August 1, 2002
<bt>Name, age, occupation, town of residence.
My name is Ken Cuccinelli. My wife, Teiro, and I live in Centreville with our five daughters. I am a 34-year-old patent attorney in Crystal City.
Why are you running?
My run for the Virginia State Senate is a natural extension of my community activities and my concerns for Fairfax over the years. My goal is to work for a community that is a wholesome and prosperous place for our children.
What do you believe are the major issues in the 37th District?
The most important issues in this race are taxes, transportation, education and life.
This year, Fairfax residents were hit with an average real estate tax increase of 14 percent, and in the 37th district, increases routinely exceed 20 percent. During the three years since my opponent was elected, the average Fairfax real estate tax increase was 37 percent, or about $900 per family, per year! (Note: if the budgets that my opponent voted for the last three years in a row had been enacted, real estate taxes would have risen over 50 percent, instead of "only" 37 percent). I will propose to cap real estate tax increases at 5 percent per year.
What is your stance on the proposed sales-tax increase?
Another important tax issue is the proposed sales-tax increase. I oppose the sales-tax increase for many reasons, including: (1) Northern Virginia will lose other state money if we raise the sales tax; (2) Legislators are "passing the buck" to voters on the tax increase because they want more of your money to play with in Richmond, but they are afraid of voting for a tax increase (they want you to do it for them); and (3) All three credit rating agencies told the Virginia Treasury on April 2, 2002, that the bonds intended to be funded by the tax increase will burden Fairfax County's debt rating — making it more expensive to raise bond money for schools.
Fairfax residents send a disproportionate amount of taxes to Richmond. This situation will not get fixed if we raise our own taxes to fund transportation projects that should be paid for by the state government — thereby letting the state government off the hook. The Democrat Secretary of Transportation admitted in The Roanoke Times that if the sales tax increase does not pass, the other parts of the state will have to provide more funds for Northern Virginia transportation.
I am the only candidate with a four-point plan to address traffic congestion without raising taxes.
If I'm elected, I will ...
As your next Republican state senator, I will:
* Increase transportation funding by establishing performance-based budgeting for the entire Virginia budget to expose failing programs for elimination, as I did in the juvenile justice system in 1997-99;
* Fight for our fair share of transportation funds from Richmond;
* Synchronize traffic lights in Northern Virginia, which independent studies show will make our roads up to 40 percent more efficient; and
* Implement a real-time traffic information system to help manage traffic and reduce congestion.
* Improving education in Virginia will be one of my top priorities as your state senator.
The education of our children is of paramount concern to me. The state has a tremendous responsibility to ensure proper funding levels for education so that our children are able to reach their full potential.
I will fight for Fairfax's fair share of education funding to raise the pay of our hard-working teachers. (During Mrs. Belter's time on the School Board, administrators increased at four times the rate of students, while teacher pay lagged — this is a failure of priorities). We need to reward teachers for hard work, not spend our money on more administrators.
I will also work to fund curricula that work, and reduce class sizes. (Notes: (1) after promising in her last campaign to reduce class sizes, Mrs. Belter voted twice to increase class sizes, and (2) after promising in her last campaign to support phonics, Mrs. Belter voted against phonics).
Why should people vote for you? (Why do you believe you are best qualified for the job?)
I am the only pro-life candidate in this race. I will work with the other members of the Senate to finally override Gov. Warner's veto of the ban on partial birth abortions. Additionally, I will work to pass a solid parental consent law before a minor may undergo any surgical procedure, including an abortion.
I would appreciate your vote on Aug. 6 so I can be a voice for families who are tired of legislators whose answer to every problem is more taxes. I believe that my years of work on juvenile justice, with families in crisis, and in our schools has left me well qualified to be your next senator.
Additionally, anyone who knows me will tell you that if you elect me to the senate, you will have a frugal senator in Richmond! I will work diligently to spend your money wisely and to improve the quality of life in Northern Virginia.