U.S. Senate candidate profiles

The Baltimore Sun

These profiles were compiled from information provided by candidates to the League of Women Voters of Maryland and The Sun's editorial board. In most cases, candidates responded to both the league and the newspaper; in other instances, they responded to just one.

The League of Women Voters asked the following questions: Energy: What actions should the federal government take to reduce dependence on fossil fuels; Immigration: What sort of immigration policy do you support? Foreign policy: How can the United States best deal with international terrorism? Health care: What proposals do you support, if any, to provide a basic level of quality health care at an affordable cost to all U.S. residents. Additional questions and responses can be found on the League of Women Voters' online voters' guide at www.lwvmd.org/vg, with information on local, state and federal candidates.

The Sun's editorial board asked the following questions: Energy: Is the current U.S. energy policy adequate? If not, what changes would you support? Immigration: Discuss your views on immigration reform, particularly with regard to undocumented aliens already in this country. Iraq: What further investment - monetary and military - if any, should the United States make in Iraq? When should U.S. troops leave Iraq? Health care: How would you address the growing gap between Americans who have adequate health care insurance and those who don't? Additional questions and responses can be found under the candidate questionnaire link at www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion.

Photographs were obtained by The Sun.

Three other candidates will appear on the ballot but did not respond to either The Sun or the League of Women Voters: Democrats Bob Robinson, Theresa C. Scaldaferri and Charles Ulysses Smith.

Republicans

Ray Bly

Date of birth -- June 26, 1949

Residence -- Jessup

Education -- Associate's degree, Howard Community College

Professional background -- Manager of Ray's Used Appliances, Jessup.

Energy -- We need to bring back streetcars in major cities. We should have monorails between major cities, such as between Baltimore and Washington. We need to bring back mass transit, ... which would cut our dependence in half on foreign oil. I would support building designated lines for MARC trains.

Health care -- We need national health care. Foreign countries spend half of what we have on health care, but they have better health care than we do.

Immigration -- I think they should relax immigration rules and let more people come here, but kick out all the people who are here illegally. We should start fining and putting people in jail that hire them. Let the legal people who want to come here, who are honest, hardworking people.

Iraq -- We should not have gone into Iraq. Iraq was the freest Muslim country, especially for women. They only person there who ever controlled things was Saddam Hussein. We should put him back in power. It was a free country under him, compared to Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria - for women, and for religion.

Earl S. Gordon

Date of birth -- Nov. 27, 1949

Residence -- Olney

Education -- Attended college in Canada and Pennsylvania.

Professional experience -- Land surveyor with several engineering companies including Yerkes Associates, Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Czop Associates, Norristown, Pa.; research coordinator for A&D; Research in Silver Spring: started own business, Post Management, in 1991.

Energy -- The policy is not adequate. Our government should start the process of constructing an appropriate socioeconomic infrastructure that would have diversified energy sources, including solar power. I would approach scientific and technological America to find a way to utilize solar energy so that we could get 80 percent of our residential and 50 percent of our industrial energy needs from this source by 2020.

Health care -- Require the federal government to implement a socioeconomic plan for the American people that is similar in nature to those in Scandinavian countries, England and Canada. The total reserves and value of the natural resources of America are so great that if the U.S. set aside 30 percent of that wealth each year and invested it in the stock market, this would generate the funds needed to pay for a national health care plan.

Immigration -- The United States is lacking an appropriate refugee policy to deal with people displaced by the socioeconomic disaster created by the pro-American Neo Cons' brutal military-political dictatorships in Central and South America over the past years.

Iraq -- None. Start [leaving] now and end by July 31, 2007.

Thomas J. Hampton

Date of birth -- Dec. 6, 1953

Residence -- Severna Park

Education -- Bachelor of science, University of Baltimore, 1978

Professional experience -- Main LaFrentz (now KPMG Int'l) Public Accountants, Salisbury & Baltimore, staff auditor; Crown Central Petroleum, Baltimore, staff accountant -- supervisor; Eastern Petroleum, Annapolis, controller; Gott Co., Prince Frederick, controller; PACE Inc., Annapolis Junction, controller

Energy -- I find it almost impossible to believe that we haven't yet recognized the relationships between our use of oil, the price of gasoline and electricity and poor air and water quality. Significant decrease in demand for oil will not only translate into price declines in gas and electricity, but also in transportation costs.

