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Votes

Primary 2002: Mark K. Shriver

Congressional District 8

Mark K. Shriver

<lst>Age: 38

Family: Wife, Jeanne and two children, Molly and Tommy

Campaign phone: 301-608-1574

E-mail: mark@shriverforcongress.com

Previous offices held; please include dates:

I was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1994 to represent the 15th Legislative District. Since that time, I have served on the Ways and Means Committee.

After my second election to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1998, I was named Chair of the Joint Committee on Children and Youth and Families. I also chair a Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee and serve on the Joint Committee on Welfare Reform.

I was proud that President Clinton appointed me to the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation in 2000, recognizing my work on behalf of people with disabilities.

I also served on the Governor's Juvenile Justice Advisory Council and as a Member of the Governor's Task Force on Alternative Sanctions to Incarceration. I served as Member of the Commission to Study the University of Maryland System.

Occupation: State Delegate

Current employment: Member, Maryland General Assembly, 15th Legislative District

Education: (please list schools attended, degrees and dates)

I graduated from Georgetown Preparatory High School in Rockville, Maryland in 1982. I earned a B.A. in History from The College of Holy Cross in 1986 and an M.A. in Public Administration from Harvard in 1993. I also was conferred with an Honorary Degree from Loyola College in Baltimore in 1993.

Community ties:

I have served on the Board of Directors of the Maryland Special Olympics and on the Board of Directors of the Montgomery County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). I also have served on The Board of Directors of Hadley's Park, Inc., the Laurie Center, the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes and Junior Achievement of the National Capital Area, Inc.

List current endorsements you are most proud of:

<sum> National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

<sum> Children’s PAC

<sum> Coalition of Asian-Pacific American Democratic Club;

<sum> Hispanic Democratic Club of Montgomery County;

<sum> Maryland Deaf and Hard of Hearing Democratic Club

<sum> The Germantown Democratic Club, and

<sum> The Young Democratic Network

<sum> Metropolitan Washington Labor Council and the Maryland State Federation of the AFL-CIO;

Where will you be as returns come in on Sept. 10? Please give us a phone

number where we can reach you that evening.

Please contact the campaign office at 301-608-1574.

1. Why are you running for this position?

The stakes are enormous in this election. The future of our children -- their education, health and safety -- is taking a back seat to a Republican agenda that favors corporate greed and special interest groups like big drug companies.

We need people in public life who will stand up and fight for what they believe is right. That’s the kind of voice for progress that I will be in Congress because that’s the commitment I have taken to Annapolis for the last 8 years. I’ve been a strong voice for people whose concerns were not being addressed by government. In the state legislature, I took on the powerful special interests and fought for Maryland families on important everyday issues.

Now I want to take that fight to Congress to meet the great challenges of our time head on while fighting for the values we share.

2. What is your top public-service accomplishment?

I am proud of my life-long commitment to public service and the fights I have waged on behalf of families and children.

For example, after college, I established The Choice Program in Baltimore City. It’s a community-based program that works with juvenile delinquents with a clear emphasis on values, limits and consequences. Today, the program has expanded across Maryland and is a national model for giving kids on the edge of the criminal justice system a chance to succeed in school and in life.

It has been an honor and a joy to serve the residents of the 15th Legislative District for eight years. In Annapolis, I have taken on the powerful special interests and fought for Maryland families on important everyday issues.

For example, when single parents were not receiving the child support payments to which they were entitled, I sponsored legislation to suspend the driver’s licenses of deadbeat parents. To date, Maryland’s children have received more than $200 million in back child support payments. And, when parents expressed anxiety about their child’s school readiness and their ability to balance work and quality child-care, I championed legislation to establish all-day kindergarten and expand pre-K and after-school programs.

3. What are the top five problems facing your constituents and what

approaches will you use to solve them?

Economic Justice and Retirement Security:

I’ll fight laws that allow corporations to cheat employees and shareholders or that move assets to Bermuda to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Instead I’ll work to improve our economy, create good jobs, and increase access to lifetime training skills. Working families can count on me to fight to preserve Social Security’s guaranteed monthly benefit; oppose efforts to privatize Social Security; and fight for pension reform that will protect the income security of our nation’s working families.

Quality Education:

I’ll fight to ensure that our schools receive their fair share of federal funding for construction to reduce class size and funds for direct aid for education programs, like Title I and special education. I will fight for full funding of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Quality, Affordable Health Care:

I support a Patients’ Bill of Rights that puts medical decisions in the hands of doctors, not insurance company or HMO bureaucrats. I will fight the powerful pharmaceutical industry to provide universal prescription drug coverage under Medicare for all seniors.

