Fuller addresses Republican women, installs officers

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Fuller addresses Republican women, installs officers“I know you feel that you are small and remote, but believe me — the actions from this valley are felt around the world,” state Sen. Jean Fuller told the members and guests of Ridgecrest Republican Women, Federated, for whom she installed the new officers last week.

“I am always amazed at how well this community is known and respected,” she said, commenting on the Navy’s mission at China Lake. She said each time she comes to Ridgecrest, she tours a different community asset. Last week’s stop included visits to the new Career Technical Education facility at Burroughs High School and the Inyokern Airport.

Before entering the political arena in 2006, the Bakersfield conservative was an educator for 36 years. She holds a Ph.D. in education and has studied at Harvard, USC, Exeter and UCLA. “I am 62 years old, and I thought I knew a lot about the world,” she said.

“But the world has changed.”

One of the biggest shifts wrought by the 2012 election is the Democratic Party’s achievement of a supermajority in both state legislative houses. She said that because Republicans are unlikely to be successful in reducing spending, she is formulating a plan to focus instead on increasing revenues — without raising taxes.

“We need to develop a matrix that holds the state responsible for its gross domestic product,” she said. She has identified eight components, with indicators for each, that will help track productivity in the state and particularly in the four counties Fuller represents.

“We’ve been talking about jobs and talking about jobs and talking about jobs, but we haven’t really seen new jobs in the private sector. Instead, people are leaving the state to escape regulation.”

Fuller said that she will be working with industry leaders and her colleagues in the state senate to pinpoint target areas of growth, and reform regulation that impedes productivity. “If we can succeed in increasing our GDP, that will create jobs, boost our economy and create new revenue for the state.”

She said she has been successful in working “across the aisle” because she focuses on the business, rather than political, aspects of policy. “We all pay money into the pot, it belongs to all of us. We need to work together to increase the pot, as well as on deciding what comes out of it.”

She said that the California GDP is three times higher than any other state. “That is a huge resource to waste — and we are wasting it — but that can’t go on forever.”

Fuller acknowledged that fears and rumors abound about what next steps the legislative and executive branches will take in the face of California’s continuing budget crisis. She said she thinks it will be a “love fest” for the next six months, at least on the surface, but that residents can probably expect to see hidden increases in fees.

“You’re going to see the governor’s children want to spend more money, and you’re going to see the governor getting more worried because there is no discipline and no laws in place to prevent that. And we’ve made it easier and easer. With that, our GDP will diminish.”

Fuller said that since conservatives no longer have the power to vote down spending, they need to focus on empowering the private sector to start investing and producing in hopes of closing that budget gap.

Amy Covert, outgoing president of RRWF, said it was an honor to have Fuller address the club and install officers. “Sen. Fuller has always worked tirelessly for us — first in the assembly and now in the state senate.”

Covert, who sits on the Sierra Sands Unified School District Board of Education, said she is particularly grateful for Fuller’s support of education in the community. “As a former educator, Sen. Fuller continues to work on behalf of students, recognizing the value of educating our children.”

Story First Published: 2012-12-19