Jon S. Cardin

Jon S. Cardin
  • Democrat
  • Age: 48
  • Residence: Owings Mills

About Jon S. Cardin

Education

JD w/ Honors, Univ. MD School of Law, 2001 MA , Public Policy & Admin w/ Honors, UMBC, 1996 MA, Judaic Studies w/Honors, Towson Univ., 1996 BA, Internat’l Relations, Spanish, Tufts Univ, 1992 The Park School, 1988

Background

Principal, CWO Strategies, Government Relations and Public Affairs, 2015-2018 Principal, Law Offices of Jon S. Cardin, 2002-2018 State Delegate, 11th District, 2003-2014 Chair of Election Law subcommittee, 2006-2014 Chair of National Conference of State Legislatures’ Redistricting and Election Law Taskforce, 2012-2014 Executive Director, Project Judaica Foundation, 1996-1998 Spanish Teacher, Mercerburg Academy, 1992-1994

Questionnaire

1
Kirwan
Do you support the findings of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education? Are you committed to funding associated reforms, and if so, how?
Cardin: Yes. Yes. The casino funds must be money that supplements and not supplants education budgets. I hope the 2018 Constitutional Amendment passes. And then after it does pass, we need to make sure the budget policy is implemented in a transparent and well crafted manner so that the Kirwin Commission recommendations are met and $2.9 billion is added to the budget on an ongoing and stable schedule.
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2
Transportation
Is Maryland’s transportation spending appropriately balanced between roads and transit? Does the state have the resources to meet its transportation needs? With the cancellation of the Red Line and the advent of BaltimoreLink, is the Baltimore region adequately served by transit?
Cardin: The formula for Roads v. Transit should have some flexibility, but I think that far more should be spend on transit. Furthermore, we have to make tough decisions and tough votes to support transit oriented development if we are going to really believe that transit deserves the lion’s share of the funding. This is not only a traffic issue, it is a safety issue, an economic justice issue, an environmental issue and a civil rights issue. We could better utilize our transportation trust fund, and we can find ways to increase the revenues through linking the tax and fees to inflation. There are huge savings we can realize through audit of the procurement process. Furthermore, One way to ensure funding is to better police transit and to increase the fair box recovery. Once more Baltimoreans are earning better wages, there will be an incentive to charge the proper amount for transit services.
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3
Marijuana
Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana?
Cardin: I believe that before legalization significant study is required to fully understand the long term ramifications of recreational marijuana use both in brain development and road safety. This policy decision needs to be driven by statistically based data. Since the Nixon administration’s launching of the War on Drugs, governments have been prosecuting marijuana users and jailing millions of people. In fact, in 2010 52% of all drug arrests were marijuana related. Not only is this practice blatantly discriminatory towards minorities, but we know now that marijuana is not the dangerous drug that politicians have sought to make us believe it is. While marijuana is not completely harmless and can be misused (i.e., while driving), studies show that it is in fact not a “gateway” drug. In addition, marijuana could provide a boon to our economy and add another sector to provide jobs. If marijuana is legalized, lawmakers must make sure that it is properly regulated and we will work tirelessly to ensure it stays out of the hands of minors with the exception of medicinal purposes.
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4
Chesapeake Bay
At a time when the federal government’s commitment to Chesapeake Bay restoration is questionable, what new steps should Maryland take to protect this resource?
Cardin: The University of Maryland School of Law environmental clinic ought to be given the unrestricted authority to assist in researching and litigating environmental matters around the state. A dedicated environmental trust fund needs to be created with money from REGI funds and other funds generated by Maryland energy users to provide the funds necessary to adhere to environmental regulations. We need a team of strong-willed legislators from Annapolis to spear head an lobbying effort on our federal legislative team to convince Congress and the Administration to reestablish funding for our national treasure. We need to pass legislation that requires more and better recycling. In addition, we must create more transit incentives and better bike and walk options.
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5
Health Care
What steps should Maryland take to ensure the broadest possible access to affordable health care?
Cardin: The ACA was one of the most sweeping reform bills in the history of our nation. It was a step forward in advancing the U.S healthcare system to reach closer to the affordability and access of other first world countries. However, ObamaCare was not perfect, and as a delegate I will continue the fight that I supported for twelve years. That is to say, we in Maryland have taken proper measures to ensure that the market remains stable and that people who cannot afford private healthcare are able to utilize Medicaid and Medicare programs and remain healthy. The 2018 session was no exception, but our state must continue to be a leader in stabilizing the market. In Washington, the current administration is picking apart crucial policies such as the individual mandate that act to destabilize the market and hurts Americans. The individual mandate, though misunderstood, is critical because it diversifies the healthcare pool in a way that allows those with pre-existing conditions to receive affordable healthcare without raising premiums for everyone. At a time when the federal government is attacking Medicare and other healthcare programs, we need strong leadership in Annapolis to check these measures. I have a proven track record in this realm, and I am prepared to lead the fight in providing the broadest possible access to Marylanders.
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6
Crime
What role should the state play in helping Baltimore address violent crime?
Cardin: A strong and safe Baltimore means a strong and safe region and a strong state. The state needs to be a partner with the city, and as a proud product of Baltimore City, if I am elected, I would like to help set up a task-force that brings city, county and state resources together (chaired by city officials) to both study and recommend legislation and regulations that will move the City in the right direction toward reduction and elimination of crime. Furthermore, improvement of the education system and assistance with making both properties more valuable and neighborhoods more desirable will organically improve the City’s prospects. All of these policy areas should and can have positive state influence.
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7
Business Climate
How would you characterize Maryland’s business climate? What can the state do to foster the creation of more family-supporting jobs?
