Office sought: House of Delegates 42nd District
Party Affiliation: Republican
Previous offices held; please include dates: House of Delegates 42nd District 1994-present.
Incumbents: when elected to this position: Bob Cunningham
Current employment (include name and address of employers): Albo & Oblon, LLP, 6350 Rolling Mill Pl. Springfield, VA 22152 and 2200 Clarendon Blvd. 12th Floor, Arlington, VA 22201
Previous employment: Prosecutor City of Fairfax; Guardian for Abused and Neglected Children, Private Law practice.
Education: (please list schools attended, degrees and dates) UVa. 1984 B.A. Economics, Univ. of Richmond 1988 Law Degree
Community ties: Have lived in West Springfield since 1970. Member West Springfield Rotary and Optimist Clubs. Past Pres. West Springfield Civic Assc.
List a few current endorsements you are most proud of: Unopposed, so no endorsements.
Where will you be as returns come in on Nov. 4? Please give us a phone number where we can reach you that evening.
My Mobile (703) 867-8756.
1. What is your top public-service accomplishment?
I have authored more bills to fight Drunk Driving than any other sitting Delegate. I am the Chief Sponsor of 2002's Anti-Terrorism Bill which is being used to prosecute the "Snipers."
2. Incumbents: Describe the top accomplishment of your last term. Why shouldn't voters blame you for current problems in your district?
Over my term of service, I have been part of the team which delivered vast transportation improvements (e.g. Rt. 123, I-95/395/495 Interchange, Springfield Metro, Pohick Rd.) And, I am not done. In the works are the completion of the Fairfax Co. Pkwy., and widening of Rolling Rd. and Rt. 1. Education funding is still problematic. I authored the first bill to change the funding formula which actually reached to the House Floor. It brought another $70,000,000 to Fairfax. Unfortunately it was defeated by the Delegates who did not benefit. All I can say is that I will never give up.
3. What are the top five problems facing your constituents and what approaches will you use to solve them? Describe one challenge (or more) in your district that is different than in other parts of the state.
#1. Education Funding. I have requested the Governor to prove he is from NOVA by changing the education funding formula. If he refuses, I will re-submit my bill described above.
#2. Transportation. My Beltway Rail proposal will alleviate the 1+ hour Tysons commute by taking 80,000 cars off the Beltway. #3. Property Taxes! The only way to lower them is for Fairfax to stop over-spending (e.g. new government centers on Rt. 1, Rolling, and Burke Lake). Secondly, Virginia must provide more education funding - which brings me back to #1 and leaves me no room for #4 and #5.
4. What qualities, qualifications and characteristics will you bring to this office?
Over the past decade, I have determined that the most important part of being a Delegate is listening to my constituents. That is why I am available by phone - (703) 451-3555; e-mail - Dave@DaveAlbo.com; via the web www.DaveAlbo.com; by mail 6350 Rolling Mill Pl. Springfield 22152; and in person at this same address.
5. How will voters best distinguish between you and your opponent(s)? N/A
6. What is one thing you promise not to do if elected?
I will not raise taxes. During tax re-structuring, I will only vote for a tax system that is revenue neutral in the aggregate, and which eliminates loopholes, thus requiring everyone to pay their fair share.
7. What do you predict for the one-to-two year future of the budget and what adjustments will you propose to prepare for your prediction? What impact is this likely to have on your constituents?
Cuts in non-core programs. To properly fund transportation, education, public safety, environment, and helping the truly helpless, Virginia needs to eliminate spending in other areas. I am not just talk on this. Last year, I Co-Sponsored a monumental reform bill which requires specific performance outcomes. Virginians need to know what we receive in exchange for our taxes. For example, when I asked government drug addiction programs, "How many people did you get off drugs?" not one single program gave me an answer. This bill requires that in exchange for $X taxpayer funds, each program must get Y people off drugs.
8. What specific solutions will you propose for the transportation dilemma? Please address funding, prioritization, air quality, bus service and other non-rail public transportation solutions, expansion of rail service, and any other possible approach.
The Public-Private Transportation Infrastructures Act allows private companies to devise solutions, and it works! This Act is building Rt. 28, and has elicited proposals for I-81 and the Beltway. My Beltway Rail proposal takes 80,000 cars a day off the Beltway. My original plan called for actual rail, but it can be affordably accomplished using bus rapid transit (buses on dedicated lanes that look and act like trains). Last year, my Constitutional Amendment requiring that all Transportation Trust Fund money must be used for transportation was passed in the House but defeated in the Senate. It must be enacted!
9. Do local governments have the tools they need to control and guide growth? How will state and local governments cope with the additional demand for services that comes with additional residential construction? Can more emphasis on smart growth help offset some of the effects of suburban development?
Yes! When a builder asks for more development than is in the citizen approved Comprehensive Plan, all the Fairfax County Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors have to say is "NO." The problem is that they say "YES," and then blame sprawl on others.
10. What are your top environmental priorities? Please address air quality, water quality, open space, etc.
As for Open Space, I wrote the open space preservation act, and have proposed dedicating existing recordation fees for open space preservation. The Chesapeake Bay Act requires us to stop run off. Virginia has done all it can to farmers (e.g. mandated storage of poultry litter, vegetative buffers, nutrient management plans). The same can be said for developers (e.g. blockades to stop silt runoff, written plans and posting bonds to ensure no pollution). The next step is for citizens to do their part, and this will require sacrifices. However, I believe Virginians will be "Environmental Patriots."
