Darby: Not beholden to special interests

Published 12:47 am Friday, October 29, 2010

David Darby is seeking election to the House of Representatives, District 92, as a Democrat. He is a pharmacist.

One of the biggest issues before the state is funding the operation of government. What would you do as a legislator to prevent proration of state and education budgets in the future?

Darby: To prevent proration in the General Fund budget as well as the Education budget, we must be realistic about both expenses and income. On the income side I would support the use of a rolling average of previous year’s actual revenue so that we would not have an unrealistic expectation of the expected revenue. On the expense side, currently most budgets are made based on the prior year’s budget and are manipulated by a percentage amount. I am in favor of a concept called zero-based budgeting. In zero-based budgeting, every dollar spent has to be justified and accounted for beginning with the first dollar. This is the way I was taught to do budgets in my business experience, and I feel this needs to be brought to state government.

Much has been made over the ability to hide campaign contributions in Political Action Committees (PACs). Should there be more transparency in the political process? If so, how would you work for that as a member of the legislature?

Darby: People ask me often what I have learned through the campaign; my answer is that I am astounded at the influence of special interests. I knew before I entered the race that special interests had an undue influence in Montgomery, but I did not know to what extent. We will never have the type of state government that the people deserve until we gain control of this. Some want to gain control of the process by limiting PAC to PAC transfers; that is not enough. I am in favor of eliminating PAC contributions entirely. In addition, I would be in favor of limiting the amount individuals can give to candidates similar to the Federal limits. An individual can give no more than $2,300 per election to a Presidential candidate, but in Alabama an individual or PAC can give unlimited amounts of money to a legislative candidate. That is wrong and it robs the citizens of Alabama of the chance for good government.

Have you accepted contributions from PACs? If so, do you know the source of the contributions?

Darby: I have accepted $5,200.00 from the Alabama Pharmacy Association PAC and $5,000.00 from Ecodev Pac. Each contribution from the APA PAC can be directly tied to a pharmacist in the state of Alabama. The Ecodev PAC is funded by various groups who regularly give to Democratic candidates and I am unaware of the exact source of the specific money given to my campaign.

If elected, what can you do for the people of Covington County in Montgomery?

Darby: I can promise the people of District 92 that each person will have equal representation in Montgomery, and that I will act in their best interest. Too often in Montgomery, legislators are obligated to work for those interests that got them elected. I have run a fiscally responsible campaign on a low budget so that I will not be obligated to any special interest. I have purposefully not solicited campaign contributions from special interests so that my sole obligation is to the people of this district. I give you my word that I will work for only you.

Why are you a better choice for this office than your opponents?

Darby: I have the background in my business life, in my personal life and in my professional life that makes me the best candidate. I have the ability to look at a complex problem and break it down to its components to find the solution. I have operated a successful business, building it from the ground up growing from no employees to twelve employees today. I have served my profession at the highest levels in the state and I have served this community in all facets from the schools to youth sports to civic clubs and foundations to my church. My involvement with community activities did not begin when I decided to run for office and it will not end when I finish this campaign. I am committed to this area and to its people.