Health care -- I do not believe in a national, governmental system of health care. I believe our current system is still the best in the world, but it is beginning to be challenged by insurance bureaucracy and medical malpractice costs driven by a legal system that is out of control.

Immigration -- I don't believe that there are any new laws required to control immigration. We should however enforce the laws we have to their fullest extent. This does mean severely tightening our borders and being strict about who gets in. ... I favor a plan that allows many [illegal immigrants] to stay because I believe the alternative will be very costly and open to all sorts of abuse.

Iraq -- Our presence in Iraq is expensive in both monetary and human terms. Under current circumstances though, I believe our investment in Iraq should continue until there is reasonable assurance that Iraq forces are available and competent enough to respond to most threats.

John Kimble

Date of birth -- May 29, 1960

Residence -- Beltsville

Education -- Declined to disclose

Professional experience -- Behavioral researcher and constitutional research consultant

Energy -- The so-called energy policies are not working. Lowering energy costs by price controls and taxing the oil companies on the obscene profits they are making at American expense should be a priority. ... The windfall taxes on oil companies can be used to help American taxpayers afford these obscene prices as the funds can be sent back to U.S. taxpayers as a rebate check.

Health care -- All health care costs will be deductible from a person's income taxes. ... If you are unemployed or have no money, you may apply for government health care.

Immigration -- Immigration reform must be immediate and swift and without compunction if we are going to save America from the illegal invasion. ... The American culture and the English language will be extinct in America if we do not take the necessary steps to save America. We need to send all illegals home, require all money sent out of the country to have a 40 percent tax on it, make English the official language, mandate that no other country's flag may be flown in America. Children born in the United States must have American parents to become a U.S. citizen.

Iraq -- The United States should either beat the insurgents into total capitulation by any means necessary or they should pull out immediately as the war was won when Saddam was captured. ... We should invest only money and resources that will help America and if that can't be accomplished; we should only be interested in getting the oil for America.

Edward Raymond Madej

Age -- 61

Residence -- Pasadena

Education -- Not available

Professional experience -- Federal law enforcement, petrochemical plant operation, problem resolution of a federal tax agency, fireman/safety inspector of a petrochemical plant, federal taxpayer service representative, dockman, technical tax adviser at IRS agent referral district

Energy -- Increase minimum mpg for autos and trucks. Insulate older homes, use renewable alternative fuels.

Health care -- Bar all lobbyists from halls and corridors of Congress, as they can use U.S. mail just like us, "We the People."

Immigration -- Declare no amnesty; however, provide returning illegals with training and advice so to eradicate the drug problem in Mexico. Simultaneously request and allow the finest Mexicans to emigrate and apply for citizenship.

Iraq -- Many Iraq inhabitants now to be treated as "victims victimizing victims." Bring home bulk of our troops now, remaining troops be repositioned for their safety. Declare that every Iraqi inhabitant to get equal share of oil proceeds, based on how they maintain their infrastructure.

Daniel Muffoletto

Age -- 51

Residence -- Sykesville

Education -- Bachelor's in political science, University of Baltimore, 1977

Professional experience -- Writer, martial arts instructor, Common Cause election judge, organizer for the United Farm Workers

Energy -- The current policy is obsolete. We need to have wind farms, more solar, geothermal, orbiting solar energy stations that will beam energy through microwaves down to our planet. We can convert our current cars to have a trolley attachment for the super highways.

Health care -- Preventive and alternative health care should be an option. We should get better prices and better care by combining the numbers of every Marylander, to act as one bloc of consumers. We also will implement a health care card like a credit card. It will have options much like the frequent flier program to allow many options.

Immigration -- Labor should be free (part of the) market. Wherever it is needed, it should be allowed to go. Everyone wants to be in the U.S.A. We also need safe borders. We need a way to track these workers. We need to offer those in this country a chance to get legal.

Iraq -- I hold deep feeling about this war. I will not comment on this issue till our brave soldiers are all boots back on American soil. I am for peace. I am for negotiations. Peace is better for humans and profits.

