Maryland Senate Race:
Candidate Paul Rappaport
Monday, Oct. 30, 2000; 1 p.m. EST
Paul Rappaport is a candidate for U.S. Senate from Maryland. A Republican, Rappaport's political life began when he was selected by Ellen R. Sauerbrey to be her running mate in her 1994 gubernatorial campaign. This is his third statewide race, and he is seeking to unseat Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D). Post reporter Daniel LeDuc recently chronicled Rappaport's political career.
For more information, visit the Maryland Voters Guide or see the Paul Rappaport for Senate Web site.
The transcript follows.
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Hello, Paul Rappaport, and thanks for joining us today. Can you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself, and why you're running for the U.S. Senate?
Paul Rappaport: A brief history of my background is: 28 years as a Maryland
State Trooper retiring as a Major Commanding the State
Police Criminal Investigation Division to take command of
the Howard County Police Department as their Chief where
I remained for 8 and 1/2 years. I am an Army Veteran,
attorney and business owner. I am running for the United
States Senate because I do not feel that I am being
represented in Washington by the current Senator who has
been in office for 24 years and is known as the Stealth
Senator due to his absence disappearing after each election
only to reappear before the next election. Citizens against
Government waste and the National Federation of Independent
Business both rated him as the worst member of the Senate.
What do you think are the most crucial issues in this campaign?
Paul Rappaport: There are many issues. The first priority of Government
is to protect its citizens and therefore we must rebuild
our military and make it strong enough not only to win a
war but to prevent a war. Our citizens today pay far more
and have less freedom over their healthcare than they ever
had before some people must choose between eating and taking
prescription drugs, that is wrong and must be addressed.
Our children are testing lower in basic skills than they
did before my opponent went to Washington. We have a tax
system that penalizes success and is too complicated. There
are many issues to address those are just a few.
What do you think of politicians who opposed school vouchers but send their children to private schools? Like VP Gore opposed school vouchers but his children went to private schools.
What is your position on school vouchers?
Paul Rappaport: I support school vouchers, often called opportunity
Scholarships. My opponent is against school vouchers
even though his children went to private school
What type of health care/prescription drug reform do you support?
Paul Rappaport: There is no easy answer but some ideas are to reduce the
paper work and red tape by standardizing forms and eliminating unnecessary information and by Doctors making medical decisions instead of insurance companies, by
institutiing medical savings accounts. Dr Ben Carson who
is a pediatric neurosurgeon and several other respected
physicians are on my committee for healthcare and after
my victory we will be rolling up our sleeves and resolving
these problems one by one
Hello, Mr. Rappaport. Do you prefer a Senate and a House of the same party (i.e., Republican) and a president who is a Democrat? Or do you prefer all three to be Republican-controlled? Seemed most voters prefers both party to be in control of either Congress or the presidency for checks and balances.
Paul Rappaport: The primary elections are over. I would like to represent
all of the people. I prefer George Bush over Gore I
believe that if we have a President Bush along with a
Republican Congress we can do a great deal. However look
at Maryland, we have had a one party system in Maryland
for years to the detriment of Maryland. I believe the
Republicans should be given a chance. If it does not
work vote us out.
I see that your opponent gets lots of out of state money. Do you support campaign finance reform? If so, what kind?
Paul Rappaport: I support finance reform. I think it is wrong when the
Maryland State Trooper's Association wants to contribute
to my campaign and can not because they are a corporation
and they do not have a federal pack yet 79% of my opponent's
contributor's are from out of State. I believe that a major
portion of contributions should come from a candidates district and there should be full disclosure. I would also
like to see a limit on expenditures and get rid of soft
If elected would you be willing to work with Democrats to find solutions or if the Republicans get a majority would you rather just institute one-party policies?
Paul Rappaport: I believe that we need a two party system if we are going
to make progress in Washington we have to be by-partisan
I have been to one debate and two forums with my opponent
and most of his remarks were directed to trashing the
Republican party and blaming all of the ills of the world
on them. That is wrong. I will work with Republicans,
Democrats, independents etc to get the job accomplished.
Your Web site says that you support investing social security funds. That sounds great now, but what if the market crashes? Then what happens?
