Cindy Walsh for Mayor of Baltimore
- Mayoral Election violations
Questionnaires from Community
- Education Questionnaire
- Baltimore Housing Questionnaire
- Emerging Youth Questionnaire
- Health Care policy for Baltimore
- Environmental Questionnaires
- Livable Baltimore questionnaire
- Labor Questionnnaire
- Ending Food Deserts Questionnaire
- Maryland Out of School Time Network
- LBGTQ Questionnaire
- Citizen Artist Baltimore Mayoral Forum on Arts & Culture Questionnaire
- Baltimore Transit Choices Questionnaire
- Baltimore Activating Solidarity Economies (BASE)
- Downtown Partnership Questionnaire
- The Northeast Baltimore Communities Of BelAir Edison Community Association (BECCA )and Frankford Improvement Association, Inc. (FIA)
- Streets and Transportation/Neighbood Questionnaire
- African American Tourism and business questionnaire
- Baltimore Sun Questionnaire
- City Paper Mayoral Questionnaire
- Baltimore Technology Com Questionnaire
- Baltimore Biker's Questionnair
- Homewood Friends Meeting Questionnaire
- Baltimore Historical Collaboration---Anthem Project
- Tubman City News Mayoral Questionnaire
- Maryland Public Policy Institute Questionnaire
- AFRO questionnaire
- WBAL Candidate's Survey
- Trans Pacific Pact (TPP)
- Progressive vs. Third Way Corporate Democrats
Financial Reform/Wall Street Fraud
- Federal Healthcare Reform
- Social Security and Entitlement Reform
- Federal Education Reform
- Government Schedules
State and Local Government
- Maryland Committee Actions
- Maryland and Baltimore Development Organizations
- Maryland State Department of Education
- Baltimore City School Board
Building Strong Media
Media with a Progressive Agenda (I'm still checking on that!)
- "Talk About It" Radio - WFBR 1590AM Baltimore
- Promethius Radio Project
- Clearing the Fog
- Democracy Now
- Black Agenda Radio
- World Truth. TV Your Alternative News Network.
- Daily Censured
- Bill Moyers Journal
- Center for Public Integrity
- Public Radio International
- Baltimore Brew
- Free Press
- Far Left/Socialist Media
- Media with a Third Way Agenda >
- Media with a Progressive Agenda (I'm still checking on that!) >
- Progressive Actions
- Maryland/Baltimore Voting Districts - your politicians and their votes
- Petitions, Complaints, and Freedom of Information Requests
- State of the Democratic Party
- Misc 2
- Misc 3
- Misc 4
- Standard of Review
WALSH FOR GOVERNOR - CANDIDATE INFORMATION AND PLATFORM
- Campaign Finance/Campaign donations
- Speaking Events
- Why Heather Mizeur is NOT a progressive
- Campaign responses to Community Organization Questionnaires
Cindy Walsh vs Maryland Board of Elections
- Leniency from court for self-representing plaintiffs
- Amended Complaint
- Plaintiff request for expedited trial date
- Response to Motion to Dismiss--Brown, Gansler, Mackie, and Lamone
- Injunction and Mandamus
DECISION/APPEAL TO SPECIAL COURT OF APPEALS---Baltimore City Circuit Court response to Cindy Walsh complaint
Brief for Maryland Court of Special Appeals
- Cover Page ---yellow
- Table of Contents
- Table of Authorities
- Leniency for Pro Se Representation
- Statement of Case
- Questions Presented
- Statement of Facts
- Conclusion/Font and Type Size
- Record Extract
- Motion for Reconsideration
- Response to Defendants Motion to Dismiss
- Motion to Reconsider Dismissal
- Brief for Maryland Court of Special Appeals >
- General Election fraud and recount complaints
Cindy Walsh goes to Federal Court for Maryland election violations
- Complaints filed with the FCC, the IRS, and the FBI
- Zapple Doctrine---Media Time for Major Party candidates
- Complaint filed with the US Justice Department for election fraud and court irregularities.
- US Attorney General, Maryland Attorney General, and Maryland Board of Elections are charged with enforcing election law
- Private media has a responsibility to allow access to all candidates in an election race. >
- Polling should not determine a candidate's viability especially if the polling is arbitrary
- Viability of a candidate
- Public media violates election law regarding do no damage to candidate's campaign
- 501c3 Organizations violate election law in doing no damage to a candidate in a race >
- Voter apathy increases when elections are not free and fair
- Maryland Board of Elections certifies election on July 10, 2014
- Maryland Elections ---2016
I am reaching out to the gubernatorial campaigns to get information about what efforts they’re taking on to get people out to vote during the early voting period. Could you let me know what your campaign is doing to get people out to vote next week and what the importance of providing the early voting period is?
Reporter Baltimore Sun
First, my campaign is about creating a model for all people to use in running for any political office. As everyone knows, all across the nation people are shouting to get money out of politics. We know as well that public and private media are restricting access to media coverage selectively----for public media this is illegal and for private media-----as with Baltimore Sun it has questionable legality.
My campaign needs no money or media coverage as it has developed through simple networking all across Maryland. My private non-profit of several years networks with like-minded groups and people who then network for my campaign.
Now, to your question:
The citizens of Baltimore are at a turnout rate for elections of 20% because there are no one in elections for whom people want to vote. This year we see by the number of undecided that this is now the case across Maryland. The media selects candidates for airing that no one wants. So, early voting has nothing to do with voter turnout---media censuring of all candidates in a race is the culprit. Everyone pushing these early voting laws knows this. It is just what I call a 'progressive' bone. If you censure candidates the people want----early voting is mute.
The good thing about my campaign model is that no media coverage or money is required and I dare say Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland is the 'undecided' in the polls since my name never appears in these polls. So, the answer to your question is that I do not have to get out the vote----I am the front-runner be a large margin.
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland on the democratic ticket!
Governor's race Questionnaire from Afro-American News Journal
Please answer each question as completely as possible, using as much space as you need.
Please list (along with years, number of terms and locations) the elected offices previously held.
Cindy Walsh is not an elected politician-----I am a citizen with a great background in corporate and public administration who wants to rebuild Maryland government in ways work in the public interest. The office of Governor of Maryland is mostly tasked with administrative duties and knowledge so being a politician has little to do with the duties of Executive.
Given the current economic situation, how do you protect those that most need to be protected and draw resources – businesses, jobs and money – into the jurisdiction?
The problem with job creation in America and indeed Baltimore and Maryland is the economic model of global corporations and markets controlling all avenues of business. Baltimore is captured by this global corporate model and we see how these corporations control how jobs are created. The first step towards reversing this trend is to embrace the economic model that had the US economy thriving-----small and regional businesses driving the economy with workers earning enough wages to support a family and have money to spend to fuel the economy. That’s what we know works. So, a Governor or Mayor would stop subsidizing these national/global corporations and send job development money to create these small businesses and make business owners of the citizens here in Baltimore and Maryland who then are encouraged to hire people locally. As everyone knows the opposite is happening. Whether minority contractors or small business owners in rural areas…..the State and City bidding process is geared toward handing all public business to these large corporations which then make subcontractors of our Maryland business owners----often putting them out of business. That is the goal of global markets. This is easy to reverse. Rebuilding oversight and accountability in all state and local agencies and holding corporations and government accountable to Rule of Law levels the playing field. If a corporation threatens to leave-----let it. We will build hundreds of small businesses to take its place. Politicians telling you citizens have to allow all kinds of corporate subsidy in order to attract national and global corporations are actually working against the interests of the citizens of Maryland.
Should there be greater benefits established for those in our society impacted the most by unemployment?
Unemployment in the US and especially in Baltimore and Maryland is a deliberate move on the part of global corporations to create high unemployment and leave workers desperate for work. This maximizes profit and power for these corporations. So, there is not really any need for high unemployment and there would not be with a domestically-driven economy. Maryland and Baltimore allows for a great deal of job outsourcing----bringing workers from around the country to work for less than a Maryland citizen would. It floods the job market with people who are not Maryland citizens and leaves domestic workers unemployed. Go to a job site and you will see workers and businesses from Texas, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania with Maryland workers in picket lines protesting unemployment. This high unemployment is simply bad public policy. The next thing you do for many citizens of Baltimore is allow for expungement of felony records for citizens simply having multiple misdemeanor charges. This happened with zero tolerance and happens today and it needs to stop. Clearing criminal records allows citizens to compete equally with others for employment positions. Finally, dismantling the public sector hurts everyone. It is why unemployment is high, it is why fraud and corruption is wide-spread in Maryland and especially Baltimore causing billions of public money to be taken by those at the higher income level and keeps this public money from communities, public services and programs. Last year Maryland reintroduced the policy of allowing private prison contractors to use prisoners for labor -----at great profit-----often doing the jobs that used to provide strong public sector employment. All of this hurts everyone in the state and the City of Baltimore. It is far better to spend tax money employing citizens and allowing them to support their families then it is for that public money to simply end up in the pockets of wealthy corporations.
What initiatives will you implement to close the achievement gap and increase the number of African Americans that go to college and graduate?
The education policies of Race to the Top and Common Core-----the creation of charter schools and schools run as businesses, tiered student funding ----school choice all work against closing the achievement gap. It indeed makes it far worse. While selected schools allowing for a few selected students are made to look successful, for the super-majority of families these school policies are a failure. It affects all citizens when others are not given equal opportunity and access to quality education. We need to reverse these policies of vocational K-career college that ends access to strong, democratic, and broad-based humanities and liberal arts instruction and simply has as a goal to train students for a simply job category. We need to fund and resource strong trade curricula in our high schools and offer the same in community colleges for those students who, after receiving a strong basic education, decide on this career path. We do not want that to be the only option and we do not want families told what career path a child will take according to testing that happens in pre-K and elementary school. Education is about plurality-----that is what makes a democracy and we must keep the right to decide what is in the classroom with the parents, communities, and teachers/administrators and not pushed by national corporations. The second issue for financial aid and higher education is the fact that Maryland has worked for these few decades to make corporations of our public universities. This means that valuable public money for education is going to subsidize the costs of corporations doing business and taking it from our classrooms and from our student aid. This corporate tie is what has tuition too high for most students/parents. Take away that corporate connection and tuitions fall, student loans become flush with cash, and community colleges are again funded to be affordable stepping stones to 4 year universities along with the trade track. Equal opportunity and access education is under attack with these education reform implemented today. It hurts people of color and women the most-----but all public schools will be taken by this privatization effort. Please support strong public schools over charters. What you think are warm and fuzzy charter schools will become Wall Street national charter chains that do not care about children.
How do you make the promise of the recent health care legislation a reality – and applicable now – to those who need it the most?
We need first to understand the goals of Affordable Care Act----which by the way is a republican health policy written to strengthen health industry profits and the creation of state health systems is a structure for ending the Federal programs Medicare and Medicaid. So, consolidation of the health industry and deregulation will create in health care what we have in Wall Street financial industry----global health systems that are purely profit-driven and unaccountable to the public. We all know this is not good for the public no matter who you are but it is particularly bad for working class and poor. These policies will limit low-wage and in fact many middle-class families to only preventative health care. Co-pays and deductibles will keep most from accessing basic medical procedures. Promises that this reform will provide better care for low-income are simply not true. As people are already seeing, access to all levels of care are in decline while simple public health checkups are taking the place of advanced care. It will become worse if the Affordable Care Act and these private-profit-driven health systems are allowed to continue. Remember, the high cost of health care in the US is driven by health industry fraud and profiteering so simply rebuilding oversight and accountability into the system we have…..and especially into Medicare and Medicaid where much public money is lost will provide the funds to see all citizens have equal access to all health care. We are calling for Expanded and Improved Medicare for All to keep the Federal program strong and to allow all citizens the health care they have worked and paid taxes to access.
Please share any additional comments you have about your candidacy or issues.
The 2014-2016 elections are the most important in US history. We will decide if we continue down this path of global markets and global corporations driving our economy, controlling public policy, dismantling public justice and Rule of Law, and eating much of our public revenue------or do we return to an economy driven by small and regional businesses which want to be good community partners, paying taxes and wages that allow the public sector to perform civic duties for all. Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland is the only candidate----republican or democrat who will do just that and my entire platform is designed to do just that. We cannot be a democracy without Rule of Law. Our Constitution guarantees Equal Protection and Civil Rights and Liberties. We need to rebuild those and not further dismantle these as global corporations would like. You know a candidate is working for the interests of global corporations if they are not shouting about the issues raised in my platform. We can reverse this attempt at social change and return to a democracy that moved a record number of people from poverty into the middle class and protected the wealth of that middle-class. Strong safety nets are not a waste or misuse of public money. It is the failure to oversee and account for the programs this money is used. If directed as public funding is meant it can lift low-wage and poor and not subjugate them to poverty.
Severna Park Voice Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire
For questions 1-5, please select one of the multiple choice answers. You may add any additional comments that represent your views on the issue, though those comments will be published only on a space-available basis:
1. Marijuana: Do you feel that small amounts of marijuana should be A) legal B) decriminalized or C) illegal?
Marijuana should be legal and regulated just as alcohol. Saying that, I would greatly increase funding to addiction programs aimed at preventative measures and rehabilitation. Some say----this is a personal choice but we must realize that if we are going to have a free society where people have choices we must consider whether the costs to society are greater if we fail to mitigate problems we know exist? We know for example the costs of jailing people rather than rehabilitate and prevent. Education and availability to counsel are most effective and these kinds of funding should be included in any attempts to legalize.
2. Storm water management: The state’s current storm water management mandate requires Anne Arundel County to make approximately $900 million in storm water improvements by the year 2025. Do you feel that the $900 million cost to the county is A) the right amount B) too high C) too low or D) the county should not have to pay anything?
Storm water management costs today are a result of bad development policy earlier. Do you know for example a retail store like WalMart with all those massive parking lots use a financial tool called REIT to not only avoid property tax responsibility but also allow it to evade these rainwater taxes and storm water management rules. Most larger businesses with the most violations of these policies will be excluded from this policy while homeowners and small businesses will not. Don’t forget, it was developers who lobbied to loosen development laws that allowed for this environmental damage and believe me, people like me were shouting back then that all this damage would come back to the taxpayers. So, we must bring developers into the ring of responsibility with some sort of surcharge to make them more attentive to long-term consequences of development. You will notice that almost all the costs as regards these water management and rain tax revenue collection hits mostly the working and middle-class. You will only get these kinds of policies if you elect politicians who work for public interest and not wealth and profit.
