FAMILY: Wife, Michelle, and one son.
CAMPAIGN CONTACT INFO: 703-406-1721,Ê www.MickStaton.com
EMPLOYMENT: Vice President, Capitol Link, Inc.; current member, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors
EDUCATION: Bachelors in Political Science and a masters in Public Administration from West Virginia University.
QUALIFICATIONS: I have the educational, professional and political experience to be the next senator for the 33rd District. I have been involved in politics for 28 years, since I was just a boy and have extensive knowledge and experience in both the political realm and the legislative process. I am a sitting elected official who has an intimate knowledge of the challenges facing Northern Virginia and am prepared to address those issues in Richmond.
1. What is your top public service accomplishment?
I have two. I was able to pass the largest tax rate decrease in Loudoun CountyÕs history. I also performed the most thorough review of Loudoun CountyÕs proffer system that has ever been done and as a result developers are now paying more money for roads and schools than anywhere in Virginia.
2. What sets you apart from the other candidates in the race?
I have a record of success in fighting against higher taxes, as well as working to return surplus funds in the form of a tax rebate. I have a record of success in getting roads built, requiring developers to pay more to fix our roads and getting improvements built up front. I have a record of success in supporting fair and balanced growth, opposing the urbanization of eastern Loudoun and opposing the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes. I have a record of success in making developers pay, leading the most thorough review of our proffer system that has ever been done and raising the costs developers pay for schools, parks, and libraries to their highest level in history.
3. What is one thing you promise not to do if elected?
I promise not to vote for a tax increase. I have signed the No Tax Pledge of the Virginia Club for Growth and Americans for Tax Reform. Too many politicians today think the only choice is how much to raise taxes, yet we are sitting on an enormous surplus of funds. Politicians need to learn to live within a budget just like a family does.
4. What is the biggest issue facing the 33rd Senate District? What should be done to address it?
The biggest issue is our inadequate transportation system. Too often the local governmentÕs hands are tied when dealing with improving our roads. The state needs to work in partnership with local governments to help fix our road problems. We need to remove some of the burdensome regulations placed on local governments by the state and we need to make funding our roads in Northern Virginia a priority.
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?
The issue of abortion has been dividing our country for decades. I am 100 percent pro-life because I cannot fathom the thought of ending the life of an innocent unborn child. This horrible act is wiping out generations of children and should be ended. It is also unconscionable that abortion clinics are not required to live up to the same medical standards as an outpatient clinic or even a veterinary clinic.
6. In Virginia, local governments have limited control of revenue and taxing authority. Should they have more? Less? What changes would you propose?
Local governments have control over the setting of property tax rates and that is enough. There do need to be changes, however, in the way in which state and local governments work together. Just as the states know better than the federal government how best to fix their problems, local governments know more about their problems and how to fix them. The state needs to work in cooperation with local governments to remove some of the burdensome regulations placed on them when it comes to fixing roads and with regard to public private partnerships to build roads and schools.
7. In Northern Virginia, property taxes have increased dramatically in recent years. What role should the state play in this?
In the past I have lobbied for a Constitutional Amendment to cap rising property assessments for tax purposes. I do not believe assessment increases should result in automatic tax increases. Government needs to do more to stop wasteful spending and make sure that the money given to us by taxpayers is spent as wisely and efficiently as possible.ÊThat includes state government. As senator, I will work to institute meaningful performance measurement standards that are designed to pinpoint wasteful programs that are not performing their mission and eliminate them.
8. What do you believe the role of the state should be in determining the status of same-sex couples in Virginia?
I do not agree with or support same-sex unions. I do not believe the state should condone them.
9. What are your views about public-private partnerships and other mechanisms to privatize VirginiaÕs highway system? What are the caveats you would identify as we move forward with this process?
I support the concept of public-private partnerships and point to the Route 28 tax district as an example of a true success story on how the government and private sector can work together to make major transportation improvements. We must be careful, though, not to enter into a partnership like this just for the sake of privatization. Each proposal must be considered on its own merits and only agreed to if a long term benefit to the public can be achieved.
10. Do you believe that illegal immigration is a problem in Virginia? If so, why, and what should be done?
Illegal immigration is a serious problem and needs to be dealt with. By condoning illegal immigration, we are doing a disservice to those who have come to this country legally, and followed all the extensive and time consuming rules to become citizens of this country in order to take advantage of the American Dream. We should not be using public money and publicly owned land to support illegal immigration like in the Herndon Day Labor Center. We need to pressure the federal government to do more to help the state and local governments deal with this situation.