FAMILY: Wife, Pam; children, Amanda, Rebecca, Gus and Susannah
CAMPAIGN MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 533, Richmond, VA 23218
CAMPAIGN PHONE: 804-355-2807
OCCUPATION: State senator, attorney
EMPLOYMENT: Bath County Commonwealth's Attorney (1988 to 1992); Virginia Delegate (1992 to 2001); State Senator (2001 - present)
EDUCATION: B.A., Concord College; J.D. Wake Forest University
QUALIFICATIONS: A former prosecutor and 14-year veteran of the General Assembly, I wrote Megan's Law to keep families safe from violent sexual predators and introduced the Amber Alert Program to give communities a new tool to find missing children.
1. What is your top public service accomplishment?
As a member of the House of Delegates, I introduced Megan's Law to give all Virginians access to the state sex offender registry in order to keep children safe from violent sexual predators.
2. What sets you apart from the other candidate in the race?
Last year, I stood with Governor Mark Warner and bipartisan coalition to reform our budget and make necessary investments in public safety. We took deputy sheriffs and state troopers off food stamps, hired new officers to track and find missing sexual predators, hired new first responders for Virginia communities and replaced a decades-old statewide radio system that law enforcement officers have told me is absolutely necessary in the event of a terrorist attack or natural disaster. My opponent obstructed this budget reform every step of the way.
3. What is one thing you promise not to do if elected?
I will never use the power of the attorney general's office to interfere in the most personal, private decisions a family must face. My opponent supported the actions of President George W. Bush and Republican leaders in Congress who intervened in the end-of-life decision faced by the family of Terri Schiavo earlier this year. I believe the government has absolutely no role to play in these very important family decisions.
4. What is the biggest issue facing Virginia? What should be done to address it?
I believe that in this post-Sept. 11 world the most important job of the next attorney general will be to keep Virginia as safe and secure as possible. That's why I have introduced a detailed security agenda during this campaign. As attorney general, I will increase penalties and use new technology to track violent sexual predators. Working with our leaders in Congress, I will bring more federal homeland security dollars and 21st century technology to our ports in Hampton Roads. And I will crack down on those who manufacture methamphetamine in home labs.
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 will never criminalize the health care decisions of a mother and her doctor. However, I believe we must pass a constitutionally permissible ban on late-term abortions. As attorney general, I will help the General Assembly craft language for a late-term abortion ban that is consistent with the judicially mandated requirements.
6. In Virginia, local governments have limited control of revenue and taxing authority. Should they have more? Less? What changes would you propose?
In order to provide a consistent business environment throughout the Commonwealth, I support maintaining our current system of providing local governments with taxing authority.
7. In Northern Virginia, property taxes have increased dramatically in recent years. What role should the state play in this?
Property tax rates and assessments are a local issue that is best left to local governments. However, I support giving localities tools to reduce the property tax burden on their residents.
8. What do you believe the role of the state should be in determining the status of same-sex couples in Virginia?
I believe that marriage is a union of a man and a woman.
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?
Public-private partnerships are one of many tools the commonwealth must use to address our growing transportation crisis. As attorney general, I will ensure that these partnerships are written in such a way so that they provide the maximum benefit to Virginia and her citizens.
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 because it is a problem at the federal level. This is just one more example where the federal government has abrogated its responsibility to enforce immigration law.