Diary

2010 Candidate Interview: Carmen Amedori (R-MD)

This is the first in a series of email-based interviews with the GOP primary candidates in the US Senate race in the State of Maryland. The first candidate I interviewed was Carmen Amedori. Amedori is a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates and the Maryland Parole Board. I have prepared a brief synopsis of her background and candidacy which can be found here. I submitted to her a list of 10 questions – each of which she answered openly and honestly. Her answers are posted as follows:

Matthew Newman: What made you decide to run for US Senate?
Carmen Amedori: Our state and country is being tormented with higher taxes, an economy that is not creating jobs and a costly health care bill that 72% of Americans do not want crammed down their throats. The incumbent Senator Barbara Mikulski, who has been in office for 24 years, has only one agenda in the Senate and that is to support the Democrat agenda. We need a new Senator who will look beyond party lines and do what is right for the people of Maryland and our nation. For example according to Americans for Tax Reform, Bailout Barb never votes in favor of the taxpayer. She has a record of Zero percent of the time to support us taxpayers. That is a record of an extremist liberal who does not compromise.

Moreover, during this recession we need a Senator who will work with the small business community so that we can create more jobs. Three out of every four new jobs in Maryland are generated by small business. Yet, our Senator has a life time rating of 35% from the United States Chamber of Commerce. That means she votes against our job creators 65% of the time. How can we ever restore our economy with a Senator like that? We need a new Senator who will provide the necessary leadership on key issues such as the economy, fiscal reforms, national security and health care.

MRN: What grade would you give our incumbent Senator and why?
CA: I would not be running if she didn’t need to be replaced. During her tenure, she has repeatedly failed the people of Maryland. According to Americans for Tax Reform, Mikulski never votes in favor of the taxpayer. She has a record of Zero percent of the time to support us taxpayers. She has a life time rating of 35% with the United States Chamber of Commerce. Not only has she failed on jobs and taxes, but she also has failed to protect our Second Amendments rights. However, according to the last report by the American Bar Association she has a perfect record in supporting trial attorneys which I would not favor.

MRN: Health care reform is a serious concern on the minds of the American people. As a prospective candidate for US Senate, what specific ideas do you have on reforms for health care?
CA: Real health care reforms starts with controlling costs. We need to cap medical liability so people are not using the system as a get rich quick scheme and doctors are not over spending by implementing so much defensive medicine. The minimum cost of defense in a med mal lawsuit is $100,000 with 74% of those cases being dismissed without cause. This has destroyed our medical system because doctors do not want to continue practice with the high costs of insurance premiums. In the last decade, 45% of hospitals lost physicians due to medical liability and 50% of doctors will not take on Medicaid patients. The next step is to allow more competition into the health insurance industry by allowing small businesses to band together to buy health insurance across state lines. Finally, we need to address the issue of portability and pre-existing conditions. These issues have been neglected for far too long.

MRN: Currently you do not have much of a web-presence apart from your Twitter account. What role do you feel the internet can play in a US Senate election? (EDITORS NOTE: At the time I submitted the questions, her website was not yet live. It actually went live soon thereafter).
CA: We plan to use every media possible whether it is old or new to get out our message of putting Maryland First. I have a website at www.amedoriforsenate.com. My twitter account is @amedori4senate and people can find me on facebook at Amedori for U.S. Senate.

MRN: What would be the first piece of legislation you would propose, if elected and why?
CA: I would propose a Sunset Committee. D.C. is flush with committees on how to spend our tax dollars but we don’t have a committee to evaluate programs to see how effective they are for the costs. Such a committee would be responsible for combing through existing programs to see where cuts can and should fiscally be made so we can control spending. We cannot continue to mortgage our future to China. We cannot continue to commit generational theft. I have been and will continue to be a good fiscal steward of our taxes.

MRN: If elected to the US Senate, what qualifications would you look for in a potential Court appointee from the President?
CA: Judges are hired to interpret the U.S. Constitution. And we do not want those who will judge based on a cultural fad. With that said, I would look for someone who understands fully the U.S. Constitution and who knows it is not an evolving document that can be read and interpreted to fit the needs of society over time. It would be important that a candidate for judge understand the fundamentals of this Nation as set forth in the Bill of Rights particularly the purpose and importance of the 10th Amendment. Additionally, I would look for positions on abortion, affirmative action, and even prayer in school.

MRN: Last Wednesday, the US Senate passed a $15 billion “jobs bill.” What is your opinion on this legislation and would you have voted in favor of it?
CA: This is another gimmick; an effort to pull the wool over the American citizen’s eyes once again. My vote would be unfavorable. In my opinion, it is another ineffective means to reduce unemployment. What we need are ways to help create jobs. We can accomplish that by keeping tax cuts in place and helping small businesses create new jobs. After all, small businesses create 3 of every 4 new jobs.

MRN: The filibuster is sometimes a more controversial measure in the US Senate. What is your opinion on this procedure?
CA: The filibuster is part of the system. What I think is more relevant right now is Harry Reid’s plan to use the nuclear option to pass Obamacare. Never in our history have we used reconciliation to pass such a sweeping reform. It would be devastating to the Senate to use this parliamentary maneuver. Health care reform should have bipartisan support. But the Democrats are determined to force this force this flawed and costly plan down our throats. That’s why I have launched an online petition to collect Marylanders names who also oppose using reconciliation to pass health care reform. I hope your readers will join me in telling Senator Mikulski not to vote in favor of reconciliation.

MRN: How do you feel that your experiences in and out of government help qualify you for this position?
CA: I am uniquely qualified because of the balance of experience I have obtained as a paralegal, a journalist and a public servant. I had the privilege of representing Carroll County in the MD General Assembly where my leadership skills garnered me the position of Assistant Minority Leader. I know how to make tough decisions and wise choices for the people I represent. I am the Republican candidate who can be trusted on the issues and to make a positive difference for the people of Maryland.

MRN: If you are not selected in the primary process, would you be willing to endorse the eventual nominee?
CA: Certainly. However, I am running because I believe that I am the candidate with the best chances of defeating the 24-year incumbent who has repeatedly failed the people of Maryland. As a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates, I have the proven track record. It is time to end the political gamesmanship in Washington and to get real reforms in spending, national security and health care.

I thank Ms. Amedori for her open discussion of the issues. It’s great to see a candidate for US Senate willing to sit down and answer a blogger’s questions in the middle of the hustle and bustle of an active campaign.

As I mentioned up front, this is the first in a series of interviews from GOP US Senate candidates from Maryland. I should have responses from two more US Senate candidates forthcoming. Check back here and at Old Line Elephant for more.

Cross-posted to Old Line Elephant