2018 Primary election results

Andrew Duck

Andrew Duck
  • Democrat
  • Age: 55
  • Residence: Brunswick

About Andrew Duck

Education

I am a proud product of Maryland Public Schools, having graduated from Middletown High School in Frederick County. I completed my college education by going to night school while serving in the Army, attending 8 Colleges or Universities on two continents. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from Southwest Texas State University, and I studied Economics at the graduate level at University of Oklahoma.

Background

I am a retired Military Intelligence Officer. I served 20 years in the U.S. Army, including three deployments to Bosnia and time on the ground in Iraq. I started my Army career as a Company Clerk, then was trained as a Korean Linguist, then was selected for Officer Candidate School and became a Military Intelligence Officer. As an Officer, I served multiple deployments in Bosnia, where I think we did a good job, a one tour on the ground in Iraq, which was so frustrating that I submitted my retirement. I have worked at the Pentagon for 14 years, advising on Army Intelligence issues, and gaining valuable experience in dealing with Defense budget processes. For the past four years I have also served as the Director of Operations for a green energy research company, Avertica, which has been granted two patents for our conductive polymer technology which could be used to improve solar panels and for advanced energy storage.

Questionnaire

1
Trump record
How do you assess the Trump administration so far?
Duck: Abysmal. The current administration is moving in the wrong direction on nearly all issues. The President has always owned his own company and he appears not to understand that that he is now a paid employee of U.S. citizens. His chaotic approach is designed to avoid oversight. He uses WMD (Weapons of Mass Distraction) to avoid responsibility for his actions. He ignores verified intelligence from government sources in favor of rumors from television and social media sources which leads to bad decisions. I would vote to impeach President Trump today based on his multiple violations of the Emoluments Clauses. He is profiting from his office, both charging the government for services in a conflict of interest and by taking money from foreign governments as they pay above market rates to stay at his hotels. As a Military Intelligence Officer, I will await the outcome of the Special Prosecutor’s investigation to confirm or deny evidence of any criminal conduct regarding the Russians. Congress needs to serve as a check on the reckless actions of this administration. Congress should repeal the current Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) which is overly broad and instead specify what limited military actions they authorize. On issue after issue, this Administration is moving in the wrong direction. I oppose the Tax Bill. We need to fix our Health Care system, not gut the ACA. We need to protect our environment, while the Administration is rolling back those protections.
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2
2017 Tax cuts
Do you support or oppose the federal tax cuts passed in 2017? What effect do you believe they will have on the economy?
Duck: Oppose. Any short-term benefit will be more than offset by the long-term damage of increased deficits. This tax cut is a give-away to richest among us, with 82% of the cuts going to the top 1% of the population. But the resulting debt is shared equally by all citizens. The majority of this $1.5 Trillion tax cut goes not to U.S. voters, but to corporations. 35% of U.S. stocks are owned by foreign investors, so the tax cut gives a large gift to foreign interests, while saddling American taxpayers with debt. The corporate tax cuts are permanent, while the small share that goes to human beings is only temporary. Much attention has been given to corporations who have announced bonus for worker, but real wages continue to lag far behind inflation. Annual raises have been used to address inflation, but now bonuses are often used in lieu of those raises. While the raise would endure year after year, the bonus is a one-time event. This gives the appearance of benefiting workers, but that benefit is short-lived. We may need to increase the deficit during a recession to jump-start the economy, but the economy is improving and this additional stimulus in not appropriate. We have many other urgent needs to be addressed, to include infrastructure, health care and education. A huge tax cut at this time is irresponsible.
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3
National debt
Is the level of national debt a concern? What, if anything, should be done to reduce it or constrain its increase?
Duck: Yes. We may need to increase the deficit during a recession to jump-start the economy, but when we are experiencing economic growth, we need to pay down the national debt. To address the deficit we should: • Repeal the 2017 federal tax cut which adds $1.5 Trillion to the deficit. • Close corporate tax loopholes, particularly the tax breaks which subsidize companies for moving jobs overseas. • Tax capital gains at the same rate as earned income. We should reward work, not punish it. • Address the excessive volatility in our stock market caused by machine trading by putting a small tax on stock and bond trades, perhaps a penny per transaction. We also need to address the spending side of our budget. Defense spending now accounts for 57% of our discretionary spending, which is more than we can afford. We need comprehensive Defense Acquisition Reform to reduce spending while speeding up the procurement of equipment and materials. Current bureaucratic procedures in the Defense Department mean that it takes at least 7 years from identifying a needed capability before we can get equipment to the troops that need it. This is unacceptable and adds to our defense costs. We need to streamline the acquisition system, reducing the administrative processes, to make the system more efficient. I am the only candidate in this race who has experience with the Defense Budget processes and has the skills needed to accomplish this reform.
