State Assembly 5

by Placerville Newswire / Oct 10, 2016 / comments


State Assembly District 5 

Candidate picture

Candidate picture


Frank Bigelow (Rep) -- Rancher, businessman, assemblyman

Robert Carabas (Dem) Retired

Age 62

Birthplace (city) Fresno

Residence (city) O'Neals

Campaign addressP.O. Box 43, O'Neals, CA 93645

Campaign telephone (916) 492-9604


Web site

Education Graduate, Sierra High School, 1972.

Experience Member, California State Assembly, 2012-present; member, Madera County board of supervisors, 1998-2012; vice president, Ponderosa Telephone Company, 1973-present; owner/manager, Bigelow Farms, 1965-present.

Age 70

Birthplace (city) Great Falls, Montana

Residence (city) Sonora

Campaign addressPO Box 1883,Twain Harte, CA,95383

Campaign telephone (209) 732-6424


Web site

Education Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, 1985; College of Art and Crafts, 1983; master's degree, secondary education, UC Berkeley, bachelor's degree, English, UC Berkeley, 1974.

Experience Straw bale home designer, 2001-2006; fine artist/painter, 1980-2006; corporate development research/corporate credit manager, Natomas Company, 1974-1974.



What should the state do next with the high-speed rail program? Explain.

Frank Bigelow: The state should not invest any more taxpayer money on high-speed rail. We should focus our efforts on transportation projects that will benefit all Californians. We need to focus our efforts on fixing our roads and improving existing infrastructure.

Robert Carabas: The same arguments opposed building BART as high-speed rail. Without BART the Bay Area becomes a nightmare. Imagine in 35 years our population doubles, where does the traffic go? If we have a multi-decade drought, we'll go nowhere fast.

Explain your position on Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build twin tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to carry water southward and describe any changes in California's water management you support.

Frank Bigelow: Voters approved the Prop. 1 water bond in 2014 because they know our water infrastructure priorities should be new water storage. As a rancher, I know firsthand that what our state really needs in terms of water is more above-ground water storage.

Robert Carabas: Climate science warns of multi-decade drought by mid-century. Rethink infrastructure plans. Reservoirs lose 5 feet of water to evaporation a year. Survey our aquifers for quantity and quality. Store water in aquifers. Subsidize agri-conservation.

Explain your position on the issue of recreational marijuana.

Frank Bigelow: I don't support legalizing marijuana for recreational use. I don't think the state should be in the business of regulating a product that is federally illegal.

Robert Carabas: It is a reality virtually everywhere. It costs too much to keep people in prison for using it, and prison is a terrible waste of a person's life. Let's tax it, legalize drugs and use the money to educate school kids about drugs and treat addicts.

What specific spending or tax changes would you push for if elected to the Legislature?

Frank Bigelow: I will continue to do everything possible to repeal the illegal fire tax. This tax has been unfairly pushed upon residents of rural California, and it must be repealed.

Robert Carabas: Our tax system is so regressive that most people think taxes are too high. Actually, they're just unfair. The sales tax should be eliminated. Property should be taxed in relation to its value and not passed between owners without fair evaluation.

Give one example of how you would change a social service program in California.

Frank Bigelow: I support a plan which would provide those in poverty the tools they need to get out of poverty. It would reform our welfare system to help our most vulnerable by helping them gain an education, which is the real path out of poverty.

Robert Carabas: We should go to a single-payer health care system. Canada's single-payer gets better results, for all citizens, at half the cost. Then raise the minimum wage for child care and in-home workers. With a single-payer system, we could afford to do it.