Richard Shawver

Date of birth -- Feb. 20, 1947

Residence -- Eldersburg

Education -- Attended Forest Park High School; earned GED in 1967

Professional experience -- Carpenter for Hecht's; 30 years military: eight years, U.S. Marines; 22 years, Maryland Air National Guard.

Energy -- Encourage private companies to develop energy sources. We need a lot more hydro-electric plants.

Health care -- Health care should be taken care of by the people rather than paying into the government such as Medicaid and Medicare. The federal government is not supposed to be an insurance company.

Immigration -- Close all borders to illegal immigration. Allow only immigrants who are needed to fill vacant jobs on a temporary basis. Immigrants should be sponsored. That way people would not be a burden on the U.S. government.

Iraq -- I'm totally against the war because the president did not have the authority to declare war because we were not attacked by another country.

Michael S. Steele

Date of birth -- Oct. 19, 1958

Residence -- Largo

Education -- Bachelor's, international relations, the Johns Hopkins University, 1981; law degree, Georgetown University Law Center, 1991. Spent three years as a seminarian in the Order of St. Augustine in preparation for the priesthood.

Professional experience -- Lieutenant governor of Maryland; chairman of the Maryland Republican Party; corporate and real estate lawyer; founder of the Steele Group, a business and legal consulting firm.

Energy -- For immediate relief from energy costs, I support a moratorium on the federal gas tax and the diesel tax, and suspending the tariff on ethanol imports. Congress must also develop an energy policy aimed at fostering energy independence: increase fuel standards, expand tax credits for hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles.

Health care -- Our health care challenges in America revolve around access. We must increase access to affordable health insurance through Health Savings Accounts and high deductible policies, so individuals can purchase the insurance that meets their specific needs. I also support extending the Medicare Prescription Drug plan sign-up period for our seniors.

Immigration -- Nearly 1.2 million people were arrested trying to illegally enter our country last year. Congress must take steps to secure our borders before we can expect Americans to seriously consider proposals for dealing with those illegal immigrants already in our county and those employers who fail to adequately report them.

Foreign policy -- After the events of Sept. 11, it must be the absolute first priority of our leaders to keep our homeland secure from those who wish us harm. I will work to restore the 2006 homeland security grants that slashed funding for New York City, D.C. and Baltimore - prominent terrorist targets.

Corrogan R. Vaughn

Date of birth -- March 8, 1966

Residence -- Lochearn

Education -- 1984 graduate Northwestern Senior High

Professional experience -- Worked in various managerial positions at US Airways for 16 years until 2002

Energy -- The federal government has no jurisdiction in these matters under the Constitution. Responsible exploration and drilling for oil should be allowed in the U.S. to all who can do so. The alliance of the oil companies, banking and the environmentalists will be shattered by this process, leading to new energy solutions from a free market.

Health care -- Medical care is not an entitlement under the Constitution. States should regulate medical practitioners, which will remove the onerous regulations placed on them by the federal government. This will free up medical resources for actually treating patients.

Immigration -- Existing immigrations laws must be enforced. A temporary ban should be established on all immigration to the U.S. for a period of 25 years. Illegal immigrants should not be rewarded for breaking the law by granting them temporary or permanent legal status (amnesty). Granting automatic citizenship to children born here of illegal immigrants again rewards illegal immigrants for breaking the law.

Foreign policy -- The primary obligation of the federal government is to limit its actions to those set out in the Constitution. Our borders must be closed. ... The right to issue visas by countries known to be enemies of the U.S. should be rescinded. All illegal immigrants incarcerated because of breaking our laws, state or federal, shall be returned to their country of origin.

Daniel 'Wig Man' Vovak

Date of birth -- May 15, 1972

Residence -- Rockville

Education -- Bachelor of Arts, Baldwin-Wallace College, 1993; majored in business, psychology and communications

Professional experience -- Ghost writer and owner of Greenwich Public Relations; operations manager, North American Van Lines; editor, Greenwich Post in Connecticut; editor, Movers & Shakers, Ohio

Energy -- The foremost goal of our U.S. Senate's energy policy needs to be to tap into the Iraq oil immediately to lesson the burden of cost on Maryland and national residents.

