A talk with the Democratic candidates for GOVERNOR Gov. Parris N. Glendening puts his four-year record on the line against Terry McGurie in the Sept. 15 Democratic primary

Campaign 1998

August 23, 1998|By THOMAS W. WALDRON AND MICHAEL DRESSER

Months ago, Gov. Parris N. Glendening predicted that he would not face opposition in his bid to regain the Democratic nomination for governor. His remark seemed oddly confident at the time as discontent was mounting within his own party and some of his detractors were calling him a one-term governor.

With the Sept. 15 primary election less than a month away, Glendening's prediction, while not entirely accurate, is being borne out. Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann's campaign abruptly ended two weeks ago, leaving Glendening to face two marginal challengers.

One is Dr. Terry McGuire, a Davidsonville physician and abortion opponent. McGuire, 55, has been standing, it seems, next to virtually every highway in the state during the last few months holding up bright yellow signs bearing his name. Lawrence K. Freeman, a 47-year-old writer from Catonsville and a follower of Lyndon LaRouche, also has his name on the ballot.

Glendening, 56, has plenty of campaign money, name recognition and the power of incumbency. Possessed of these advantages, he is looking past primary day toward November's general election. In 1994, Glendening won a narrow victory - fewer than 6,000 votes out of 1.4 million cast - over Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey. Some observers are predicting a close Glendening-Sauerbrey rematch.

Recently, Glendening was interviewed by Thomas W. Waldron, the State House bureau chief for The Sun, and McGuire was interviewed by Sun reporter Michael Dresser.

The Sun chose not to interview Freeman, who does not appear to be waging an active campaign.

Terry McGuire

Why should Maryland voters elect you governor?

This administration has [followed] the agenda of a small cadre of extreme liberals who are strongly in favor of unrestricted abortion, over-regulation of Maryland business and disregard for taxpayers' money. If the people in this state are as fed up as I am with these policies, I ask them to go to the polls on Sept. 15 and take back the Democratic Party.

What are the three most important things you would like to do as governor?

The three most important issues in this state are education, crime and health care. On the issue of crime, I would encode into law no parole for violent offenders. For those who commit a crime of murder, rape, robbery or aggravated assault, I will use the full power of the governor's office to encode into law no parole. If you do a violent crime under a McGuire administration, you will do all the time. On the issue of education, under a McGuire administration, we will have a phonics-based curriculum preschool, first, second and third grades, so that a child receives a basic educational instructive program. The math will be taught also with basic methods. On the issue of health care, again I will use the full power of the governor's office to hold the HMOs themselves liable for malpractice. That is the only way to ensure accountability for the average citizen in the state of Maryland.

As a physician, what changes would you make in the way that Maryland regulates HMOs?

This administration, this governor has been an HMO man since he began as county executive in Prince George's County, when he changed the insurance program to an HMO for coverage of all county employees. In addition, he has established the MCO [managed care organization] system, which is an HMO system for Medicaid patients. The only way that an HMO can continue to make a profit is to restrict care. As governor, I would do away with the MCO system for Medicaid patients, which has already overspent over $100 million dollars in its first half-year.

You are running as a "pro-labor, pro-life" candidate. What specific policies would you adopt to advance both those agendas?

On the issue of life, I do not think that there is any worse or [more] horrendous procedure than partial-birth abortion. Inserting a catheter into the back of a baby's skull, sucking out the brains, collapsing the head and then delivering a dead baby up to one second before a live birth is diabolical. I will promise the people of this state to ban that procedure. I would push for parental-consent laws, noting that a teen-ager must receive permission from the parents today to have their body pierced but not to have an abortion.

Labor establishes a living standard for the average American. This is not to excuse the problems that union management has. However, I believe in the concept of labor, and put me down as pro-labor. I have no specific initiatives or things that I would change at the present time.

Marylanders in 1992 voted decisively in favor of maintaining a woman's right to choose an abortion. Would you, as governor, seek to reopen that debate? If so, what leads you to believe opinions have changed?

I think that the whole idea of choice is a misnomer. I think that the real choice is to have sex. If a bill was presented to me on my desk to place it on the referendum again, certainly I would sign it. That is an issue that should be decided by the people.

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