Diane Harkey

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Diane Harkey
Member of the CA State Board of Equalization, Diane Harkey.jpg
Member of the California State Board of Equalization
from the 4th district
Assumed office
January 5, 2015
Preceded by Michelle Park Steel (redistricted)
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 73rd district
In office
December 1, 2008 – December 1, 2014
Preceded by Mimi Walters
Succeeded by Bill Brough
Mayor of Dana Point, California
In office
December 13, 2006 – December 4, 2007
Preceded by Lara Anderson
Succeeded by Joel Bishop
Member of the Dana Point City Council
In office
December 8, 2004 – December 1, 2008
Preceded by William Ossenmacher
Succeeded by Scott Schoeffel
Personal details
Born (1951-06-20) June 20, 1951 (age 65)
Joliet, Illinois[1]
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Dan
Children Jaclyn
Residence Dana Point, California
Alma mater University of California, Irvine
Occupation Banker
Religion Roman Catholic
Website Official Assembly Site

Diane Lynn Harkey[1] is Southern California's elected taxpayer Republican representative of the 4th District on the California State Board of Equalization. She previously served as a member of the California State Assembly and as a Mayor and Council Member of Dana Point, California.

Early years, education and career[edit]

Harkey resided in Coastal Orange County for more than 35 years.[citation needed] She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Irvine and has served as a Vice-President in the banking industry. Harkey earned a degree in Economics from the University of California-Irvine, graduating cum laude, and has had a 30-year career in corporate banking and finance.[2]

Political career[edit]

Harkey's involvement in public affairs began in 1989, when she actively campaigned for the incorporation of the City of Dana Point. Harkey has served as a board member of the Ocean Institute and Dana Point Fifth Marine Regiment Support Group, a trustee for the Capistrano Valley Symphony, and a member of the Chamber of Commerce. She was elected to the Dana Point City Council in 2004, and served as its mayor in 2007.

In 2006, Harkey ran against then-Assemblyman Tom Harman for the 35th State Senate District in one of the closest California State Senate races in the state's history. Harman defeated Harkey for the Republican nomination by 236 votes or roughly 0.2% of the vote and went on to win the general election by 44,000 votes.[citation needed]

In 2008, she ran as the Republican nominee for the 73rd State Assembly district against Democratic nominee Judy Jones. Harkey received the endorsements of the Republican Congressional delegation in the district, Assemblywoman Mimi Walters (who vacated the seat to run for State Senate), former opponent state Senator Tom Harman, as well as over 80 elected officials in Orange and San Diego Counties, and the Republican Assembly Women's Caucus. Harkey won the election with 53.4% of the vote compared to Jones, who received 40.6% of the vote.

In 2014, Harkey became term-limited in the State Assembly and ran to be a member of the California State Board of Equalization from the 4th district,[3] which encompasses Imperial, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties, as well as small portions of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. She came in second place in the June 3 nonpartisan blanket primary with 34.0% of the vote,[4] and subsequently won the November general election by a wide margin of 61.6% to 38.4%.[5]

Committee Membership[edit]

  • Appropriations - Vice Chair
  • Banking and Finance
  • Budget
  • Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security
  • Revenue and Taxation
  • Select Committee on Biotechnology
  • Select Committee on Immigration and the Economy
  • Select Committee on Regional Approaches to Addressing the State Water Crisis

Harkey represents the communities of Aliso Viejo, Coto De Caza, Dana Point, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, California, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and Trabuco Canyon.

Political positions[edit]

Harkey is politically a conservative Republican: she supports Proposition 13, is in favor of controlling illegal immigration to the United States and opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants. Harkey believes in returning gold to California,[vague] increasing private sector jobs, reigning in wasteful spending, reducing the debt,[vague] and balancing the state budget. She has been an outspoken opponent of California High Speed Rail, introducing several pieces of legislation to defund the project.[6] Harkey has earned an “A” rating from the NRA and a 100% rating from the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Taxpayers Association.[7]

Policy Positions at the Board of Equalization[edit]

Expediting Taxpayer Refunds: On April 29, 2015, Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey voted with a unanimous Board to make the taxpayer refund process more business friendly. This vote eliminated the lengthy Board approval process for taxpayer refunds in excess of $100,000 by giving staff the authority to approve refunds of any amount. Going forward, staff approval of refunds will reduce agency costs, caseloads and allow for added efficiency in the refund process.[8]

Husband's Legal issues[edit]

In 2013, OC Weekly reported that "after a four-month trial, the jury found PCF CEO Dan Harkey, Diane's husband, guilty of breaching his "fiduciary obligation" to his investment clients. Then, a day after ordering Harkey to pay $4.5 million, the jury indicated it will more than double the award for other reasons.

Diane Harkey was dismissed entirely by all plaintiffs as well as the court, with prejudice (legal procedure) from the PCF lawsuit as both sides of the suit agreed she was not involved.[9] Further, Harkey was awarded attorneys’ fees to be paid by the plaintiffs.

Electoral History[edit]

2008 Election: District 73 State Assembly

California State Assembly District 73 election, 2008[edit]

Party Candidate Orange San Diego District Totals %
Republican Diane Harkey 60,390 27,515 87,905 53.1
Democratic Judy Jones 40,130 27,355 67,485 40.8
Libertarian Andrew Favor 7,036 3,135 10,171 6.1
2010 Election: District 73 State Assembly

California State Assembly District 73 election, 2010[edit]

Party Candidate Orange San Diego District Totals %
Republican Diane Harkey 56,784 24,380 91,164 62.0
Democratic Judy Jones 30,359 19,487 49,846 38.0
2012 Election: District 73 State Assembly

California State Assembly District 73 election, 2012[edit]

Party Candidate Orange District Totals %
Republican Diane Harkey 130,030 130,030 64.3
Democratic James Corbett 72,196 72,196 35.7
2014 Election: 4th District B.O.E. Member

California State Board of Equalization, Member 4th District election, 2014[edit]

Party Candidate Imperial Orange Riverside San Bernardino San Diego District Total %
Republican Diane Harkey 9,539 389,404 203,475 58,978 369,184 1,030,580 61.4
Democratic Nader Shahatit 10,771 198,570 129,383 51,272 258,984 648,980 38.6


External links[edit]