Office sought: Delegate, Virginia General Assembly
Party Affiliation: Republican
Previous offices held; please include dates: Virginia House of Delegates, 1980-82; 1997-2001
Incumbents when elected to this position: N/A
Current employment (include name and address of employers):
Rust & Rust, 10370 Main Street, P.O. Box 460, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Wilkes Artis, 11350 Random Hills Road, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Education: (please list schools attended, degrees and dates):
Fairfax High School, 1965
University of Virginia, B.A. (1969), J.D. (1972)
Member, Virginia Law Review, Order of the Coif
Community ties: City Attorney, City of Fairfax, Virginia 1974-1978
City School Board Attorney, City of Fairfax, Virginia 1974-1986; 1995-Present
President, Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, 1985
Housing Chairman, 2020 Commission (1992-93)
Chairman, History of the City of Fairfax Round Table, 1997
Business Leader of the Year, Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, 1998
Director, Historic Fairfax City, Inc., 2003-Present
FPYC Youth Basketball Coach, 1986-1992
Assistant Coach, St. Leo's Basketball, 1992-1993
Member, Camelot Players (Community Theater Company), 1990-1994
City Status Commission, 1981
Virginia Solid Waste Commission, 1982
Vice- Chairman, Virginia State Board of Elections, 1987-1994
Founding Chairman, First Patriot Bankshares Corporation and Patriot National Bank, 1987-1997
Founding Chairman and current Vice-Chairman, Cardinal Financial Corporation and Cardinal Bank, N.A., 1998-Present
Vice-Chairman, Fairfax County Transportation Advisory Commission, 1990-1996
Legislator of the Year, Virginia Treasurers Association, 1998
Tech Ten Legislator, Northern Virginia Technology Council, 1997 and 1998
Chairman, Joint Subcommittee Studying Funding Requirements of the Virginia Unemployment Trust Fund, 1999-2001
Vice-Chairman, Joint Commission Studying the Creation of a Northern Virginia Regional Transportation Authority, 2000-2001
Member, Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, 2000-2001
Member, Joint Commission on Behavioral Health Care, 2000-2001
Member; the Commission on the Condition and Future of Virginia's Cities, 1997-1999
Member, Select Joint Committee to Revise Local Government Laws, 1982
Member, Joint Subcommittee to Study and Revise Virginia's State Tax Code, 2000-2002
List a few current endorsements you are most proud of:
Northern Virginia Technology Council
Northern Virginia Association of Realtors
Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce BizPac
1. What is your top public-service accomplishment?
My eight years and five terms in the House of Delegates of the Virginia General Assembly are my most significant public-service accomplishment. As one of 140 each legislator has an opportunity to make a difference for his constituents, his district and Virginia. It has been my good fortune and privilege to have had the opportunity to serve and to make a difference.
2. Incumbents: Describe the top accomplishment of your last term. Why shouldn't voters blame you for current problems in your district?
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.
The four top problems in the 37th District are transportation, taxes, education, and crime. When I return to Richmond, I will do everything in my power to unite our delegation and provide sensible solutions to the critical problems that face us in northern Virginia today. A fifth issue that I personally would like to address is the issue of community care for the disabled, mentally retarded and mentally-ill population, where years of government neglect and disinterest have created a crisis for many families in our region.
4. What qualities, qualifications and characteristics will you bring to this office?
I offer experience, ability, proven leadership and positive results. The voters in the 37th District can trust what I say and trust me to keep the promises I make.
5. How will voters best distinguish between you and your opponent(s)?
I have a record of eight years of accomplishments for northern Virginia in which we got positive results for the region and the Commonwealth. I have the real world experience and business background to understand the complexities of our government and our budget. I believe that I can make a real difference in Richmond.
6. What is one thing you promise not to do if elected?
I promise that I will not be ineffective in Richmond. I will get results and will keep my promises to the citizens of the 37th District.
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?
