Roadmap by keralaguest


									 Roadmap for
                        Produced by Team Lorton

          In dedication to all future generations of Marylanders.

               May this be a place to want to raise a family.

                 May this continue to be The Free State.

The Equal Opportunity and Entrepreneurial Agenda:
 Fiscal Responsibility, Taxes, Transportation, Education, and Health Care

An Agenda for a Civil, Free, and Prospering Society:
         Protecting and Promoting Small Business and Families
 Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness in the 21st Century:
                      Defending Natural Rights for All Marylanders

                      Maryland’s Natural Resources:
   Safeguarding the Environment, Securing Energy Production, and Preserving Maryland’s

After listening to thousands of people, their concerns, and reflecting upon my own
beliefs, I have decided to create a document called the Roadmap for Maryland, a
product of policy proposals and solutions, especially about how to create a
business friendly environment that will facilitate the creation of jobs.

The Roadmap is filled with ideas and solutions for The Free State. This is my
commitment to you, the voter: I will try to implement as many of these ideas as
possible if I am elected. What follows is not perfect, but I hope is the start of a
larger conversation of finding ways to make Maryland the best state. Beyond my
own ideas and constituents, ideas have come from other elected officials, writers,
and thinkers I respect.
One of the biggest concerns from all voters is their disenchantment with career
politicians. Voters I meet want their elected officials to face up to reality of the
current economic situation and live up to the task they were elected to carryout, as
well as propose common sense solutions, and quit the divisive political games and

I will never compromise on principle, but will be open to finding compromise
when it makes sense and is in the best interest of the residents of Maryland. I will
work with anyone who will work with me. I have knocked on over 15,000 doors in
the sweltering heat, pouring rain, and in the Blizzard of 2010 (just kidding. Then I
was making calls).

I will work hard to tackle the challenges and issues before us.


Kyle Lorton

         The Equal Opportunity and Entrepreneurial Agenda:
            Fiscal Responsibility, Taxes, Transportation, Education, and Health Care

                                       Fiscal Responsibility

In order to create jobs we need to incentivize businesses to expand by setting priorities and
making tough choices. Raising your taxes again and postponing decisions aren't the right
solutions. Nor should Maryland become like California and ask for a federal bailout. Too many
times politicians - including Republicans in Washington over the last decade -- talk about fiscal
responsibility but then spend like they are not accountable to the voters.

Conventional wisdom says that in an election candidates running for office need to avoid talking
about making cuts, but I would argue that we need to be honest about the problem. We must
make the tough choices now. If we don't then we will continue following the path of becoming
more like the state governments in California, New York, and New Jersey, three states on the
verge of various forms of bankruptcy due to fiscally irresponsibility.

Why is practicing fiscal responsibility so important?

First off, it is the moral thing to do to not leave future Marylanders to clean up our mess.
Moreover, while Maryland has a constitutional requirement to balance the budget, for too long
this has been achieved through questionable accounting methods, such as borrowing from the
rainy day fund. We can do better. As a voter you deserve better.

It is also important to maintain Maryland’s AAA Bond rating. The bond rating is important to
economic growth and creating jobs. Impressively, we are only of six states two receive this top
rating from from all three major rating agencies. Yet we risk losing it.

Moody’s, widely recognized as the best of the three agencies, called the state’s depleted
retirement system a “credit challenge.” The $33 billion system has 65 percent of the funds
needed to meet future obligations, and the analysts concerns echo a sentiment raised in February
by The Pew Center on the States. According to the Baltimore Sun, Moody’s pointed out that
Maryland’s retirement system is funded at “a lower level than most similarly rated states.”

So what can we do together? There are some necessary fixes to implement that will improve the
fiscal situation if implemented and will change the spending culture in Annapolis. There are also
much larger ideas on how to tackle the much larger structural deficit problems that force-sleight-
-of-hand accounting. Please read this and join the conversation that I have been having with
thousands upon thousands of Howard County and Maryland residents over the last year.

Privatize Emissions Test Stations

• In New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is doing this. It is a good way to improve operations, cut
  costs, and bring money to the state.

