October 23, 2016 By: Orange County Register Editorial Board
In the race for the 74th Assembly District, freshman Republican Assemblyman Matthew Harper is matched against Democrat Karina Onofre. But with time in Sacramento comes a track record, and Harper has proven himself an advocate for both taxpayers and the business community. Therefore, he has the endorsement of the Editorial Board for a second term.
Harper knows the 74th A.D. well, having been raised in Huntington Beach, portions of which fall within the district, which also includes parts of Costa Mesa, Irvine, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Laguna Woods.
On business issues and taxpayer protections, Harper has been a stalwart. He has an “A” rating from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, an “A” rating from the California Taxpayers Association and an “A” rating from the National Federation of Independent Business.
He also recognizes, though, that being a Republican in the Democrat-dominated statehouse is sometimes an exercise in futility.
“Being in the majority versus the minority is like night and day,” he told us. “Bills that push California forward die in committee.”
But that doesn’t mean a Republican can’t play an important role in the workings of government at the Capitol. Harper noted that Republicans work tirelessly to strip the worst excesses from bills as they make their way through the Democrat-heavy Legislature, and that Republicans are keeping Democrats from attaining a supermajority that allows them to push through new taxes.
In the next term, he told us that he would like be involvedin efforts to reform the California Environmental Quality Act. Harper also said he would like to comb through the state codes and remove archaic and unnecessary rules. That is something this Editorial Board commended him for during his time on the Huntington Beach City Council — such as when he got a 30-year-old ban on hypnotism stricken from the city code. Weeding through the thousands of pages of state rules and regulations is a much more Herculean task than reading through the handful of pages that make up the Huntington Beach city code, however.
We think he has what it takes. The Editorial Board recommends a vote for Matthew Harper on Nov. 8.