Gun Safety:

The choice in this election is between passing common sense gun control laws or conceding the safety of our children and neighborhoods to the NRA. I commit to standing up to the powerful corporate gun lobby to fight for mandatory trigger locks and to close the gun show loophole.

A Healthy Environment:

I’ll vote to enforce and strengthen America’s clean air and clean water laws, and ensure that corporate polluters -- not taxpayers -- pay when our environment is damaged. I will fight the Bush-Cheney Administration’s efforts to rollback essential environmental regulations.

4. What qualities, qualifications and characteristics will you bring to this

office?

I will bring a lifetime commitment to public service and a track record of effectively fighting for families and children to Congress.

I was born and raised in Montgomery County, and it’s where my wife Jeanne and I are raising our two children, Molly and Tommy. As parents, we’re trying to instill the same values in our children that we grew up with -- putting family first, treating people with kindness and compassion, and speaking up for those who can’t always speak for themselves.

That’s how I have approached my service in the Maryland Legislature - - fighting for increased educational resources, working to reduce the cost of prescription medications, fighting for child support payments and taking on the gun lobby to keep our streets and communities safe.

5. How will voters best distinguish between you and your opponents?

I have a track record of working within the community at the grass-roots level to make a difference in the lives of people who are often left on the sidelines. As the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families, I have been the statewide leader on issues of importance to working families -- early childhood education; affordable, quality child care; helping families save for college; and working to reduce the cost of prescription drugs for all Marylanders. I have demonstrated that I have the guts and energy to take on special interests and win tough fights -- in the streets of Baltimore, on the floor of the House of Delegates and hopefully, in Congress. I will work tirelessly for the residents of the 8th Congressional District to improve their lives and their communities.

6. What is one thing you promise not to do if elected?

I promise that the first vote I cast each year will be for Democratic leadership and a progressive agenda, not the GOP and an agenda that favors the NRA, the pharmaceutical industry and corporate polluters.

I promise not to support Republican tax breaks for the wealthiest 1% of the population and will work instead to boost funds for education and smaller class sizes. I’ll fight for increased funding for high-quality after school programs that provide young people with safe alternatives to drugs and crime.

I promise not to cave into the big pharmaceutical companies that deny seniors prescription drug coverage. I’ll champion universal prescription drug coverage under Medicare and I’ll fight to bring down the costs of medicine.

I promise not to allow corporations to move assets to Bermuda to avoid paying U.S. taxes and will work instead to improve our economy, create good jobs, and increase access to lifetime training skills.

7. What do you predict the short-term future of the budget will be like and

what adjustments will you propose to prepare for your prediction? What

impact is this likely to have on your constituents?

The short-term outlook for the federal budget is bleak. President Bush came to office claiming that the U.S. could afford his big tax cut, geared towards the wealthiest 1% of Americans and large corporations, and still pay down the debt. Eighteen months later, the President was forced to ask Congress to raise the $5.95 trillion national debt in order to avert a government financial crisis.

The impact on families is significant. GOP Congressional leaders have their priorities wrong. For example, House Republicans passed a permanent repeal of the estate tax, costing $740 billion, but they can only come up with $350 billion over 10 years to finance a prescription drug plan for seniors, and are doing nothing to help the uninsured get health care.

8. For what specific projects in Montgomery County will you work to get

additional federal funding? Please address transportation projects

specifically.

I’ll work to secure federal funding for transportation projects like Metro’s Inner Purple Line, the Corridor Cities Transitway and an environmentally-sound ICC. I’ll work for funds to support intersection improvements and additional bikeways and pedestrian bridges. I’ll work for funds to preserve additional open spaces. I will fight for federal funds to support the Arts District in Prince George’s County and economic development projects in Silver Spring and Rockville.

Despite the fact that the Republicans have been directing tens of billions of dollars to GOP-controlled districts since Republicans regained control of the House in 1994, Montgomery County has fallen from 55th to 76th -- a full 21 places -- in terms of the amount of federal funds received when compared to the other 434 Congressional Districts. Residents of Maryland’s 8th can count on me to fight for our fair share of federal funds.

9. Do you support a study for a new Potomac River crossing in Montgomery

County? What is your position on such a crossing?

I strongly oppose a study for a new Potomac River crossing in Montgomery County and would vigorously oppose the construction of a new Potomac River crossing in Montgomery County. Such a crossing would put our treasured Agricultural Preserve at risk.