Privatize Rest Stops

• Virginia is doing an excellent job of attempting to privatize rest stops. This will cut costs,
  improve the operations there, and bring money to the state in terms of revenue.

Review Whether Maryland Should Increase Auditing of Pharmacy Reimbursements:

• In North Carolina a recommendation was made to audit pharmacy overpayments in the state’s
  Medicaid program. In Washington State they did this and there was an average 162 percent
  return on investment.

Join a multi-state consortium to buy Medicaid drugs, heavy equipment, etc:

• Another recommendation by a North Carolina report was to take advantage of larger
  economies of scale can better position states participating in purchasing coalitions to negotiate
  deeper discounts for prescription drugs covered in their Medicaid program. For instance, the
  state of Louisiana reported a savings of $301 million in fiscal year 2009 due to their
  participation in a multi-state drug purchasing coalition.

Purposeful and Transparent Budget Analysis:
• In Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed a law that now require all budget items to have a
  listing of “Why they are important enough to spend taxpayer money on” and “How are you
  going to measure the use of the money to make sure you were successful?” This should be
  done in Maryland and be published in a transparent manner.

Acquire Federal Waiver to Ease Costs of Medicaid and Improve Delivery of Care

• Medicaid takes up a large amount of the budget each year. As such, we need to consider doing
  what other states across the country have in terms of applying for a waiver so we can make
  reforms that will improve care and save money. Look at Louisiana for instance. Governor
  Jindal plans to steer working-poor Medicaid recipients out of the current "fee for service"
  program, where the state pays a set rate for all health-care charges (some 54 million this year).
  Instead, they'd choose among private managed-care plans, with Louisiana paying a fixed per-
  patient amount, adjusted for health risks. Essentially, Mr. Jindal wants to use Medicaid dollars
  to fund something like private insurance. That way, physicians and hospitals will be
  compensated for outcomes -- rather than volume of visits and procedures -- and get incentive
  payments for good performance. Such a "defined contribution" plan is one way to get health
  costs under control. Though this isn’t a proven idea, it is something Maryland should look at.
  Other states are pursuing reforms too. Medicaid allows states the flexibility to experiment like
  Mr. Jindal, but it requires a federal waiver. Maryland needs to get a waiver as well to pursue
  different but necessary reforms.

Do Not Replace Retiring Workers With New Workers:

• Maryland is going to lose tens of thousands of workers due to retirement over the next decade.
  This reality presents us with a perfect opportunity to reduce spending without having to reduce
  the paychecks of any family. Over the last 30 years we have seen private sector productivity
  shoot through the roof. Why does government continue to fill jobs in public sector when we
  become more efficient in the private sector?

• As your State Senator I will work to pass legislation that forces government to do more with
  less and optimize advances in technology. Companies do more with less but government seems
  to do more with more and fails at more. When companies have to do more with less and cut
  costs while increasing productivity, bloated government bureaucracies continue to expand.
  This is not a radical idea when families across Maryland are tightening their belts.

Define then Destroy Pork Barrel Spending:

• Before we can eliminate unnecessary Pork Barrel Spending, we need to establish a bipartisan
  consensus on the definition of pork. Then we must use open source collection of information
  more effectively to spotlight where money is going and who is getting the contracts. For
  example, we need to eliminate $1.4 million spend on a dog park or on a $2 million live concert
  hall in Silver Spring. We do not need to spend $2 million on a closed bridge in Baltimore
  County with a sign that says "No Trespassing- Bridge Closed."

•   It is true that pork barrel spending does not eat up much of the budget but it does “grease the
    skids” for bad legislation. By this I mean that a Delegate or Senator may not want to vote on a
    huge bill but does so because receive a long-sought after project for their district. I will work
    hard to get non-profits and grants o the district.

Evaluate and Potentially Eliminate Commissions:

• Evaluate the purpose of each commission and eliminate unnecessary ones. Maryland has over
  300 commissions. Some undoubtedly perform important functions, but even seemingly
  important ones should be reviewed.

