Following are responses from candidate Robert E. Harris:
1. Do you favor President Carter's proposal for reorganizing the federal civil service? Why?
No. I believe reorganizing agencies based upon need to better serve the American people is very much in order, but not change just for administrative optics. Many agencies have undergone reorganizations in recent years without a corresponding improvement.
2. Do you favor the Hatch Act ban of civil service workers participating in partisan politics?
Yes, I believe it is the country's interest to keep partisan political pressure out of the civil service. After all this is the reason civil service was established.
3. Under what circumstances would you support a commuter tax for the District of Columbia?
None.I would virgorously oppose a commuter tax on Northern Virginians.
4. Do you favor changing the military retirement system, as proposed by a presidential commission?
I believe any changes to the military retirement system should 'grandfather' in all present armed forces personnel and apply only to new people entering the service. Further, I want to see the 'fine print' before taking a position.
5. Would you favor extension of the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment?
At the present time, I have seen no evidence of 8th District voter concern or support for extending the ERA ratification deadline.
6. List what would be your five top legislative priorities.
Curtail inflation by stopping deficit spending and balancing the budget; develop a national energy policy; stimulate more jobs in the private sector; tax credits for college tuition; condo protection act; complete Metro.
7. What committees would you seek assignment on and why?
Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs - because lending rates and practices impact on every homeowner and consumer; Government Operations - because 50 percent of the 8th District voters work for the federal government; Post Office and Civil Service - for the same reason; Armed Services - this country's military posture is weakening rapidly; Ways and Means - tax reform is badly needed.
8. What specifically would you propose to fight inflation?
Reduce deficit spending and balance the budget; tighten up the money supply; place a firm ceiling on the national debt; stimulate jobs in the private sector.
9. What level of funding, if any, should the federal government agree to for Metro? Do you want to see completion of the 100-mile Metro system?
As a Northern Virginia Transportation commissioner, I support completion of the full 100-mile system with present 80 percent government financing. Mass transit combined with a safe road network is needed to achieve a balanced system.
10. Do you favor tuition tax credits for parents of college students? Parochial students at the elementary and secondary level?
Yes, the burden on middle-income families must be eased for those who are trying to put their youngsters through college. I support tuition tax credits for parochial students at both the elementary and secondary level.
11. In a case that placed your personal beliefs at odds with what you believe to be the wishes of the majority of constituents, how would you vote?
As an elected representative of the people you are 'honor bound' to carry out their wishes over any personal beliefs. I believe a person in a position of public trust must represent his constituents, not himself in office.
12. Do you favor federal laws banning the sale, manufacture and possession of hand guns?
No, I favor a strong penalty for those convicted to crimes using firearms. I cosponsored bills that were enacted into law in the Virginia House of Delegates that provided additional sentences for crimes with firearms.
13. Do you favor changes in the mail service? Should rates be increased or Saturday delivery be ended?
The mail service should continue at its present schedule. Rates should not be increased and Saturday delivery should continue.
14. Do you favor tax credits for solar installations, such as water heater, etc.?
Yes, economic incentives are required to achieve greater consumer acceptance of solar systems because of the high initial capital costs.
15. Would you support a constitutional amendment making abortion illegal? Or other federal action on abortion? If so, describe your proposal.
This issue has grown in public debate and voter concern over the past few years. I would support a constitutional amendment so that this important issue could be addressed in all 50 state legislatures. In my five years in the House of Delegates, I have been consponsor on every 'Right to Life' piece of legislation introduced in the Virginia House of Delegates.