Health care -- I have believed Medicare is for older people and Medicaid is for the poor. However, it has become so blurry and the restrictions so complicated, I am as confused as you are. National health care needs to be merged into one department, not multiple departments.

Immigration -- If millions of residents remain undocumented in 2006, then there has been no effective handling of terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001. All legal immigration begins at the front door of the embassies of sovereign nations.

Iraq -- I am an isolationist, not an interventionist. I support an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq, though even an immediate withdrawal will take about a year. However, I do support the war in Afghanistan.

Democratic

Benjamin L. Cardin

Date of birth -- Oct. 5, 1943

Residence -- Pikesville

Education -- B.A., University of Pittsburgh, 1964; LL.B./J.D., University of Maryland School of Law, 1967

Professional experience -- U.S. House of Representatives, 1987-present; member, Ways and Means Committee, 1989-present; ranking member, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, 2003-present; Maryland House of Delegates, 1967-1986; House of Delegates speaker, 1979-1986; practicing attorney, 1967-1987

Energy -- We need an Apollo-type commitment to energy independence. I authored the American Energy Independence Act to deliver energy independence. My bill would raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards and establish a renewable portfolio standard.

Health care -- I support universal health coverage. I have worked to strengthen Medicare, Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program. I oppose privatizing these programs. I oppose the President's Medicare prescription drug plan and support a real prescription drug program within Medicare.

Immigration -- America is a nation of immigrants. Congress should pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation which restores the rule of law at our borders, and is fair to long-term undocumented workers who come forward.

Iraq -- I voted against invading Iraq. We must change the course and start bringing our troops home. We need to refocus our efforts against international terrorism by cutting off their foreign financial support. We need to focus on defeating al-Qaida, strengthening homeland security and pursuing active diplomacy.

David Dickerson

Date of birth -- Aug. 27, 1962

Residence -- Sparks

Education -- Bachelor of Business Administration, Loyola College, 1984; Master of Administrative Science, the Johns Hopkins University, 1990; Ph.D., Cambridge University, Magdalene College, 2002

Professional experience -- Principal, Stratconsult Ltd.; international sales director, Motorola; business development director, Sony Europe International; U.S. Air Force reserves

Energy -- We need to begin developing an alternative form of energy for transportation in the event our country is deprived of oil and gas. It would be in our best interest to meet with OPEC and the other world oil producers to gain a promise of supply to alleviate our tension.

Health care -- I support a European system of a state and private system of health insurance that allows for free choice. We could also institute a Child Welfare Card that provides insurance for all children, up to 18, and saves small business from providing insurance to the children of employees.

Immigration -- We need to be humane and protect our citizens and legal residents by increasing our border security, monitoring visa status, expedite working visas for business, and provide the processes for illegals to apply for temporary residency. We do not want the 12 million that are here to seek refuge.

Iraq -- Our government needs to announce to the world our plans for withdrawal, which will also weaken the support of al-Qaida operatives. We need the support of Europe, Russia and China. ... We need to work with the Arab League and Israel to discuss post Iraq. We need to get the Iraqi troops trained as soon as possible because our troop recruitments are diminishing.

George T. English

Date of birth -- Feb. 5, 1940

Residence -- Silver Spring

Education -- B.A., Colorado College, 1961; M.A., University of Colorado, 1965; B.A., Thunderbird: The American Graduate School of International Management, 1972; Master of Marine Affairs, University of Rhode Island, 1976

Professional experience -- Economist for Coast and Geodetic Survey; economist for Northrop Airport Development Corp.; management intern, NASA Houston; rifle platoon leader, 1st Lieutenant U.S. Army

Energy -- An energy-independence program is needed, which includes producing new plug-in rechargeable E-85-fueled hybrid vehicles, long-haul freight and inter-city passengers shifted to high-speed electrified railroads and conversion to wind-powered electricity generation with future changeover to hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Health care -- A Canadian-styled single-payer national health care system that would cover everyone with no out-of-pocket cost to patients and require only about half as much of the Gross Domestic Product to fund compared to current U.S. healthcare expenditures is the only solution.

