U.S. Sen. George Allen (R)
HOMETOWN: Mount Vernon
FAMILY: Wife: Susan; Kids: Tyler, Forrest, and Brooke
EDUCATION: JD, University of Virginia; BA; University of Virginia
OCCUPATION: U.S. Senator
EMPLOYMENT: U.S. Senate
CAMPAIGN ADDRESS: PO Box 6859; Arlington, Va. 22206
CAMPAIGN PHONE: 703-845-3689
BEST BOOK YOU READ THIS YEAR: The World Is Flat
FAVORITE MOVIE: Braveheart
QUALIFICATIONS: U.S. Senator, Governor of Virginia, member of the U.S. House, member of the Virginia House of Delegates
1. Was the Iraq war a mistake? Why or why not?
Stability and peace in Iraq is crucial for regional security and also for the security of America. It is in America’s best interest to have a stable Iraq. I want our troops to come home as soon as possible. And I want them to come home in victory — not defeat. Leaving Iraq as a safe haven for terrorists will leave America less secure. We must continue to enable Iraqi security forces to fight terrorism. As these forces stand up, our troops can stand down. The political process must continue to mature. At the end of the day, the Iraqis must carry this burden.
2. Five years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, what more could be done to protect America? What limits on civil liberties are acceptable?
Securing our borders and protecting our ports must be a top priority. I support increased funding for homeland security block grants to states and localities and believe that these grants need to be risk-based.
We are a nation of laws and our government must protect and respect the civil liberties of law-abiding American citizens. Following the Sept. 11 attacks, congress passed a resolution that recognized the president’s constitutional authority to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States. In my view, this authorization of military force clearly includes the utilization of electronic surveillance to intercept the communications of our terrorist enemy.
3. What is the nation's best long-term strategy in combating terrorism?
We need to stay on offense. The best long-term strategy is a multi-pronged plan that includes continued intelligence cooperation with our allies around the world. A great deal of the information that has led to the capture or death of terrorists has been developed through cooperation with our European allies. To be successful we must continue this practice and expand it where possible. In addition, the United States needs to continue efforts to cut off financing to terrorist organizations. Eliminating resources severely degrades the ability of terrorists to carry out large scale attacks.
4. In light of recent corruption scandals in Congress, do you believe reforms are needed? What would you propose?
We need more sunshine in the legislative process and to open it up in order to increase accountability. I sponsored the “Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act,” now public law, which requires full disclosure of all entities and organizations receiving federal funds. In addition, for earmarks in all federal spending bills, I support requiring that it be clearly labeled within the bill as to which member of congress requested the appropriation. This holds members of congress accountable for wasteful and frivolous funding requests.
5. What should be done about the 45 million Americans who are living without health insurance?
I introduced legislation to increase the amount individuals and their employers can contribute to their Health Savings Accounts each year. Over 30 percent of individuals who have signed up for HSAs were previously uninsured and over 40 percent are families or individuals with incomes less than $50,000. I also support the establishment of Small Business Health Plans, which help small business owners provide quality, affordable health insurance to their employees. While these proposals give Virginia families and workers more health care options, my opponent favors a government-run health care system that would raise taxes and force families into HMOs with little or no choice of their doctors.
6. President Bush's signature education law, No Child Left Behind, requires high-stakes testing in all public schools. What is your view of the law? Should it be reformed? Why or why not?
Aspects of No Child Left Behind are confusing parents and undermining the progress of our high academic standards and accountability in Virginia. States, like Virginia, with successful testing and accountability programs, which I put in place as governor, should be given flexibility in the way that they choose to educate their students without being tied down by federal bureaucrats. I introduced the “Flexibility for Champion Schools Act” to ensure that unnecessary federal intrusion does not cause states with successful accountability programs in education to have to dumb down their higher academic standards to comply with the dictates of federal bureaucracies.
7. The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the federal deficit will grow to $286 billion in 2007 and to $1.76 trillion over the next decade. How would you address this?
We need to spend less and spend smarter. I’ve championed a “Taxpayers Bill of Rights” to require a balanced budget to: withhold the salaries of members of congress if appropriations bills are not passed on time, helping to avoid omnibus spending bills; establish a requirement for a supermajority vote for spending over the rate of inflation; and provide the President with line-item veto authority. When I was governor, I had line-item veto authority, as do 43 state governors. Such authority would hold both the president and congress accountable for non-essential, wasteful government spending.
8. What is the best way to deal with the record high oil prices of recent years?
My comprehensive and strategic plan for energy independence includes:
* Strategic use of our global economic power and international relationships to remove the oil-based leverage from hostile states.
* Accelerated exploration and development of domestic energy supplies — oil, (including exploration in ANWR and offshore), natural gas, clean coal, and nuclear.