3. Gun Control: Do you feel Maryland’s current gun control laws should be A) more strict B) less strict C) kept as is or D) all of the state’s gun control measures should be repealed?
First, let me say that all of gun violence is a result of public policy and not gun ownership. As a progressive that thinks there is no need to own assault and automatic guns….that there is no need to carry concealed weapons, and would kill any attempt at STAND YOUR GROUND LAWS….let’s be clear, the US Constitution does give citizens the right to own guns. We simply do not want guns to be the answer to seeking justice whether it is the civilian protecting personal property or whether it is the urban poor forced into crime to survive feeling dis-empowered by poverty and using a gun or violence to gain that power. This is what gun violence is all about and allowing all to feel they have the power of justice elevates the need to control guns. Families living in underserved communities need relief from violence but most of these same families have loved ones caught in this cycle and want solutions other than stricter gun laws and sentencing. As gun owners seek justice in owning a gun understand that people in poverty also need personal justice as they negotiate themselves into a better life.
I am for increasing mental health access and coverage especially for people with severe mental illness. We see that the people committing these massive shootings almost all say the family could not find help. It is not a matter of forcing people to take medication----it is a matter of having strong integrated mental health care. Currently in Maryland and Baltimore or mental health is limited almost exclusively to simply handing out PHARMA with no follow-up. We do not want people labelled as mentally ill and lose their civil rights for any reason whether that is involuntary PHARMA dosing or losing the right for life to owning a gun. Laws that seek to ban gun ownership for things as simple as physical assaults from street or bar fighting----and that is where some of these laws go----have as a goal something different than protecting the public. Let’s fix the social policies that lead to people using guns illegally before we think of ways to take away people’s rights.
I see no reason guns should not be registered as we do automobiles and other property and background checks are not a bad idea. The only problem with background checks lies with the fact that many people with felony convictions are not really felons----they are simply guilty of minor crimes. People should not lose Constitutional rights for lesser crimes.
4. Education: Education spending accounts for 34 percent of the state’s $39 billion FY2015 operating budget, and the FY2015 capital budget includes $680 million for education projects. Do you feel that, when it comes to education, Maryland should spend A) much more B) slightly more C) slightly less D) much less or E) the same amount?
Education spending in Maryland is heavily slanted towards what I call corporate subsidy. Whether it be building the corporate structures connected to our public universities and then subsidizing corporate research and development through these structures or whether it is building an entire corporate structure for K-12 that is simply funding education businesses that do absolutely nothing for our classrooms and instruction…..much of the money spent on education in Maryland benefits corporate profit and not the quality of public education from K-college. Our community colleges are now simply corporate job training programs-----taxpayers are now paying for the costs of corporate Human Resources and on-the-job training. Some career/trade training is good---but our community colleges are now almost completely job training. All of this takes from what we need in money and resources for our schools and it is the cause for high university tuition. We want to use public funding to rebuild our public schools but the truth is this…..if we rebuild oversight and accountability in our government the amount of money saved from fraud and corruption would make our Treasury flush with money for full funding of education. So, we do not need to beg for more school funding …..politicians more interested in corporate profits are simply making Maryland citizens do so. Republicans and corporate democrats are equal opportunity offenders in this.
5. The top priority of the next governor of Maryland should be A) education B) the economy C) public safety d) the environment or e) other (please specify)?For questions 6-8, please limit your response to 50-75 words:
The two top priorities of any governor will be moving away from an economy driven by national/global corporations that are creating the stagnant economy, job losses and business failures…..eating up our public revenue with subsidies and controlling all of the people’s ability to engage in public policy--------and moving to a domestic economy driven by small and regional businesses owned by Marylanders who hire Marylanders and have as a goal to create quality products for Marylanders. We must reverse this push to continue economic hold on the US by global corporations. I would like all citizens to Google ‘Trans Pacific Trade Pact (TPP)/ protests ‘ to see why people are fighting what Congress and Maryland corporate pols are trying to install.
Secondly, we cannot have a democracy or rights as citizens if we do not have a strong public justice system and Rule of Law. Businesses cannot transact business and people cannot grow wealth and get all their earn wages if we do not enforce the laws and we are not protected by our Constitutional rights. We are watching as public justice is dismantled….we are fleeced of our wealth with no recourse….we are told our civil liberties must be compromised for the ‘greater good’. All of this is meant to end our status as citizen with Equal Protection and a Bill of Rights and as a citizen guaranteed the right to legislate. What are elections about if the people you elect allow corporations to write all public policy?
6. If elected, what are your top three priorities be upon taking office?
1. Completing an assessment of all state agencies with the goal of building oversight and accountability throughout. Looking at bidding in public works and public services making sure it is in the public interest and is fair to all counties in Maryland.
2. Reversing this privatization of public education and giving schools what they need----strong funding and resources and teachers having help in the classrooms. Communities, parents, teachers, and administrators know how to build rigor and accountability----they simply need the resources. Private non-profits supplement, not replace public school activities.
7. What is the biggest challenge facing Marylanders today and how will you address it if elected?
A boom and bust economy created by global markets and the unaccountability of those global corporations have made it impossible for citizens to build and keep wealth. A domestic economy will address this. Also, State Public Banks will allow citizens a choice from the private financial market and create a safe banking experience for low-wage citizens.
8. What makes you the best candidate to for this position?
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland is the only candidate working for the public interest and not for corporate wealth and profit. I set the state on a path towards a healthy economy and a healthy democracy. You do not hear any of the candidates in the race speaking of any of the issues on my campaign platform. Please visit my campaign website-----Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland
Healthcare -NOW of Maryland
Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire
1. Do you believe health care is a basic human right?
2. Do you believe it is the responsibility of the state to ensure that all Marylanders receive the health care they need?
3. Do you support reducing health care costs in Maryland?
4. Should health care insurance coverage depend on a person's employment status?
5. Single-payer covers all Marylanders while reducing health care costs. Are you in favor of a single-payer system?
YES-----but it must be Expanded and Improved Medicare for All and not the Medicaid for All that the Affordable Act is creating.
6. If elected governor, would you support single-paye legislation and if passed sign it into law?
PLEASE REFER TO UNIVERSAL CARE AS EXPANDED AND IMPROVED MEDICARE FOR ALL AND NOT SINGLE-PAYER. THE HEALTH POLICIES OF AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IS MOVING MOST PEOPLE TO MEDICAID AND MEDICAID FOR ALL.
Americans for Patient’s Rights
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland supports Expanded and Improved Medicare for All and that would include medications. So, if a candidate supports a universal plan none of these policies would be applicable. Also, my campaign recognizes that it is health industry fraud and profiteering that makes the cost of health care too high and PHARMA is ground zero for this problem. So, if there is not the building of oversight and accountability into the health care system being built-----let’s say for Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, there will be no savings for anyone and whether public or private the health system and the insurance provider will continue to be soaked with losses. That’s where I start my answer to these questions.
My answer includes the stance that Expanded and Improved Medicare for All will allow for universal coverage for medication as well as health care with no extra bills to be necessary. Building oversight and accountability into the health system as regards PHARMA will cut loses considerably for either a private insurer or the public Medicare system.
QUESTIONS FROM AMERICANS FOR PATIENT’S RIGHTS:
Would you support the insurer’s side of this dispute and limit the dispensing of medicines by a doctor with respect to worker’s compensation patients?
Would you support the doctor’s side of this dispute and support a fee schedule to limit the cost of the medicines?
This is Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland thanking you for including me in your process. My campaign supports all GBLT issues including marriage.
In an effort to provide voters with the best information possible for the upcoming primary election, we are sending out this Candidate Questionnaire. Protect Marriage Maryland is a PAC interested in preserving the traditional definition of marriage and the meaning of the traditional family. This questionnaire will be used to inform voters of the candidate’s positions on marriage and gender-related issues. The candidate’s responses may be compiled with past statements, campaign materials, and previous votes while in office to inform voters of their options in current as well as future elections. All of the questions in this questionnaire are YES/NO questions, and we would appreciate your response with a simple “YES” or “NO.” While it is not necessary, you may expound upon your answers beyond a simple YES/NO answer if you feel it will provide us with useful insight in making our endorsements, however no credit will be awarded if a “YES” or “NO” is not indicated. Also, no endorsements will be given for candidates who do not respond to the questionnaire. We will allow until May 20th for all responses to be received, after which they will be compared and tallied so that we can make our recommendations. We prefer a response by e-mail, though you may send your replies to our mailing address (see below.) If for any reason you receive the questionnaire late but would like your answers considered anyway, please feel free to send them in whenever you can. We plan to announce our endorsements before June 1st, 2014.
Sincerely, Robert Broadus
Chairman, Protect Marriage Maryland (PAC) 6368 Coventry Way, #122, Clinton, MD 20735 www.protectmarriagemaryland.org
Maryland Primary Election 2014
The Editorial Board of The Daily Times wishes to help inform Lower Shore readers about 2014 primary election candidates’ positions on topics that impact their lives and livelihoods.
We ask two things of each candidate who receives this questionnaire:
1. Please acknowledge receipt of this email today, immediately, and let us know whether you plan to participate. If you have questions, please ask now.
2. Return this form with your answers by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than Friday, May 16.
Responses will be printed beginning the week after Memorial Day in the Voices section of The Daily Times, along with a note about which candidates either did not respond or chose not to participate.
We are asking each candidate for state or federal elected office in a Lower Shore district to complete this questionnaire.
Please be specific in all your answers, to help voters understand your positions on these important issues. You are not limited to any word count or page number. Answer thoughtfully and completely.
1. What do you see as the biggest need on the Lower Shore? How would you address this need?
The biggest need everywhere in Maryland is a stable, domestic economy fueled by full employment and jobs that keep a person employed for the long-term. As important is infrastructure upgrades. The lower shore needs not only road repair but coast restoration, bay and inlet restoration, and agricultural infrastructure that can be shared by small and regional farmers in processing, storing, and transporting harvests. We know tides will rise these next two decades so all coastal communities are going to need help reshaping communities away from rising tides. This will effect water and sewage, wells, coastal dunes, docks, and marinas. It also creates jobs that will last for years as this upgrade will provide work for the long term. We need Annapolis and the Governor's Administration to serve the needs of all of Maryland with state funding and contract awards including business owners all over the state. I am the only candidate not tied to the Washington beltway. My entire platform is focused on bringing oversight and accountability to corporate and government and with that billions of dollars lost to fraud and mismanagement. This step alone will make our state treasury flush with money that then can be allocated for all state projects. My commitment is to the small and regional farmers and building the structures they need to thrive. Industrial agriculture and industrial meat have distorted the Lower Shore's economy moving small farmers to contract farming for a global corporation. We want thousands of small farms and not global corporations.
2. The poultry industry on the Lower Shore feels it has been unfairly targeted by environmental regulations in conjunction with efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay. What would you say to these farmers? What specific steps would you take to jointly save our poultry industry and protect the bay?
The reason poultry has made the news for pollution and Federal oversight is because industrial meat has super--sized the environmental damage and harms community health. Small farmers know how to keep the land healthy and produce quality food. My grandfather was a waterman and farmer with a farm right on the Chesapeake Bay and I know he did not use or produce large amounts of chemicals and contaminants. He simply produced what he needed and sold to surrounding areas. Contract farmers with industrial chicken corporations are forced to take and use chicken waste for example to mitigate costs for this industrial corporation and then are held responsible for the added distress on the environment. This is not good public policy. If we base our economy on domestic businesses producing locally then the environmental problems go away. Maryland and the Federal government is not wrong to try to stop this environmental problem-----they are not regulating the big guys and coming after the smaller businesses -----that is the problem.
3. Tourism is also a major economic driver on the Lower Shore. How would you support, promote or expand tourism in the region?
I for one hope that the Lower Shore keeps its small town appeal and not succumb to development as attraction. Relying on tourism for revenue limits quality of life as the jobs created are very low-wage jobs and these resorts take over the community. I will help citizens meet that goal if that is what is wanted. First, I would encourage moving more small manufacturing into the areas----say, a small factory for generic medicine ---that would produce medicine for the state of Maryland and surrounding areas or a small medical equipment factory. We want to grow the domestic economy and building these small businesses building the products the citizens of Maryland need is the economy of the future. As watermen lose their livlihood, and they will with public policy surrounding the Port of Baltimore becoming a global terminal----we need strong jobs for the shore. Marketing the shore for tourism is easy and building some infrastructure to accommodate tourist if fine, but do not allow development to take all the charm of this beautiful landscape and communities.
4. The Somerset County wind farm project is seen by locals largely as a benefit in terms of jobs and an alternative energy source. Should this project be moved forward? Why or why not?
I wish the citizens of Somerset County knew what corporations are involved in this project. Cindy Walsh for Governor is a passionate environmentalist so wind and alternate energy is great. We all know global corporations could care less about the environment or creating good jobs that support a family. That is why my administration would have made this a public utility hiring local businesses to develop and operate these wind farms. IT COULD BE DONE THIS WAY. Rather, a Texas energy corporation was given the job of developing this project and that Texas firm handed operations of this wind farm to a global corporation in Europe. Now, what is the likelihood that workers are going to be brought from Texas or overseas to do most of this work? Just look to Baltimore and central Maryland to see most contracting goes to national corporations bringing people into the area to work for cheap. I don't know this will happen in Somerset, but I know it happens all the time across Maryland.
The problem with wind farms in Maryland is that the areas fit for wind are so small that the energy produced really doesn't justify the expense of building and running these wind farms. As an environmentalist wanting alternative energy----I think this is not necessarily the type of green energy Maryland needs. Solar is much better and can be installed everywhere with immediate benefit to consumers. Wind Farms I think do better in the mid-west and southwest with wide-open land. I may consider a wind farm grid up the East Coast as an aggregate producer of energy as useful, but for now this is my feeling. I do not think it will provide jobs for Somerset and having a global corporation in your community means it will take control of public policy.
5. A lack of job and career opportunities on the Lower Shore not only hurts families today, it also makes it difficult for our young people to build careers and establish their own families here. What would you do to tackle this pervasive problem and help establish greater economic opportunity for all on the Shore?
As I said earlier I am a strong believer in rebuilding the domestic economy with small and regional businesses. So, bringing manufacturing to the Shore is a done deal. Also, remember that the three democrats from Montgomery County will continue the movement towards handing all to global corporations and to developing the Washington beltway while my campaign will make sure that development is shared across Maryland. I will be rebuilding oversight and accountability into public agencies so curbing fraud and corruption will allow more state revenue to be spent on all of Maryland. The Maryland State Treasury has plenty of revenue----it simply need to be shared equally!