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4
Income inequality
Is the level of economic inequality in the United States a problem, and if so, what should the federal government do to address it?
Duck: Yes. Inequality in both wealth and income is higher now than at any time since the Great Depression. This high level of economic inequality results in slow economic growth, because it limits the demand for goods and services. When a working person gets an extra $1,000, they spend the money, which creates additional demand that translates into more jobs. Those additional jobs provide money for more workers, who further increase demand for goods and services. This “multiplier effect” is highest for workers who spend most of any new funds immediately. When a wealthy person gets an extra $1,000, they are already purchasing all the goods and services they can consume, so the multiplier effect is zero. The wealthy person may invest the money, but right now interest rates are low showing that there is no shortage of investment capital. They may invest the money overseas, producing no benefit to our economy. To address this, we should start by increasing the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour to lift wages as the first step towards providing a living wage. The government should close the tax loopholes which are making economic inequality worse, as mentioned in the above response. We should raise the marginal tax rate on high income earners (over $1 Million per year). They are clearly benefiting the most from our system, so they should help to pay for it. We should increase the cap on income subject to the Social Security tax to strengthen and expand benefits.
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5
Gun laws
Should federal gun laws be changed, and if so, how?
Duck: Yes. We need to do more to improve gun safety. I believe you have a right to own a firearm, unless you are a criminal or mentally unstable. But with that right comes the responsibility to prevent criminals and mentally unstable persons from obtaining firearms. That is why the Second Amendment refers to the need for a “well-regulated” militia. We need host of changes to our current laws, including: • Universal background checks, every time a gun changes hands. • Mandatory registration of firearms • Reporting of mental health issues to the background check system • “No Fly, No Buy”. If you are too dangerous to get on a plane, we should not sell you firearms. (I support a right to due process, so falsely accused persons can appeal their listing on the No Fly List and have a hearing before a judge.) • When a Temporary Restraining Order for domestic violence is issued, firearms should be removed from the household • Create a process for obtaining a Mental Health Temporary Restraining Order, where persons who are experiencing depression or other mental health problems can be evaluated for risk of suicide or violence • Training on weapons safety for purchasers of firearms
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6
ACA
What should Congress do with respect to the Affordable Care Act? Should it be strengthened, and if so, how? Should it be scrapped? If so, what if anything should replace it?
Duck: Health Care is a Human Right. I support H.R. 676 MEDICARE For All. I joined the Army when I was 19 because I had a son who was born premature, weighing only 3 lbs., 10 oz. I needed heath care which would cover that preexisting condition. the only way to get that coverage was to join the Army. I do not think anyone should have to put their life on the line to get health care for their sick child. The part of our health care system which is working best is MEDICARE, which is taking care of our seniors. We should build on what works. Let’s expand MEDICARE so it covers everyone, regardless of age. Currently 35 to 40% of our health care dollar goes to administrative costs. MEDICARE has administrative costs of about 3%. MEDICARE For All should cover prescription drugs, vision care, dental care and mental health care.
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7
Urban policy
What role should the federal government play in helping cities like Baltimore?
Duck: The federal government should support our cities, which are the social and economic hubs of our society. We need close cooperation between federal, state, and local governments to coordinate our planning and investment to maintain healthy cities. For Baltimore as an example, the federal government should assist with funding improved infrastructure, especially rapid transit and improvements to the port of Baltimore. Federal assistance and oversight for law enforcement should be provided as agreed to in the consent decree with the Department of Justice. Additional federal support to education and job training should be provided to ensure a trained workforce. This kind of assistance to the City of Baltimore will benefit the entire region.
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8
Opioids
What can Congress do to address the opioid epidemic?
