Candidates for the Maryland Senate and the Maryland House of Delegates were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Sentences: In what cases, if any, would you support legislation requiring judges to impose mandatory sentences? Do you feel Maryland should build a maximum security facility for juvenile offenders? Please explain.
Spending: In which areas of government should the state spend more money or less? Please be specific.
Legislation: Give three examples of legislation you intend to propose.
Hugh Burgess (D), incumbent, 53, of 8900 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City, was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1966. During his 16 years in office he has served on the Environmental Matters Committee and has headed subcommittees on mandatory bottle deposits and the Agricultural Land Preservation Bill. He is active in the Kiwanis.
Sentences: I am in favor of mandatory sentencing in the cases of murder, rape and armed robbery. However, sentencing should be carefully weighed in cases of "duress/distress." I believe it's a good idea to build a maximum security facility for juvenile offenders, particularly if they are second-time offenders.
Spending: Community schools should grant loans or loan credits for retraining the unemployed for more marketable skills. A program should be set up to ensure that sufficient nutritional diets are available for the developoment of children.
Legislation: 1) Granting of loans and/or loan credits from community schools for the purpose of retraining the unemployed. 2) Continue to mandate the use of the health department to ensure clean air and clean water.
Edward J. Kasemeyer (D), 37, of 2590 Pfefferkorn Rd., West Friendship, is a real estate broker. He has been president and treasurer of the Greater Howard County Chamber of Commerce and chairman and treasurer of the Democratic Central Committee. He is active in Rotary and the Farm Bureau, and he coaches youth sports.
Sentences: I believe in mandatory sentencing for all crimes committed with dangerous weapons. I do not feel Maryland should build maximum security facilities for juvenile offenders; however, I feel we do need separate facilities for juvenile offenders, as they should not be incarcerated with adult criminals.
Spending: I do not feel I have sufficient knowledge to respond to this question at this time.
Legislation: I am concerned about and will work on the following areas: 1) Attracting new business to Maryland and maintaining a positive environment for businesses already in Maryland. 2) The crime situation -- developing new facilities for young people. 3) Budget cuts that have developed in Washington, i.e., programs for the elderly, mentally/physically handicapped, etc.
Robert H. Kittleman (R), 56, of 3105 W. Ivory Rd., West Friendship, is an engineering manager with 34 years of service with Westinghouse Corp. He has held office in the Howard County Citizens and the Allview Civic associations, PTA, the Howard County Republican Club and the Howard County Republican Central Committee.
Sentences: I would support legislation that would require a mandatory sentence for repeat drunk driving offenders, even if it's only being in jail on weekends for a month. Many juveniles are arrested several times and are never sent to a training school because most judges feel that these schools are unsafe. We must provide good training schools with adequate supervision and discipline; then judges could commit juveniles in good conscience.
Spending: (a) Compulsory auto emission inspections, which the incumbent endorses, are enormously expensive and should be enacted only if the federal government forces it by withholding funds. (b) We need good, safe training schools where judges, in good conscience, can commit juvenile offenders. (c) We need to increase the status and proficiency of the teaching profession. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to provide tuition money for master's and doctoral degrees for teachers.
Legislation: 1) The Laytonsville dump threatens to poison local water wells. I would propose legislation that requires county governments to be responsible for water supplies in the area of a landfill. 2) We also need strict sentences for drunk drivers. Repeat offenders should see the inside of a jail cell, if only on weekends for a month. 3) We have to maintain control of schools at the local level, where they are most effectively run. We may need legislation or, if need be, a constitutional amendment to offset the effects of the Somerset County lawsuit.
John Vandenberge (R), 46, of 3934 St. Johns La., Ellicott City, is a dentist. He served on the board of the American Dental Society of Anaesthesiology Inc. from 1975 to 1981 and was president of its Maryland state affiliate from 1974 to 1981. He is host of "The Choice" program on Howard County cable TV.
Sentences: (a) Only in jurisdictions where offenders are repeatedly set free, which seems to be about everywhere. Unfortunately, mandatory sentencing seems to be increasingly necessary. (b) I'm for a firmer approach to law and order, so more prisons may be needed initially.
Spending: (a) State budget growth of 600 percent in plus/minus 14 years tells me less money needs to be spent overall. (b) I'm for free enterprise, so where government regulations for business and industry can be reduced or eliminated, I'd spend less money.
Legislation: 1) Lower the juvenile age from 18 to 16. 2) Limit government spending. 3) Separate jury duty from voter registration.