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Senate Candidate Dan Bongino Talks Issues

Patch asked the GOP hopeful for U.S. Senate where he stands on health care, the achievement gap, congressional redistricting and more.

Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino is hoping to defeat incumbent Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) this November. 

The Severna Park Republican has an uphill battle in front of him with Cardin's seat marked safely Democratic by Real Clear Politics and Roll Call. Bongino, who was a virtual unknown until he won his  in April, took a few moments to answer Patch's questions about where he stands on the issues.

Health Care
Bongino said he is firmly against President Barack Obama's health care legislation and will work with Republicans to repeal it.

"Anyone who tells you that Republicans don't have a plan for health care reform is patently, flat out lying to you," Bongino said. "On our plan, you could cancel your insurance company and take that premium support elsewhere to an insurance company that will adequately serve your needs."

This is an option that he claimed wouldn't be available under the current legislation.

"We have risk pooling plans, health status insurance plans, tort reform plans and plans for buying health insurance across state lines," Bongino said.

Achievement Gap
One issue Bongino focuses on in his campaign ads is the importance of education.

"Maryland is supposedly number one in public schools, Bongino said. "I say supposedly because when you parse the data more you find out that we are actually close to the bottom in disparity." 

He advocates for parent choice—which is more commonly known as school choice or school vouchers. It's a controversial idea that would allow public school parents to receive state and/or federal tax dollars allocated for their school in a check known as a voucher to help cover the cost of private-school tuition.

"There are struggling families around Baltimore City and Annapolis who don't have that option," Bongino said. "If their public school can't educate that child, they have no choice in the matter. I find that to be patently unfair."

Experience
If Bongino defeats Cardin in November, it will be the first time he's ever served in an elected office. When asked about whether he has the experience necessary to effectively govern, Bongino said, "What has political experience done for you? Taught you how to sell out?"

He's proud of the fact that he hasn't made a career in politics. Instead he touts his educational experience, his small businesses and his role as a husband and father. Bongino said if his experience isn't enough to win him the Senate seat, then "that's not a club I want to be a part of. I think it's time to get back to the citizen legislator.

"Ben Cardin has been in office 45 years. I challenge folks out there to tell me one serious piece of legislative action that has made a difference in their life."

Congressional Redistricting
Bongino recognized that both parties gerrymander districts to a degree, but he thinks the situation in Maryland goes beyond the pale.

"Do you believe that communities should have a voice or not? It's a very simple question, and it's not a partisan question either," Bongino said.

He supports the efforts of his congressional counterparts to bring Maryland's newly redrawn U.S. House districts to a voter referendum.

Key Takeaway
Bongino said that if voters only remember one thing about him, he wants it to be: "I'm one of them."

He said growing up poor gave him invaluable insight.

"I made my own way," Bongino said. "I can't necessarily say that for the other guy in the race."

