Board of Equalization Candidate Statements

Serves on the Board of Equalization, the state’s elected tax commission, which:

  • Oversees the administration of tax and fee programs including those for alcohol.
  • Oversees the administration of property tax.

California Board of Equalization Districts


David Evans

David Evans | REPUBLICAN

Tax professional dedicated to protecting taxpayers.

P.O. Box 2227
California City, CA 93504
Tel: (760) 382-8031

Ted Gaines


As your representative on the Board of Equalization, I will work to protect the interests of all taxpayers, keep our economy strong and create jobs. For too many hard-working families, the California dream has been turned into a costly nightmare by Sacramento politicians with bad judgment and the wrong priorities. Billions of wasted dollars in cost overruns on crazy projects like the San Francisco-to-L.A. bullet train prove that nobody in Sacramento is looking out for taxpayers. I have a lifetime "A" rating from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association because I vigorously defend Prop. 13. I will be your Watchdog and will fight to repeal the outrageous new gas and car tax, which hits the pocketbooks of middle-class families. As the owner of a small family business my background gives me firsthand experience with overbearing government regulations. As a Taxpayer Advocate I work to lower your tax bills, streamline regulations and remove roadblocks to job growth and will continue to do so on the Board of Equalization. I will fight to eliminate government waste, trim budgets and stop tax increases disguised as fees. I am a fifth-generation Californian, husband and father. I want my children and yours to be able to afford to live, work and raise their families here. I would be honored to earn your vote and pledge to fight for you, the taxpayer. Visit to learn more and see why past Taxpayer Advocates on the Board of Equalization endorse me. Thank you.

1911 Douglas Blvd., Suite 85-122
Roseville, CA 95661
Tel: (916) 827-6115

Connie Conway

Connie Conway | REPUBLICAN

I’m a small business owner who has used my skills to keep taxes down, fight fraud and cut government waste. As a County Supervisor, I balanced budgets without raising taxes while increasing funding for law enforcement. I am a fiscal conservative who led successful efforts to defeat billions in tax hikes. My successful efforts to reform welfare, helped save billions of dollars while protecting programs for children, elderly and the disabled. By helping implement a new fraud prevention program that requires fingerprinting and background checks for service providers and recipients I helped save tens of millions tax dollars. By backing a new law to outlaw pay increases for politicians when the state has a budget deficit, I made sure essential services like public safety aren’t shorted by greedy politicians. I support repealing the $52 Billion car tax because our families can't afford the most expensive gas in the country. My values and record earned me 100% ratings from the California Taxpayers Association, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the National Federation of Independent Business. At the Board of Equalization, I will serve as an advocate for taxpayers, oppose higher taxes and protect Proposition 13 from those who want to water it down or repeal it. I will continue my fight to prevent fraud, support efforts to prosecute corrupt officials to the full extent of the law and shine a spot light on government waste. Please visit:

P.O. Box 8134
Visalia, CA 93290
Tel: (559) 308-0845

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Tom Hallinan | DEMOCRATIC

None of California's "big shots" even know where Atwater, Ceres, Crows Landing, Grayson, Groveland, Jamestown, Livingston, Newman, Patterson or Twain Harte are . . . That's because the people that matter to us, don’t matter to them. I know those folks. I represent their "unimportant" communities as their city and special district attorney. It's not unlike my 20 years as a Central Valley Community College Trustee . . . always representing the ignored and forgotten Valley families who feed America. When I was elected to Chair the California Law Revision Commission, I enjoyed watching the headscratching LA and Bay Area smarty-pants people trying to figure out who this country bumpkin was and how did he end up in charge. It's really simple. I am a Valley man. 5th generation. Grounded in our values—common sense, hard work . . . and always do what you say you'll do. I'm not a slick state legislator, like my opponents. I don't know all the tricky words and ways. I do know you, the law, and what's fair. The Board of Equalization has been a hot mess for too long. I will clean out the stalls, till the soil, get rid of the freeloaders, and bring the whole operation closer to us and our values. Won't be easy. But, so what? California needs our values—we are tight with a buck, hate being ripped off, and aren't as stupid as they'd like to think. On the Board of Equalization, I will make us equal. I would appreciate your vote.