Independent Audit of State Spending:

• If elected I will ensure that there is an independent audit of state spending. Gov. O'Malley
  promised this and still has not delivered. Meanwhile, he has increased positions in his own
  Executive Office while cutting positions in public safety and corrections. Gov. O'Malley's has
  raised salaries (over $600,000 in top management positions) symbolizes his spendthrift policies
  for tax dollars. Gov. O'Malley has decided to open a new Office of Technology. He cut
  positions in Veteran's affairs while protecting the more than 7,000 political appointees he gets
  to appoint. I will oppose proliferate spending and make sure we have an independent audit.

Limit Health Care Costs for State Employees:

• I will push for Annapolis to enact a program for its state employees similar to which exists in
  Indiana. Several months ago their Governor, Mitch Daniels, detailed the program in the Wall
  Street Journal. In the Journal he explained that if they select to be in the Hoosier HSA
  program, each employee receives $2,750 per year to put into an account that he or she controls.
  As predicted, the employees are more conscious about how they spend their money because if
  they don’t spend it they can keep it and use it for larger medical expenses. As Gov. Daniels has
  pointed out, in 2009 over 70% of the 30,000 Indiana state workers chose it, and according to an
  analysis done by Mercer Consulting, the state's total costs were reduced by 11% solely due to
  the HSA option.

• I will also have us look at Minnesota's program. As the governor in Minnesota asks, “When
  people buy food, clothes or cars, they compare prices and quality, so why should health care be
  any different? That is why they have created incentives for public employees to be wise health-
  care consumers and given them the information to make smart decisions. Under their system, if
  patients go to a high-quality, low-cost clinic, they pay less; if they don't, they pay more. As a
  result, the vast majority has migrated to more cost-efficient health-care providers, and we've
  seen zero or small increases in premiums since 2005.

Deal with Pension Obligations in a Fair but Honest Way. Do not pass the buck:

•   We need to rewrite the rules for individuals who are joining the system but for people who
    have organized their retirement and have played by the rules they need to receive their
    pensions. But for people who have reached a certain life point where they have planned for and
    come to depend on the pensions, then we must keep them in place. But in general we must re-
    negotiate for state workers under a TBD age. We must do that now to avoid bankrupting the
Propose Across the Board Budget Cuts for Agency Planning:

• In the first session I would propose a law that would require to prepare for 2% cuts in the next
  four sessions. Agencies would therefore slice money over a period of time and the governor
  would have more political cover. It would be essential that that agencies prepare for how to
  make cuts rather than the governor just calling for them. The reason for this is because the cuts
  would be approached under the leadership of people in the agency who are interested in
  improving the agency. I would make the case that we are trying to make government more
  efficient and therefore we would see budget cuts as a result. Bureaucratic institutions review
  their entire operations from top to bottom to see how to achieve their agency's goals at lower
  costs. The law would then force the governor to create a budget proposal off of the secretary's
  recommendations. By forcing departments to identify cuts, we will actually force government
  to be more responsive to citizens at a lower cost. By having the cuts designed from within, they
  will be done to keep the integrity of the mission of the department and the focus as much as

• I would want the Maryland Governor to follow the model of Virginia's Democratic Governor
  Mark Warner in this respect. Gov. Warner did manage to reduce spending by using a very
  effective method that we need to employ here in Maryland, just as many governors are doing
  elsewhere. In 2002, facing a large state budget gap officially pegged at $3 billion and expected
  to grow, Warner required all state agencies to submit contingency plans to ensure they were
  still operational even if he proposed 7, 11, and 15 percent cuts in state funding. He then used
  this information to make across the board cuts. By preparing ahead of time to make cuts.
  Agencies were able to streamline services more effectively.

•   In Annapolis we need to take the same prudent steps to reduce spending and, as important,
    make government more efficient, another effect of the budget cut contingency plans. We tried
    a similar idea in Maryland this past session that would have brought total budget growth to 0%
    and would have left the state with a significant fund balance to protect against future write
    downs. This amendment proposed by Del. O'Donnell was rejected (27-99). If framed the right
    way, this is a debate that we can win. It is about making government more efficient and
    responsive: if they plan cuts in advance, the experts can devise innovative ways to achieve
    department goals and spend less money.


