Monday, March 19, 2012

CD6: Sen. Rob Garagiola on Pension Shift, Fracking, Mike Miller & More // Plus, Attend CD6 Dem & GOP Debates SUN 3/25

Maryland Juice just stumbled upon an interesting interview with State Senator Rob Garagiola on News Channel 8. Host Bruce DePuyt kicks off the segment by noting that he had on multiple occasions invited Garagiola's competitor John Delaney to sit next to the State Senator for a head-to-head debate. Delaney has apparently refused to directly debate Mr. Garagiola. Senator Garagiola took advantage of the empty chair that was debating him, and suggested that his opponent John Delaney had aggressively foreclosed on homeowners -- sometimes over a matter of only a few thousand dollars. 

ROB GARAGIOLA ON PENSION SHIFT - Watch Bruce DePuyt's interview of Rob Garagiola below. The CD6 Democrat fields questions about a U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan, fracking, Senate President Mike Miller, and much more. The interview starts off with a discussion of Maryland's controversial pension shift proposal. Bruce DePuyt opens up by suggesting to Garagiola that there is a disconnect between Montgomery County leaders and politicians in Annapolis. He asks Garagiola about the fact the teacher-pension shift will move a large financial burden from the state to localities: "are you listening, have you heard them, and are you representing the concerns that local leaders have?" Below I transcribe a portion of Rob Garagiola's response as a teaser for the interview:
ROB GARAGIOLA: The people that we need to represent are all the voters, not just the local elected officials, and I feel that we're doing that. In fact, over the ten years I've been in the Maryland senate, we've nearly doubled education funding that has gone to the counties. That's why we've got the best schools in the country four years in a row.

So we've made the critical investment in education. Its unfortunate that last year the county government used some of those dollars, so they can make reductions at the local level for education funding. As a father of three children in the public school system in Montgomery County, that actually upsets me.

Watch the News Channel 8 interview with Rob Garagiola below:

STRAY FROM THE SCRIPT - While Bruce DePuyt is upset that John Delaney won't sit down for a head-to-head debate, Maryland Juice is simply trying to get either of the candidates alone to agree to an unscripted interview. I literally just want the chance to pick open their brains and discuss Democratic party base issues that always get ignored in the primaries.

I truly wonder whether voters are going to find enough differentiation among the candidates, based solely on their views about schools, health care, and the environment. I doubt it. I previously tried to get some of the candidates to agree to a voter forum on the Internet -- but with questions generated by the public. So far, neither of them has yet agreed to stray from the conventional candidate script -- but perhaps that is because they are in fact conventional candidates? Sigh. Self-financing candidates and party-backed establishment candidates have the ability to say and do so much more than other less privileged candidates. And yet they never seem to push the boundaries, do they?

Below, the AARP & Maryland Reporter invite you to Democratic and Republican candidates' debates in Maryland's 6th Congressional District. Maybe you can shake things up in person:

AARP and Maryland Reporter Host Candidates Debate // 6th Congressional District

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