|Integrity in Government||Illegal Aliens|
|Prior-Year Budgeting||The Second Amendment|
|Infrastructure & BRAC||Small Business Challenges|
|Fiscal Responsibility, Accountability & Restraint||Changing the Political Climate in Montgomery|
If there is a particular issue not covered on my website that you have a question about, please feel free to call me directly at (256) 652-5293.
The downturn in America’s economic outlook is having a negative effect on job growth and business expansion here in Alabama. Businesses large and small are struggling to survive during this challenging time, which means we have to be wise in our approach to economic development.
I believe North Alabama’s success with providing diverse industries (i.e. aerospace, research genetics, military support, and varied manufacturing services) is a model that the entire state should take to heart. We have immense natural resources across our great state that could help Alabama become a leader in alternative energy. Our tax structure must continue to be favorable to the citizens and businesses of Alabama. We have an eager, educated, and plentiful workforce that should be used to entice corporations to relocate to Alabama. The needed infrastructure to support BRAC must be a top priority to the Legislators of our community. A unified voice in Montgomery representing our area is vital if Huntsville/Madison County is to continue moving forward.
Governor Riley’s team has done an outstanding job in marketing Alabama as the location for business opportunity, and we must continue his policy of aggressively competing with other states to bring new industry to our state through tax incentives and other perks so that Alabama will remain a breeding ground for business opportunity and job growth.
I believe service in the State Legislature should not be a career, rather it should be a chance for men and women who feel a calling to serve the communities that have blessed them with opportunity and success. Unfortunately, too many elected officials have sought public office because they view it as a chance to benefit both personally and financially.
Since January of this year, Alabama has had a state senator and a state representative convicted of public corruption, and the Governor has called special elections to replace them. This is a sad commentary on the state of ethics in government. Not to mention, special elections cost the taxpayers of Alabama money.
Representing District 7 in Montgomery is an act of service that must be taken seriously. The Alabama Legislature meets once a year to do the “people’s business,” and during that time I will work diligently to serve our community honorably and honestly.
I support measures to put real teeth in Alabama’s ethics laws, like giving the Ethics Commission subpoena power, banning PAC to PAC transfers as well as limiting PAC contributions, requiring transparency in campaign and PAC reporting, and limiting entertaining expenditures by lobbyists during any and all legislative sessions.
I am a small business owner whose success has resulted from hard work and professional ethics. I believe Legislators must put the public trust ahead of personal ambition. I am seeking to serve in the Alabama State Senate in order to have a positive impact on our community.
I am committed to overhauling Alabama’s failing budget process. Our State has entered proration far too often over the past several decades to consider the current method of budgeting successful. There is currently a shortfall in revenues needed to run our state government and the present financial crisis is straining our state budgets. A new conservative approach is desperately needed to address the state’s revenue shortfall.
The current budgetary process used by the state leadership employs a method of projecting what future revenues are expected to be collected and then basing the following year’s budget off that arbitrary projection.
Alabama will experience a $700 million shortfall in revenues for FY 2009 due to the unexpected slowdown in the economy.
I propose basing the state budgetary process on prior-year revenues received by the state. Using prior-year revenues will allow the economy to dictate government spending and growth, rather than legislators. My proposal would provide a means of savings by putting excess revenues aside, into a Budgetary Surplus Savings Fund (BSSF), when the economy generates growth. The BSSF is to be tapped into only when there is a shortfall in collected revenues for a fiscal year (FY). Likewise, my proposal will provide the opportunity to use some of the excess revenues for prioritized needs (one-time expenses, not reoccurring expenses) across state agencies when the annual amount of money entering the BSSF exceeds 12% of the current year’s budget. At the 12% threshold, any excess revenues would be released to the Governor’s office for distribution to state agencies based on a prioritized needs list provided by the legislature as an attachment to the budget, with the final approval on fund distribution made by the Governor, not the legislative branch.
All budget figures are based on prior-year revenues (from the last full FY prior to the legislative session) and FY revenues are actual revenue numbers:
Fiscal Year 2006
|PYB FY 2006 Budget||$6,872,624,254.67|
|FY 2006 Revenues||$8,371,414,233.31|
|BSSF Threshold||$ 824,714,910.50|
|Released Funds||$ 674,075,067.50|
Fiscal Year 2007
|PYB FY 2007 Budget||$7,622,125,094.60|
|FY 2007 Revenues||$8,724,958,232.98|
|BSSF Threshold||$ 914,655,011.30|
|Released Funds||$ 188,178,126.70|
Fiscal Year 2008
|PYB FY 2008 Budget||$8,371,414,233.31|
|FY 2008 Revenues||$8,962,346,085.88|
|Surplus (Shortfall)||$ 590,931,852.57|
|Released Funds||No Funds Released|
Fiscal Year 2009
|PYB FY 2009 Budget||$8,724,958,232.98|
|FY 2009 Revenues||$8,016,000,000.00|
|Surplus (Shortfall)||( $726,958,232.98)|
|Total BSSF Funds|
|to Cover Shortfall||$2,743,939,630.00|
The net effect of using a prior-year revenue method as a basis for formulating the State budget is to limit government spending and to alleviate the chance of proration.
BRAC will bring new growth to Huntsville, and that is both a blessing and a challenge. We must be prepared to accommodate the needs of the influx of people coming to our area. Transportation issues must be resolved to move traffic in and out of our city safely and quickly. Future public education needs will demand the building of new schools and upgrading existing schools. Hiring more public safety officers in our fire and police departments will be a necessity as well as purchasing new equipment for these departments to carry out their duties efficiently and effectively.