Families are hurting in large part because politicians in Annapolis keep raising taxes. From our
sales tax, income tax, small business, property taxes, to our corporate tax, taxes are too high.
This needs to end. But it won’t so long as career politicians are in office. I oppose higher taxes
on working class families and entrepreneurs because as a businessman I have seen first hand how
they stifle economic growth and unfairly penalize those who create jobs and wealth.

Also, as someone who works for a company that does business globally, I see how the national
corporate rate hurts job creation and economic growth. I would take it upon my self, District 13,
and the State to lobby Congress for lowering the corporate tax rate to lower than European
countries where it is much lower. We need to compete better globally.

In order to create jobs we must not drive businesses away with high taxes. Yet that is what is
occurring. For instance, CitiGroup announced it will shut down an operation in Frederick
County. Before that, BP Solar and JP MorganChase announced they will lay off a combined
1,000 Marylanders in Frederick. Solo Cup announced it will shut down its 550-employee plant in
Baltimore County this Fall. Northrup Grumman, in Bethesda Maryland, chose to relocate to
Virginia rather than Maryland.

Families and businesses understand that taxes are too high in Maryland. In fact, Maryland has
recently been ranked 5th highest in the nation in state and local taxes paid by its citizens per
capita. We currently sport a tax burden that is worse than 45 other states according to the Tax
Foundation’s yearly ratings. The Tax Foundation’s 2009 Business Tax Climate Index tells us that
Maryland currently has the worst ranking on personal income tax in the nation, beating out
California for the #1 spot.

It's also important to note that raising taxes has not helped us reduce the deficit even though
Governor O’Malley and the Assembly pushed through $1.3 billion in tax increases in order to
“put Maryland's fiscal house in order.” The Governor said that we would receive $20 million in
increased revenues by taxing high income earners. It should be noted that these wealthy are also
job creators and tax payers. We need these people to stay in Maryland and pay taxes here.

However, as the Republicans argued on the Senate floor, the result of the tax was to force the
these job creators out of Maryland. When the tax returns came in for 2008, some estimates show
that over 1/3 of the former taxpayers didn’t file taxes. They changed their residency to outside of
Maryland. The result: $100 million drop in tax revenue.

This is why I support:

• Repealing the recently passed 20% sales tax and tax on higher income earners.

• Ensuring our taxes are lower our neighboring states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania,

•   Putting in place a temporary moratorium on taxes in the biotech sector.

• Lowering the personal income tax.

•   Creating tax breaks and incentives to create jobs in abandon buildings and schools.

• Good transportation systems are needed throughout Maryland to improve flow of goods and
  people and help improve the economy. I believe one way to improve transportation without
  raising taxes is to use more toll roads. This is free market economics. The key here is that we
  must also lower taxes and spending at the same time. More tolls, lower taxes!

• I also am a firm believer in mass transit. This is a societal good because it helps people who do
  not have other means of transportation move around. In general though, tolls are the driver of
  the future because they force taxpayers to deal with economic reality. It is a fair way to pay for
  transportation because it is the people using the highway that have to pay for them.

• Also, from an environmental point of view, toll roads may encourage people to carpool more.

• Taxpayers will pay for highways one way or the other. The only question is whether taxpayers
  get the choice of whether to buy in or not; toll roads create that freedom, and good
  transportation creates a job-creating environment.


Education is one of the preeminent issues of the 21st century, yet even the Baltimore Sun points
out that the current politicians in power have failed Maryland’s youth. On December 22, 2009,
the Sun editorialized that “when it comes to making substantive reforms to the education system,
[O’malley] is not so eager.” The current administration, including Senator Robey, have not
initiated the types of reforms necessary to improve the education system in Maryland so our
citizens can reach their utmost potential.

I support making sure that parents have control of their children’s education so that these
diversified needs are met to the utmost potential.

Education is an issue that Democrats and Republicans can agree transcends parties as it affects
everyone. Indeed, many groups and non-profits have organized to move us towards reforms.
The Maryland Assembly must support efforts by groups such as......