P.O. BOX 2145
CERES, CA 95307
Tel: (209) 324-6205


Cathleen Galgiani

Cathleen Galgiani | DEMOCRATIC

I hope that things I have accomplished as a State Senator demonstrate my commitment to bringing "equality" to the Board of Equalization. Equal pay for women, making California a sanctuary state for immigrants, providing healthcare for 170,000 immigrant children, winning our right to Marriage Equality, raising the minimum wage to $15, delivering Environmental Justice funding to disadvantaged, polluted communities, and winning drug-pricing transparency are accomplishments for which I am proud. Today, I am in the fight to stop the Trump Administration from expanding offshore oil drilling on our coast. My personal life story is one of determination. I put myself through school as a fast food worker, and later became a physical therapy aide at my local hospital, helping people walk again. After my best friend and cousin was kidnapped, I spent years making sure the mass murderer stayed in prison. The Board of Equalization's job is to protect taxpayers from unfair treatment. Please consider that as a member of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee I pushed audits of government bureaucracies and shady government contracts. Those audits uncovered hundreds of millions of dollars in waste and abuse . . . money we then could put to better use in our schools, caring for the elderly, and making California's communities safer. I have been named "Legislator of the Year" and recognized by a broad range of advocates for women, my own LGBT community, and for my "Commitment to Workers." I appreciate your consideration when you vote for Board of Equalization.

P.O. Box 279155
Sacramento, CA 95827

Malia Cohen

Malia Cohen | DEMOCRATIC

My name is Malia Cohen and I’m running to put people’s interests before special interests. The State Board of Equalization has undergone massive reforms fundamentally changing its responsibilities. This reform was necessary to ensure that California’s tax dollars are fairly collected and distributed. But now the BOE needs a strong leader with a proven track record of standing up for what is right. And that’s exactly why I’m running. As a San Francisco Supervisor, I’ve fought to even the playing field and allow everyone to have a say in our government. I have the financial experience necessary to get results and if elected, I will fearlessly advocate for transparency and improved government practices. My campaign is based on three principles, transparency, accountability and fairness. Our state must do more to advance opportunities for communities that have historically been left out and left behind. Throughout my career, I’ve advocated for affordable housing, equitable cannabis and public health. For instance, I spearheaded legislation to ban flavored tobacco products in San Francisco, as Big Tobacco companies were disproportionately advertising to youth, communities of color and LGBTQ individuals. That’s why I am proudly endorsed by U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, the California Federation of Teachers, Equality California, current Board Member Fiona Ma, and State Controller Betty Yee. In this historic moment, strong leadership is more important than ever. I’m ready to take on the urgent challenges faced by Californians and fight for working families. Learn more at

2201 Broadway St., Suite M-2
Oakland, CA 94612
Tel: (415) 819-4938

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California Taxpayers have the highest burden in the United States. As a staunch and long term supporter of Proposition 13 and Propositions 60 & 90 (property tax base transfers for seniors); I will work to make our system fairer for all. For the past 32 years; I've worked in the real estate business in Silicon Valley and watched property taxes and sales taxes reach levels that should support California Government well into the future and include surpluses and reserves. Instead; we see continuing efforts to raise taxes further and without meaningful purposes except to back-fund increased spending and over commitment by past representatives and legislators. I will fight to improve accountability and efficiency within the Board of Equalization. I've Chaired Citizen's Oversight Committees on K–8 and 9–12 school districts in my Community for nearly a decade. I've served as Chair and/or President for my 4500+ member trade association—Silicon Valley Association of Realtors (SilVAR), the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce, the contracts publishing division of SilVAR, the Legislative Action Council for SilVAR and successfully argued for our County Supervisors (twice) to retain Prop. 90 (inter-county transfer of tax base) for our seniors and the disabled. Your vote will allow me to fight for California Taxpayer's rights throughout the state.

