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1st Congressional District - Election Guide 2012


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The 1st District was a political bellwether in the past two elections, but was redrawn by the Maryland General Assembly last year and is now more solidly Republican. The district includes the Eastern Shore and portions of Baltimore, Carroll and Harford counties. The incumbent is Rep. Andy Harris, a Cockeysville Republican.

  • Muir Wayne Boda, Libertarian
  • Andy Harris, Republican
  • John LaFerla, Write-in candidate supported by the Democratic Party
  • Wendy Rosen, Democrat - Rosen dropped out of the race after allegations she voted in two states. Her name remains on the ballot. (Full story.)

    • Muir Wayne Boda, Independent

    • Party: Libertarian
    • Age: 39
    • City of residence: Salisbury
    • Occupation: Asset protection manager, Walmart Stores Inc.
    • Family: Married
    • Campaign website: www.boda4congress.com
    • Public campaign contact: boda4congress@gmail.com
    • Experience: 2009-2011, vice chair, Maryland Libertarian Party; 2009-present, member of Maryland Libertarian Party Central Committee; 2009, candidate for Salisbury City Council; 2009-present, vice chair, City of Salisbury Recycling Committee; 2010, treasurer for Mike Calpino for Wicomico County Council; 2011, candidate for Salisbury City Council; 2012-present, member PAC-14 Development Committee.
    • Education: 1991, Tuscola Senior High School, Waynesville, N.C.; 1992-1993, Wor-Wic Community College; 2005, Moviola Education Center.
    • Have you ever been convicted of a crime (not including minor traffic violations)? No.
    • As you know, the Bush-era income tax cuts will expire at the end of this year. Do you support extending the cuts for all income levels, only on individual income under $200,000 (under $250,000 for families), or not at all? If you support an extension of some kind, should it be paid for?

      In the current tax system, yes, I support a permanent extension of these tax cuts for all income levels. I support Governor Gary Johnson's across the board 43 percent spending cuts [Johnson is a former governor of New Mexico and the Libertarian Party's candidate for president]. As an alternative, I would even propose eliminating duplicating government services between the federal government and the states and the elimination of all foreign aid.

      First and foremost we must not only balance the budget but we should also begin paying down the principal on the national debt.


      Is there any circumstance in which you would support extending a pay freeze on federal employees and/or requiring current federal employees to contribute more to their retirement plans? Please explain.

      Yes. I support an across the board 10 percent salary reduction of all federal employees including elected officials and their staffs.

      I support requiring all individuals receiving a government paycheck to contribute more to their retirement and healthcare plans.


      The Congressional Budget Office projects spending on Medicare, Medicaid and other government health programs will more than double as a share of the nation's economy by 2037. What specific changes would you propose to reduce Medicare costs?

      Medicare, Medicaid and combined with some of the other programs have over $65 trillion in [unfunded] liability. This is unsustainable.

      I believe the programs should phased out. Those under 45 should have their contributions voluntarily diverted to a health savings account. Those quickly approaching retirement age should receive vouchers for their own insurance premiums to help cover the costs. Those who have the means should be allowed to decline Medicare coverage.


      Would you support increased federal spending on highways and other infrastructure as a way to boost the construction industry? If so, how would you pay for it?

      I would support funding our infrastructure by way of granting more permits and access to natural resources on federal land.


      Would you support U.S. military involvement in Iran if there were evidence that it was close to developing a nuclear weapon?
      No. I do not support any U.S. military involvement in Iran.


      Describe a specific policy you would pursue in Congress that would have support from members of the opposite party.

      Since I have two opposite parties to contend with, this would be a difficult task. I believe our current course with government spending is unsustainable and serious measures must be [implemented] now, or we face some serious consequences. Unfortunately the two major parties have failed to seriously address these issues. We can no longer afford this attitude towards the future of our country.




      Andy Harris, Republican (incumbent)

      • Party: Republican
      • Age: 55
      • City of residence: Cockeysville
      • Occupation: Physician, congressman
      • Family: Married, five children, one grandchild
      • Campaign website: www.andyharris.com
      • Public campaign contact: info@andyharris.com, 443-356-6577
      • Experience: Physician, 32 years; state senator, 12 years; U.S. Naval Reserve, 17 years
      • Education: B.S., Johns Hopkins, 1977; M.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1980; M.H.S. Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, 1995
      • Have you ever been convicted of a crime (not including minor traffic violations)? No
      As you know, the Bush-era income tax cuts will expire at the end of this year. Do you support extending the cuts for all income levels, only on individual income under $200,000 (under $250,000 for families), or not at all? If you support an extension of some kind, should it be paid for?

      Yes, I support extension of all current tax rates for an additional year. An economic downturn is not the time to raise taxes, especially on small businesses. Raising taxes at this point would reduce, not increase, total revenue — therefore maintaining current tax rates pays for itself.


      Is there any circumstance in which you would support extending a pay freeze on federal employees and/or requiring current federal employees to contribute more to their retirement plans? Please explain.

      Pension contributions of federal workers should match those of the private sector.


      The Congressional Budget Office projects spending on Medicare, Medicaid and other government health programs will more than double as a share of the nation's economy by 2037. What specific changes would you propose to reduce Medicare costs?