Without a strong education system that is diversified to meet the needs of ALL Marylanders, we
will not be able to compete economically in today’s world. High quality education should
extend to not only those attending elementary and secondary schools, but also those who are
enrolled in community colleges, public universities, vocational schools, public-private
institution/ventures, and even those seeking rehabilitation while incarcerated.

• Beyond parental control we need to explore more reforms as far as what we teach, how we
  teach, and who controls the school and how that directly influences teachers and the students.
  Every student has individual needs that cannot be met under one homogenized system.
  However, in Howard County, we have excellent public schools. As such, as your state senator I
  keep a watchful eye on state spending to ensure that as much money from the coffers of
  Annapolis flows directly into schools instead of being averted into overhead and administrative
• Even though Howard County schools are among the best in the country and even though I am
  running to represent Howard County, it is also important to focus on the schooling across
  Maryland, especially in troubled spots like Baltimore City and Prince George's county. After
  all, Marylanders must be given the tools to succeed in the 21st century.

• Finally, by equipping our children with these tools we will also help keep taxes low for all
  Marylanders. Here is how: A well-rounded economic base will provide a good tax revenue
  stream that will help all Howard County residents. In terms of taxes, the more successful
  Baltimore City residents are the less dependent they will be on transfer payments in the form of
  food stamps, welfare, and education dollars, for instance, from citizens of Howard County.

The state government can influence how well our education system prepares our youth. A well
educated populace provides a better work force for businesses to draw on. In order to recruit and
retain businesses and families, as well as create new jobs, we must have a strong education

                  Expanding Medical Access and Make Care More Affordable

Rising medical costs bankrupt families and shutter the doors of small businesses. Meanwhile, our
modern economy demands a modern health system, and, currently, our health care “system” is a
relic of World War II wage controls. According to Stuart Butler, Ph. D., writing in a project for
The Brookings Institute, “For most working-age families health coverage is connected to the
work place. But because people switch jobs much more than they used to, this needs to change
and adapt to the goals and needs of today’s work force.” Further, the Federal Government should
reform the tax treatment of healthcare to focus help on lower-income families by allowing
individuals to purchase healthcare in the same tax-advantaged way as business does today.

In short, we need reform.

Because of how important health care coverage is for each Marylander and because of how much
much we need reform, though I did not support the President Obama’s health care law, I did and
still support a different reform bill. The Patients’ Choice Act of 2009 would complement
private‐ sector prevention efforts by improving government prevention initiatives in a
cost‐ effective and measurable manner.

Beyond the Patients’ Choice Act of 2009, which provides universal coverage, there is a lot we
can do with personal ingenuity prevention and without government solutions. According to
various studies five preventable chronic conditions -- heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes -- consume around 75% of our health spending and
cause about 66% of American deaths. A lot of our health care spending can be reduced through
individual effort and without government money.

We need to remember that we are an inventive country and that the private sector has a lot to
offer. Private companies can often be good at facilitators insurance because they have a reason to
invest in their employees. For instance, take a look at what Safeway is doing. They are rewarding
healthy behavior. While costs in America have skyrocketed, since creating their plan in 2005,
Safeway has kept our per capita health-care costs flat (that includes both the employee and the
employer portion), while most American companies’ costs have increased 38% over the same
four years, according to CEO’s article in Wall Street Journal.

This is just one of many examples of why, rather than empower the Federal Government, we
need to empower the entrepreneurial spirit of America. By doing so, more Americans will make
healthier decisions about their lives freely and without being forced to do so in an undemocratic

In the current system, patients and physicians have little incentive to restrain or even scrutinize
their consumption of medical resources. Because of third-party payments, patients have little
disincentive to not want extra test and doctors have big incentive to give it because that is how
they earn money and they want to avoid lawsuits. Employers have different incentives than
employees. They buy one size fits all plans rather than allow employees to shop around.

• One reason why costs in Maryland are so high is that health-care providers are paid for number
  of procedures rather than performance. We should consider following the idea in Minnesota to
  measure and set up performance metrics for providers and make the results public.

• We need to reduce junk law suits in MD. Because of these lawsuits doctors to pay insurance
  costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. These costs are passed on to the consumer
  in the form of higher prices for health care.

