Same Chaf­fee, dif­fer­ent race: Lo­cal runs for Se­nate

Maryland Independent - - News - By TA­MARA WARD tward@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @CalRecTAMARA

Builder, land de­vel­oper and con­trac­tor Chris Chaf­fee (R) is mak­ing an­other cam­paign run, but this time it is for U.S. Sen. Bar­bara Mikul­ski’s (D-Md.) soon-tobe-va­cant seat.

In 2014, the Prince Fred­er­ick res­i­dent ran for the 5th Con­gres­sional District post as the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee. While Chaf­fee did not win, he put up a fight against U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (DMd.), gar­ner­ing 35 per­cent of the vote.

Prid­ing him­self on mak­ing sure he talks to di­verse groups of peo­ple, last year he at­tended a syn­a­gogue in Po­tomac to hear one faith group’s is­sue re­gard­ing the Iran Nu­clear Deal.

“It was very mov­ing ... the Jewish folks in the com­mu­nity came out to fight against this Iran deal,” said Chaf­fee.

He cred­its the Iran deal for his de­ci­sion to run for Se­nate this elec­tion cy­cle, as he be­lieves at the Se­nate level he can af­fect more change.

“Noth­ing worse to see them con­gress­men stand up and say they think it is a bad deal and then weeks later vote for the deal,” said Chaf­fee. “What made me run for the seat was I be­lieve that Amer­ica is be­ing de­stroyed from the in­side out,” he said, bor­row­ing from a quote by Abra­ham Lin­coln.

Chaf­fee said he was dis­il­lu­sioned with the elected of­fi­cials who had pre­vi­ously ex­pressed the deal was not good, but weeks later voted for it any­way. He sin­gled out Mikul­ski and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md., 8th), claim­ing they voted for the deal be­cause the Demo­cratic es­tab­lish­ment told them to do so.

Chaf­fee said he would cer­tainly vote against party lines and speak against mes­sag­ing if he felt pas­sion­ate about an is­sue.

“Ab­so­lutely, if some­thing is not right for Amer­ica it does not make a dif­fer­ence if it is Demo­crat or Repub­li­can,” said Chaf­fee.

Chaf­fee in­ferred his top leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties are syn­ony­mous with Amer­ica’s top pri­or­i­ties. Near the top of the list is build­ing up the mil­i­tary. In his eyes, it has been dis­man­tled. The Se­nate hope­ful sug­gested by mak­ing the mil­i­tary stronger the country will show strength around the world, ul­ti­mately de­ter­ring con­fronta­tions here and abroad.

While Chaf­fee did not serve in the armed forces, he said ev­ery­one has been ad­versely af­fected by the var­i­ous con­flicts.

“I be­lieve all of us have been in the mil­i­tary for the last 10 to 12 years. We hear over and over again of th­ese wars be­ing fought in Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria,” said Chaf­fee. “We all have been brought in through some way, ei­ther some­one that we know in our fam­ily or some­body that we are con­nected to has ei­ther died in the mil­i­tary, that’s fight­ing right now in the mil­i­tary, or has been in the mil­i­tary.”

The fa­ther of four daugh­ters, Chaf­fee said he feels Amer­ica’s found­ing core val­ues are un­der at­tack in the na­tion.

“Our country was built off of [Chris­tian] val­ues. We have adapted over the years for dif­fer­ent re­li­gions, and we are a country made up of dif­fer­ent re­li­gions, but at no time do I be­lieve that our Chris­tian­ity has been in more jeop­ardy than right now,” said Chaf­fee.

Chaf­fee stressed the need to fight for Amer­i­cans’ Chris­tian and fam­ily val­ues at ev­ery level of govern­ment to in­clude the Supreme Court and the pres­i­dency. “The most im­por­tant of all is that we have to fight for the un­born chil­dren,” said Chaf­fee.

“Democrats, Repub­li­cans — we’re still all peo­ple. We have to fig­ure this out. We have to stop fight­ing each other and we have to make this country back to what it’s sup­posed to be: love and Chris­tian­ity,” said Chaf­fee.

As an en­tre­pre­neur, he is very con­cerned with the num­ber of busi­nesses go­ing un­der due to the failed econ­omy.

