Van Hollen will carry on Mikul­ski’s work

The Star Democrat - - OPINION - By MIKE BROWN Mike Brown Cam­bridge. writes from

Chris van Hollen is the only can­di­date run­ning for the U.S. Se­nate from Mary­land who is wor­thy to fill the seat of the re­tir­ing great Sen­a­tor Bar­bara Mikul­ski be­cause he will carry on her stel­lar tra­di­tion of look­ing out for all the res­i­dents and busi­nesses of Mary­land and the East­ern Shore, not just a few spe­cial in­ter­ests.

As a U.S. Con­gress­man, Mr. van Hollen has es­tab­lished his own track record as a tire­less cham­pion of work­ing peo­ple, small busi­nesses, veter­ans, young Amer­i­cans, se­niors and women. He has made nu­mer­ous vis­its to the Shore to lis­ten to the is­sues and con­cerns of ci­ti­zens here in­clud­ing farm­ers, wa­ter­men, seafood pro­cess­ing busi­ness own­ers, and tourism in­dus­try work­ers to learn how he can bet­ter serve them.

The con­trast be­tween Mr. van Hollen and his op­po­nent Repub­li­can Kathy Szeliga couldn’t be clearer. All you have to do is look at their web­sites. His if filled with spe­cific de­tailed pre­scrip­tions and pro­pos­als to im­prove the lives of Mary­lan­ders along with ac­counts of his nu­mer­ous ac­com­plish­ments. Hers is sparse with only a few vague state­ments of what she stands for, which boils down to the same old phi­los­o­phy that has been es­poused all along by ev­ery Repub­li­can in Con­gress: smaller govern­ment, lower taxes (mostly for the wealth­i­est Amer­i­cans), and deregulation. What has that got­ten us through the years other than shut­ting down the govern­ment (hurt­ing our econ­omy), threat­en­ing to de­fault on our debt obli­ga­tions (re­sult­ing in our first ever credit rat­ing down­grade), greater fed­eral govern­ment spend­ing and na­tional deficits/debt un­der Pres­i­dents Reagan and Bush, and for the past eight years a do-noth­ing Con­gress that, when not on their record num­ber of tax­payer-paid va­ca­tions, could only spend mil­lions of dol­lars on nu­mer­ous par­ti­san po­lit­i­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tions that have yielded noth­ing. Ms. Szeliga could fit in well with her fel­low Se­nate Repub­li­cans.

High­light­ing just a few ma­jor dif­fer­ences, Mr. van Hollen ad­vo­cates mea­sures to make col­lege more af­ford­able such as free com­mu­nity col­lege tu­ition and greatly re­duced stu­dent debt load, while Ms. Szeliga be­lieves stu­dent just have to pay up if they want a col­lege ed­u­ca­tion. He wants to strengthen So­cial Se­cu­rity by hav­ing em- ploy­ers and wealth­ier in­di­vid­u­als pay more while in­creas­ing ben­e­fits, she wants to cut ben­e­fits. He wants ma­jor in­vest­ments and in­cen­tives for clean en­ergy and other ef­forts to re­duce global warm­ing, while she keeps push­ing de­pen­dence on fos­sil fuels (oil and gas) that ex­ac­er­bates global warm­ing. He has been com­mit­ted to mea­sures to clean up the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay, while she has an abysmal 13 per­cent rat­ing on her en­vi­ron­men­tal votes in the Mary­land Leg­is­la­ture from the League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers.

Ms. Szeliga claims she is uniquely qual­i­fied to fill Sen. Mikul­ski’s seat be­cause she is a wo­man and can best rep­re­sent women’s in­ter­ests, yet she con­tin­ues to sup­port the worst misog­y­nist to ever run for the pres­i­dency, Don­ald Trump. Sen. Mikul­ski en­thu­si­as­ti­cally en­dorsed Mr. Van Hollen, not her. That should tell you all you need to know.

Chris Van Hollen is the clearly su­pe­rior choice to rep­re­sent all of us as Mary­land’s next U.S. Sen­a­tor. Be sure and vote for him while you’re vot­ing for the other clearly su­pe­rior can­di­date, Hil­lary Clin­ton for Pres­i­dent.

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