Based upon the most recent revenue numbers, Virginia continues to recover her economic strength. Revenues are growing at a rate in excess of 7%, which is our long-term average growth rate. This rate of growth is adequate to meet the future needs of government. In the early 1990's, Virginia learned that it was necessary to put money away for a rainy day. The Rainy Day Fund has helped Virginia through the funding crisis of the last two years. I hope that this downturn instructs the legislature that in times of plenty, the surpluses must be used to replenish our reserves and for infrastructure and other one-time costs rather than for funding new programs that add to future budgets without taking into account the inevitable downturn in the economic cycle.
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.
There is a historic opportunity to address northern Virginia's transportation problems. With the election this fall, northern Virginia and Tidewater together will hold about one-half the seats in the General Assembly. For the first time, we have the votes to move transportation resources to the regions of the Commonwealth with critical transportation needs. If we can build a coalition with Tidewater, present reasonable solutions, and hold our coalition together while educating other regions of the Commonwealth to our needs, we can move desperately needed resources to the regions that need it most. Transit is an important part of that solution, but most of our commutes are now intra-county and transit does not effectively serve these suburban commutes . We are still seeking a system that performs well at suburban densities and that will serve Tysons Corner, Reston and Fair Lakes. We should explore innovative solutions like hot lanes and bus rapid transit to meet these needs.
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?
Localities have adequate tools to control and guide growth, but must have the political will to use them. Tax reform must provide localities with revenue sources more closely linked to economic activity in the locality than property taxes. Smart growth is attractive in concept, but localities and citizens have been unwilling to accept the densities at the urban core required to make smart growth work.
10. What are your top environmental priorities? Please address air quality, water quality, open space, etc.
My top environmental priority is the Chesapeake Bay and restoring it to health. Air quality is a continuing problem in this non-attainment area. Relieving congestion will also have a dramatic affect upon air quality. Open space is critical to preserving the beauty of Virginia for the future. I support the efforts to fund open space acquisition in the Virginia budget.
11. Are residents safe enough? How do public safety officials balance new demands of "homeland security" with other safety and quality-of-life issues?
What is safe enough? Threats abound in our current society, but our civil liberties and the freedoms we hold dear should not be sacrificed for "homeland security." If we lose our way of life in the name of security, the terrorists will have won.
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?
Yes. While prompt action was necessary in the aftermath of September 11, there must be a balance between security and freedom.
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?
Low wage workers are important to the economy and the community. The problems you enumerate are real concerns. Government can help encourage and support services for the working poor, but the private sector must assume a portion of that responsibility as well, as the private sector benefits from the services of these workers.
14. Should counties have the taxing authority of cities?
No. As a member of the Commission on the Condition and Future of Virginia's Cities, it is clear that Virginia's cities have substantially greater fiscal stress than her counties. Outside of the urban counties in northern Virginia and around Richmond, most Virginia cities have a substantially greater burden of services than Virginia counties. The additional taxing powers of cities are also not generally appropriate for counties. For example, services generating restaurant taxes, hotel and motel taxes, and admissions taxes are not services that are widely available in rural counties. The urban counties have generally assumed a unique form of county government (for example, Fairfax County is the only urban county executive form of government; Arlington County is the only county manager plan form of government; and Henrico County is the only county manager form of government), which allows these counties to seek and receive special legislation for additional taxing powers. Therefore I do not support extending to Virginia counties the same taxation authority now granted to incorporated cities.
15. What is the appropriate state and local tax rate for cigarettes?
There are areas in Virginia where more than 70% of the local economy is based upon tobacco. State and local cigarette tax rates should be reviewed, and increases are appropriate provided that the increases are uniform statewide. A portion of the additional cigarette tax revenue should be dedicated to the economic revitalization of regions in Virginia that depend heavily upon tobacco for their livelihood.
16. What is the appropriate state and local tax rate for gasoline?
There is no local gasoline tax other than the 2% in northern Virginia for Metro. The state gasoline tax has not been increased in a number of years and represents an appropriate user fee for transportation. However, our first priority should be redistribution of the existing resources to meet the needs of Tidewater and northern Virginia.
