Q&A: County Supervisor Candidate Pamela Conley Ulich

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Pamela Conley Ulich

In her campaign for Third District County Supervisor, former Malibu Mayor and Councilwoman Pamela Conley Ulich has adopted a mantra against money in politics. 

Driven by the Supreme Court’s controversial 2010 Citizen’s United case, Ulich has based the crux of her political run in the past few months on the hopes of weeding out financial influences in elections. 

Other major issues for Ulich include improving the county’s foster care system, reforming the Sheriff ’s Department and emergency preparedness in times of crisis. 

A real estate broker and former legal counsel for the Director’s Guild, Ulich served on the Malibu City Council from 2004-2012. 

The Malibu Times sat down with Ulich days before the June 3 primary election in which she’ll face off against heavily funded candidates Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver. 

Ulich said she has raised $10,000 during her campaign to replace Zev Yaroslavsky, who will be termed out of his Third District seat representing 2 million Westside constituents this year. 

On money influencing politics: 

“One of the reasons I’m running is to take a stand against the political system, and what’s been happening is, I feel like the people who get their agendas passed are the ones that give money to politicians or support politicians and there’s nobody lobbying for the people who maybe don’t have the money or they’re not in the know with the politicians.” 

On the state of the county’s foster care system: 

“Kids are dying and there’s been repeated abuse. Things are not happening at the county level. [A report on LA County Foster Care] came out in December… 

[The report] suggests that if [foster kids are age] 1 and under that they get medical screenings. [The county has] the money and everyone agreed that this should be done, it still hasn’t been done. If this had been Heal the Bay or a special interest report and they had said, ‘We have the money, here’s the report,’ it would have been done. There is nobody fighting for kids.” 

Criticizing the current board’s actions: 

“[In a vote last Tuesday] they decided to hike the Metro bus fare…it’s about $36 million they have to make up, and here they are charging 25 additional cents for people who can’t drive. For the most part, a lot of them can’t afford a car. And maybe they could put a spending plateau, there are other alternatives, for example a hiring freeze.” 

How to reform the LA County Sheriff’s Department: 

“I would implement the recommendations [made by Blue Ribbon Commission]. One of the things they’ve recommended is there be a czar to oversee the department. The inspector general, for example, is that person. The problem with the board is they didn’t listen to those recommendations… he could be hired and fired at their will. If he makes somebody at the board angry because they don’t like what he’s said, he could be gone…They also recommended a citizen’s oversight commission. That hasn’t been approved.” 

On need to educate citizens for emergency preparedness: 

I would be an advocate for giving citizens more input and taking more responsibility for themselves, and the government being there to help them do that, not to be the person you wait for. 

Any surprises on the campaign trail? 

“This goes back to the issue of money again, and what surprised me is we have one candidate [Kuehl] trying to raise millions [last year] who was trying to scare anyone else from running. And now, when I bring up the fact that that was said last year before Bobby Shriver ever entered the race, that now that candidate is saying that that’s not fair because he’s got money and that’s a bad thing.”