* Education: B.S., Biology & Psychology from the University of Mary Washington; Computer Sciences from ITT; completing MBA with Sustainability focus at Green Mountain University.
* Age: 55
* Family: Wife, Lorraine, and two sons - Sean, public safety officer, and Ryan, college student
* What makes you the best qualified for the position you are seeking?
I have the training, experience and motivation to work for the people. I’ve labored as a professional educator, government employee, technology worker, business manager, and small company entrepreneur with the common theme of being known for problem solving. I’m not a professional politician but have been a long-time community servant. I’ve studied and practiced the efficiencies and balance of establishing and running businesses that can be put to work in government, but understand that the government is not a business. Working for the citizen is a tenet I want to bring back to public leadership. Having been a public school educator who started a computer technology career under the tutelage of Ross Perot and having worked with the Reagan White House, the H.W. Bush transition office, and the Clinton Re-Inventing Government effort have provided me with a unique insight into how political leadership and teamwork can set examples and make good things happen. I’m an average citizen who wants to help bring ethical, representative democracy back to our lawmaking and enforcement in the face of the largest economic imbalance since the Great Depression.
* What can you do as a Congressman to get our country’s economy moving forward?
This election is about whether we return to the Middle Ages, where money and power is concentrated at the top, science and reason is ignored, and citizens become just subjects — or moving forward to ignite the power and ingenuity of the Middle Class and workers. We need focus on the four areas citizens say are crucial to their economic success — jobs, education, infrastructure and resources. Create demand for our businesses and keep education loan programs (GI Bill, Pell, Stafford) available and with low interest rates for veterans, youth and adults. Don’t go to spending cuts without also returning revenue to our communities -—end wars, end oil and gas subsidies, tax the outsourcing/offshoring of jobs and capital, tax wall street trading of derivatives and currency, return higher percentage taxes on incomes over $250,000, and tax capital gains.
We’ve asked families, public safety and social workers, teachers, and our communities to get more efficient — the same must be done with our military contractors — telling them they’re untouchable grants them license to spend without reason and weakens our military. Continue to pursue waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds. Encourage manufacturing and corporations to return to the U.S. and to pay back the taxpayer’s investment in their success by contributing fair levels of corporate taxes. Return Glass Steagall and prevent banks from gambling with our savings. Improve programs to keep people in their homes and small businesses up and running. Support the job creation, energy security and resource management capability that comes with our energy decisions — take leadership on the convergence of renewable electricity, energy efficiency, telecommunication and smart grid technology as, together, representing a state change in our national energy infrastructure. Create national strategic plans for our water, air, energy, and food that can be implemented locally. Repair Medicare and Social Security by having all income levels contributing. Stay at the Congressional job until completed — coordinate the working and voting calendar (full Monday to Friday) so that legislators can work together. As example, our legislators came home early this year to fundraise, leaving critical economic bills on the table — Jobs Act, Veterans Jobs Act, and the Farm Bill — pass these bills for starters in generating immediate economic demand. Deliver “fair” trade policies, protect American business, and monitor currency manipulation closely.
* What is the most pressing problem facing our country and how would you address it?
Job availability and career sustainability is our most pressing problem. I will do what it takes to support the true small businesses, middle class and working people of this country. We need a policy atmosphere that supports getting more people back to work and increases the economic certainty for workers so that the dignity of work returns to our workforce and the demand for goods returns to our economy. Support and restore education as an economic multiplier and engine for the American economy with budget, loan programs, community partnerships and local flexibility. Defend and improve the Affordable Care Act so we can join the rest of the industrialized nations in growing preventative and personal physician healthcare jobs (and in more places); lift the burden for consumers of being one sickness away from financial disaster or losing their home. Increase economic activity with infrastructure that combines public and private investment — smartgrid, communications spectrum, and renewable energy. Repairing our current energy grid while moving more of that infrastructure to renewables and making our buildings and transportation more efficient could be the largest growth engine for our manufacturing, engineering, accounting and construction ranks. None of the job growth will return if corporations keep moving jobs and capital overseas just to avoid taxes, workplace rules, and environmental regulations. We need long-term policy that keeps corporations investing in human capital here in America, especially when the call for economic patriotism isn’t enough. We also need to develop and communicate a comprehensive immigration policy that keeps America the most desirable place to get educated, work and create business.
* Would you be willing and how would you set partisan sentiments aside to work for bi-partisan solutions to the problems facing our country?
Absolutely. My goals, developed with citizen input from all sides, is about developing policy that respects priorities, budgets, human conditions and impact — this requires a type of balance as opposed to a simple accounting exercise or allegiance to dogma/party/lobby rhetoric. I’ve been practicing this balance in both business and government for over three decades and want to bring that civility and focus to policy-making. Compromise and working to improve current legislation are necessary tools. Taking negative stances against the executive branch, other groups, or another Party is not a strong negotiating position for moving the country forward and it does nothing for the goal of public representation — supporting the citizens of the community. Because I’m dedicated to getting money out of politics, our democracy and decision-making, I don’t seek or accept lobby donations or gifts. We need to allow fast-tracking of legislation with bi-partisan majority support in the House and Senate in order to increase the velocity of results. Get money and unlimited, unverified money out of politics. Remove the money that encourages polarization and move to a fair election process that uses public funding and sets term limits. Bar legislators from lobby work during and after public service. Strip organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council, Grover Norquist, PAC committees and others of their non-profit status.
* What is your stand on abortion and a woman’s right to choose?
Personally, like many Americans, I don’t like abortion and want to make sure it’s the absolute last option. However, I also stand for putting people back in charge of power and policy. This includes supporting people in making personal decisions about their reproductive health. Besides taking away personal freedoms, the blocking of reproductive rights costs the taxpayer more, leads to more poverty and stress in the community, raises the cost of healthcare, and is unconstitutional. As an orphan who was adopted by a great and loving family, I cannot imagine or know the angst my birth mother went through in giving me up in a closed-record state like West Virginia during the timeframe and climate under which she made those decisions. I am here because of an unknown woman’s choice. I personally want to see that women are able to continue to be educated on reproductive health, in control of their own bodies, acting on their own conscience, and making their own reproductive decisions. Nobody likes to see their choices limited. I continue to champion human rights and to fight any discrimination against women.