John Cox: California Is Ready for a Change

By Sarah Le, Epoch Times
October 22, 2018 Updated: October 23, 2018

California’s race for a new governor is in its final stretch, and Republican candidate John Cox is feeling positive.

“I feel great,” Cox emailed The Epoch Times. “As I travel throughout the state, I hear from Californians forgotten by the political class that they are ready for a change.”

Polls from a variety of sources have shown wildly different numbers on the state’s governor campaign. On Oct. 17, the Los Angeles Times and University of Southern California–Dornsife published survey results showing 54 percent of California likely voters preferred Democrat Gavin Newsom, while 31 percent supported Cox.

However, a survey of California voters by the Independent Voter Network found 48 percent supported Newsom and 44 percent favored Cox, indicating the race could be much closer than it might seem.

The tour bus for businessman John Cox
The tour bus for businessman John Cox, who is running as a Republican for California governor. (Courtesy John Cox)

Newsom is the current lieutenant governor of California, and Cox said his opponent has not dealt with the state’s highest poverty rate in the nation or its lagging schools. California ranks 26th out of 50 on U.S. News’s Best States ranking for education, and it ranks 50th for quality of life.

Cox, a businessman, has placed much of his campaign’s focus on decreasing the cost of living for ordinary Californians.

“I hear from families who are struggling with skyrocketing costs in California and are forced to choose between paying their rent, putting gas in their car, or buying groceries for their family. It’s time for a governor who will focus on these issues,” he said.

According to a study by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, more people are moving out of California than are moving into the state, and it’s been that way for years.

“For seven years as Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom did nothing to take on the privileged class of lobbyists, politicians, and insiders who have rigged the system to their advantage. I vow that, as your Governor, I will take on the special interests,” said Cox.

Cox and Newsom, the final two candidates who won the state primary in June, met for their only debate on KQED, a San Francisco public radio station, on Oct. 8.

Both candidates said they agreed the state needs more affordable housing, but they disagreed on how to provide it.

“We need to address the high cost of housing and lack of supply,” said Cox to The Epoch Times. “The current rules have made housing unaffordable, which means it doesn’t work. It’s simple—if something doesn’t work, it needs to change.”

California is facing a shortfall of about 3 million homes, according to 2018 Chapman University Center for Demographics and Policy study.

Cox wants to replace the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) of 1970, which allows people to file lawsuits accusing any type of project of inadequate environmental evaluation.

A 2018 study published in the Hastings Environmental Law Journal, called “California Environmental Quality Act Lawsuits and California’s Housing Crisis,” found that litigation under CEQA is worsening the state’s housing crisis.

“The status quo created by CEQA’s litigation rules is morally and environmentally unconscionable,” read the study. “The housing crisis, and the suffering of too many Californians, are more important than the special interest campaign contributor defenders of the status quo.”

Cox wants to replace CEQA with a “greatly streamlined set of sensible reforms” to allow homebuilders to more easily start building affordable new homes. He said this would also boost construction and other industry jobs.

In contrast, Newsom’s plan to increase affordable housing included advocating for the $4 billion statewide housing bond on the November ballot and promising a continuation of tax credits.

Cox said he also hoped Californians would support Proposition 6 in November to repeal the state’s gas tax passed by the legislature in 2017, to help reduce residents’ tax burden by hundreds of dollars a year.

Follow Sarah on Twitter: @dadasarahle
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