Political party: Democrat
Political experience: Elected to first term in Congress in 2006
Endorsements: League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Alliance for Retired Americans, National Federation of Independent Business, N.C. Troopers Association etc.
1) How much money have you raised for your campaign? Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?
Total: just under $1.5 million
Top three: Several individuals have contributed the maximum allowable amount. For details, see www.fec.gov.
2) Speaking politically, what most distinguishes you from your opponents in this election?
“Our nation has a tremendous debt that must be paid to our veterans. I support providing them with the best health care and benefits possible. My opponent disagrees and even called military retirees who advocated for better benefits “self-serving.” [He] also supports privatizing Social Security and reducing benefits to seniors.”
3) What do you consider to be your most controversial policy position, and why?
“My opposition to the recent Wall Street bailout brought considerable pressure from Washington insiders and special-interest lobbyists.”
4) What is your position on the recent $700 billion public bailout of the financial industry?
“I opposed the Wall Street bailout plan because it failed to address the root problems or make the fundamental reforms to the system needed to prevent this situation from arising again.”
5) What specific measures do you advocate in regard to illegal immigration?
“I authored the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act, a three-part solution to stop illegal immigration. It calls for improved border security, better enforcement of existing laws, and an expansion of the E-Verify program to ensure that everyone working in the U.S. is legally allowed to do so.”
6) What are the specifics of your position on abortion?
“I am pro-life.”
7) Which of your opponents’ policies do you agree with the most, and why?
“We are both pro-life and believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.”
8) What are your specific recommendations for how the U.S. should or shouldn’t proceed in Afghanistan and Iraq?
“Our [troops] have performed brilliantly in Iraq. … Now the Iraqi government and people must stand up for their country. A draft agreement … creates a timetable for American forces to begin moving out. … [We need to] refocus our military efforts in Afghanistan, where the Taliban has regained strength.”
9) With the economy in turmoil, what are your specific prescriptions for getting it back on track?
“We must create a first-rate education system that can train the work force needed in the global economy of the 21st century, end unfair trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA that have shipped thousands of jobs overseas, and help small businesses grow by keeping taxes low.”
10) What would be your top three legislative priorities?
“1) Protecting the national security of the United States. 2) Balancing the federal budget and reducing the national debt by eliminating wasteful spending. 3) Creating jobs in WNC and making America energy-independent by investing in sustainable, renewable energy sources.”