1601 So. De Anza Blvd., Suite 150
Cupertino, CA 95014
Tel: (408) 777-9997


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Cheryl C. Turner | DEMOCRATIC

The Board of Equalization interprets regulations, equalizes property taxes and resolves specified tax disputes. As a consumer taxpayer attorney with a law degree from the University of Southern California (USC), Cheryl Turner worked to protect the interests of you the taxpayer. She was an extern law clerk for Honorable James ldeman, Judge of the United States District Court which prepared her for this quasi-judicial role. She then built her professional legal career helping individuals to overcome adversities and advised small businesses that grew to create jobs and economic opportunities for all. She helped to recoup millions in taxpayer funds to California. She will put to use her over 20 years of legal, real estate, business, tax, and consumer rights law experience as a member of the California State Bar’s Taxation Section where she advises clients on tax and regulatory compliance matters; was an arbitrator resolving disputes, along with her government agency oversight experience as a State Commissioner appointed by Governor Jerry Brown and a City Commissioner appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, to faithfully perform her duties as a member of the Board of Equalization. She will continue to advocate for tax policies that support families and help businesses prosper to keep California competitive. Her goal, as your state Board of Equalization member is to reform and ensure a just and efficient tax system based on transparency, accountability and fairness to all. She will always keep you informed of your rights and benefits! She would be honored to have your vote.

445 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 3100
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Tel: (213) 612-7757

Scott Svonkin

Scott Svonkin | DEMOCRATIC

The son of a public school teacher and the grandson of a bus driver, Scott Svonkin is running for California State Board of Equalization to make sure that we can collect the revenue to fund our schools. He'll make sure big corporations pay their fair share and don't avoid paying their taxes. Svonkin has earned the endorsements of a huge coalition including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, California State Controller Betty Yee, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and LA County Supervisors Janice Hahn, Hilda Solis, and Sheila Kuehl because he will fight against corruption and misconduct on the board. Svonkin is a member of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees— an office where he helps hundreds of thousands of students get the education they need so that they can find good careers. On the LACCD Board, Svonkin led reforms to protect taxpayer money and help fund schools. Svonkin has worked in the private sector, and had to balance multibillion-dollar budgets in the public sector, giving him the fiscal experience we need on the BOE. Svonkin has also been a leader in implementing the College Promise, which has been adopted statewide, allowing students to attend their first year of community college for free. On the BOE, Svonkin will work to help small businesses compete, investing in trainings to assist them. A former advisor to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Svonkin will work to make sure that the BOE works with law enforcement to go after the underground economy and prosecute those who commit financial crimes.

1812 W. Burbank Blvd., #418
Burbank, CA 91506
Tel: (818) 658-9700

Micheál “Me-Haul” O’Leary

Micheál "Me-Haul" O'Leary | NO PARTY PREFERENCE

I am an Irish immigrant, and a proud American citizen. Choosing to serve my local community, I had the honor of serving two terms as Mayor of Culver City, making tough decisions through the recession, and ultimately seeing Culver City become a solvent, destination-city by my term's end (2016). I've also owned successful small businesses in LA and Ventura Counties, and I've sold them all to dedicate myself to this office and to you, the voters of California. I know the broad scope of issues business owners contend with, and I know the State doesn't make it any easier. Like you, I'd like to see more support and efficiency, transparency and accountability in government, and especially from this office. Consider voting for an independent voice and the most qualified candidate on the ballot. Political parties have kept money in politics and hand-picked the winners for too long. Be skeptical of party endorsements and campaign financing. I encourage you to #DoYourHomework and #VoteResponsibly.

3685 Motor Ave., #115
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Tel: (424) 326-9030

Tony Vazquez

Tony Vazquez | DEMOCRATIC

Tony Vazquez has the expertise and integrity we need on the State Board of Equalization. As Mayor and City Councilmember in Santa Monica, Tony Vazquez is a tireless advocate for affordable housing, a clean environment and a healthy economy. He worked with small businesses and residents to revitalize the Third Street Promenade and oversee completion of the Metro Expo Line. Vazquez, a former teacher and teacher trainer, is a graduate of the University of Southern California. As a community planner for United Way, Tony Vazquez coordinated funding for community programs throughout the San Fernando Valley. He helped bring good jobs to the North East Valley by revitalizing the former GM Plant in Van Nuys. Vazquez has also served as Southern California Director for the California Futures Network, which promotes smart growth policy in the region and state. Vazquez is Vice President and Former Treasurer of the Independent Cities Association (ICA), and as Vice-Chair of the City of Santa Monica Audit Committee. As a member of the Board of Equalization, Tony Vazquez will work to support small businesses, including the often neglected immigrant and minority owned businesses which contribute so much to our region's economy. Vazquez will work to slam shut special interest tax loopholes and make the Board efficient and responsive. Tony Vazquez and his wife Maria are the proud parents of two grown children who graduated from local public schools. Tony Vazquez has earned your support. For more information go to

2530 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Tel: (310) 664-8949


David Dodson

David Dodson | DEMOCRATIC

The Board of Equalization oversees county assessors and the property tax system. I have worked passionately for twenty-five years with the Board of Equalization protecting taxpayer rights. Just this year, the legislature saw fit to limit the Board of Equalization's responsibilities to only property tax administration. Property tax administration is my life's work. The Board of Equalization is known as a place for termed-out career politicians. Instead, you deserve a representative on the Board that has the experience and expertise to guarantee you are treated fairly and respectfully. Experience counts! I would be honored to have your vote. Thank you.

