Here are my responses to the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission questionaire. I was not in the primary elections, but I will be in the general election, November 6.
I have BA in Economics from Boston Univ, an MBA from the Wharton School at Univ. of Penn, and a Master's in Communications from ASU. I had a successful 15-year career with H.R. Block, and for nearly two years I worked at the Arizona House of Representatives for the majority party. Married for more than 18 years, we have five young men, one recently deceased. I am currently working with SVN Realty Advisors as a commercial real estate tenant advisor. I've been an Independent since 1994.
PUT BALANCE and COMMON SENSE BACK IN OUR LEGISLATURE
Ideology is a fine starting point for government legislation, but it can never be an endpoint. Yet, that has been the goal of both major parties for almost two decades. As a result, we've ended up with legislation that is piecemeal or worse. Independents can change that. Because we're not bound by any party's ideology, we can integrate the best ideas from all parties when crafting legislation. It’s not a foreign idea. Whether we're choosing employment benefits, putting an investment portfolio together, or just making a fruit salad, Americans intuitively combine elements to maximize taste, ROI, and advantage. Arizonans don't need another party or ideology to effect change. We only need to elect Independents.
As an Independent, with a clean slate and no political baggage, I will take positions that may not fit either party's ideological framework, but make sense for Arizona. I will pursue legislation that puts the public interest above all others. I will seek solutions that are informed by data as well as traditions.
I’m running for public office because Arizona needs someone who will prioritize education, healthcare, and public safety in the state budget, and be a catalyst for genuine bi-partisan legislation that will last.
Do you believe Arizona should pass a law to legalize the recreational use of marijuana?
No. I would not work against a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana if consumed in a safe manner that does not impact the public, and if all transactions, financial and other, among industry participants, are legal and transparent.
Do you believe the current system to drawing legislative and congressional districts should be changed?
No. The system the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission used to draw congressional and legislative districts in 2010 was reasonable. I would like to see more weight given to creating 'electorally competitive' districts when the Commission meets again in 2020..
Do you support a tax increase to provide additional funding for K-12 and/or Higher Education in Arizona?
N/A. I support a teacher pay increase & additional funds for K-12 needs. I do not support the Invest in Education Act. I will consider other revenue-raising mechanisms that put K-12 funding on a long-term footing, including removing SI distortions in the tax code. HE is siphoning off K-12 dollars.
Do you support expanding the voucher program for private schools?
No. I am against the expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts to all 1.1 million Arizona students. I will be a "no" vote on Proposition 305 – I oppose upholding Senate Bill 1431, which was designed to phase in an expansion of the state's ESA program to all students.
Do you support Prop 125, Related to Public Retirement Systems?
N/A. I support our public safety men and women, but we've heard the phrase "our experts tell us" for too long, and results remain poor. If elected I will sit down with PSPRS and all stakeholders to evaluate the problem and possible solutions.
Do you support Prop 126, the “Protect Arizona Taxpayers Act”?
No. Prop. 126 is unnecessary. Current law prohibits a sales tax on services. As we align our tax code with a modern economy, I would consider a comprehensive service tax on individual consumers, with relief for low-income working families.
Do you support Prop 127, the “Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Act”?
Yes. I also support Arizona's Energy Modernization Plan, which includes grid optimization, reliability, and security. It is a comprehensive plan put forth by the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Do you support Prop 207, the Invest in Education Act?
No. I support a teacher pay increase & additional funds for K-12. I do not support the Invest in Education Act. I will consider all other revenue-raising mechanisms that put K-12 funding on a long-term footing, including removing SI distortions in the tax code.
Do you support Prop 305, “Save our Schools Arizona”?
No. I am against the expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts to all 1.1 million Arizona students.
Do you support Prop 306, Related to the Citizens Clean Elections Act?
N/A. Until we have an impartial analysis and description of the measure, I reserve judgment.
Do you support tax incentives as a way to attract more jobs and new industries?
Yes. I would like to see comprehensive tax reform and a more holistic approach that focuses on creating a better business environment for all. A holistic approach includes tax incentives, higher education, workforce development, and the overall livability & attractiveness of our state.
Do you support the Outlaw Dirty Money Act?
Yes. I am concerned, even more so if Prop. 306 is passed, about whether the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission is the right entity to enforce the ODM Act if passed.
Do you support the taxation of digital goods?
Yes. As we align our economy with changes in technology, I support comprehensive tax reform that creates a better business environment for all, reduces regressive inequities, and provides revenue transparency to voters.
Do you think accepting donations from special interest groups impacts legislative decision-making?
Yes. Special interest groups have an inordinate amount of influence on legislators, especially if they are members of a political party. That is not true if you are running as an Independent, like myself, unaffiliated with any party. I've been an Independent since 1994 and am aligned with the public.
Do you think gun reforms need to be made to ensure safety in schools and other public places?
Yes. I will protect the Second Amendment and work toward effective gun regulations that protect everyone, keeping any gun, be it an assault weapon, shotgun, or handgun away from deranged persons. Gov. Ducey's plan includes many ideas I support including investing in mental and behavioral health.
Do you think income requirements for KidsCare should be lowered?
No. I support legislative efforts that ensure everyone has access to comprehensive health care including those with pre-existing conditions.
Do you think that states should proactively write laws for new industries like autonomous vehicles and other new technologies?
Yes. As our economy changes, our legislators must continue to be forwarding looking, putting education, healthcare, and public safety on a long-term & structurally stable financial foundation, attracting & retaining diverse businesses, & fostering communities for all to live, raise a family, & retire.
Do you think there should be more accountability for Arizona charter schools?
N/A. "More" is vague. I will consider each recommendation on its own merits. The charter school model is different than the public school one. The difference provides a competitive stimulus. Treating students fairly does not mean treating them the same. The same logic applies to charter & public schools.
Should the Legislature be responsible for filling vacant U.S. Senate/Congressional seats?
In Arizona, if a U.S. Senate seat becomes vacant, the governor appoints someone from the same party as the previous senator to fill the seat until the next election. I approve of this mechanism.
Should WIC, SNAP and other social welfare programs be more strictly regulated?
"More" is vague. I will support reforms that improve these programs, incorporate greater accessibility and transparency, and incentivize recipients to invest in themselves and improve the work and personal lives.