Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dr. Davis On The Issues Series

In a series of questions we have sent to Dr. Richard Davis, the Libertarian Party's Congressional Candidate for the First District, he responds with candor and honesty. Here is the first series, focusing on the reason for running, Congressional work habits, and ethics.

1. To be elected by the citizens of your district is a great honor. What is the reason that caused you to decide to run for Congress?
I decided to run for Congress when the chairman of the Maryland Libertarian Party called me in January, 2008 and asked me to run. I had no thoughts in that direction prior to his request, but I felt it was a civic duty to run when asked. I much appreciated the opportunity to publicly express my concerns with the way the political process has currently been operating in this country. Apparently the party was pleased with my performance and asked me to run again, and I felt that doing so would reinforce the sincerity of my concerns with the process and my commitment to pushing for change.

2. The work habits and rare appearances of congressmen and congresswomen in their districts seem to peak near election but the rest of the time you rarely hear a peep. What type of session schedule for Congress would you like to see? How would you schedule your appearances in your district and what would you focus on?
I would like to see Congress in session for the two months prior to passage of the budget to focus on budget issues. For the rest of the year my ideal would be to have Congress normally in session two weeks out of each month and the rest devoted to time in individual districts, with sessions in Washington extended only for national emergencies. Ultimately I would like to see Congress reduced to a part time system like many state legislatures, with congressmen returning to their districts even more of the time and even to part of the time to “real world” jobs to keep them more in touch with the lives of their constituents. I do not believe service in Congress should be a career, and if the federal government were to be eventually reduced to the limits prescribed by the Constitution I do not believe service in Congress would normally need to be a full time job.

While at home in my district, I would anticipate dividing my time between several (probably three or four) offices widely separated due to the geographic size of the first district. I would, time allowing; prefer to have at least one “town meeting” type of forum quarterly. If Congress and the federal government were to ultimately be reduced to their Constitutional limits, I would hope to maintain part-time practice in my current profession. (In such a situation I would also advocate a corresponding reduction in Congressional pay and benefits.)

3. Becoming a congressman is a position where great trust is placed in you. What changes in ethics rules that govern Congress would you work to change?

I believe any conviction for any breach in ethics should result in automatic expulsion and replacement, whether the breach is directly related to work in Congress or not. In such cases Congressional pension benefits should also be forfeit. (Actually, I would advocate the phasing out of Congressional pensions altogether, as I do not believe career positions in Congress are in the best interests of the nation.

Originally posted on the Maryland Libertarians Blog.