Duck: Substance abuse should be addressed as a medical problem, not a crime problem. We need to provide the medical treatment needed to address this epidemic. Substance abuse requires medical treatment, whether for opioids, methamphetamine, cocaine, crack or alcohol. Treatment needs to be readily available, at the time of crisis, so patients can enter treatment when they are ready to accept the change that is needed. Substance abuse treatment should be provided by medical insurance. Given the high mortality rate of opioid use, we need to take immediate steps at harm reduction. The first task is to keep patients alive. I support the wide availability of NARCAN and similar live-saving medications. To set an example, I have been trained on the use of NARCAN. Most police forces and rescue squads now have that medication on hand, and those programs should be federally supported. Opioid use often begins with use of prescription pain medication. The solution should not be to require patients to stay in pain. Doctors have a responsibility to treat pain and the complications that arise from that treatment, including addiction. Doctors must step patients down from pain medication to retrain the brain to function without the opioids. I have learned that while substance abuse treatment has a high recidivism rate, the key to success is to keep trying. While a treatment program may only be 20% effective, if a patient goes into rehabilitation five times, success is achievable.
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9
Immigration
What changes if any should Congress make to our immigration and deportation laws and policies?
Duck: We need comprehensive immigration reform. The current laws, which focus on the employer, are not being enforced. Building a 30 foot transparent wall across our southern border is absurd. Most undocumented residents enter on a legal visa, but overstay their visa. No wall will prevent that. Comprehensive immigration reform should increase legal immigration, to reduce the pressure for illegal immigration. We should support family reunification,and not discriminate based on nationality of origin. America is a country built on immigration. Our country was founded by refugees fleeing religious persecution. When ISIS is cutting off the heads of those who disagree with their religious views, we should open our doors to those refugees. Any Muslim ban is unconstitutional. I support a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. These persons who were brought here as children did nothing wrong and should not be punished. I support extending Temporary Protected Status for those who are here, as their homelands remain unsafe. I support ending the 287g program, which is discriminatory. I am the only candidate in this race who has publicly debated Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins on his use of the 287g program. Enforcement of the existing immigration laws should include enforcement on the employers, not just actions against the immigrants. Current enforcement of the law has been focused primarily on Hispanic immigrants, without enforcement on European immigrants or the U.S. citizens who break the law by hiring undocumented workers. This enforcement pattern is discriminatory and must be stopped.
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10
Free trade
Should the United States continue with the free trade policies it pursued for the last several decades, or should it enact restrictions in an attempt to help domestic industries?
Duck: I support Fair Trade, not trade wars. We need trade which provides jobs to sell goods and services for export. But we need a level playing field. Our trade agreements should require that trading partners provide their workers a decent living and do not damage the world environment. If a nation, like China, is violating trade agreements by manipulating currencies, stealing intellectual property, or dumping steel on the world market; we should use the World Trade Organization to impose an international response, not attempt to impose punishment by ourselves. A global response will be effective in changing behavior, while unilateral tariffs will simply result in China selling to everyone else instead of us, with the U.S. losing our share of the export market. I opposed the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), but we need a replacement to promote trade with Asia on a fair basis.
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11
Iran
Do you support the Iran nuclear deal?
Duck: Yes. Iran has stopped research on nuclear weapons as a result of this deal. They have turned over 98% of their uranium and cannot enrich the remaining uranium above 3.67% so it cannot be used for a bomb. They have removed 23 of their centrifuges, so they have limited capacity to enrich nuclear material. They length of time it would take for them to create a nuclear bomb, should they restart a nuclear program, has moved from a few months to over a year. The IAEA has inspectors on the ground in Iran to make sure they do not cheat. The world is safer now than it was before these things were done. We were only able to make this progress because we had international support for sanctions on Iran. If we attempt to pull out of the deal and re-impose sanctions, none of our partner nations will join us, so sanctions will not make any difference. Restoring sanctions could also provide Iran with justification to restart their nuclear program, which would increase risk to the region.
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12
North Korea
How should the United States address the rise of North Korea’s nuclear program?
Duck: NO PRE-EMPTIVE WAR WITH NORTH KOREA! We need a diplomatic response to North Korea’s nuclear program, focused on international economic sanctions. As a trained Korea specialist I know that war with North Korea would be catastrophic. North Korea’s nuclear program does not change the strategic situation. North Korea has, for decades, had enough conventional artillery to destroy Seoul, which would cause millions of deaths, including over 100,000 U.S. citizens. They have not used their conventional artillery to attack because they know that would result in the destruction of their regime. They will not use nuclear weapons for the same reason. We should use diplomacy, including economic sanctions, to convince North Korea to abandon their efforts to develop nuclear weapons.
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