Office sought: Delegate in 40th district
Party Affiliation: Republican
Previous offices held; please include dates: NONE
Incumbents: when elected to this position: December 17th, 2002
Occupation: Technology Executive
P.O. Box 40335
Washington, DC 20016
Chief of Staff, Congressman Bud Shuster, Chairman, Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure; Intelligence Action Officer, Office
of Secretary of Defense, Legislative Affairs; Legislative Director,
Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn.
Education: (please list schools attended, degrees and dates)
College of William and Mary, BA, 1986
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Kodak
Fellowship for Senior Managers in Government Program, 1998;
American Legion Centreville Post 1995; Clifton Lions Club; Burke Rotary;
St. Andrews Church; Occoquan Watershed Coalition.
Fairfax Chamber of Commerce; Fairfax Education Association; Virginia
Society for Human Life; Fairfax Federation of Teachers; Northern
Virginia Association of Realtors.
1. What is your top public-service accomplishment?
First, I was just elected in December. Thus, in the past session, I passed a law to force the Commonwealth Transportation Board to act within 90 days on written request from county board of supervisors for "no trucks route" requests. This law gives communities a greater ability to control traffic and protect the children in their neighborhoods.
2. Incumbents: Describe the top accomplishment of your last term. Why shouldn't voters blame you for current problems in your district?
For this current budget, the General Assembly increased funding for K-12 education by $93 million dollars while holding the line on taxes. Education, along with transportation, should remain the top priorities.
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.
a. On education, I was the co-patron of a bill that would have brought an additional $70,000,000 to Fairfax for education. We must make the rest of the state understand that we are severely shortchanged.
b. On transportation, I authored a bill that would stop your gas tax money from being diverted away from projects for roads, bridges, and transit. Last year, this bill passed the House; we have a very good chance of getting it signed into law this year.
c. Holding the line on taxes.
4. What qualities, qualifications and characteristics will you bring to this office?
I have broad experience in government as the Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in Congress. Additionally, I am the President of a technology association. Working on transportation and high tech issues for almost all of my adult life had taught me that most issues should not be seen as partisan issues. There is no Democrat road or Republican bridge; they are all assets for the Commonwealth. The chief characteristic that I bring to office: I try to find common ground with everyone.
5. How will voters best distinguish between you and your opponent(s)?
I am unopposed.
6. What is one thing you promise not to do if elected?
I will not vote to increase the overall tax burden on families in Fairfax County.
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?
First, the economy is improving and thus the picture for the budget will improve. I do not predict dire consequences for all programs. We must focus on education, transportation, and public safety. Other non-core programs might see slowed increases in funding.
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.
Transportation - As the former Chief of Staff to the chairman of the Congress' Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and as someone who works with technology companies on a daily basis, I know the value of telework. As a board member of the Telework Consortium, I see that we are very close to having the technological capabilities necessary for widespread implementation of telework. Yet, the largest hurdle to telework is a management mindset that wants to have workers at their desk from 9-5 everyday. Congressman Wolf has worked to implement telework with regard to the federal government. We must encourage telework with respect to state government and local companies....with special emphasis placed on securing the assistance of management.
I believe that the raids on the Transportation Trust Fund must be halted. In 2002, $317 million was taken from a fund supposedly dedicated to transportation. We need to amend the state Constitution to put "trust" back in this Trust Fund. People pay these taxes with the belief that the money will be used for transportation. It is wrong when
transportation monies are used for unintended purposes.
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. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors can say "no" to developer proposed changes to the Comprehensive Plan.
10. What are your top environmental priorities? Please address air quality, water quality, open space, etc.
Air quality can be improved as we work to improve our transportation problems. Proposals for telework and to implement High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes have one thing in common: they get idling cars off of the roads.
11. Are residents safe enough? How do public safety officials balance new demands of "homeland security" with other safety and quality-of-life issues?
In the post 9-11 era, it will remain a challenge to juggle security, safety, and quality of life issues. I believe that police, fire, and homeland security officials are working diligently to protect our safety.
