White: Education is central to our future needs. I would like to see us move strongly ahead with teacher-salary needs, as well as concerns about class size and the repair and modernization of our schools. I also believe we must continue our economic-development efforts to make our state an attractive one for workers and for our young people, so that they don't feel they have to leave the state in order to find a high quality of life. Finally, we need to continue working on the behalf of our seniors in addressing their concerns. Prescription-drug costs are continuing to rise at a staggering rate. Many of the seniors I have talked with have asked that we get involved in the fight to see these costs controlled.
Differentiate yourself from your opponent(s) on three issues you think are important that you also expect your governmental body to consider during your term.
Moroney: I won't "go along to get along" out of party loyalty. I won't support tax gimmickry, like sales-tax holidays, preferring permanent across-the-board reductions, even if modest. Stop destroying the lives of our youth for petty, nonviolent drug offenses.
White: First, education. I believe that we must invest in our schools to make them number one in the country again. This means repairing and modernizing physical infrastructure, increasing teacher salaries to head off the impending teacher shortage, and reducing class size to be sure all children get the attention they need. Second, the property-tax cap being proposed by the Iowa Farm Bureau and my opponent. While I would like to see lower property taxes as much as any other homeowner, I believe a state-imposed cap would be a barrier to growth for many municipalities. Each community must have the freedom to determine its needs and be able to set its course, and the local officials will face citizen review at the ballot box.
List three specific programs or projects for which you would support increasing funding, even if it required reducing funding to other programs or projects.
Moroney: There are many deserving programs that Iowans have, do, and will voluntarily support. And they will do so at increased levels, if they have tax relief. There are no programs on which I would spend additional tax dollars.
White: We should increase teacher pay so that we can not only address the expected teacher shortage, but so that we can raise our teacher salaries at least to the national average. I would also like to see job-training programs, such as the Accelerated Career Education program and local school-to-work initiatives, expanded. The New Opportunities fund helps with underutilized populations by providing additional funds complementing existing training and employment programs. I believe these programs will help fuel our economic growth by providing an increasingly skilled workforce. List three specific programs or projects for which you would support decreasing funding, regardless of whether the budget required it.
Moroney: All forms of corporate welfare should be eliminated. Overall education funding can be reduced (while maintaining per-student public-school funding) by offering increased tuition tax credits and "no strings" vouchers. No more Vision Iowa funds that promote intra-state competition rather than cooperation.
White: I believe in a balanced budget, which means that the increases I mentioned above would require decreases in funding elsewhere. I would have to look carefully at the appropriations bills that came before the legislature and decide where our government could become more economically efficient, doing more with less money.
If it were clear that a large majority of people in your district opposed a proposal that you strongly favored, what decision would you make and how would you justify it to your constituents?
Moroney: My goal is that every constituent knows that every vote I cast, on every issue, no exceptions, is intended to increase their control over their own lives, their own families, and their own communities. If I am successful in this, then no constituent will be surprised by any vote or fail to understand my reason.
White: It is imperative that a representative do exactly that - represent. They are elected to go to Des Moines, and carry the needs and concerns of a district to the legislature. On issues that call for making a tough call, I would need to consult with the constituents, and make the call that supports the decision that the majority of the district has favored.
What specific proposals would you support to bring genuine economic growth - new jobs that pay well, companies committed to the community - to the Quad Cities?
Moroney: Stop "making deals." No more corporate-welfare enticements. But also lower corporate taxes. The net effect is an attractive, stable, low-tax environment. We can reduce regulations if we reduce the need for them by insisting on individual responsibility for corporate actions. Responsible corporate citizens will come.
White: We need to continue to work on incentives to grow new businesses. We also need to work as close as we can with Quad City businesses to identify recruitment needs and training opportunities. Governor Vilsack has said that he wants to pursue new businesses and industry that add value to our Iowa farm products. We need to also look to developing computer-related businesses and manufacturers.
List specific proposals that would improve cooperation and reduce competition among government bodies in the Quad City area.
Moroney: Our local governments should be kept on a short leash. Too much latitude allows them to misspend our resources on misplaced priorities and competing interests, Davenport's spending on museums and golf courses rather than basic service like sewers and police being obvious examples of too much free reign.
White: Candidate did not answer this question. List any specific proposals you would support to improve the integrity of your legislative body, including in the areas of campaign-finance reform, lobbying reform, sunshine laws, and ethics legislation.
Moroney: Disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures should be full, detailed, timely. Full, detailed, timely compilations of each legislator's bills sponsored and all votes cast, in committee and otherwise, should be readily available. Open-meetings laws should be strengthened. The legislature should make all major expenditure decisions, not appointed boards.
White: I would support campaign-finance reform, because the costs of running a campaign are getting to be so high that the average person is often unable to run for office. I would also support ethics legislation that addresses negative campaign tactics, which are becoming increasingly common. For example, I would support a law that required candidates to document any charges they choose to make against an opponent on all mailings. Without such legislation, campaigns are able to mail postcards or letters that make false claims, which confuse the voter and keep him or her from making a truly informed decision.
List and justify your top five legislative priorities.
Moroney: Double the tuition tax credit and make this credit available to anyone, thus creating private charitable tuition funds. Reform incorporation laws to afix individual culpability for corporate crimes. Reduce every form of state tax. Prosecute fully any individual or corporation that damages state property, including waterways. In criminal justice - first full restitution, rehabilitation where possible, retribution when necessary.
White: As I have previously stated, education is one of my top priorities, especially the issue of teacher salaries and modernizing school buildings. I believe that without a safe school and a quality teacher, our efforts to educate our children will be eroded. In the wake of welfare reform, what specific initiatives would you support to address poverty, including in the areas of affordable housing; transportation; education and job-training; and access to health and child care?
Moroney: In all these instances, we should take everything the federal government offers; we've paid for it. The roots of many of these problems (e.g., health-care costs) are federal, but education is the crucial element. Educational choice enables parents to give their children the education appropriate to make them self-supporting adults.
White: As a member of the Welfare Reform Coalition here in the Quad Cities, I have committed myself to finding positive solutions for former welfare recipients. There are barriers to self-sufficiency that cause people to become frustrated and angry. I want to be sure that, as people move from welfare to work, they have access to housing, child care, and health care, as well as job support in the form of continued training and mentorships. Without these services, the new jobs will be only temporary.
List and justify your top three priorities for the Iowa budget surplus.
Moroney: Give it back. Give it back. Give it back. What the legislature doesn't have, the legislature can't spend.
White: Improving education - without an educated and trained workforce, our efforts at building a new economy in Iowa will not be successful. Economic development - we should bring new industry and expand our current businesses to bring them into the technology era so that our metro area is prosperous.