MEET THE CANDIDATES

 

When Marylanders head to the polls Nov. 6, they will elect members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in addition to casting their ballots for president. Dozens of people are running for a chance to represent the state's voters in Washington.

The Baltimore Sun asked all major and third-party candidates to answer questions about pressing policy issues facing the country.

 

[ 1st Congressional District ]





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, Independent









    • Occupation: Asset protection manager, Walmart Stores Inc.



    • Family: Married








    • 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.


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Andy Harris, Republican (incumbent)


    • Party: Republican


    • Age: 55


    • City of residence: Cockeysville


    • Occupation: Physician, congressman



    • Family: Married, five children, one grandchild







    • 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.



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John LaFerla, Write-in candidate supported by Democratic Party