Party affiliation, if any: Democrat
Political experience: None
1) How much money have you raised for your campaign? Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
Our system discriminates against many fine candidates. Nonetheless, I admire the district residents, and I can win without pouring their hard-earned dollars into campaigning. I refuse contributions. Some people managed to mail or give me less than $500 total. Should I lose the primary, I will return their contributions.
2) What most distinguishes you from your opponent?
I will communicate with you and place you first. I will never accept corporate or special-interest contributions. I comprehend the sciences, history, business and geopolitics, and I will continue studying diligently. I maintain an open mind for negotiating and honing legislation. I will never underestimate America's ability to succeed.
3) What are your top three legislative priorities?
Jobs: Renewable energy, technology, low-impact manufacturing and service sectors are the future. We can lead these sectors, but we need proper education and training.
Wars: End the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
Environment: Address greenhouse gases, ground water and renewable energy. Deforestation, mountaintop mining and heavy industry are not "progress."
4) What's your position on the recent health-care reform legislation passed by Congress? What steps should be next in tackling health care?
I would have voted for the health-insurance reform. While I disagree with aspects, the benefits outweigh any shortcomings. Now we must contain costs: interstate competition, electronic records, tort reform, standardized coding and billing, and wellness. We must also provide comprehensive health care for our military personnel and their families.
5) What steps should be taken to deal with the contaminated former CTS of Asheville site? What's your opinion of the EPA's oft-criticized handling of the cleanup?
Like all Superfund-type sites, it is an unconscionable mess. Corporations should never be let off the hook for their responsibilities, even if they claim bankruptcy and later emerge as another company. The EPA should do a better job, but often politics get in the way.
6) What's your opinion of the Defense Department's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy?
The policy will be repealed eventually. As veteran and father, I want the best people serving and safeguarding fellow military personnel and our national security. The opposition statements in recent congressional hearings were ignorant and reprehensible, especially because many Armed Services Committee congressmen never served and none led major commands.
7) How do you believe the federal government should deal with the immigration situation?
Enact stringent policy against the actual culprits: employers hiring undocumented workers. Also, support better opportunities in immigrants' home countries. The effect will be twofold: Potential immigrants will remain in their home countries with their loved ones, and we will create more robust foreign markets to export our goods and services.
8) What steps do you favor to deal with the economic downturn?
Empower and embolden people to reach for their dreams through entrepreneurship and business ownership. The "captains of industry" are incompetent and don't deserve their extraordinary compensation. We must rely on ourselves, not them, to create personal wealth and so erode their market share. I would rather patronize a local business.
9) What's your position on abortion?
A political detente exists: Roe v. Wade is the current law, and "no federal funding" is the current standard. If either of these changes, it would be because of Supreme Court action, not legislation.
10) What do you believe is the best course for the U.S. to take in Afghanistan and Iraq?
Both wars must end, and we must focus on defense. To combat extremism and terrorism, we need more diplomatic leverage by recapturing the moral high ground and earning the title of "honest broker." Our capabilities in this arena have been undermined over the past decade, and our national debt increased.