The following are responses from candidate John F. Herrity:
1. Do you favor President Carter's proposals for reorganizing the federal civil service? Why?
I favor a reorganization of the Civil Service Commission so that it fully protects the federal workers. Various features of the President's proposal would not do this. His proposal to remove some 9,000 workers from the provisions of the civil service system is plainly contrary to the best interests of the public and the civil service system.
2. Do you favor the Hatch Act ban of civil service workers participating, in partisan politics?
We must protect our civil service workers from political harassment. I support a proposal allowing our civil servants to participate in local elections. The ban should not be lifted for federal and state elections.
3. Under what circumstances would you support a commuter tax for the District of Columbia?
Under no circumstances.
4. Do you favor changing the military retirement system, as proposed by a presidential commission?
The military retirement system must be attractive enough to recruit an armed forces second to none. Promises made to current and retired military personnel cannot be broken. Within that context I can support those recommendations which would end certain abuses of the present retirement system for future military personnel.
5. Would you favor extension of the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment?
Seven years is an appropriate length of time in which to obtain a reasonably contemporaneous consensus on constitutional amendments. I would not favor an outright extension.
6. List what would be your five top legislative priorities.
Alleviate the disproportionate tax burden on middle class citizens; drastic curtailment of unnecessary federal spending; defeat of proposals to impose a commuter tax on Northern Virginia citizens who work in the District of Columbia; adequate funding for mass transportation; establishment of more stringent legislative oversight over the Department of HEW and HUD to keep these agencies from interfering with state, local and individual rights.
7. What committees would you seek assignment on and why?
The District of Columbia, Post Office and Civil Service, and Public Works and Transportation committees. These committees have a substantial impact on Northern Virginians, particularly federal workers. Assignment to Public Works and Transportation would give me an opportunity to work for full funding of a regional mass transportation system.
8. What specifically would you propose to fight inflation?
Elimination of excessive federal regulation of business and reduction on overall federal spending.
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?
If elected I will fight for full funding for the completion of a regional mass transportation system. I favor completion of the 100-mile Metro system as part of the regional system if a sound financing plan can be developed.
10. Do you favor tuition tax credits for parents of college students? Parochial students at the elementary and secondary level?
I favor such credits for parents of college students. In view of current federal deficits, I cannot support at this time such credits at 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?
Edmund Burke perhaps best answered this question when he told the citizens of Bristol:
"To deliver an opinion is the right of all men; that of constituents is a weighty and respectable opinion, which a representative ought always most seriously to consider. But authoriative instructions . . . which the member is bound blindly and implicity to obey . . . though contrary to the clearest convictions of his judgment and conscience - these are things utterly unknown to the laws of the land.?
12. Do you favor federal laws banning the sale, manufacture and possession of hand gun?
No. But I do favor, among other measures, the enactment of very severe Penalties such as mandatory jail sentences for the criminal use of handguns.
13. Do you favor changes in the mail service? Should rates be increased or Saturday delivery be ended?
I do not favor the elimination of Saturday service.
14. Do you favor tax credits for solar installations, such as water heaters, etc.?
15. Would you support a constitutional amendment making abortion illegal? Or other federal action on abortion? If so, describe your proposal.
I would favor such an amendment. I would also oppose federal funding of obortion programs except to save the life of a woman.