Immigration -- Policy must establish secure instantaneous national personal identification verification, have effective employer surveillance and conduct a tightly controlled nonexploitive limited guest worker-only program with U.S./SSI pensions paid at age 67 in home countries.

Iraq -- Immediately cease offensive operations in Iraq, request the U.N. organize a cease-fire and direct an all-Muslim, U.S.-funded peacekeeping force from non-neighboring countries. Withdraw U.S. troops after peacekeepers arrive and withdraw all other U.S. overseas forces.

James H. Hutchinson

Age -- 62

Residence -- Bethesda

Education -- A.B., Dartmouth College, 1966; M.D., University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 1971; internal medicine and psychiatric residency, Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, 1971-1976; psychiatric residency completed, Sheppard Pratt Hospital, 1976

Professional experience -- Internist; psychiatrist; Navy medical officer stationed at Bethesda Naval Hospital

Energy -- Earth is 50 to 150 years away from catastrophic environmental collapse. Clean, renewable energy sources and conservation are a first priority. Patriotic Americans should be asked to conserve immediately.

Health care -- Fully fund: 1. Environmental protection, it is essential health care. 2. Public health resources to protect us from epidemics. 3. Educational outreach and preventive care. It is cost effective. 4. Canadian Universal Care. It will lower our costs by 1/4 , improve care and free American industry in international competition.

Immigration -- One that is humane, fair and firm. We are a country of immigrants. Their spirit renews us. But nationhood requires adequate border control. Less-affluent Americans should not have to compete with a desperate illegal work force for jobs and a living wage. Enforcement should focus on employers.

Foreign policy -- Treat terrorism as piracy, not war. Discredit terrorism via mass media. Renounce covert force to destabilize foreign governments. Support international law. Actively engage the overpopulation and environmental degradation that destroys states and cultures. Rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of a civil, just, free, united country at home. Maintain a pre-eminent military for defense.

Anthony Jaworski

Date of birth -- Aug. 10, 1946

Residence -- Kensington

Education -- B.A., University of South Florida, 1969

Professional experience -- Elected democratic precinct delegate in Michigan, 1987; stock market trader; substitute school teacher; refrigeration and steam engineer; landlord

Energy -- no response

Health care -- no response

Immigration -- no response

Iraq -- no response

A. Robert Kaufman

Date of birth -- March 8, 1931

Residence -- Walbrook

Education -- High school graduate, Park School, 1950; Goddard College, 1950-1954; McCoy College at the Johns Hopkins University, 1953; Morgan State University, 1956

Professional experience -- Landlord, 1970-present

Energy -- [Current U.S. energy policy] is not only inadequate, it's globally suicidal. We must quickly abandon most fossil fuel sources of energy and do the research and development necessary to develop and refine ecologically safe alternatives.

Health care -- Universal health insurance (UHI). U.S. life expectancy is 12th from the top. All 11 countries where people live longer - and better than us - have UHI. They pay, on average, about half as much as Americans pay for health care. Pay for it by taxing rich and cutting military.

Immigration -- Our government has terrorized Third World people since the genocide of the Native Americans and the Middle Passage of slavery. ... Replace the rule of gold (and oil) foreign policy with a Golden Rule foreign policy. Help Third World people survive and flourish so they won't have to flee to here.

Iraq -- American imperialism in Iraq serves neither the interest of American working people (who supply most of the U.S. war dead) or the Iraqi people. The sooner we withdraw - the fewer deaths and maiming. We owe Iraqis huge reparations!

Allan J. Lichtman

Date of birth -- April 4, 1947

Residence -- Bethesda

Education -- B.A. Brandeis University, 1967; Ph.D. Harvard University, 1973

Professional experience -- professor, American University, 1973-present; national political analyst, CNN Headline News, 2003-2005; consultant to Ted Kennedy and Al Gore.

Energy -- My proposals include real fuel economy standards for vehicles; conversion of government fleets to fuel-efficient vehicles; expanded support for conservation; flipping the subsidies, research and taxbreaks from fossil fuels to clean renewable sources of energy; and converting electric production from coal to wind, solar, biomass, thermal and other alternative energy sources.

