Steve Young

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Steve Young was the Democratic nominee for the 48th Congressional District of California

Steve Young was the Democratic nominee in the 2008 congressional elections for the 48th Congressional District (map) of California. He was the Democratic nominee challenging incumbent Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.). He won primary elections which took place on June 3, 2008, but lost to Campbell in the November general election.[1]


Positions, record and controversies

Young faults the Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress for ending the economic gains made by the middle class:

Before the Democrats left the White House in 2001, America was a beacon on a hill. We had enjoyed the longest economic expansion in history. We had the strongest economic growth, one of the lowest inflation rates, the fastest rate of job creation, and the largest real increase in real, after-tax personal income since World War II. We enjoyed the highest level of business investment in history, and America had renewed its leadership in developing the vast new opportunities in science and technology. America was on the move during an era of opportunity for everyone.

We are coming to the end of one of the most destructive administrations in American history. Bush and Republican Congress took America into a disastrous adventure in Iraq, allowed a major city to drown and remain in disrepair, plundered our national treasury, trampled on our Constitution, destroyed our prestige abroad, and increased the number and plight of the poor...

I believe the Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have others do unto you - did not come with a presidential signing statement. America is still a country of the people, by the people and for the people. I believe that giving people a chance to work and feed their family and provide for their children builds initiative. Hunger destroys initiative. Hopelessness destroys initiative. Ignorance destroys initiative. A cold and indifferent government destroys initiative. [1]

Young has made "six commitments to the middle class" to "repair the damage of the last 7 years":

I commit to work in Congress to give every American:

  1. A quality education,
  2. Equal opportunity,
  3. Real wages from real jobs,
  4. Fair taxes,
  5. Secure retirement and
  6. A health care system that works for America – not just the top 1%. [2]

Rights and liberties

Young has said, "I believe in our Constitutional form of government. I believe in checks and balances, but more so, I believe in the initiative of the American people." [3]


From the campaign site:

It's Time for Real Welfare Reform. No real American, while physically and emotionally able, would voluntarily shift the burden of care for his or her family to someone else. Our present system does not instill self esteem nor develop and heal the dignity of the individual. It depresses the individual's view of self and causes deep resentment. Every man and woman should learn the value of work and responsibility. All who receive must give of themselves in return. We build character as we encourage people to care for their own needs.[2]

Education and taxes


Veterans and soldiers

Young identified several votes made by Rep. John Campbell that he disagreed with:

Veterans' health care

Young stated that:

  • "Campbell voted to shortchange [ Department of Veterans Affairs ] health care by at least $6 billion over five years."[3]
  • "Republican policies have prevented 1 million new veterans from enrolling in VA medical care and denied health care to 273,000 veterans, since just before the Iraq War!"[3]
  • "As the War began, Republicans voted to cut Veterans' health care by $14 billion over 10 years."[3]
  • "In February 2006, the GAO published findings that the Republicans had engaged in misleading accounting for Veterans’ healthcare and that the program was about $3 billion short."[3]
  • "In 2005, Congress had the chance to pass an appropriation bill granting $2 Billion for medical treatment of returning Iraq veterans. Our Congress deleted the entire appropriation and, to add insult to injury, amended the bill to add a $173 Million appropriation to build a professional baseball stadium in Washington, D.C."[3]

Young's response: "We cannot say we support the troops, then short change them on needed medical treatment. Despite needing $630 million for urgently needed health care for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan (Iraq Supplemental spending bill), Campbell supported Republican parliamentary maneuvers in Congress to block the bill. This is wrong. We must pass this bill to care for the injured Iraq Veterans, and we must provide another $3 billion over Campbell’s budget to fully fund the Veteran’s Administration."[3]

Health care fees for veterans and military retirees

Young stated that:

  • "Campbell voted in favor of the fourth straight year of cost increases for veterans' health care -- doubling drug co-payments and imposing new enrollment fees for certain veterans."[3]
  • "This year's, Republican budget proposes to increase health care costs for military retirees by as much as nearly $1,000 per year."[3]
  • "Campbell voted to nearly double TRICARE pharmacy co-payments."[3]

Young's response: "I will fight the Republican’s proposal to increase TRICARE fees on 4 million military retirees and their families and Republican increases in TRICARE prescription drug co-payments at pharmacies."[3]

Taxes on disabled veterans

Young stated that:

  • "House Republicans passed legislation that left out about 400,000 disabled military retirees, and made the remaining one-third of disabled military retirees wait 10 years for full benefits."[3]

Young's response: "I oppose this tax. I will sponsor a discharge petition to immediately end the tax on all 560,000 disabled veterans who are military retirees."[3]

Military Families' Tax (SBP/DIC)

Young stated that:

  • "Campbell voted to continue the Military Families’ Tax in the FY 2007 Defense Authorization bill."[3]

Young's response: "I will sponsor a discharge petition to force the GOP leadership to allow a vote on ending the Military Families' Tax."[3]

Veterans' Benefits

Young stated that:

  • "Campbell's party voted to cut veterans benefits by $22 billion and to cut benefits for military retirees and disabled veterans by $28 billion in 2004 (Kirk amendment)."[3]
  • "In 2003, House Republicans voted for $14 billion in cuts to veterans' pension, compensation, education and other benefits over 10 years."[3]

Young's response: "I will work to improve disability claims process. I will fight Republican proposed staffing cuts that will reduce critically needed VA claims processing employees and delay awards of earned service-connected benefits."[3]

Mental Health Care for Veterans

Young stated that:

  • "The Republicans refuse to hold hearings on H.R. 1588 and blocked consideration of Democratic amendments to improve mental health services for returning service members and veterans, and even rejected a scaled-back version."[3]