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?
With respect to civil liberties, we must always be vigilant not to infringe upon our basic constitutional rights. If there needs to be changes to the Patriot Act, Congress should fix it.
But, unfortunately, we are in a different era. We often tell our children that America is a young country, a kind of teenager in comparison with the older nations of the world. On September 11th, America was forced into adulthood. We are a country threatened by
individuals and organizations that refuse to fight out in the open, and instead choose cowardly terrorist acts. For this reason, we have had to make some changes in how our country can respond and thwart the action of these vicious groups.
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?
All workers are important to the economy. I will support the continuation of the Virginia Housing Development Authority that helps low-income and young families with housing purchases. Second, there are state programs that help low income families with affordable health insurance. Finally, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors should put
a halt to the enormous increases in property taxes. These tax increases are threatening the low-wage workers in the county.
14. Should counties have the taxing authority of cities?
I would support such a proposal if it protects the taxpayers of Fairfax County. Additionally, we need to be careful what we wish for.... Proposals to change Fairfax County into a city would also force us to pay for all road maintenance. Currently, road maintenance is paid for by the state.
14. What is the appropriate state and local tax rate for cigarettes?
I believe that the cigarette tax will be changed as a part of the overall tax restructuring proposed by the Governor.
16. What is the appropriate state and local tax rate for gasoline?
We need more revenue for roads, bridges, and transit. But, the gasoline tax should not be changed as long as these supposedly dedicated transportation monies are raided to fund other functions of government. Over the past 15 years, hundreds of millions of dollars have been diverted from critical road and transit projects.
17. How would you restructure the tax code in Virginia?
The tax code must be administered in a fair and balanced method that will sufficiently fund the necessary functions of Virginia. The creation of a broader and more equitable tax structure can only be accomplished if it is revenue neutral - meaning the overall tax burden on families is not increased.
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.
Yes, I support slowing the rate of property tax increases to at most 5% annually. Over the last four years, property tax bills have increased 53%. This is particularly hard on young families and those on fixed incomes.
Additionally, it is not the dire choice that your question suggests. The current liberal majority of the Board of Supervisors are hoping for another 53% increase........which will mean another $1 billion from the taxpayers of Fairfax County. The 5% property tax increase cap simply says that they should slow their rampant increases in spending.
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?
We have a significant mass, but not a critical mass. Northern Virginia can claim about 28 of the 100 members of the House of Delegates. We must continue to find common ground with Democrats and Republicans from other areas of the state.
21. Would you favor the repeal of the Dillon Rule? Why or Why not?
No. For businesses in Virginia, it would create an administrative nightmare if they had 140 different sets of laws with which to comply
22. What is right and wrong with Virginia's current laws governing abortion? Would you support any changes?
Late term abortions, known as Partial Birth Abortions, must be stopped in Virginia. I will continue to support laws on parental notification and parental consent. Parents must be notified and provide consent if their children are given an aspirin in school. Why then, should they not also have the right to know if their minor children are having this surgical procedure?
23. Would you support allowing localities to ban weapons from public buildings?
In many cases, I would.
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 strongly support increasing school support for the SOQ's as part of a comprehensive plan to change the state funding formula for schools. I remain wary of dramatically increasing the SOQ funding if the overwhelming majority of the money will flow from Fairfax to other areas of the state.
25. How would you rate the Standards of Learning tests and what improvements still need to be made?
While it is true that no system is perfect, Standards of Learning test do provide a method by which educators and their pupils can be assessed. Improvements can always be made. Students, parents, and teachers need to be always on the lookout for ways to improve our schools. Those with innovative ideas need to be vocal, attend meetings, and share their ideas with their lawmakers. But, the fact of the matter is that the SOL's have worked. Since the implementation of the SOL's; scholastic scores up are for every high school in the county!
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.
Virginia's colleges and universities continue to provide a great value for our students. We should consider efforts that might allow the colleges and universities to administer many of their own programs. Many college administrators believe that they could provide a greater efficiency if they were relieved of certain state regulations and oversight.