Arthur Purves is standing, once again on his bully pulpit. The candidate for the 35th District seat in the House of Delegates is running on what amounts to the most conservative platform of any of the candidates in the race.
Purves has gained a reputation for being rabidly opposed to taxes, and this run for the house is no different. "Higher taxes is what we pay to solve the problem of taxes," Purves said. "Everything that government manages, it mismanages."
Unlike many candidates who run with vague notions of "trimming the fat" from the budget, Purves has specific plans. He would end or dramatically reduce most social programs, such as welfare, which he says destroys families.
He would end child care subsidies for the children of unmarried people. "These welfare mothers are not having babies on accident," he said.
The one social program he supports is care for people who have disabilities.
Purves acknowledges that as a state official, he would have limited power with regard to welfare, and several of the other programs he finds wasteful, such as the local public school systems. However, he believes that through his position, he could influence the direction of the debate on these issues. "You have to mold public support for it," he said.
The schools, he said, are bloated unnecessarily. He would limit school spending to an increase equal to the rate of inflation plus increases in enrollment. "It would force them to cut staff, and I think it’s long overdue," Purves said.
While he would not cut teachers, he said that cuts could be made to administrative personnel, the ranks of which have grown without reason. "When my children went to school, there were two bored women in the principal’s office, now, I think there are four," he said.
ON SOCIAL ISSUES, particularly those that the state controls, Purves' conservative bent shows. He does not believe in many, if any gun control laws. "I agree totally with anything the NRA [National Rifle Association] or the Citizen’s Defense League wants to do," he said.
He believes that abortion should be illegal. "Every abortion is a tragedy," he said. "The biggest problem is not the abortion laws. The problem is the politicians and other leaders who misrepresent this tragedy as not only an easy solution to a tough problem, but as a right, like the right to vote."
Purves believes that homosexuality is a choice. "It’s an addiction. You start something, and it’s hard to reverse," he said. He supports a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.
Purves would also stop the school system from teaching its ‘Family Life Education’ class as it currently exists. He believes that the class encourages children to consider making what he said is the choice to become homosexual.
Purves opposes red light cameras. "They’re terrible," he said. He would adjust the length of yellow lights, instead.
He opposes extending the Metrorail line to Dulles Airport. "We cannot afford to maintain the rail system we have," he said. "With the taxes we’re paying, Metro should be in pristine condition."
In order to fund transportation improvements, Purves would use the money gained from the cap on school spending. He would split this money between transportation improvements and tax cuts.
Purves also finds evolution flawed. He bristles at the notion of being considered a creationist, and readily admits that the Earth is billions of years old. "I’m going with the science here," he said. "So many do try to disprove evolution by citing the Bible, I do not," he said.
Purves points to what he believes are holes in the fossil record that he says are inconsistent with what evolution says should happen. "All I want is for science class to teach the full story of what science says," he said. "Stop suppressing this important fact that the fossil record contradicts evolution."
Purves does concede, however, that his knowledge of the topic is imperfect, and further that the "holes" in the fossil record may be the result of discoveries not yet made, rather than non-existent evidence.