• Costs must become more transparent. What other goods or services do we buy without
  knowing the the price? Former Senator Gramm summarized one of many fundamental
  problems in our health care system recently when he wrote, “for every dollar’s worth of health
  care that Americans received last year, they paid a dime and somebody else paid 90 cents. If
  you bought food the way you buy health care--where 90% of everything you put in your basket
  was paid for by your grocery insurance policy--you would eat differently.”

• Without government assistance, hospitals should embrace Dr. Atul Gawande’s concept of “The

Though I believe the Patient’s Choice Act of 2009 would have improved health care delivery and
increased health affordability without relying on the Federal government, I will put forth some of
my own thoughts on how to improve the system, lower cost, and expand coverage regardless of
what happens or doesn’t happen on the national level. As your elected representative I will work
to pass sensible laws to lowers cost and expand coverage.

                    A Civil, Free, and Prospering Society:
                     Protecting and Promoting Small Business and Families

As a Maryland State Senator, beyond just using the bully pulpit to encourage young men and
women to avoid having children out of wedlock, I would bring forth legislation that would
encourage and promote a civil, free, and prospering society by protecting and promoting small
businesses and families. Everything is connected.

If we can grow small businesses in Maryland and the number tax-paying-families rather than
number of subsidy-receiving-families, than we will be able to lower tax rates. Meanwhile,
schools can have the benefit of stronger families, stronger communities, and more local jobs.
Protecting small businesses is very important because they make up large percent of new job
creation. Many are also by family owned. Small businesses are important because they
contribute to the local community since they are by their very nature attached to the local
community. Family businesses are great because bring families together and strengthen familial

Helping to strengthen families and small businesses should be something that everyone can get
behind. After all, President Barack Obama wrote in Audacity of Hope that “[C]hildren living
with single mothers are five times more likely to be poor than children in two-parent households.
Children in single-parent homes are also more likely to drop out of school and become teen
parents, even when income is factored out.”

And we can do something about it. In the Audacity of Hope, President Obama wrote that
“research shows that marriage education workshops can make a real difference in helping
married couples stay together and in encouraging unmarried couples who are living together to
form a more lasting bond. Expanding access to such services to low-income couples, perhaps in
concert with job training and placement, medical coverage, and other services already available,
should be something everybody can agree on.”

One of the architects of welfare reform, Robert Rector, Ph. D., wrote, “Marriage education can
help at-risk individuals appreciate the role that healthy marriage can have in meeting long-term
life goals and can enable them to make decisions about childbearing that best match their life
aspirations. These programs can also provide training in life partner selection and in skills that
help to build healthy enduring relationships. Such programs should not be regarded as imposing
alien middle-class values on the poor, but rather as providing vital tools to help individuals fulfill
their real life goals.”

So before Maryland spends more and more money on a dysfunctional educational system in
Baltimore City, for example, we should consider spending more time talking about the
importance of marriage and how it benefits society from an economic and social point of view.
Promoting stable families and marriage will improve the education system and lower taxes. Also,
this will lead to less crime and more jobs. Like education reform, these should be something we
can all get behind.

• Make voluntary marriage education widely available to interested couples in low-income
  communities. This could be done by expanding the small "healthy marriage initiative"
  currently operating in HHS. These programs may also provide job training to participants, but
  that should not be their primary emphasis.
• In 1998, the governor of Florida signed the Marriage Preparation and Preservation Act, making
  the teaching of marriage skills a part of the high school curriculum. The act also encourages
  premarital preparation by reducing the marriage license fee by 50 percent for those who
  complete a marriage preparation course.

• Create a tax credit for those taking pre-marriage courses.

• In 1998, Florida became the first state to make learning marriage skills a part of the high
  school curriculum when Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles (D) signed the Florida Marriage
  Preparation and Preservation Act. In Maryland we could make it an optional class. Since
  curriculum should emphasize what the state wishes children to know improve civil society,
  emphasizing marriage should be acceptable.

• In 2000, the Maryland legislature passed legislation that would establish programs to
  encourage marriage education but the bill was act was vetoed by Parris Glendening. We should
  revisit the issue.

