Are you a legal resident of the district you’re seeking to represent? Yes.
Have you ever been convicted of a crime? No.
Have you ever sued a public entity or been sued by one? No.
Do you have any unpaid property taxes? No
Do you have any unpaid parking tickets? No
Do you have any other debts to a public entity? No
If elected will you work at the job full time? Yes with the understanding ours is a part-time legislature.
Will you continue to own or operate an outside business while holding this full-time public office? Yes so I can support my family.
Will you have your home phone number listed in the phone book? Yes
Will you keep regular office hours? Yes
Q. Why should voters choose you? What are your specific qualifications for the position?
A. I live work and am raising my young family in Galveston. Ike severely damaged all of Galveston Island Bolivar Peninsula and key portions of Galveston County and voters need to know their Senator cares and will work his heart out to make things right. When UTMB held its town hall meeting on Oct. 7 at noon to discuss potential mass layoffs I was there; Mike Jackson was not. He knew this meeting mattered to his constituents; his absence was inexcusable. I am independent and experienced having served six years on the Galveston City Council — the final two as mayor pro tem. I’m young I’ll work hard for you and I can’t be bought.
Q. What are the issues in this campaign? What is your platform on those issues?
A. I will sponsor legislation to make insurance premiums and electricity rates more affordable. I will sponsor legislation that will clean our air while guaranteeing jobs and a robust economic climate for our refineries. I’ll champion commuter rail between Houston and Galveston and — above all — I’ll work tirelessly to protect UTMB — our County’s greatest employer.
Q. If you promise to control or reduce taxes tell us how and be specific. For example how do you propose offsetting the inflation in government operating costs you cannot control (insurance utilities fuel costs etc.) by cutting costs you can control?
A. I’ll gladly pay a dollar’s worth of tax for a dollar’s worth of service and I bet you would too. We pay too much in property taxes because our lawmakers are too scared to explore the full range of options when it comes to paying for our shared needs. As your Senator I will make sure you are aware of our choices in raising revenues. I will support the revenue methods that have the broadest shoulders so each of us pays as little as necessary.
Q. What government programs or personnel can be cut to reduce the increasing cost of government? Be specific.
A. We should cut any program that unnecessarily causes us to bleed money. For example Windstorm Insurance laws currently require that the Pool pays federal income taxes on its holdings. It’s incredible but true. Unlike my opponent — who personally killed the windstorm reform bill in the last legislative session — I will sponsor a bill to change the Pool Board membership so Texas can keep millions of dollars (that now annually go to Washington) so we can instead pay deserving claims here in Texas.
Q. What specific actions would you take to make the office you seek more accessible to county residents and work efficiently with tax monies?
A. I will employ the best staff in multiple offices that are conveniently located. Constituent services are the backbone of any Senator’s service. Ours will be second to none.
Q. Tell us a about yourself. How old are you? What is your occupation? What is your highest level of education?
A. I am a 46-year old father of two (our nine year old son Lee and our four year old daughter Sasha are the focus of our life) married for eighteen years to my wife Becca. I practice maritime law and mediation. I graduated in 1991 with a law degree from the University of Texas. I am a fourth generation Texan and I believe our charge is to work hard and leave Texas better than we found her for our kids and grandkids — the next generation of Texans.