Candidates ready to fill Oller’s shoes | NevadaAppeal.com

Candidates ready to fill Oller’s shoes

Megan Feldman

Appeal News Service

TAHOE CITY – Vern Pierson doesn’t have the political experience or the campaign war chest as compared to his opponent, Assemblyman Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks.

And that’s exactly what the public prosecutor from Amador County says makes him a better replacement for state Sen. Rico Oller. Oller is making a bid for the House of Representatives.

The root of California’s spiraling budget problems, said Pierson, a Republican, is a Legislature filled with career politicians beholden to special interest groups and obsessed with being re-elected.

“You should be focused on whether a bill is good or bad for California, not on whether it’s going to help you get re-elected,” he said at Tuesday’s Truckee Tahoe Republican Women Federated lunch. “The system needs an injection of people who don’t want to do it forever… I’m a career prosecutor, that’s what I do and that’s what I love to do.”

Pierson is the chief assistant district attorney in Amador County, where he established himself as the principal prosecutor for domestic violence and sexual assault cases in the 1990s. He authored a bill carried by Assemblyman Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, that bars convicted sex offenders from working in classrooms.

Pierson has also worked for the California District Attorneys Association as a criminal justice advocate, as well as deputy attorney general with the California Department of Justice.

In his presentation to the Republican women’s group, Pierson equated increased fees for vehicle registration and higher education with tax hikes, criticizing Republican legislators for increasing fees after pledging not to raise taxes.

“They say no new taxes – that’s a lie,” he said.

When asked which expenditures he would cut in order to balance the budget without raising taxes or fees, Pierson said he’d slash the Legislature’s operating budget.

That budget was increased by $8 million in the same year sheriff’s deputies were getting laid off, he said. Pierson compared California’s $284 million Legislature operating budget to that of Texas, which is $110 million.

“Do they need $2.5 million each for a staff of 45?” Pierson asked rhetorically, referring to the money budgeted for each legislator.

Another dividing line he drew between himself and Cox was that his opponent came out against the recall election. Pierson was a staunch supporter of the campaign to oust Gov. Gray Davis, which he called a “historic adventure” comparable to the Boston Tea Party.

“The idea was everybody in this country can and should be held accountable,” he said. “Some Republicans pooh-poohed that effort, and Cox was one of those individuals.”

TAHOE CITY – Vern Pierson doesn’t have the political experience or the campaign war chest as compared to his opponent, Assemblyman Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks.

And that’s exactly what the public prosecutor from Amador County says makes him a better replacement for state Sen. Rico Oller. Oller is making a bid for the House of Representatives.

The root of California’s spiraling budget problems, said Pierson, a Republican, is a Legislature filled with career politicians beholden to special interest groups and obsessed with being re-elected.

“You should be focused on whether a bill is good or bad for California, not on whether it’s going to help you get re-elected,” he said at Tuesday’s Truckee Tahoe Republican Women Federated lunch. “The system needs an injection of people who don’t want to do it forever… I’m a career prosecutor, that’s what I do and that’s what I love to do.”

Pierson is the chief assistant district attorney in Amador County, where he established himself as the principal prosecutor for domestic violence and sexual assault cases in the 1990s. He authored a bill carried by Assemblyman Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, that bars convicted sex offenders from working in classrooms.

Pierson has also worked for the California District Attorneys Association as a criminal justice advocate, as well as deputy attorney general with the California Department of Justice.

In his presentation to the Republican women’s group, Pierson equated increased fees for vehicle registration and higher education with tax hikes, criticizing Republican legislators for increasing fees after pledging not to raise taxes.

“They say no new taxes – that’s a lie,” he said.

When asked which expenditures he would cut in order to balance the budget without raising taxes or fees, Pierson said he’d slash the Legislature’s operating budget.

That budget was increased by $8 million in the same year sheriff’s deputies were getting laid off, he said. Pierson compared California’s $284 million Legislature operating budget to that of Texas, which is $110 million.

“Do they need $2.5 million each for a staff of 45?” Pierson asked rhetorically, referring to the money budgeted for each legislator.

Another dividing line he drew between himself and Cox was that his opponent came out against the recall election. Pierson was a staunch supporter of the campaign to oust Gov. Gray Davis, which he called a “historic adventure” comparable to the Boston Tea Party.

“The idea was everybody in this country can and should be held accountable,” he said. “Some Republicans pooh-poohed that effort, and Cox was one of those individuals.”