Business Meets The Legislature


JAN. 17, 2011


The era of big-government Republican legislators appears to be changing. In the November election, California voters elected several political novices to represent them at the state Capitol, and it appears that this happened for a reason.

Newly elected Assemblywoman Linda Halderman, M.D., R-Fresno, is a fresh face at the Capitol. As a sole practioner and cancer surgeon, Halderman said she never anticipated running for political office. But because of the rapidly declining state of health care in California, as well as the entire country, and with the government so heavily invested in health care, Halderman said she didn’t have a choice. “I believe that serving in public office is the most effective way for me to make a difference in the lives of millions of struggling Central Valley businesses and families,” she said.

“In the Central Valley, 60 percent of its residents have a difficult time finding doctors, much less surgeons,” she said. “I became a traveling surgeon to try and address this need. I believe that human life is precious, and that we have a Constitutionally-protected right to defend it. Government has no business making life-and-death medical decisions for my family or yours. Health care reform shouldn’t put bureaucrats between you and your doctor. Real reform is affordability, access and choice.”

Halderman is not just a doctor. She runs a business as well, and has found the increasing state regulations are strangling not just her ability to practice medicine, but are affecting all businesses in the state, with the heaviest hits being taken in the Central Valley.

She said she’s watched as the region has financially withered under crushing regulations that restrict water use, air quality, energy consumption, as well as severe over-taxation. “The Central Valley’s farmers have been forced to fallow the fields we depend on for safe food,” she told me. “Bad water policy that refuses to balance human suffering against environmental concerns is hurting us. It’s time we carry the message of common sense solutions to Sacramento: water storage, infrastructure and conveyance.”

Halderman said she’s very excited about being appointed the Vice Chairwoman of the Water, Parks and Wildlife committee, which deals with legislation affecting water allocation, storage and conveyance among other crucial Central Valley issues. “Water is critical to life in our valley,” she said. “I’ll make sure we are heard on every issue affecting where and how water flows in California.”

Additionally, Halderman won a seat on the powerful Natural Resources committee, which influences everything from air quality and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to renewable energy and conservation. Halderman said her role on the committee is important, citing it as an opportunity to further advocate for her constituents.

“These are the issues that hurt the ability to create jobs,” she said. “The struggle of small businesses, farmers and other job creators to comply with burdensome regulation in California is a daunting task. Bills heard in this committee need to be publicly scrutinized for the impact they will have on job growth and the economy. Sound science should guide policy – not emotional rhetoric.”

Halderman said that despite that politics in the state are dominated by the Democratic Party, right now is the best possible time to make substantive changes. “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat,” said Halderman, laughing, quoting former President Ronald Reagan.

But Halderman said that she’s quite serious about making change in the state, and appears unafraid to make waves in the meantime. A staunch fiscal conservative, Halderman said, “I believe in reforming our broken budget system and promoting conservative economic policies to restore our economy and create jobs.”


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  1. John Seiler
    John Seiler 17 January, 2011, 09:58

    Let’s hope she’s right and she can do some good instead of wasting her time. Cancer surgeons sure are more valuable than most politicians.

    Her election also is another argument for a part-time Legislature. That way, she could save lives as a doctor most of the time, spending only a couple of months every other year in government.

    Reply this comment
  2. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 17 January, 2011, 10:35

    Let’s look at what the people of California want:

    “When the issue is framed as “less government and lower taxes” versus “better value for the taxes you currently pay,” voters prefer better value by 72-18% That includes 91% of the Democratic base, 78% of the Democratic swing voters and 52% of the Republican swing voters. Only Republican base voters prefer lower taxes and less government and only by 53-47%.”

    Looks like the Grover Norquist lovers (“Let’s shrink government so we can drown it in the bathtub”) aren’t speaking for most Californians.

    Reply this comment
  3. Shame on Me
    Shame on Me 17 January, 2011, 12:18

    Dr. Halderman is a genuinely accomplished, intelligent and principled individual. A refreshing change from the plodding careerists & political wives who litter the place.

    Reply this comment
  4. David from Oceanside
    David from Oceanside 17 January, 2011, 16:52

    I almost wish I lived in Fresno so I could vote for Linda Halderman. Well, err….. No I don’t. I have driven through Fresno and can report than no one should have to live in Fresno.

    I recall as a young teenager the campaign to make a full time legislature. We have no reason to forgive our parents for that vote.

    Better value for taxes vs lower taxes is a false question. Government on all levels is wasteful, inefficient, pandering and rewards their special interests at the expense of the general public. Value taxation is no more real than the Easter Bunny.

    Reply this comment
  5. California Native
    California Native 18 January, 2011, 05:16

    Isn’t she just another carpet-bagger from the east coast or Midwest trying to tell Californians how to live? Her comments seem like they were dipped in contempt, cynicism–sounding like she’s here to shame and punish true, life-long Californians…sheesh! Yikes! California needs more trusting And faithful leaders–and more “transparency”, not transparent leaders (talk about rhetoric–her comments are so canned you can taste the tin!)…there is a difference. Next time Fresno sends Sacramento a legislator, hopefully it will be someone with history and experiences specific to California and Fresno and not an elitist with a cultural score to settle.

    Reply this comment
  6. Bruce
    Bruce 18 January, 2011, 08:36

    Halderman’s a bright light, but she was also Sen. Sam Aanestad’s legislative director (if I’m not mistaken) for the past several years. Not a staff lifer, to be sure, but not precisely a “fresh face in the Capitol” either.

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