Occupation: Subcontractor tile-setter
Degree: B.A. history, UNCA 1999
Political experience: Local activist, delegate to party conventions
1. Do you support allowing individual municipalities to enact their own campaign-finance reform ordinances?
No. We need a statewide, consistent policy. If every city had their own campaign-finance laws, there would be confusion and a lack of oversight.
2. Do you believe the state’s ethics law for legislators is adequate? If not, how would you change it?
No. We need full disclosure on every penny donated to and spent by the politicians and lobbyists. The state auditor should have oversight of the accounts.
3. What’s your position on the proposed passenger-rail service between Raleigh and Western North Carolina?
I believe that a light-rail system would cost too much taxpayer money for the service. A passenger train would also be a continuous and heavily subsidized system on the DOT.
4. Would you support state funding for renovating or rebuilding the Asheville Civic Center? Why or why not?
No. … The Civic Center should be leased to a private company. The land and the shell of the building should be owned by the city, but the leaser [could] update the inside [as needed]. The payments could be what the city would receive if the land were sold.
5. Do you support a public-funding option for Council of State candidates, similar to the judicial public-financing system approved in 2002? Why?
No. There are too many strings attached to public funding. I also don’t think that it is the role of the government to publicly fund political races.
6. What do you plan to do to ensure equitable distribution of state lottery funds to WNC?
I think the state should sell the lottery to a private company and place a 35 percent tax on the tickets that would go to a school trust fund.
7. Name three state budget areas or items that should be reduced and three that should be increased.
Reduce: the DOT (by cutting slush funds), the Dept. of Education (by reducing the education bureaucracy, lifting the cap on charter schools, and school tax credits), and excessive incentives packages.
Increase: teacher pay (especially new teachers), illegal-immigration enforcement, and state funding to community colleges.
8. Would you approve additional local-option rooms-and-meals or food-and-beverage taxes for Buncombe County? Under what circumstances?
Yes. The circumstances should be set by the cities and counties. The idea is to shrink the state government.
9. As WNC’s land prices skyrocket, would you support tools — such as the property-transfer tax or inclusionary zoning — to help communities keep housing affordable?
No. If alternative funding can be used, then the county governments can drive down property taxes.
10. What most distinguishes you from your opponents in this primary?
Bill Reynolds and I are both quality candidates. What needs to happen is the removal of Bruce Goforth from office. There needs to be a change in Raleigh to reform.