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Election 2000 : State Legislature : Candidate Bio

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Dow Constantine, Democrat
Candidate: State Senator, District 34
Dow Constantine
Dow Constantine
Age: 38
Residence: Seattle
  B.A. in political science, M.A. in urban planning, J.D., University of Washington
Political history:
  State representative, 1996-present
  Washington Conservation Voters, Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Children's Campaign Fund
Campaign Web site:
Campaign theme: No response.

1.  What is your position on the initiatives proposed on this year's November ballot?
  I-713 - Animal trapping yes
  I-722 - Property taxes no
  I-728 - School district financing yes
  I-729 - Charter schools no
  I-732 - Teacher raises yes
  I-745 - Transportation funding no
2.  Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has declared blanket primary elections like Washington's violate political parties' constitutional rights, what form of new primary election system would you propose adopting?
  If the parties wish to exercise their constitutional right to freely associate and present a nominee to the voters, they should either pay for a portion of the primary election or hold caucuses and conventions to choose nominees.
3.  Would you continue the trend of recent years and support tax cuts for businesses? Which ones specifically? If not, why?
  In the past four years Washington businesses have received enormous tax breaks. Some of these have helped create jobs, and some probably have not. If the booming economy allows further tax reductions _ after we meet our commitments to education, the environment and our neediest citizens _ such reductions should first help overburdened homeowners, renters and struggling small businesses.
4.  Would you support a Constitutional amendment that would allow tax breaks for homeowners but not for business or commercial property? Why or why not?
  Yes. Communities need the stability that comes with long-term home ownership, and people must not be taxed out of their homes. But I would also explore extending the benefit to all residential property, including rentals, with a mechanism to ensure that savings are passed on to make rental housing more affordable.
5.  What privacy legislation would you support? Would you exempt financial institutions? Why or why not?
  I have supported broad privacy protections for consumers, medical patients, computer users and even the victims of surreptitious videotaping. Every business, including financial institutions, has a specific set of genuine needs and issues relative to the collection and use of information. We can create strong privacy protections that still recognize legitimate, but limited, uses of customer information.
6.  A commission studying transportation funding says a new financing mechanism is needed to keep Washington transportation projects on track. How would you propose financing future transportation projects?
  This question is too broad to answer comprehensively here. However, I would put substantial weight on the final recommendations of the commission, when they become available. Any solution should recognize that, like highways, ferries and transit are indispensable parts of our transportation system.
7.  With some states reconsidering the death penalty, what is your position and what changes, if any, do you think are needed in Washington's law? Under what circumstances would you support a moratorium?
  I believe that recent evidence of a substantial error rate in capital cases and the emergence of new evidentiary techniques such as DNA testing justify a moratorium on executions.
8.  A judge struck down Initiative 695's provision that would have required a public vote for all tax and fee increases. Would you support a Constitutional amendment that would require the public vote? Why or why not?
  No. The Legislature needs to take responsibility for making hard decisions. That's why we are elected.


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