Patrick Hurley, Democratic candidate for State Assembly. Photo courtesy of Patrick Hurley

Editor’s note: Idyllwild is now part of Assembly District 71, which runs from Poppet Flat to the Mexican border. Much of the district is part of former Assembly District 77 and Brian Jones (R-Santee) is the incumbent, elected to his first term in 2010. His Democratic opponent is Patrick Hurley, also a resident of San Diego suburbs.


Hurley was interviewed by phone on Friday, Oct. 12.

What specifically would you do to relieve the state’s budget chaos?
Green jobs are the primary tool, said Hurley. He would seek to grow green employment to revive the state’s economy. “What’s a more perfect place to start, with so much green energy — solar and wind — available,” he said.

Neither the production of alternative energy nor the equipment to produce or to use these energy sources are the primary job drivers, in Hurley’s view. He wants to entice homeowners into refurbishing their structures, for example, insulating their homes.

Greater energy efficiency in the home would yield savings to owners and employ workers, resulting in growth in demand for other services and goods, Hurley argued.

Hurley also said he would work to create a state banking institution, similar to savings and loans, to target loans for home purchases. His example is the Bank of North Dakota, which was established in 1919 and is state-owned. In cooperation with other financial institutions it makes loans for rural housing, farming, college tuition and other areas.

With access to easier money, Hurley believes the state could put construction labor back to work, reduce foreclosures and improve energy efficiency of existing homes.

“People want to trust bankers like they do police and government officials,” he said.

What is your opinion on Propositions 30 and 38?
Hurley strongly supports Proposition 30, which Gov. Jerry Brown initiated and endorses. II it weren’t on the ballot, Hurley would back Proposition 38, he said.

The different ways the two propositions impose taxes are Hurley’s principal criteria. “Prop 38 is overreaching and the income tax is onerous,” he said. “The taxes in 30 are a better solution.”

Both propositions support and augment educational funding which is important to Hurley. “Look at the budget with or without 30,” he warned, “It’s a frightening thing to see.”

Hurley acknowledged that he was not aware of Assemblyman Brian Nestande’s legislation to abolish the legislature’s gimmick of passes then deferring educational funds.

“It’s a shell game that has to stop,” he said.

“The problem with funding educational programs in the state is the result of the same intransigence we see in Washington and Sacramento. We can’t get one or two Republicans to cross the aisle and work together with us,” he claimed.

The SRA fire prevention fee is in litigation. What is your view of it?
“This is similar to education because it demonstrates we can’t come together for a reasonable budget,” Hurley said. “Clearly we have to have fire protection.

“People have to realize fire protection is a government issue, which should not depend upon privatizing it or community bake sales,” he said. “It requires cooperation in Sacramento to produce a bailout.”

What are you doing to make Idyllwild and Riverside County voters understand their Assemblyman is from San Diego County and you represent them as much as your home?
The residents of Idyllwild will not be forgotten if Hurley is elected he said.

“I want to represent all voters. I’m not in this for money,” he stated. “I will work for every constituent. When they tell me what I can do, I’ll go back to Sacramento and try to do.”

Hurley, 55 years old, currently serves as vice president and chief operating officer of the Heartland Coalition, a San Diego nonprofit organization, which sponsors projects in the areas of career and community development, healthcare, environmental protection and clean energy, disaster relief, education, objective and timely news, and public art. Hurley resides in Lakeside, near San Diego.

As of his last financial report filed with the Secretary of State, Hurley’s campaign had raised $6,000.