Severance Tax Proponent Running for Congress


Severance Tax Proponent Running for Congress
Monday Morning Report, March 19, 2012
Cypress College Political Science Professor Peter Mathews, sponsor of an oil severance tax initiative to fund higher education, has now turned his attention to running for Congress. 
Mathews is running in the June 5th California Primary election for an open seat in the 47th Congressional District. The 47th District includes the communities of Cypress, Garden Grove, Westminster, Los Alamitos and Stanton. The district’s voter registration is 43% Democratic, 32% Republican and 22% independent.
The field will be crowded with candidates including former member of Congress Steve Kuykendall, Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong and businessman and professional speaker Sanford Kahn running as Republicans and State Senator Alan Lowenthal who is running after being termed out of the Senate. Under California’s new primary system, due to passage of Proposition 14 in 2010, all candidates run in a primary open to all registered voters, with the top two finishers advancing to a runoff in November.
Matthews has proved to be a chronic candidate. A resident of Long Beach, California, Mathews ran five consecutive times for a House seat between 1992 and 2000 in the 37th Congressional District. His best showing was in 1998, when he won in the Democratic primary, but lost to incumbent GOP Congressman Steve Horn, 52.93% (88,136 votes) to 44.31% (71,627), in the general election. He also won the Democratic primary in 2004, but fell to Horn (who died last year) in November that year by a 58.47% to 36.83% margin.
Professor Matthews co-wrote Proposition 1522, the proposed Tax Oil to Fund Education Initiative, which needs to collect 504,760 signatures to qualify for the California ballot. The deadline for the tax-oil initiative to be placed on the November ballot is April 19. Mathews said it is still hundreds of thousands of signatures short of qualifying, but campus events are being held this month to distribute voter signature sheets to colleges throughout the state.