Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

May 20, 2002

Q: Do you support the university project, with the amount of funding and the location?

A: Yes on both counts. I think it's very important that we have higher education facilities here in Western Maryland. We're moving into an information-based economy and, in order to be competitive, we've got to give students of all ages the opportunity to go to college and to learn new skills and to make sure they can keep up.

Q: The funding was at risk during the current session, but survived. Is it solid for next year?

A: I think it is solid. I think our commitment to the university system is very, very important. It is a source of opportunity for our citizens. It's a source of innovation for small businesses and it is crucial to economic growth.

Q: The current administration has had almost a zero-tolerance approach toward parole. What are your thoughts about parole?


A: You always have to look at each case individually. I'm very glad that we have the life without parole sentence that allows those who committed awful, terrible crimes to stay in prison.

Q: Do you favor the current approach, which has been almost no parole for life sentences, with few exceptions?

A: I think that you have to look at each case individually. My sense is you've got to look at each case individually. That's the law. Many people who have committed these terrible crimes should stay in prison. That's the way to protect our community.

Q: What are your thoughts about the death penalty moratorium?

A: I believe that we should have the death penalty. I think there are heinous crimes that deserve the death penalty. I recommend the moratorium so that we have a sense that the death penalty is applied in a fair and just manner throughout the state.

Q: Congressman Ehrlich said this represents a change in philosophy for you. Have you changed your mind?

A: (Townsend would only respond to that off the record)

I do believe a moratorium is critical. We should not have somebody executed during the study (of the death penalty's fairness), particularly if the study says that the process has not been fair and just. I think that when we make such a critical decision we always want to make sure that everybody in the public has confidence in the process.

Q: That still leaves Congressman Ehrlich's allegation that you changed your mind.

A: No, I haven't changed my mind.

Q: Some people believe that a horse racing track proposed in Allegany County will have slot machines because the next governor will support legalizing slot machines. Might that happen?

A: My opponent does support slots, and I don't. I don't because studies have shown that it generates street crime, that it hurts small businesses and that it aggravates addiction. I don't think we need any of those problems. I want small businesses to thrive. That's a very important problem.

Q: Proponents of slot machines have said they could fund the recommendations of the Thornton Commission. Is that enough of a reason to support slot machines?

A: I think that if we care about our kids' education, we should figure out a way to do it that doesn't entail undertaking activities that support street crime, aggravate addiction and hurt small businesses.

Q: What do you think about the state's boot camps?

A: There were clearly mistakes in those boot camps. I took leadership, I showed leadership by making sure that as soon as we found out what was going on, we got new people at the department, we put new funding in and we set up a new way of doing business which included accountability and which made sure that the young people are taught that what they did is wrong, that they have to make amends to society and to the victims and that we are developing programs that will help to teach the skills and competencies of citizenship.

All the research has said that (a boot camp) has not been a good idea; this does not work.

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