17. How would you restructure the tax code in Virginia?
It is clear that Virginia's tax system is rooted in the agricultural economy of the 18th Century when the value of oneís assets was a fair measure of oneís contribution to the economic activity of the region. When Virginia moved to an industrial economy, this measure still had some vitality. The factory in town was both the largest property assessment and the principal generator of economic activity in the area. Today, Virginia has predominantly a services economy, and our principal products are knowledge-based rather than tangible assets. The value of property is no longer a fair indicator of economic activity and is no longer a reasonable way in which to allocate the tax burden. Virginia needs to restructure its tax system to reduce the reliance of localities upon property-based taxes. We need to provide reasonable tools to state and local government that will spread the burden of taxes based upon economic activity.
18. Should income taxes be collected and distributed locally?
No. It may be appropriate, however, for the State to share its income tax resources with localities.
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 one should blame the assessor for his or her increasing property taxes. Local government officials set the local tax rate and have control over the real estate taxes you pay. Local officials must be accountable for the tax burden they impose on their citizens. The best measure of that accountability is the ballot box. I do not support an arbitrary cap on tax increases but would support measures to assure the accountability of local officials.
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?
Northern Virginia has about 25% to 28% of the votes in the General Assembly, depending upon how you define the region. Thus, any northern Virginia initiative requires the support of at least as many legislators outside of northern Virginia as are in the northern Virginia delegation. Northern Virginia legislators have about one-half the committee chairs in the House and have significant leadership roles. To use the votes and leadership that northern Virginia has, we must build coalitions to support our critical needs.
21. Would you favor the repeal of the Dillon Rule? Why or Why not?
No. I believe that the Dillon Rule has served Virginia well. One critical role of government is economic development. The Dillon Rule assures that those seeking to locate in Virginia can rely on a statewide and uniform set of laws, rather than having to evaluate 140 different local government solutions.
22. What is right and wrong with Virginia's current laws governing abortion? Would you support any changes?
Virginia has made significant progress in the laws governing abortion of the past decade. I support parental consent and will work to end the practice of partial birth abortion.
23. Would you support allowing localities to ban weapons from public buildings?
Yes. Like any landowner, I believe that localities should be able to control their property. However, I do not support extending such a ban to those holding valid concealed carry permits.
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?
Virginia needs to meet its commitment to fund its full share of the Standards of Quality costs, and those costs should be updated regularly. By the same token, this increase in basic aid to education should not be at the expense of northern Virginia. The losses to Fairfax County and other northern Virginia jurisdictions in the past session of the General Assembly must be restored as a condition of any increase in basic aid to education.
25. How would you rate the Standards of Learning tests and what improvements still need to be made?
The Standards of Learning tests are a qualified success ñ about a C+ on the grading scale. In Virginia's inner cities the tests have made a big difference in the quality of education, identifying failing schools and demonstrating techniques that work to education all pupils. But in Fairfax and other places in Virginia that had good school systems before the tests, the SOLs have been of less benefit and more burden. I support continuing the SOLs, but believe that the tests still need refinement, especially the history test.
26. Should local school boards be allowed to ban all weapons on school property?
Yes, as I stated in the answer to Question 24. However, school policies of zero tolerance and rigid rules often lead to results that are irrational, expelling people for squirt guns and drawing pictures of guns. Any regulation needs to be tempered with common sense.
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.
Our institutions of higher learning are Virginia's crown jewel, educating our children, creating our educated workforce and attracting jobs and industry into the Commonwealth. Yet in each financial downturn over the past twenty years, the budget has been balanced on the back of higher education. Virginia must invest in our colleges and universities if they are to continue to provide a first class education to all Virginia students. At a minimum, we need to compensate our professors on a par with the peer institutions, to meet the critical infrastructure needs to maintain and expand higher education, and to provide sufficient operating assistance to keep tuition affordable for all Virginia residents.