Rep. Jones Responds to APN HD53 Questionnaire

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(APN) ATLANTA — In the Atlanta Progressive News coverage of contested Primary Elections for State House races this season, APN has so far printed questionnaire responses from seven out of nine candidates in four different races.

So far, APN has printed responses from Jason Esteves and Robert Patillo in HD 53; Ken Britt and former State Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas in HD 56; State Rep. Pat Gardner in HD 57; State Reps. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) and Ralph Long (D-Atlanta) in HD 58.

Yesterday, State Rep. Jones, HD 53 incumbent provided her questionnaire responses to APN.  

To date, the only candidate to not provide their responses, despite repeated requests, despite originally promising to do so, and despite claiming to want to make this race about the issues, is State Rep. Rashad Taylor (D-Atlanta).

Jones’s responses are provided below along with brief summaries of the responses provided by Esteves and Patillo, whose responses have already been published separately in full.

(1) DO YOU SUPPORT OR OPPOSE NUCLEAR POWER?

JONES: I support initiatives to develop clean and renewable energy sources. Japan‘s nuclear power incident reflects the need for more regulated oversight.

ESTEVES: (Support.)

PATILLO: (Oppose.)

(2) BALLOT ACCESS MEANS MAKING IT EASIER FOR INDEPENDENT AND MINOR PARTY CANDIDATES TO GET ON THE BALLOT IN GEORGIA.  THE CURRENT PETITIONING REQUIREMENTS ARE ONE PERCENT STATEWIDE, FIVE PERCENT FOR JURISDICTIONS (IE- COUNTY, STATE HOUSE DISTRICT, US HOUSE DISTRICT).  WOULD YOU SUPPORT LOWERING THE PETITION REQUIREMENTS AND IF SO, TO WHAT LEVEL?

JONES: Yes, I would support measures that increase participation in the democratic process. For this reason, I support a 1% requirement at every level.

ESTEVES: (Yes.  Some reduction, not complete elimination.)

PATILLO: (Yes.  One percent across the board.)

(3) DO YOU SUPPORT ADDING A VOTER-VERIFIABLE PAPER AUDIT TRAIL TO ELECTRONIC VOTING IN GEORGIA?

JONES: Absolutely.

ESTEVES: (Yes.)

PATILLO: (Yes.)

(4) WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON CHARTER SCHOOLS?  SHOULD THE GEORGIA CONSTITUTION BE AMENDED TO ALLOW THE STATE TO OVERRIDE LOCALLY-ELECTED SCHOOL BOARDS’ DECISIONS WHEN IT COMES TO THE CREATION OF CHARTER SCHOOLS?  WHY OR WHY NOT?

JONES: Charter schools offer an alternative to the traditional public schools. I support giving equal opportunity in education to all children, parents and families through parental choice. We have too much work that needs to be done to improve our education system for some and not all of us to be involved. Our children deserve every opportunity we can provide for them to succeed if it is a public charter school. With respect to Constitutional Amendments, I believe that the voters should have the right to weigh in on this decision across the state.

ESTEVES: (No.)

PATILLO: (No.)

(5) WOULD YOU SUPPORT LEGALIZING MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA?

JONES: No.

ESTEVES: (No.)

PATILLO: (No.)

(6) DO YOU SUPPORT ENDING THE CURRENT PRACTICE PERMITTING UNLIMITED GIFTS FROM LOBBYISTS TO STATE LEGISLATORS?

JONES: Yes.

ESTEVES: (Yes.)

PATILLO: (Yes.)

(6b) HAVE YOU SIGNED THE COMMON CAUSE GIFT CAP PLEDGE?  IF NOT, WHY NOT?

JONES: No.

ESTEVES: (No.)

PATILLO: (Yes.)

(7) DO YOU SUPPORT A MORE PROGRESSIVE TAX STRUCTURE?  IF SO, WHAT SPECIFIC TAX REFORMS WOULD YOU PROPOSE?

JONES: I support tax reform. I supported both HB 386 which eliminates the ad valorem tax and
eliminates the marriage tax penalty; and HB 868 which increases Georgia’s economic competitiveness by modifying job incentives and tax credits, it expands the Research and
Development tax credit, the Mega project tax credit, and the Port tax credits. This legislation will create jobs and make Georgia more competitive globally!

ESTEVES: (Eliminate certain individual and corporate tax incentives.)

PATILLO: (Yes.  Re-institute sales tax holiday.)

(8) WHAT, IF ANYTHING, WOULD YOU DO TO SUPPORT AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN GEORGIA?

JONES: Since being elected in 2004, I have supported legislation that protects homeowners from harmful lending practices and policies. Currently, the State has a transferable housing tax credit that can be used to revitalize communities that have been impacted by the mortgage fallout. I also support the City of Atlanta’s existing tax credit available to seniors and initiatives that offer police officers and teachers homeownership opportunities in communities that have been hardest hit by the economic downturn.
   
ESTEVES: (Require affordable housing in taxpayer subsidized developments; protect seniors from property tax increases.)

PATILLO: (Turn Georgia into a judicial foreclosure state, allowing homeowners the right to a hearing.)

(END/2012)

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