David LaRock is a successful businessman and entrepreneur living in Western Loudoun County. He was the Blue Ridge District Chairman for the Loudoun Republican Party, and has been active in grassroots activities for the Republican Party in Loudoun. David has been married for 31 years. David and his family came to Loudoun County 26 years ago. They have seven children and three grandchildren.
VV: This primary that is coming up is basically a rather clear-cut set of choices. We have a member of the moderate-liberal Old Guard of the VA Republican Party, Joe May, and yourself, a fiscal conservative. Joe May has been in there for 20 years, why change now? Why are you running against him?
DL: I have observed May through his entire 20-year career. In earlier days Joe was a self declared moderate which I think to me means he very often voted in a way that increased the size and scope of government, more taxes, more regulation; and all of these things reduce our liberty. But that was generally okay with a good portion of his constituency because he was presiding over a far less conservative district.
Now as the district has shifted west it is a solidly conservative district. I think we carried in the 33rd, in the last general election, Romney by 14 points. Joe has had to repackage his identity and make claims of being a conservative. I think that the reality is that he is not what I would call a solid constitutionalist and he is not a fiscal conservative.
So to answer your question: ‘Why Dave v. Joe?’ I do believe that the constitution should be taken literally, that taxes should be kept at a minimum, and that we should get a solid return on investment. Things like the Dulles Rail Project which brought me in close contact with Delegate May’s voting record, were massive expenditures without any cost analysis that would determine what was in it for the voters, the people of the 33rd district, and for that matter the state of Virginia.
So doing business like that may work if your goals and objectives are to stay in power and continue to be elected. But I think they reflect the voting patterns of a legislator that has really lost touch with his constituency and has become somewhat ineffective at representing their best interest.
VV: How do you feel you would represent needs and interests of the people of the 33rd in a way that would be more representative of their views? How would you be able to husband their interests better than Joe May would?
DL: As you know we are going to have taxation, we are going to have some degree of government, and coming from a business background, I expect value. I expect money to be spent carefully, efficiently, and that every dollar should create value for the people that pay into the system.
Transportation is one of the biggest expenses, biggest line items in the state budget. We all know that here in Northern Virginia we get back … I’ll quote David Ramadan, and I’ve seen it quoted elsewhere, about 30 cents on the dollar. Now to sign on to a 6 billion dollar tax-increase expecting to get 30% of that back is just really not good business.
So establishing a ranking system so that transportation money is spent wisely, is appropriated and allocated where it is needed, would just be fundamentally necessary to achieving a greater efficiency. That’s one of the things that I would focus on. That’s not because I’m a transportation guru or that because taxes are everything, but I really like to take it back to quality of life. I have a family of my own. I’ve talked to probably thousands of families this week as I’ve walked around the district with my wife and some of my children and I have kids that are starting out their own young families now and when I see that the net effect of over taxation, meaning taxation that is higher than it needs to be, having an effect on the quality of life on people in the district.
It becomes more than a transportation and taxation issue to me; it’s affecting how people live, how they work, how much time they can spend with their families, how much time they sit in traffic, how much time they have for leisure, for charity, and things like that. By bringing efficiency to allocation and spending, we free up money to stay in the pockets of the taxpayers and we free up money to go to other priorities like education and all the other things that we expect from government when it’s administering core services and not just kind of feeding pet projects.
VV: A number of representatives from Loudoun and Northern Virginia have run as ‘solid conservatives’. Yet their voting records indicate that they are not for shrinking government, or for making government more efficient. They’ve become in a part of the machine down in Richmond. Instead of being there to change Richmond, they’ve been changed by Richmond. How will it be different with David LaRock?
DL: We are all men and so we are all corruptible, so my nature is the same as them. The only thing that allows me to rise above that is that I look to a higher power and the people around me I expect would hold me accountable to that higher power and to the constitution. Now what’s the guarantee? There really is none. I have spent most of my life in business and I thought at times, politics, I didn’t take it seriously. As I paid more attention to how my money, money that I paid into the business and through my personal taxes, was being spent, I became more disturbed because I think our government was being poor stewards of the money we are spending in there.
Getting back to your question, I’m not looking for a career in politics. I think the founder’s vision was that you would leave your business or leave your farm or whatever for a couple of years. Having been in the community as a businessman I would be in touch with the needs and desires of the community.
I’m not going to advocate for term limits but voters should be taking their responsibility to apply term limits to people that are out of touch with their needs. So it’s kind of two prong. People need to keep me, and others accountable; if their representatives vote wrong then they should, in turn, be voted out. And that’s what I would hope to keep me honest. I’ll rely on my faith, you rely on my voting record and if they aren’t what they should be then I’ll expect to be held accountable.
VV: Thank you for your time David