Health care -- I support universal health care coverage for all Americans through a single-payer system. The failure to adopt a single-payer universal health care system in the U. S. is a failure of leadership, not of public support.

Immigration -- I strongly oppose a punitive approach to immigration. To regularize the situation facing nearly 12 million undocumented aliens, I would favor the Kennedy-McCain proposal. ... This would include a rigorous long-term procedure for citizenship that includes paying taxes, keeping one's criminal record clean, learning English, and paying fees.

Iraq -- I have pledged to take the only effective measures to end the deaths and maiming of American men and women, and that is to use Congress' power of the purse to compel the administration to change its tragically misguided course in Iraq. I will only vote for funds to bring our brave young men and women home promptly and safely.

Thomas B. McCaskill

Date of birth -- Aug. 21, 1938

Residence -- Fort Washington

Education -- BS, North Carolina State University, 1960

Professional experience -- Research physicist, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, 1960-2002; Congressional fellow, Institute of Navigation, 2003; president, Fort Washington-Accokeek Democratic Club, 2005

Energy -- Accelerate fusion development to make fusion reactors for electrical power in less than 40 years, harvest frozen methane hydrates from the ocean, import ethanol from Brazil, and promote hybrid vehicles with all educational benefits as a return on taxpayer investment in [research and development].

Health Care -- Remove the corporate excuse that employee health care costs too much [and] add a health care premium to the cost of imported products from countries that do not have health care for their citizens. Products from Mexico would cost more and the premium would go for universal health care.

Immigration -- Secure the Mexican border, enforce existing immigration laws and hold employers accountable for hiring illegal immigrants. I do not support amnesty. Help develop economies south of the border to make staying home more attractive.

Foreign Policy -- Change the course set by the Bush Administration, from one of pre-emptive war, isolation and fear, to one of global peace and security. Stop the flow of terrorists and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) into Iraq by applying diplomatic pressure on Syria and Iran.

Kweisi Mfume

Date of birth -- Oct. 24, 1948

Residence -- Baltimore, Downtown Industrial Area

Education -- B.A., Morgan State University, 1976; M.A., the Johns Hopkins University, 1984

Professional experience -- Baltimore city councilman, 1979-1986; U.S. House of Representatives, 1986-1996; president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1996-2004

Energy -- The plain truth of the matter is that we have not had a coherent energy policy in this country since Jimmy Carter was president. What we need to do to guarantee safe and adequate energy supplies for the future is establish greater standards of efficiency for our cars and vehicles, build mass transit systems that people will use, practice conservation in our homes ... and curb our reliance on oil whether the source is foreign or domestic.

Health care -- It is time America adopted a single-payer health care system for universal health care coverage. Businesses would not have to worry about heavy expenses of providing health insurance and parents could more easily choose to stay home and raise their children.

Immigration -- I believe the Kennedy-McCain bill in the United States Senate is a good starting point. Under this approach, undocumented workers are allowed to register with the authorities and after criminal and security background checks, be allowed to apply for citizenship. I do not support allowing these persons to leapfrog over other immigrants who have legally entered the United States and applied for citizenship.

Iraq -- Any future investments in Iraq should be to match contributions by the international community of nations and the United Nations. Iraq's oil wealth should be used to cover the cost of reconstruction. I believe the U.S. should withdrawal from Iraq as soon as possible.

Joshua B. Rales

Date of birth -- Nov. 17, 1957

Residence -- Potomac

Education -- B.A., University of Virginia, 1979; J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1983

Professional experience -- founder and managing partner, RFI Associates, 1984-present

Energy -- We continue to rely too heavily on foreign sources of oil, which is undermining our economic, national, and environmental security. My plan calls for significantly increasing fuel efficiency standards, expanding production of hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles, investing in alternative fuels, increasing our commitment to mass transit and providing incentives for using renewable energy sources.

Health care -- It is unconscionable that there are nearly 50 million Americans, including more than 800,000 Marylanders, who are without health insurance. We need to move toward a philosophy of shared responsibility. ... My plan empowers the federal government to negotiate better prescription drug prices. My plan also calls for the widespread adoption of electronic medical records, which will help improve the quality of health care while bringing down costs.

