Candidate Survey: Paul Schwartz for Montgomery County Council

TheDuckpin.com 2022 Primary Election Candidate Survey

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Name *

Paul Schwartz

Age *

69

Office Sought *

County Council

County *

Montgomery

District

District 4

Political Party *

Democrat

Education *

BA

Career/Occupation *

Federal Government Manager, political columnist, activist

Political Experience *

As a political columnist I covered the White House and Congress in addition to covering local and state issues. I have testified before the Maryland State Legislature on a myriad of issues including in support of the Firearms Safety Act of 2013 and tax fairness for Marylanders.

Website:

paulkschwartz.com

Social Media Accounts *

Facebook: www.facebook.com/paul.schwartz79025 Twitter @PKSpaul

Why are you running for office? *

I am confident that my particular experience which combines federal service as a federal government manager with activism at the state level along with my experience as a reporter for a local Montgomery County newspaper places me in a singular position to tap into that experience to provide keen insight into issues to be faced by the Montgomery County Council. I want to use this experience to benefit Montgomery County, District 4 and the state of Maryland in these difficult times we find ourselves because no issue is in a vacuum and touches local, state and federal impact..

Who do you consider your political role model, and why? *

FDR. The programs implemented by FDR brought us out of the Great Depression and created a post war economy that catapulted the United State to the leadership of the free world. I believe in government leadership. Too many falsely believe that government should be run as a business. Government is not a business. Businesses seek to make a profit; government is designed to provide a service. Also, the programs implemented were not socialist. Socialism is when the government controls both production and distribution. That is not what we had under Roosevelt nor is it what we have under President Biden. Government spending taxpayer money is not socialism. Social Security is not socialism since we pay into it. Same goes for Medicare.

What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why? *

As a Democrat I have to admit I found "Ike's Bluff, President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World" by Evan Thomas to be fascinating. The Interstate Highway system may be the single most important program to connect the east with the west and the economic strength it created.

What will be your top priority in office? *

There are several including the impact of Climate Change, protection of voting rights, gun safety, education, transportation and so on. However, if I had to pick one that is of particular importance facing the county I would say Development vs. Conservation. I recognize the value to the community of development, but development that occurs in Montgomery County must take into account the environment to avoid the catastrophic flooding that occurred awhile back in Houston, Texas because the development did not factor in the need for enough land to absorb the heavy rains exacerbated by the impact of Climate Change. Remember, if Manville, New Jersey can flood out, so can Bethesda, Maryland.

What is the biggest issue facing your area? *

I habve to repeat what I just said about Development vs. Conservatio/Environment. Again, I recognize the value to the community of development, but development that occurs in Montgomery County must take into account the environment to avoid the catastrophic flooding that occurred awhile back in Houston, Texas because the development did not factor in the need for enough land to absorb the heavy rains exacerbated by the impact of Climate Change. Remember, if Manville, New Jersey can flood out, so can Bethesda, Maryland.

What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland? *

With the American Rescue Plan and other federal programs providing needed funding for the state and counties, using funding to improve mass transportation - the Purple Line - is critical. Widening 270 alone is not nearly enough. Education for all - not just those in charter schools is important. AND, tax fairness to stem the tide of senior migration to more tax friendly states taking their buying power and their tax revenue with them.

What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide) *

I am pro-choice. That is a "freedom" that is critical to the very concept of "freedom" in a democratic society. As for assisted suicide, if a person is terminal a person should have the right to decide on his or her quality of life.

What is your position on taxes and spending? *

Spending must be looked at in the long-term and not just the short term which is what every fiscal note looks at with a five year window. Spending should be looked at as investment. The investment in that dilapidated bridge almost always costs less than rebuilding that bridge after it collapses and results in fatalities. So my answer is I am for spending with the view on the longterm and taxes are a necessity but must be spent wisely. In viewing, taxation, however, taxation must be fair and tax breaks are often a useful tool to keep certain constituencies from leaving the tax base. Right now Maryland is second only to Connecticut regarding the lowest percentage of corporate taxes as state revenue. That is what I mean by tax fairness.

What is your position on gun rights? *

Even Justice Scalia in the Heller Decision made it clear that the government can impose restrictions on gun ownership even as he ruled in the majority opinion that citizens can possess a gun for protection. The 1930's ruling prohibiting ownership of machine guns is a perfect example. Moreover, the 2nd Amendment is clear that its purpose was to allow easy access of citizens to their guns since they comprised the military in the form of state militias. In short, the proliferation of guns in our society is a threat to My freedom to be safe. I am for the controls found in Maryland's Firearms Safety Act of 2013 and these and more must be nationwide so that guns from Virginia or Pennsylvania don't find their way into Maryland. Further, the gun show loophole is a loophole that should be easily closed by designating these sales as commercial and not personal.

What is your position on the legalization of marijuana? *

While I never indulged myself, I am for it. I don't see the harm and I think law enforcement resources are stretched enough that they should not be used for this.

What is your position on the current three-tiered system for the sale and distribution of alcohol? *

From what I know, the three tiered system consists of the manufacturer, the wholesaler and the retailer who must be licensed. That is how most products are sold. I think the licensing is key and regulating the sale of alcoholic beverages is also key. Admittedly, I am not fully aware of the controversy, but from what i know I am for continuing it.

What is your position on land use, growth, and development? *

I have covered this earlier in this survey, but let me repeat my position. I recognize the value to the community of development, but development that occurs in Montgomery County must take into account the environment to avoid the catastrophic flooding that occurred awhile back in Houston, Texas because the development did not factor in the need for enough land to absorb the heavy rains exacerbated by the impact of Climate Change. Remember, if Manville, New Jersey can flood out, so can Bethesda, Maryland.

What is your position on crime and public safety? *

Easy one. I am against crime and for public safety. The challenge is two-fold. More resources to ensure public safety, but, also, taking a look at the most effective ways to accomplish it. We need to invest in new approaches and new technology to always look for better ways to provide safety to our citizens.

What is your position on county tax caps? *

Limits with exceptions based on criteria. To ensure that we are not overtaxed, having limits in place is a good thing. However, there are times when that limit wmay need to be raised. Raising the debt limit at the federal level is an example. So my answer is yes to having a working limit, but there also needs to be a process in place to have the flexibility to raise the limit when certain criteria are met.To ensure that we are not overtaxed, having limits in place is a good thing. However, there are times when that limit wmay need to be raised. Raising the debt limit at the federal level is an example. So my answer is yes to having a working limit, but there also needs to be a process in place to have the flexibility to raise the limit whewn ceratain criteria are met.

Was Joe Biden legitimately elected President of the United States in the November 2020 Election? *

Yes

Do you pledge to accept the results of your election? *

Yes