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Page 2 St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014

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St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014 Page 3

Republican candidates for Maryland Senate, District 29

Q

What would your top priorities be as an elected official? Jarboe: Basi-

cally, holding the line in Annapolis like I’ve done for the 16 years I’ve served in St. Mary’s County Larry Jarboe government. 61, Mechanicsville Being a voice of county commissioner conservatism and when it’s time to say no, I will say no.

Jones: I think our top priorities are going to be very similar to the theme we ran on in the 2010 election we ran on for commissioner. Those will be transparency in government, low taxes and accountability. And I’ve been very pleased with the results of this present board working together. A citizen can now go on to the county government website and take a look at the check register. That’s open, transparent government and I think that’s what the citizens are looking for. The message we had in 2010 really resonated with the citizens. In terms of accountability, asking the tough questions to the board of education when they have some cost overruns like they currently have. And now the board of commissioners reviews and approves the MetCom capital budget every year, another layer of responsibility and accountability to certainly the ratepayer but also ultimately the taxpayer because we stand behind them on their loan. So we do have a fiduciary responsibility there. And also I pledge not to raise the piggyback income tax rate or property tax rate. Waugh: The way I categorize things, or the way I like to say things, jobs are the issue, taxes are the problem and spending is the cause. This is what’s going on in Maryland right now. We simply do not have the jobs. We have been stuck, flatlined, and unemployment in St. Mary’s County is the same. That’s got to be the top focus. Everything we do has to be done with the focus of generating jobs. And in my perspective, taxes are the biggest impediment to that. We have too many taxes, and they are just spiraling out of control. When the governor of Texas flies here to make fun of you for taxes, that is not good. The question is why do we constantly keep raising the taxes and why

does O’Malley keep raising so many taxes, and the answer is spending. And if we continue to crank up the spending like we did again this year, we increased it another billion Cindy Jones dollars or so, 48, Valley Lee and you’re look- county commissioner ing at $39 billion budget, there is only one possible outcome of that. And that is going to be increased taxes. If jobs are the issue, and taxes are the problem and spending is the cause then you have to attack the root, and that is to attack the spending. And by that we’ve got to slow down the increase of spending so we at least get at or below the rate of inflation. We get under control and a lot of things become very possible very rapidly. They wanted to and ended up raising the budget about 4 percent this year … Now they did this without regard to how much tax revenue was actually coming in. Two months later they came out with the announcement that tax revenues were down $250 million. That would have been really good information before they decided to crank up spending. This is stuff the average person does. Why can’t government do that? It’s really not complicated. Top priority really is getting control of spending. And the only way to do that is to set priorities … and you live within your means. I believe the top three priorities are transportation, education and public safety; I wouldn’t necessarily put those in order. If we fund those fully and first, and then say here is a list of other things we really want to do, how much money do we have and how much of that can we do, then I think you’re in a position to really control the budget.

Q

Why should people vote for you instead of your opponents? Jarboe: Fundamentally, I

have 16 years of experience in the killing fields of St. Mary’s County government. Anyone knows commissioners usually don’t serve a long tenure. By being able to serve for the time I have, I’ve been able to represent the voice of the people, and I think I can carry that voice to Annapolis. I feel my experience alone is the most important topic. At that point [in the general election] I’m dealing with a very experienced

individual who has ... the years represented the voice of the people as he saw it at the time. But the times have changed. Jones: I’m a proven leader. Leadership is Steve Waugh what I am, it’s 50, Lusby who I am and engineer the perspective that I bring to all the different things I do as a commissioner. We have an opportunity in this election cycle to send someone new to Annapolis to represent St. Mary’s County and Calvert County. And I feel the benefit I bring to the people is that I am a proven leader. I’m a proven person that can get things done. I’m an effective leader. I can sit down with folks, get the stakeholders around the table. We had an issue with campgrounds that had been in existence prior to the zoning ordinance being placed here in the county as well as the critical areas legislation. And we met many times with property owners [and others] and eventually we found something that balanced the needs of property owners and business owners with the need to protect the environment and we came up with a win-win situation. And that’s the kind of working with people that we need in Annapolis. I think we have enough ideologues and enough posturing in Annapolis. I think we need people who can sit down at the table, listen, build consensus and work to find common-sense solutions

for the benefit of all people in Maryland. I think the two commissioners in this race are both conservatives. We probably agree on about 80 to 90 percent of the issues, and maybe even more than that. The difference is that I’ve demonstrated an ability to get things done, to collaborate, to communicate and to work with my colleagues regardless of where they might come from politically, what their viewpoints may initially be. I have the ability to sit down and listen, to build consensus, and to reach across the aisle to get things done. And that’s what I intend to do as a new senator. Commissioner Jarboe has sort of made a reputation for himself … and I feel that reputation is well deserved. He is not an effective collaborator and he’s not a very effective communicator. It’s been difficult at times to work with him on the board. I do respect him and I do respect his viewpoints, but I don’t think that is what we need to send to Annapolis to get things done for the people of Southern Maryland. I’ve been in the trenches for the past four years dealing firsthand with [issues] that have come home to roost, especially in the rural counties, like Plan Maryland and the passdown of teacher pensions. Mr. Waugh has experience and leadership in the business world and in the military. I have almost 20 years of leadership experience in business, in churches, working in campaigns and four years of leadership at the county government level. Waugh: The simple fact is, if you’ve been elected in the office since 1974, it’s probably time to retire 40 years later in 2014. Continuing to send the

About this guide This guide is the product of interviews with or questionnaires from candidates running in the June 24 primary election. Interviews with candidates in contested primaries were conducted by members of The Enterprise editorial board and the reporters assigned to cover those races. Some of the answers were edited because of limited space. Complete transcripts of those interviews are available at www.somdnews.com. Note that candidates for county commissioner are not included in this guide, since none of the candidates has an opponent in the June 24 primary. Interviews with those candidates, among others, will be in our guide for the Nov. 4 general election, scheduled to run in late October. Also, this guide does not contain The Enterprise’s endorsements for the primary election.

To the candidates If you wish to dispute any answer attributed to you in this guide, your response must be received by The Enterprise by 3 p.m. on Friday, June 13. If the newspaper agrees that an error was made, then corrections to reported answers will be limited to 25 words or less. Responses should be emailed to Editor Rick Boyd at rboyd@somdnews.com, or faxed to 301-737-1665. Call 301-862-2111 for more information.


Page 4 St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014 same people back to Annapolis will get us the exact same results. What Southern Maryland is looking for is new leadership that will reflect its current nature and its focus and its values. And I believe I better represent that than Mr. [Roy] Dyson does. A testament to that is how very, very close I came to beating him on the first try. People are ready for new leadership. They are looking for new leadership, and I think I presented a very good alternative for them. I applaud Cindy Jones for her interest in public service that she has begun a few years ago. But I think that people of Southern Maryland are looking for someone who has a serious lifetime commitment to service, and I have been serving this nation since I was 18. I have no doubt that the people of St. Mary’s who well know Commissioner Jarboe will not forget his last foray with the Town Hall Alliance and how following the Republican primary he immediately threw havoc into the process. This is not a man who is dedicated to the Republican Party or Republican principles. This is a fellow who has an agenda.

Q

What do you think of Maryland’s state budget? If you think there should be cuts, where should they be? If spending should increase, where is it needed? Jarboe: The Maryland state budget,

a $39 billion budget, is a big budget. We’ve had some tax increases over the years. I don’t believe in any tax increases at this point in time. We need to focus on some of those special programs we have out there and trim them down. For example, in the department of natural resources we hear a lot about the critical areas. The reality is DNR is responsible for the public domain and they’ve avoided working in the public domain over the years and focused on the private properties. At this point we need to go back and look at sanctuaries, like the oyster sanctuaries that have worked very well, and do an expansion of that program. In the critical area programs, we need to go back and say what has worked … If we, for example, took, the Patuxent River and did oyster sanctuaries like they did in the St. Mary’s River … the enforcement gets easier because you don’t have to have special radars just targeting certain areas. The main thing is to hold the line on the budget, like the commissioners have done. We’ve held the budget to late 1990s levels. As a result we are sitting in a fairly good situation compared to other areas. [Jarboe has not voted for the budget in a number of years.] That’s because they’ve actually done expansions

beyond what I would vote on. Like this year … I’ve compromised on FDR [Boulevard]. If we purchase the right of way, then let the developers do the expansion. Jones: I think our biggest overall

problem at the state level is we are spending too much. I know there was some talk of across-the-board cuts, and I think that might be an appropriate place to start. You don’t want to start too deep and too fast. One of the things I’m a proponent of is sunset clauses in legislation. And also taking a look at the effectiveness of programs over a period of time and make sure they are doing what they were funded to do and what they promised to do. And if they didn’t, they need to be either removed or they need to be changed. I really believe we have to pare down the size of government. I think the state government is trying to do too much.

Waugh: I believe it is about setting priorities and making decisions. And if we set the top priorities in the state as transportation, education and public safety, these are the things that without them our society begins to break down. And we have to have it. From a capital budget perspective, transportation is clearly the top priority. Government has been building roads since Rome, and it seems to be a good idea. I think we ought to stick with that, and I think the process of allocating funds down to county governments has been terribly flawed. Mass transit is a great thing and we would love to have a train down here, too, but right now we are getting the short end of the stick. I would really like to see an emphasis placed on reducing the cost of college education ... Are there ways that University of Maryland can change its business practices or plans or its capital strategies to reduce the overall cost ... to the people of Maryland?

