Candidate Survey: Lee Havis for State Senate, District 21
Office Sought and District
Maryland State Senate – Legislative District 21
BS – engineering; M.Ed. (early childhood), JD (law)
organizer – primarily through non-partisan public interest organizing; Maryland Public Assembly (organizer); Free State Patriots (organizer); Maryland Grassroots Republicans (organizer) Member (second vice-chair), Prince George’s County Republican Central Committee (2014-present); President, Northern Prince George’s Republican Club. Volunteer in numerous Republican campaigns, including McCain, Romney, and Trump for president.
Why are you running for office?
Improve government by bringing lower taxes and free market solutions. For example, improve public education by de-centralizing current system to make it more responsive and accountable to individual parents, teachers, and effective student learning; more choice and competition. Provide more accountability to citizens, rather than special interests.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
There are a number of good conservative political leaders, but I don’t consider any one as a “political role model”. I’m looking to be my OWN best role model, in service to the best interests of all.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
I don’t have a favorite book in this area. However, the category of favorite reading in this area is history, such as biolographies of famous leaders, such as Lincoln and Washington; and the various American wars, such as Revolutionary, Civil and World War II.
What will be your top priority in the General Assembly?
Lower taxes and more solutions based on free market enterprise. These goals also involve accountability to citizens, rather than special interests, and improving public education, through greater choice and competition in the field.
What is the biggest issue facing your district?
The issue of unresponsive, unaccountable government is the one biggest issue; presentation that is more oriented to special interests of the political leaders, rather than the well-being of all citizens. This lack of citizen accountability leads to many other problems, such as high taxes, over-regulation, lack of job growth in the private sector economy and limited access to affordable, quality education.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland?
High taxes, unnecessary and excessive government control of private sector enterprise, and lack of effective, quality public education.
What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
abortion – a personal, family matter; government should remove itself as much as possible; such as no funding or other financial support for abortions, but should not prohibit it either. assisted suicide: opposed to legislation allowing it; but open to such means as Heath Care Power of Attorney, permitting a person to empower another to make life decisions when the person is no longer capable of making such decisions.
What is your position on taxes and spending?
Taxes and spending is way too high in Maryland. Lower taxes and less spending is vital for a healthy life and economic progress. Spending can be reduced with more accountable “entitlement” benefits, so that welfare is conditioned on work or community service for able-bodied recipients; as well as drug testing requirements. Spending in public education should be restricted in an objective manner, encourage local funding through incentives at the state level. De-centralized management is important to achieve improved quality and value.
What is your position on gun rights?
Concealed carry should be more accessible to all ordinary law-abiding adult citizens. Should not have to ‘prove’ a need to carry a firearm; provided reasonable, limited restrictions such as criminal background check.
What is your position on education?
More choice and competition is need to assure quality and value. Less restrictions of private school alternatives; de-centralize public education to make it more accountable to local communities. Reduce excessive administrative costs, especially at the higher education level; bring down tuition costs by more frugal spending in excessive salaries and bloated, excessive administrative hiring.
What is your position on the legalization of marijuana?
I support de-criminalization of marijuana use and possession – and using marijuana for medicinal purposes.
What is your position on the current three-tiered system for the sale and distribution of alcohol?
Not familiar with the details of this system.
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 accept reasonable cost of lodging and meals in Annapolis during the session – because that is an added expense and inconvenient living arrangement far from home. I would however, favor reducing the length of the session, to reduce the costs and burden for all concerned, including the Maryland taxpayers.
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?
As an educator, I know that the best learning comes from good, personal modeling of behavior, rather than laws and penalities imposed to punish bad behavior after it occurs. Before taking the extraordinary action of removing an elected official, it should be necessary to ensure due process to face accusations in a fair and open procedure to determine the truth of the matter at hand. Based on this, an ethics committee may be necessary to take action, such as sanction and public exposure of findings, which hopefully would be enough to moderate intemperate behavior. Otherwise, there are judicial court procedures that are available for redress as needed against assaults that can be fairly proven. Removing an elected official from the General Assembly should be the very last resort.