Thank you for allowing me to respond to your questions.
CINDY WALSH FOR GOVERNOR OF MARYLAND:
RESPONSE REGARDING TRANSPORTATION FUNDING QUESTIONS FROM ACTION COMMITTEE FOR TRANSIT
Let me first state what my vision of transportation policy across the state will include in my administration. I would ask that citizens in Montgomery County consider whether electing a governor that lives in your county to get promises a favored development measures trumps an overall agenda of statewide corporate and government accountability to bring more revenue to government coffers making the Transportation Trust flush with money for all state projects. Also, would it trump a candidate dedicated to rebuilding all of public sector agencies tasked with encouraging public input with a goal of making public concerns the driver of policy.
As a REAL environmentalist I have as a goal to create the strongest of PUBLIC transportation infrastructure in the state. So, maximum access to trains, planes, buses, and bikes would be a priority. You will find that someone who has spent two decades using public transportation as a primary transportation source knows what is needed and what works. As a former Industrial Engineer for United Parcel Service I know schedules, efficiency, and quality. I also know the value of keeping all of the infrastructure required for transportation quality in the best of conditions. Do you know who does this better------the public sector. As everyone knows when you hand public services to corporations to own or operate the entire operation becomes about profit so quality, efficiency, and infrastructure maintenance and public safety is neglected. The policies in Maryland these few decades has been privatization of all public transportation and it will be for all of the other candidates for governor except Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland.
When a state government privatizes MARC for example and then offers no oversight and inspection; if it has a State Transportation Commission that looks the other way to shortcuts taken to maximize profit for the corporation chosen for this partnership, whether Amtrak, CSX, or VEOLA for example, then public interest is sacrificed. Quality, access, safety, and infrastructure upkeep must be number one in any outsourcing of public sector service and transportation is especially important. I must qualify this by saying whereas the state may be better to outsource some commuter rail, it would be my intention to build strong PUBLIC transportation structures. This is good for the consumer, the worker, and for control of infrastructure development and maintenance. Is CSX maintaining its rails and crossings? Is Amtrak offering comfort, access, and safety? Does it make sense to subsidize rather than operate as a public transit only? I feel strongly the need to keep buses, taxis, airport transit, and light rail fully public as we have seen in these few years of public private partnerships operations that are not offering any more to quality while workers are driven to impoverishment. A consumer must have quality transit employees and that will not happen if these people are not paid a strong wage. That is why MTA has always been a middle-class occupation.
Do you know the privatization of the Port of Baltimore took what was a few billion dollars in revenue to the state and handed it to investment firm HighStar in exchange for a few hundred million dollars in leasing? Do you know making this port a world port will kill the Chesapeake Bay with invasive species? So, this was a lose/lose deal for the citizens of Maryland. How did this happen? Corporate politicians running as democrats! This is where funding for the Transportation Trust can be flush with money. RED LINE and PURPLE LINE are both necessary for any public transit future so we make sure the state revenue is protected with oversight and accountability and you will see plenty of money for all of these projects. We do not need tolls on roads if we run a lean and accountable public works/services department. We certainly do not need that huge toll on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
City bus transit is the most important method of public transportation and that requires industrial engineering to see that routes intersect and transfer sites meet. In Baltimore, the bus schedule has not seen an IE update since 1970s and the bus system is so defunded that it takes hours to go one way. It is deliberate as money was diverted to other projects-----most likely Montgomery County---but the point is this:
THERE SHOULD BE PLENTY OF MONEY FOR ALL MARYLAND TRANSIT PROJECTS WITHOUT PRIVATIZATION.
Buses must reach across the state so Rapid Transit Buses and close connections to existing corporate bus lines is a must. It is the state that makes sure corporate partners are making the consumer’s experience the best it can be. Completing forms without verifying data? My administration will rebuild public agencies for oversight and workplace and public safety.
Maryland Public Service Commission, Maryland Public Works must have as appointments people who view public interest over corporate/shareholder profit.
Bike trails are very important as we try to get people out of their cars so I will continue to promote biking in cities and counties both as policy and with funding. If you do not make public transportation easily accessible you will not get people out of their cars. Do you know the state can work on policy that encourages public ridership without being punitive to citizens choosing to drive? I lived in Seattle where corporations received a subsidy for providing their employees with annual transit passes while leaving parking fees low. Seattle has the best record for public transit use and it all involves public policy that brings all the community players to the table. I used to kayak to work!
Finally, we will have a different method of creating revenue for the Transportation Trust in my administration. We all know gas taxes do not do it and raising gas taxes as high as was done was a huge burden for most. We can get people out of their cars whenever possible but we do not need to break the individual’s bank. I will make paying for transportation infrastructure as progressive possible.
Below you see the answers to your questionnaire:
Questionnaire for Governor
1) Do you support funding and advancing the Purple Line to groundbreaking as described in the Locally Preferred Alternative and the Environmental Impact Statement without qualification?
2) Would you support a 2nd road crossing of the Potomac River?
3) Would you support more transit, pedestrian, and bicycle-friendly road design in our school zones and urban centers even if it slows drivers down?
4) Do you support including the 3rd track needed to allow all-day MARC service?
Action Committee for Transit
PO BOX 7074
SILVER SPRING MD 20907-7074
No doubt the communities involved in this Purple Line development want to get on with it as there are so many factors and people having opinions and needs. Any politician who says they will commit to any project plan without qualification would be disingenuous. I would review this project with the intent of making sure the public’s interests are foremost and the environmental impact and environmental justice to communities is as good as it gets. I would support funding for the Purple Line and feel sure that we will have the Transportation Funds to move forward.
I cannot answer this not having been part of the discussion.
Yes, I would support building access to pedestrian and bike-friendly paths in all areas of the state. People’s ability to commute by car without excessive delay is understandable, but having cars slow especially in urban areas is not a bad policy as a whole. Designing these paths can easily work to keep arteries available for speed in conjunction with arteries made for safety. Trails must have staffing geared to maintain safety and keeping trails clean.
I would want to see a completely separate rail system for the state commuter lines allowing freight lines their own routes. We have far too many delays and accidents in trying to negotiate what should be separate rail systems. I am very sensitive to eminent domain issues and NIMBY concerns as people’s property values and quality of life are always impacted by these kinds of infrastructure changes. Rail should be a primary transit resource and it should be cheap. I do not feel funding this project with state and county funds would be an issue.
MY RESPONSE TO
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association Maryland Federation of Chapters
Thank you for giving Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland an opportunity to respond to your group. If you look at my campaign website you see I am not only an advocate of public and private unions and their benefits, but I shout loudly about losses to pensions and savings from fraud and corruption and fight the widespread actions of reducing these pensions and benefits. My campaign makes corporate and government accountability the revenue resource in balancing our budget and looks towards the loss of corporate and wealth revenue as the state structural budget deficit. So, I will be the only candidate for governor who will not only fight to keep all pension and benefits at the original contract amount, I will be the one who makes sure there is a real COLA and that pension investments are safe and in the public interest.
The second thing that will have an effect on Federal and State employees is where the Affordable Care Act will take the country. If you follow this you will know the intent is to end Medicare and Medicaid as Federal programs and to send seniors and low-income to these private states systems. Public sector health plans will join them. So, if ACA is allowed to continue Federal, State, and local government benefits will be handled in the tiered system developed with this recent state system roll-out. My top platform issue is keeping public health strong and indeed I will fight for a public health system in Maryland modeled on Vermont's public system with the goal of Expanded and Improved Medicare for All. This is important because the program Medicaid is being so defunded and becoming a mere clinic checkup and preventative care and we know that with the costs of health care going up 80% of Marylanders will fall into this category. So, let's work for equitable health care for all. Public and private sector union plans would remain until this universal coverage was complete.
Health care costs are driven by health industry fraud and profiteering and my administration would end what is 1/2 of Medicare and Medicaid spending lost to fraud.....this is how we reduce the costs and this in turn makes union benefits go farther. I dare say that this is why Maryland's Medicaid expenditures are higher because of this waste and fraud. I would guess if you were advocating for Long Term Care Insurance you may envision the private insurance plan as an answer. IT IS FRAUD AND CORRUPTION THAT HAS THE MEDICAID COSTS IN MARYLAND TOO HIGH. I know that low-income people really do not have he money for these kinds of plans.
My campaign platform has progressive taxation with an emphasis on higher tax brackets for the rich and corporations paying their fair share. So, allowing seniors more of a tax break in the form of exemptions would work into my philosophy of needing citizens having more to spend as the fuel of US economy. We do indeed want seniors having more in their annual income and I go further by supporting an Expanded Social Security as a way to augment all of the losses the American people have had to their retirements and assets due to corporate fraud and the market crashes from these activities. I know the Federal workers have a separate pension system but the same policy would effect all retirements.
Please check my campaign website at Citizens Oversight Maryland.com to see my platform.
1. Equalized Tax Subtraction from Income
2. Promote Long Term Care Insurance to Reduce the State Medicaid Burden.
3. Equalize Tax Exemption for Maryland Seniors
MY RESPONSE TO Maryland Pesticide Network
The Smart on Pesticides Campaign
A January 2014 OpinionWorks survey showed that Maryland voters have profound concern about the health and environmental risks posed by pesticides and overwhelmingly support better pesticide use reporting.
· More than three-quarters (78 percent) of Maryland voters said they were concerned about “the risk that pesticides pose to your own and your family’s health.” More than four voters in ten (42 percent) were very concerned.
· Voter concern rose to 90 percent when voters heard about health risks such as asthma, autism, and cancer, as well birth defects and fertility problems; environmental risks to Maryland’s rivers and the Bay; as well as bee hive deaths.
· Making pesticide reporting mandatory was overwhelmingly supported by 79 percent of Maryland voters and opposed by only 14 percent.
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland would love to come to speak with your organization about Maryland's policies regarding pesticide use and environmentalism as a whole. As all of you know, Maryland is a state with politicians who will state their support of green issues and then never really enact those policies. Maryland is one of the least green in the nation while having political headlines declaring all kinds of environmental wins. Let's turn this around to having a REAL environmentalist as governor who will make sure existing laws are enforced, that industrial agriculture and meat are replaced with a return to family farms and local food.
Please take a look at my campaign website. I am a true progressive and not a global corporate pol like Heather Mizeur. A neo-liberal like Mizeur will never be progressive as global corporations have no intent to act environmentally. The biggest issues on environment stem from the Port of Baltimore being privatized and made into a world port----invasive species will kill the Chesapeake Bay. When a politician supports green energy and then hands the business to a global corporation to operate----it is not supporting green energy. The windmill project off of Maryland coast has been given to a Texas corporation to develop and a global corporation to operate. None of this will lead to green energy, it will lead to the ratepayers being soaked. Maryland's public utility being privatized to BGE and then to Exelon was another assault on the citizens of Maryland and will lead to more abuses of the environment. We need public utilities to be green.
If you are against fracking and export terminals at Cove Point then you would be shouting that O'Malley as head of the governor's association worked hard on pushing the policy of exporting natural gas and indeed, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore as others are heavily invested in this will push for all the fracking possible. This is why the Maryland Assembly has refused for years to fund the few millions it would take to do a baseline study of the Marcellus Aquifer. Without this baseline as these corporate pols know, the citizens of Maryland will be unable to sue these fracking corporations for the contaminated aquifer. With these baseline data the State of Maryland would be threatening legal action with the WVA and PA fracking corporations to at least get them to watch where and how they frack. Do you hear any of these candidates saying this? That's because they work for global corporations and will not stop fracking or exporting of natural gas.
From Monsanto to industrial agriculture.....GMOs are a crime against humanity and will hand our global food supply to Wall Street and speculation. This must be stopped and yet, Maryland's rich are already working to make Maryland a Hillary state. Hillary and Bill are the face of Monsanto and industrial food. If you hate pesticide you want a governor prepared to work against global corporations and global corporate pols. Hillary, Biden, Cuomo, and O'Malley are all prepared to advance Trans Pacific Trade Pact which will end all US sovereignty and give global corporations the right to operate in the US ignoring all labor and justice laws----especially environmental laws.
As you know, none of the other candidates for Governor of Maryland mention any of this because-----they are corporate neo-liberals intending on supporting all of the above. Heather Mizeur will do the same as Brown and Gansler....they all simply throw out progressive bones. Let's make Maryland a real environmental state.
Please network for Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland
MY RESPONSE TO OCEAN CITY TODAY AND BAYSIDE GAZETTE CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR QUESTIONS:
As a candidate for statewide office, we would very much like to hear your opinion on eight issues our readers here on the Lower Eastern Shore have indicated are of interest to them, as part of our 2014 election coverage. The coverage area for the newspapers I write for--the Bayside Gazette and Ocean City Today--is Worcester County.
1. What do you consider your most significant contribution or future goal for either businesses’ or residents’ interests, specific to the Lower Eastern Shore?
2. Some of the agricultural businesses on the Eastern Shore have expressed concern that regulations and policies intended to help water quality and environmental improvements sometimes fail to include provisions to mitigate the negative impacts from those well-meaning actions. How will you address those concerns, especially the concerns from family farms?
My campaign has a platform a return to Rule of Law and corporate and government accountability. It has as well the economic driver being small and regional businesses with global corporations and national chains taking a back seat to the citizens of Maryland building the businesses that drive our economy. These two platform issues are very important to Eastern Shore of Maryland whether you are democrat or republican. If you support industrial farming and meat processing you would not like me. If you support global corporations owning and running the Wind Farm business planning to open on Eastern Shore of Maryland, you will not support my campaign. I have family connections to Virginia Eastern Shore that go back generations having spent my childhood enjoying the Chesapeake Bay from my grandfather’s farm on the Bay and getting up at 3:00 AM to go to the boat to pull crab pots and I love this culture. I know the relationship small chicken and agriculture farmers have with industrial agriculture and meat. My mother has a passion for fresh tomatoes but we watched as all tomato crops became controlled by industrial farming and the residents around these farms were left with the worst of the crops.
Environmentalists are pressing farming and meat on the Eastern Shore of Maryland to address chemical pollution of the Bay. Arsenic, antibiotics/hormones, nitrogen, etc. is a major source of pollution in the Bay and it does come in part from industrial agriculture and meat. This happens because these industries feed the world and not feed the region as small and regional businesses do. The amount of these pollutants would drop simply by returning to small and regional businesses supplying Maryland. Quality of life would soar as local residents became the business leaders controlling development and zoning and earning the profits now taken from the community by global corporate profit and shareholders.