Q

What should the state’s transportation priorities be? Jarboe: Our No. 1 priority here

is the Gov. Thomas Johnson [Memorial] Bridge. Everybody has to come to the plate and work together on the Thomas Johnson bridge. That’s the key, to support the Navy base, everybody has to do that. Again, the light rail is moving forward, very slowly. As far as the connection that goes up to Bowie and BWI, we need to relook at that and see if we can’t develop a public/private partnership … to connect into Hughesville. The whole relationship with Hughesville and Charlotte Hall can be a very beneficial thing, with Hughesville evolving into the college

town and with Charlotte Hall being the veterans and senior citizens type area with retirement. We can have the best of both worlds. Jones: I think what the state transportation plan lacks is balance. I think a resident that lives in a Garrett County or a Washington County or a Wicomico County has an expectation of state government and transportation funding that’s equal to the person that lives in one of the populous counties. And there needs to be a balance and there needs to be a big picture view of transportation to make sure that all citizens are being served. I think the priority is to take a look and rebalance the issues. I think the [money from] people in the rural counties are going to the [Metro] Red Line, the Purple Line, the Blue Line. While certainly that is important, that is not the only priority, I think we need to step back and take a look to find if we can’t rebalance the resources and have a more holistic approach to the transportation needs in the state. I can see a need for south county, both Ridge and Scotland area, needing STS bus services as well as a route in the Tall Timbers area. Waugh: The Purple Line should not be the only priority. What we need is to look at the investment around the state on roads, particularly in areas like St. Mary’s County. Right now, we’re getting close to, there’s going to be another BRAC. It’s going to happen. One thing they will look at is sprawl and traffic. The fact of the matter is, when they go in for this consideration, you are either going to be getting better or you are going to be getting worse. No one is going to stay the same. We need to make sure from a transportation standpoint that we are investing in the right places, using a smart methodology to build the roads and be able to maintain that over time.

Q

Can a legislator influence how St. Mary’s County is developed, and if so, should they? Jarboe: Absolutely. Senate Bill 236

actually rearranged zoning. Our whole system of zoning was completely turned on its heels. We went from 1-in-5 zoning, for example, to now depending on how much property you own, the more property you own the more you are penalized. For example, a person who has 35 acres still has 1-in-5 zoning. For someone who has 350 acres, they have 1-in-50 zoning. Something is patently unfair with that situation. Today the farmers are actually asking for 1-in-15 zoning as a means of relief. Commis-

sioner [Dan] Morris and I have both supported this at the table to run to Annapolis to give some relief to the farmers. I think a lot of people would like to go back to the old days. You’re not going back. So, basically you work within the system to grant relief. It’s one thing to put a bill on the table. It’s 10 times harder to take it off. Jones: I think the most important role a legislator has in that issue is carrying the values, the desires the wishes of the constituents to Annapolis and letting the folks know there what it is our citizens need for their businesses, their families, and their communities to be successful. Once again, a onesize fits all approach does not work. I think the legislature has a checksand-balances role, certainly. Plan Maryland was written into law as an executive order. I think we would have had a much better product had that gone through the legislative process. Waugh: Some people think they want to be state senator because they need more power, more voice than they have as a county commissioner. The state senator, in my view, is not a super commissioner. I don’t want to go to Annapolis to tell St. Mary’s how to run its life. I don’t want to go to Annapolis to tell Calvert how it can vote. That’s not my job. The government that is closest to the people is the best. The county commissioners have a critical role in deciding the future of the county. What they need is support from the legislative delegation, not orders. It would certainly be my intent to have the representative from Southern Maryland to spend a great deal of time with the county commissioners and try very hard to carry out the best wishes of the people.

Q

What is the most pressing environmental issue in Maryland? How would you address it? Jarboe: The bay and the rivers. It is

the No. 1 issue. Bernie Fowler got it right years ago, and we need to rearrange how we think about this. Again, I talk about private property versus public domain. People are going to have to take it on the chin, mostly the commercial guys because they’re the ones taking the oysters away. We’ve seen the benefits of oyster sanctuaries. If you look at the oysters, the way they had gone down [in numbers], and then with the sanctuaries, those reserve root stock areas, all of sudden guys are catching oysters now where they didn’t because the oysters are breeding and it’s going with the tide downstream. The chal-

See SENATE, Page 6


St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014 Page 5

Republican candidates for Maryland House of Delegates, District 29A

Q

W h a t would your top priorities be as an elected official? Barthelme:

No. 1 priority is I’m not going to vote for a tax increase. I think we’ve got to stop the spending. Bryan “Puff” This year, I think Barthelme, the budget went 63, Mechanicsville up $1.8 billion. retired That’s just an insane number and it’s got to stop. The No. 1 thing I am saying, I’m 63 years old. I don’t need to be chairman of a committee. I want to serve for two terms. I’m not going to vote for a tax increase. That’s just my feelings. We’ve got to stop the spending. My wife and I, on Friday night we look at our budget and if we don’t have the money then we don’t go to Capt. Leonard’s. We just stop spending. I think there’s got to be a time where we just work within the budget frame, which I think now is around $39 billion. We’ve got to work within that number and look for ways we can get some money out of different places and cut, and I think you can cut a little bit out of every place.

McKay: To create strong relationships in Annapolis that will allow Southern Maryland to be more influential in the direction of state government. I am concerned about transportation, I am concerned about schools and education, I am concerned about too much spending. But none of those concerns will be affected much without building better relationships in Annapolis. Morgan: Cut taxes. I prefer a broad tax base that everyone contributes to. I believe everyone should have some skin in the game. But in lieu of that, I’ll take any tax cut, for any reason, whenever possible.

Q

Why should people vote for you instead of your opponents? Barthelme: The first thing is I

have the experience. I have 35 years in sales, which I’m so proud of. I’ve worked with people for 35 years. I always tell my boss I never got thrown out of an account in 35 years working in the liquor business. I’ve always been able to work with people, Korean, Indian, black, white, whatever. I always got the accounts,

the difficult accounts, when people could not work with them, I was the one who would get those accounts. Some of them were really big accounts. That’s why I was a really highly compenTommy McKay sated salesman. 57, Hollywood I have this way grocery president, of working with newspaper publisher people. I want to go to Annapolis just like Del. [John] Wood did. He had a way of working with people. I want to go up there and work with President [Thomas V. Mike] Miller and Speaker of the House Michael] Busch and work for our fair share for schools and roads and public safety in St. Mary’s County. I think I’m the one who can do that. Also, I know my constituents. I mean Mr. Morgan, he moved here in September. I know where the people in St. Mary’s County are. I’ve been dealing with the people in St. Mary’s County my whole life. Mr. McKay’s been here his whole life, too. But I can tell you, you can just see the signs I’ve got out there and the people will tell you, I get along with the janitor of a company and I get along with the president of a company. The thing about Puff is he never lost his roots, he’s always been able to work with people. And I think that’s what’s going to help me in this election. I think people are going to remember how I’ve treated them my whole life and how I’ve worked with them my whole life and that’s what’s going to come back. McKay: Experience. Look at what we accomplished on the board of county commissioners. I look at things like the Bridge to Excellence agreement in education, first in the state of Maryland, I look at the 13,000 acres rural legacy adoption, just south of Pax River, and I look at the ability to consolidate county government by reducing five different agencies. Those are real accomplishments that were done on a bipartisan basis, and commissioners who were there told me it would never happen. It did happen. Experience in business and experience in government, state government and local government. This is not a time for people to go there and start learning about how government works and how to build relationships to make things work.

Morgan: Both of my opponents are status quo guys. They’re both status quo guys that speak about themselves and seem more amped for a job or title than changing the path our Matt Morgan state is on. I’ve 41, Mechanicsville been fighting CSM tech specialist, the good fight Realtor for years. My political activities range from debates to radio interviews to testifying on legislation to even working the Republican booth at the county fair. I think the voters, when it gets down to it, can trust I’ll be sticking up for them. The status quo really hasn’t served working families well the last five or six years.

Q

What do you think of Maryland’s state budget? If you think there should be cuts, where should they be? If spending should increase, where is it needed? Barthelme: No spending increases.

The budget should be cut everywhere. Everywhere the budget should be cut. … I want to take small business women and men from this district who would work with me. I’ve already identified like five of them. And we can get that budget … and look at the budget with me … and see where we can cut. I can’t do anything about the last budget, it’s gone. This year when I go I’m going to look at that budget and I’m going to take small business men and women from this community with me and we’re going to look at it and say where can we cut it. I said all of it needs cutting. But, like I said, I don’t know the budget, but I think where it needs to be cut is a lot of these big social programs. I think we have to work within the realm of education, and public safety, and the schools and the roads and all. I’m not looking to cut schools; I’m not looking to cut teachers. There’s programs up there, that are poor programs, that can be cut, though. I mean $39 billion budget, it’s quite a big budget. But I’m not looking to cut the teachers, I’m not looking to cut the people. But I think we can go into some of the programs you see in P.G. County, Montgomery County, Baltimore city, some of those places, and we end up with the crumbs. They end up with the money and we end up with the crumbs. McKay: I’ve always believed govern-

ment spending should not outpace the growth of the economy, so that’s my barometer of government spending — what is the growth of our citizens’ paychecks and how much can government spend without hurting the taxpayer to provide services? I think government spending in Maryland is higher than it should be. We should not have deficit spending for our operating budget. We shouldn’t be taking money out of dedicated sources for our operating budget. I think there’s room to not necessarily cut but to hold the line in certain areas. As a Republican, as a minority party we have to bring some common sense to that, we have to find some allies. Morgan: Excessive spending leads to excessive taxation. If you’re looking for a direct cut, we can start with Maryland’s Obamacare website for $130 million. Now we’re purchasing the Connecticut system for $50 million and with ongoing costs of $6 million, instead of simply doing what Virginia did and use the federal site. I would suggest using the federal site. I would suggest eliminating that, but I don’t think I have that power, the position I’m running for does not have that power. It only makes economical sense. We could also transfer the detention center that’s run in Baltimore city — that’s the only state-run detention center in the state — Baltimore city should be running that. That would be a cost savings of about $140 million. Other cost-savings measures would be to lockbox special funds, funds like transportation, the Chesapeake Bay, money for mental health, stuff like that should be lockboxed and directed toward their intended purposes. And that would result in pretty much a set cut to the overall budget.

