Candidate Survey: Harvey Jacobs for House of Delegates, District 15
Office Sought and District
Maryland House of Delegates Legislative District 15
Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Accounting from The George Washington University (1980); Juris Doctor Degree from Brooklyn Law School (1983).
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Practicing Attorney Real Estate and Small Business
None- Past President of Downtown DC Kiwanis Club; Past President The GWU School of Business Alumni Association; Past President Wootton High School PTSA; Past Chairman of the DC Bar Real Estate Housing and Land Use Section
Why are you running for office?
To try to bring some common sense to the Maryland legislative process. I have seen the deterioration of basic common sense values over the 30 years that I have been a Maryland resident.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Ronald Reagan and Larry Hogan – Ronald Reagan applied his principles to each and every decision he faced. He was able to analyze the difficult issues facing his presidency and use his long-held principles to make a decision. Once that decision was made he was able to forcefully advocate for that position, but also never forgot that getting something done was better than getting nothing done. President Reagan never wavered in his own basic philosophy. He always took his obligations seriously, but never lost his sense of humor and respect for his colleagues and opponents. He treated all: friends and foes with respect.
Governor Larry Hogan overcame steep odds in running his first campaign for Governor as a Republican in a heavily Democrat state. I admire his ability to: get things done for ALL Marylanders; adopt the best ideas, regardless of who incubated those ideas; and successfully work with his opponents to get things done. He needs more like-minded Delegates, like myself to make his vetoes unable to be overridden by the legislature.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Atlas Shrugged-by Any Rand. Her philosophy of government, politics and policy is articulated in simple examples, is intellectually consistent and strikes at the very core of the the relationship between the governed and those governing.
What will be your top priority in the General Assembly?
Restoring the quality of life that we had previously enjoyed in Maryland 10-20-30 years ago. Meaning, I will focus on basic quality of life issues such as traffic, road quality, better road construction, signage, striping, signal sequencing. I would urge the adoption of smart and adaptive signalling so that our residents do not waste their valuable time and natural resources sitting in traffic. I support building and funding sufficient infrastructure (roads, bridges, public transport) to accommodate and grow our workforce and allow our current residents to enjoy their communities without sitting in traffic. Another significant priority is the sad state of our public education system, primarily from the lack of discipline and enforcement of existing rules and regulations. A third priority is to reduce the intrusive “nanny state” laws, rules and regulations that are promulgated daily by our current elected officials.
Overriding ALL of these priorities is the critical need to re-align the Federal, State and County election districts. I wholeheartedly support Governor Hogan’s proposed non-partisan redistricting commission.
What is the biggest issue facing your district?
Traffic-which includes the scourge of speed cameras, right-turn on red cameras, and other thinly disguised mechanisms for taxing the citizenry. These big-brother tools must be banned throughout the state.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland?
One: Changing demographics due to the influx of illegal aliens seeking sanctuary within our states counties, towns and cities. I perceive a huge distinction between aliens and illegal aliens, and between law-abiding aliens and criminal aliens. Two: Traffic and surface transportation issues. As I meet folks from the urban, suburban and rural areas of my Legislative District 15, they all, tell me that traffic and surface transportation are problems making their lives stressful. Three: the Gerrymandered legislative districts must be revised to avoid the safe seats that the current incumbents now enjoy.
What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
I believe the Republican Party believes in the individual’s right to self-determination without government intrusion.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
I am a fiscal conservative. I believe in zero based budgeting. I believe in the line item veto and balanced budgets. I am thrilled to work with Governor Hogan in passing more balanced budgets for the State of Maryland. See my view on the absurd Maintenance of Effort spending requirements under my answer to “Education.”
What is your position on gun rights?
I wholeheartedly support a citizen’s rights to keep and bears arms.
What is your position on education?
The Montgomery County Public School annual operating budget is over $2.56 BILLION. Too much of it is spent on administration and compliance with ridiculous rules. These rules result in lawsuits, legal fees, settlement fees and payments of judgments. Those funds could be better spent educating our kids. Local control over our schools is essential. For example, the Maintenance of Effort rules require the school systems to SPEND at least as much as they did in the prior year. This is ABSURD. It removes any incentive for school administrators to seek out more cost-efficient means and methods of educating our children. Both of my children attended Montgomery County Public Schools K-12. My son attended University of Maryland in College Park and my daughter attended James Madison University, one of Virginia’s state universities.
What is your position on the legalization of marijuana?
I would like to see the money that is now being spent by law enforcement, the judicial and prison systems in investigating, prosecuting and jailing pot crimes be used by those systems to focus on the more serious crimes with actual victims. Marijuana can be minimally regulated and taxed. Those tax revenues can be used for youth drug education and treatment programs and to fight our opioid epidemic. This nascent industry can create many jobs, and as they have seen in Denver, will rehabilitate otherwise decaying neighborhoods.
What is your position on the current three-tiered system for the sale and distribution of alcohol?
I would need to further study this system. But anything the private sector can do, will likely be done more efficiently and with greater public benefit than the a government monopoly.
Legislators can receive $101 per day for lodging and $47 per day for meals during the 90-day General Assembly session. If elected, do you plan to accept these benefits? Why or why not?
I would hope to return home each evening during the legislative session so assume I would not need the lodging stipend. As for food, to the extent that meals are eaten away from home in order to conduct the public’s business I would accept reimbursment for those costs.
There is a culture of depravity and sexual harassment prevalent in the Maryland General Assembly. As a legislator, how will you work to end this culture of depravity and to ensure that those who commit these acts are removed from the General Assembly?
I have run law firms for over 30 years, employing men and women at all levels of authority. During that entire time, I have fostered an atmosphere of respect for the individual. Depravity and sexual harassment were not tolerated. On the rare occasion when I was made aware that someone’s behavior made another employee uncomfortable, I, as managing partner, immediately and directly put an end to that behavior. I would hope that I could foster the same type of respectful environment in the House of Delegates. One must lead by example.