My name is Anthony D'Agostino. I am a Democrat running for state Senator in Tennessee Senate District 31. The following are my beliefs about some of the issues affecting our state: I believe strongly in balanced budgets. The legislature should not dip into rainy-day funds unless it is a serious emergency. The current crisis is an artificial one, due to poor management by the legislature. The growth in spending has overtaken the growth in revenues. Therefore, spending increases should be limited and unessential spending curtailed. However, under no circumstances should money for public education be cut. A well educated population is essential for Tennessee to thrive in the 21st century. Sales taxes are unreliable sources of income and also regressive, falling harder on the poor. Taxes should be paid by those who can afford it most. Therefore I am in favor of decreasing the sales tax and removing it altogether on food and medicines and having a modest income tax with a large deductible to lessen taxes for the poor. I also support the establishment of a state lottery to fund scholarships for Tennessee students attending Tennessee state-run colleges. I am a strong supporter of strict punishments for violent crimes. Persons convicted for the second time of a violent felony should have a mandatory life sentence with no possibility of parole. Society has a right to protect itself. But those who have served their debt to society should have their voting rights restored. The Jim-Crow-era laws against former felons voting have been misused to disenfranchise African Americans. Only those currently incarcerated should be prohibited from voting. If it were not for unions, we would all be working long hours for low wages with few benefits. I am a former Teamster and am strongly pro-Union and will do what I can to protect workers. I would support extra protections to prevent clear cutting of Tennessee's woodlands. I will work to outlaw unsolicited adult-oriented pornographic commercial e-mails (SPAM). It is bad enough that we are bombarded with unsolicited e-mail, but when it contains smut that could be read by children, that is going too far! I will propose an "Informed Voter Act" to mandate that third party candidates have their party affiliation listed on the ballots. Voters have a right to make an informed vote. Unlike most states, Tennessee has no law mandating that retail stores refund money when a non-perishable product in unused condition is returned within three business days with proof of purchase. I will propose a law such as this to protect Tennessee consumers. I will support efforts to continue the conversion of this country to the Metric system. Having two measurement systems is cumbersome and creates problems such as the loss of the Martian probe. American industry's use of the English system of measurement limits American exports. Also, the Metric system is easier to use and not having to teach the outmoded English system of measurements will free up time to teach students more important things. If you agree with my positions, please support me with your vote on November 5th. Thank you for your consideration.
I am a Senior Programmer Analyst for Medtronic Sofamor Danek in Memphis, Tennessee. I have been married for 23 years to my wife Tammi and we have an 18 year old daughter named Wendy and a 14 year old son named Aaron. I also have a schnauzer named Otto. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the State Technical Institute at Memphis with a Associate of Applied Science Degree in Computer Information Systems Technology with a 3.827 grade point average on April 25, 1990. In late July - early August 1994 I was a volunteer in the Yad b'Yad program and taught English to Russians and Israelis in the city of Bet Shemesh, Israel. I am a substitute Hebrew teacher at Temple Israel in Memphis, TN. Over the past 12 years, I have taught Sunday School to 4th through 7th graders and Hebrew to 3rd through 5th graders. I was a Den Leader and Assistant Pack Leader in Boy Scout Pack # 356. In 1999 I was Master of Oakville Masonic Lodge # 715 F&AM in Memphis, TN and was Chaplain in 2000. I am a member of the West Tennessee Past Master's Association and am a 32° Mason in the Scottish Rite.