MIchael Golden (R)
FAMILY: Wife, Jennie; daughter, Naomi
CAMPAIGN MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 2672, Springfield, VA 22152
CAMPAIGN PHONE: 703-644-9339
OCCUPATION: Appellate attorney
EMPLOYMENT: Latham & Watkins, LLP
EDUCATION: Keene Mill Elementary; Lake Braddock Secondary School; Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology; University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce (B.S. Commerce, concentrations in Finance & Marketing); Georgetown University Law Center (J.D. with honors)
QUALIFICATIONS: Judicial clerk to a United States Court of Appeals judge; appointed by a Fairfax County School Board member to the Board's High School Course Review Committee
1. What is your top public service accomplishment?
While I have actively volunteered for a number of local charities and campaigns, my top public service accomplishment resulted from my pro bono work as an appellate attorney in two groundbreaking cases. First, in a U.S. Court of Appeals case, I successfully defended the First Amendment free exercise rights of certain indigent individuals by convincing the Court to overturn a contrary ruling by the lower court. Second, in a case that reached the U.S. Supreme Court, I helped successfully defend a court of appeals ruling protecting the anti-discrimination rights of disabled invididuals.
2. What sets you apart from the other candidates in the race?
There are a number of important differences between myself and my opponent. First, I have the broadest and deepest experience in this community. I have been a member of this community longer than any other candidate. I am the only candidate who attended and graduated from Fairfax County Public Schools. I am the only candidate who graduated from a Virginia university.
Second, I am the only candidate who has walked door-to-door in every neighborhood in our district to reach my constituents directly. I have knocked on more than 3,000 doors, and we are scheduled to reach almost 5,000 households before the June 14 primary. I will work just as hard, communicate just as well, and remain just as accountable when I am your delegate.
Third, I am the only candidate who has been publicly endorsed by current and former elected officials at every level of government; the only candidate who has been publicly endorsed by elected Republican party leaders; and the only candidate who has been publicly endorsed by public interest groups that share a commonsense, conservative vision. I am honored to have the support of senators Jay O'Brien and Ken Cuccinelli, Del. Mark Cole, and former Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Herrity, as well as numerous other former elected officials and candidates (including two former congressmen and a
former delegate). I am thankful to have the support of three of our area's representatives to the Republican State Central Committee (Honorable Patsy Drain, David Ray, and Mary Campbell), former FCRC Chairman Joe Ragan, and numerous other FCRC members and party leaders. I am grateful for the support of groups that share my commitment to better, more efficient, and more effective government, including the Virginia Conservative Action PAC .
Fourth, I am the only candidate who has advanced a proactive plan to eliminate government waste and inefficiency; reform our broken real-estate-tax system; and take a stand on illegal immigration. I am the only candidate who has made a commitment not to raise your taxes. This is particularly surprising at a time when our state government has a $1.2 billion surplus and nearly $1 billion of waste annually.
3. What is one thing you promise not to do if elected?
I promise not to raise your taxes.
4. What is the biggest issue facing your district? What should be done to address it?
As I have walked door-to-door throughout our district, residents have consistently said that the most pressing issue facing them is out-of-control property tax increases. I have heard first-hand how those irresponsible tax hikes have driven residents (young and old) out of Fairfax County because they cannot afford to pay them within their limited budgets.
I will take a number of steps to solve that problem: I will support efforts to complete implementation of the Wilder Commission's recommendations, which will save us nearly $1 billion per year. I will support efforts to get Fairfax County its fair share of state funding for critical services like education and transportation. I will oppose the use of our hard-earned tax dollars to pay for non-emergency benefits for illegal immigrants. And I will support legislation to impose a reasonable limitation on annual property tax increases.
5. Is there any additional legislation in regard to abortion that you would support? Would you make any changes to the current laws and regulation about abortion in Virginia?
I believe that all life is precious, which is why I am a volunteer member of the Board of Directors of Bethany Christian Services of Virginia. I support legislation to ensure that mothers have access to complete information before considering abortion and to ensure that abortion clinics meet the same health and safety standards imposed on similar medical facilities.
6. In Virginia, local governments have limited control of revenue and taxing authority. Should they have more? Less?
Fairfax County has significant taxing authority and the ability to raise sufficient revenue. Indeed, Fairfax County has shown that its ability to generate tax revenue is more than adequate; in fact, for the past several years, it has generated a significant budget surplus. I support efforts to eliminate the car tax completely (as well as the bureaucracy and expenses of administering it) and to replace it with a portion of the existing state income tax. That proposal would provide local governments with the revenue diversification they desire while returning a fairer share of state funding to our area.
7. What do you think about the Dillon Rule, which maintains that localities have only those powers expressly given by the state government?
Virginia, a Dillon Rule state, has frequently been recognized as one of the better managed states in the union.
8. What do you believe the role of the state should be in determining the status of same-sex couples in Virginia?
I believe the state should have the primary role in determining the status of same-sex couples in Virginia, and the federal government should ensure that other states cannot usurp that determination. I support Virginia's efforts to protect traditional marriage.