Immigration -- I support the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill which provides a path to normalization, revises the temporary worker program and imposes severe penalties on businesses that hire illegal immigrants.

Iraq -- I have called for withdrawing combat troops from Iraq in 2007. After that date I would not support additional funding for combat troops. I believe that our continued presence is helping to fuel the insurgency, rather than reduce tensions. I would be willing to support military and economic assistance to help the fledgling Iraqi government to take root.

Dennis F. Rasmussen

Date of birth -- June 14, 1947

Residence -- Timonium

Education -- Bachelor of Science, economics, Loyola College of Maryland, 1970

Professional experience -- House of Delegates, 1975-1978; Maryland Senate, 1978-1986; Baltimore County Executive, 1986-1990. Owns and manages the Rasmussen Group, a governmental relations and advocacy firm.

Energy -- Congress must mandate an increase in the Car Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) and eliminate the exemption for light trucks and SUVs. We must build both oil refineries ... and power plants, tap our abundant natural gas reserves located on the North Slope in Alaska ... pursue other alternative clean fuel technologies such as wind, solar and bio fuel, especially ethanol; and mobilize the scientific community to help solve waste and emissions problems.

Health care -- There are three priorities. First is to improve the system so that it can become accessible and affordable to all Americans. Second is to insure the continuing quality health care. Third is to improve the health of Americans by integrating prevention into the health care equation.

Immigration -- Close the borders and open the doors for greater and controlled immigration. Provide a guest worker program. Supplement Immigration and Naturalization Resources to handle the increases in human traffic.

Iraq -- What we need to be doing at this point is moving forward along a positive, constructive path that will allow us to come home with our troops and with their health and our honor intact - and the fledgling Iraqi nation in a viable position to govern and defend itself.

Mike Schaefer

Date of birth -- March 25, 1938

Residence -- Mount Vernon

Education -- BS, University of California, Berkeley, 1960; JD, Georgetown Law, 1963

Professional background -- Financial analyst, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, 1962; deputy clerk, U.S. District Court, 1963; city prosecuting attorney, 1964-1965; San Diego city councilman, 1965-1971; private practice of law, 1964-2003

Energy -- We need more incentive for smart consumption; increased vehicle efficiency, tax benefits for consumers, focus on non-Middle East oil supplies. Our national intention has been diverted by international hostilities.

Health care -- Social Security health care, A & B, works quite well; provide some modified coverage with partial-cost monthly payment by beneficiaries to those parts of our population who do not qualify for Social Security benefits.

Immigration -- We must embargo the sending of U.S. dollars abroad by undocumented aliens; most of this money is not subject to taxes, and the routine pay over to family abroad leaves the undocumented U.S. residents without sufficient funds and encourages recourse to public assistance from local governments.

Iraq -- These issues should be more administrative than political in decision, with no political timetable for the end. Military leaders in consultation with our government must be given more weight. For individual Senators/House members to claim to have the answers is contrary to prudent military operation and success. We should support the president in conduct of crisis but provide healthy criticism and political input.

Blaine Taylor

Date of birth -- Dec. 8, 1946

Residence -- Towson

Education -- U.S. Army 199th Light Infantry Brigade, South Vietnam, 1966-1967, won Combat Infantryman's Badge; Bachelor of Arts, History, Towson State College, 1972

Professional experience -- book author, 1989-present; press secretary to Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley, 1991-1992. Press secretary for four successful political campaigns: Maryland House of Delegates, 1974; Maryland Senate, 1978; Baltimore County Executive, 1990; Maryland Presidential Primary, 1992.

Energy -- Turn away from gas, diesel, coal, oil, and toward wind, solar, water, electricity, nuclear power in housing, work places, schools, hospitals, all other structures, vehicles, starting in 2007.

Health care -- Enact universal National Health Insurance 2007 for all citizens only, cradle to grave.

Immigration -- Halt all immigration January-June 2007; straighten out mess we're in, before getting in deeper. No amnesty for illegal aliens; all must go through current processes for U.S. citizenship. All foreign nationals must learn English, or be deported. Secure all frontiers: Canada, Mexico, coastlines.

