FAMILY: Wife, Rita; Newborn Son, Ben
CAMPAIGN MAILING ADDRESS: 6350 Rolling Mill Pl., Springfield, Va. 22152
CAMPAIGN PHONE: 703-451-3555
EMPLOYMENT: Albo & Oblon, LLP
EDUCATION: B.A., University of Virginia; J.D., University of Richmond
QUALIFICATIONS: Former Fairfax City Prosecutor, Former Legal Guardian for Abused Children, Member of the House of Delegates 1994-Present
1. What is your top public service accomplishment?
Helping the South County Parents build their new South County Secondary School. Their land swap idea together with my "Albo-Rust Public-Private School Construction Plan" built the fantastic new school in half the time it normally takes and at two-thirds the cost!
In addition, I am especially proud of our 10 year mission to eliminate the lenient parole system. A decade ago, a General Assembly study found that 75 percent of crime was committed by repeat offenders. As an original co-sponsor of the bill that eliminated parole, I was ecstatic to read a new study which found that crime in Virginia had decreased by 26 percent over the past decade.
2. What sets you apart from the other candidate in the race?
My proven track record of achieving results for our neighborhood. This has led to our area receiving more money for needed transportation projects than any other area in the commonwealth. Just look around and you will see projects like the Springfield Interchange, Springfield Metro, Fairfax County Parkway, Lorton Station VRE, and improvements on Route 1, Lorton Road, Route 123, and the Occoquan Bridge are at or near completion.
3. What is one thing you promise not to do if elected?
I promise never stop listening to my constituents. For the past 12 years, I have tried to answer every constituent phone call, letter, and e-mail myself so that I can stay in tune with what my constituents want from their state government. This is why I fought against tax increases that ripped off Fairfax County and sent 76 percent of our K-12 education funds downstate and did not deliver one penny for transportation.
4. What is the biggest issue facing your district? What should be done to address it?
Transportation. While we have come a long way, now is not the time to rest on our laurels. We need a toll-funded Washington bypass to get interstate drivers out of the area so that we can use our local roads again. We need a constitutional amendment to ensure that the taxes you pay for transportation go to build roads and rail. We need to make chronically dangerous and drunk drivers pay to maintain and improve the roads that they carelessly abuse.
5. Is there any additional legislation in regard to abortion that you would support? Would you make any changes to the current laws and regulation about abortion in Virginia?
Under the present rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, first and second trimester abortion is legal and Virginia cannot change that. This issue is so personal that I always listen to the views of my constituents in order to enact their will through my votes on the House floor. In the process of representing my constituents over the past 12 years, I helped draft and pass Parental Notice, Informed Consent, and the Ban on Partial Birth abortions. And, I have always consistently voted to keep birth control available to women without further restrictions.
6. In Virginia, local governments have limited control of revenue and taxing authority. Should they have more? Less? What changes would you propose?
Before we consider allowing local governments more taxing authority, they must first prove that they can responsibly handle their current tax authority. In just the past year, Fairfax County has received the authority to increase cigarette taxes, recordation taxes, the hotel/motel taxes, on top of revenue received from its share of the sales tax increase. With all of this new revenue, Fairfax still increased your real estate taxes by an average of 12 percent last year. When I ask my constituents about this, they wonder where it all goes because they aren’t receiving more or better benefits than they have in the past. So, no, I do not think local governments should have more taxing authority.
7. In Northern Virginia, property taxes have increased dramatically in recent years. What role should the state play in this?
Over the past six years, Fairfax County has increased property taxes more than 90 percent with little to show for it. Still, the county advocated for a $1.5 billion tax increase that sent 76 percent of our education money downstate and didn’t provide a single cent for transportation. The state should mandate a real estate tax cap so that no tax bill will ever increase more than 5 percent per year.
8. What do you believe the role of the state should be in determining the status of same-sex couples in Virginia?
I have always voted against allowing gay marriage. Marriage is essentially a bond that is approved of and conferred upon couples by religious organizations and the Code of Virginia. Traditional marriage holds a sacred place in our society and, from talking with my constituents, I do not believe that our society is ready to confer marriage on same-sex couples.
9. What are your views about public-private partnerships and other mechanisms to privatize Virginia’s highway system? What are the caveats you would identify as we move forward with this process?
Public-private partnerships are a great way to build roads, schools and other government needs. In fact, the Public-Private Education Act, which was based upon my "Albo-Rust Public-Private School Construction Plan" built the South County Secondary School and is presently being used to renovate the State Capitol in Richmond, and to modernize the state's technology infrastructure. I believe that a public-private partnership can be used to build the Washington bypass to get cars and trucks off our streets and should be looked into to build a new South County Middle School.
10. Do you believe that illegal immigration is a problem in Virginia? If so, why, and what should be done?
Every time an illegal immigrant brings a child into Virginia, it costs taxpayers $12,500 per year per child to educate him, thus decreasing the quality of education legal residents’ children receive. Street gangs who threaten our children recruit directly from the illegal alien population (80 percent of gang members are illegal immigrants). It’s easy to claim that illegal immigration is a federal problem, but Virginia can not sit idly by. We need to eliminate incentives for illegals to come to Virginia. In the past, I wrote the law that denies illegal aliens the driver’s licenses that allowed seven of the terrorists to board planes on 9/11. This past year, I passed a law that bars illegal aliens from receiving taxpayer-funded public benefits and employment services. Next year I will work to allow state and local police to arrest and deport illegal aliens who have committed other crimes and give those officials the resources they need to do it.