Candidates for state Senate and House of Delegates were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Industry: What plans do you have to attract new industry to the state and to help those now unemployed?
Reaganomics: What parts of the Reagan economic program do you support or oppose?
Dana Lee Dembrow (D), 28, of 12509 Two Farm Dr., Silver Spring, a lawyer, is a member of professional, academic, community and Democratic organizations. Dembrow has been a campaign worker for past county Democratic candidates.
Industry: Maryland's highest unemployemnt rate since 1970 should be attacked on three fronts: government-initiated job programs in public works, vocational training for unskilled and financial assistance to persons unable to obtain employment in a recessionary economy. The creation of enterprise zones will provide incentives to encourage investment, but politicians who pretend to control development through corporate tax breaks delude themselves by misconstruing their function and overestimating their power. Maryland can effectively channel natural economic forces, but it cannot create them. Irrespective of proposed state-sponsored investment incentives, eastern Montgomery County has been and will remain a region vital to the Washington metropolitan community. The county's proximity to the nation's capitol and its professional labor pool or more than 56,000 make it an ideal site for both retail and service-oriented enterprises to locate in. The Baltimore-Washington corridor is already an area of great attraction for new business and housing, and easy Metro access to the renovations of Takoma Park and downtown Silver Springs ensures that the area will continue to be a natural preferred location for prosperous investment.
Reaganomics: I support supply-side economics. I oppose balancing the budget on the backs of the elderly. The Reagan economic program cannot be fairly criticized after 18 months for failing to cure a rate of inflation that has been escalating for 15 years, but our national leaders ought to take a long, careful look at the inequality of tax breaks that benefit the upper class at the expense of unacceptable program cuts in medical care, public housing, education and job training. Fair taxation requires Maryland to decouple its corporate tax structure from the federal schedules in order to supplement state revenue and promote small business. Rather than permitting tax breaks only for capital intensive industries, we should reduce marginal tax rates to encourage risk taking among small investors.
Crime: Violent crime in Montgomery County increased almost 20 percent in 1981, with armed robgeries leading the way. Yet nothing has been done to curb handgun offenses in Maryland, except some lip service at the county level about additional registration requirements. Isn't it time that we imposed mandatory prison terms for perpetrators of violent handgun offenses? Under Maryland's new law, a drug addict convicted of a second unlawful sale is required to serve at least 10 years in prison at the taxpayers' expense, but criminals who use a gun as a tool of their trade often get probation. The General Assemply should encourage more equitable and uniform treatment of criminal offenders. We should require restitution to victims whenever possible. I also support mandatory fines for drunken driving, as recommended by the county task force but rejected by the last session's state legislators.
Sheila E. Hixson (D), (Incumbent) 49, of 1008 Broadmore Cir., Silver Spring, has been a member of the state House of Delegates since 1976. She worked for 10 years for the Democratic National Committee. She has been a member of the county Democratic Central Committee and civic associations.
Industry: With the rest of the legislature, I voted in the recent extraordinary session for extended unemployemnt benefits. I plan to continue to work closely with the state economic development office to encourage new enterprises in the state. Work closely with the county executive to remove roadblocks to industrial and business development.
Reaganomics: I was opposed to Herbert Hoovers' "trickle down" economics, and I am opposed to President Reagan's efforts "via voodoo: to impose the same program on our citizenry. I favor lowered interest rates and slowing of inflation. However, lower and rising taxes and shifting costs to the states is not the answer.
Crime: Full employment for teens and minorities. Strict penalties for crimes of violence. Compensation for victims of crime.
Diane Kirchenbauer (D), 38, of 10414 Lorain Ave., Silver Spring, worked for eight years as an aide to various U.S. HOuse committees, an aide tothe state Senate and legislative representative for the Maryland National Organization for Women. She has been a member of community and Democratic organizations.
Industry: Government and private industry must work together to attract new business and encourage expansion so that new jobs are created. To this end, the state should: 1) establish an advisory committee of business leaders representing across- section of Maryland industry to articulate responsible actions the state government should take to create a climate for business growth; 2) establish labor-training programs designed to meet specific needs of employers, perhaps targeting long-term unemployed for first training program. Studies indicate that much unemployment is the result of "mismatching"-job skills of labor pool don't match job needs of industry: 3) information regarding employment trends should be made available to school counselors to assist students in making career plans; and 4) provide quality facilities and services to attract high technology (generally nonpolluting) industry, i.e., good public schools, roads, health care, etc.
Reaganomics: While I certainly support efforts to lower taxes, I believe the president's economic plan goes too far and is insensitive to the negative impact it is having on many people. The massive tax cuts and special corporate tax breaks benefit the wealthy, while the large reductions in domestic programs further hurt the working poor, children and elderly. This is certainly not an even-handed approach to balancing the budget. In principle, the goal of realigning responsibilities between the federal and state government to provide better, more efficient delivery of services is a good one. However, President Reagan's New Federalism plan proposes returning responsibility to the states for programs that meet basic human needs, i.e., food stamps and AFDC. I don't think dismantling these federal income-maintenance programs will result in better delivery of services from the state. Poverty is the result of national economic failures and requires a federal solution.
Crime: Many of the assumptions underlying our criminal justice system need to be re-evaluated in light of the rising crime rate. We must protect the rights of victims as passionately as we protect the rights of the accused to ensure a criminal justice system that is fair to all and effectively reduces violent crime. An evaluation of our justice system should consider the following: 1) improve the juvenile justice system so that youthful offenders do not go on to become adult criminals. The present system is unfair to the juvenile and unfair to society; 2) reduce opportunities for parole-early release for those convicted of violent crimes and repeat offenders; 3) limit plea bargaining. Alaska's ban on plea bargaining resulted in more convictions, longer sentences and less probation; 4) institute a "guilty but insane" plea instead of the present "not guilty by reason of insanity"; 5) provide victim restitution; and 6) stricter sentences for crimes committed with a handgun.
Ida G. Ruben (D), (Incumbent) 53, of 11 Schindler Ct., Silver Spring, has been a member of the House of Delegates since 1974. She has been active in community and service organizations, including the local and national Anti-Defamation League, Legal Aid Society and county committee on women's issues.
Industry: It is essential that we retrain the unemployed in the areas of need. As a member of the Economic Matters Committee, I have supported, and will continue to support, the Department of Economic and Community Development in pursuing new industry into the state. I feel Maryland has an outstanding program at the present time. I would hope to continue to participate in expanding the existing program, which will hopefully trigger the creation of additional employment.
Reaganomics: I find none of Reagan's economic programs effective at this time.
Crime: Support funding for enough court personnel-judges, parole officers and prison guards. Mandate better vocational rehabilitation programs for offenders, offering training in areas where employment opportunity exists.