FAMILY: Wife, Laura; daughter, Kate
CAMPAIGN MAILING ADDRESS: 20756 Eastlake Ct., Sterling, Va. 20165
CAMPAIGN PHONE: 703-4216899
EMPLOYMENT: President, Jenkins Hill Partners; Of Counsel, Howe, Anderson & Steyer, P.C.
EDUCATION: B.A., M.Ed., University of Massachusetts; Ph.D., J.D., University of Arizona
QUALIFICATIONS: Former Capitol Hill staffer; trade association CEO, and Fortune 500 company executive; over 25 years experience in public and government affairs
1. What is your top public service accomplishment?
Of all the things I have done in public life, the accomplishment of which I am most proud is the national credit card program benefiting Meals on Wheels I developed as CEO of a trade association, for which I was awarded the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives' top community service award. I am also proud of the citation I received from the District of Columbia for the work I did in its pro bono program, providing free legal assistance to domestic abuse victims. Last but not least, I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve as legislative director and chief counsel to the late Sen. Terry Sanford of North Carolina and later as chief of staff and counsel to then Representative, now Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois.
2. What sets you apart from the other candidate in the race?
I have a thorough understanding of public policy as well as the workings of the political process. I worked many years on Capitol Hill and later in state legislatures across the country. What truly sets me apart is that I have successfully managed businesses, large and small, which enables me to bring a practical understanding of how to achieve desired results. I work hard and have shown I can bring people together to work more productively.
3. What is the one thing you promise not to do if elected?
I will not create divisions among the people of Virginia. I know there will be many conflicting views on many different issues, but I will not demonize one side to gain favor with the other. I will respectfully listen to all who have something to say and take into consideration all sides of an issue rather than just the one that is aligned with my own. As Delegate, I will be a servant of the people, not an activist pushing only for my own agenda. I believe there is much we can accomplish when we find common ground and work together to better the lives of all who call Virginia home.
4. What is the biggest issue facing your district? What should be done to address it?
The issue that affects everyone's quality of life in the 32nd district is transportation. We cannot continue the reactionary, patchwork approach of funding a new lane here, an extra few miles of road there. We must take a comprehensive approach that takes a thorough look at every possible part of the solution: a bridge crossing; Route 7 expansion; public/private partnerships, and rail to Dulles, as well as encouraging businesses to allow their employees to telecommute. As Delegate, I will consider all options and seek solutions that best meet the needs of our region.
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 VA?
With parental notification now law in Virginia, we have sufficient regulation of abortions with the existing laws. However, I believe deeply that we can do so much more to reduce the number of abortions performed, not by restricting a woman's rights or criminalizing abortion, but by offering women better choices. I would support legislation to make family education and abstinence programs more widely available; expand access to contraception; and make adoption a much more attractive alternative to abortion.
6. In Virginia, local governments have limited control of revenue and taxing authority. Should they have more? Less? What changes would you propose?
The General Assembly has simply refused to face its responsibilities, especially in education and transportation. I believe it should fully fund its share of these programs, rather than balkanize the state with a patchwork quilt of taxes. Of those taxes local jurisdictions now control, the state should allow them to experiment, particularly with property taxes as discussed below.
7. In Northern Virginia, property taxes have increased dramatically in recent years. What role should the state play in this?
The state should not dictate how communities tax property. Nor should it pass unfunded mandates that put pressure on communities to raise local taxes. I also do not believe the state should put artificial caps on property taxes. The state should allow communities to target relief for older (i.e. those living on fixed incomes) and low-income citizens for whom rapidly rising property taxes are a true burden. Local governments have all the authority they need to raise and lower property taxes according to the needs and wishes of its citizens. That responsibility should remain with local communities.
8. What do you believe the role of the state should be in determining the status of same sex couples in Virginia?
I am opposed to gay marriage, as I believe marriage is the province of religion. But I don't believe churches should dictate to couples outside their church the legal responsibilities couples might want to assume. We should provide the opportunity for people in a committed relationship to legally protect their combined assets, will them to each other, buy homes and make medical and end-of-life decisions for one another, if necessary. Many of us made our commitments to each other before a justice of the peace, a judge or other government official. I don't see what we gain as a community by denying gay people the same right.
9. What are your views about public-private partnerships and other mechanisms to privatize Virginia's highway system? What are the caveats you would identify as we move forward with this process?
Primary roads that allow hard-working citizens to get back and forth to work should be the responsibility of the state. There is an economic benefit to all of us when productive citizens can move easily to and from their places of employment. Tolls have only a few applications, where access is limited and where there are alternatives for people who can't afford tolls. Route 7, for example, shouldn't be allowed to become a toll road. Public-private partnerships have a role in transportation projects that spur business development. Route 28 is an example; however, it is also a cautionary example, as many businesses agreed to be taxed for the improvements but then found that the interchanges cut off traffic from their businesses.
10. Do you believe that illegal immigration is a problem in Virginia? If so, why and what should be done?
The problem is nationwide - and a paradox: Thousands of illegal immigrants are coming to our country, but yet we need them for unskilled jobs. Our federal government has failed to craft an immigration policy that better secures our borders and also allows more unskilled laborers into the country. This year, only 5,000 unskilled workers were allowed into the country. We can use that many in the 32nd district alone. No state legislation is likely to stem the tide. We don't have the law enforcement necessary and Virginia can't craft its own immigration policy. Therefore, I feel each community must be free to decide how it will mitigate the failures of the federal government.