Q

What should the state’s transportation priorities be? Barthelme: I’m not really

familiar with a lot of the state, the buses and all. I haven’t looked at that budget yet. I don’t know that much about the state’s transportation. I’d really have to look at that part of it. I do think that funding different programs like the park and rides and things like that are really helpful to get to work in Washington, D.C., so people can leave their car and get to work in a timely manner. As far as where your going to bring the Metro or something like that in the next four years, I don’t really foresee that. That’s not part of my platform at all ... I think we definitely need to keep funding the roads. We need


Page 6 St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014 our fair share for the schools and roads and public safety. McKay: There should be cost benefit analysis on transportation. I am in support of, like many of my colleagues, improvements to the [Gov.] Thomas Johnson [Memorial] Bridge. For a fraction of those dollars, we could solve traffic problems in Charlotte Hall, Leonardtown and Great Mills and improve the quality of life of 60,000 residents instead of the just the 30,000 who use the bridge. Morgan: The state’s transportation priorities should be first returning the users-revenue to the counties … Historically the state keeps 70 percent of the money and they send 30 percent to counties. And what people didn’t tell us when the gas tax was initiated last year was that they changed the funding formula back in 2010. The formula now is the state keeps 71 percent, they send nearly 20 percent to the general fund, and Baltimore city gets 7½ percent and the rest comes to the counties. In 2007, St. Mary’s County got $8.6 million in user revenue. Last year we got $1.1 million in user revenue. Even though the people of St. Mary’s County are paying more at the pump, the county is receiving less. The first year I’m elected, I’m going to put in legislation to return transportation funding to historic levels. Transportation is just not the priority it was for the state. If you went back 10 years, transportation made up 14 percent of the budget. Now it makes up 10. Roads just don’t vote and they simply are not the priority to the legislature that they used to be.

Q

Can a legislator influence how St. Mary’s County is developed, and if so, should they? Barthelme: I think so. I think right

now, with the way the government works, with [the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission], the only thing the commissioners can do is approve their capital budget and appoint their members. So as a delegate, just like Del. [John] Wood and Del. [Anthony] O’Donnell and Del. [John] Bohanan just did, they changed that law of MetCom about putting your house up for tax sale. MetCom has to be looked at, I think, very much. I don’t know if it needs an appointed board like SMECO. A lot of people don’t even know MetCom has a board. The state legislature, they can impact a lot with roads, the stoplights on developments. The roads going into development and all. Why shouldn’t the developers pay for a little bit more for their projects than the taxpayers? For years, the taxpayers have been paying for all the projects. Why can’t the

developers maybe pay for a stoplight, or why can’t the developer pay for maybe a wing on a school? I think they do that in other areas of the country. I’m going to work closely with the county commissioners with MetCom on the sewer. The sewer is a big thing, that’s the “keep Waldorf in Waldorf” [Barthelme’s campaign slogan]. We’ve got to take a look at the sewer at the northern end of the county. These people are screaming that they don’t want this public sewer up there and public water. Nobody wants their house 10 feet from them where they can hear the radio playing in the place next door. Look at the crime reports in the [Maryland] Independent. It’s congestion, it’s traffic, it’s sprawl, it’s people living next to each other, crime. It has nothing to do with, somebody told me the other day, “Puff, that’s kind of racial.” Well, I heard the Redskins was racial, too ... It’s a mess. I don’t want that coming down here. Show me the plan on the town center. We can’t keep on having text amendments like they did for that Verizon store. I’ll be talking to the commissioners about their votes with the sewer and stuff like that. The commissioners will have more to do about planning and zoning. I’m not going to stretch my arm from Annapolis into that. But the stoplights and the funding for all of that, the funding is going to come from the state. I want to see the plan. McKay: As a former county commissioner, I believe strongly in keeping local land-use decisions local. Citizens have a much greater opportunity to influence land-use decisions when talking to five county commissioners in Leonardtown instead of 144 state representatives in Annapolis. Limiting our development into development districts and provide polices to protect farm land and rural land, yeah, I do think the state should have a role in that. The county commissioners should manage the policies once approved by the state. Morgan: I do believe MetCom should be reorganized. MetCom, in my opinion, should fall under the county commissioners. Any institution with that much power should be elected, or at least answer to an elected authority. Other than that, the “Keep Waldorf in Waldorf,” I don’t know what legislation you could pass through the General Assembly that would actually keep Waldorf in Waldorf. The state does have some influence under Plan Maryland, which I’m not in favor of. Every county in Southern Maryland seems to do development

a little bit different, and Plan Maryland takes it under their umbrella. I believe that local governments, local officials, that you see walking around in Food Lion tend to make better decisions than nameless, faceless bureaucrats up in Annapolis that you can’t get an appointment with. I think it should be up to the counties to control their own comprehensive plans and not rely on taking development districts from Annapolis.

Q

What is the most pressing environmental issue in Maryland? How would you address it? Barthelme: I think the Chesapeake

Bay. I think what we need to do about the Chesapeake Bay is stop putting these ridiculous things like these flush machines that cost I heard $15,000 and they’re electrically monitored. You know the Amish go out and buy generators, it’s not right. I think the problem with the state, they’re blaming chicken manure ... I think some of our own Marley Taylor and treatment plants are pumping sewer into the bay. They’re leaking stuff into the bay. My septic, I’ve had it since 1986 and, believe me, I’ve never seen nitrogen jumping out of my backyard into the Chesapeake Bay.

McKay: As a former commissioner for the critical areas, since 1996 we’ve spent $15 million to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and the result has been it’s been dirtier and dirtier every year. [As for the rain tax,] I don’t think it should be repealed. I think counties and/or municipalities should be able to opt out of it by having a stormwater management plan approved by the department of the environment … Counties and municipalities should be able to mitigate it themselves. Morgan: I guess you would have to roll right to the bay. I’m for dredging behind the Conowingo Dam. I believe that federal EPA needs to step up and provide some assistance in cleaning up the bay. One of the biggest threats to the bay is the Maryland state legislature as they transferred, I think it’s about $130 million over the last few years, out of the bay cleanup. Some of that’s been replaced by bond funding, but now they’re paying interest on the money that should have gone there to start with. They initiate these tax increases on single issues that are really defined under the best intentions and then the money never gets there. The best example of that I can think of that is the alcohol tax. Money was supposed to go to people with disabilities, mental health, substance abuse. Money never got there. Now it goes to the general fund, the black hole.

Senate Continued from Page 4

lenge is you’ve got some watermen raiding the sanctuaries. They’ve got to be punished with their license taken away. Also, you’ve got the clams … and finally the menhaden, which are all part of that cycle. These are all things that the recreational fishermen are not taking out of the system. ... If you have abundant oysters, fish, crabs, that resource, especially to the recreational and charter fishermen, is going to multiply the dollars. We need to think about the public domain. If you’re able to embarrass people to do the right thing as a minority, you’ve done the right thing. They feel they can take every last oyster. Jones: I think the focus on the bay is right, it’s rightly deserved. One of the challenges we have with the model and the limitations of modeling, we know there are problems with the modeling and we know they won’t be addressed until 2017. We have to make sure best management practices are put in place and one of the things again that I feel is very important is a costbenefits analysis. There are a lot of different things that scientifically we know we can do to help make the bay more healthy. Part of the discussion that has not taken place that needs to take place and that I’d like to be a leader in making sure happens in Annapolis is let’s make sure what we’re doing is cost effective. Waugh: The most pressing environmental issue probably continues to be the bay and it’s about revitalizing the bay and trying to bring back the aquaculture. The No. 1 contributor far and away [to pollution] is the Conowingo Dam. We can go and change everybody’s septic system, we can put the entire planet on sewage system, we can ban nitrates, we can ban fertilizers and it will have 10 percent of the effect of changing the Conowingo Dam. It is far more important that we focus on a single thing and a single place that is something on the order of 85 percent or 90 percent of the contributions of contaminants to the bay.


St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014 Page 7

Candidates for St. Mary’s school board, District 1

Q

What needs to be done to ease the transition for parents, students and teachers as the school system continues implementing Maryland’s new Common Core State Standards? Darnowsky:

are so malleable at this point that they catch on to things very quickly. W e a v e r :

Randy Darnowsky 26, Great Mills architect/engineer

I believe there needs to be more open forums and more open meetings for the teachers, the parents and the students. Everyone is affected by the Common Core. There are many stakeholders involved with understanding the implementation of common core practices and training from a student and learning perspective as well as from a training perspective for the teachers and staff. There also should be more open-minded questions and answers between the administrators and teachers so teachers understand some of the nuances of being trained for Common Core. Also emphasizing the teachers may misunderstand or have misfeelings about the common core, why it is important and why it is regulated. Gaskin: There needs to be a whole lot more basic parental training. Unfortunately, the system, not all parents come to the system with the same level of ability. So we really need to start at the very basic step one and bring parents along through this process. You always hear that there are no silly questions, well, parents are sitting there and they have these silly questions and they’re reticent to ask them because they don’t want to seem silly. But we need to bring this down to the most basic of terms and start to educate parents in the most holistic way possible. And that creates a situation where you have to first get the parents in, get the parents comfortable coming back to school. I think the students are a little bit more resilient than the teachers or the parents are. The parents and the teachershaveasetofparametersthatthey’ve been working all their lives. Now they have to make the changes to basically undo what they’ve already learned and try to ingest this in a matter where they can pretty much repeat it verbatim where they can help the children. So the learning path for the adults is going to be a little bit more intense than for the young people, because their minds

First of all, parents and a lot of teachers I’ve spoken with don’t even under- John Alonzo Gaskin 62, Dameron stand what all electronic technician is involved with the common core. With the Common Core they are just piloting some of the tests, so that is still not something that is, like a given. The teachers are still up in the air with how it’s all going to work, how the tests are going to be given, what all is include how they need to better their teaching style. I have a lot of questions about the Common Core ... Even when I spoke with Dr. [Michael] Martirano, he wasn’t sure how the PARCC assessments were going to work. What I think should be done is teachers should be given the opportunity to have in-service. They’ve had some, but I think there needs to be more done with the in-service. As far as parents, I know you can go on the website, but nothing was ever sent home. The misconceptions I’ve heard from teachers and parents were that the teachers are going to be given a script and that’s what they’re going to have to teach off of ... They’ll be given an outline that says in this week you need to cover this, in this week you need to cover this. So, if you have a class with many people who are slower in there, they still need to cover this amount by this week to be able to keep up with what is expected. And that’s not realistic. I think that it’s become more script dependent and that they need to keep with a certain timeline. I asked about what happens if the class is ahead. Well, they can kind of do more, but once again they’re outside of that timeline of week one, week two, week three. I think you’re really boxing the teachers in to a timeline, what needs to be taught. Even though Mr. [Jeff] Maher says they can still have their creativity, I still think it’s being stifled. As far as the testing, they ... piloted to see how it would work. They also piloted with the special ed students during a class to understand about how the accommodations would work.