Iraq -- If the decision was made by the Congress in January 2007 to both cut off all funding and compel the president constitutionally to order the withdrawal - it could be accomplished by June 2007; failing that, certainly by Christmas - and that's with taking all that expensive equipment (vehicles, etc.) with us, too.

Joseph Werner

Date of birth -- April 7, 1960

Residence -- Fallston

Education -- BS, mass communications, Towson University, 1985; JD, University of the District of Columbia School of Law, 1996

Professional background -- Partner, Richardson & Werner, a Washington, D.C., law firm

Energy -- We should invest more in research and development of alternative fuels. We need to raise the fuel mileage standards for cars. Work toward the development of an electric car. Place more investment into mass transit and rail service.

Health care -- Provide tax deductions to self-employed and persons buying their health insurance. Have the industry be more streamlined to provide better care, lower cost. Work with drug manufacturers to cut out the middle of the distribution to save money. Have a government safety net for all who can't afford health insurance.

Immigration -- This is a complex problem that has been building for generations. There are no fast or easy solutions. Yes more border security is needed, however we need to work more in the country to locate illegals, stop employers from exploiting low-wage labor and find a long-term solution.

Foreign policy -- We need to work with other nations to stop the terror we now face. We need to get back the respect we lost under Bush and work with international associations. More security at our ports, borders, airports. Also, we need to work with other nations to bring about peace.

Lih Young

Date of birth -- April 15, 1941

Residence -- Rockville/Potomac area

Education -- BA economics., National Taiwan University; Ph.D. MA, economics, City University of New York (CUNY)

Professional experience -- Reformer, advocate, activist, economist, producer/host speaker of numerous TV programs on social issues.

Energy -- Promote merits, efficiency, accountability; no unjust practices, misleading, manipulation, conspiracy, cover-up, "official misconduct-government gang-fraud-crime-injustice networks." Eliminate abuse, waste, bad legislative bills, appropriations, abandonment of resources, land, government resources to benefit a few, victimize others or general public.

Health care -- Support universal national health insurance (all, Medicare, Medicaid, prescription, uninsured, catastrophic); single payer (government); simple, effective, equal, quality, accountability, preventive, affordable, cost containment; public funded research; not to benefit a few; public education, consumer protection.

Immigration -- Stop minorities bashing. Support civilian review board. Improve quality officials, race relationships, diversity in good faith, not rhetoric or abuse as often by "fraud-crime-injustice networks." ... Investigate/ prosecute/ eliminate: unjust appropriation, siphoning resources to benefit few.

Foreign policy -- Support humanity, peace, justice. Respect others' cultures. Cooperate with United Nations, other countries. Oppose: horrible violent force, invasion, occupation, deprivation/destruction (countries, population, properties, soldiers; resources, reputation; public, private).

Green

Kevin Zeese

Date of birth -- Oct. 28, 1955

Party affiliation -- Green, (also nominated by Libertarian and Populist)

Residence -- Takoma Park

Education -- Bachelor's from State University of New York at Buffalo, 1977; law degree from George Washington University, 1980

Professional experience -- Director of DemocracyRising.US, an organization working to responsibly end the Iraq War. Founder/director of TrueVoteMD, a group striving to end paperless electronic voting. Worked on local, state and national political campaigns, including serving as Ralph Nader's press secretary in 2004.

Energy -- Breaking our addiction to fossil fuels, especially from foreign sources, is a top priority for a 21st-century economy. Renewable energy should be pursued in all forms. We must move toward community planning that employs smart and green building technologies.

Health care -- The only way any country has provided health care for all is through a national single-payer health-care system. This requires challenging special interests in health insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Immigration -- I favor legal workers, legal borders and legal immigration. Trade agreements make it too easy for multinational corporations to take advantage of workers and make it more difficult for already underpaid workers to survive in their home country. This economic dislocation is the root cause of immigration problems.

Iraq -- The reality is we are making things worse rather than better being in Iraq. We need a rapid, orderly withdrawal of military and corporate interests. This means we need to announce we are leaving and that we will complete the process within six months.

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