America is at a cross-road. It can either return to an economy that worked to make the US a first world economy fueled by domestic businesses and workers paid a wage that allows them to support their families or it can continue down the path set by neo-liberals and neo-conservatives---these are the global corporate politicians----who see the US as controlled by global corporate power. We are seeing this in large part right now! I am the candidate for Governor of Maryland seeking to reverse this economic strategy of global markets driven by a middle-class overseas to one driven by a domestic economy driven by an American middle-class. Whether republican or democrat, my campaign is the only one that will make this the center of my administration.
The Maryland Assembly and governor has for decades made the Washington beltway and Baltimore the center of development. It has been exclusive and that is unnecessary. We can develop all regions of the state and I will see that equity in state funding and contract bidding allows for Eastern Shore development and businesses be involved.
My grandfather and my mother both fought to keep the shore undeveloped because they knew that this simple way of life allowed families to be healthier and happier. That is what rural living is about!
3. A proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage is being perceived as an added cost that could prompt smaller business owners to hire fewer workers or decrease working hours. Would you favor a seasonal exemption for Ocean City’s tourism-related businesses?
The minimum wage must go up. It is the difference between having a first world country and an economy driven by domestic workers and their consumption or depending on what appears to be a collapsing global market. Right now $15 an hour brings US workers to a first world standard. Initiating this wage all at once would be a hardship so incremental raises over a few years would be the way to go. Now, can all businesses afford to do this? Maybe not, but how do we carve out exceptions? I think it has to do with where businesses are in their expansion. If you can afford to expand to more than one location, you must do so leaving your employees in good financial shape. This is what has killed our domestic economy as businesses grow so fast that all their money is placed into infrastructure, development, and marketing while employees are driven to the lowest common denominator. This is not good for families, for communities, or for society. So, I see placing minimum wage requirements based on this desire to expand a business. If you cannot pay your employees a Living Wage, you are not ready to expand.
I grew up going to Ocean City and we all love the shore and its beaches. Many of these businesses are family owned and would fall into the category I described below. Ocean City as well as other Eastern Shore businesses rely on special category workers and green card laws. I would support some of these categories and would not others. As a progressive, I do not want to see immigrants brought to America for indiscriminate profit. That hurts local workers and it is unfair to immigrant labor. Having immigrant labor come to Ocean City or to work at family crab houses can be considered. If these immigrants are being hired by big business just to boost profit-margins, this is not good policy.
Neo-liberals and neo-conservatives want to flood the labor market with immigrant labor at a time the US has 36% unemployment and most of this will benefit big industries only seeking to maximize profit. This is bad immigration policy for communities and for these immigrants themselves. So, I would consider the use of green card and immigrant labor to support small family businesses.
4. Many of the people who live on, or move to, the Eastern Shore do so for a more independent-oriented lifestyle. How would you propose minimizing the potential of having state policies that override local policies (i.e. land use maps, stormwater management, and the phosphorus management tool)?
My entire campaign is about returning control of public policy to citizens in communities. I support Federal regulation and guidelines for the most part. What we are seeing in Maryland and indeed across the country is that it is big business causing the problems and the citizens being forced to mitigate the problems and paying for the solutions. This is deliberate. The policy of storm water runoff or rain taxes exists because the money citizens have paid as taxes and utility rates has not been reinvested in infrastructure development by these private corporations handed our public utilities and by developers given rights to develop in areas that never should have been approved. So, you go to these utilities and these development corporations to get the money needed to address these real environmental issues. Corporate politicians, whether republican or democrat will not do this. They instead make you and I pay for the cost of big business profits. The Rain Tax and storm water management is exactly this.
First, we should never privatize our utilities. Electricity, water and waste, natural gas, wind mills, and communications----like the Post Office and telephone----all need a public entity that allows all people the ability to access these vital structures. We can keep our public utilities strong and quality services while allowing a private business sector to thrive. If people want to pay for expensive services that is fine but keep a baseline public service that provides good quality for all. Now, if the state owns public energy it will maintain the real estate and make sure to meet all government requirements regarding environment and local zoning. If a private corporation owns this utility it immediately starts to ignore maintenance and seeks to circumvent local laws to boost profit. This causes the conditions requiring storm water and Rain Tax policy.
Republicans tend to push for deregulation but if you keep these policies you will see the general public paying all the costs that should have been paid by these businesses. As a society we cannot ignore environmental damages because it will eventually end our quality of life and many people’s ability to earn a living. That is what we are seeing today after a few decades of privatizing our public utilities.
5. Where do you stand on allowing county governments to have more control over how county-paid funding revenue is allocated within their jurisdictions (i.e. Board of Education, Board of Elections, or county-related operating costs of other state agencies)?
This is where the progressive in me may be counter to rural desires. I support Federal laws surrounding equal opportunity and access and I would want Federal election laws upheld. We are seeing a perfectly good public education system under attack and it will not end well for anyone if allowed to continue for example. Race to the Top has as a goal to privatize all of K-12 to global education businesses through charters and Teach for America. National charter chains will take what local communities think are warm and fuzzy local charters and take all ability of local communities to decide education policy. That is what Common Core and all of this testing and evaluation is about. It is not good for progressives wanting equal opportunity and access and it is not good for conservatives wanting local control of education and schools. It is a lose-lose for all of us. So, I advocate for strong public schools that are well-funded and meeting Federal equal access and opportunity guidelines with local communities building those public schools. We had the best in the world public education in the 1940s-1970s because schools were well-funded and resourced. This happened because US corporations were required to pay taxes and it has declined because they have been allowed to avoid paying taxes. Privatization policies are happening because of the desire to make K-12 about making an education market for profit and to keep corporations from paying their fair share of taxes to support public education and schools. Don’t allow this to happen. Support strong public schools funded by corporate taxation not donation.
Regarding other county-related costs, I might guess that the Department of Natural Resources may come into play for example. I do think we need a strong DNR and right now Maryland has a skeleton crew with localities probably having no staff at all. Rural areas may think that is good for them and gives them more oversight but I will remind you that keeping natural resources healthy whether through strong wildlife management or pollution control ultimately helps localities. Let’s look at the crab harvesting policies. The problems for crab and oysters is industrial farming/acidity from industrial coal power plants for instance and Port of Baltimore allowing ships to bring invasive species into our bay that kill crab and oysters. None of this has to do with local crabbers and oystermen. Yet, they are the ones being managed. If you do not allow regulation of these big businesses your livelihoods will end. Conservatives fight regulation and it ends up killing local businesses. So, please allow corporate regulation and accountability to stop the conditions that are killing us locally!
There will be no crabs, clams, or oysters if acidity and invasive species are allowed to kill the Chesapeake Bay.
I encourage rural communities that tend to be more conservative and see regulation as restrictive to look at the big picture. These few decades of total deregulation has left us with systemic fraud and corruption and a compromised environment and labor structure. We want corporations held accountable and we know that small business owners tend to be community-friendly automatically regardless of regulations. My grandfather pulled his pots and when he emptied them he wanted to throw that young crab back and wanted to save the life of that fish who wondered into his trap. Big business finds all of this cuts into profit. My grandfather did not need tons of pesticide and fertilizer because he spent every day in the fields looking at what the crops needed. These regulations never bothered him as they do big business. Please do not fight regulations that protect our communities and quality of life.
6. How directly do you plan to communicate with the citizens and businesses on the Lower Eastern Shore?
7. How directly do you plan to educate residents in urban or suburban communities in the state about the needs and economic conditions that are specific to the rural communities of the state?
I do not favor state agencies to direct local contact as state agencies often do not have to concerns of localities at heart. I like that there is a Maryland Rural Counties agency because we need to look at Maryland development and laws as a whole, but I think too much control of state agencies by stronger wealth and profit entities need to be balanced by direct interaction by local community groups and businesses. The same happens in urban areas as corporate private non-profits work for big business concerns while stifling local community voice. This is another major platform issue for my campaign. I recognize that Maryland places too much control of public policy and discussion in the hands of state and private non-profits that work for wealth and profit and not for communities.
My platform looks to rebuild public justice and public governance agencies and organizations. I will promote public policy discussions at public forums like community centers and public schools open to all and move away from the current control of public discussion by larger private non-profits that work for wealth and profit. State agencies are needed to coordinate policy relevant to regional development but community voice will be heard in my administration.
8. Job creation in the larger metro areas, such as Baltimore, seems to be a focus for many candidates. Do you plan to look for ways to improve year round employment opportunities on the Eastern Shore, especially in Worcester County where a large number of people can only find seasonal employment?
Believe me the job creation in the urban areas has nothing to do with local hiring and the welfare of local Maryland families. It has everything to do with allowing national corporations to bring workers in from all over the country to take jobs with state and local contracts that should be going to residents of Baltimore and surrounding areas. Allowing bids to be won by Texas corporations for example that then bring in their own work crews who are paid far less and made to travel for work helps no one but corporate profit. We want state and local bids to go to Maryland businesses with an emphasis on small and regional business owners. The culture of national corporations subcontracting to subcontractors impoverishes the Maryland business owners who in turn pay their workers less. It is a very bad economic policy. How does this help rural businesses? If a state contract is large it requires business owners from around the state to come to Baltimore or Prince Georges County. This is how things used to work. A county wins a contract for development but all counties send workers to do the job.
At the same time rural areas have lots of need in development from road and bridge construction to habitat management. The Transportation Trust is for all counties and the funneling of all money to only a few areas must stop. My administration will recognize the needs of all counties for development money and the need for businesses in these counties to participate in projects all across the state. We do not need Texas workers coming to Maryland to do our state projects or projects receiving public funding.
My administration will provide oversight of contracts awarded and will make sure that businesses here in Maryland are all working at full speed. Baltimore City contractors are being driven out of business by this national outsourcing so it is a lose-lose for all Maryland business owners but especially for rural businesses. We are now seeing global corporations getting many of the state contracts making it far worse for Maryland business owners and their employees.
Thank you for allowing me to comment. I have a few invitations to election forums on the Shore and hope you will come out to meet me. I would love opportunities to speak with community associations and non-profits!
RESPONSE TO THE GAZETTE NEWSPAPER IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland would love to answer your questions. I sent a copy of my campaign platform and personal information and now will answer questions:
Please answer these questions (do not omit the questions). Again, responses will not be edited, except for possible libel.
1. What would your top priorities be as an elected official?
2. Why should people vote for you instead of your opponents?
3. 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?
4. What changes, if any, would you make to Maryland’s tax structure?
5. What should the state’s transportation priorities be?
6. What is government’s role in trying to help Montgomery workers who are struggling to pay their bills?
7. Should marijuana be legal in Maryland for medicinal or recreational use?
8. What is the most pressing environmental issue in Maryland? How would you address it?
1. My private non-profit speaks to my priorities in this election. I am a labor and justice democrat working first and foremost to rebuild the public justice and public oversight agencies at the state and local levels. Maryland has dismantled most of these structures over the years and citizens of Maryland are struggling with fraud and corruption and obtaining justice from these criminal actions. As people lose their personal wealth from malfeasance the government coffers at state and local level are feeling the same level of fraud and corruption. This means that the revenue Maryland taxpayers pay goes into the wrong pockets and this has led to a very bad public services and public works sector. It is also the reason for both O'Malley and his republican counterpart to successively add more fees, fines, and taxes on the working/middle-class to make up for lost revenue.
2. I am the only candidate who would address the issues above as the other candidates in the democratic primary come from the system that is allowing the public dismantling to happen. You see, it is a difference of social democrat vs neo-liberal. Social democrats don't mind capitalism when it is held accountable and regulated and encouraged to be good corporate citizens. Neo-liberals on the other hand work to maximize corporate profit at the expense of all other issues so labor and justice suffer. This is the current state of affairs in Maryland and Maryland citizens are saying 'enough is enough'. I work for them.
3. First, I do not believe we have an environmental policy here in Maryland. Most policies involve environmental policy passed as single issues with no over-riding emphasis on what provides strong, long-term environmental stability in the state. We also have moved away from strong, public higher education and transportation. So, I would move away from all of the Wall Street leveraging and credit bond deals that mortgage Maryland's future and have plenty of money coming back to state coffers from my first priority, oversight and accountability. End Wall Street's hold on Maryland's financial investments means hundreds of millions of dollars in fees saved each year. To summarize, I would move back to an environment when corporate accountability brought the needed revenue and not deals with Wall Street.
Second, our Transportation Trust is being used as an open account that is so fungible that it is impossible to assess progress and failure in every project the state becomes involved. We know that the recent gas tax to replenish this Trust left the 'lock box' policy lacking. Transportation policy in Maryland has not been in the public interest. Port of Baltimore brought a few billion dollars to the state each year and now the public private partnership with HighStar investment firm has the state receiving a few hundreds of million in leasing revenue for example. We have far too many of these government leasing deals that we all know are not in the public's interest. We lose billions of dollars in revenue each year. I am strong on the PUBLIC in public transportation so would make the buses, trains, and planes all strongly public, well-financed to provide good public service, and promote the theme of getting people out of their cars with this realistic approach to the MTA.
As you see, my plan comes with added revenue and realignment of expenditures but the goals contained in the budget would be similar in my administration.
4. I am a progressive so I would look to building a tax structure with brackets that allow the richest citizens and corporations pay their fair share in taxes to support the public sector. In this age of billions we need tax brackets that address higher income. The idea that the rich or corporations would leave Maryland if taxed too much is a false one. We want to rebuild small and regional businesses more accountable to the citizens of Maryland and we want a public policy development centered on public comment and engaged public forums at all levels of government. If the rich and corporations want to leave, then the room to rebuild these structures opens. Staying in a great state and contributing a fair share is rewarding for the rich and corporations.
Ehrlich and O'Malley have swung the pendulum far the the side of working and middle-class families having the burden of most tax revenue payment. We need to move that pendulum back to including corporations and the rich and then find a good balance that allows the Maryland budget to be readily able to accommodate a strong, first world quality of life for all citizens of Maryland.
5. Maryland's bus system has been deliberately defunded to the point of being abysmal and this was done to move forward with plans to privatize MTA. The strategy of starving a system of funding to make people frustrated with service is a pervasive strategy in Maryland. If we are going to be true to getting people out of their cars and into public transportation which I highly support, strong bus service with routes having the benefit of industrial engineering, and staff paid a Living Wage is critical. The light-rail lines are important, so both Purple and Red Lines as public transportation is good. I do not support toll roads or the increases on bridge tolls because with income generated from accountability and progressive taxation, none of this would be needed. I support moving to electric/natural gas public vehicles. I do want to change how we fund the Transportation Trust because we know gas tax is no longer giving equal opportunity to contribute to our infrastructure upkeep. So, going to a vehicular registration fee or a mechanism that tracks mileage may be the answer. Finally, at a time when we are trying to recover from financial collapse, I would not move forward with high-speed rail. I am not against it, I simply feel we have other priorities first.
