Meet candidate Bob Auerbach

Md. District 5 Green Party candidate

Name:  Bob Auerbach

Party:Green

Location: Greenbelt, U.S. Congress, Maryland's Fifth District

Website: bobauerbach2012.org

Please introduce yourself:

I'm a retired librarian, 92 years old. I've been a lifelong activist for peace, equal rights, cooperative economics, and election reform. We need a voice for peace in Congress. We need reasonable and thoughtful insights into fairness in the economy. I encourage people who support Nonviolence, Social Justice, Environmental Wisdom, and Grassroots Democracy, to get involved helping to build local Green Party organizations.  Find out more at http://www.marylandgreenparty.org/p/local-contacts.html .

 

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

The Green pro-democracy movement is an alternative to the corrupt "campaign finance" system. I owe munitions companies nothing, so I'm not afraid to speak out for the public interest and against costly military spending.

The big party candidates have disqualified themselves. Republican candidate O'Donnell eagerly supports war and military spending. Del. O'Donnell is out of touch on environmental issues; his "pro-growth" orientation is unsustainable.  He doesn't understand social justice issues.  Incumbent Rep. Hoyer supports wars and military spending. He evidently sees big corporations as his most important constituents. Rep. Hoyer embraces a campaign finance system that sustains his own incumbency but prevents him from serving the public interest. By aligning himself with corporations and PAC money, Rep. Hoyer enslaves himself to conflicts of interest that twist his judgment about legislative issues. Rep. Hoyer boasts of raising Millions of Dollars each two-year election cycle, including millions for his "leadership PAC." In the 2008 election cycle, Rep. Hoyer raised nearly Seven Million Dollars ($6,963,468); for 2010 he reported more than 7.3 Million Dollars; his fundraising machine shows no sign of slowing down in the 2012 cycle. [For official FEC filing details, see www.opensecrets.org ; search "Hoyer."] After thirty-plus-years in Congress, Rep. Hoyer has become an expert at getting big banks, insurance corporations, drug companies, real estate developers, and other corporate interests to give him money. Those interests expect something in return. Big money's influence on the political system had led us away from a representative republic, toward government by and for wealthy corporations.

 

Which answer best matches your view? Please make sure to summarize your views on the issues to give voters more information.

Same-sex marriage

Should same-sex couples be able to get married in Maryland?

Yes

Summarize your view on the issue

Our November 6 statewide general election ballot in Maryland will include Question 6, the Civil Marriage Protection Act. I'm in favor of this legislation because I oppose invidious discrimination.  Everyone deserves equal protection of the laws.  The Civil Marriage Protection law respects freedom of conscience and protects the free exercise of religion by making it clear that the state of Maryland will not interfere in any way with religious or theological views regarding marriage as a rite or sacrament.

 

Illegal immigration/In-state tuition DREAM Act

Should Maryland offer in-state tuition for college to undocumented immigrants?

Yes

Summarize your view on the issue

All human beings have inherent dignity and are entitled to be treated with respect. This is the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Eleanor Roosevelt helped draft in 1948. Recent crackdowns against immigrants seek to take political advantage of fear and have overstepped constitutional bounds. The most effective way to reduce pressures for immigration to the U.S. would be to stop funding destructive wars around the world and to stop unjust corporate exploitation that oppresses and impoverishes people in other countries.

Providing affordable educational opportunities for all enables young people to participate in our society; college tuition reduction is a worthy investment in the future. On the other hand, the proposed federal "DREAM Act" is troubling because it is designed to recruit undocumented young people to be used in violent armed conflict. The Department of Defense helped draft the federal legislation to increase what it calls "military readiness." Recommended viewing is "Yo Soy El Army: America's New Military Caste." This documentary shows the specific targeting by military recruiters of undocumented young people: http://afsc.org/video/yo-soy-el-army-americas-new-military-caste . Many young people from marginalized and low-income communities—those especially targeted by the so-called DREAM Act for military recruiting—see no other viable choice than to enter the military. To the extent that it amounts to a de facto "poverty draft," the proposed federal legislation has a nightmarish aspect.

 

Should Maryland allow another casino to be built in Prince George's

County?

