NC Senate District 31 GOP Candidates: Dr. Peter Antinozzi
Published 4:07 pm Monday, April 23, 2018
Why did you decide to run for public office?
Antinozzi: My activism in local government initiated from a rather unexpected circumstance. My daughter was attending Hanes Middle School in Winston-Salem at the time the groundwater contamination underneath the school was revealed to the public. The contamination levels had been increasing for years, however our local government officials made little effort to keep the public informed of the situation. This personal experience prompted me to look deeper into the inner workings of local and state government. What I found was in some cases troubling.
While slight decreases in income tax were being promoted by our representatives, the revenue deficit was more than made up with increased taxes on goods, services, new fees, and increasing public debt. I cannot name one person who had two jobs before this tax reform who can now afford only one job. The tax reform benefited some, but not most of us.
Should private foundations created to support a state college be required to follow open records law?
Antinozzi: For purely government functions, I strongly support open records laws. The federal Freedom of Information Act and state “Sunshine” laws provide public access to government documents and records. These laws greatly contributed to maintaining transparency of the actions of government officials.
If and how open records laws should be applied to private foundation donations is a different issue and my positions on specific disclosures are highlighted as follows.
• An anonymous donor shall remain anonymous with the contingency the donor is not a current government official.
• Any government funding to the private foundation (such as a grant) shall remain subject to open records law.
• If a private foundation donation is designated with a restricted use, then the restricted use should be disclosed. Examples of a restricted use include building construction funds with the contingency of naming rights on the building; funding restricted to a specific faculty member or research project; etc.
What do you expect to be the top issue for Legislators next year and how would you deal with that issue?
Antinozzi: Education, healthcare, taxes, and jobs are my top long-term issues, which I will discuss in the following section. With that being said, the imminent issue to address in the upcoming 2019-2020 legislative session is determining the rules to create election districts. It is imminent because the 2020 US Census will be conducted and the resulting new population data will be used to appropriate representation for both state and federal seats. Drawing fair election districts has been a great challenge for our current legislature. The election districts created from the last census have faced repeated legal challenges (reaching the federal Supreme Court) and has resulted in expensive special elections and additional legal costs. The expenses of course have been paid with taxpayer dollars. The district 31 Senate seat that I am running in has been specifically singled out with legal challenges and that is why Davie County has moved from district 34 to district 31. This is also why two incumbent Senators are running for the same seat.
Ensuring every voice counts is a foundation of democracy that I strongly believe in. Voters should choose their representation, not politicians choosing their voters.
Our state government should take the lead making innovative policies to reduce the cost of healthcare in the U.S. This includes: 1) limiting non-medical care expenditures of insurers and healthcare providers and 2) strengthening Certificate-of-Need laws, which protect regional medical care access and prevent unnecessary costly expansion projects.
It was a mistake that our state representatives rejected federal Medicaid funding without having an alternative plan in place. Our federal income tax contributions are paying for Medicare expansion in other states and not for our citizens. Let’s keep that support in North Carolina!
First, we must reduce the lopsided expenditures on corporate-sponsored testing/curriculum, over-priced electronics that are outdated before they are paid for, and unnecessary building projects. NC teachers’ pay remains ranked No. 40 nationally and needs to be upwardly adjusted to remain competitive with our region.
Economy and Jobs
Tax incentives are the most effective tool government has to encourage company growth and relocation to North Carolina. Incentives must be conditional on NEW jobs created. Tax breaks for in-state job relocation and building projects that do not add jobs only benefit corporate profits and not the economy or community.