Residence: Highlands, in Macon County
Occupation: author, attorney, political analyst
Education: B.A. Yale 1964; J.D. Maryland Law School 1970; ongoing Ph.D. work at American University.
Political experience: Worked with/on behalf of 18 city council members, 2,000 state legislators, 140 congressmen, 12 senators, and 7 candidates for president (including the incumbent). Worked for the Constitutional Bicentennial Commission and filed 18 briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court.
1. What should Congress do about the federal budget deficit, now at an all-time high?
The usual D.C. answer is raise taxes. My answer is the opposite: cut spending.
2. What course should the United States take in the Iraq war, now into its fourth year?
We should do the same in Iraq as we did in Germany and Japan after World War II: rebuild them into stable democracies and allies, rather than dictatorships and enemies. By the way, we’re moving faster in Iraq than [we did in] either Germany or Japan.
3. What would be your primary area(s) of emphasis as a member of Congress?
Jobs in the three main areas of manufacturing, agriculture and tourism. Better trade and monetary policies, so North Carolina products can sell better. The other main area is education: I support all forms of parental choice for their children.
4. Do you favor the North Shore Road project as originally planned, or a cash settlement with Swain County?
If a cash settlement acceptable to Swain County can be reached, that is the better alternative. Otherwise, build the road.
5. What measures would you support to address the needs of working families and the poor in WNC?
The people of Western Carolina are able and hard-working. The proper answer to this question is to develop more jobs, with the greatest emphasis in those counties with the highest unemployment.
6. What’s your position on marital rights for same-sex partners?
This is a false issue. Partners of any kind now have the legal option to make arrangements for each other. Marriage, however, is the union of one man and one woman. North Carolina law on this subject should be protected.
7. What’s your position on abortion?
Abortion is not properly a federal issue. For 300 years, every state/colony decided this question under its own laws, passed by its own legislature. That should be the status again.
8. What would you do to protect or improve WNC’s air and water quality?
The main air-quality problem is pollution from the cars and RVs of the tourists. There are ways to get more tourists with less cars, including a federal/state/local effort to run electric/hydrogen-powered buses in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
9. What most distinguishes you from your opponent in this primary?
The incumbent’s career in Congress will end with this election, either in the primary or the general. We will have a new congressman in 2006, and I am far better qualified for the task than the likely Democratic nominee.
10. Do you support an increase in the minimum wage? Why?
When minimum wage is raised, thousands more Americans are priced out of jobs, especially youths with limited skills. My first two jobs were selling newspapers and working on an assembly line. I oppose raising the minimum and destroying such opportunities.