'A Real Alternative' Candidate Forum: The Republican Primary Race for U.S. Senate

August 25, 1994|By RONALD FRANKS

My campaign to unseat Democratic Sen. Paul Sarbanes revolves around two issues: first, the legacy we wish to leave to our children and, second, which candidate provides a real alternative to Mr. Sarbanes.

Mr. Sarbanes is regarded as one of the most liberal senators in Congress. But that alone will not defeat him. What makes him vulnerable is a widely held feeling that he just has been in Congress too long.

My chief opponents in the Republican primary are ill-equipped to offer a real alternative to Mr. Sarbanes. They are both what Ross Perot calls "revolving door" politicians who have had government positions that they converted into well-paying businesses.

I grew up in Prince George's County and graduated from Bladensburg High School. I attended Western Maryland College and Georgetown University. After a stint in the Air Force, I began what has been a 25-year career as a dentist.

Four years ago, heeding my mother's advice, I decided to stop complaining about government and get involved. As a small businessman at the mercy of ever-increasing taxes and government regulation, I'd finally had enough. I ran for office and was elected the first Republican delegate from Queen Anne's County.

After four years in the House of Delegates, I'm proud to say that I established a reputation as someone who fights for his principles and pursues legislative objectives with determination and fairness.

In 1992, I exposed the fact that payroll costs were continuing to rise even though the number of state workers had been reduced by 5,000.

I am proud of my efforts to create balanced budgets in 1992 and 1993 that did not require increased taxes and did not devastate state services.

I am proud of having identified a significant pool of money -- $36 million -- lying idle in unfilled personnel positions. Most of that money was struck from the 1993 budget.

My dedication to small business, which is the source of the vast majority of new jobs, was recognized by Maryland Business for Responsible Government, by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, which rated my performance at 100 percent, and by the Maryland Retail Merchants Association, which gave me a rating of more than 90 percent.

Many people have seen or read about my "Heritage Train." Conceived and constructed by unpaid volunteers, the train and I have been crisscrossing Maryland.

The question I ask Marylanders when I meet with them is simply: "What kind of legacy are we leaving to our children and grandchildren?"

Are you satisfied with the legacy we have created over the last 24 years of Mr. Sarbanes' tenure -- a legacy of rampant, violent crime, diminished educational achievement, the economic slavery of welfare and an economy that doesn't stimulate living-wage jobs?

Bill Clinton continues to offer ineffective, feel-good legislation that doesn't deal with the real social and economic problems of this country. His efforts at social engineering continue to erode family values and deprive us of our individual freedoms.

Paul Sarbanes is walking in lock-step with those policies as the second most consistent supporter of the Clinton agenda.

My opponents in the primary election talk about some of the same things. But I am the only Republican candidate with a legislative record in Maryland. That record demonstrates that I can be trusted to fight for the principles on which I campaign.

Ronald Franks is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

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