6. People are struggling to pay bills because they are not being paid enough, their wealth keeps being attacked with losses they have little way to avoid. So, Living Wage of $15 an hour and the protections of rebuilding accountability of oversight will protect the average person's wealth. I intend to move Maryland back to first world quality of life and $15 is just that. We can start with a $10.10 but need to move aggressively higher. Remember, when you fuel the domestic economy with US citizens' consumption, you have a thriving domestic economy. That's where we are going.
The next issue is inflation and control of costs for people for basic human needs. My Expanded and Improved Medicare for All takes the cost of health care down and access to care up. No medical bankruptcies and no business or corporate health plans needed. My dismantling of corporatized universities that simply serve as corporate welfare making our universities more about corporate R and D and Human Resources then education that gives graduates a broad, lifelong career opportunity is the goal. This corporate partnership with universities is what has driven student tuition to unacceptable levels and dismantling this will bring public university tuition back to being affordable to all citizens. I would make sure that state service commissions had appointees that worked for the public and not for corporate profits as is the case now. Rate increases that have the public paying the costs of doing business is not acceptable. My preference is that all energy services be public, but at least regulated so corporate profits are kept in line with reasonable consumer rates.
7. Marijuana is just like alcohol and needs to be treated as such.
8. People will be surprised when I say that replacing aging water and sewage infrastructure is the most pressing environmental issue in Maryland. Baltimore needs a few billion to replace its entire system and just implementing my accountability and oversight statewide would bring all the money needed to do just that. This needs to happen all over the state. This is why revenue collection and protection is so important. Each citizen pays enough in taxes to expect basic services like infrastructure, waste collection, and green management be integrated at little cost. That would be my priority statewide.
Second, fracking is a major assault on our environment and even though Maryland has not allowed it to operate in this state, it has not been aggressive in shouting to the overly fracked states of WVA and PA that Maryland citizens will hold all fracking corporations accountable for contaminating our Marcellus Aquifer, which will happen if these corporations are not made to think twice about how and where they drill. The Maryland Assembly has failed time and again to fund a baseline study for data needed by the public to prove fracking chemicals were not there originally. Without these data a court will say the public cannot prove fracking chemicals were not there already. A few million dollars does this baseline study and Cindy Walsh as governor will be shouting at fracking corporations that Maryland will hold them accountable for contaminating our only aquifer providing fresh water. This is critical. We do not want to be left shipping in fresh water.
As you see, I am a labor and justice democrat who will turn policy away from the corporate control and benefit to one that benefits all Maryland citizens.
My response to the NAACP as it searches for its leadership replacement:
Regarding NAACP's Ben Jealous heading to Silicon Valley:
No doubt Ben will continue to work against Net Neutrality with his new position in San Francisco.
As progressive like me shout loudly and strong at where the justice organizations have been during the neo-conservative reign of Obama working to dismantle all War on Poverty and New Deal programs......Ben Jealous is the answer. His job was to make sure the former Civil Rights organization was silent while all of civil rights was dismantled and assaulted and he did a very good job. No one would have thought people of color would be silenced as public education, public health, internet access was dismantled leaving everyone at risk, but mostly people of color of becoming third world in quality of life. You see Ben was a product of the very programs that he and Obama work to dismantle.
Race to the Top and the Affordable Care Act are republican policies with the sole intent to dismantle Medicare and Medicaid and end Brown vs Board of Education and equal access opportunity education in America. We all know almost all American citizens support these programs but Ben Jealous was recruited to manage the black reaction to the dismantling of these programs and succeeded in controlling the elections for neo-liberal candidates intent on doing just this. People to this day still do not know these programs end Medicare and Medicaid and public education------a success worthy of a Silicon job.
His next task will be to make sure the communities of color do not know how much the end of net neutrality will effect them. After all, if most people cannot access basic internet coverage at a time when landlines are going to disappear, how will they communicate? See where Ben has worked wonders for the neo-cons and neo-liberals taking the US to third world status? You do not want 90% of the population made third world poor to communicate do you.
As we watch black mayors of cities go to jail for participating in the massive corporate frauds and government corruptions costing American citizens tens of trillions of dollars in wealth we need to remind Ben that once you get in bed with the devil.....and participate in the crime and corruption.....you have become the slave. You now must do as you are told or face exposure and time in jail. The black middle-class need to think as they help dismantle the social safety nets and New Deal/Bill of Rights that these people at the top will throw everyone under the bus and having money now will not guarantee money for your children. Your children will live in the society you are creating now.
America is at a crossroads. It can allow neo-liberals and neo-cons move forward with their version of the 21st century------totalitarian empire-building or they can reinstate US Rule of Law and Equal Protection to take the US back to a first world democracy. The first step is shaking the neo-liberal bugs from the rug......by running and voting for labor and justice in all elections. Simply having a people's party back in the saddle will reverse all of the policies neo-liberals have implemented. Remember, when a government suspends Rule of Law it suspends Statutes of Limitation. What has happened in the Obama Administration began with a Presidential crime of which he would have been impeached had we a functioning US Attorney's Office or Congress. Nixon impeached for a break-in or Clinton for lying about sex vs Obama appointing known criminals to Treasury and the FED or committing International War Crimes. The point is that all of the appointments and policies are now suspect with a President not able to sign these bills into law. The same exists at the state level as well.
Governments throughout history have had corrupt individuals take hold of the reigns but the power the US Constitution with WE THE PEOPLE as legislators instill with a Bill of Rights makes it easy to reverse rogue takeovers and we will indeed reverse this mess. As people of color see how badly they were duped with only a few percent of people of color reaping the rewards of neo-liberalism......as labor comes together whether democrat or republican....300 million people will have an easy time of displacing a few million rogue corporate employees controlling the government.
Here in Maryland the same thing goes. Will the rural counties and the citizens of cities sit as a neo-liberal/neo-con social system of extreme wealth sidelines everyone else? I think not. These crony systems have a strong hold in Maryland but I see cracks that will soon weaken this wall.
Citizens For Maryland Libraries
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my views of policy that will concern the vision and mission of Maryland libraries. As an academic currently working as a research professional I live in libraries and archives so I am one of the most frequent users of the institutions for which you advocate. I would be a real friend to public and private libraries and research institutions. First, let me clarify a policy stance that drives my policies on education and by extension how libraries fit into education at all levels. We have watched these few years of Governor O’Malley’s term the embracing of a Federal policy advanced by the Obama Administration under the direction of his Education Secretary Arne Duncan called Race to the Top and this policy guides the third question you ask regarding libraries and Common Core materials. As a progressive labor and justice candidate I see Race to the Top as an assault on public education K-12 and with it Common Core. I will work hard to restore rigor and accountability in all public schools as I too agree that we have failed to assure these standards in public schools these few decades. I think Race to the Top and Common Core are not the best approach for doing this. Indeed, I feel these policies work against the very goal stated by politicians pushing this agenda. The method of implementation of Race to the Top shows what I feel is a desperate attempt to move education policy that Federal officials know the public does not want and they are doing as quickly as possible with such a lack of transparency as to have no avenue for public comment and input in what is the cornerstone to our democratic society-------democratic education and equal opportunity and access to all education. Common Core sold as a standardization of curricula is not progressive but regressive. It is not even about making sure there is consistency across America in subject content and rigor. As anyone who has a background in science and education as I do knows……STEM courses are already standardized. Facts are facts and courses from science, technology, engineering, and math are fact based. Now, some people may say that areas like evolution and environment have prejudice in political beliefs, but if students are required to know science standards for existing national tests, those requirements will continue to drive course content. My concern with Common Core is more with the humanities and liberal arts where standardization greatly jeopardizes democratic freedom of thought and speech as each region of this nation has its own experiences with socio-economic evaluation, civics, history, music, literature, etc. We do not want to standardize that which makes a nation a plurality. As a progressive I do not like conservative states writing out the labor and civil rights era every opportunity they get, but I also would not like having the Bush Administration writing the Common Core history lesson on their administration’s foreign policies on War and torture. Standardization never works well at a time when government is controlled by what we all know to be corporate culture that does not have the public interest in mind in writing policy. So, just as a general statement on education policy I will open with my intension of fighting Race to the Top implementation in Maryland. My appointments would be strong public education advocates and my bully-pulpit as governor would address the Maryland Assembly as regards the movement of policy that has so little research showing its legitimacy in creating the achievements it states and the unwise decision to move forward so quickly with policy that has not had public comment, development of core materials to be used, and the discussions as to where these policies lead the state in the long-term. I believe the majority of citizens in Maryland, both democrat and republican are not comfortable with these policies and particularly their being implemented without discussion and thought. Please see my website Citizens Oversight Maryland.com for very clearly written policy stances on this education policy. Keep in mind I am an activist and this site is written to be populist. Accountability and public oversight is the passion of my campaign. Now, on to your three specific questions directed at libraries: 1. One of the greatest achievements of our last economic revolution, the Industrial Revolution, was philanthropy that gave us the public institutions of learning and the public library system we have today. The idea that all people living in America were to be educated in a way that prepares them to be leaders and to be citizens is central to our Founding Father’s writing of the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution. Public places were key to the American people being both. The legal case of Brown vs Board of Education was successful in that the dictate of equal opportunity and access to public education was already a given; it was simply the acknowledgement, as if this needed to be acknowledged, that all men are created equal includes people of color. So, simply having this philosophy of education identifies me as someone who by extension values the library system in providing that access and opportunity to all. If we look at the future as regards digitization of all information and the ability of citizens here in America to afford the tools needed to access this digital information we know that libraries will be even more necessary to open access to many people. Right now, for many it is libraries that offer the only access to the internet and as public schools become more wired and computers become integrated in lessons, access to computers outside the classroom is critical. Funding for this transition in classrooms is a good thing and we need to see that libraries and community centers are viewed as equally needing of funding to meet these changes. We are seeing a movement in Maryland of using private education non-profits to serve in providing after-school programs and even in-school programs. Libraries on the other hand are being left to feel that budgets could be slashed or branches closed at any time. The movement of these educational outlets from the public to these private non-profits shows a desire to privatize our public sources and services. I write extensively on the negative impact of public-private partnerships and where I do see good coming from some of these partnerships the goal is clearly to make these relationships the rule and not the exception. This will not end well for libraries whether public or private. As a researcher I know that access to research is becoming limited as even universities are making research protected from public view through patents and by extension librarians are now having to tell consumers of the library sources that once accessible data is now proprietary. This also limits what librarians can say in the course of their duties while on the clock and as we all know, Federal rules regarding surveillance of public records has librarians forced to operate in ways they may find disagreeable. We see this as an assault on free speech and freedom of information. All of this falls into policy that attempts to privatize our public spaces. In order for an education policy to be dynamic and promote success for all Marylanders, we cannot restrict our public spaces and the flow of public information with these categorization of quasi-governmental or public private. It is repressive and it hurts everyone. We want to build community educational programs, we want to make libraries center of these communities and a vital part of each school’s structure. This requires strong funding to public schools and I will say that the current policy of allowing corporations to donate rather than pay taxes skews all attempts at making educational opportunities equal. Tiered-per-pupil funding in Baltimore for example with the desire to run individual schools as businesses has some schools pressed to buy toilet paper for the children’s bathrooms so whether that school has a good library falls to the whim of private donation. This is not democratic and public education. It does not meet the US Constitutional requirement of democratic and equal opportunity. Libraries that are tied to private donation rather than by public funding are then under the restrictions that come with that donation and, indeed, that is the point of this policy. Libraries whether private or public will not serve their consumers if policy is dictated by private donation only. I know, Carnegie was one big private donation but he had the foresight of placing them in the hands of public operation. We must continue the public funding of library resources of all kinds and with it public access and programming developed with the public in mind. In Baltimore, small libraries have been defunded and public access ended because of cuts to library budgets and branches are in fear each budget season that the axe may fall. Politicians thinking all information is online will be the ones who view physical buildings for libraries as extraneous. In conclusion, I value private non-profits operating as a source for after-school programs. I feel that libraries are already in the position of providing these programs as well. A well-resourced library already in a community is necessary for any well-developed education mission. In this age of technology we would want our libraries to have the same resources as our classrooms so the connection to after-school consumers is there. 2. Since I am not a supporter of all of the testing and evaluation policy I do not see a need to expand preparation for testing to libraries more than what exists right now. Education that is broad and experiential needs to have more opportunity in group projects and exposure to any number of learning skill development tools. Classroom teachers are not able to do the level of educational skills development needed for achievement and this is where libraries can be an excellent source for parents and students in their after-school choices. We desperately need all hands on deck with skills development and I do not feel that private non-profits are the only avenue for this. Our Pratt Central Library has wonderful programs for children and with a bigger budget would have the space to expand as a meeting place for after-school programs. Having library staff coming to public community centers to help build and implement these programs, funding of mobile library buses all are extremely valuable in attaining educational goals in Maryland. The upside down education policy of having students going online after school to prepare for classroom lessons is an excellent opportunity for libraries so having the software and materials used in the classrooms at the library is a must. Parents have never needed more resources than now in learning how to help their children meet these new classroom requirements. I cannot begin to share the importance for every student in having a library to which to retreat for all kinds of reasons. Libraries are not only about classroom K-college. They have as a mission to be the sight of Lifelong Learning. To be able to meet this mission libraries must be well-resourced. It is expensive to outfit a library for those with disabilities or to make sure the library collections cater to all kinds of tastes and cultural backgrounds. All attempts to cut budgets makes the libraries less able to do this and in turn make them attractive to fewer people. If your goal was to be rid of libraries, that would be the mechanism. Look to the US Post Office to see this strategy for dismantling a national public treasure! 3. I will say as Governor of Maryland my responsibilities to move forward policies regarding Race to the Top will remain until a time comes that this policy can be changed. It is my intent to push for this. That said, as State Executive it will be my responsibility to move forward policy dictated by past legislation and indeed, MCC-RS and Common Core are those policies. That said, I will be sure to see that libraries have what is needed to make them central in implementing this policy and support public school teachers in their classrooms and with promoting the success of students in achievement on these tests. The amount of education funding going into implementing these Race to the Top policies is outrageous for people knowing all our public schools need are resources and rigor. So, it would be my job to look carefully at all of the private consultants, all of the private educational businesses tied with this Race to the Top and assess how we might better implement these policies by using the resources such as libraries already in our community. Since Race to the Top is mostly about growing an education business industry, corporate politicians working for these corporations are no doubt bringing the state into lots of business deals that may not be needed or effective. I would look at these contracts to see how we can bring libraries and public community centers into the loop in assuring student readiness for these tests. As a former classroom teacher I know these teachers are overwhelmed and really have little ability to accomplish all that is being placed upon them so quickly. I would make it my goal to give relief to these classroom teachers in whatever way I can and that would extend to bringing in existing educational sources like libraries and librarians. WALSH FOR GOVERNOR IS A GREAT BIG FAN OF LIBRARIES AND ALL RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS AND IN PROTECTING US CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF FREE SPEECH, CIVIL LIBERTIES AND CIVIL RIGHTS THAT GO WITH EDUCATION AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS! _____________________________________________________________________________
Hispanic Democratic Club Candidate Questionnaire
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland responses:
Let me begin by summarizing the events of a few decades as regards political policy, democracy in America, and the place all of this has immigration policy right now. I am a social democrat who does not mince words.