The parents were very apprehensive about having their student participate because of the accommodations, how it would really work. If a student really needs to, they can still Rita Weaver take it on paper 50, Dameron and pencil, but it registered nurse would have to be on a waiver. [Almost] everybody’s going to be taking it on the computer. That’s the other thing, are we really ready for everybody to take it on the computer? Do we have enough computers, access, and things like that? I do know that when the students were taking it on the computer that they basically, it took up all of the capacity for the Internet that the other students couldn’t be using the Internet. And that was only a small percentage of students, one class from each school. I don’t think that we’re ready. We’re not ready with the Internet. It’s not just the teachers having to change. We’re not ready computer-wise either. ... It’s not ready.

Q

Do you see a need for more transparency on the current school board, and if so, how would you work to achieve that? Darnowsky: Yes, definitely. I have

definitely been asking for more support of social media and as well as others who I meet, for having open forum discussion debates not so much the school board meetings where they formalize the schedule, but more or less open discussions even like on a weekend or at the library where it is a very comfortable setting for parents, teachers, concerned citizens and taxpayers and those not involved in the school system directly to understand the budget concerns and where their tax dollars are being spent for the fiscally conservatively minded, to understand where tax dollars are going toward. I would implement that in my own regard as a school board member and I may even emphasize that as a candidate to show and understand and reveal issues and concerns that people may not be aware about. They may have missed an article in the paper, for instance, and they need to be aware about. Not just hearing it from the school board or getting letters from their children, but also hearing it from

a different perspective. Gaskin: There’s a level of transparency that needs to be in any organization. To say that the school board needs more transparency, I don’t know. I think that a lot of the problem is, as I’ve been trying to go through this election process, I think a lot of people just don’t understand exactly what the board of education is, what the responsibilities are and what the things are that they can do and can’t do. That’s got to be part of the whole education process. We can instruct or give people a sense of what it is that the board really does. Many people don’t understand what it is or how it works and they don’t understand the connection between it and the state board of education, they don’t understand the connection between local board and the board of county commissioners, where most of the funding comes from. A lot of people really don’t understand how all of these pieces go together. So I think in educating people more fully, some transparencies will become more evident. Most of the time when I see people saying transparency, it’s because of, like the $6 million budget shortfall they have now, we’re not cognizant of everything that’s happened to make something like that happen. I think people really don’t understand the complexity of the school board budget to start with. It was one of the worst winters we’ve ever had, we’ve had the thing with the healthcare situation, and we’ve had the continuing ongoing things with contract negotiations. All of these things play into a deficit coming up. I just think we need to be as a community more aware of the pieces that make education what it is today. Weaver: That is an absolute yes on the transparency. As far as the transparency, one of the things that I’ve noticed is ... I believe that a lot of things are discussed behind closed doors that should be out in the open. Because if you look back there was only one time, several years ago, that there was one abstain vote. Of course, now, there is another one. But that was Cathy Allen when they were asking for Sal Raspa to be chairman and she abstained. Other than that, it’s [nearly] always an unanimous vote. And I don’t see any discussion of a topic that’s brought up. So what all is discussed behind there? There is something called the sunshine law that is supposed to be for transparency and I don’t see that


Page 8 St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014 they fully abide by that. So, in other words, even if they are in a car or in a van going up to Annapolis for a conference, and they are discussing school board information, policies that they believe should be brought up or changed, that’s a meeting. If there’s two or more of them in that van, that’s a meeting. It needs to be recorded for the public to see or be privy to. Also, when they are in executive session, discussing certain information that is literally supposed to be in executive session, they are supposed to come out ... they are supposed to say how people voted and a sentence about the topic. You have to have something that shows how people voted. There are other things to where I see the school board acts as its budget advisory committee. The advisory committee is a great way of determining the needs of the constituents you represent. It’s really advocacy for transparency. Once again, they did away with the budget advisory committee. I would bring that back. The ethics committee, I don’t agree with. I think it should all fit under one where it is with the county. With their own ethics committee, if there is an internal problem, the internal problem is investigating itself. The other thing I don’t agree with is the ethics committee that is run by the school board sends [its decisions] to the board of education. Now, that, to me, I really don’t agree with. If they are going to have an ethics committee run by the school, it should be more private ... it needs to stay within that ethics committee. What should be sent to the board of education is we had so many complaints, this is how we voted, this is the topic of the complaint. It should never be brought to the board of education, especially with people’s names. It should go to the ethics board and that should be it. [If a violation is found] I think they should make a recommendation and I also believe they should seek the guidance of the lawyer that’s there so they’re not doing something that is in clear violation of the law. As far as it being public, I’m going to say I think it would really depend on what the violation was. Some of the things really should be kept confidential. There are other ones that could be made public. When you are calling to talk to a board of ed member that you have a concern ... the complaint goes to the superintendent. I have called there before, it went to the secretary, who between Martirano and her, who filtered it, it went back to the very person I was having problems with. It did not go to the board of ed member that I

wanted it to go to. That’s not transparency. Those things I would change.

Q

What educational issues are most pressing in St. Mary’s County? Darnowsky: One of the top

issues is with special education graduation rates, it is often stated as a low percentage. I think we need to understand that many special education students take advantage of the opportunities to have a five-year curriculum, rather than a four, but that’s not reflected in the current status of report cards themselves. So I think more opportunities for special education students, minority students, females and with an ethnic background need to have equal opportunity for school education. One thing is definitely emphasis on STEM technology for women, young female students who, especially those young female students have ethnic or diverse backgrounds as well. There should be more emphasis and more implementation involved with women and technology. There are some outreach events from the [Navy] base, which are nice, but we need to be more active in the schools. Gaskin: From my standpoint, we really need to get more community support for the school staff and teachers in our county. We do need to have more men in the system, just for the young men going through the system. And this is not to say that the ladies aren’t doing their job. It’s easier sometimes for boys to relate to a male figure than it is for them to relate to a female figure. And especially if the person has some emotional ... they have some need to see a male figure. I think that’s always been an issue. That’s one we’ve always tried to work on with the board of education outside of where I am now, working with the NAACP to get more males in, more minority males, more minorities period. And that old saying that it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to teach this child. A lot of situations kids come from aren’t always clear cut. They need to have multiple sources where they can go and get some information on how they can do things different, and someone who can sometimes relate an experience they had growing up to the young person. Weaver: I see that the teachers are being stretched beyond capacity. They come up with these new ideas such as the latest one is dance and the agriculture. I think that’s a great idea. Also they have this thing in her for teacher academy. I think that’s a great idea, but according to what I’ve looked

at for staffing, they are only having one teacher assigned and would rely on teachers already in place. I went to the tech center to look at the programs there for my son, who is going into high school next year. They have a plumbing teacher there, who is a wonderful teacher ... he is also now the general contractor for the house they’re building. He has had to put [both of his classes] together. He is being stretched so thin that they really need to have another person out there. Whoever is coming up with these new programs, that’s well and good, but they’re being stretched too thin. So we’re not taking the core things, the math, the reading, the writing, really focusing on those and giving the students a great foundation to go off of. Because if you have that, if you have those core subjects and they’re solid, you can go anywhere. It doesn’t matter if they have the dance, or the finance, or if they have the other programs. Although I do think STEM is a great program. But some of the other programs that they’re really branching out with, that we need to cut back on those things and come back to the basics. Make sure that everybody has that education, instead of being spread so thin.

Q

What is one item that you think should be a top priority in the school board’s budget? Darnowsky: One priority should be

allocating and requesting more federal funding. There’s plenty of grant opportunities that St. Mary’s has the advantage of having the go-ahead with serving active military families, students. So there should be more requests for federal income. If they diverted resources to a full-time staff who is devoted entirely to grant proposals, grant writing, then it will pay off in the end. It will get more opportunities. I understand there is not a fulltime person who does that. There’s also not a full-time attorney as well. There’s an attorney who works there once a week or something.

Gaskin: Enhancement of teachers to really give them the sense that they are valued, they are the key. When the wheel starts to squeak, nine times out of 10 all attention goes to the teacher and sometimes the attention needs to go someplace else. The squeaky wheel gets the grease theory works sometimes but it doesn’t always work. I think they are pivotal. Having a good solid teaching staff that is very well comfortable with the system and feels as though they are valued is the key to anything in education. Enhancements could mean increase in community support,

increase in salaries, commensurate with whatever degrees or things they have. In any system, when you don’t feel valued, you just don’t have the drive that really gives you the desire to go to school and be everything that you can be. And it’s not to say the teachers aren’t doing it. When we look at other cultures, teachers are way up the scale. When we look at our country, teachers are kind of way down the scale. We need to make sure that not only the teachers that are teaching now but the teachers that we’re going to need in the future see a system that says, I’m valued, I’ll be rewarded or compensated fairly for my time, my struggle, my education. Now that’s something that this community as a community has not done over the last 30 or 40 years. We’ve been willing to put everything that goes wrong in the school system on teachers’ backs and all of that doesn’t belong there. Weaver: I think the top priority is that they need to stay with the core, they need to ensure that is well funded. And they need to start taking away from the feeders, you know, the outskirts. Now, I do see it is quite top heavy with the finances, and that’s where we need to start. ... What [the superintendent has] done is he’s reassigned people, and with the reassigned names they’ve gotten a pay increase. ... Just rename someone’s job title and they can get an increase in pay.

