Senator Alex X. Mooney (1999 to 2010)
Questionnaire for MDGOP Chairman Candidates
1. Given the current political climate, why are you running for what may right now be the toughest job in the state of Maryland?
We lost four State Senate races by one or two percent of the vote, this is unacceptable. The Republican Party of Maryland needs to be more supportive of candidates I will be a work horse for the Republican Party. With twelve years of experience as a State Senator I am uniquely qualified for this position I understand what it takes to win battles legislatively and on the campaign.
2. Please provide a brief summary of your background and experience.
Shortly after graduation, Senator Mooney served as an aide to western Maryland Congressman Roscoe Bartlett. After Republicans took over Congress in the 1994 elections, Alex worked as a legislative analyst for the House Republican Conference Committee – part of the leadership of Congress. Alex later left Capitol Hill to work for a small conservative public policy organization.
After knocking on thousands of doors and working tirelessly making his case to the voters of the Third District, Alex was rewarded with 63% of the vote in the Republican primary and was sworn in on January 13, 1999, becoming the youngest and only Hispanic member of the Maryland State Senate.
Throughout his service to Maryland, Senator Alex X. Mooney, has consistently fought for the issues most important to the people of Frederick and Washington Counties: lowering taxes and reducing government spending, local control of education, better jobs, caring for our seniors, and ensuring we have a clean environment.
Senator Mooney received the Maryland Taxpayer of the Year award in 2000 and the National Hero of the Taxpayer Award for 2003 for consistently voting to protect the “little guy” by cutting burdensome government regulations and red tape on small businesses. Senator Mooney has also received the top business rating in the state by the Maryland Business for Responsive Government.
3. Please describe your personal situation that will allow you to manage a very demanding volunteer job.
I have been working the past 6 years as executive director of The National Journalism Center. I was able to balance the demands of that job with the demands of being a State Senator and will do the same as Party Chairman.
4. What are the major duties of the state party chairman and what specific ideas do you have to accomplish them?
I just released my proposal to raise a net of $500,000 in 2011 as Party Chairman and I challenge any other candidate to pledge to fulfill this proposal.
State Senator Alex X. Mooney
Maryland State Republican Party
2011 Fundraising Plan Proposal
Chairman - $250,000
First Vice Chairman - $75,000
Second Vice Chairman - $50,000
Third Vice Chairman - $25,000
National Committeewoman - $50,000
National Committeeman - $50,000
*Chairman and his/her finance team must raise additional funds
if deficits exist from other party leaders who fail to meet the
Proposed fundraising requirements
I have been the top fundraiser as a Republican state senator, giving me the contacts and credibility to achieve this plan.
5. What are your goals for the party for the next four years?
The role for chairman and of the other officers of the Republican Party of Maryland is to support Republican candidates for public office. Merely offering advice and wishing candidates “good luck” is not enough.
I received most of my campaign training before I ran for office from a conservative training organization called The Leadership Institute (LI). Morton Blackwell is the President of LI and has been Virginia’s National Republican Committeeman since 1998. Mr. Blackwell served in the Reagan Administration and offers excellent training and guidance such as explaining that being right, in the sense of being philosophically correct, is not sufficient to win and that conservatives owe it to themselves to learn how to win.
Republican Party officials need to offer significant material support, including but not limited to:
· Voter registration drives
· Phone banking assistance
· Absentee and provisional ballot programs
· Early voting strategy/assistance
· Get Out The Vote (GOTV) program
· Information and research on issues and votes
This support needs to be provided by both the local Republican Central Committees and the State Party to those we encourage to seek office and especially to those in targeted races.
6. How will you ensure that the party drafts candidates to fill all open seats, or do you think there is wisdom in choosing our battles and concentrating our resources?
I believe that every Democrat should have a Republican candidate run against them. The party should help those candidates in the ways listed in question 5.
7. How will you stem the tide of Republicans who are leaving the party to become Independents and attract conservative Independents to the party?
The Republican party should implement a system and plan to register voters on a regular basis throughout the year. I have done this personally by going door to door, and it can also be done through targeted registration drives at events. Republicans need to clearly contrast our views with the failed policies of the liberal Democrat monopoly in power in Maryland to gain support from Independents or unaffiliated voters.
8. Will you be bringing in new state party employees or using those currently in place? How will you build upon the advancements of the previous administration?
State party employees should be reviewed and given fair consideration for their position. Fundraising picked up during 2010 and I will build upon that. We needed to do a much better job of recruiting and funding candidates.
9. Do you think the party is in danger of splitting into yet another faction over Tea Party vs. establishment, and where do you think you fall in that spectrum?
There is always the danger of internal Republican differences. But we need to remember that our opposition are the liberal Democrats imposing failed policies on our state. I am a proud conservative and never voted for a tax hike in my twelve years in office. I firmly support the Second Amendment, am pro-life, and pro-freedom. My mother is an immigrant from a communist country (Cuba) and I believe in fighting for our freedoms from big government intrusion in America.
10. Are you concerned about bringing together the various factions within the party? How would you go about doing that?
Yes. We need to have our differences in the primary, but come together in the general election because we have more in common with each other than we do with the Democrats. The Republican Senator whom I defeated in 1998 endorsed my Democrat opponent. This year, several prominent Republicans, including the Republican mayor of Frederick City and other former Republican elected officials who are more liberal than me, endorsed my Democrat opponent. The Republican party needs to do a better job of internal discipline and the various factions need to be sternly instructed not to support liberal Democrats over Republicans.
11. What are your thoughts on whether the party should become involved in specific legislative and social issues, or function solely as a vehicle to allow our legislators to handle the issues? Where do we take a stand and run the risk of alienating voters?
Taking a stand always runs a risk of alienationg some voters, but it also brings voters into the party. I believe in taking a strong stand on the issues and explaining to voters why our ideas are better. We can not be "Democrat lite."
As a Senator, I cast tough votes and took strong positions. I filibustered tax hikes and fought for traditional marriage. The party's primary function, however, should be to elect candidates using the methods I explained in previous questions, not to legislate. This would also allow for those very same conservative policy positions to have the actual votes to be implimented.
12. What criteria do you think should be used to determine whether or not to waive Rule 11?
Each and every race has a different dynamic and this should be evaluated on a case by case basis. Generally, the state party should be neutral in primaries.
13. Rule 11 aside, party favoritism for preferred candidates was a charge made by numerous campaigns this cycle against the MDGOP. How can the party balance support for viable candidates with a respect for the will of the electorate in the primary?
I just think the party needs more financial resources to be able to support candidates in general, especially those in competitive races who can defeat Democrats.
14. What plans do you have to deal with redistricting? Do you see any benefits to the party that could come from redistricting?
Since my district was targeted in redistricting ten years ago and made unsafe for a Republican, I have real life experience in this. There may be some benefits if the Democrats overreach, or become too greedy. They may do this by assuming that we do not have good candidates and resources to target current Democrat legislative districts if they make them less safe in order to go after Republican districts. Let's make sure they pay for making such an assumption.
Therefore, we need to return to doing the things I explained in the previous questions and provide the resources and training to field strong Republican candidates throughout the state. Redistricting will also almost certain go to court, and we need to be prepared for that as well.
15. Please briefly state any other comments you would like to share.
I am the only candidate in this race to publicly pledge to raise $500,000 net next year. I am the only candidate with twelve years of legislative experience to bring to this job. I will be a work horse for the party and I know what it takes to win elections. I ask for your support. http://www.alexmooney.com/