Name: Rob Sobhani
Party: Independent (Unaffiliated)
Home: Potomac, Maryland
Introduction: I am running to be Maryland's next U.S. Senator as an Independent because I believe our system is broken and we are running out of time to fix it. As a businessman, I am more focused on solutions than worrying about which party gets the credit. I was born in Kansas, but Maryland has been my home for the last 33 years. America is the greatest country on earth, and I have been fortunate to have been successful in my career, so from my perspective public service is a good way to give back. If elected, I have pledged to deliver on five specific promises on creating jobs and if I fail to deliver, I will not seek a second term.
Why Should You Support Me? Supporting me is a good way to declare your independence from a system that no longer represents our interests and is now governing without our consent. But a vote for me in this election means more than just sending a message to washington, it means that you agree with me on the need for practical solutions to glaring problems we face today: crippling unemployment, out-of-control spending, and an overall lack of accountability among our elected officials. Take a walk with me on Harford Road in Baltimore and the only traces you see of our current political establishment are they signs they have the nerve to post on vacant buildings. Not only have they failed to solve our problems, they come back asking for another term so they can ignore our problems for another six years. I have a plan to raise private funds to revitalize housing in Baltimore, to boost our state's exports by $1 billion, to invest -- again with private --funds into our ailing infrastructure, to give Maryland a bigger role in the war on cancer, and to give kids who haven't had all the chances in the world an opportunity to enter the workplace, and hopefully start positive careers. If you think this is what your senator should be doing, then vote for me and you have my word this is what I'll do.
Same Sex Marriage:
There is a good reason we have referenda, and this state issue will be on the ballot in November. If the current law runs counter to the will of the people, it can be overturned at the ballot box. The burning question we face today has to do with making sure there are jobs for all who are willing and able to work. My number one priority is getting our economy back on track. Our quality of life as a nation is in peril, and unless serious action is taken to stimulate job growth, our economy will continue its downward spiral. I am not going to be distracted from this priority, and we are running out of time to fix it. I will say that I agree with the Bill of Rights which says that states should provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction.
It's time to stop using immigration as a divisive issue as many in politics have done and start building unity around real immigration reform. With wisdom and compassion, I do believe it is an issue we can fix, once we stop playing politics and start thinking seriously about solutions for the medium and long term. Maryland's Dream Act would guarantee the benefits of citizenship, but doesn't address the path to citizenship, which I think is what we should tackle first. Until this time the debate in our country has either involved pandering or slandering immigrants and I don't believe this serves our system well. We need to work with our neighbors in this hemisphere so they will stop exporting their problems to the United States, instead we need to help them develop the rule of law, tackle corruption and create economic opportunity whether in Mexico or Central America. I hope you will join me in getting this done.
If more gambling is the best answer our elected officials can come up with to get us out of the economic hole we now face, all I can say is shame on them. This is what happens when the people we elect fail to lead. If our economy were stronger, no one would advance the argument that more gambling is necessary to save our schools. In my view, the very existence of this question demonstrates the degree to which those currently running our state have failed to focus on the number one issue today: creating long-term, well-paying jobs and getting our economy back on track.
Obama's Health Care Act:
There are positive and negative aspects to the Affordable Care Act. I agree with the provisions on pre-existing conditions and extending parental coverage for young adults graduating college, but I am concerned with the mandate. I would not throw the baby out with the bathwater, but I do believe the insurance market mechanism in the bill can be improved to make it less dependent on the government and better suited to free market forces. I think the law can be amended to reflect this, and I believe the insurance industry should
How can we improve the economy in Maryland ?
Maryland is suffering, companies are leaving our state and young African-Americans suffer from alarming high unemployment. My five point plan will seek to raise $5.5 billion in private and nonprofit funds to support initiatives that will improve our infrastructure, boost exports, revitalize the inner-city housing market, make Maryland the nation's center for cancer and Alzheimer's research and treatment, and give 15,000 talented high-school students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds internships. That's already more than 90,000 jobs. If I don't deliver on this pledge, if I don't find new foreign investors as I have done successfully in the past, I won't seek re-election. We need a Senator who will do more and who will change the path our state is on. I will be that senator.
As we prepare to draw down from this long and costly war, it is time to think seriously about what we are leaving behind -- for what purpose were American lives lost and to what end did billions of our tax dollars go. Given all that America has committed to this faraway place, we cannot afford to have it become as unstable and hospitable to our enemies as it was before September 11, 2001. That is why we must now work with the countries in the region to get them as committed to Afghanistan's success as we have been. Once economic interests are involved -- legitimate interests, not those of smugglers or terrorists -- we can see trade and commerce provide incentives for the strengthening of Afghanistan as a free country that respects the rights of its people and values it friendship with America. This must continue to be our goal.
The current law allows for women to make choices about their reproductive health with their doctors. I do not believe that changing this law is the first thing we must do to get our State and our country back on track, should the majority of citizens and the representatives you elect have an urgent need to do so, I trust that will happen because in a democracy it is the will of the people that should rule.