Q

Are St. Mary’s public schools adequately funded? Darnowsky: They met the

[maintenance of effort] for FY 15 by about $4.5 million over the MOE, for next year. And that’s for county tax dollars. The state status quo required by state law for county tax dollars. So they are more than adequately funded countywise. They should be more adequately funded for federal dollars, Navy, the Department of Defense as well as federal tax dollars in general. As you know, the per-pupil rate for students here in St. Mary’s is relatively low compared to other counties in Maryland. And that’s partially because [many] of the students live on federal land, basically, military housing. So their parents are not responsible for paying the county tax dollars, because they serve the country and live on federal land for the military.

Gaskin: I would say the funding is adequate, but it is not enough. We were rated somewhere in the top 10 school systems in the state of Maryland. We have a technological excel-

See BOARD, Page 11


St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014 Page 9

Republican candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, District 5

Q

What would your top priorities be as an elected official? Arness: To

reduce taxes, bring new and better jobs to the 5th District; revoke the disaster that is Mark Arness Obamacare/ 50, Port Republic O’Malleycare; physician ensure DoD funding and preserve Pax River NAS and Calvert LNG Project; protect the rights of women and children both in our nation and abroad; Preserve our Second Amendment rights; obtain funding to properly establish educational programs for our children rather than the illconceived and poorly implemented Common Core program that has been forced on our teachers, who now find themselves paying out of pocket and working overtime. Chaffee: Get the budget under

control. Job creation, cut corporate taxes and offer incentives. This would free up money for new jobs. Protect our Second Amendment rights. This would ensure safety at home for all Americans. Cut government spending which will in turn increase revenue. Amend the Affordable Care Act to make it really affordable. Cut NSA budget. Potter: My top priority would be

to work to repeal Obamacare, lower taxes, cut wasteful spending and plug the porous borders that kill American jobs.

Q

Why should people vote for you instead of your opponents? Arness: My opponents favor

higher taxes or a “flat tax.” We are already taxed to the breaking point and thousands of people and businesses have left Maryland over the last six years, during which our representative in Congress consistently voted time and time again to keep raising taxes and spending more of our dollars on wasteful giveaway programs overseas. A flat tax is a regressive tax; it hurts small business and low-income wage earners far more. My wealthy opponents would benefit from a flat tax; it would lower their tax base. I will fight to get reductions and improved child tax exemptions, and to simplify the tax code, all important bills that the incumbent has voted against consis-

tently. I support Second Amendment rights and am an active NRA member and former competition shooter. The incumbent has an F rating from the NRA. If it were up to him, you would Chris Chaffee already have 53, Prince Frederick turned in your contractor firearms. Now he wants to reduce our Defense Department to the lowest level in over 75 years — to before Hitler invaded Poland. He likes to take credit for “saving” Pax River, but the plain truth is, the BRAC spared Pax NAS. After these horrific budget cuts and forced downsizing, Pax River NAS will be history. The incumbent brought you “affordable” health care; now one-third of you are losing your insurance and many have lost their doctors, forced out of private practice by insurance schemes, as I was. The incumbent is out of touch with our constituents; he does not faithfully represent the needs and issues important to Southern Maryland. He has been in office for over 30 years as a “perpetual term incumbent.” He feels entitled to a life term. It’s time for a real change. I intend to finally retire him from a failed office with your support. Chaffee: I feel I would be a strong

voice for the people in District 5, which includes Charles, Calvert, St. Mary’s and parts of both Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties. Potter: I’ve been a manager of large budgets, worked with diverse populations and had to endure the burden of government over-regulation in a few businesses. Congressman Hoyer is my main opponent and he’s voted to spend more that he’s taken in for more than 30 years and he’s never had to work within the constraints of the very laws for which he’s voted. Congress has exempted themselves and their staffs from numerous laws over the last 70 years and many of the very offenses they’ve perpetrated on the America public, had they been in the private sector, would have put them either in jail or cost them millions in fines and penalties. Congressmen like Steny Hoyer and many others who voted for Obamacare, Dodd/Frank and many other monstrosities have significant conflicts of interest and that would never be tolerated in the private sector.

Q

What is the single most i m p o r tant institutional change you would make to improve the effectiveness of Congress as a legislative body? Arness: We

need bipartisan cooperation to Tom Potter have effective 51, Faulkner government. mortgage Right now the professional Democrats and Republicans currently in office, both in Congress and the White House, are just not talking to each other. For Pete’s sake, the president doesn’t keep the speaker of the house in his Blackberry. They simply never speak. We need to overcome obstructionist government that doesn’t serve the needs of its constituents. Chaffee: Term limits.

Potter: When Congress is held responsible for the laws they enact, they won’t make so many. They’ll debate them substantively and understand how important it is to think of the law of unintended consequences.

Q

What specific ideas do you have for changing U.S. immigration policy? Arness: We need a firm but

more friendly immigration policy. I’ve heard the horror stories about mothers being torn from their U.S.-born children and deported. That’s inhuman; it’s just not right. Nonetheless, we need to protect U.S. jobs from illegals; especially as times are still tough and we have little extra to spare. Chaffee: We have an immigration policy that is not being enforced in this country. We need to secure our borders. We must develop a plan to address illegal immigration. There is a way to convert a situation where illegals are given a chance to contribute and be legal without granting citizenship until the proper channels are followed and done over a span of time. They do contribute to our economy now, buying food, gas, clothes, paying rent, insurance, buying cars. There is the opportunity to develop a system to collect payroll and income taxes. Corporations and churches could participate and sponsor them through the process. Corporations could receive tax breaks that would remove the medical expenses incurred by illegals and their families. This would allow

them to pay their way without fear of reprisal. There is a way to unify their American-born children and their refugee, or illegal parents and siblings in both an administrative and humanitarian way. Potter: As our National Guard veterans come home, many have useful skills that relate to stemming the invasion at our southern border. Dispatching those troops to the southern border to stop illegal immigration while putting an end to the violence from drug cartels with fire power superior to our border patrol agents, taking back the land ceded to the cartels and will give relief to the states who have been harmed by the federal government’s inability or unwillingness to enforce immigration laws. Helping local law enforcement, removal of “sanctuary cities” and keeping the Department of Homeland Security from acting as human traffickers would go a long way toward meaningful immigration reform. With that, requiring e-verify for all employers would be a start when it comes to the flood of illegals that take jobs from Americans looking for work after a recession caused by Democrats thoughtless, and frankly idiotic economic policies, championed by the No. 2 Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer.

Q

What is the nation’s most pressing environmental problem and how would you address it? Arness: The effects of global warm-

ing are real and apparent. Although we just endured the harshest winter in Maryland memory since the 1890s, this is not a sign of lessening greenhouse gas effect; rather, it shows the destabilizing effect on climate that warming has overall. We need to pass legislation to protect our world before it’s too late for our children and our their children. Chaffee: Clean air and water for all Americans. I would also propose strict guidelines for fracking. This is a method of extracting natural gas, but this practice cannot come at the expense of the surrounding property owners health and safety. Potter: The greatest environmental problem plaguing the U.S. is not pollution but our response and reaction to it including the crony capitalism that’s gone wrong. Solyndra is the most blatant, but another example is Honeywell with CEO Dave Cote, a stimulus supporter who lobbied Congress on the use of a controversial new


Page 10 St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014 refrigerant. Their refrigerant, touted as the next big thing by the EPA is more toxic (when exposed to a hot engine compartment after an accident) than cyanide, so needless to say it’s toxic to humans, and is made in China. How does that help the manufacturers of R134A refrigerant right here in the U.S.? There are numerous examples of picking winners and losers, and the loser generally is the American public. There are stories in the news every day of EPA abuses, fines that many would say are unconstitutional because of their grievous nature where the power of the government is used to coerce citizens rather than protect the environment.

Q

Would you change the current system of campaign finance in federal races? How? Arness: Financing campaigns is an

ever greater point of contention as we get daily stories of elected of���cials abusing this system. The oversight, checks and balances are terrific already, but some crooks still find ways to get around it and pocket the funds. We need to control the impact that lobbies have on financing campaigns with stricter limits on donations and reporting requirements.

Chaffee: I would propose legislation to prevent lobbyists from contributing to a major campaign. Potter: The idea that a lobbyist can contribute to a candidate with whom they have a working relationship is mind-blowing. A congressman working on, say Dodd/Frank, should not be allowed to accept money from the securities or banking industry. The same goes for health care. Congress (or the president, for that matter) should not be able to receive thousands of dollars from lobbyists like Steny Hoyer has on legislation they’re writing that benefits the lobbyists. Merck has contributed thousands of dollars to Mr. Hoyer’s campaign [total] and more than $6 million this election cycle alone. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that Merck and United Health Care are benefiting from Obamacare legislation. To me, that’s filthy.

Q

What should the standard be for the United States to get involved in a foreign crisis, such as in Syria? Arness: For many years the U.S. was

the de facto “world policeman.” Under the current administration we have become a pusillanimous and noncredible former superpower. The former Soviets running Russia invade a sovereign nation with impunity and

sneer at our president because they know his threats are feeble and empty. They’ve even used the “nuke” word and threatened that soon they will be landing in Alaska on social media. How will Obama act to defend our native soil? We need to stop these arrogant and dangerous invaders right here, right now, before they get any more ideas. They will take a mile for every inch we give; we cannot afford to give them an inch and the current administration is just not credible. When U.S. interests are threatened abroad, we must engage. When the interest of our allies are threatened abroad, we must engage. Chaffee: The United States cannot be the world’s peace keepers. We need to ensure our national security and protect the innocent. This can be done by humanitarian aid and diplomacy and sanctions most of the time. Military intervention should always be the last resort. Our country needs to have a strong military at all times. Potter: Clear and present danger to U.S. national interest. I think we should stay out of other countries’ civil wars. That doesn’t mean we should not influence one side or the other, but there needs to be a clear and present U.S. national interest for us to get involved. The president keeps drawing red lines in the sand and diminishing our standing in the world. There are times when politicians need to just not say anything — the old adage about two ears, one mouth comes to mind.