      Medicare should be preserved without changes for all those 55 and over. For those 54 and under, we should reform the system to assure long-term viability of the program. This should include the option of "premium subsidy," making the program similar to the federal employees' health benefits program. Medicaid should be block-granted to the states, with much more freedom for states to choose how to best spend that money in their state without federal bureaucratic regulation and red tape.


      Would you support increased federal spending on highways and other infrastructure as a way to boost the construction industry? If so, how would you pay for it?

      We should maintain federal highway construction spending at its current level. We should discourage states like Maryland from raising their gas taxes and then raiding their highway trust funds and spending highway funds on non-highway expenses.


      Would you support U.S. military involvement in Iran if there were evidence that it was close to developing a nuclear weapon?

      Yes, as long as formal approval is given by Congress. The threat of the radical Islamic theocracy in Iran armed with a nuclear weapon is real - and is a threat to the entire Western world.


      Describe a specific policy you would pursue in Congress that would have support from members of the opposite party.

      Reductions in the corporate tax rate to attract businesses back to America have broad bi-partisan approval, and I support such efforts.




      John LaFerla, Write-in candidate supported by Democratic Party

      • Party: Democrat
      • Age: 63
      • City of residence: Chestertown
      • Occupation: Physician
      • Family: Married, father of five, two grandchildren
      • Campaign website: www.johnlaferla.com
      • Public campaign contact: LaFerlaforCongress
        @gmail.com
        , 443-480-9840
      • Experience: Practicing physician for 40 years, specializing in women's health. Lifelong Democrat, and past chair of the Kent County Democratic Central committee and former president of the Democratic Club of Kent County.
      • Education: Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, B.S., 1972; Albany Medical College, M.D., 1972; University of Michigan, M.P.H, 1988.
      • Have you ever been convicted of a crime (not including minor traffic violations)? No.
      As you know, the Bush-era income tax cuts will expire at the end of this year. Do you support extending the cuts for all income levels, only on individual income under $200,000 (under $250,000 for families), or not at all? If you support an extension of some kind, should it be paid for?

      I support extending the cuts for individuals earning less than $200,000, and for families with combined income below $250,000, but not for those with high incomes. If we close loopholes in the current system that are not available to lower wage earners but have been taken advantage of by wealthy individuals and corporations, we can increase revenue overall without increasing the current burden on the middle class.


      Is there any circumstance in which you would support extending a pay freeze on federal employees and/or requiring current federal employees to contribute more to their retirement plans? Please explain.

      While I appreciate the hard work that federal employees do, and believe that we must honor the commitments that we have made to them, we are all in this together. I don't believe that we can expect private sector employees to bear the burden of higher health care costs, lower return on retirement investments, and stagnant federal revenue alone. It is my sincere hope that improvements in the national economy will benefit all working men and women, and that federal employees will share equally in higher levels of compensation.


      The Congressional Budget Office projects spending on Medicare, Medicaid and other government health programs will more than double as a share of the nation's economy by 2037. What specific changes would you propose to reduce Medicare costs?

      As a physician, I see firsthand the effect that rising health care costs have on America's families, and I have compiled a list of more than 30 ways to reduce these costs. Some examples follow: Meaningful tort reform would create competent compensation boards and reduce the need for expensive litigation and consequently lower the cost of malpractice insurance, a significant expense for any medical practitioner. Empowering individuals to make and maintain healthy lifestyle choices would reduce the long term cost of health care, and improve the overall health of our society. Development of a universal standard for electronic medical records would facilitate appropriate decisions by medical providers and eliminate redundant testing and treatment. Investment in research, not marketing and packaging, by pharmaceutical companies will expedite the development of new treatment options, and lower the cost of prescriptions.


      Would you support increased federal spending on highways and other infrastructure as a way to boost the construction industry? If so, how would you pay for it?

      Absolutely. The economic growth of the last 70 years has been, in no small part, supported by the investment in infrastructure that helped us out of the Great Depression. Programs like the Tennessee Valley Authority and Works Project Administration created the public infrastructure that allowed modern transportation, energy supply, and education to grow our economy, but that same infrastructure is crumbling beneath us. Bridges, dams and schools go unfixed. Our power grid is outdated and vulnerable to outages. We must use this opportunity to reinvent and rehabilitate our public infrastructure, and we can't let long term deficit reduction goals stand in our way. Only by creating a solid base for economic growth can we realistically develop a path to a debt free government, and we must begin by investing in infrastructure today, funding it by any means available.


      Would you support U.S. military involvement in Iran if there were evidence that it was close to developing a nuclear weapon?

      While I believe that a nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable and counter to the goal of a peaceful global society, I support diplomatic efforts toward that end, and would only, reservedly, support military action if and when diplomatic efforts have utterly failed.


      Describe a specific policy you would pursue in Congress that would have support from members of the opposite party.

      I support the Saving American Democracy Amendment to the Constitution offered by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, which has already garnered bipartisan support, asserts that corporations are not people, are subject to regulation by the people, and which would prohibit campaign contributions or expenditures by corporations and affirm the power of Congress and the states to regulate campaign finance activity.





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