* Accelerated research and development of alternative and renewable energy sources –soy diesel and ethanol, hybrids, solar power, and nanotech-enabled lithium ion batteries.
* Investment in the next generation of leading-edge scientists, researchers, and engineers of advanced technology.
* An unequivocal declaration of our national security commitment to energy independence.
9. While the economy has grown in the last five years, the wages of middle- and low-income Americans has stagnated. How would you address the income disparity between the very wealthy and the rest of the working America?
We need to provide more opportunities for all Americans to prepare for the competitive jobs of the 21st century. To get us moving forward, I’ve created a Competitiveness Caucus in the Senate to focus on those issues that will make America and its workforce even more competitive. I’ve sponsored “The National Innovation Act,” which provides tangible action items to increase America’s science and technology talent through grants, scholarships, and training. I also support an increase in the federal minimum wage that is coupled with small business tax incentives. Finally, we need an education system in which all have an equal opportunity to gain the education, knowledge and skills to compete and succeed.
10. Opinion polls suggest that the international community views the United States in a negative light. Does this matter? If so, what can the United States do to repair its standing with the rest of the world?
The United States must listen to allies and seek consensus wherever possible. But we cannot ignore our core principles in order to reach agreement with all members of the international community. The primary responsibility of our government is to protect the U.S. and its interests and we must do what is necessary to provide that protection.
For the following questions, please respond with a yes or no answer.
1. The minimum wage has been $5.15 since 1997. Is it time to increase it?
I’ve voted three times to increase the federal minimum wage coupled with small business tax incentives to offset costs.
2. Congress is considering the elimination of the federal estate tax, which requires the wealthiest 2 percent of all Americans to pay taxes on inherited property. Do you believe the estate tax should be discontinued?
Yes, I want to give the death penalty to death taxes, which are particularly unfair and harmful to family-owned enterprises and farmers.
3. Is global warming real?
Climate change (warming and cooling) has occurred throughout Earth’s history. Regardless of whether it’s natural cycles or manmade causes, we should be using technological advances and new innovations in fuels, manufacturing processes and electrical generation that are cleaner, more efficient and less wasteful.
4. On Nov. 7, your name will appear on the same ballot as a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Considering the full text of the amendment, will you vote for it?
Yes, I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
5. If President Bush's tax cuts are made permanent, $2.2 trillion would be added to the federal deficit over the next 10 years. Would you vote to extend the tax cuts past the 2010 expiration date?
Yes, I believe that hardworking Americans should keep more of what they earn.
6. Should the United States have higher fuel economy standards for vehicles?
There should not be a federal government mandate. Consumers should have a choice.
7. Do you believe in evolution?
Questions on how evolution is taught and whether alternative views are also discussed should be determined by state and local officials
8. Should electronic voting machines be required to have verified voting paper trails?
Election administration is the responsibility of the states, and the decision on whether to have verified voting paper trail should be left in their hands. The role of the federal government should be to assist states where possible to improve their electoral systems, not to not preempt state election law.
9. Do you believe the sectarian violence in Iraq is a civil war?
I do not believe that the current violence in Iraq constitutes civil war, however it is a grave concern that the Iraqis must address immediately. Iraqi leaders need to develop and implement a political solution; they cannot expect the U.S. military to referee sectarian conflicts.
10. Should the federal government fund stem cell research?
Yes, but not the kind that destroys a human embryo.
11. The United States is one of the few countries that has refused to sign a global ban on land mines. Would you vote to sign the treaty banning the use of land mines?
Undecided. I would need to make sure the treaty does not inhibit the ability of the U.S. military to carry out its numerous missions around the world. I have supported funding to remove abandoned mines in the Balkans and elsewhere around the world.
12. California has enacted the nation's toughest restrictions on air pollution, requiring a 25 percent reduction in carbon dioxide pollution. Should similar action be taken for the rest of the country?
As it was in California, this is a state decision.
13. Do you support "Net Neutrality," which would guarantee that every website on the Internet loads at an equal rate of speed?
I voted for the Internet Consumer Bill of Rights Act, which addresses the issue of Net Neutrality in a way that promotes Internet freedom by keeping government regulation at a minimum and protecting the rights of unfettered Internet access by consumers.
14. Do you believe that Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 decision that overturned state laws banning abortion, should be overturned?
Generally, I believe that most abortion laws should be decided by the people in the states. Any changes to Virginia’s law should provide exceptions to allow abortion in cases of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother.
15. Would you support a guest worker program for illegal immigrants that would lead to citizenship?
No. We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. Rewarding illegal behavior only encourages more illegal behavior. I support temporary legal worker programs for those entering the U.S. legally.