Q

Do you agree that the U.S. should drastically cut military spending? Why or why not? Arness: No. Absolutely not.

dom and the safety of our children and grandchildren depend on our military to keep them safe. We are protected by our men [and women] who have the courage to serve and protect. Our [country] needs our military strong and battle ready; this is the key for peace.

agree the mess needs to be cleaned up. The Chesapeake Bay is the largest watershed of its kind. It’s a critical and national resource. Chaffee: I am a supporter. I love the Chesapeake Bay and the ocean. But at what cost? Implementation has meant rules and regulations for businesses and farmers around the Chesapeake Bay. A lot of the pollution comes down from the Susquehanna River. The rules and regulations are costing extra for homes to be built, costing farmers and taxes are costing the American people.

Potter: No. One of the few things the Constitution calls the federal government to do is provide for the common defense. Peace through strength is not just a great line, it works. As Iran, China and now Russia bulk up their military, why on God’s earth would we diminish ours? Having said that, the military needs to be more prudent with the way they spend. There are enormous amounts of waste and inefficiencies in the military budgets.

Potter: I would support that. A lot of other things that have to be done with the bay. One of the things would have to be the removal of silt at the Conowingo Dam.

Q

Q

If elected, would you support repealing the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, and why? Arness: That’s one of my principal

platform objectives. Obamacare, as it’s affectionately known, is in fact only an insurance regulation. It has nothing to do with health care and it’s not affordable. Many people have lost jobs over this because of the penalties imposed. The act is a dismal failure. This act is a travesty perpetuated on the American people through fraud and deception and disingenuous manipulation. I will, when elected, support a motion, act or bill to repeal this dreadful perpetuation on the American public.

Chaffee: Yes. It’s an unjust law that was pushed through Congress ... the president has twisted this law and is changing it along the way. I’m hoping the Republicans can come up with another way to provide affordable health care ... maybe the free market, maybe by allowing insurance across state lines.

We need a strong, resilient and ready military force as a deterrent against acts of violent aggression like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and to deter increased terrorist activity. It would be a terrible mistake to dismantle our military forces at a time of heightened need. History has shown time and again that reduction in our standing forces opens the United States to attack, as in Pearl Harbor, the post-Vietnam drawdowns and the “do more with less” stretch policy of the late 1990s, when we tried to fight wars against terror on two fronts and put the young men and women serving in uniform through the meat grinder. No more. Keep America strong; keep America safe. Don’t let this incumbent remain in office to cast another vote against the security of the United States.

Q

Chaffee: I do not feel we should drastically cut our military. Our free-

somebody who has to pay for cleaning up a mess. I think everyone will

Potter: Yes, I would. The reason is more than anything, I think it’s a tremendous overreach. I think people need affordable heath care. I think it repealed a lot of people’s policies. It is something the federal government should not be involved with. I think there’s a lot of good programs at the state level that can supplant Obamacare much better. And a lot of it is duplication. Are you a supporter of the federal Watershed Implementation Act to remove excess nutrients from the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries? Arness: There is always going to be

What is the best way to deal with Russia and its encroachment into Ukraine? Arness: Vladimir Putin is the former

chief of the KGB. He is a dyed-inthe-wool Soviet. Vlad Putin is not a Democrat and he is not a democratically elected president. Vlad is in fact a menace and a clear and present danger to our national security. Barack Hussein Obama has in fact emboldened our former adversaries. They are actually very dangerous and we have to stand up to them with firm resolve. Ukraine is a sovereign nation. Crimea was a state within Ukraine. It would be the same if the Russians invaded Alaska. We cannot sit idly by and let them walk unresisted, uncontested and without even so much as a tweet or a Twitter contrary to this invasion. We need to rattle our sabre. We need to have a show of force. We should steam our naval forces into the international waters into the Mediterranean and I would venture even into the Black Sea and we need to establish an umbrella of air defense to protect our forces while we demonstrate our superior force.

Chaffee: I believe we passed our best way. Going forward, sanctions are a must. We should push for the Keystone pipeline immediately. I believe Russia wants to be the new power of fuel being sold to Europe and China. If sanctions do not work, the president must with Congress decide what the next move is. Potter: “Peace through strength” was a really good way Ronald Reagan dealt with the Soviet Union a long time ago. We don’t have the will to take that second step, if you will. We need not to hollow out the military just to hollow out the military. The United States still has to have a global presence.


St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014 Page 11

Board

Who’s on the ballots for the June 24 primary Governor/lieutenant governor Democratic Anthony Brown/Ken Ulman Doug Gansler/Jolene Ivey Ralph Jaffe/Freda Jaffe Heather Mizeur/Delman Coates Charles U. Smith/Clarence Tucker Cindy A. Walsh/Mary Elizabeth Wingate-Pennacchia Republican David R. Craig/Jeannie Haddaway Ron George/Shelley Aloi Larry Hogan/Boyd Rutherford Charles Lollar/Ken Timmerman Comptroller Democratic Peter Franchot* Republican William H. Campbell Attorney general Democratic Aisha Braveboy Jon S. Cardin Brian E. Frosh Republican Jeffrey N. Pritzker Representative in Congress, 5th District Democratic Steny Hoyer* Republican Mark Kenneth Arness Chris Chaffee Tom Potter State senator, District 29 Democratic Roy Dyson* Republican Larry Jarboe Cindy Jones Steve Waugh State delegate, District 29A Democratic Daniel A.M. Slade Republican Bryan “Puff” Barthelme Tommy McKay Matt Morgan

State delegate, District 29B Democratic John Bohanan* Republican Deb Ray State delegate, District 29C Democratic Len Zuza Republican Anthony J. O’Donnell* County commission president Democratic Jack Russell* Republican Randy Guy County commissioner District 1 Democratic Merl Evans Republican Tom Jarboe County commissioner District 2 Democratic Bob Schaller Republican Mike Hewitt County commissioner District 3 Democratic Joseph “Tony” St. Clair Republican John O’Connor County commissioner District 4 Republican Todd Morgan* Treasurer Democratic Carrie Swartz (D) Republican Christy Kelly (R) State’s attorney Democratic Shane Mattingly (D) Republican Richard Fritz* Judges of orphans court Democratic Linda Dean* Bill Mattingly*

Republican Albert “Allie” Babcock Michael White Dalton Wood Jr.* Sheriff Republican Tim Cameron* Democratic central committee (vote for no more than 7) Joshua Brewster Amanda Cross Justin Fiore Joan L. Gelrud Kathy O’Brien Walter R. Powell Ellen W. Scott Cindy Slattery Republican central committee (vote for no more than 9) Vincent Baldacchino Roland Baringer Bryan M. Barthelme II Mike Boyd Elynne Brice-Davis James P. Buckler Julie Burk-Greer Patrick Burke Mary Burke-Russell Kevin Cioppa Clay F. Costanzo Joe DiMarco Stuart Garlington Stephen Meizoso Jeffrey Noel Gary Rumsey Greg Sauter Lou Sierra Jodi Stanalonis Barbara R. Thompson Matthew Tippett David Willenborg Board of education District 1 Randy Darnowsky John Alonzo Gaskin Rita Weaver * — incumbent Source: St. Mary’s County Board of Elections

How to vote

How to get an absentee ballot

Early voting for the June primary will be available Thursday, June 12, through Thursday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day at the Potomac Building in Leonardtown.

An absentee ballot application form can be obtained by contacting the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections office at 301-475-7844, ext. 1100, or ext. 1614, or by emailing susan.julian@stmarysmd.com. Voters may also call 1-800-222 VOTE, or download an application at www.elections.state.md.us/voting/ absentee.html. Application deadline for the June 24 primary is June 17 by 11:59 p.m. via fax or email. After this date, you must come in to the board of elections office to do a late absentee or vote early.

Any registered voter from any precinct in St. Mary’s County may participate in early voting.

Any absentee ballot, whether mailed or hand delivered, is timely if it reaches the election office by 8 p.m. on Election Day, June 24. An absentee ballot may not be faxed. Any ballot received by mail is timely if it arrives by 4 p.m. on the Wednesday after Election Day, and if the U.S. Postal Service has affixed a postmark on the envelope verifying that the ballot was mailed before Election Day. If the postmark is illegible, the voter’s affidavit on the ballot envelope, indicating that the ballot was completed and mailed before Election Day, is sufficient.

On June 24, Election Day, polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Continued from Page 8

lence center here in St. Mary’s because of the naval air station. But yet when we look at budget for the school system, I think we’re in the bottom 10 counties. So if we are to have a school system that’s always growing and getting stronger, we have to fund it in the same manner. Adequate is good, but adequate doesn’t get you to excellent. And we need to be shooting for excellence because the technological advancements and the kinds of jobs that are going to be coming here are going to be looking for people, are going to be looking for a system that’s shooting for excellence. While we can’t do everything, that needs to be our target. That needs to be our goal. That we’re shooting for excellence. Weaver: From what I understand, they have been funded above what the county commissioners are actually required to fund. They actually have funded above that. They’ve always given beyond. As far as the federal government, they are also funding according to what they actually have broken down into their numbers and budgeting according to that. Now, because this is an area where there is an increasing number of people coming and students, maybe it’s time to go back through and recalculate the numbers and see how we really stand in terms of getting funding. What I see is how they use the money was not done wisely, such as putting out all of these new programs instead of taking care of the basic needs and taking care of those in the trenches doing all of the work. In terms of adequate funding, I think what they were given should have been used in a better matter. I know that everybody always wants more ... but it’s got to come from somewhere. At this point the economy is just starting to get back on its feet and we’ve got to use what we have and what we’re given in the best way.