“We must help the small busi­nesses. We must help them get fund­ing they need,” he said.

Chaf­fee blames the Dod­dFrank Act with suf­fo­cat­ing banks and keep­ing a lot of small banks from lend­ing money to strug­gling busi­nesses. He also cred­its the Af­ford­able Care Act with killing busi­nesses. While Chaf­fee pro­poses get­ting rid of the health care re­form act, he strongly sug­gests it be re­placed with an­other plan.

“If you’re go­ing to say, ‘Hey, we’re go­ing to get rid of a health care sys­tem that is go­ing to get rid of health care for a lot of un­for­tu­nate peo­ple with no plan’ — it’s not go­ing to work,” rea­soned Chaf­fee.

He sug­gested reach­ing across state lines to get com­pe­ti­tion for a re­place­ment plan be­cause com­pe­ti­tion will pro­duce the best rates and the best ser­vices.

While in­creas­ing em­ployee pay might re­duce turnover and in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity, Chaf­fee said defini­tively he would not raise the min­i­mum wage.

“Does a per­son want to be stuck on min­i­mum wage for the rest of their life? A min­i­mum wage job was de­signed for [a] starter job for a young man or young woman to get re­spon­si­bil­ity and to get an ed­u­ca­tion and to move on to a ca­reer,” said Chaf­fee. “And we don’t want to change the starter jobs into per­ma­nent jobs.”

He be­lieves the hourly rate hike will cause em­ploy­ees to be com­pla­cent and not want to ad­vance in their ca­reer.

“We’ve been see­ing peo­ple that work at McDon­ald’s, Burger King and Wal­mart, been work­ing there for 10, 15 years,” he said.

In­stead, he sug­gested law­mak­ers make work­force de­vel­op­ment train­ing ac­ces­si­ble at any age. His so­lu­tion is to bring jobs back to Mary­land, but first, he said, they must be brought back to the U.S.

“Cor­po­ra­tions — we need to give them the tax breaks that they need,” he said. “There’s $3 to $4 tril­lion parked over­seas . ... They’re not go­ing to bring their money back be­cause they think the ad­min­is­tra­tion is go­ing to tax it.”

He also rec­om­mended giv­ing tax in­cen­tives for com­pa­nies to bring their money back to Amer­ica, for be­ing based in Amer­ica and to set up new com­pa­nies in Amer­ica.

“We have the great­est country in the world. We were once the big­gest in­dus­trial gi­ant . ... Let’s open the door again. Let’s be the big­gest in­dus­trial country in the world, but do it this time a lit­tle smarter than last time,” he said, sug­gest­ing us­ing tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment.

Pro­tect­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion, es­pe­cially the Sec­ond Amend­ment, is a top pri­or­ity for Chaf­fee, as well as se­cur­ing U.S. borders. An­other na­tional se­cu­rity is­sue that the can­di­date is pas­sion­ate about is ter­ror­ism, specif­i­cally ISIS.

“The pres­i­dent said they were a JV team, but now they’re tak­ing states and states and states. This is a Congress and Se­nate is­sue. This should be the pri­or­ity right now,” stressed Chaf­fee. “They must come up with a plan not to con­tain ISIS, but to de­feat ISIS. We must take ac­tion.”

On the home front, Chaf­fee would like to see lo­cal law en­force­ment get the fi­nan­cial and hu­man re­sources they need to pro­tect Calvert Cliffs Nu­clear Power Plant, the Do­min­ion Cove Point fa­cil­ity and Calvert County as a whole.

“When a dis­as­ter hap­pens, we’re go­ing to need those of­fi­cers,” said Chaf­fee. “The po­lice around Amer­ica and the po­lice in Mary­land — they’ve been get­ting beat up re­ally bad and it’s time that some­one stand up for the po­lice.”

Ted Cruz (R) is Chaf­fee’s choice for pres­i­dent be­cause Cruz, he said, is a con­sti­tu­tion­al­ist who loves Je­sus Christ and loves his country. How­ever, Chaf­fee said he will back Don­ald Trump 100 per­cent.

STAFF PHOTO BY TA­MARA WARD

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