Occupation: president, Walnut Cash & Carry, Inc.
Education: B.A., Western Carolina College; M.A. education, WCU
Political experience: N.C. State Senate 1995-96, 1997-98
1. What was the best piece of legislation the General Assembly passed last session? Why?
Legislation providing additional funding for low-wealth county schools. Prevented schools being closed!
2. What was the worst piece of legislation? Why?
N.C. state lottery. Created a BLACK cloud of ethical corruption because of the way it was enacted all the way to the governor. He as a sitting governor had to testify under oath in a criminal trial in U.S. District Court!
3. What would be your top three legislative priorities?
• Constitutional amendment to protect private-property rights
• Legislation to deny illegal aliens access to public education, social-service benefits, and all health care except emergency care
• Expand current cap on charter schools and provide choice for public schools
4. Should our local legislative delegation have sponsored Sullivan Acts II and III in 2005? Why?
No. Should be resolved at local level.
5. What's your stance on capital punishment?
6. What most distinguishes you from your opponent?
As a former member of the N.C. Senate, I voted for the largest tax decreases in state history. He has consistently voted for the largest tax increases, not once but two times.
7. What reforms are most needed in state politics?
Voluntary limits by all candidates to not accept contributions from PACs and lobbyists.
8. What's your position on the proposed passenger-rail service between Raleigh and Western North Carolina?
At this time it is not economically feasible. It would require great government subsidies!
9. Would you support state funding for renovating or rebuilding the Asheville Civic Center? Why or why not?
No. Funding should come from the private sector for this endeavor.
10. Name three state budget areas or items that should be reduced and three that should be increased.
Reduce: gas tax; 2 percent temporary food tax enacted in 1963; personal and corporate income taxes
Increase (from existing taxes): mental-health funding; community-college funding; and justice-system funds