What do you see as the most pressing issue facing rural Western Maryland at this time, and what will you do on the federal level to address it?
The current lack of national unity and tolerance of divergent views is the most pressing issue facing Maryland and the country as a whole. Without it, progress on everything else is difficult. I will address this in Congress through demonstrating empathy, cooperation and communication. I will support measures that help the district address its problems of transportation and infrastructure, opioid addiction, business development and safety and security and oppose policies and programs that do not.
The Trump administration proposes cuts to a number of programs affecting Western Maryland. Do you believe these programs should be protected? Why or why not?
It’s hard to address this question without knowing what programs affecting Western Maryland are proposed for cutting. I will support measures that help the district address its problems of transportation and infrastructure, opioid addiction, business development and safety and security and oppose policies and programs that do not.
What can be done at the federal level to combat the opioid crisis?
Governor Hogan has rightly called opioid addiction “a public health emergency.” Congress needs to fund stepped-up border security and policing of shipping channels to interdict flow of drugs into this country. Congress also needs to provide resources to improve tracking of the domestic supply and pressure pharmaceutical companies to contribute to combatting the scourge. And Congress needs to provide resources to local communities to design and execute rehabilitation facilities and services tailored to local circumstances.
What specific program would you cut or trim to help reduce the federal budget deficit? Explain your answer.
Every program should be subject to cuts, but thoughtfully. I believe it’s time to take an honest look at where the money is being spent in every department of the federal government and force votes on whether each program – and the extent of each program – is something we want to do or need to do. “Needs” I will support. “Wants” I won’t.
Do you support the Trump administration's actions related to immigration? Why or why not?
I support enforcement of existing laws, including those controlling our borders. I believe that illegal immigrants who have been arrested because they have committed a crime (in addition to being in the country illegally) should be subject to ICE processes. I also believe that DACA children, who came here innocently, should be accommodated in some fashion. Not enforcing these laws, in my view, fosters a climate of disobedience and decreased respect for all law.
Is federal gun-control reform needed? What would you change, if anything, and why?
I support common sense gun restrictions, within the context of maintaining the 2nd Amendment. I also support stronger enforcement of current laws and better federal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental illness. I also support a relevant modification of the HIPPA regulations that prevent reporting of dangerous individuals. Again, as with immigration, ignoring existing laws creates a certain amount of disrespect for all laws.
Why are you the best choice to represent rural Western Maryland in Congress?
My unique combination of relevant experience. As President Reagan’s Deputy Under Secretary of the Army, I oversaw allocation of funding, personnel and laboratories. Later, as a small business founder, I learned how to grow jobs. For years I’ve helped the House of Ruth Maryland, which offers shelter and legal services to abused women, so I understand needs of people in tough situations. I have also developed a deep understanding of the entire 6th district.