Candidate survey: R.L. Clark

Political party: Republican
Residence: North Buncombe
Occupation: Retired
Political experience: N.C. state senator 1995-98
Endorsements: Asheville Citizen-Times

R. L. Clark

1) How much money have you raised for your campaign? Who are your top three donors, and how much has each contributed?

Total: less than $3,000
Top three: All from small contributors.

2) What most distinguishes you from your opponent in this election?

“My opponent is a career state legislator, having served Buncombe County only for almost 28 years. I am a retired career employee of the N.C. executive branch, plus a retired small-business owner/operator for the past quarter-century.”

3) What are your top three legislative priorities?

“1) Education reform (school choice, remove cap on charter schools, tax credit for nonpublic-school education, including private schools and home schools). 2) Economic development (reductions of personal and corporate taxes). 3) Taxpayers’ bill of rights (zero-based budgets, offshore drilling of oil and natural gas).”

4) What is your position on the NCSAVE$ proposal, currently before the Utilities Commission, for a statewide energy-efficiency program managed by consumers instead of public utilities?

“Energy professionals are more qualified on energy savings than an amateur, nonprofit group funded with tax dollars advocating for unproven and nonscientific programs.”

5) Are further reforms needed to curtail undue influence by lobbyists in the Legislature? If so, what are your recommendations?

“NO, not until widespread ethical and corruption scandals in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government are cleansed. In the years I served in the Senate, I served with legislators and others who have or are now serving time, mostly in federal prisons! Where are the
state prosecutors?”

6) What do you recommend to remedy shortcomings in the state’s mental-health system?

“Revert back to pre-mental-health reform, with the state hospital system upgraded with adequate funding and adequate funding for community-based services and a dramatic decrease in the busywork, redundant paperwork and forms. Professional pay rates for professional work. Consolidate in one state department.”

7) What transportation-efficiency and public-transit initiatives, if any, do you plan to support?

“Utilize existing rail-freight lines by reducing unnecessary rules, regulations and state tax burdens on them to provide more and better rail-freight service, which will take a great burden off our Interstate highways. I will fully support this initiative; it’s a win for N.C.”

8) Do you support drilling for oil off the North Carolina coast? Why or why not?

“Yes. The first offshore oil well was successfully opened off the California coast in 1896. I can find no documentation of a spill from an offshore well from that time to the present. This is one of many practical solutions to our dependency on foreign oil.”

9) What changes, if any, would you recommend in the state-lottery program and how its proceeds are disbursed?

“In my opinion, the state of North Carolina should not be in the gambling business. If citizens desire, the private sector should operate a lottery, not the state. Heavy state taxes on that private-sector lottery would provide far more tax revenue than the state currently receives, in my opinion.”

10) Do you support comprehensive sex education in the public schools, abstinence-only education, or some other approach?

“Abstinence-only education!”



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