No

Summarize your views on the issue

Maryland's political establishment is making a huge mistake by pushing to expand gambling, in the name of government revenue. Certain private casino development companies will surely get richer from an expansion of gambling, even as those same gambling interests keep "contributing" money to Maryland politicians.  Of course, this is contrary to the public interest. Overall, gambling increases poverty and costs the public more than is gained in revenue. Gambling amounts to a regressive tax that tends to hit lower-income people hardest.

 

What is the best option for healthcare in America?

Other

Summarize your view on the issue

I support universal access to health care. However, we don't yet know whether AHCAA will actually improve access to care. AHCAA is the product of conflicts of interest due to the huge sums of money given to Members of Congress (so-called "campaign contributions") by for-profit insurance companies, pharmaceutical corporations, and the for-profit health care industry. AHCAA seems likely to enrich for-profit insurance companies.

It is irrational for health care to be a for-profit industry. Health care does not obey classical "market competition" principles of supply and demand. (For example, a for-profit business normally will increase profit if it can boost demand, but increased "demand" for health care usually means increased sickness, injury, and disease.) To the extent that health is a fundamental need, demand for health is constant and not elastic. On the "supply" end, the availability of health care services is only vaguely related to market pressures, especially under the inflexible, complicated, and confusing regime of for-profit health care insurance, where genuine consumer choice is largely illusory.

Health care costs were once relatively low when most hospitals were publically owned or operated by private charity. Health care costs have skyrocketed as private for-profit companies have taken over former community hospitals. Despite new technologies and medical breakthroughs that should have made health care more affordable, the rise of profiteering has led to a health care delivery crisis and exorbitant costs.

 

How can we improve the economy in Maryland?

We should lower taxes on the middle and lower classes and raise them on the wealthy.

Other

Summarize your view on the issue

Tax policy should be progressive and fair. I support the tax philosophy of the American economist Henry George, author of Progress and Poverty.

To improve the economy and make it fair, tax policy changes alone will not be enough.  Greens call for democracy in the economy. Congress needs voices supporting sustainability and economic democracy as essential elements of a just society with equal opportunity for all. The present economic system unfairly exploits ordinary people and enriches the few. We should meet human needs, instead of maximizing short-term profits for the wealthy few.  We should gradually replace the short-sighted profits-driven system of exploitation, with a truly democratic, community-based, cooperative economy.  Community-based cooperative programs allow for maximum participation by those who know most about local needs. A decentralized and participatory approach is in keeping with the "Green New Deal" proposed by Dr. Jill Stein ( http://www.jillstein.org/text_psou ).

The Chesapeake Bay region faces a special challenge: politicians obey short-terms incentives to promote economic "growth," but the truth is that unwise growth seriously undermines the health of our economy and our environment.

The federal government must re-focus its resources, to bring about a sustainable energy future. End federal subsidies for oil companies (which donate money to politicians who favor them). Instead, support initiatives to develop and implement alternative sustainable energy sources.

 

What should we do with Afghanistan? 

We need to get out of Afghanistan as soon as possible.

Summarize your view on the issue

Recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost Trillions of Dollars and are largely to blame for the nation's debt. Approximately half of federal spending goes for military purposes. Military spending is violent, destructive, and wasteful. Violence is an inherently self-defeating policy.

Nonviolent action aligns peaceful means with peaceful ends and is crucial for humanity's survival. The U.S. so routinely invades other countries, that we seem to have forgotten the principle that attacks against other countries (and threats to attack) are violations of international law, including Article 2(4)  of the United Nations Charter, which is part of the supreme law of our land under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution.

If we begin focusing on developing the methods of nonviolence, we can move away from the addiction to military spending. Military spending must be cut. The U.S. has troops stationed in over 150 countries around the world.

I say, bring the troops home!

Members of Congress from the two big political parties receive enormous amounts of money from the for-profit corporate "defense" industry and then unquestioningly support military force around the world. By contrast, nonviolence is a main principle of the Green Party.

 

What are your views on abortion?

It is a woman's right to choose. The government shouldn't be involved.

Summarize your views on the issue

Government power is limited by constitutional privacy rights. Government interference in this area will not promote respect for human life. 

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