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Votes

Richard Lee Herron (Ind. Green-39)

AGE: 55

FAMILY: Wife, Victoria Herron; Daughter, Virginia Herron

CAMPAIGN MAILING ADDRESS: 7025 Beverly Ln., Springfield, VA 22150

CAMPAIGN PHONE: 702-569-0166

E-MAIL: classicautopicks@aol.com

OCCUPATION: Artist

EMPLOYMENT: www.classicautorenderings.com

EDUCATION: University of Virginia at Wise, English Literature; Northern Virginia Community College, Graphic Design

QUALIFICATIONS: Green Party Ecology Committee

1. What is your top public service accomplishment?

No answer.

2. What sets you apart from the other candidate(s) in the race?

As a member of the Green Party and a candidate of the Independent Greens I can assure the people in my district that I am not beholden to big business. Decisions made on legislation will be for the majority of constituents and for what is best for the district and not decided on by leaders of a large political organization. Contributions for my campaign do not come from special interest so that there is no subconscious pull to vote legislation that might favor developers or other interest group but to instead weigh legislation solely on the merits.

3. What is one thing you promise not to do if elected?

I promise not to forget that every voter in my district has the right to equal representation as any business or individual with power or prestige. I also promise not to forget that language, ethnicity, or place of birth does not mean lesser citizenship. As one who has lived and grown up in Latin America and has lived in Europe and whose wife has worked for years in the World Bank it has been impressed upon me that this universal concept of humanity must be a cornerstone of fairness in all legislative efforts in the state of Virginia.

4. What is the biggest issue facing your district? What should be done to address it?

For decades building roads has failed to solve the congestion problem. It is time that an at-grade light rail line be built around the beltway to connect the spoke of the metro lines and construction should begin as soon as possible. For environmental reasons and because of the peak oil crisis, Virginia should follow the other industrialized nations of the world and enter the 21st century by developing modern mass transit and high speed rail systems. The United States is the one country that is sorely falling behind Europe, Japan and even China in developing the transportation technology of the 21st century.

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?

The best that I can do is to say that I am morally opposed to abortion. Yet, I also would be against having young women forced again to seek illegal abortions and the dangers that they would face doing so. I do not believe that individuals should be asked to fund abortions if they are opposed to it. On this issue I am not familiar enough with the legislation pending or otherwise and would have to listen to all sides of the argument.

6. In Virginia, local governments have limited control of revenue and taxing authority. Should they have more? Less? What changes would you propose?

I would not propose any changes. One must not forget that the incomes, population distribution, resources and other demographic indices are not equally distributed around the state. To put it simply Richmond needs to control the purse strings as a way to redistribute the wealth. There are poor areas of the state that need the support of the wealthier areas in order to sustain their viability. Funding for transportation, education, health services, communication and other infrastructure rely on the pooling of resources from all the regions of the state. The state pools the resources so that all may benefit.

7. In Northern Virginia, property taxes have increased dramatically in recent years. What role should the state play in this?

The state should distance itself from the property tax role. A few points to consider: real estate analysts say housing prices are now catching up in relation to the cost of living having been artificially low for decades, taxes are needed to pay for increased services to meet demand of surging populations and increased construction in the area, peak oil and high property taxes may eventually put a brake on what is in part a speculative boom and a desire for overlarge houses and their resultant high taxes may kill the love affair with these types of homes.

8. What do you believe the role of the state should be in determining the status of same-sex couples in Virginia?

This question is unclear. As it stands today the law does not recognize any marriage of same-sex couples in Virginia. Bills were passed in the House and Senate and signed into law by Governor Allen (R). My belief is that the issue needs to be reviewed to consider rights for same sex unions. The state has taken a role and can always reconsider its position as attitudes change. The federal government, of course, can override this position.

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?

As far as I am aware most of the highways being considered are Intestates and therefore have been in part funded by the U.S. government. I do not believe they should be owned by private enterprise. They are part of the country's infrastructure and belong to the American people. Secondly, the potential right-of-way on these freeways would be lost where at-grade light rail could be built. This control should not be given up to private business which would have a vested interest to not invest in rail. With peak oil, rail is rapidly becoming the mode of transportation of the future.

10. Do you believe that illegal immigration is a problem in Virginia? If so, why, and what should be done?

Illegal immigration is a problem in Virginia as well as in most of the rest of the country. Our borders need to be secured. Gang violence is becoming a problem in the Northern Virginia area with the increased activity of Mara Salvatrucha. This is a problem for legal Latin American immigrants as well as others. Businesses that hire illegals need to be prosecuted more forcefully and home loan applications need to be scrutinized more carefully. Primarily it is a matter of border security and national security as well.