The democratic party thrived under social democracy. From Roosevelt through the Civil Rights and Labor Rights actions of the 1960s, the American economy and quality of life for US citizens was ranked #1 in the world. Full employment, strong wages, strong social safety nets and access to health care made for an economy fueled by domestic workers who had the wealth to drive consumption----buying goods is what creates jobs. So, not only were US citizens living a first world standard of life but US corporations were earning millions in profit. They were good corporate citizens with regulations protecting the people and environment, they paid taxes that supported a strong public sector, and they paid good wages and benefits because that was what was needed to attract the best employees. Civil Rights legislation expanded opportunity to more people of color than in any time in US history and indeed, people of color drove that rise to the middle-class.
Corporations wanted more and sent in politicians working for them to give control of government and policy-making. Reagan and Clinton did the most to advance this agenda in what is neo-liberalism. That simply means anything goes in earning profits for corporations. Profits over people. This is what turned our country from a social democratic one to a neo-liberal corporate one. Now, republicans have always been about serving wealth and profit so what made this move so bad for citizens and especially for the democratic base of labor and justice is that the people’s party-----the Democratic Party ----was taken by neo-liberal Bill Clinton and handed to corporate rule. Two decades of neo-liberalism has moved the US from a first world country to second world. Everyone sees this with the level of injustice and lack of accountability with these now global corporations that are the product of Reagan/Clinton policy. We now have corporate rule.
The last phase for neo-liberals in moving from social democracy to neo-liberalism is dismantling all of the public agencies that protect the people and serve the public. The Trans Pacific Trade Pact (TPP) seeks to re-write the US Constitution taking WE THE PEOPLE and THE BILL OF RIGHTS out of the Constitution. It seeks to give global corporations power to write all public policy and to ignore any US laws that take away from its ability to earn profit. We can see how the events of last decade are a precursor of this TPP policy. This means that US citizens will no longer have the power of legislating as the US Constitution now gives. It means as well that none of the laws regarding labor and justice will be enforced because all of them detract from corporate profits. This is a neo-liberal policy pushed by Obama and will be supported by a neo-liberal democratic leadership in the House and Senate. So, even if you hear some of these democrats say they will not do Fast Track for TPP----they will ultimately support it as neo-liberals. I want to shout that the Senate Immigration Bill is market-based and tied to TPP and it is not the progressive legislation seeking to protect immigrants it is made to be. It seeks to make conditions in the US just as they were overseas in China for example for US global corporations. So, in China we see the highest level of environmental pollution in the world driven by US corporations and then Chinese industry modelled after these corporations. In China, workers labored in sweat shops in the worst conditions with no labor rights for a few dollars a day. TPP will allow these policies to slowly take the US from second world to third world in just a few decades with people of color feeling the worst of these oppressive corporate rule conditions.
The point I want to make is that corporate politicians are controlling the democratic party and we need to reverse this and get back to a social democracy that values everyone and offers equal protection and opportunity as per the US Constitution. Maryland has a democratic party that is strongly neo-liberal/corporate. These policies hurt all citizens but they do and will hurt immigrant families and workers the most. You may know that already.
The reason the economy is so bad is directly tied to corporate unaccountability and the fact that corporations were allowed to operate without oversight taking trillions of dollars from the economy and consolidating corporations so that small and regional businesses are being taken over or placed out of business. When the 2008 crash came with no public justice for massive frauds, US corporations just grew bigger and stronger. They have spent these years under Obama using all their wealth expanding overseas leaving the US economy stagnant with high unemployment. Don’t forget, corporations have more power when unemployment is high because workers are desperate for jobs and make concessions normally not taken. So, high unemployment is a good thing for corporate politicians. Neo-liberals are pretending to be fighting for employment when they are actually as bad as republicans in keeping the economy stagnant. People of color were targeted the most for the fraudulent behavior losing much personal wealth and they are the ones dropped from employment when the economy crashed.
This is what a social democrat like myself would do for the economy. First, you must reinstate and rebuild Rule of Law and justice structures to hold corporations accountable to law. People will never regain wealth and the economy will never be healthy without white collar Rule of Law. Enforcing regulations and labor law allows for a rebuilding of domestic worker wealth and thus fuels consumption needed for the domestic economy. WORKERS WHO EARN MORE CONSUME MORE AND THIS FUELS THE US ECONOMY AND CREATES JOBS. Now, notice all I have to do is rebuild Rule of Law and hold corporations accountable to do this…..no republicans or taxpayer money needed! So, neo-liberals are simply pretending to be fighting with republicans so austerity in budget cuts pay down the national debt rather than recovering all the corporate fraud taken from the economy.
Next, enforcing Rule of Law stops corporations from stealing worker’s wages and stops the illegal categorization of workers as independent contractors. It stops some of the outsourcing to corporations that bring workers from other states to work in Maryland, and it has corporations paying more taxes to government who then can create more jobs. The public sector drives job creation in economic downturns but it has to collect the taxes owed! All of this gives workers more money and again allows consumption that fuels the economy and job creation.
If politicians send out the word to immigrant workers to come to Maryland and then do not enforce laws to protect these workers….they are neo-liberals and not social democrats. Immigrants may not have rights as citizens, but any person allowed to work in the US must be protected equally not only for the benefit of the immigrant worker, but for the domestic workers who often face the same abuse as immigrants in low-wage jobs.
We must move away from the structure of global corporations back to regional and small businesses that allow opportunity for everyone to work and own a business.
I see the Senate Immigration Bill as bad for immigrant and domestic workers and I would push a different kind of Immigration Bill. Remember, this Senate Immigration Bill is market-based, meaning it was written in a way that seeks to maximize corporate profits and not protect immigrant workers. Path to Citizenship is a progressive phrase but the conditions needed to successfully meet the criteria in this Pathway is a moving target and I have heard Hispanic leaders recognize this. In 2009, we had a super-majority of democrats and they did nothing for labor and justice. That is because they are neo-liberals and wanted to wait for a republican foe to ‘force them to compromise’. Pathway to Citizenship with all of its fines to be paid, with the requirements to stay employed at a time of constant turnover in employment and workplace abuse is not a condition that many Hispanic workers will meet. There are some who are making it with this new ability to work and attend college but I will remind you that the black middle-class did the same thing and they are the ones impoverished and unemployed today. So, having a few Hispanics rising within a system does not bode well for the future. We want a structure that lifts all boats. It is hard to enact a fair Immigration law with republicans and neo-liberals holding the US Capitol. The goal for me is Citizenship Now for those immigrants having a long work record in the US, equal protection under law for those undocumented that are allowed to work, and then a Pathway to Citizenship would be attainable by most Hispanic workers. Provide stability for the first generation and wealth protection to the next and you have a true Path to Citizenship.
The second piece with the Senate Immigration Bill is the raising of the numbers and the level of skill for new immigration rates with wealth and attachment to selective universities driving those high-skilled immigrant green cards and special visas. This will flood a US domestic market that has high unemployment with new workers, it will make competition for US college grads unnecessarily competitive in the quest for the Best of the Best in the world. It undermines all labor and justice protections and works against immigrants already in the US. Allowing a global corporation from China to bring their own Chinese labor to work in the US under Chinese labor laws will force domestic workers wanting jobs with this Chinese firm to work under the same conditions….ergo, the movement to third world economy.
AS HARD AS IT IS FOR IMMIGRANTS LIVING IN THE US FOR A LONG TIME TO WAIT FOR IMMIGRANT LEGISLATION, WE NEED TO GET REPUBLICANS AND NEO-LIBERALS OUT OF OFFICE AND SOCIAL DEMOCRATS INTO OFFICE TO GET A STRONG IMMIGRATION BILL PASSED.
Enforcing Rule of Law for labor and justice is the strongest approach now!
First, let me say that I am not happy that an employer can employ an immigrant worker and not be prosecuted while that immigrant worker can have their undocumented status held over their lives and livelihood at any time. If we are going to allow undocumented workers to become employed, they are to be protected as a citizen would. An employer of undocumented workers needs to be inspected to see that conditions are just for these workers and these business owners abusing a worker needs to be held accountable for breaking labor laws. It is a Catch 22 for immigrants who want businesses to feel as though they want to hire immigrant workers and would fear enforcement of labor laws would inhibit immigrant hiring. I contend that if we do not keep the workplace honest, these jobs are not worth coming to Maryland to have. We recognize Hispanic workers as hard-working and desirable to employ and that should be why all businesses would want to live by labor law protections for all.
I am very unhappy with the surveillance society whether it be under the guise of ‘terrorists’ or whether it involve Racial Profiling. Unless a person is known to be involved in illegal activities it should not be presumed. Stop and Frisk in the urban centers is unconstitutional. Gang laws often make communities needing police and justice protection victims of abuse of power. Community policing is a must and open dialog with immigrant communities is good for everyone. We have to remember, when people are impoverished and left with no avenues for justice gangs and violence will grow and adversely affect all residents of a community. That is the key to avoiding gangs and violence. We know that Baltimore for example, has far to go in creating this environment for communities of color.
Thanks for allowing me to share my platform with you. I have a website and a non-profit called Citizens Oversight Maryland.com that will tell you more than you may want to know about my policy stances.
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland
Responses to Questionnaire from
Young Audiences of Maryland-Arts for Learning
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland is a labor and justice campaign that seeks to reverse the trends of small government and defunding of public sector programs brought over these few decades. I am a social democracy democrat who works to rebuild public and private structures that work to enhance the public's opportunities to quality public education that is democratic and adheres to equal opportunity and access.
The first part of my conversation will be directed at arts and music remaining part of a public school's permanent curricula and the second part of this conversation will look at private non-profits such as YAMD.org as a complement to a strong public arts and music program.
I listened this morning on WYPR how Howard County parents and citizens are now fighting education reform that looks to remove arts and music to make way for language classes at the elementary school level. Parents and citizens in Baltimore County and Baltimore City have similar concerns as not only arts and music but recess and other subjects are falling to an emphasis on simply reading and math scores. The intent with language in elementary school is tied with the idea that American workers are going to be increasingly able to only find jobs that take them overseas working for global corporations or will work here in America for global corporations exporting overseas. That is why language is now being placed into elementary schools at the loss to music and arts or even recess. I encourage Maryland citizens and parents looking at the quality of education in schools to look at these issues broadly---they are all tied with a neo-liberal objective of making all of American society tied to global corporations and global markets. Race to the Top education reform is not only about grooming children for these global markets, it is about making US education a tool of corporations and markets. So, first and foremost, Maryland citizens have to decide if that is the goal they want Maryland to aspire. In the world of privatized education, arts and humanities lose no matter whether kindergarten or college.
Now, speaking to arts and music directly. I am a life-long academic with degrees in science and education. Arts and humanities is critical to a democratic education. When I say democratic education I hark back to the early 19th century education views of public education having as a goal of making people ready to be leaders of business and government and to be citizens in their communities. Democratic education places the quality of an education steeped in arts and humanities as equal opportunity for all citizens. So, we must keep arts and humanities in all public schools as part of each schools curricula. It benefits the student's ability to compete for employment, it betters that students quality of life, and it opens a wide range of experiences that all children have the right to achieve. That said, language is a wonderful subject for children and educators know that children learn language better at an early age. Learning language for personal benefit is different than having language be required for employment. If indeed, the goal is for personal benefit than having language classes as after-school programs would be the solution. If we can relegate arts and music to after-school programs, so too can we relegate language to these times. I prefer to see arts and music as core curricula in public schools with language as a funded after-school program.
With the state of public schools today having seen arts and music dismantled in most schools, this means I would support public funding to rebuild all the structures needed for arts and music in schools including the funding of teachers in those subjects. That said, private non-profits like YAMD.org would be a valuable community resource for public school teachers and would partner to enhance the experience of children in these classes. Private non-profits in arts and music also are wildly popular as community classes so would be a wonderful addition to after-school programs. I would see that these programs were funded as well.
To sum my position on arts and music.....I do not support the current education reforms that seek to recreate our public schools in the shape written by corporate policy. I will keep public education as responsive to public wants and needs. I see and hear parents and students all wanting a strong presence in schools for arts and music. I also know the value of having private non-profits that extend this experience to after-school programs and community programs. Fully funding all of these opportunities would be my goal.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to this question for candidates,
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland
Maryland Association for Justice questionnaire:
Below you see a good explanation of a strong labor law. These lawyers are sounding an alarm that the future of this vital health care law is threatened. Please look at what these trial lawyers describe as the issues surrounding Worker's Compensation and then look at how I widen the issue to look at how TPP will make all labor law like this one disappear.
