Candidate Survey: Craig Giangrande for State Senate, District 3
Office Sought and District
Maryland Senate District 3
B.A. Richard Stockton College, Pomona, NJ. 1990
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Restaurant owner. Former police officer (current reserve)
First time running for public office.
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Facebook: Craig Giangrande for Maryland State Senate
Why are you running for office?
As a business owner and taxpayer, I took an active interest in following both the O’Malley administration and the General Assembly’s record of higher taxes and regulations. I want to push back against that philosophy, and be a voice for working families, small businesses and farmers.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Ronald Reagan. He was able to put forth conservative principles: smaller government, power back to the States, less taxes, less regulation. To a large extent, he was able to reach across the aisle and build consensus.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
“Real Change” by Newt Gingrich. It’s a quick digest of conservative principles: efficient and responsive government in a bureaucratic world. It’s poignant to me because of it’s timing: published at the time between the Bush/ Obama administrations. President Obama took a leftward direction leading to less security, efficiency, transparency and prosperity.
What will be your top priority in the General Assembly?
I believe taxes and job growth go hand in hand. By keeping taxes in check, both large and small business can be better attracted to come-to and remain in our state.
What is the biggest issue facing your district?
The Hogan administration has shown a responsiveness in prioritizing roadway dollars for the rural/ suburban counties such as Frederick. The General Assembly, with it’s metropolitan focus, has attempted to counter this, particularly with the so called “Road Kill Bill.” I will fight for Frederick County’s fair share of road dollars.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland?
As mentioned in other responses: affordable taxes for working families and businesses allow both to be attracted and stay in Maryland. Job creation is important in my district: people prefer to work closer to home if possible. And, the rising cost of healthcare is simply crushing working families, individuals and businesses. In my position as an employer and a family man, I have seen Obamacare cause premiums and deductibles to skyrocket. We need to reintroduce market based solutions to stem this crisis.
What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
I believe life is to be protected from conception to a natural death.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
I’ve heard politicans say “MD is a rich state…” which I interpret to mean that it’s high revenues will always service it’s high expenditures. I categorically reject that thinking. Marylanders deserve a responsive government that gives a good Return on Investment for it’s taxes levied.
What is your position on gun rights?
I am a supporter of the 2A. I am particularly interested in the recent Wrenn vs DC case in which an appellate court recognized the right to carry of law abiding adults. I believe this can be used as precedent for a future case to SCOTUS.
What is your position on education?
A quality public education for all Maryland children is of the utmost importance so we can build our future. Troubled school districts that receive more and more dollars per student need to have more oversight and meet goals; a Hogan administration idea that the GA rejected last year. Remarkably high salaries for administrators in these districts need to be reviewed. I am against Common Core. I support both the BOAST program of tax breaks for company donations to public and private schools as well as the BOOST program of assistance to needy families that wish to attend private schools, especially in failing districts
What is your position on the legalization of marijuana?
I am against legalization of recreational marijuana and paraphernalia. I would support a medical program for those with serious, debilitating or terminal illness.
What is your position on the current three-tiered system for the sale and distribution of alcohol?
Maryland law has not properly addressed the rise of craft beer microbreweries in our state. These businesses are becoming more and more popular and add to tourism and ancillary restaurant visits in Frederick County as well as other counties. Such breweries have popular “tap rooms” in which only their own product, not from other producers, may be sold. Legislators have bowed to the alcohol distribution lobby in putting limits on such practices, with loopholes for larger brewers in larger jurisdictions such as Guinness in Baltimore. Notably, this has caused a popular brewer, Flying Dog, to curtail investment in the building of a brewery/ taproom near the downtown area. Taprooms should be allowed to responsibly sell their own product to the public without any interference.
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?
Any and all meals I would put in for reimbursement would have an attached receipt outlining the actual amount paid. My understanding is that from time to time, there are “working meetings” or “committee lunches” etc. that are paid by another entity. As such, I would have no meal purchased, no receipt to turn in and no reimbursement to be asked for. I do plan on staying overnight often.
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 am an entry level employer who over the last 27 years has put just under 7,000 employees through our doors and currently has just under 400 employees. I believe any organization needs to have clear guidelines and policies in place outlining behavior expectations, procedures for complaints, protection of rights of the accuser and the accused. Also critical is an open door policy for complaints to continue to a higher authority when the accuser isn’t satisfied with outcome or the process of the investigation. In my company, that authority is myself and my brother who is my business partner. In the General Assembly, that is the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Delegates. I think you’d be surprised how quickly a permissive environment would change when the top leaders take on a true leadership role.