I will be an advocate for our city and county. I know that preparation and planning are the keys to addressing these issues so that the demands of BRAC will be met in a timely and efficient manner. As a small business owner, I know that being prepared to deal with what lies ahead makes common sense. I will work with the Governor’s office, his colleagues in the Legislature, and the BRAC Commission to ensure that Huntsville is adequately poised to meet the challenges of new growth opportunities.
I know the runaway spending by Congress in Washington over the last ten years has led to the economic crisis we currently face on the national level. Because of the shortfall in state government, I believe that Alabama Legislators must be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, finding every possible way to cut waste and inefficiency rather than raising taxes and/or fees on working families and retired people. And it is imperative that lawmakers practice restraint in passing legislation with a price tag we can ill afford. There is no room for unfunded mandates caused by the passing of legislation.
The economic stimulus package hurriedly passed by Congress this February was shrouded in secrecy and done without providing Members of Congress or the American people an opportunity to read and review it. The Alabama Legislature must learn from Congress’ egregious railroading of the American people. I promise to thoroughly read every piece of legislation that I vote for or against. The Alabama House and Senate must operate openly and transparently if either is to regain the trust of the citizens of Alabama.
I firmly believe government does not exist to solve every problem. I am confident that decisions made at the local level are more effective and efficient than those made at the state and national levels. I believe it is our civic duty to provide for those who cannot help themselves with a hand up, not a handout. As a senator, I will never neglect the least, the last and the lost, but I do believe in the philosophy that citizens must accept personal responsibility for their lives.
Immigration and naturalization issues are functions of the federal government. As a restaurant owner, I deal with this issue as an employer several times per year. I have always verified the citizenship of potential employees and believe other Alabama employers must do the same. My belief is that if employers merely follow the law, illegal aliens would not be able to find work and will go elsewhere.
Local and state candidates who use the immigration issue are merely grandstanding on a subject they know little about. If current laws were enforced, many of the problems associated with undocumented people would not exist. Aggressive measures should be taken with employers and industries that have been identified as frequent offenders in hiring illegal aliens.
I believe law enforcement officers at the state and local levels should be trained to enforce immigration laws to the extent they can, but the real function of closing our borders and dealing with illegal aliens rests with the federal government. Once undocumented workers are arrested, the identification process should be streamlined in order to expedite the deportation of violators. Deporting illegal aliens is costly to our state, but a necessary measure in discouraging the further increase in the illegal alien population.
Many in the health care industry have a legitimate complaint when they say illegal aliens use hospitals and other medical services without paying their fair share. I believe when medical facilities provide free care to illegal aliens who are unable to pay, those facilities should be entitled to submit a reasonable invoice to the federal government for reimbursement.
Currently, our schools and social services are burdened with a disproportionate responsibility in providing services to illegal aliens. It is time our state takes an active role in decreasing the population of illegal aliens in Alabama. We must take whatever measures are necessary in discouraging illegal aliens to reside in Alabama. The cost of providing an education and healthcare to illegal aliens is draining money from the citizens of our state and our children’s future depends on our action with this issue.
I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. I enjoy hunting to unwind from my daily duties as a restaurant owner. I take my 13-year old son Chase with me on hunting trips and have taught him that gun safety, responsibility, and conservation of our natural resources are obligations that come with gun ownership.
I believe if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Most guns used in crimes are purchased off the streets by one criminal from another, not from licensed gun dealers.
I am adamantly opposed to any measure that could or would weaken the right of law-abiding citizens to purchase, own and use guns, whether for recreational use or self-protection. I am likewise opposed to any attempts by our government at any level to restrict gun ownership or any efforts to impose further gun control of any kind. Creating more gun control laws is not the answer because criminals don’t follow the law in the first place.
My wife, Danielle, and I own and operate “little Paul’s Barbecue” on Madison Street in Huntsville. My great-grandfather, Big Bob Gibson, started our family tradition of cooking barbecue over 80 years ago and the tradition has since been passed down and branched out over the years. In 1956, my grandparents opened Gibson’s Barbecue here in Huntsville, and my family has lived here ever since.
I bring the experience of signing a paycheck and creating jobs where none existed. In tough economic times like these, I make sure our employees are paid before I receive a check. I face the challenges of running a small business and believe government intrusion into our operations puts an undue burden on entrepreneurs. Small businesses struggle to provide jobs and make a profit while the government continues to demand more time and more regulatory measures of business owners.
As a Senator, I will fight attempts at the state level that create red tape and/or impose undue burdens on business owners.
I am a member in good standing of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).
Alabama’s Legislature is called into session every year. This means that lawmakers must be focused on tackling issues confronting the citizens of our state. I know it’s time to change the partisan bickering and backroom deals that have characterized the Alabama Senate for too long. Because we are experiencing a serious budget crisis in our state, we do not have time to waste on petty politics and personal agendas.
In a recent legislative session, a meltdown occurred in the Alabama Senate that shut down the entire legislative process. A special session had to be called in order to pass an operating budget for the next year. Two Senators exchanged words, and a punch was thrown—an incident that sadly drew national attention. This type of behavior is unacceptable to the citizens of Alabama, as we must expect more from our leaders.
I am committed to going to the Capital City to get a job done. I am just an ordinary citizen who is a newcomer to the political scene. I will not make public service a career, but I view this election as an opportunity to work for the people of the city of Huntsville and Madison County who have given so much to me and my family over the years. I wish to offer a fresh face and common sense ideas to the challenges facing our leaders in Montgomery. I wish to represent the everyday people of District 7 with commitment, integrity, openness, and honesty.