The Workers' Compensation System was established almost 100 years ago to provide compensation to workers injured in connection with their employment. It is an exclusive remedy for compensation, that is, the worker may not sue his employer or a fellow employee for injuries sustained in the course of the worker's employment. As consideration for not being able to sue the employer or fellow employee for injuries they may have caused, the worker is to receive compensation for lost time from work, compensation for temporary or permanent disability, appropriate and timely medical care, and, when needed, rehabilitation services. The award of these various benefits is provided under the auspices of the Workers' Compensation Commission which hears all contested cases. The amounts and extent of the benefits are prescribed by law, and the Commission renders awards based on its determination of the nature and extent of the worker's injury and disability. The system is designed and intended to provide the injured worker a simplified process to provide an expeditious adjudication of the claim, including the right to receive prompt and appropriate medical attention to maximize the recovery. Under Maryland law, an employee who is injured on the job and whose injuries are determined to be compensable is entitled to certain benefits, especially medical treatment. Medical care by a provider of the worker's own choice is one of the most important benefits provided under the statute. This benefit helps effectuate a major cornerstone of the public policy that underlies the worker compensation system — that the injured worker receives prompt, appropriate medical care in order to maximize the degree and speed of recovery. Only when the injured worker can independently choose his or her own health care provider will the worker have confidence in the diagnosis and treatment plan, which in turn will lead to a quicker recovery and earlier return to work. However, in recent years there have been a number of bills introduced that, if enacted, would have delayed the injured worker's access to appropriate and timely medical care. Among these proposals was a bill to establish an arbitrary 30 day limit on a physician’s ability to dispense medication to his/her patients if they are being treated for work related injuries. The effect of such proposal would be to delay the ability to obtain medication in a timely and appropriate manner. Other bills could delay the ability of a worker to receive needed timely medical care, thus reducing the chances of a maximum recovery from the injuries.
Other initiatives are designed to embarrass the employee, add delay and expense to the workers’ compensation claims process
As a lifelong professional working in many fields of medicine and health care and as a social/political justice activist I work hard to make sure all labor and justice laws are not only protected, but enforced. My website Citizens Oversight Maryland.com is a testament to this. Labor law has been under attack in Maryland for decades whether through schemes such as public contract bidding that allows subcontracting to subcontractors, or immigrant labor openly being fleeced of wages and having no workplace protections, and categorization of employees as independent contractors when legally they are simply employees…..all of these practices seek to circumvent labor law. Legal challenges to these circumvention techniques need to happen to eliminate this culture of impunity as regards profiting from failure to enforce labor law. To what you are speaking is actual legislation designed to cut into more areas of labor protection and indeed, I would , as governor fight all dismantling of New Deal and labor union contracts and labor law. If we look at this move against Worker’s Compensation, we see these bills tied to health care reform that seeks to end all public health programs and protections as the Affordable Care Act seeks to deregulate and consolidate the health industry just as done with the banking industry. Working towards the goal of ending worker’s health protections is the recent signing of the Trans Pacific Trade agreement (TPP) that has the US lobbying hard to end all public health subsidy and regulations that would limit health industry profit. This is the tie to these Maryland Assembly bills. Labor in the US must be susceptible to labor laws in all nations signing this trade deal and as we know, it is the US that will shed labor protections to meet developing world standards. So, the biggest fight is against TPP and its enactment. If I were lawyers working for public justice I would be taking these TPP deals to court as illegal and an assault against the US Constitution because they do indeed end WE THE PEOPLE AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS. All of which is necessary for your organization of lawyers to do your work.
JOIN ME IN SHOUTING OUT AGAINST TPP AND ACKNOWLEGE THAT THESE DEALS ARE ILLEGAL AND AN ASSAULT ON US CONSTITUTION.
Questions 1 and 2.
CINDY WALSH FOR GOVERNOR OF MARYLAND will oppose all laws affecting an employee’s rights to worker’s compensation and access to prompt and immediate care. I would oppose allowing an employer to take depositions at hearing level and unbridled access to worker’s complete medical and personal history.
CIVIL IMMUNITY FOR WRONGDOERS
The Maryland General Assembly has power to grant immunity from civil liability. Every year politically powerful or popular special interest groups pursue legislation designed to grant them full or limited immunity from being held financially responsible for the consequences of negligent or careless conduct. The immunity is sought without any consideration of the nature of the duty violated by the wrongdoer or the severity of the injury and harm it has caused the victim. Efforts to secure the protection of immunity are often presented in the context of a class of persons whose professions or jobs provide services for the public good. The advocates ignore the facts that these people: are well compensated in their professions; are public employees who owe the highest standard of care to others; are multimillion dollar corporations; or a myriad of other factors. In many instances, such legislation is requested without any evidence of a need for civil immunity and simply on the grounds that there would be "no harm" in granting immunity to this or that special interest. MAJ opposes legislative grants of civil immunity because they represent an improper exercise of governmental power to the benefit of a politically powerful or popular constituency at the expense of victims of negligence and misconduct. MAJ believes that the judicial system is equipped to deliver justice on a case-by-case basis, without the need for legislative grants of 4immunity. In recent years, MAJ publicly has opposed immunity legislation designed to protect doctors, corporations, and even lawyers.
Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland response:
Civil Immunity for Wrongdoers
I have a non-profit dedicated to political and public justice so it is clear that I am with Maryland Association for Justice on Equal Protection and Rule of Law requiring enforcement and prosecution for white collar crime and government corruption. My contention for the last decade of massive corporate fraud and corruption is that when a government suspends Rule of Law, it suspends Statutes of Limitation. We cannot abide being told that because elected officials chose not to enforce law that all crime is forgiven. This does not even make sense.
Criminal Immunity for wrongdoers is what we see happening when the US Justice Department makes all of these criminal settlements as civil cases with no admission of guilt. Indeed, even the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that is supposed to be the consumer’s advocate immediately adopted the Justice Department’s policy of civil charges only with no admission of guilt. You are aware that no laws were written on the Federal level or by the State of New York defining fraud in a way to be more easily prosecuted…..this is true in Maryland as well. Maryland actually went so far as to change the Statutes of Limitation for fraud only for the public down to 3 years from 5. Corporations still have 10 years to seek justice for frauds against them. Take as well US Congress just passing a law that protects Congressional politicians from charges of insider trading after the exposure of dozens of cases that identified these politicians. So, this attempt at Civil Immunity as well just takes this one step further. The US Constitution guarantees Rule of Law and Equal Protection to all citizens. Interpretations of what that mean always distinguish between Rule by Law and Rule of Law…..Rule of Law meaning all citizens not matter their status are bound by all laws of the land. Equal Protection is clear as well. So, it seems we need to be taking these violations to the Supreme Court and if the Court chooses to re-write the Constitution rather than interpret it, we have illegal actions by the Court. This follows the illegality of TPP. Maryland Association for Justice need to partner with labor union legal teams to fight this overt attempt to re-write the US Constitution. I will as governor use the office as a bully-pulpit for just this.
Cindy Walsh would oppose all legislation to grant immunity from civil liability to a politically powerful or popular constituency, thereby closing the courthouse doors forever to the victims of negligent or careless conduct.
Maryland is only one of four (4) states that holds firm to an English law doctrine that completely denies compensation to an injured person if they were responsible to the slightest degree for their own injuries. For example, if a speeding drunk driver loses control of his car and runs over a young man riding his bicycle on the wrong side of the road, the doctrine of "contributory negligence" would relieve the speeding drunk driver of any responsibility for the cost of the young man's hospitalizations, treatments, surgeries and therapies. Forty-six (46) U.S. states have abandoned the outdated English Common Law doctrine, as has England itself! These states employ the concept of "comparative negligence," whereby the jury is permitted to take account of the relative fault of the parties in awarding compensation to the injured person.
I would support legislation to replace Maryland’s contributory negligence law with comparative negligence.
MOTOR VEHICLE LAW - PUNITIVE DAMAGES
Punitive damages, an amount awarded above and beyond the actual damages of the injured person, historically have been imposed to "punish" a person who has acted outrageously in injuring someone. It serves as a deterrent to others. When a person or corporation destroys someone's life and health or depletes a pension fund through fraud, punitive damages also serve to warn that there are financial consequences for this behavior. A Maryland Court of Appeals decision has overturned prior law, is much more restrictive than U.S. Supreme Court requirements, and severely limits punitive damages. Punitive damages may only be given when the plaintiff can prove the defendant intended to hurt that particular plaintiff. In the case of a drunken driver with past convictions who gets behind the wheel of a car and then careens into the opposite lane of traffic killing a young family, there can be no punitive damages. Despite the drunk driver's outrageous and dangerous behavior, he cannot be punished through punitive damages.
Motor Vehicle Law – Punitive Damages
I do of course think it more important to pursue your comments regarding a Maryland Court of Appeals decision to overturn prior law as regards punitive damages by person or corporation. The use of the word intent rather than a strong definition of this crime mirrors the corporate fraud language of intent with no strong definition of fraud.
THIS IS A DELIBERATE ATTEMPT TO MAKE PROSECUTIONS AND AWARDS HARDER FOR THE PUBLIC TO ATTAIN.
Punitive damages must be defined clearly so as to allow for conviction. We want to note that the Maryland Court of Appeals has been staffed with corporate-friendly judges as we see these kinds of rulings all too often. Governor O’Malley has appointed almost half of this court just within his terms. This should be reason to want someone progressive in the office of Governor as the next round of appointments will occur in these 8 years no doubt.
I would support a bill that would allow a jury punitive damages to punish drunk or drugged drivers.
Under Common Law, vendors of alcoholic beverages could not be held liable for the acts of intoxicated or underage customers. Through case law and statutes, most States have carved out exceptions to this Common Law principal in the form of “Dram Shop” laws. These laws allow a person to sue an alcoholic beverages licensee such as a restaurant, bar or liquor store for damages incurred as a result of a patron’s intoxication. While the majority of States do have Dram Shop laws, Maryland does not. In 2010, William and Angela Warr filed suit in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County against JMGM Group, LLC, the corporate owner of a Tavern, the Dog Fish Head Ale House, for injuries they and their daughter sustained in a car accident and for the death of their other daughter. The car that struck the Warrs’ vehicle was driven by Michael Eaton, whom was improperly served by Dogfish Head Ale House while he was visibly intoxicated. Mr. Eaton had consumed 17 beers and several other alcoholic drinks given him by the bartender at Dog Fish Head Ale House. The Warrs maintained that Dog Fish Head had breached its duty to them not to furnish alcohol to an obviously and visibly intoxicated person and therefore was liable for damages. The trial court determined that the case could not proceed to trial because Maryland does not have a Dram Shop liability law. The Warrs sought review of the decision in the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court stating that the determination as whether to change the Common Law and impose liability on an alcoholic beverages licensee for damages caused by serving a visibly intoxicated patron involves public policy considerations that are best left to the General Assembly. A majority of States have adopted Dram Shop laws that impose liability where a licensed establishment serves alcohol to an obviously intoxicated individual or an individual under the legal drinking age.
Again, the important issue is liability laws just as the previous question deals with the definition of intent. The point is these descriptions of intent and liability go far beyond these smaller individual questions regarding motor vehicle or dram shop law.
IT SPEAKS TO THE PUBLIC'S INABILITY TO SEEK AND OBTAIN JUSTICE IN ALL OF THESE CORPORATE FRAUD AND CORRUPTION CASES INVOLVING INTENT AND LIABILITY.
Regarding Dram Shop law specifically, I feel strongly that a bar or restaurant know it is their responsibility to send patrons home long before they become too drunk to drive. Profit from abusive drinking is NOT OK. This law can extend to gambling as well as casinos are famous for plying free drinks on patrons just so they will bet and lose more money.
Yes, I would support a bill creating responsibility for restaurant owners and bars when serving alcohol to an individual visibly too intoxicated to drive.
Maryland Law caps the amount of money that plaintiffs may recover for non-economic damages otherwise known as pain and suffering. Currently the cap on non-economic damages is $785,000.00 and increases by $15,000.00 each year. The cap on medical malpractice non-economic damages is currently $725,000.00. Unlike many other States, Maryland does not allow the recovery of punitive damages even in circumstances of gross negligence. The vast majority of the country goes much further to protect the catastrophically injured. Thirty States and the District of Columbia either have no caps on catastrophically injured victims or have adopted a tiered system with increased caps for those most seriously injured. The Maryland Association for Justice strongly supports legislation that would bring Maryland more in line with the vast majority of jurisdictions across the country in adopting a higher cap for the most catastrophically injured Marylanders. Recently, legislation was introduced to allow those that have suffered death, permanent impairment through spinal cord injury, amputation of significant appendages, severe brain damage, total blindness or severe burns over the majority of a victim’s body to collect up to 3 times the existing cap. This legislation only raises the cap for Marylanders who were killed or suffered the most catastrophic injuries. Raising the cap for only the most severely injured victims will help to more fairly compensate victims and their survivors.
Yes, I would support a bill raising the cap on non-economic damage for those most seriously and catastrophically injured.
Thirty-two States have modified the Common Law by enacting a statute that imposes strict liability for any dog bite, including a first bite under specified circumstances. Typical exceptions to strict liability include provocation of the dog and trespassing or commission of a tort or crime. Maryland remains in the minority in that Maryland requires a dog bite victim to prove either general negligence on the part of the dog owner or the victim must prove that the owner knew or should have known that the dog had vicious or dangerous propensities. This burden often leaves many dog bite victims without any recovery or compensation.
I had a conversation today with a community member about this very issue. I idea of whether a single dog breed can be inherently more dangerous than another is for me a non-issue. The environment in which a dog lives will determine much of its behavior and the laws regarding dogs on leashes unless in a fenced property are good enough. Why would a dog owner whose dog is running loose not be responsible for costs of damages to the victim. IT SEEMS OBVIOUS THAT THE OWNER WOULD.
That's where Maryland's aversion to intent and liability come into play. Even this dog bite law reflects the unwillingness of a corporate Maryland Assembly to give way for compensation because it might expand to corporate responsibilities for intent and liability for damages as well.
So, whether damages come from a single issue like dog bites or it comes from massive corporate fraud.....the Maryland laws deny the public benefit of damages and it is the individual citizen that suffers costs from these crimes.
Yes, I support a bill that would make dog owners responsible for the conduct of their dogs.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE — INTRODUCTION
Medical malpractice has been a subject of legislative scrutiny over the past ten years, both in Maryland and nationally. A number of facts not in dispute with respect to medical malpractice in Maryland are set forth briefly here: Medical malpractice is about real people with real injuries. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine estimated that preventable hospital errors kill as many as 98,000 Americans every year, enough to fill Arlington National Cemetery every 4 years. Newer estimates put the number of deaths due to preventable hospitals errors between 235,000 and 400,000 per year which would make malpractice the third leading cause of death in America. Maryland already enacted reforms that eliminated "frivolous" malpractice actions. Before a medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed in court in Maryland, the plaintiff must file a certificate of a qualified expert, who has reviewed the records and who attests that the defendant's negligence caused the plaintiffs injuries. This "certificate of merit" requirement effectively screens out meritless cases. In 2004, the President and CEO of the Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society, the largest medical malpractice insurer in Maryland, admitted in his testimony before the Senate that Maryland does not have a problem with frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits, largely crediting the certificate of merit requirement. Maryland enacted even more stringent tort reform during a Special Session. In December 2004, a Special Session of the Maryland General Assembly was convened to deal with the issue of medical malpractice. The General Assembly enacted legislation that froze the cap on medical malpractice non-economic damages generally, and substantially lowered the damage cap applicable to malpractice wrongful death claims. In addition, the General Assembly added stricter qualification requirements for physicians who testify in medical malpractice cases, limited the ability of plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases to recover their medical expenses, and imposed additional procedural requirements in Taking away patients' rights does not improve the quality of our health care system or produce cost savings. Although State government has made numerous changes in the law limiting the rights of injured patients, these legal restrictions have done nothing to improve our health care system, reduce unnecessary costs, or help people harmed by medical malpractice.