Although America has invested trillions of dollars in social programs since the War on Poverty
began in the 1960s, welfare dependency, juvenile crime, child abuse, school underachievement,
drug abuse, suicide among children, and many other problems have increased. We spend much
less to reduce out-of-wedlock births and divorce--the two principal causes of single-parent
families in America. Let’s invest in building stronger communities.

                          Maryland’s Natural Resources
    Safeguarding the Environment, Securing Energy Production, and Preserving Maryland’s

We must protect the Chesapeake Bay because environmental, cultural and economic benefits of
the bay are immense. We also must ensure that Maryland’s unique history is treasured not only
for posterity but also for prosperity. We have tourist attractions and we must make better use of

I would like to work to make sure that the recent laws that have impacted septic systems are
implemented properly.

I will also focus on the following:

      Clean energy
      Cleaning up the bay
      Reducing nitrogen levels
      Protecting our farmland
                       Preserving our forestThe Natural Rights Agenda
No issue is as fundamental to the lives of the citizens of the Free State as our Natural
Rights. I am a firm believer in these rights as outlined in the founding documents of our
nation and our state. From the Declaration of Independence to the United States
Constitution to the Declaration of Rights in the Constitution of Maryland (yes it is part of
Maryland’s Constitution), the rights of the individual are clear and should be protected
and not be infringed upon by any government law or regulation. These freedoms have
proven to be the basis for a society that is the envy of the free world. While recognizing
that there is much more to this issue, let’s look at these rights from the generalization
provided in The Declaration of Independence: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of

Life – The term “right to life” has become synonymous with the abortion issue. While
this is a powerful and polarizing issue, it truly encompasses much more than that one
issue. Here are some examples to illustrate what I mean:

       Health Care – It is every citizen’s right to make their own health care decisions.
        The government has a duty to provide regulations and programs that ensure
        quality; affordable healthcare is available to the citizens. It is NOT the place of
        government to decide which doctor, insurance plan, or treatment option the
        citizen will use. We need common sense, fiscally responsible AND sustainable
       Personal Defense – I believe that everyone has the right to protect themselves
        and their families from malicious harm. 2nd Amendment rights play a crucial
        part in ensuring this right. Current gun laws need to be examined and reformed,
        repealed or amended using common sense and empirical evidence to be in
        keeping with this most basic right. Did you know that there are current gun laws
        that cost Maryland taxpayers millions of dollars each year, yet the Maryland
        State Police Forensics department says these laws are totally ineffective and
        should be repealed? I agree with our experts.

Liberty - This essential right goes to the heart of many different issues. To put this in
perspective, I believe that all laws and regulations must pass a litmus test that ensures
they serve a purpose for the common good of the citizens, yet are not oppressive. They
must reflect that government originates from the People inclusively and does not
discriminate against any individual, period. Government laws and regulations need to
provide a level playing field while not stifling the ingenuity and diversity of the People
that makes Maryland such a great place to live, work and raise a family.

The Pursuit of Happiness – This most basic of rights is at the core of all government
issues. It encompasses all laws and regulations that a government enacts. Health
care, business law, taxation, even laws concerning our state parks affect each citizen’s
ability to pursue their vision of Happiness. I read recently that the average American
pays about 62% of his gross income in Federal, State and local taxes. That means that
we have only 1/3 of what we earn to take care of our families. Let’s shine a light on how
this affects the average homeowner. A responsible mortgage is calculated at 42% of
your gross income. If the government takes 62%, that leaves you 4% in debt before
you begin to feed, clothe, and provide for your family or build a business. It is no
wonder that we have a debt crisis in this country. We must get government spending
under control before we can provide for the Pursuit of Happiness.

Summary – As I said before, this Roadmap is a draft. I realize that the issue of Natural
Rights covers more territory than I have outlined here. I hope this gives you an idea of
my commitment to protecting and supporting these rights for all of the citizens of the
Great State of Maryland. It also shows how important it is to rein in government
spending and control, if we are to retain our most basic human rights. I welcome any
input that you may have on these or any other issues. Feel free to email me at Let’s work together towards a bright future for Maryland.

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