Delegate hopeful has long list of ideas

August 02, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY - James M. Devine said he has a 50-point plan for what he wants to do as a first-year state delegate.

At the top of his list is solar power. He wants state and local governments to invest in it more.

Devine said Washington County could have bought 10 Stirling Energy Systems solar dishes and lowered the tax rate instead of refunding $5 million to taxpayers, $150 at a time.

Devine, 54, is running against incumbent John P. Donoghue in the Sept. 12 Democratic primary for the Subdistrict 2C seat. The winner will face Republican Paul Muldowney in the Nov. 7 general election.

Devine said he has lived in his van for the last year or so after being forced to move from a home on Waltz Road. He listed a Hagerstown post office box as his address when he filed to run on June 30.


For the time being, Devine, who is single, is supporting himself with occasional masonry work. He said he's had a hard time holding a steady job because of knee problems.

"I'm not going to be a 90-day legislator," he said. "I'm going to be a year-round legislator."

Devine said he has brought up issues locally for years, but gotten little response.

"If you want to get your point of view heard, you've got to run for office," he said.

Other issues on his list include requiring every gas station to have at least one pump for biodiesel fuel; having restaurants pay workers at least the minimum wage; and forcing businesses to hire only English-speaking workers for government contracts.

Devine said his English-only plan is a reaction to seeing many people who aren't American citizens getting construction jobs that he, as an American and English speaker, can't get. Employers "can get the people cheaper," he said.

He said it's a safety issue, too; he doesn't feel comfortable working with people who can't communicate with him if there's an emergency.

Devine's platform also calls for a sales tax on Internet commerce, more cameras to catch speeders, better ways to let women know the hazards of Caesarean births, a police "strike force" of officers from agencies across the state and an incentive program that would pay people $25 if they send the Motor Vehicle Administration a videotape of an aggressive driver in the act.

The Herald-Mail Articles