P.O. Box 991
Dana Point, CA 92629
Tel: (949) 484-6435

John F. Kelly

John F. Kelly | REPUBLICAN

Dear Voter, The BOE has been left in utter chaos directly because of mismanagement by its current occupants: recycled, career politicians. Fair and effective tax administration has not been served by this quasi-judicial body. It's time for a businessman to rectify the board's "human face". Only one candidate has 35 years' experience as a brick and mortar retailer subject to tax obligations: John F. Kelly. Proposition 13 will become extinct if California retailers are not safeguarded! I give you my golden promise to be honest, hardworking, and loyal! Sincerely, Honest John.

325 South “C” Street
Tustin, CA 92780
Tel: (714) 510-6993

Ken Lopez-Maddox

Ken Lopez-Maddox | DEMOCRATIC

I will stand up to corporate special interests. No special deals for big polluters. Pro woman, pro worker and anti Trump.

43 Fulmar Lane
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Tel: (714) 906-1797

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Joel Anderson | REPUBLICAN

California's taxes are outrageously high and are forcing great paying jobs to flee our state. I'm running for the Board of Equalization to fight to protect our Prop. 13 rights and join with working families against tax increases. We all deserve to be treated with fairness. I led the opposition to the gas tax increase because it was the right thing to do—to stand up for you and me against funding special interest giveaways. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association endorsed me because of my relentless effort to protect Californians, and their President called me a "rock star for taxpayers." As a Senator, my work helped grow jobs and our economy which is why the California Taxpayers Association, National Federation of Independent Business, and California Chamber of Commerce all honored me with their highest rating. Also, I am deeply appreciative that the California Small Business Association and California Small Business Roundtable named me "California State Senate Legislator of the Year" for my leadership working to boost small businesses and create career opportunities. However, my proudest accomplishment was earning seven prestigious "Legislator of the Year" awards from American Veterans, American Legion, California State Commanders Veterans Council, the California Veterans of Foreign Wars Department, the Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Military Officers Association of America California Council of Chapters for protecting veterans' benefits and defending them from unfair taxes. But the most important role of my life, by far, is being a husband to my wife of 30 years, and a father to our three children. I would be honored to have your support.

8881 Hunter Pass
Alpine, CA 91901
Tel: (619) 204-2200

Mike Schaefer |

Mike Schaefer | DEMOCRATIC

Meet Mike Schaefer Best-educated, Most-experienced, Educated UC Berkeley, Notre Dame, USC, San Diego State and Georgetown Law Official of city, county, state and federal government, from Prosecutor, Councilman, to SEC and California securities investigator, Member Board of Public Health, experienced successful challenger to excess real estate valuations before Boards of Equalization. Endorsed in prior elections by Police Officers Association, County Sheriffs. Endorses Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association protecting all of us from unfair increases in any of our taxes. Native of San Diego, competitive major businessman, knows that we must be vigilant that government at all levels respects homeowner and small businessman. Frequent speaker at civic groups. Active Catholic leader. Successful son in management of Coachella Music Festival meeting a Beatle and Rolling Stones. Has worked with leaders from Dr. Suess to Dr. Salk, Governors Brown & Brown to Reagan; performers from Bob Hope to boxing icon Archie Moore, LL Cool J, classmate Frank Zappa, Debbie Reynolds. Recognized nationally for fairness in election law, responsible for randomized non-alphabetical listing of candidates names on all California ballots, demands a level playing field. Visit Mike Schaefer at:

4494 Mentone St., #12
San Diego, CA 92107
Tel: (213) 479-6006

The order of the statements was determined by randomized drawing. Statements on this page were supplied by the candidates and have not been checked for accuracy. Each statement was voluntarily submitted and paid for by the candidate. Candidates who did not submit statements could otherwise be qualified to appear on the ballot.