Differentiate yourself from your opponent on three issues you think are important that you also expect your governmental body to consider during your term.
Deluhery: Enhance our natural environment to provide greater recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts; raise standards in nursing homes; and achieve tax fairness, particularly with regard to reducing and eventually eliminating the pension tax. I have a proven record of accomplishment on all of these issues in the Iowa Senate. More needs to be done, and I will continue to fight on all fronts.
List three specific programs or projects for which you would support increasing funding, even if it required reducing funding to other programs or projects.
Deluhery: Invest in education, especially increasing teacher pay; increase our commitment to clean water and clean air; and strengthen state programs that enhance our quality of life, such as REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection) funding for Nahant Marsh cleanup, and funding for local arts and entertainment festivals that make Iowa a more exciting place to live.
List three specific programs or projects for which you would support decreasing funding, regardless of whether the budget required it.
Deluhery: "Paper-based" information-processing systems are the hallmark of state government. I have been working to eliminate paper, record information by computer, and reduce "file-folder" jobs supported by the taxpayers. Jury selection at the Scott County Courthouse is now automated, based on a bill I sponsored that became law. State and local government (cities, counties, libraries, soil conservation districts, and many more) can become much more efficient, less costly to the taxpayer, and more customer-friendly by modernizing their techniques. I am working to implement these changes.
If it were clear that a large majority of people in your district opposed a proposal that you strongly favor, what decision would you make and how would you justify it to your constituents?
Deluhery: The legislator owes his constituency his judgment, as Edmund Burke might have said. Most of the time my votes reflect the wishes of the voters. When I disagree for reasons that are sound, I try to explain my thinking to the people I represent. It's a two-way street. Sometimes the voters persuade me to change my position. I have learned that most voters recognize that they are not going to agree with any individual who serves in elective office 100 percent of the time. 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?
Deluhery: Biotechnology, statewide high-speed Internet access, and comprehensive transportation-infrastructure improvements are policy initiatives toward which I will work. Our world-class schools, colleges, and universities are our biggest asset in attracting high-quality, high-wage industries. I have been working on these initiatives and will continue.
List specific proposals that would improve cooperation and reduce competition among government bodies in the Quad City area.
Deluhery: When first elected, I organized a series of meetings with legislators and local elected officials under the sponsorship of the Bi-State Metropolitan Commission. These meetings continue to this day. Communication is the key. Our area faces a challenge because people live and work on both sides of the river, in Iowa and Illinois. Advocacy groups and private organizations such as Quad City Arts help break down these barriers, and they deserve our attention.
List any specific proposals you would support to improve the integrity of your legislative body, including the area of campaign-finance reform, lobbying reform, sunshine laws, and ethics legislation.
Deluhery: Citizen scrutiny of legislative candidates is our most important ethical safeguard. I support campaign-finance reform. I support full disclosure of lobbyists' legislative efforts and the clients they represent, continuation of Iowa's prohibition on gifts to legislators over $3, and conversion of state information systems to an electronic database that is widely accessible for all citizens, including news organizations.
List and justify your top five legislative priorities.
Deluhery: Better schools; safe neighborhoods; good-paying jobs; clean air and water; and relief for seniors from the high cost of prescription drugs and pension taxes are my top priorities. That's what the people tell me they want. 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?
Deluhery: Welfare reform imposes a major responsibility on state government to address the housing, health, transportation, and education needs of people who don't always speak with the loudest voices. I listen to them. If elected, I will continue to fight their battle in the Iowa Senate.
List and justify your top three priorities for the Iowa budget surplus.
Deluhery: Surplus? What surplus? Our premiere responsibility is to maintain sound budget practices so we don't spend ourselves into a crisis. If additional funds become available, my priorities would start with education, a clean environment, and tax relief.