Cardin: We need to constantly be re-evaluating how to create a positive business climate without doing irreparable hard to the environment or to income equality. Incentives for large firms to come to Maryland is one aspect of trying to grow our business and job opportunities. However, more important than that is to invest in stable communities of well-educated and desirable prospective employees so that business will locate here to find the people to man the jobs. Our jurisdictions should not be obstacles or create unnecessary regulatory hurdles for business to locate in the state. Simultaneously, we have to study the incentives and reasons that other states succeed in courts businesses and individuals and compete on those levels as well.
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8
Redistricting
Do you support the creation of a non-partisan, independent body to draw legislative and congressional district maps after each census?
Cardin: The State of Maryland has a long history of intense gerrymandering, leaving people misrepresented and giving unfair advantages to one party or the other. On the federal level, my 3rd Congressional District well-known as one of the most gerrymandered in the country. Last year George Mason University conducted a poll stating that 65% Marylanders want district lines redrawn. As former chair of the Election Law subcommittee for eight years and as the former chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Redistricting and Election Law Taskforce, I have advocated for and fought for a non-partisan process of redistricting. In fact, my opinion is that political party control over what is supposed to be a non-partisan system is antithetical to my Masters training in public policy and administration. I think that Maryland needs to be a leader in this issue and show that we support a fair and balanced system that represents the State’s population to the highest degree of accuracy possible. Because if this, I would be in favor of an independent and well vetted non-partisan body making sure that Maryland districts are as representative as possible.
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9
LEOBR
Does the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights adequately balance protections for police and the public? Should it be changed, and if so, how?
Cardin: In recent years, the issue of police brutality and racial injustice has come to light in unfortunate situations. On one side, we must protect our police officers, who offer their lives for the sake of protecting our citizenry each and every day. On the other side, we must hold accountable those police who act unjustly or unlawfully, just like we do to anyone else who is delinquent in their job. The Maryland Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights is of the most extreme in the country. Officers need to be protected, but they are not free from the duties of their jobs. We need to come together in a transparent forum with citizens, politicians, and law enforcement and amend this policy so that officers can be held accountable for their actions and so that citizens feel confident that the system is not stacked against them. Everyone deserves a fair shake. Additionally, we need to establish a better connection between communities and law enforcement so that they can work together to make our state safe. In the wake of tragedies like Freddie Gray, it’s clear that we need a new and innovative approach to these injustices.
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10
Opioids
What strategy would you adopt to address the opioid addiction and overdose crisis?
Cardin: Some, like the President, will have you believe that mandatory minimums and harsher sentences (including the death penalty) will solve the opioid crisis. They won’t. The federal government’s War on Drugs has failed epically, and research consistently shows that aside from being punitive, these measures are simply ineffective. Instead, Maryland should focus funds and efforts on outreach and rehabilitation to drug users and user/dealers. In reference to best practices, take for example, Portugal, where a progressive approach to drug use has been adopted, those who are found using small scale drugs are brought to a panel made up of a psychologist, a social worker, and a legal advisor, who then devise an appropriate treatment plan. Not incidentally, teenage drug use dropped and people seeking treatment more than doubled. We need to study the best practices from around the world and confront these issues head on. We also need to look at pill protection and disposal policies as a way to limit initial addictions. Now, it’s time for us Marylanders to be leaders and pioneers in using innovative and proven approaches to curb drug use commencement and addiction.
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11
Income inequality
What if anything should the state do to address income inequality?
Cardin: I think there are multiple efforts we can consider to combat income inequality. First, we need to consider an increase in the minimum wage. This should be done transparently, where we must take into account the hardships this could create for businesses. In the end, I think that if we can have the dialogue, we can come up with a suitable compromise. The current minimum wage of $9.25 is not a livable wage for many families and leaves large swaths of the population unable to provide for themselves and loved ones. Furthermore, expansion of WIC, food stamps and tax incentives could have a positive impact. Finally, lobbying the federal delegation for additional assistance is imperative and I would be honored to do that for Maryland citizen. Putting more money in the hands of the consumer means more spending at local businesses. Once we begin to consider income inequality as both an economical issue and a humanitarian one, the answers will surface to provide support for individuals stuck in the vicious cycle of poverty. Other solutions include lowering minimum sentence on petty crimes indicative of poverty, making it easier to expunge minor criminal records after a 5 year clean record period, and providing services and voting rights to ex-felons who have paid their debt to society. I worked on these issues for over a decade in Annapolis and I hope to have the opportunity to lead the way for more effective legislature in this area once again.
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12
Transparency
Do the state’s Public Information Act and open meetings laws adequately ensure Marylanders’ ability to exercise oversight of the government?
Cardin: I am a big fan of the public information act and the fact that anyone has the opportunity to see legislation in action, but we can always be working hard to ensure transparency. The people we represent have a right to know and understand their delegates and the inner workings of government. As a former delegate, I was always approachable and invited everyone who wished to visit me for an honest and transparent discussion – even if we were on opposite sides of an issue. If elected back to the House, I expect to be approachable so that the people of my district feel like they are being heard and understand exactly where I stand on the issues. The open nature of legislative sessions definitely plays into this, and I think it’s a necessity for the people to be able access government documents.
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