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January 31, 2012

A Viable Alternative

Farrell Keough

Chris Van Hollen has been our Eighth District Congressional Representative since 2002. During his time in Congress, Mr. Van Hollen has consistently voted with the Democratic Party machine almost 99% of the time.


In 2006, Speaker Nancy Pelosi created the assistant to the Speaker allowing Mr. Van Hollen to be present at all leadership meetings. When the Democrats regained control of the House, he became the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He did not run for re-election to that committee – choosing instead to serve as the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee. During that period, he was also appointed to the 12-member bipartisan Committee on Deficit Reduction under the rubric of making necessary budget cuts.


So, how has that worked?


As noted by President Barack Obama, the Democrats “took a shellacking” in 2008 – a major failure. The Committee on Deficit Reduction was unable to come to any consensus – another major failure.


This is the time for a change!


Enter Dave Wallace, a businessman running to represent the Eighth District and serve both the people of Maryland as well as the people of the United States – the operative word being serve! Mr. Wallace has a platform founded on Constitutional policies and real solutions for our nation’s problems – not just an ambition to grow within a political party or continue to be employed as an elected official.


While interviewing Mr. Wallace for this column, two major themes continued to present themselves throughout our discussion: a focus on “we” rather than “I,” and a well-studied man who knows the issues, solutions, and has a core set of principles to determine his course of action.


For instance, two of the major expenditures to our nation are Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare. Mr. Wallace has worked directly with people like Peter Ferrara to formulate plans which continue to facilitate these programs for those who have paid into them and are now dependent on these programs. But, more importantly, plans which will seamlessly shift these programs into the free market giving each individual the choice to do with their money what they determine is best for their lives. This is what differentiates these solutions – rather than the common one-size-fits-all government solution; this plan will allow individuals to determine what is best for them.


Another area of stark contrast is the outrageous spending problem taking place within our nation’s capital. In 2010, Congressman Van Hollen got a 0% rating from both the Citizens Against Government Waste and the National Taxpayers Union – in 2006 he received a 100% rating from Citizens for Tax Justice, a group that calls for higher taxes on the wealthy.  Mr. Van Hollen has only been in government positions since graduating college – working for various elected officials until becoming a member of the Maryland General Assembly in 1991 until the present as a federal representative.


On the other hand, Mr. Wallace has been in business for 30 years, making income enough to pay his employees even during times of tragedy and difficulty. This radical difference in life experience is what differentiates the perspectives of continued taxation and spending by Mr. Van Hollen and a recognition that spending is the problem in our government. It must be made smaller, efficient, and responsible. Mr. Wallace realizes government is a necessary function of our society, but its reach has far exceeded the confines of its authority.


For instance, in 2009, Congressman Van Hollen introduced a bill for the concept of a Green Bank in which the government would finance projects considered clean and energy efficient. As we have already seen, when the government picks the winners and losers rather than market forces, we end up footing the bill. Companies like Solyndra and others have cost the American public billions in losses.


In contrast, Mr. Wallace has noted that “[a]t no time should Congress pass legislation that adds additional taxes or regulations on companies who are not deemed as ‘green,’ such as Cap and Trade. Until those renewable energy technologies become cost efficient and effective in the private market, we must produce sufficient oil and natural gas resources to meet our needs.


To achieve this, I propose we begin a Strategic Petroleum Production Initiative. This initiative would involve the integration of the private domestic production of oil and refinery capacity to provide for the oil needs of the United States. Whether we like it or not, our nation is currently inextricably tied to oil for our economic and strategic needs. As 48% of our oil resources are foreign, any cutoff or reduction would have serious repercussions to our national economy. It is time that we legalize American energy and extract energy resources right here in the United States.”


Another important difference between Van Hollen and Wallace is their stance on the Second Amendment. In 2006, Mr. Van Hollen received a 0% from the Gun Owners of America, and in 2008 he voted against restoring Second Amendment rights to the District of Columbia.


Mr. Wallace is a strong proponent of the Second Amendment “which supports the right of every American to bear arms to ensure everyone has the freedom to protect themselves.


We already have laws in place to deter their criminal use and further regulation would be redundant. We, as a nation, should not and will not take the Constitutional right away from law-abiding citizens because of a few who break the law.”


Finally, Mr. Wallace will work with local elected representatives rather than against them. He will not be some “abstract concept in Washington, D.C.” who is not accessible or accountable. He is our best chance to turn this state, Congress, and nation around!


Note: the primary is April 3rd and our school system will be on break. If you will be out of town, early voting is March 24-29 in person at the Frederick Senior Center on Taney Avenue. For more information, visit and click on the link on the left for 2012 Presidential Election – per contact with Board of Elections by Jill King.


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