Candidate questionnaire: Gary Gaines
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
NAME: Gary L. Gaines
PLACE OF BIRTH: Dexter, Missouri
SPOUSE'S, CHILDREN'S NAMES:
Wife: Darlene E. Gaines
Children-one son: John Freeman Gaines
B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Missouri at Rolla (Now Missouri S&T)
M.S., Civil Engineering, Missouri S&T
M.S., Environmental Engineering, Missouri S&T
OCCUPATION: Retired in March, 2012
Worked 25 years for the Mo. Dept. of Natural Resources (Director of Southeast Regional Office at Poplar Bluff for 19 years)
BUSINESSES OWNED, ALL OR PART:
Part Owner of Trotter Associates, a small consulting engineering firm in Dexter, Missouri, for 16 years before going to work for DNR.
PUBLIC OFFICES HELD OR SOUGHT; GIVE DATES:
Dexter School Board: Elected to four terms of three years each in the 1980's and 1990's, and served as president of the Board for four of those years.
EDUCATION FUNDING IS A HOT ISSUE IN THE MISSOURI LEGISLATURE. DO YOU THINK EDUCATION IN THE STATE SHOULD BE BETTER FUNDED, AND IF SO, WHERE WOULD YOU TAKE MONEY FROM TO FUND IT?
I think public education should be better funded. I believe public education is the most important thing we do as a society. The better we do at educating our children, the less we will have to spend on law enforcement and public assistance later in life. I am not a single issue candidate, but public education will always be my highest priority. To better fund public education, I would cut spending elsewhere.
HOW DO WE BALANCE THE BUDGET: CUT PROGRAMS, RAISE TAXES AND OTHER REVENUE, OR BOTH?
I believe deficit spending is the single biggest concern facing our country. We are literally mortgaging our children and grandchildren's future to fund today's spending. To balance the budget I would cut spending and increase revenue. I know it would be painful, but we must revise the entitlement programs where so much of our money goes. Also we must reduce our military footprint. And we must reduce tax loopholes and cut government subsidies.
DO YOU SUPPORT THE USE OF STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDS TO EXPAND BROADBAND INTERNET ACCESS IN RURAL AREAS?
I would support the use of state and federal funds to expand broadband internet access in rural areas only if there is clear evidence that such expansion would pay for itself in increased commerce and government revenue within a few years. I would like for everyone to have access to broadband internet services, but I don't believe this is something taxpayers should pay for. I believe free market competition should drive this area.
I've been married to Darlene for 44 years, and we are very proud of our one son, John. for graduating from college and being successful in business. I'm an Army veteran and lifelong resident of Southeast Missouri. I believe my experience in managing a private-sector business and my experience as a mid-level manager with the state gives me the ability to be an effective advocate for the residents of my district. I want your vote!