Jones: Will answer questions; call cell

Published 12:45 am Friday, October 29, 2010

Mike Jones is seeking election to the House of Representatives, District 92, as a Republican. He is an attorney and a former member of the Andalusia City Council.

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?

Jones: I believe in “truth in budgeting,” based on what we actually have, what we can afford and not promising more than we can actually pay. Our state budgets should be similar to our personal budgets. They should rely on what is available, not what we hope will be available. Programs should be tailored to provide the best benefit at the actual cost, with all parts of the state budget examined regularly with an eye to efficiency and costsaving.

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?

Jones: The government must be held accountable to the citizens. Right now, there is a lack of transparency in Alabama politics. No one should be able to hide campaign contributions through Political Action Committees. Transfers between PACs should be stopped or, at the very least, tracked to reveal the true sources of all contributions.

I think we would all agree that the political process is not meant to be influenced by outsiders, such as PACs having no valid interest in our community. For example, we have been the subject of several attack ads from a Prattville group. What are their ties to House District 92? If none, why are they spending large amounts of money on a smear campaign?

Our business or PAC contributors have true interests in our district’s future. Either they are employers within our district or represent interests that provide jobs within our district.

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

Jones: We have accepted endorsements and contributions from various sources including individuals, local businesses and PACs. Contributors to our campaign include small business associations, the timber industry, general contractors, wholesalers, realtors, the trucking industry and the farming industry. All of them have a vested interest in the citizens and job markets in Covington County.

During the course of this campaign, we researched the sources of the money donated as thoroughly as possible. If the source was unclear or if I did not agree with what the group stood for, we returned the check or just rejected the contribution beforehand.

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

Jones: If elected, I will do my best to represent each and every citizen. My goal is to increase jobs within this district by supporting the growth of existing businesses while seeking new business investments. I believe economic activity can be increased by providing better technical/occupational training, supporting good educational programs and improving roads, bridges and electrical transmission systems. I will work hard to bring stable, well-paying jobs that will not move to Mexico or China.

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

Jones: I have lived in House District 92 all of my life. I appreciate the lifestyle and people in our district. My pledge to run a clean campaign with no dirty politics or mudslinging is based upon my belief that every person in District 92 deserves respect, and I honor them by keeping my word.

I do believe I have the skills and training to best represent the citizens of District 92. One example is the many years of experience I already have in reading, interpreting and drafting laws. Another is that I have never been afraid to ask the tough questions or to have tough questions asked of me. That’s why I held regular town hall meetings as councilman and why I give out my cell phone number in campaign commercials.

Basically, my primary goals are to be as accessible to the citizens of District 92 as Seth has been for the past 32 years and to continue to represent the citizens of District 92 with honesty, openness and integrity.