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Thursday, December 26, 2013
A few days before Christmas, I sat down with Republican Maryland state senator David Brinkley (district 4) and conducted a far ranging interview covering his many years in politics.
Brinkley started his political involvement by interning for former state senator Edward P. Thomas (R) and shared with me he remembered working for him the year (1981) President Ronald Reagan was shot.
Now, entering his twentieth year of elected office and serving his second stint as senate minority leader, Brinkley focuses on Republican Party issues and representing his district in Annapolis.
Brinkley told me the state redistricting that will go into effect with next year’s election has the 4th district looking somewhat like a horseshoe around The City of Frederick, with his district now including Brunswick, half of Urbana, Green Valley and Kemptown. In addition, about 20,000 voters in Carroll County were cut from the new district 4.
I shared with him my position calling on the state to create a nonpartisan committee to handle redistricting, if called for every ten years. Presently, the political party that holds the majority influences redistricting in states across the country and allows, as it has been said, for politicians to choose their voters, instead of the voters choosing their politician. I added my belief this has added to the current day gridlock in congress.
Brinkley said he agreed with me and would support the creation of a nonpartisan committee to handle state redistricting.
I asked him if there was any truth to the rumor he was going to run for Frederick County executive and that board of county commissioner president Blaine Young would run for his seat. Brinkley said he had been approached with the idea, but was going to be running for reelection.
After serving 8 years as a state delegate and entering his 12th year as a state senator, he feels he is positioned well with committee assignments and as Minority Leader to be most effective for the voters in his district and Frederick County by continuing to serve as state senator.
His time served on the Budget and Taxation committee along with his relationship with Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley and Senate president Thomas (Mike) Miller enables him to be helpful when it comes to Frederick County issues.
When, I asked him if there were issues he would like to see more effort directed at by the state, Brinkley said drug use and mental health were two areas he would like to see more work done. He mentioned to me the tragic death of Robert Saylor, a man with Down syndrome, highlighted the need for more education and training.
He added drug and alcohol addiction is also something most families can relate to as many have experienced a family member suffering with this illness.
Brinkley also told me he was disappointed to see the poor rollout of the Maryland Health Exchanges and would like to see a committee appointed with subpoena power to investigate to find out why this happened.
I shared with him I had received several questions on my Facebook page pertaining to growth and how to pay for it. I asked him specifically about the controversial planned Monrovia Town Center and he said he saw that as a local issue.
In regard to how to raise funds to pay for needed infrastructure, I mentioned the proposal by Blaine Young to increase the transfer tax and by Maryland state delegate Galen Clagett (D) to increase the personal income tax. Brinkley said he opposed any increase to personal income tax and spoke about how the impact fee was originally intended to cover the costs associated with growth.
During the upcoming 2014 election, Brinkley said as senate minority leader, he will work to focus attention in the governor race to issues the Republican Party feel are important and he will work hard to keep the Republican Caucus intact, adding he hopes they will pick up some seats.
The deadline for candidates to file in the 2014 state of Maryland election is February 25. The primary will be held on June 24 and the general election will take place on November 4.