Eric Gorny

Eric Gorny

Age: 35
Residence: Swannanoa
Occupation: self-employed tile-setter
Education: B.A. history, UNCA
Party: Republican
Political experience: activist for 7 years

1. What was the best piece of legislation the General Assembly passed last session? Why?

Requiring our public-school classrooms to have a U.S. and N.C. flag. Children are also to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. I believe that as a country we have lost a sense of who we are, our identity. This is a beginning to regain it.

2. What was the worst piece of legislation? Why?

The budget. Our state Legislature had a $2.4 billion surplus, and they spent it. Worse yet, they spent it on recurring expenses even though most of the surplus was from one-time money. This will likely result in tax increases next year unless new people are elected.

3. What would be your three top legislative priorities?

• Zero-based budgeting and a Taxpayer Bill of Rights to trim the budget and streamline government

• Illegal-immigration reform to require legal status before receiving services

• Medical-liability reform that will lower the cost of health care. The AMA has labeled North Carolina as a state in crisis for years

4. Should our local legislative delegation have sponsored Sullivan Acts II and III in 2005? Why?

I would not have supported the Sullivan Acts II and III. Because the local delegation filed the bills, the county did not have to negotiate with the city to find a solution. This was a local matter, and the state had no business micro-managing the city of Asheville.

5. What’s your stance on capital punishment?

I support capital punishment.

6. What most distinguishes you from your opponent?

Smaller state government and less taxes with zero-based budgeting and a TABOR law. School choice for better education. State answers to illegal immigration. A constitutional amendment restricting eminent domain. I support Jessica’s Law to protect our children and he does not. Etc.

7. What reforms are most needed in state politics?

The election of ethical people to office. We now have a pay-to-play environment in Raleigh. Before we change anything, we need to elect new people with the integrity to do what is right for the people, not their pocketbooks.

8. What’s your position on the proposed passenger-rail service between Raleigh and Western North Carolina?

I am against it. It will cost an enormous amount of money to upgrade our rail system to handle passenger trains. On top of that, every ticket would be subsidized by the taxpayer. The N.C.-DOT is already short of funds; the cost is just too high.

9. Would you support state funding for renovating or rebuilding the Asheville Civic Center? Why or why not?

No. I believe that the Civic Center is a local problem and needs to be dealt with locally. I think that the city should sell or lease the Civic Center to save the taxpayers money.

10. Name three state budget areas or items that should be reduced and three that should be increased.

Reduced: the bureaucracy of the Department of Public Instruction; eliminate slush funds for pork; incentives for large corporations — with lower taxes we can attract new jobs without bribing them

Increased: funding for mental health; teacher and state-employee pay; a new prison for child sexual predators

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About Jon Elliston
An Asheville-based mountain journalist: Former Mountain Xpress managing editor. Investigations and open government editor at Carolina Public Press. Senior contributing editor at WNC magazine.

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