Political party: Republican
Education: B.A. psychology, St. Leo College; M.A. education, Western Carolina University; M.S.W. clinical social work, University of Georgia; Ph.D. Union Institute
Political experience: Asheville City Council 6 years; vice mayor 2 years
Endorsements: “The most important endorsement has come from my fellow Republicans. I’m honored to have solidly won 6 of the 8 straw polls in counties all across the district.”
1) How much money have you raised for your campaign? Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
Total: $25,000 in direct contributions
Top three: Bob Mair $2,300, A.J. Mair $2,300, Darryl Nabors $2,300
“Contributions mostly $100 or less. I am not accepting any money from PACs, special interests or unions either. Unlike my competitors, all my support comes from individual ordinary people.”
2) What most distinguishes you from your opponents in this primary?
“You should crawl before you walk. I have served for six-plus years as an independent voice on Asheville’s City Council; my colleagues have not held public office. I have the courage to act and support right or resist wrongs, whatever the source. I do not put party above principle.”
3) On what single issue do you most depart from the Republican Party line, and why?
“Undoubtedly, the president’s desire to grant retroactive immunity to the big telecoms for wiretapping the phones, reading the e-mail and monitoring the Internet traffic of Americans without obtaining warrants. I believe that sidesteps the Fourth Amendment. I’ve lost a lot of support over that, but so be it. He’s wrong.”
4) If elected, what would be your top three priorities as a member of Congress?
“1) Fight waste and illuminate corruption and nonsense in Washington.
2) Protect the futures of our children and grandchildren by attacking deficits, fighting inflationary monetary policies, and reducing the creep of big government.
3) Work to have the best office of constituent services on Capitol Hill.”
5) What has been incumbent Rep. Heath Shuler’s top accomplishment in Congress, and what has been his greatest mistake?
“Greatest accomplishment: The SAVE Act on illegal immigration. Regardless of his political motivations, I give him credit for action.
Greatest mistake: Voting for Nancy Pelosi, a socialist, to lead what is arguably the most important elected body in the world.”
6) What measures do you support to reduce costs and increase access to health care?
“1) Tax incentives to buy our own health-care plans instead of relying on proven, bloated inefficiencies of government.
2) Deregulation of an overregulated health-care system.
3) Require that the federal government properly fund health-care programs [it creates] and not shift costs to those with private policies.”
7) What course should the United States now take in Iraq?
“Serving in Vietnam taught me what happens when we walk away from our commitments: We end up swapping hope for assured chaos. Going to war in Iraq was a mistake, but an arrogant rush to war should not be followed by an arrogant indifference to its outcome.”
8) What specific plans do you favor in regard to illegal immigration?
“1) Enforce existing laws consistently and fairly.
2) Stop illegal migration by holding the people who provide the jobs and money accountable.
3) Protect our borders—the best fence is consequence for violators and supporters.”
9) How should Congress address the country’s future energy policy?
“We must resist dead ends like corn-based ethanol. Solar energy seems to hold the greatest long-term potential. In the meantime, we should look to France as a model for the prudent use of nuclear energy, support domestic-resource exploration and uphold the responsible development of alternative energy sources and conservation initiatives.”
10) Who is your political hero, and why?
“Teddy Roosevelt. He was creative, principled and fearless as he looked out for the common man. He had a way of upsetting the special interests, the power elite, the robber barons and, especially, the leadership of his own party. I like to think of him as a kindred spirit.”