11. Are residents safe enough? How do public safety officials balance new demands of "homeland security" with other safety and quality-of-life issues?
As you may be aware, I am the Chairman of the Criminal Law Sub-Committee and the Crime Commission. The General Assembly's elimination of parole, truth in sentencing and dramatic increases in violent offender punishments dropped violent crime in Virginia by 12%. This is a greater decline than the U.S. average. I was a proud Co-Sponsor of all of these. On the Homeland Security front, my Anti-Terrorism Bill of 2002, gives the police, with the approval of a Judge, the ability to wire tap suspected terrorists' computers and digital phone systems. This will enable us to stop terrorists before they start.
12. Do you have any concerns about civil liberties and public access to information in the wake of the Patriot Act and other responses to Sept. 11?
13. Working poor families in Northern Virginia face a daunting cost of living, with little in the way of affordable housing, health care, child care and transportation. Are low-wage workers important to the local economy? What do you propose to address the needs of these families?
Yes. We already gave them a significant tax break with Senator Puller's earned income tax credit bill.
14. Should counties have the taxing authority of cities?
Did you know that Cities are required to pay for their own road maintenance? Thus, if you gave Counties the same taxing authority as Cities, every City would immediately turn in its Charter. If this problem is solved, I am for giving Counties different taxing authority, only if they use it to offset property taxes.
15. What is the appropriate state and local tax rate for cigarettes?
Higher than it is today.
16. What is the appropriate state and local tax rate for gasoline?
The same as it is today.
17. How would you restructure the tax code in Virginia?
As stated above, I only support tax restructuring, if, in the aggregate, the tax burden on Virginians does not increase. With that in mind, Virginia has one of the lowest tax rates in America. (Unfortunately, we can not say the same of Fairfax County's taxes). In order for such a low rate to work, everyone must pay their fair share. For example, companies from California who sell goods in Virginia over the internet, charities with exorbitant overhead and little charitable giving, and corporations who hide profits by paying high salaries to avoid corporate taxes, all must pay their fair share.
18. Should income taxes be collected and distributed locally?
19. What proposals do you have for mitigating the effects of soaring property values and related taxes? Do you endorse the 5 percent cap on property tax increases? If you support a cap on property tax increases, please name at least one service provided by state or local government that you currently use that you would be prepared to live without.
No. The 5 percent cap suggests that it is alright to raise taxes. The solution is for the voters to vote against Supervisors who they believe are raising their taxes too much. In addition, a cap would ruin the County's bond rating, thus costing the County more money and consequently raising taxes even more.
20. After redistricting, Northern Virginia now has a critical mass in the General Assembly, but so far that doesn't appear to have translated into additional political clout for the region. Why? What will you do to increase the influence of Northern Virginia in Richmond?
This question is not accurate. Northern Virginia now has 28 seats in the General Assembly. That is 28 out of 100. 28% is not "critical mass." 51% is "critical mass." All I can say is that I will continue to fight. I was one of the few NOVA Delegates to vote against the 2002 Budget because it cut $47,000,000 from Fairfax education. And, I was the author of the only bill to reach the Floor of the House which changed the education funding formula. Not coincidentally, it received 28 votes.
21. Would you favor the repeal of the Dillon Rule? Why or Why not?
No. We don't need 140+ local governments in Virginia each making their own laws. For one, this would be devastating for attracting businesses to Virginia. No company would want to operate under 140+ different rules.
22. What is right and wrong with Virginia's current laws governing abortion? Would you support any changes?
Subject to the current Supreme Court rulings, the Virginia laws are good.
23. Would you support allowing localities to ban weapons from public buildings?
24. The state provides only a fraction of the funding for local schools that it should given requirements under the "Standards of Quality." How would you address this?
I am not for putting more money into the SOQ's until the funding formula is changed. This is just another back door grab of NOVA tax money.
25. How would you rate the Standards of Learning tests and what improvements still need to be made?
Student scores on other standardized tests (e.g. SAT's) are rising dramatically. Thus, the SOL's work. I supported changing the history/government SOL's to a more essay format. Knowing the dates of Civil War battles is not as important as knowing why the Civil War happened. Some of the SOL's at the Elementary level are not appropriate for the age, and the current SOL load is too class time consuming. Thus, adjustments still need to be made.
26. Should local school boards be allowed to ban all weapons on school property?
27. Characterize the financial situation in Virginia institutions of higher learning and what efforts you recommend in the General Assembly to shore up the quality of Virginia's public colleges and universities.
Despite big cuts, Virginia colleges and universities are still a great buy. Every Virginia student still receives 1/2 of his/her college tuition for free. Most people don't realize that all out of state students must pay the full cost of their education. In addition, last year Virginians approved he largest higher education bond bill in the history of Virginia. We can not really ask much more of the Virginia taxpayer. To the extent that schools can prove, as GMU can, that they are spending wisely, then, when the economy turns around, we can begin to replace some funding.