Occupation: IT industry analyst
Party affiliation, if any: Democrat
Political experience: Managed Charles Carter’s 1996 and ’98 campaigns
Endorsements: WNC Central Labor Council
1) How much money have you raised for your campaign?
I won't help my opponent by answering the first question at this time.
Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
Heath Shuler for Congress - $2,000
Mary Colleen Frank - $1,000
Jim & Edna McKee - $1,000
2) What most distinguishes you from your opponent?
I raise no money from special-interest PACs. I bring a practical rather than ideological approach to the issues of job creation and public education. I work in the corporate, private sector and have experienced the sorts of ups and downs that are familiar to most local workers.
3) What are your top three legislative priorities?
• Work with local civic and business leaders to find new uses for vacant plant space.
• Fully fund our local community/technical colleges.
• Provide online educational tools for parents to help preschool children prepare for kindergarten, and a better safety net to help high-school dropouts get back on track.
4) Do you support authorizing Asheville to raise its hotel-room tax?
No. Now is the time to protect the competitive advantages for our vital local tourism industry, not tax them away. Furthermore, I think that N.C. residents should be exempted from lodging taxes statewide to encourage more in-state vacations.
5) What methods do you favor for dealing with the state budget crunch, and how would they affect the Asheville area?
The state is already seeing tentative signs of revenue growth and economic recovery. It's likely that there will be cuts in aid to localities in order to protect education funding over the next few years. Localities should be given incentives to share services regionally to save money.
6) Do you favor changing state law governing involuntary annexation? If so, how?
Neighborhoods to be annexed should be allowed to vote on annexation (simple majority) without a petition requirement. Counties should have more "home rule" options to develop joint service districts with cities to save money by eliminating duplicative and uncoordinated infrastructure costs.
7) North Carolina had more people on its AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting list last year than all other states combined. Do you favor fully funding this program?
All of the state's means-tested programs are under severe strain. As of September, the state had 30 people on its ADAP waiting list. We should be able to sustain current eligibility levels with additional federal emergency funding per S.3401 (The Access ADAP Act).
8) What’s your position on legalizing medical marijuana?
I would support a program for genuine medical concerns where marijuana is a useful treatment and supervised by a doctor, but not a California-style medical (wink, wink) marijuana program that turns into a free-for-all.
9) Do you favor providing benefits for same-sex domestic partners of state employees? Why or why not?
Benefits are intended to attract and retain good workers and should not require indication of gender preference by anyone. A state worker should be allowed to include another adult member of the household on their family plan, whether it be a blood relative, close friend or significant other.
10) Do you support state assistance to local municipalities in financial trouble? If so, in what form?
We could provide access to short-term, one- or two-year loans for critical law-enforcement, public-health and public-safety services only, provided that the locality submits a judicially enforceable plan to balance its budget and repay the loans within five years.