10. How would you characterize transportation issues in Montgomery County

and what specific actions would you support as a result? Please address

Metro Purple Line, ICC and Regional Transportation Authority.

Transportation has become a major quality of life issue and an enormous economic issue in our County.

I support building the proposed Metro Inner Purple Line from Bethesda to New Carrollton. This east-west transit connection is long overdue and vital to the region’s economy and to our efforts to relieve traffic congestion.

I support building an environmentally-sound ICC and believe it is entirely possible to construct the road, which has been on the County’s Master Plan for decades, in an environmentally-sound manner.

I support the Corridor Cities Transitway, which would connect Clarksburg and points north to the Shady Grove Metro and the biotech corridor in Gaithersburg and Rockville.

The concept of a Regional Transportation Authority needs to be reviewed carefully with respect to planning, local control and taxation authority.

11. Please outline your position on gun control, and what you might

realistically expect to accomplish in two years in Congress.

I come from a family that has felt the tragedy of gun violence. When I hear that 650 Marylanders will die from gunshots, gun safety is more than a call to action for me. It’s personal.

That’s why I have fought hard to ensure that Maryland has tough gun safety laws and that’s why I will take that fight to Congress. I will take on the NRA and lead the fight on legislation to require trigger locks, increased criminal penalties for gun-related crimes and will work to close the gun show loophole. I also will work to re-authorize the ban on assault weapons that will expire in 2004, if Congress does not take action.

12. Is the United States at war? What are the costs of current military

action likely to be? If you believe the US is at war, how will we know when

this war is over?

Yes, and I support the President in the war on terrorism from a military and diplomatic perspective. I am enormously proud of our men and women in uniform who have liberated Afghanistan from Taliban rule and continue to seek out those responsible for the September 11th acts of terror. I am deeply saddened for those Americans and their families who have died in the line of duty.

Fighting terrorism involves unconventional warfare. With no formal surrenders likely, we’ll have to rely on the long-term absence of acts of terror against the U.S. and American interests to signal the end of this war.

13. Are the residents of Montgomery County safe from acts of terror and

bioterror? What additional measures are appropriate?

I believe that we are safer from terrorism and bio-terrorism than we were on September 10, 2001 but that we have a long way to go.

I supported legislation, signed by Governor Glendening earlier this year, that covers a number of emergency scenarios that might result of a terrorist attack. The new law also is designed to improve preparedness. This is a step in the right direction for Maryland, but this coordination effort must extend to the entire region. Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland must demand that all emergency response agencies have a coordinated regional preparedness and response plan.

The best defense against bio-terror attacks is a good offense. I believe we need effective, coordinated intelligence gathering to root out potential weapons factories. But, even with the best detection efforts, we may never be able to completely eliminate the chance of a biological attack. However, we can and should work across all levels of government to minimize its consequences.

The first step is to provide resources to build up our hospitals, our labs, and our emergency response capabilities. We need to improve the training of medical professionals so that they can recognize symptoms of a bio-terrorist attack. Medical supplies and vaccines must be readily available and distributed across the country so that medical professionals can contain the spread of deadly biological agents. Federal research dollars should be available to scientists who are working to develop new ways to detect and treat bio-terrorism.

14. How do you evaluate the effect of the federal response to the terrorist

attacks on civil liberties? Are there any measures passed by Congress that

you specifically disagree with? What additional measures are needed?

I believe that we must balance national security and the need to protect personal liberties and privacy.

As the federal government develops comprehensive and effective policies to protect Americans from terrorism, Congress must understand the challenge of getting “it right” and take great care not to endanger the basic rights and freedoms that make the United States a model for the rest of the world. For example, I am strongly opposed to Attorney General Ashcroft’s proposed Terrorism Information and Prevention System (TIPS) program. I also have grave concerns about the indefinite imprisonment of citizens who have not been charged with a crime or allowed to see an attorney.

15. How will you support federal employees in your district?

I am enormously proud that the American Federation of Government Employees has endorsed my campaign because the union understands that I will fight on behalf of government workers. I will work to ensure that the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act is fully implemented.

I would support the Hoyer-Mikulski bill that would change the financing formula for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan so that agencies would pay approximately 80 percent of the premiums for federal employees.

Unlike the incumbent, I would not vote to contact out government jobs. Nor would I vote for the House version of the legislation creating the Homeland Security Department, which denies federal workers the basic right to union representation or civil service protections.