Page 12 St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014

Democratic candidates for governor

Q

What would your top priorities be as an elected official? Brown: Our

work must begin by ensuring economic prosperity for more Marylanders. We’ll build Anthony Brown strong com52, Mitchellville munities and a stronger middle lieutenant governor class by creating ladders of opportunity through investments in pre-K, career and technology education, school construction and affordable colleges; growing our economy; creating jobs; building the most competitive workforce; modernizing our infrastructure; developing Maryland’s business community; and supporting strong families that have access to affordable, quality health care, safe neighborhoods and a clean environment. Our top three priorities will be: jobs, jobs and jobs. Under the BrownUlman Administration, we will create jobs by: 1. Leveraging Maryland’s No. 1 nationally ranked public schools to deliver a world-class education to every student in Maryland, regardless of where they live. 2. Establishing a business climate that attracts, retains, and grows businesses in our state and encourages private investment in Maryland, building on our highly skilled, competitive workforce and outstanding and affordable colleges and universities, while at the same time foster our commitment to protecting Maryland’s workers, consumers, and environment. 3. Investing in modern, sustainable, innovative, and cost-effective infrastructure. 4. Building strong communities by strengthening families, reducing crime, and ensuring every child has a home that they can call their own. Gansler: My top priority always will be doing what is fair and right for the people of Maryland. And when Maryland is 49th in the nation for income growth and has the second-highest education achievement gap, doing what is fair and right means creating more jobs and making sure all our kids go to great schools regardless of their ZIP code. And when our bay is dying, and when we live in the ninth most violent state in the nation, it means taking on some tough fights to clean

up the bay, and it means pushing for innovative, effective solutions to address crime. Mizeur: Grow our middle class: My 10-point jobs and economy plan is based Doug Gansler on one funda51, Potomac mental value: attorney general Middle-class families should earn more and be taxed less. Close the achievement gap: Unfortunately, it still matters what your socioeconomic status is and what your race is to determine whether or not you will be successful in school. We have the No. 2 minority achievement gap in the country, and closing it starts at the beginning — with early childhood education. Make our communities safer: We cannot settle for “tough on crime” after the fact — we need to stop crime before it ever occurs. The current administration’s approach has doubled down on the failed war on drugs, protected unfair and ineffective mandatory minimum sentencing, and overpopulated prisons plagued by corruption and repeat offenders. Their policies have only energized the cycle of criminality. We need a new direction that’s smart on crime.

Q

Why should people vote for you instead of your opponents? Brown: Maryland is a great

state. Ken Ulman and I are running because we believe that we can make it better for more Marylanders. Maryland is bolstered by the diverse background and talents of its people and the abundance of our natural and developed resources. During the past seven years, we’ve made tremendous progress through a period of economic and political challenges and societal, demographic and technological changes. We’ve driven crime down to historic lows. We’re growing our economy and creating jobs faster than most other states. We built the nation’s best schools and made college more affordable. We’ve expanded health coverage to more and more people. We recognized the value of inclusion by passing marriage equality and the Dream Act, both in the legislature and at the ballot box. Gansler: I’ve spent the last 22-plus

years fighting for what is fair and getting things done for the people of Maryland. I have a very long track record of effective leadership, working first as an assistant U.S. attorney, then as Heather Mizeur state’s attorney 41, Takoma Park in Montgomery state delegate County, and as the Maryland attorney general for the last eight years. When thousands of Marylanders were about to lose their homes to predatory lenders, I stood up to the big banks and won more than $1.5 billion to keep tens of thousands of Marylanders in their homes. I went after corporate polluters who dumped oil in our bay and polluted our air, winning the largest environmental settlement for the state in its history. I successfully defended the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court because it was wrong for America to be the only industrialized nation not to offer health care to everyone. I’ve always fought for what’s fair and for what’s right, and that’s what I’ll continue to do as governor for the people of Maryland. Mizeur: I want to win by proving that I’d be a better governor — not that there is something wrong or ineffective about the other candidates in the race. People are resonating with the positive campaign that I am running, the issues that I am advancing, and I think I have done a better job of presenting comprehensive plans for addressing the biggest challenges facing our state. I am extremely proud of my record in the General Assembly — and I would put my accomplishments up against both of my opponents in this race. I am the first candidate in over 20 years to elect to participate in the state’s public campaign financing system. It means my campaign is paid for by small, grassroots contributions from the very Marylanders I will fight for in Annapolis. Over 90 percent of my contributions are $250 or less. This is how we restore trust in our electoral process — by taking the big money out of politics. Unfortunately, my opponents have chosen to maintain the status quo by relying on corporate, special interest and state contractor cash.

Note to readers Three other Democratic candidates for governor — Ralph Jaffe, Charles U. Smith and Cindy A. Walsh — did not return a questionnaire.

Q

What do you think of Maryland’s state budget? If you think there should be cuts, where should they be? If spending should increase, where is it needed? Brown: The Brown-Ulman Adminis-

tration will set a new high-water mark for school construction investment, reaching $500 million annually by FY2019. We will make prudent investments to advance our shared priorities. In addition to our schools, we will also prioritize state resources to ensure that we continue to create new jobs, promote our universities, protect our environment, invest in critical infrastructure, reduce crime and strengthen families.

Gansler: We need to rethink how we budget in Maryland. Our budget should be crafted based on what we need to spend, not what we can spend. And we should be looking for more ways to realize savings through improved efficiency. State audits show millions in spending waste, and a recent review of our state’s procurement shows that we are missing out on more than $100 million in savings by not improving procurement methods that have been recommended for years. As governor, I will ensure stronger fiscal performance in state government, and modernize our procurement. These changes will avoid the need to cut programs fundamental to our democratic values and may even enable us to cut taxes — a marked change from 40 new taxes levied on the people of Maryland over the last seven years. Mizeur: Budgets are about priorities, and budget decisions ultimately come down to your values as a leader. I am proud of what we have accomplished during my time as vice chair of the House Appropriations Education and Economic Development Subcommittee — especially the record levels of funding for our public schools and innovative school construction financing. My proposals for new spending come directly from my priorities. My early-childhood education plan will be expensive, which is why the O’MalleyBrown administration put it off for


St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014 Page 13 years. But we also know that there is no greater investment in our children and in our state — Maryland would see a $5 return for every dollar it spends on early childhood education. I would pay for it by addressing our failed war on drugs. By taxing legalized and regulated marijuana purchases, we could generate as much as $158 million annually. I would dedicate that revenue directly to early childhood education.

Q

What should the state’s transportation priorities be? Brown: I believe strongly that

investing in and expanding Maryland’s transportation infrastructure is critical to our state’s current and future success, including its roads, rail lines, bridges and the Port of Baltimore. Through public-private partnership, the state has secured $900 million in federal funding for the Purple Line, which will create a hiker-biker trail and provide a much needed EastWest connection between the region and Montgomery County. The project will encourage economic development and investment in communities along the transit corridor while creating approximately 6,300 new jobs over the five-year construction projection. Public-private partnerships like these are important investments that will generate long-term economic growth.

Gansler: Our state’s chief transportation priority should be effective multimodal transit. Effective transit is the key to our effectiveness as a state in every other area that matters to us: job growth, community vitality, equal access to quality education and health care, and environmental stewardship. Our current mass transit options leave our communities too disjointed, and don’t serve some communities at all. Without good mass transit, we have traffic snarl — the D.C. metro region is always in the top five in the nation for traffic congestion — and inadequate economic connectivity across regions. In order to have effective transportation, we must have effective funding. The current administration focused on the gas tax as a funding source for projects like the Purple Line, but continued reliance upon the gas tax is not sustainable. It’s a funding model that’s as old as the Model T, and we live in a Prius world now. We can improve funding if we stop raiding our Transportation Trust Fund, as the current administration has done repeatedly, setting up the need for the gas tax. Mizeur: Invest in public transit:

Investment in and access to public transportation options in Maryland is the linchpin for smart growth over the

next half-century. Without it, Marylanders will spend more time in gridlock and away from their families and jobs. Rebuild our roads and bridges and invest in our port: A recent study by the American Society of Civil Engineers found that 55 percent of Maryland’s major roadways are in poor or mediocre condition. This costs motorists an average of $422 in extra repair and operating costs per year. Seven percent of our state’s bridges have been deemed structurally deficient, meaning they require significant maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement; almost 21 percent of our bridges are functionally obsolete with outdated designs that could potentially threaten the public’s safety.

Q

Should marijuana be legal in Maryland for medicinal or recreational use? Brown: I support the decriminal-

ization of possession of nominal amounts of marijuana because: (1) arrests and prosecutions for small amounts of marijuana disproportionately affect our minority community, though use among whites and people of color is comparable; (2) a criminal conviction for minor possession typically impairs an individual’s ability to secure employment or affordable housing; and (3) Maryland spends millions of dollars arresting and prosecuting minor marijuana possession, and could better use those funds to support law enforcement strategies to combat violent crime. My support of marijuana decriminalization is not an endorsement of its use. As governor, I will support continued education on the dangers of substance use for children both in school and at home. We will also help all people struggling with substance abuse to access the services they need to get healthy. I do not support, however, the legalization of marijuana at this time.

Gansler: I support working with law enforcement to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and offered strong support of a leading marijuana decriminalization bill. Despite the fact that African-Americans have comparable marijuana usage rates as whites, they make up 58 percent of all marijuana possession arrests in a state where AfricanAmericans make up 30 percent of the population. Moreover, in 10 jurisdictions, African-Americans are at least three times more likely to be arrested. In Baltimore, nearly 100 percent of youth arrested for marijuana in 2010 were African-American. As for legalization, I believe any

discussion of complete legalization should include Maryland’s health professionals, law enforcement, and community organizations, and be based on what is best for the health and security of families and children, not on a rush to tax a new source of income to address budget pressures. Mizeur: Both. The excessive criminalization of marijuana ruins lives, makes our communities less safe and wastes valuable law enforcement resources. Exposing this underground industry to the light of day by legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana will save money and prevent people from becoming unnecessarily entangled in the criminal justice system. Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol. It is less toxic, less addictive and less harmful to the body. It does not contribute to violent and reckless behavior. Adults should not be punished for choosing to use the safer substance in the privacy of their own homes. By regulating marijuana like alcohol, we can remove sales from the underground market and put them behind the counters of state-licensed businesses that are creating legitimate jobs and paying taxes. Legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana will provide Maryland with a dedicated revenue stream to make overdue and critical investments in early childhood education. Our plan will help ensure that prekindergarten is available to all children in our state.

