A Team Offering The Best Opportunity For All

062014_oped_lollarWhy should members of our Jewish community vote for Ken Timmerman and me in the Republican primary on June 24 and in the general election in November?

The answer is very simple: Because you are Marylanders, and you care about your state. We offer the best opportunity for bringing Marylanders together and expanding opportunities for all of our citizens by creating the conditions for economic growth.

As many of you may know, my lieutenant governor candidate, Ken Timmerman, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize along with John Bolton for his work exposing Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He is also the only candidate for office in America who was personally endorsed by Simon Wiesenthal (in 2000, when he was a candidate for the U.S. Senate).

As your governor and lieutenant governor, we will roll back the state’s personal income tax over five years. You see, we understand that high taxes and over-burdensome regulations have driven out family farmers, large corporations and more than 4,500 small businesses.

In fact, you may have seen a Gallup poll last month on this very subject. It found that 47 percent of Marylanders would leave our state if they had the opportunity. That put our state third behind Illinois and Connecticut for the most dissatisfied citizenry. That is simply unacceptable.

That is why we believe in a New Way Forward that brings Marylanders together behind nonpartisan solutions for our very big problems.

Anthony Brown keeps telling us how great the Maryland economy is and how the state “can’t afford” to lower taxes — any taxes. But you and I know the truth: We can’t afford not to lower taxes if we want to keep Marylanders from fleeing this state.

We believe we can turn around the economy and attract businesses by making Maryland the most attractive and tax competitive of our neighbors.

Have you seen those ads from the state of New York trying to attract Maryland businesses? You know we have a problem when New York thinks it is more business-friendly than Maryland.

On the same token, we don’t want to do what New York and others are doing by offering tax incentives to new businesses and penalizing those who stay. We are focused instead on eliminating the state’s personal income tax. It creates an incentive for all businesses and families, not just those who want to move to our state.

We also want to change the way the state does education. Rather than air-dropped solutions from Washington, D.C., and Annapolis, such as Common Core, we believe education decisions should be made at the local level by locally elected school boards.

Even more importantly, we believe your state education dollars should follow your child to the school of your choice, whether it’s a charter school or a private school. After all, by sending your children to private school, you are alleviating over-crowding of public schools, reducing the need for more school construction, and yes, you are paying twice. That part of it is simply unfair.

I chose Ken as my lieutenant governor because he has a track record as an investigator. He has real skills this state needs. I plan on putting him to work the day after we win the general election, investigating our state agencies for waste and cronyism.

We plan to change the way the budgeting process works, starting with a clean sheet rather than a backlog of bloated programs whose purposes no one seems able to recall.

And we will incentivize our many talented and loyal state employees who identify waste in their agencies. We have got to end this “spend it or lose it” mentality that is generating so much waste in public spending.

Finally, on a more somber note, let me just say that I will not tolerate — will not tolerate — racial or ethnic hate crimes on my watch. I will instruct the state superintendent of police to work with local communities at the slightest hint of such occurrences. Furthermore, I understand that as our nation continues to battle the scourge of violentIslamism around the world, our synagogues and Jewish schools become targets. Ken and I will make sure you have the resources you need when extra protection and precautions are needed.

The writer, a Marine Corps reservist, is a Republican candidate for governor.

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