Sauerbrey talks tough on crime, state budget CAMPAIGN 1994

October 18, 1994|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Sun Staff Writer

Ellen R. Sauerbrey, Republican candidate for governor, returned yesterday to her alma mater, Western Maryland College, to talk tough on crime and argue that her proposed tax cut wouldn't slice essential services.

"I favor the death penalty," said Mrs. Sauerbrey, one of two statements that earned cheers from her supporters and campaign staffers standing at the perimeter of a crowd of nearly 150 students in McDaniel Hall. "With the appeals process being as protracted as it is, it takes a long time for it ever to be carried out.

"I feel it's more important to put energy in averting these kinds of problems before they get to that point."

The other statement that drew cheers was a response to a question of her stance in relation to other female politicians and women's organizations.

"I'm not politically correct," Mrs. Sauerbrey said.

A 1959 graduate of Western Maryland College with a double major in English and biology, she was recognized in 1988 as the college's Alumnus of the Year.

In an hourlong session with the students, Mrs. Sauerbrey reminisced about her years at Western Maryland, discussed her plans for shrinking the state budget and talked about reining in crime.

"You hear a lot about three strikes, you're out," she said. "Maybe it should be one strike and you're in. The most violent people in our society aren't the older people, it's our youngest.

"There's some change in the hormones or something like burnout, because you're not likely to be violent when you're older."

Cutting the state income tax 24 percent over four years -- an

issue that Mrs. Sauerbrey acknowledged doesn't concern many students -- would allow the mothers of young children to stay home and let small entrepreneurs reinvest money in their businesses, she said.

"An awful lot of jobs are created, not by bringing in Fortune 500 companies, but by encouraging a climate for the little guys to keep their money and start their own jobs," Mrs. Sauerbrey said.

"In the inner city and urban areas, you have people with lots of ideas for businesses in their own communities. We should encourage them and help them along."

Money could also be saved by turning some state functions over to private industry, she said.

But Mrs. Sauerbrey insisted, in response to a student question, that money for higher education, law enforcement and helicopters that fly to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center won't be reduced.

She also said that saying she would cut the budget is a "misnomer."

"The budget will just not grow as fast as it has been growing." She said her plans would call for a 2.25 percent increase each year, rather than the current 6 percent.

About $10 million could be saved by fingerprinting welfare recipients to ensure they hadn't applied for benefits under several different names; about $5 million was lost last year by not depositing and collecting interest on a matching grant from the federal government; and the state also lost money by not assessing penalties when contractors didn't complete work as promised, Mrs. Sauerbrey said.

"There are some jobs that should be abolished," she said, noting that thousands of people either retire or start working in the private sector each year. "Not the police officers on the street or the parole agent or the social services worker in the community, but the supervisors.

L "There are too many chiefs and too few Indians in Maryland."

On abortion, Mrs. Sauerbrey said the current law "goes a lot farther than I'm comfortable with. It allows abortion on demand right up to the point of delivery, and most people don't know that."

But she said she wouldn't "overturn the will of the people" who overwhelmingly approved the law in 1992. Instead, Mrs. Sauerbrey said she would make adoptions easier, encourage crisis pregnancy centers and allow abortions paid for by Medicaid only when the health of the mother was at stake.

"I want the maximum amount of choices for women," she said. But abortions for poor women whose health is not at stake should be handled by private organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

"They should not be coming to the taxpayers, many of whom don't believe in abortion, to pay for it when it is an abortion of convenience as opposed to a medical reason."

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