Friday, October 18, 2013

SURVEY: Doug Gansler & Heather Mizeur Reveal Views on Fracking, Marijuana, Minimum Wage, War Jobs & Much More

Maryland Juice has eagerly awaited the opportunity to watch the three Democratic gubernatorial candidates weigh in on some of the more nuanced policy debates in the Free State. Today, the Montgomery County-based group Progressive Neighbors released fascinating responses from Doug Gansler and Heather Mizeur to a range of hot-button issues in Democratic politics (note: Anthony Brown did not return a survey).

Below, Maryland Juice provides a quick summary of Gansler & Mizeur's responses to survey questions relating to fracking, marijuana decriminalization, special elections, public financing of campaigns, affordable housing, the minimum wage, and much more. You can read the full (and fairly lengthy) responses from the two candidates below our summary. There are some interesting differences in the responses from Mizeur and Gansler that you can explore below:

Maryland Juice Summary of Gansler/Mizeur Responses

Eliminate Jail Time as Penalty for Marijuana Possession:
  • Mizeur: Yes
  • Gansler: Will work with the legislature to find ways to focus law enforcement community on violent offenders

Minimum Wage Increase:
  • Mizeur: Support increase of at least $10/hour
  • Gansler: Support increase to $10/hour

  • Mizeur: Support moratorium
  • Gansler: Decision on fracking must be guided by science and environmental safeguards must be upheld if the State is to allow any hydraulic fracturing

Vacancies: Replace Central Committee vacancy appointments with special elections
  • Mizeur: Support special elections
  • Gansler: Support study

  • Mizeur: Prioritize funding for transit; Support MAGLEV line from DC Metro to Baltimore
  • Gansler: Support Purple Line & CCT; Residents raised concerns about Baltimore Red Line and unsure if federal government will support the project; Interested in MAGLEV from Metro to Baltimore

Corporate Influence & Public Financing of Campaigns:
  • Mizeur: Support public financing in MD
  • Gansler: Explore public financing in MD

Corporate & Upper Income Taxes: Close Combined Reporting Loophole & Create Luxury Taxes
  • Mizeur: Support combined reporting and restoration of millionaires tax
  • Gansler: Support combined reporting and would look at luxury taxes

Paid Sick Leave for Large Employers:
  • Mizeur: Yes
  • Gansler: Find a way to address paid sick leave, which may include legislation

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Labeling:
  • Mizeur: Yes
  • Gansler: If GMOs are shown to pose health risks, will support labeling

Ban Cosmetic Pesticides on Lawns/Landscapes:
  • Mizeur: Yes
  • Gansler: Will encourage local governments to reduce use and will foster greater public education on natural resources

Plastic Bag Tax:
  • Mizeur: Yes
  • Gansler: Would study impact of bag fees in MoCo & DC

Support Study to Create a State Bank:
  • Mizeur: Yes
  • Gansler: Support study on feasibility

Transparency: Allow constituents to sign up online to testify at hearings; post budget/subcommittee/and amendment roll call votes online; lobbyist disclosure for personal/professional relationships with lawmakers
  • Mizeur: Support
  • Gansler: Support

Affordable Housing: Rent stabilization & just cause requirement for non-renewal of lease
  • Mizeur: Support rent stabilization and just cause eviction law
  • Gansler: Support right of local governments to enact rent stabilization

Alternatives to Incarceration:
  • Mizeur: Criminal justice reform will be central to platform; focus on improving schools; end race bias in criminal system; drug law reform; better re-entry programs; etc.
  • Gansler: Focus on strong education budget and mental illness, substance abuse as public health problems; Health coverage for eligible residents upon release; Establish agency position on re-entry, intake centers and re-entry courts; Prevent access to criminal records for those who stay out of trouble; Provide transitional housing; etc

Same-Day Voter Registration on Election Day
  • Mizeur: Support election day voter registration
  • Gansler: Previous AG opinion says voter registration must be complete before election day

Educational Achievement Gap:
  • Mizeur: Invest in early childhood education/afterschool and school infrastructure
  • Gansler: Comprehensive services for kids falling behind; after school and extended summer programs; expanded pre-K

Free Public College Paid by 3% of Students' Future Income:
  • Mizeur: Explore Oregon's model and examine state low-interest loan system
  • Gansler: No response

Convert Defense Industries to Nonmilitary Products:
  • Mizeur: Open to this; End tax subsidies for big business & defense contractors
  • Gansler: Support innovative research that begins in military sector; support tech transfers

Transgender Nondiscrimination:
  • Mizeur: Will make it a legislative priority
  • Gansler: Will actively lobby on this

Move MD to Single Payer Health Care:
  • Mizeur: Will explore Vermont's single-payer approach
  • Gansler: Will find ways to close other gaps in healthcare, including publicly financed options

Collective Bargaining:
  • Mizeur: Support
  • Gansler: Support, including for public education employees; Refused to cross MCDCC picket line

Job Creation:
  • Mizeur: Build new schools; Re-align curriculum; Small business tax breaks; Loosen up business licensing
  • Gansler: Give procurement preference to Maryland businesses; preserve industrial zoning; extend R&D tax credit for products made in Maryland; Green energy tax credits; Grants to assist small/medium sized businesses in exporting goods; Summer workforce training for students; Market a "buy local" campaign

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