Name: Don Yelton
Occupation: TV host, environmental-science professor, political observer
Party affiliation, if any: Republican
Political experience: Been involved in local, state and national issues since 1988
Endorsements: Average citizens
1) How much money have you raised for your campaign?
Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
Me, at this point.
2) What most distinguishes you from your opponent?
In the primary I face a longtime Republican that has been inside the system. On the other hand, I have been outside the system and have been exposed to the problems within and around the system.
3) What are your top three legislative priorities?
Home rule, ballot access and open government.
4) Do you favor amending or repealing the Sullivan Acts, which limit Asheville's ability to control water-system revenues? Why or why not?
I think home rule applies to all situations.
5) What methods do you favor for dealing with the state budget crunch? What effects will they have on the Asheville area?
We must re-evaluate how we disburse the money. We must look at where the money is going and how many people it affects and is it necessary for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. We have reached the point where cultural niceties may not be affordable.
6) Do you favor changing the state's involuntary-annexation law? If so, how?
Yes. Annexation should be voted on by the people affected.
7) What do you recommend to remedy shortcomings in the state's mental-health-care system?
We are going to have to really be creative here, eliminating waste and doubling up on programs. There are some unique opportunities, such as using minimum-security prisoners to maintain grounds, kitchens and housekeeping at mental facilities. We could use social work or psychology students to expose them to real-life problems.
8) What is your position on bringing high-speed rail to the Asheville area?
I was very upset when I saw $500 million being spent to seed high-speed rail when it will cost billions to complete the project. The state can't even pay our citizens' tax refunds this year and would consider billions for high-speed rail. Something is wrong with this picture!
9) Do you favor benefits for same-sex domestic partners of state employees? Why or why not?
If we do it for same-sex, what about two brothers living together, two sisters living together, mother and daughter living together, etc.? Most companies charge for family coverage, so this is a moot point and a dividing issue. We must not create a special class and discriminate against all others.
10) Do you support state assistance for municipalities in financial trouble? If so, in what form?
Home rule also means taking care of your own. We must learn to stand on our own two feet. What about sustainability says that someone else must pay for you? Asheville and Buncombe County are saying they want to be sustainable. It starts here with us.