'Basic Reforms to Get Back on Track' Candidate Forum: The Republican Primary Race for U.S. Senate

August 25, 1994|By RUTHANN ARON

This year, when you cast your vote in the primary election, you will be making a decision that will affect your life and the lives of the people you care about. Before you decide to cast your vote, you should be asking yourself two simple but important questions:

* Will this person represent me in a way that is consistent with my values and beliefs?

* Will this person fight for what I believe in and not sell out to insider political pressures?

I believe I am the answer to both of those questions. I am not a career politician. I am a businesswoman. I believe Congress and our country need three basic reforms to get us back on track.

We need to cut federal spending on lavish and wasteful programs that have created a liberal welfare state, and we must fight any attempt to raise our taxes. Government doesn't tax too little, it spends too much.

We need to restore the quality of life on our streets and in our neighborhoods by putting violent career criminals behind bars permanently. No excuses.

We have to remind Congress that it works for us. I support term limits. I have pledged to serve no more than two terms in the U.S. Senate, and I have publicly pledged never to raise my own pay.

These three steps, taken together, will restore accountability to government and the quality of life that we have every right to expect from our government. But I need your help to take the fight to the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Paul Sarbanes.

I am a fiscal conservative. Unlike Mr. Sarbanes, a career politician who hasn't drawn a private-sector paycheck in over 25 years, I know how hard the men and women of Maryland have to work for their money -- I am one of them.

As a small business owner, I understand that high taxes and bureaucratic waste hurt the hard-working men and women of this country. I feel so strongly about this issue that I have signed a pledge promising never to raise your taxes.

I am running because I refuse to stand by and watch Mr. Sarbanes and the Democrats raise our taxes. This country has never taxed itself into prosperity, but that is what Mr. Sarbanes and the Democrats are trying to do.

I believe that as a nation and a people we need to get serious about the growing crime problem that turns our schools into battlegrounds, our neighborhoods into shooting galleries and our loved ones into victims.

I strongly support the death penalty, truth-in-sentencing guidelines and minimum mandatory sentences for violent offenders. The "three strikes and you're out" legislation is a poor substitute for serious crime-prevention measures. I favor stricter "two strikes" legislation that puts dangerous offenders behind bars -- permanently.

Our country is burdened by a welfare system that is inefficient and wasteful. It discourages personal initiative and encourages dependence. We must not only reduce the number of people who join the ranks of the unemployed, but ensure that those who are unemployed find work. Every able-bodied welfare recipient should be required to work. There is no such thing as a free ride -- I did not get one and neither did you.

We have to remind our representatives in Congress that they work for us. They are sent to Congress to fight for our beliefs and respond to our concerns and needs. We must send a message to our representatives that we have had enough of career politicians with their perks and pay raises.

Ruthann Aron is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

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