Incumbent Gil Cisneros (D) and Young Kim (R) are running against each other in the general election for California’s 39th Congressional District on November 3. The 39th Congressional district includes parts of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, and includes Fullerton, La Habra, La Habra Heights, Brea, Buena Park, Anaheim Hills, Placentia, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar, Chino Hills, Hacienda Heights, and Rowland Heights.
About Gil Cisneros
Prior to serving in congress, Cisneros served in the United States Navy for 11 years. In 2010, he won a Mega Millions jackpot worth $266 million. He and his wife became philanthropists, establishing scholarships and programs for underserved students.
Cisneros was first elected to Congress in 2018, when he defeated Kim for the seat vacated by 13-term Republican incumbent Ed Royce.
He is on the House Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and has sponsored a number of bills dealing with veterans services.
About Young Kim
Young Kim was born in South Korea. She and her family moved to the United States in 1975. She worked as a financial analyst for First Interstate Bank and then as a controller for JK Sportswear Manufacturing. Kim also started her own business in the ladieswear field.
Kim worked for former Congressman Ed Royce for 21 years as his community liaison and director of Asian affairs.
She was elected to the California State Assembly in 2014, defeating Democratic Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva. In 2016, in turn, Quirk-Silva defeated Kim in a re-match.
Cisneros’ Voting Record
Though Cisneros has only been in office since 2019, it has certainly been an eventful year and a half. Though many of the bills he voted for passed in the Democrat-Majority House of Representatives, they either were not voted on or failed in the Republican-Majority Senate.
Nonetheless, his votes on these bills give a sense of his priorities and values. Here are some of the key bills he voted for. This information was obtained on the helpful web site www.votesmart.org.
Health care. Cisneros voted to enhance the Affordable Care Act, he voted for the CARES Act, and he voted for a bill to lower prescription drug costs.
Environment. Cisneros voted for the Climate Action Now Act, which requires the President to take environment policy actions previously committed to under the Paris Climate Agreement. He voted for the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act, which establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund. He voted for the PFAS (Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) Action Act.
Criminal justice. He voted for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which prohibits discriminatory policing practices, requires increased accountability for law enforcement misconduct, and increased transparency and data collection.
Economy. Cisneros voted for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Health Care Enhancement Act in response to COVID-19.
Civil rights. He voted for the Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas such as education, employment, and housing. He voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, and he voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act, which requires that men and women receive equal pay for equal work. (This one has stalled in the Senate).
Immigration. He voted for the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act, which requires the imposition of health and hygiene standards relating to the care of undocumented immigrants in US Customs and Border Protection custody.
He voted to impeach Donald Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Kim’s Voting Record
Though she has not served in Congress, Young Kim, too, has a voting record, as she has previously served in the California State Assembly.
Her voting record in the State Assembly is more notable for her “no” votes on a number of key Assembly bills than her “yes” votes. Here are some of the key bill she voted “no” on.
High-Speed Rail Project. Kim voted against funding for the project.
Environment. She voted against Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emission Levels (SB 859), against Prohibiting Orca Captivity and Breeding (SB 839), against AB 96, which Prohibits Sale of Ivory and Rhino Horn, against Establishing Renewable Energy Production Targets (SB 350), and against AB 2002, which requires Coastal Commission Members to Disclose Private Meetings.
Jobs. Kim voted against Increasing the Minimum Wage (SB 3), and against Requiring Overtime Pay for Farmworkers (AB 1066).
Criminal justice. She voted against Authorizing Early Release for Certain Prisoners in Solitary Confinement (SB 759), against Expanding Voting Rights for Certain Convicted Felons (AB 2466), and against Exempting Minors from Prostitution Charges (SB 1322).
Gun Control. Kim voted against numerous gun control bills, such as SB 1235, which Requires Background Checks to Buy Ammunition, against Prohibiting the Possession of High-Capacity Gun Magazines (SB 1446), and against Prohibiting Concealed Firearms on School Grounds (SB 707).
Sex Education. She voted against Comprehensive Sex Education (AB 329).
Kim didn’t vote “no” on everything. She sponsored a bill to establish May 26 as John Wayne Day (ACR 137), but it did not pass.
She voted “yes” on AB 1732, which Requires Single User Restrooms to be Gender Neutral, “yes” on AB 718, which Authorizes Sleeping in Vehicles, and “yes” on SB 1069, which Amends Requirements for Accessory Dwelling Units.
In addition to looking at their voting records and backgrounds, it’s also instructive to look at campaign finance data for candidates. The official repository for campaign finance data is the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).
Individual contributions to individual candidate committees are capped at $2,800 per election. However, individuals are allowed to donate significantly higher amounts to Political Action Committees (PACs) and political party committees, which may then dole out larger amounts to both directly and indirectly benefit candidates.
As a result of this, it can be difficult to draw a straight line between large individual contributors and candidates.
Gil Cisneros Campaign Finance
According to FEC filings, as of 6/30/20, Cisneros has raised $2.6 million.
His top contributors ($10,000 and above) are as follows. Click on political action committees to learn more about who funds them:
Second Service Victory Fund (PAC): $46,065
Hold the House Victory Fund (PAC): $32,980
UA Union Plumbers & Pipefitters (PAC): $10,000
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC): $21,000
American Crystal Sugar Company (PAC): $10,000
Brady PAC: $10,000
California Candidates Victory Fund: $44,717
Bold Democrats III (PAC): $11,137
Schiff Hold the House 2020 (PAC): $28,781
PAC to the Future: $20,000
Screen Strategies Media: $47,973
Ameripac—The Fund for a Greater America (PAC): $10,000
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners (PAC): $10,000
Lofgren Victory Fund (PAC): $10,479
End Citizens United (PAC): $15,000
Groundworks Campaigns, Inc: $10,390
CHC Bold PAC: $10,000
To view Cisneros’ campaign contributions on the FEC web site, click HERE.
Young Kim’s Campaign Contributions
According to FEC filings, as of 6/30/20, Kim has raised $3.1 million.
Her top contributors ($10,000 and above) are as follows. Click on political action committees to learn more about them and who funds them:
WINRED (PAC): $875,223
GOP Winning Women (PAC): $36,119
Take Back the House 2020 (PAC): $24,027
Winning for Women, Inc. (PAC): $30,311
Eureka Political Action Committee: $10,000
Road to Freedom PAC: $10,000
Majority Committee PAC: $10,000
To view Kim’s campaign contributions on the FEC web site, click HERE.