Beth and Ted Gaines are Placer’s new power couple at the Capitol

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Republican Beth Gaines of Roseville was sworn in Thursday as the new District 4 assemblywoman. Gaines’ oath of office also marks the start of a new and unique era in Placer and El Dorado county politics, with a husband-and-wife team serving concurrently in the Senate and Assembly at the state Capitol. While Ted Gaines has taken a workmanlike route to state office, including a stint on the Placer County Board of Supervisors, his wife of 25 years, Beth Gaines, was a surprise ballot entry in January but a winner in the May 3 special election runoff. Beth Gaines was sworn in at the start of the morning session of the state Assembly on Thursday by Speaker John Perez. She succeeds Ted Gaines, who was elected District 1 state senator in January and vacated his seat to take office. The Gaineses will be the third married couple to serve concurrently in the state Legislature. The first were Republican Sen. George Runner and Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, who first held office together in 2004, representing a section of Los Angeles County. The Ventura County-area’s Tony and Audra Strickland have also since served concurrently. State Sen. Doug La Malfa, R-Richvale, said that having both Beth and Ted Gaines in the Legislature is going to be a plus, given both their strong support of business and job creation. “It works out great – it’s certainly not unheard of,” La Malfa said. “Beth is going to bring a very commonsense message in a time of fiscal crisis. She worked in the family business and served at Ted’s side. She’s pretty much trained and ready to go once she gets her feet wet.” Ted Gaines said Monday that he and his wife will have offices in the same building in Roseville as well as the Capitol. The State Office of the Assembly kept the lease on Gaines’s old Assembly office in Roseville and Beth Gaines will move in soon after her swearing in. While the two share strong Republican ties, Ted Gaines said his wife and future Placer-to-Sacramento commuting partner will be acting independently in the Legislature. “She’ll bring her own viewpoints,” Ted Gaines said. “I know she’s going to do a great job.” Beth Gaines was in intensive Legislative training this week, taking a crash course in a variety of topics, including how floor sessions work and ethics. During the campaign, Beth Gaines faced criticism for her relative lack of experience. She has never served in an elected office and her closest rival, Roseville City Councilman John Allard, challenged her on her business credentials, questioning how much of a role she played as a marketing consultant for Ted Gaines’s Point West Insurance. Gaines described questions about her lack of experience as a non-issue. She cited her knowledge of the district through working with her husband, being part of a small business in District 1 for 25 years, and raising six children in the district. On the education front, Gaines said three of her children are now utilizing public schools, five of the six have attended public schools, her children have attended private schools and she home-schooled them in their early years. “I’ve been blessed by this district and now it’s my time to give back,” Beth Gaines said. Cheryl Bly-Chester, a Republican who finished fourth in the March 8 primary, said she has spoken with Beth Gaines several times since that election. She too said Beth Gaines should do a fine job. “She’s listening and not at all resistant to my ideas on controlling over-regulation,” Bly-Chester said. “I’m encouraged by that.” Roseville’s Rob Matthews, who also lost to Gaines in the March 8 special election primary, said the only “minus” he feels the new Assemblywoman will have to overcome is stepping out from behind her husband’s shadow. “I think she’s going to do a really great job with the support she has,” Matthews said. “I was one of the first to congratulate her. As a Republican, I always want to support Republican candidates.” On the issues Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, District 1 Tax extension Californians pay among the highest taxes in the country and we can’t keep forcing them to dig deeper to support an overgrown government. Lower tax rates stimulate economic expansion and job growth and that is the path California should follow. Education funding Right now only 60 percent of our education dollars make their way into the classroom. I want to cut bureaucracy and make sure that our teachers and the students they teach are getting the resources we invest, not layer after layer of administration. Business A group of CEO’s just ranked California as the worst place to do business – for the 7th year in a row. We need to cut red tape that frustrates businesses and lower taxes to provide incentives for job creators to expand here. Prison overcrowding Public safety is government’s highest priority and we need to make sure that people who have victimized Californians pay their debt to society. We need to expand our authority to ship prisoners out of state and continue to pursue expanding prison capacity. Early release is not an option. Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, R-Roseville, District 4 Tax extension The Governor’s tax plan will put funding for essential programs at greater risk by killing jobs. My Assembly Republican colleagues and I have presented a budget roadmap today that shows we can protect priorities like education and public safety without raising taxes on families and small businesses. Education funding There is no budget priority more important for me than protecting classroom dollars. With the state taking in an additional $2.5 billion in unanticipated tax revenue, we can use that money to help fully fund education without higher taxes. I won’t support suspending the constitutional funding guarantee (Prop 98) for education. Business Businesses are at the heart of California’s economy. They provide jobs and much of the tax revenue needed to fund essential public services. That’s why the state must help improve California’s poor business climate by streamlining burdensome regulations and keeping taxes as low as possible. More business means more revenue. Prison overcrowding The status quo in our prisons is unacceptable and releasing dangerous criminals early is unacceptable. I reject the irresponsible public safety realignment scheme passed by Democrats. The state must pursue other ways to lower prison costs by targeting bureaucratic waste. I will work to pass reforms that don’t jeopardize Californians.