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    Attorney General Race: Gansler vs. Rolle on the Issues
    Attorney General nominees Democrat Doug Gansler (left) and Republican Scott Rolle (CNS-TV)

    By Alan J. McCombs
    Maryland Newsline
    Friday, Oct. 27, 2006

    In Maryland's race for attorney general, Democrat Doug Gansler, the state's attorney for Montgomery County, is facing Republican Scott Rolle, the state's attorney for Frederick County. Find out if your positions mesh with theirs by first clicking on the responses below that are most like yours. At the end, click on the “get score” button to see what percentage of your responses align with each candidate’s. Click on "party line" to see each candidate's positions at a glance. Gansler's will be outlined in blue; Rolle's in red.

      1. Would you push for the application of the death penalty in all cases where it would apply?
    No. I think each case needs to be taken on a case-by-case basis. The death penalty should be reserved for the most heinous cases, such as the raping of a child and terrorism. No. Whether or not you’re going to have a death penalty is an interesting dialogue that we should have ... but the more important issue for me is whether or not it is meted out in a fair socio-economically neutral, racially neutral, gender neutral manner. I only push for it when I am 100 percent sure we’ve got the right person. We have a viable alternative in Maryland, which is life without the possibility of parole.

      2. Would you support greater regulation on dumping in the Chesapeake Bay?
    Yes. I go way further than that. I’m going to conduct an environmental audit of the Maryland waterways. [Also], I believe that the coal burning power plants that we have along the bay are an environmental civil rights issue, because [they] are located in lower socioeconomic areas, predominantly minority areas. We have the technology to fix them, yet once again we don’t have anyone with the political courage or will to make something happen.

    Yes. We need to double or triple the number of lawyers doing bay renewal assessments. We cannot be everywhere and document everything. We need to partner with the public. If you see someone dumping raw sewage into our water, our sewers, there will be an 800 number you can call.

      3. Would the attorney general's office under you investigate price hikes by energy companies operating in Maryland?
      I don’t think you can investigate it, because there’s nothing to investigate; it was just very myopic legislative and public policy.

    If I thought there was anything illegal going on then yes, absolutely. I think Maryland needs a price-gouging law.

      4. Do you support pulling violent or multiple youth offenders out of the juvenile justice system into the adult system?
    Under certain circumstances yes, I do. Unfortunately youthful offenders are committing much more serious offenses than 25 ... years ago. They're committing adult offenses and should be treated as such.   In some cases. I do think we need significant overhaul of the juvenile justice system. I don't understand and never have why cases initially go over to bureaucrats in the Department of Juvenile Services before they come to a state's attorney office, why we don't get them first and then refer them in appropriate cases to the Department of Juvenile Services.

      5. Would you support greater monitoring of what Web sites are visited on public computers such as library and school computers?
    Sure. That's not the issue of the attorney general  to oversee people's use of the Internet in schools; that's for the school system to make a determination as to who can use the computers and under what monitoring system.  That's a very hard question. On the one hand, I feel people should be able to see what they want; at the same time I know parents can't monitor our kids 24 hours a day.

      6. Would you investigate businesses that hire illegal aliens?
    Yes, absolutely. I support local police investigating companies that hire illegal aliens. I certainly don't want to be a burden to business, but the law must be followed.  Yes. We don't want to live in a society where people are approached or stopped on the street corners because of the color of their skin or the way they look or the way they dress or are asked for documentation or papers; what we do want to do is for companies that are knowingly hiring illegal aliens, you can go after and find them. 

      7. Do you support a measure passed in the General Assembly this year but later overturned by a U.S. District Court judge that requires private companies with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least 8 percent of their payroll on health benefits -- or put the money directly into the state's health program for the poor?
    I think [Attorney] General [J. Joseph] Curran is doing the right thing by taking the appeal of the case. I would support the continued appeal of it.  I absolutely do not support that law. It's unconstitutional. This is a very important job of the AG; we should not be passing laws which violate our constitution.

      8. What’s the No. 1 priority for your office?
    The top two would be public safety and the environment. I think there's a lot to be done with the public safety in Maryland. The environment is the all-important one. I am running to to be the environmental attorney general and cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay is essential at this point. The first thing I'm going to do, after an administrative audit from top to bottom, would be to pass a bill abolishing parole for child sex offenders. I would work for bipartisan support. After that, [I would tackle] the environment and gangs.

    Your match with Doug Gansler is:
    Your match with Scott Rolle is:

    Excerpted from Alan J. McCombs'  interviews with the candidates.

    Copyright 2006 University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism

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