The coastal part of Santa Barbara County has been split off from the rest of the county and combined with parts of San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties in order to create the gerrymandered 23rd Congressional District. This district is about eight years old and during that entire time Lois Capps has been the representative.
Economically speaking the 23rd district is basically self-sufficient. The taxes collected from this district (including all local, state, and federal taxes) exceed the benefits returned by all agencies of government. The fact that this district is a net donor district to the government, especially to the federal government, should focus the attention of the voters on receiving high quality representation in return. The economic success of the district has been created by the entrepreneurial nature of the people living and conducting business within the district, not by any special legislation or benefits received from the federal government.
In past good times, Mrs. Capps has been reelected without close scrutiny from the voters. Conditions have worsened dramatically in the entire country as well as in our state, city, and district. Mrs. Capps has been asked many times to present her plans in forums or debates with the rest of the candidates but no such events have occurred [as of this writing; there has since been one debate and another is scheduled for October 28]]. The appointment of a representative lasts only two years for a reason, namely, to assure intimate contact with and accountability to the citizens of the district. Unless our representative honors this constitutional contract, the citizens have good reason to conclude that she is not qualified to represent them. We need the best possible representative, regardless of political affiliation, someone who understands that he or she is representing the people and not a political party or Washington.