Q

What is the most pressing environmental issue in Maryland? How would you address it? Brown: The Chesapeake Bay is a

national treasure that has shaped Maryland’s history, culture and economy for centuries. The bay is a tourist destination, a commercial gateway and a bountiful source of aquatic life that supports our commercial seafood industry and recreational fishing. There are 110,000 miles of creeks, rivers and streams flowing into the Chesapeake, which means that nearly every Marylander comes in contact with its waterways and we all have a stake in making sure our waters are healthy, safe, and clean. Building a better Maryland for more Marylanders means a strong commitment to environmental justice — providing every family the security of a healthy neighborhood, including access to clean water.

Gansler: The most pressing environmental issue in Maryland is restoring bay health, which affects the health of the natural environment in nearly every corner of the state.

Let’s invest in renewable energy sources that not only add to our state’s energy portfolio but also — by design — reduce pollution and greenhouse gas impacts throughout Maryland. I have seen the damage caused by polluting power sources and have worked as attorney general to reduce them. But the long-term solution to reducing this pollution is to invest more in energy sources that reduce pollution. I have already proposed a range of policy ideas to advance this investment, including “InnoBAYtion Grants” for farms and other businesses that seek to turn animal waste and other contributors to bay pollution — like algae, and even sewage — into energy generators. If we can turn polluting outputs into renewable inputs, we can transform cleaning up our water and air into a power-generating resource for the state. This effort also includes support for “green jobs” to operate these new energy sources. Mizeur: Maryland’s environment is interconnected with every aspect of our daily lives. Clean air and water ensures the safety of our families and communities. Clean energy helps us combat climate change. A healthy Chesapeake Bay fuels local economies and tourism. These priorities are critical to our environmental health, and Maryland’s next governor will face an array of tough decisions in the coming year: protecting Maryland from dangerous fracking, taking the next step to fight climate change and greenhouse gases (for example, opposing the liquefied natural gas plan at Cove Point), cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, and supporting smart growth and pollution controls. Our greatest natural resource is the Chesapeake Bay, and while the bay’s health has slowly improved through the years, our barely passing grade of a C is not enough. Most of Maryland’s rivers earned a D in 2013, and the Patapsco and Back rivers received an F. A clean bay starts with what flows into it, and I’m committed to cleaning up our streams and waterways, reducing nutrient pollution and stormwater runoff and returning our streams and rivers to pristine condition. We can bring back Maryland’s fish and shellfish populations, get rid of dead zones, increase habitat for wildlife, and bring back the bay to its once unspoiled condition. To keep our watershed implementation plan on track, we need to be strict about the implementation timeline through frequent progress evaluation, increased enforcement capabilities for state agencies, and greater executive oversight of the process.


Page 14 St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014

Republican candidates for governor

Q

What would your top priorities be as an elected official? George: As governor, I will

immediately seek independent audits of state agencies. In order to properly budget and make sure taxpayer dollars are going where they are supposed to, we must first know where waste and duplicative services can be eliminated. I successfully amended the budget to hold these agencies accountable for repeated misappropriation and will continue that work as governor. Next, I will begin restructuring Maryland’s tax code. I am calling for an across-the-board, 10 percent individual income tax reduction retroactive to 2014. This puts more money into the pockets of working families right away and helps small businesses to grow the economy. I will also seek a 2 percent reduction in the corporate income tax rate bringing it to 6.25 percent in 2015, followed by 0.25 percent reductions in 2016 and 2017. I anticipate record tax revenue collection by 2017 as our economy expands and the private sector tax base grows with the creation of new jobs and small businesses. Finally, I will focus on the connection between crime and education with programs such as my Baltimore Children’s Zones. You can find more details about my 10-Point Promise, A Plan for Maryland, on my website at VoteRonGeorge.com.

Q

Why should people vote for you instead of your opponents? George: I am the only Repub-

lican candidate with a voting record opposing the O’Malley/Brown administration’s 80 tax and fee increases. As the longest serving Republican on the House Ways and Means committee, where all new taxes must be vetted before becoming law, I have led the fight against over 300 potential tax and fee hikes. However, I do not only oppose bad policy but have been successful in getting good legislation passed. In 2008, I led the successful fight to repeal the Tech Services Tax that was unfairly burdening our emerging technology and research-and-development industry in Maryland. I helped organize over 300 business owners from across Maryland to testify how they were being hurt by destructively high taxes. In 2013, I was successful in championing a cap on the boat excise tax. Maryland’s maritime industry had been losing business to our neighboring states in every sector from boat maintenance and storage to painting and parts manufacturing. This cap on

new boat sales helps our maritime businesses be more competitive going forward. I was the first candidate of either party to put a plan forward, my 10-Point PromRon George ise, which out60, Arnold lines exactly State delegate what I will do once elected governor. Trust in government is at alltime low, and the only way to restore that trust is to be open and honest. I have been open and honest since Day 1 of my campaign, and you can rely on me to be the most fair and transparent governor in recent Maryland history.

Q

What do you think of Maryland’s state budget? If you think there should be cuts, where should they be? If spending should increase, where is it needed? George: The state budget is cur-

rently bloated due to a heavy reliance on bond bills (credit cards). We have a serious structural deficit problem that is being handed down to future administrations. Instead of cutting programs or increasing spending, a great alternative is eliminating the millions of dollars of waste in each state department. Federal audits have shown Maryland agencies continually misuse federal dollars costing hundreds of millions every year. Meanwhile, the Office of Legislative Audits has uncovered millions in wasted state dollars. Permanent, corrective action has yet to be taken in most agencies. I will turn that around and put the necessary safeguards and oversight in place to prevent future misuse of taxpayer dollars. I am calling for full, independent audits of state agencies so we can put that oversight in the correct areas and get more money directly to the people and communities who most need it. Fixing costly agency waste will pay for our tax reductions while leaving annual surpluses. We will direct surplus tax dollars to new transportation and education initiatives.

Q

What changes, if any, would you make to Maryland’s tax structure? George: Individual income tax

reduction — I promise a 10 percent, across-the-board individual income tax reduction in my first year as governor which will be retroactive when

citizens and small businesses file their 2014 returns. Corporate income tax reduction — Lower the corporate income tax rate gradually over four years until it rests at 5.75 percent. In order to bring manufacturing companies back to Maryland: 1. New manufacturing firms tax reduction — New manufacturing firms in Maryland have the highest total effective tax rate in the nation (31.4 percent). I promise to cut the state property tax rate for new manufacturing firms by 50 percent, and I will line up manufacturing firms for any county that is willing to lower their local property tax rates for these new companies. 2. Manufacturing equipment tax reduction — We must get manufacturing up and running in Maryland. We have the highest manufacturing equipment tax in the nation. I will exempt manufacturing equipment from the state’s definition of property tax which will lower the total effective tax rate on new firms. Estate tax reduction — I worked this year with the speaker of the house to gradually reduce it over a few years and recouple it with the federal estate tax putting us in line with most other states. It has been sent to the governor for his signature. This legislation totally removes the state’s portion of the estate tax. Gas tax reduction — Lower the gas tax to pre-O’Malley levels to take the tax burden off of workers who commute and repeal automatic increases. Lockbox all gas tax funds and direct them to road and bridge projects first.

Q

What should the state’s transportation priorities be? George: Maryland’s transpor-

tation infrastructure has been set back considerably in the last several years. Once you cross over into Maryland from Virginia, our congestion, high tolls and broken roads are immediately noticeable. Hundreds of millions of dollars were raided from the transportation trust fund diverting assets designated for local transportation projects to the general fund. The state then used the depleted transportation fund as an excuse to raise the gas tax. Unfortunately for Maryland workers, a gas tax hike is regressive and disproportionately impacts lower- to middleclass workers. Even though we were promised new gas tax revenue would go to infrastructure improvements, state audits have discovered misappropriation of those funds. I believe this is funda-

Note to readers Three other Republican candidates for governor — David Craig, Larry Hogan and Charles Lollar — did not return a questionnaire.

mentally dishonest and shortsighted leadership that has set Maryland back many years. Now, the state has fallen behind on the maintenance of existing roads and bridges making it significantly more difficult to modernize our infrastructure and support growth. The first priority for transportation is to lockbox funds that are supposed to be dedicated to transportation projects and return control of investment and innovation to the counties. I will direct all gas tax revenue to roads, bridges and infrastructure. Secondly, I will build a sustainable Baltimore, positively impacting the entire state. Currently, the state covers the expenses of Baltimore city’s transportation. As I grow the tax base in Baltimore city, I will begin weaning the state off of subsidizing Baltimore’s transportation..

Q

Should marijuana be legal in Maryland for medicinal or recreational use? George: I support the limited, con-

trolled use of medical marijuana. I voted for the bill last year and the corrected version this year. I am encouraged by promising research into treatment of seizures in children with marijuana that contains low amounts of THC providing medical relief without psychoactivity. I do not believe the full legalization of marijuana is a wise course. However, I am open to policies that redirect nonviolent offenders away from the courts and prisons.

Q

What is the most pressing environmental issue in Maryland? How would you address it? George: The pollution of the Chesa-

peake Bay and destruction of marine life around Maryland is the most pressing environmental issue we are facing. Over 75 percent of all sediment runoff into the Chesapeake is coming from the Conowingo Dam. We must dredge the silt pond that has built up there before another storm floods our waters and sets us back another 20 years in Chesapeake cleanup. Instead of passing nonsensical taxes on the rain and chickens, let’s commit to addressing the real problems facing our environment.


St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014 Page 15

The official St. Mary’s County “Fair Catalog” will include the programs, rules, regulations and classifications, PLUS entry deadlines, prize information and the 4-H program.

The County Fair Guide is inserted in st The Enterprise August 1 . TO PLACE AN ADVERTISEMENT IN THE FAIR GUIDE, CALL 301-866-6403

1921044


Page 16 St. Mary’s County Primary Election Guide for Voters June 2014

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