Fiscal Responsibility

Although I am moderate with respect to some of the social issues of this campaign, I consider myself a fiscal conservative, and certainly a deficit hawk. Unlike some Republicans, I do not consider tax a "four-letter word". Someone once said, "taxes are the dues we must pay to live in a society". But believe it or not, Democrats are not altogether happy when taxes get raised! What I object to is tax money used for wasteful spending and fraud. I believe that money raised thru the state should go to support those programs that are important to the citizens of Maryland---the greatest good to the greatest number. In these economic tough times, I can not see taxes being raised of any kind in the near future.

Education

Education was my profession for 38 years and I continue to follow education issues at all levels. I support continued K-12 funding(within the limits of funds available), school construction funds where needed, aid to higher education, aid to community colleges(where the greatest post secondary growth is occurring, and funding for adult education. Political discussion often centers on whether money to education is an expense or an investment. I come down on the side of it being an investment---an investment in our future. Education leads to better paying jobs, jobs which can help our economy growth and give us tax revenue to support the programs which are important to us. Although I would never give education a "blank check" I would support education funding at all political levels.

Growth

I support growth in Howard County, but not at the expense of our quality of life. If the infrastructure is in place, especially schools and roads, growth need not be a bad thing. Although a lot of growth issues occur at the local county level, often times the state gets involved in these concerns as well. I certainly support "Smart Growth" at the state level.

Environment

I grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, not very far from the Chesapeake Bay and some of its tributaries. I support all efforts taken by the state to clean up the Bay, and leave a legacy for generations to come. I support pollution controls(that are reasonable), clean air, and controls on carbon emissions. I support "green" technologies that can in fact protect our environment. As more and more cars take to the road, controlling automobile emissions continues to be important. In my 2006 race for the State Senate, I was endorsed by the Sierra Club of Howard County.

Health Care

By the end of 2009 we WILL have some kind of health care reform at the national level. It will then be up to the states to implement some of the changes. I consider health care to be a right of all citizens, and within the limits of available funding, the state of Maryland should do all that it can to make it affordable to the citizens of our state. The most vulnerable of our citizens should certainly be supported by state funding, especially children and those unable to pay for standard health care. Medicaid must be supported by the state with help from the federal government.

Transportation

Transportation improvements are important to our state in the 21st century, but it all costs money! The federal government can help, and certainly some of the stimulus money has helped, but Maryland has to foot much of the burden for transportation. Widening roads where appropriate is certainly important, and one need look no further than Howard/Carroll County where work on Route 32 MUST be a priority! Too many cars, too many accidents, too many deaths! I would keep an open mind on light rail into Howard County, but again someone must pay the bill, and in these tough economic times that won't be easy. Any energy conservation measures taken in this regard would also be important. This is a challenging issue of our times, and one worth taking a second(and even a third or more) look at in the future.

Farm

As I have mentioned before, I grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Working on my grandfather's farm was part of the process! In addition to raising barley, corn, and soybeans, he grew "truck crops" of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and strawberries. Picking strawberries for 5 cents a quart was a big deal back then!. I still own farmland in Dorchester County, farmland that has been party of my family for many many years. I support agriculture issues at all levels of government. I especially support the Howard County farmland preservation program and hope it continues to grow. Horse farms in Howard County are part of our legacy and I hope that the slots initiative eventually gets on track and can support horse racing and horse breeding so that it does not have to go to other surrounding states. Farming is still a valuable part of Howard County, and is especially so in District 9A.

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