Young response: "I will support (HR 1588) to improve mental health support for returning soldiers through enhanced education and outreach, improved screening, and effective treatment and counseling for veterans and family members."[3]

Force Protection for U.S. Soldiers

Young stated that:

  • "Republicans voted to cut $4 billion in the defense spending last December."[3]
  • "This year's President's budget failed to include $21 billion in requested military needs - the largest amount denied since 9/11."[3]

Young's response: "I advocate fully equipping our soldiers in Iraq - particularly equipment needed to save their lives, such as up-armored Humvees, body armor, and IED jammers - over the past three years. We should divert more money from Iraq reconstruction to US soldier protection."[3]

Pay Protection for Activated Armed Forces Reservists

Young stated that:

  • "The Republicans dropped from the corporate tax bill tax incentives to make sure that activated National Guard members and Reservists do not suffer a pay cut, and voted to block consideration of this proposal."[3]

Young's response: "Young supports tax incentives in the New GI Bill for the 21st Century to make sure that reservists called up for active duty in the National Guard and Reserve do not suffer a pay cut."[3]

Campbell believes veterans "commit fraud"

Young stated that "Campbell excuses his vote to cut veterans’ benefits 'because veterans do fraud.' Under the banner of 'unburdening business' he undermines our democratic government 'of the people' and rails against laws that give us clean drinking water, safe work places, and a retirement safety net.[3]

Social security


Energy and environment

National security and foreign policy


Young has been a trial attorney in Orange County, California, since 1981, with more than 125 personal injury trials under his belt. His campaign says he has "never represented a bank, an insurance company, or a large corporation. His typical client is the lone person facing overwhelming odds." Young worked his way through the University of Utah and the Pepperdine University School of Law. He says that since 1980 he was won many multi-million dollar verdicts profiled in legal journals and newspapers.[4]

Young was born in Southern California and raised in Utah. His mother was a nurse and his father worked in the aerospace industry. One of his grandfathers was a coal miner and the other was a railroad conductor.[5] Steve looks back on his childhood experiences helping his dad grow and preserve much of the family's food, realizing as an adult how this rooted him in environmentalism at a young age.

Young says his personal slogan is "Do what is right, let the consequences follow," which comes from a song he learned in church. He says that song and his family's motto "never give up" directs his life.[6]


He has four children and three grandchildren. He is married to Solange, also an attorney. [7] He credits having children with changing his life for the better. He has four children, two of which came after complicated pregnancies.[8] He credits support from the community during his childrens' births with shaping his outlook:

With each birth, friends and neighbors delivered meals, cared for our children, celebrated with us, and cried during our trials. I learned family, friends, and community matter as we face individual and collective challenges. Everyone has challenges and struggles, many of them unseen by the rest of us. I have had my share that I overcame through faith, determination, the support of others, and a sense of humor. Just like the 'Little Train Who Could,' if you never give up, if you are honest, and you keep trying, you can overcome anything.[9]

Young also has a "platform based on our community values" that he says he learned from his experiences with his community during the births of his children:

  1. Be a good person,
  2. Don't put yourself above others no matter how rich or strong you are,
  3. Understand that you are part of a community,
  4. Show your appreciation for what you have by sharing your blessings with others who are less fortunate,
  5. Achieve so that you build on all the gifts God has given you, and
  6. By so doing, you will not only become strong and virtuous, but you will contribute to the strength of our community.[10]

2008 elections

Young was the Democratic nominee challenging Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) in the 2008 congressional elections. He won primary elections, which took place on June 3, 2008, but lost to Campbell in the November general election.[1]


The following is a list of the unions and organizations that support the election of Steve Young:

  • California Labor Federation AFL-CIO[4]
  • California Teamsters Public Affairs Council[4]
  • California Teachers' Association[4]
  • Service Employees International, CA Local 1000[4]
  • California Democratic Party[4]
  • Teachers for Excellence[4]
  • 69th Assembly Districts of California[4]
  • 70th Assembly Districts of California[4]
  • Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club[4]
  • Teamsters Joint Council 42[4]
  • Orange County Central Labor Council, COPE[4]
  • Sheet Metal Workers (Local 105)[4]
  • American Maritime Workers, Port of San Francisco[4]
  • Teamsters (Local 3299)[4]
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Local 441)[4]
  • International Union of Operating Engineers - (Local 12)[4]
  • Communications Workers of America (Local 9510)[4]
  • Longshore & Warehouse Union So. Cal. District Council[4]
  • Democracy for America - Orange County[4]
  • Orange County Grassroots[4]
  • Orange County Democratic Party[4]
  • Laguna Beach Democratic Club[4]
  • Newport Bay Democratic Club[4]
  • Central Orange County Democratic Club[4]
  • Tustin Democratic Club[4]
  • Laguna Woods Democratic Club[4]
  • South Orange County Democratic Club[4]
  • Democracy for America - Orange County[4]
  • Palomar College Democrats[4]
Individual Endorsements

Money in politics

Information on this candidate's 2008 fundraising is not yet available. Stay tuned for live feeds of data from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.

Committees and affiliations


Young will be assigned committees if and when he is elected to Congress.


More background data


Steve Young for Congress 949-640-4400

Articles and resources

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "California 2008 General Election",, November 4, 2008
  2. Steve Young for Congress website.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 "Steve Will Support the Troops, Campbell has Already Failed to Do So," Steve Young for Congress' website. Captured December 8, 2007.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 4.32 4.33 4.34 4.35 4.36 4.37 4.38 4.39 "Endorsements," Steve Young for Congress.

External resources

External articles