Debate/Forum Prep

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Okay, 2018 candidates, right now I’ll bet you’re feeling a lot like I did after I signed up to run for office in 1994 and was looking forward to some no-holds-barred debates against my opponents. In fact, I had saved up some great one-liners for former Del. Henry Heller, Len Teitelbaum, and newcomer Andria Mandel. Del. Petzold had moved up to run for State Senate that year. (Remind me sometime to tell you a great Del. Petzold story).

As I have previously mentioned, I had a serious case of “Candidatitis” that year which actually had me equating my little delegate race with the presidential debates. Finally, what we wound up with were those formula one-liners that really don’t work too well when you aren’t debating your opponent.

I still recall what I wanted to mention back in 1994, i.e. that a fellow candidate was on the take for every special interest group in Annapolis, or that another candidate should stand up to the corrupt teachers’ unions that were doing more brainwashing than teaching, and when they did teach, they taught new math, revisionist US History and so on…they were great lines I never got to use.

For most of you, what you will be doing is participating in candidate forums, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, various civic associations, and other alphabet liberal groups.

But that’s not all. During the 2018 campaign, you would be well advised to have scripted answers available to questions that have nothing to do with running for State House or Senate or County Council.

Here are a few of the issues that merit your attention:


If you get a question about your beliefs concerning DACA, here’s an example of how you could respond: “This issue has nothing to do with running for state office. I am more concerned about my opponent standing in the way of Governor Hogan’s agenda, which is Changing Maryland for the better. Questions like this are just a waste of people’s time. You know as well as I do that the state legislature has no jurisdiction over DACA.”

Keep in mind that this type of question is a set-up to make Republicans look bad. It is designed to show how compassionate Democrats are.

**** Now, here’s how to say what I said above without coming off as a heartless right-wing extremist:

I am deeply troubled by these kids who were brought here without their consent, and we do need to come up with a solution. However, as a candidate for the Maryland state house, I have no vote on these issues, so perhaps we should ask Sen. Van Hollen or Sen. Cardin why they opposed the Grassley plan, which provided a pathway to citizenship.

My concerns are more focused on all of the people in Maryland who have to go through the daily struggles of sitting in traffic because of the lack of attention to roads, and how, as a result, parents are missing their kids’ soccer games and other family events. Why have our local taxes more than doubled while our kids go to over-crowded schools and sit in portable classrooms? I am running to be a vote that Governor Hogan can count on in the state house. I won’t be an obstructionist like my opponent who rubber stamps the radical, leftist agendas of Mike Miller and Mike Busch.

Educational Spending:

Why have our local taxes and spending more than doubled during the past 10 years while our kids go to over-crowded schools and sit in portable classrooms? I want to see responsible spending in schools. I want to see the money make it to the classroom, not remain in the hands of administrators.

You will probably get a question on transportation that will push mass transit like BRT, bike paths and more money for Metro, or a dedicated funding source for Metro (This is a TRAAAAP, as the late Admiral Ackbar would say)

Transportation Question:

When you get the mass transit question, your answer should be that you support all transportation solutions, including building more new roads, widening existing roads, smart traffic lights (these are lights that have sensors that make the lights stay green longer to clear the traffic) and synchronized traffic lights that result in a better flow of traffic. Make use of overpasses and underpasses like we did on Route 29 and are doing on Randolph Road and Georgia Avenue. We need to get all possible solutions on the table.

Better flow of traffic will allow parents to get home sooner to their families. BRT would remove a lane from Rockville Pike which would clog this already congested road. Who here has sat in traffic on Rockville Pike; Georgia Avenue; Connecticut Avenue; Colesville Road; I-270 North or South or the Beltway (world’s largest parking lot) The fact is that these roads are outdated, and need to be widened.

We need to investigate all solutions, including EZ pass lanes. All sensible transportation options should be on the table. I use mass transit to go downtown, but this isn’t the magic bullet solution. I see many of the Ride On and Metro buses driving with practically no passengers.

This is the kind of question you can bring back to your theme of “Quality of Life” issues.


To prepare responses to queries on two of the Left’s favorite issues, i.e. “the Abortion Question” and “Guns and Mass Shootings,” please refer to my column titled “Questions that the Press Likes to Ask Republicans.” Also, you can read all of my past columns here at

Final Thoughts

Remember that the filing deadline is February 27, 2018 at 9:00 pm. So you really need to get your papers in order if you haven’t filed. If you need help with forms or have other questions, feel free to email me

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