Candidate Survey: Travis Lerol for Delegate, District 31B
TheDuckpin.com Candidate Survey
Office Sought *
House of Delegates
District, if applicable *
Political Party *
AA Degree, some additional college.
Political Experience *
First time candidate, hold a certification in Campaign Management
Social Media Accounts *
Please provide a link to a photograph you wish to have associated with your survey. Files for download will not be accepted. *
Why are you running for office? *
Our current government is deeply dysfunctional. While the state has a 2.5 billion dollar surplus, it passed a minimum property tax increase, labeling it as a "tax relief act". While crime rates climbed, and Baltimore's property crime solve rate dropped below 3%, the MD legislature criminalized children letting go of balloons. We desperately need to get government back to basics.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why? *
Ron Paul and Spike Cohen are the two I aspire to. Ron Paul's integrity and honesty shone throughout his career, during which he spoke and voted against all manner of corruption and earned the title "Dr No" for the number of such attempts he worked against. Spike Cohen, the libertarian 2020 VP nominee, has tirelessly worked for years to tour the entire country, and to ask people what it is they want. A delegate ought to represent the people, not merely tell them what they will get. This sort of grassroots outreach is something I admire. I hope to live up to the ideals both of these represent.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why? *
Economics in One Lesson by Hazlitt. All of politics revolves around money and power, who should have it, and why. This book packages the argument for why both of those are best left to the people into a very short read, and has perhaps done as much for the cause of liberty as any other.
What will be your top priority in office? *
Getting the government out of individual lives. In particular, the rules surrounding the Covid Response have often been haphazard, ill announced, and rapidly changing. I believe we are all a bit tired of ever changing mandates, and would like to get things back to normal.
What is the biggest issue facing your area? *
The unconstitutional overreach by Biden, mandating vaccinations or testing by nearly all US workers, without so much as a vote. Vaccines are often a very useful tool, and I do not oppose their availability, but setting the precedent that the president can force medical procedures on anyone is deeply concerning. The testing sites are overwhelmed, with delays for even the rapid test stretching into the next day. We would be better served to simply allow those who believe themselves to be at heightened risk to test, instead of using it as a compliance tool.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland? *
1. All of the mandates. It's been two years, and we've lost an immense amount of small businesses, Covid has not been defeated, people are being fired, made to wear masks, some politicians have even proposed a "vaccine passport" where one must show ID and a smartphone app to eat in a restaurant, shop, etc. This needs to end. 2. Taxation. Despite record surpluses, MD has passed additional tax increases last session, and contemplates additional increases for the 2022 session. We should lower that tax burden, and return some of those excess funds to taxpayers. Keeping a modest amount for unexpected expenses is reasonable, but we should never prioritize the state government's financial welfare over that of the people. 3. Transportation. Traffic is bad at many places and times, and continues to worsen. No taxes are needed to remedy this, as a transportation fund already exists, collecting funds from sources such as the gas tax. Unfortunately, these funds have been raided by both parties for other projects, or wasted outright. This bipartisan practice must end, and the money collected for the roads should be spent on the roads.
What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide) *
I believe that we should stop using government to impose our ideas about these topics on one another. This has resulted in a never ending squabble with extremely little progress in any direction. We are better served by removing government funding from these altogether, and working on improving economic freedom and health care, so that fewer people are pushed to a point where they feel forced into these.
What is your position on taxes and spending? *
Maryland is an overtaxed state. Look to our neighbors in Delaware, who have no sales tax at all, and are taxed less per person on both income taxes and property taxes than citizens right here in Pasadena. Despite spending only 8% as much as MD's government, their roads are better, their violent crime rate is lower, and their cost of living is far less. If Delaware can do it, so can we. We need to stop wasteful state spending. Hundreds of millions are spent on state vanity projects and corporate welfare. This money would be far better utilized if simply left in the hands of citizens.
What is your position on gun rights? *
I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and believe that all of MD's many gun control efforts have made us no safer...and in fact have given us one of the highest violent crime rates in the country. All of these gun control laws have been passed by promising us safety, a promise that never materialized. They need to end.
What is your position on the legalization of marijuana? *
Marijuana, as well as other drugs, ought to be legalized. We've had a war on drugs for about a half century, and drugs won. Spending more money to do the same things that have continually failed is nothing but a waste. We need to focus on treatment instead of punishment. Maryland has significant addiction problems, and lesser drugs, such as phycobilin mushrooms, have had excellent research results in getting people off opioids. Legalization would allow broader use of these well tested therapies, lowering the addiction rate, and the property crimes that so often fuel these addictions.
What is your position on the current three-tiered system for the sale and distribution of alcohol? *
Our alcohol laws are outdated, often dating all the way back to Prohibition. In many cases, these serve only to provide benefit to specific establishments, with only a handful of supermarkets in Maryland permitted to sell alcohol. Reducing this legislation has allowed the current growth of local brewpubs. This has enriched both Maryland culture and economy, and I wish to further support these local businesses and remove any legislative barriers to this continued growth.
What is your position on land use, growth, and development? *
We need to plan for the future, rather than trying to halt growth. Some of the current governor candidates have suggested that we need to cancel current projects to expand highways such as 495 and 270. These areas are already subject to frequent traffic jams, so this approach will only worsen the problem. Instead of fighting over if we ought to fix traffic once it becomes a problem, we need to work on it pre-emptively. Bay bridge traffic is a problem, 100 is becoming congested during rush hour, the exit from 97 to route 3 into Bowie is a mess. We need to use transportation funds to remedy these, and to pre-emptively address future trouble spots.
What is your position on crime and public safety? *
Maryland has a crime problem, and it's because we focus police efforts in the wrong places. The police are only human, and can only do so much at once. Enforcing all of the 100ish laws passed every legislative cycle is not possible. I believe our priority should be victimizing crimes. Murders, assaults, theft, these are the problems that, left unaddressed, harm society and lead to great personal and economic cost.
What is your position on county tax caps? *
I intend to lower all taxes as much as possible, in any way possible. I do not support increasing county tax caps or minimums as was recently done.
For candidates for the General Assembly: Legislators can receive $101 per day for lodging and $47 per day for meals during the 90-day General Assembly session. If elected, do you plan to accept these benefits? Why or why not?
No. I have a perfectly good house here in Pasadena, it'd be a waste of taxpayer money for me to not simply drive to work like everyone else does.
Was Joe Biden legitimately elected President of the United States in the November 2020 Election? *
Do you pledge to accept the results of your election? *