he 3rd Marine Division, where he witnessed first hand, our government not being fully committed to the war. I question we are getting into another Vietnam where the terrain is next to impossible to win if our government is not fully committed to winning the war on terror at their training camps.

LG With your background in the health care industry what is your position on the universal health care plan currently being crafted behind closed doors in Congress?

KS It’s a tragedy. It needs to be completely disassembled to aggregate all of the issues that make up our health insurance in the country. People should be able to purchase insurance coverage over state lines. We need tort reform. It is immoral to deny coverage for preexisting conditions. My husband is one of the six people nationally who initiated Medical Savings Accounts, MSA almost 25 years ago.

LG Based on what you have heard and read, what changes, if any, would you make to that 2,000 page document if you were seated at the table?

KS. Tear it up and start over. Bring everyone to the table. If people have to spend their own money they will want to take better care of themselves which is why I support medical savings plans. Purchase high deductible plans similar to auto insurance.

LG President Obama may not extend the phase out of the “death tax.” HR4145, the “Death Tax Permanent Estate Tax Relief for Families, Farms and Small Business,” while repealed for 2010 it will be reinstated next year. Would you vote to block that reinstatement?

KS You start taking away from family farmers who built this great country. You are gutting this great country.

LG What changes, if any, would you propose relating to our Homeland Security?

KS Look at the latest report where you have a passenger who paid cash for a one way ticket, had no luggage, no jacket. He should have been pulled out and interrogated in Amsterdam. This has to be a huge wake-up call for the Agencies responsible for securing our safety.

LG As a donor state would you lobby for Grant funds/ear marks? And if so, what would be your top three priorities for said funds?

KS. Water, water, water

LG As a former candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction what role should the federal government have in our education system?

KS  None. They should turn over the responsibility to the states and individual school boards.

LG Do you support the Second Amendment?

KS My husband is a lifetime member of the NRA. WE target shoot privately.

LG What’s your position on government “takings” of private property for private use when the owner does not wish to sell?

KS We support the Institute for Justice that provides legal service for people fighting to keep their property. That is the heart and essence of America.

LG What’s you position on the proposed two state solution for the nation of Israel?

KS The solution will have to come from the people who live their daily lives there. However I believe firmly that we have a responsibility to Israel particularly to Iran’s threat to wipe them off the map.

LG How do you feel about offshore drilling?

KS Absolutely support it. We have to. However there is not an unlimited supply for generations to come  so it behooves us to work to reducing our need to it for future generations

LG Do you support expanding our nuclear energy to meet future energy needs?

KS. We are so behind the eight ball. Look at what France is doing

LG Do you support or oppose [Same sex marriage] Prop 8 that is now being debated in the courts?

KS I oppose gay marriage. I support marriage contracts. If they need a contract for their peace of mind. Separation of church and state in important here.

LG What is your position on abortion?

KS I am totally against federal funding. I am concerned about babies being found in dumpsters. We need to educate the children. The government has not solved this issue. Yet I don’t think the government should be involved. It should be the church and community outreach and education.

LG What suggestions can you propose to put Americans back to work?

KS. Lower the price of whatever we are selling to create more volume

LG Should our Federal tax system be revised and if so, what changes would you promote?

KS I’m so glad you asked it. Throw the existing system out. We need to go back and revise how we collect taxes in this country.

LG. What form of federal tax would you support?

KS. I support a consumption tax

LG What should be done with all of the terrorists now being held in Gitmo?

KS They have to be tried under military law. We are paying for the Fruit of the Loom bomber’s defense.

LG One major policy currently off the radar screens of late is the “Employee Free Choice Act” also known as “card-check.” This legislation would impact private-ballot elections. As a member of Congress, how would you vote on that proposed legislation?

KS I absolutely oppose it

LG As we have a major water shortage in CA what are your thoughts on protecting delta smelt by compliance with the Endangered Species Act that has created a dust bowl in Central, CA?

KS It is insane that we now have farmers cutting down their fruit and nut trees due to our lack of water. We need to farm smelt in swimming pools and feed them to the salmon.

LG Do you have any major endorsements and if so, from whom?

KS. I am not asking for any endorsements, not one!

LG How much money do you believe it will take to win in the GOP primary?

KS I am not going to raise one penny.

LG What’s you budget for this race?

KS. I’m paying for my Ballot statement and voter registration fee

LG Do you have a campaign manager and if so, can you tell us who is it?


LG Do you have any “grass roots” support such as the CRA?

KS. I’m not asking for it

LG What’s your position on illegal immigration?

KS. We have to change the paradigm on how Republicans convey their message on this issue. We say to the leadership of Mexico that they have created and perpetuated a system of immorality and corruption that they have heaped on their citizens. They have forced them to leave their communities and come north under terrible conditions to work and send their money back to Mexico to support families and the Mexican economy.

LG What’s’ you solution for 12 million undocumented now residing in the US?

KS. As a nation of laws everyone must respect our laws. People who are not obeying our laws should self deport to their countries of origin and get in line to come back legally. Time will be allotted to get your affairs in order.

LG What’s your thoughts about “global warming?”

KS I think it is disingenuous to say the sky is falling. This is a natural cycle that has been made into a huge scare tactic. Many people will have to pay more for everything if consumers are forced into any more stringent regulations.

Katherine E. Smith is currently serving as a Trustee on the Anaheim Union High School District Board of Trustees, AUHSD.
 She and her husband S. Clarke Smith, MD resided in Anaheim for the past 45 years. They have two sons who are USC and Chapman University graduates and have three grandchildren.

“She was the originator and co-founder of the National Coalition for Drug Policy Change, founded in 1993 at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Economist Milton Friedman and Secretary of State George Schultz were also signers of the Resolution .The coalition was successful in gaining the inclusion of the Hoover Resolution in the 1994 Federal Crime Bill.” Mrs. Smith is also the “creator and innovator of Oxford Academy, which since its founding, has ranked number one in Orange County and is in the top five nationally, according to U.S. News and World Report in 2009.”

Notes: While Trustee Smith did not directly respond to every question, I felt that it was more important to get her off the cuff answers on a broad list of issues rather than an immediate follow up or later revisiting those questions for which her responses fall short of my specific questions.

Mrs Smith just called to confirm her candidate filing, candidate statement, and creation of her web site:

March 2nd changes.  Due to my errors I have changed the following terms and spelling:

Medical Savings Plans should be Medical Savings Accounts, MSA

On the question of immigration paradox should be paradigm

In the closing note Trustee Clark should be Trustee Smith

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