Paul Rappaport: Our Social Security Trust Fund earns about two percent
per year (It is actually a pay as you go system) If this
program, (allowing investment in private funds) were
implemented years ago where would you be today. Just think
about it. If the stock market crashes and does not recover
what do you think will happen to Social Security and the
Federal Government. In any event we have to insure that
those people receiving benefits and those that are in the
system to receive benefits will in fact receive them.
Another thought is besides having a nest egg when you
retire if you only have social security your children
receive nothing upon your death. With partial privatization
you have something to leave your heirs
Silver Spring MD:
Mr. Rappaport, respectfully you did not answer the question about Republican control of both houses of Congress and the White House. Therefore, please answer (1) how would you differ from a putative President Bush if you were elected; (2) are you more of a Lott-Helms Republican or more of a Mathias Republican?
Paul Rappaport: I believe that a two party system generally works better,
that is one party looking over the other's shoulder, that
said in the instant case I believe that George Bush would
do a better job than Gore in the White House and a
Republican Congress at this time would be better for America. That Republican Congress however would have to
work with the Democrats in order to be productive. I don't
know what you mean by Bush being a commonly accepted (putative) President. I am more of a Rappaport Republican
I believe that Government is too big and Taxes are too high
If you don't know what that is it is probably somewhere
between your two examples
I know that Congress and the President are still working on the budget. I have heard if the President does not make a decision the pay raise for Federal Employees, the employees could be looking at around a 13 percent raise. Is this likely to happen?
Paul Rappaport: I have been campaigning very hard for the past year and
have not had the opportunity to review any of the proposals.
That said, I believe that if you offer peanuts you get
Who the heck is our Senator, anyway? I hear more about the Virginia Senators (and even the District's pretend Senator) than I hear about ones in Maryland. How effective can they be if this is the case? Thanks for offering an alternative.
Onpolitics offers profiles of Maryland's two Senators, Paul Sarbanes and Barbara A. Mikulski.
Paul Rappaport: I will tell you something about your current Senator; he
was ranked 99th out of 100 Senators when it came to
legislation important to small business (who was worse - No
one he was tied for 99th). Citizen's against government
waste said he was the least taxpayer friendly member of
the Senate. He voted against a balanced budget, against
welfare reform, against the elimination of the marriage
penalty, against the repeal of the death taxes, against
the flag amendment, against the ban on partial birth
abortion and against veteran's benefits. He disappears
after each election to appear just before the next election.
79% of his contributors are special interest from out of
state. I could go on and on.
What do you believe will be the final amount given to the employees of the Federal Government for the year 2001? When will this be decided?
Paul Rappaport: Since I have been campaigning for the last year I am not
aware of what is being proposed or negotiated. I do
believe that if you offer peanuts you get monkeys.
Are you implying that federal employees are not doing good jobs, because they have not gotten good pay raises?
Paul Rappaport: No I am saying just the opposite. If you want to recruit
and keep good employees you have to pay them a decent wage.
If you don't most will look for greener pastures. I was a
government employee for thirty-six years.
You say the Republicans should be given a chance, but 4 House members are Republicans from Md. What have they done that would make me want to vote for you?
Paul Rappaport: To mention a few things; welfare reform, a balanced budget,
and for the first time congress has to abide by the laws
OK, now I am puzzled. What do you mean with "If you offer peanuts you get monkeys" I am not sure I am understanding, please clarify your answer.
Paul Rappaport: I just answered a similar question, what I mean is that in
order to recruit and retain good employees you have to pay
a decent wage. I was a government employee for thirty-six
years. I saw a number of good people leave for greener
pastures. Salaries and benefits were adjusted for parity
with the private sector. I think it is time for another
Point of Rocks, Md.:
Doesn't it make you angry that The Post has ignored you all year long, and at the same time, it's doing everything it can to pump up the corpse of Chuck Robb? Showing him hugging his daughters, constantly suggesting how tight the polls are? Doesn't this kind of coverage serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy -- candidate who gets no press has no poll surge, while candidate who gets laudatory press closes a gap in the polls?
Paul Rappaport: That's the liberal media. I think the grass roots have
had enough and may teach them a lesson in this election.
I see a great deal of energy and enthusiasm throughout the
What are your views on D.C. citizens gaining full voting representation in Congress?
Paul Rappaport: I have not decided the issue however would be happy to
hear arguments from both sides
Thanks, Paul Rappaport, for joining us today. Any final thoughts?
Thank you for inviting me to participate
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