FIVE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE QUESTIONS FOLLOW:
I. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE - CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY
Despite the admission by the CEO of the State's largest liability insurer of physicians that frivolous malpractice actions already have been eliminated in Maryland, there are those who wish to enact additional laws stripping away the rights of injured patients. One such proposal for change is the establishment of special "health courts" where patients would have to prove their cases before panels of physicians or "specially trained" judges.
II MEDICAL MALPRACTICE - PATIENT CARE
Persons injured by medical malpractice may require specialized medical care and treatment -- care not always provided by every doctor or hospital or nursing home in the state. Maryland law allows a plaintiff to recover his or her reasonable medical expenses, including the costs of reasonably necessary specialized care, and including the costs of such care reasonably likely to be needed in the future.
III. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE - ACCESSTO THE COURT
The Maryland Association for Justice strongly believes that those who cause injury to others should be responsible for said injuries. However, bills have been introduced to take birth related neurological injuries out of the tort system and create a No Fault Birth Injury Fund that would preclude the infant, parents, dependents or next of kin from bringing a claim for damages related to the infant’s injury. Instead, the tort system would be replaced with a No Fault Birth Injury Fund where the amounts eligible to the infant and his/her family would be greatly limited to far less than can currently be awarded through the tort system and where negligent health care providers would not be held accountable for the harm they caused.
IV. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE - ACCESS TO A RECOVERY
Historically, when an injured party prevails in court he or she is entitled to receive the award of compensation in a single lump sum. Over the past few years, however, legislation has been introduced that would empower malpractice insurance carriers to choose to pay out court ordered awards of compensation over the victim's projected lifetime under a fixed payment schedule by way of an annuity contract. Such "compelled structured judgment" schemes place upon the victim's shoulders the risk that the money awarded by the court for future care will not be available as needed.
V. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE - GENERAL OUTLOOK
In our experience, some legislators simply favor protecting health care providers (doctors, hospitals, etc.) from lawsuits over protecting the rights of injured patients
The Affordable Care Act seeks to deregulate and consolidate the health industry in what mirrors the Clinton-era bank consolidation all to create global health systems that will be as profit-driven and predatory as banks. When this health reform seeks to standardize the care given a patient and/or limit access to care through a tiered system with winners and losers……when a doctor becomes an employee of this health system with a direction to maximize profit or is held to a bolus of money per health incident……the Hippocratic oath is gone. A doctor will no longer be able to be held accountable for malpractice because now he/she has this Federal guideline telling him/her to fall into line.
THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WILL ELIMINATE ANY ABILITY BY THE PUBLIC TO SEEK JUSTICE FOR MALPRACTICE BECAUSE A DOCTOR WILL NO LONGER BE ACTING INDEPENDENTLY IN DECISION-MAKING.
This is really bad public policy. The American Medical Association has a responsibility to remove physicians from practice once they have demonstrated a pattern of neglect of duties. The AMA like other professional groups given the right to oversee misconduct have failed to ever exercise this duty and this is why malpractice and malpractice insurance is high. Indeed, there are class action suits on patients’ behalf that are too generous and that needs to be looked at as well. Public justice in medical malpractice is needed now more than ever as health reform moves to lower access and quality of care. Maryland does make all ability to pursue medical malpractice and indeed medical fraud hard and impossible and medical fraud is rampant in Maryland. As we saw recently with the St Joseph’s heart procedure fraud, the entire corporation had to bear the brunt of this malpractice because of these laws. What happened as a consequence? UMMS consolidated this community hospital into what are becoming fewer health choices in Maryland.
I would support the right to trial by jury over the establishment of special health courts.
I would oppose a bill that would limit the rights of victims of medical malpractice to recover the costs of reasonably necessary specialized care.
I would oppose a No Fault Birth Injury Fund
I would oppose a bill designed to force a plaintiff into an award schedule.
As a proponent for Expanded and Improved Medicare for All and a strong public health advocate and public justice advocate I will fight to preserve quality health care for all and for the people’s ability to seek justice when injured from malfeasance.
AN ADDENDUM TO THE ABOVE QUESTIONNAIRE
Low reimbursement rates and administrative requirements of the health insurance carriers and HMOs in Maryland are having a damaging effect on medicine in the State. Low reimbursements make it difficult for the state to recruit new young physicians, as well as physicians who will answer emergency calls. Administrative requirements increase the cost of providing care and often create unreasonable barriers to accessing necessary care. According to the Maryland Health Care Commission, Maryland ranks in the bottom 25percent of states regarding insurance reimbursement rates for physicians. Do you support legislation that would level the playing field, improve physician payments and lessen administrative burdens?
My stance for Expanded and Improved Medicare for All takes away all of the Federal and state policies designed to lower quality of care and access for Maryland patients and allows doctors to continue to serve their patients in their best interests. I am against HMOs and ACOs as all of this is simply designed to consolidate the health industry into global health systems just as was done with the financial industry under Clinton. We see what happens to quality and service as well as employees when global systems are the goal. Taking a vital public service like health care global and profit-driven is not what Americans want and most health care professionals are against it as well.
So my administration would immediately move to a public state health exchange with Expanded and Improved Medicare for All as its structure with equal care and a end to health policy that seeks to limit patient quality of care. Businesses are going to shed their policies so we need this system to allow them to do so.
The other side of this coin is the fact that the health industry has been responsible for trillions of dollars in health fraud especially of entitlements and this will be stopped. Universal care is funded by ending fraud and profiteering and doctors are front and center of this problem and need to own it. We reduce costs by simply eliminating fraud and corruption with strong oversight and accountability.
Physician payments under universal care will not end with doctors earning $500,000-million dollars a year. We need doctors to move away from this or this HMO and ACO model will do it for them. Administrative burdens can be shifted to the public with the rebuilding of oversight. Transparency is needed for this to happen. These are two changes that physicians will have to make. The last point is malpractice. The costs with malpractice have as much to do with the AMA refusing to police its rank and file. The costs are often created by the same bad doctors as is the fraud and corruption. Patients need to have the ability to sue for damages that are often lifelong. The awards can be reasonable, malpractice rates can be capped, and with the AMA stepping up-----malpractice insurance will become more affordable.
Insurers sometimes refuse to pay for or allow services properly ordered by physicians, and instead require another procedure or drug first.These policies, called "step therapy" or "fail first", delay necessary
treatment and can harm patients. Would you support legislation to protect patients from insurers’ "step therapy" policies?
Yes, a doctor must be allowed to make the direct decisions for his/her patients best interest in order for the Hippocratic Oath to be relevant. That is why the standardization of health care pushed by this HMO/ ACO
will be bad for patient and doctor. A doctor must be allowed to determine the path of treatment. The other side of this issue is whether these physicians are acting ethically and not creating the fraud and abuse of the system we knows happens. Building oversight will move doctors away from fraud and corruption better than standardization.
3. In recent years, legislation has been introduced in the General Assembly with the intention of providing naturopaths a scope of practice that is nearly identical to that of the practice of medicine, despite naturopaths having training and experience substantially less than that of a physician. Do you support allowing naturopaths this scope of practice without comprehensive physician oversight?
I do support naturopathy as a health choice that should be funded in all health care coverage. I would prefer that the classification of naturopath follow the guidelines for all medical doctors in that a person should know the entire scope of medicine and the human body to decide whether naturopathy is the best solution for each case. Now, that would eliminate the extent of training issue. I do not feel having one source of treatment overseen by another would end well as with a naturopathy having to seek approval from a MD. This erodes confidence with the patient.
4. Do you support increasing the tobacco tax in Maryland by $1.00 to fund Medicaid expansion and other public health initiatives?
I think getting people to stop smoking because it becomes too expensive is not a bad thing. It is a regressive policy in that other forms of tobacco use that people with more wealth partake continually miss the opportunity to feel the benefit of these tobacco policies. So, let's increase taxes on cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco, and pipe tobacco at a level equal to cigarettes.
Carroll County Sportsmen’s Association Questionnaire 2014
Thanks for giving me an opportunity to address the issues of gun control. As a progressive democrat I know we have differences in how gun policy needs to be enforced and new policy passed in the Maryland Assembly, but we may share some policy stances as well. First, allow me to start with the statement that we do indeed have gun policy already on the books that if enforced would go far to addressing many of the issues proponents of gun control would like to see. I do not like selective enforcement of law….it is not Rule of Law…and should not change simply by whoever is in office. Gun policy is very important to all citizens no matter the political viewpoint you start. It is important to you as a sportsman, it is important to families seeing guns as protection, and it is important for victims of gun violence; the person committing the crime and his/her family and the family victimized by the crime. There are many people wanting their views on gun policy heard and that is why this is such a contentious issue. First, let’s start with the Constitutional Amendment stating the Right to Bear Arms. I support this constitutional right but there are different ways to interpret this and that is where you and I may differ on some issues. The idea of public militia is one of them. I am against the legalization of assault rifles and automatic weapons and ammo because I think those are military use only. When the constitution was written the public was the militia but modern times has a separate definition of militia to include organizations like the National Guard and US military. I think it is not a case to be made that this clause makes owning all weapons by the public legal. Because this issue of assault weapons only passed in 3 states there is a need to look at this issue differently. I do think that we can, as a nation, look at the idea of shooting clubs having the right to purchase and allow use of these kinds of weapons for example. The recreational use of assault rifles we all know have no specific hunting value may be better served with restrictions of use to professional gun clubs while on those properties. Make no mistake, I would rather not have these assault rifles and automatic weapons available at all to the public, but that would be a compromise perhaps.
MY CANDIDATE PLATFORM IS THAT THERE ARE NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO OWN MILITARY-GRADE WEAPONS.
Let’s go down your survey list:
1. I do believe in the rights of hunting, fishing, and trapping sports and see it as a reasonable method of wildlife management. I think that the laws surrounding these sports are strong enough and all that I would change is the level of enforcement. The State of Maryland does not have a strong Department of Natural Resources and so enforcement is not adequate. You may find this repressive, but if you agree that rights are there for these sports we need to acknowledge the rights of those citizens wanting to protect interests of those affected by these sports. I do support Endangered Species Act and wildlife habitat protection. That said, I see business/development as more of a threat to wildlife and habitat than sports. I would look closely at how habitat is affected by environmental factors and this should be a boon to sports enthusiasts. Bad development policy and/or environmental pollution hurts the health and balance of natural resources cherished by sports.
2. I think my answer above would say ‘yes’ I support all of those issues listed although I reserve some exception due to not knowing the details and history of land use and Farmland Preservation Program policy. If these policies promote small farms and designation of open spaces then you will find I support most issues.
3. I support animal rights activists that are not militant or illegal. I say that because as a former citizen of Washington State, I know there are groups that organize to educate and advocate for policy and then there are others that go beyond legal limits to meet their objectives. I do not support the latter. I would want animal rights advocates on all wildlife agency/policy committees and I would consider myself such a person. I think it is important to say that today, the public has a decreasing ability to be part of the public sector oversight of what is in fact their land. So, having a strong public presence in agencies from DNR, to having academics and students monitoring natural resources and providing data, to having public organizations that monitor wildlife habitat…..all good. We do need to rebuild public structures allowing all public dialog on these issues. Maryland does not seek public comment or give time to public participation in public policy writing. I would be an advocate for expanding voice for sports and policy.
4. I have to say NO- I do not want concealed weapons in Maryland. Sorry folks. Having everyone armed is not a safety approach I would support. Two issues of vital importance: bringing gun violence down and the use of firearms in crime would grow with concealed weapons laws. I do not prescribe to GUNS DO NOT KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE. When people are placed in a position of dis-empowerment…..as is the case in underserved urban communities today, guns become the source of power. In a first world democracy people should not feel that level of dis-enfranchisement. This is the policy failure on guns and violence. I am particularly against STAND YOUR GROUND LAWS.
5. Let me talk about the Maryland Assembly gun control policy just passed.
I was first to shout that the source of this gun control policy, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, went too far in a 26 point policy that made the entire process too repressive. It is the wrong approach to gun policy in a democracy that protects gun ownership in the US Constitution. That said, I do support gun control policy and I started by sharing the assault rifle/automatic weapon issue above. I do think it reasonable to have a license for a gun just as you license your car. I do think background checks are fine as long as constitutional rights to privacy are not violated.
I DO NOT SUPPORT GUN LAWS THAT SEEK TO INCARCERATE OR CRIMINALIZE MORE THAN LAWS WE ALREADY HAVE.
I did not support the Hopkins’ rules that seek to place longer jail terms for offenders or people having criminal records. This is a downward slope that targets an already at-risk population. At the same time using broad language to define mental illness or public disturbance could be used to keep gun ownership from people with depression or found guilty of a bar fight for example. In other words, it could be used very broadly and that I do not support. The mental illness clause is troublesome because if people have access to strong mental health care they will already be identified for possible threats of firearm crime. Using gun control laws to do for gun possession what drug laws did to drug possessions is a really bad policy. We do not want people serving long terms for simply exercising what is for everyone else a constitutional right. We do not lose our rights as citizens because we are found guilty of a crime.
I SUPPORT STRONG MENTAL HEALTH CARE ACCESS AND DO NOT WANT TO FURTHER CRIMINALIZE PEOPLE FOR GUN CRIMES THAN THE LAWS ALREADY ON THE BOOKS.
6. I see nothing wrong with firearm safety programs in schools.
7. Blue laws regarding activities on Sunday are all unnecessary in today’s society I feel. We do have to remember that people are out and about in nature more on weekend days and as such promote gun safety to protect those enjoying nature with sports people.
8. I AM NOT A MEMBER OF THE NRA.
9. If elected I will not only support your ability to voice your concerns, I will build the public structures so that all public participation in public policy is greatly enhanced. That is central to my campaign-------THE PUBLIC MUST BE THE SOURCE OF PUBLIC POLICY!