Ronald July 09, 2012 at 11:51 PM
I am all for an alternative to Ben and if there is anything I can help with I hope someone contacts me. Ron
John Shipley July 10, 2012 at 11:27 AM
Ron - you can volunteer at Bongino.com. Dan is the real deal. A working man who is not looking for hand outs or a lifetime career in politics. Just simple common sense choices for the people of the state of Maryland.
Gary Thompson July 10, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Ben Cardin is part of the problem, they say every election they are against deficit spending and the mounting National debt and they will rain in wasteful spending, and it continues to grow, both sides of the aisle do it, we need a BIG change in Washington, Dan's the man we need in DC.
tom July 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM
As a registered independent, I think I express a non-partisan view that we would have had better health care legislation had both sides worked together to achieve affordable and quality care. It's common knowledge that the majority of Americans are in favor of at least parts of the present plan. I think it would be far better to fine tune what we have, rather than repeal it for purely partisan reasons. One of our biggest problems during the Obama administration is that the Republicans decided from day one that they would do everything in their power to make him a one term President. Unfortunately, that meant putting everything else on hold for four years at a time when the nation really needed bipartisan co-operation. It sounds like this candidate has the same intention to put party first and America second. Democrats have not been innocent either. I just think presently that the Republicans are the ones who have caused gridlock. Bongino needs to convince me that he'll work to bring our nation back from the brink, rather than help push it off a cliff.
Pam July 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Independents need to get off the fence...pick a side, because we are headed down a road to a socialist society...years ago when President Kennedy was in office he said "don't ask what your country can do for you but instead ask what you can do for your country" he would not be allowed in the democrat party. Obama, O’Malley Cardin and their minions are so far left that we have to pick sides now. Millionaires are moving out of Maryland in droves and taking their money with them. What the heck is it going to take to wake up Marylanders????????
Amy Leahy July 10, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Tom, if I may address a couple of your comments: Most people agree the health care situation is in need of fixing. Even Bongino addresses that in this article. Given that the problem is the insurance companies, why is it that the president gave them more power over our health needs? I know there are rules put in place that they'll have to abide, but let's face it - the POTUS just gave the health care insurance business a huge increase in customers. I beg to differ in your assessment that Republicans have been on a campaign to make Obama a one term president and that this has put everything on hold for 4 years. The first two and a half years of his term he got a tremendous amount of legislation passed because he had control of both houses. It wasn't until Republicans took control of the House of Representatives that the brakes went on. The reason for that is obvious: the president is spending our country into bankruptcy. For a non-partisan Registered Independent you clearly have partisan views. I would like to know what, in your opinion, it would take to "bring our nation back from the brink"?
Amy Leahy July 10, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Pam I think about that famous quote of President Kennedy's a lot and realize the Democrat party is not the party of my parents anymore. The vast changes in that party are the reason I switched about 12 years ago…and that was BEFORE it got so far to the left that I couldn't even recognize it anymore. BTW, it's not just the millionaires leaving Maryland…it's retirees, businesses, and anyone who is tired of paying outrageous amounts in taxes and fees.
Brenda Yarema July 10, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Question for all: If the HealthCare law is such a great program, why are Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and congress exempt from participating?
Patrick Mondor July 10, 2012 at 02:16 PM
tom, And I guess in your world when the DEMS controlled the Senate and House (since 2007) and rammed through their laundry list of liberal/progressive ideas...it was the Republicans yet again who didn't work with the Democrats. I guess it was the Repubs that killed Keystone, haven't passed a budget in over 1100 days and have spent more in 3.5 years than Bush did in 8. Yea it all the Republicans fault. Good that you are a registered Independent, you have no idea about anything!
Patrick Mondor July 10, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Amy, Tom is really Ben Cardin in disguise! I love Independents that have no issue what Democrats do and yet view the opposition party (yes they oppose those in power) like the plague.
Denise Gaigler July 10, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I could not agree with you more Tom!!!
AG July 10, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Members of Congress and their staffs are not exempt. They will be required to participate in state-based exchanges, rather than the FEHBP in which they currently participate. This is the result of amendments by Senators Grassley (R-IA) and Coburn (R-OK).
cynthia July 10, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Americans NEED to stop listening to all the lies (they are many) that the career politicians speak. Look at their voting records, this is where the truth is. Stop focusing on whether a politician is a Democrat or Republican, this is irrevelant. The time has come for America to truly be engaged. Are you going to believe them or your lying ears?
cynthia July 10, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Tom, when Obama took office, the Democrats were in control of the White House, the House, and the Senate. The career politicians are counting on you and many other Americans to be ignorant (uninformed). When we no longer have a country, it will be people like you who will proclaim, "how did this happen?" Most Americans who voted for Obama, paid NO attention to just how he was going to change this country, and boy is he ever and not for the good of it. Congress is becoming obsolete, he goes around them if they don't do what he wants. The health care law is not about health or care, it is ONLY about government control over Americans. I encourage you to seek the truth, you need better news source and there are many. The mainstream media is merely an extension of the current adminstration. Instructions are given on a daily basis as to what to say on the news. Just listen, they speak the exact same words. I am astounded as to how many stupid people live in this country, especially the youth.
Patricia O'Brien - Boarman July 10, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Nothing is going to change if the voters continue to vote name recognition, party lines. Best we read and attend Candidate forums, listen to what each Candidate says and what he/she proposes to do, if elected and vote accordingly, regardless of party affiliation.Vote for the person you feel "best qualified", but,by all means, please vote, otherwise you accept what you get political wise and you really have no say.
Amy Leahy July 10, 2012 at 05:23 PM
That's why it's so important to get people in office who are new to the scene. I like what Bongino said about the career politicians, "What has political experience done for you? Taught you how to sell out?" That my friends is what career politicians do. Sell their souls.
Sfm257 July 11, 2012 at 09:02 PM
vote out the incumbents. Let them collect unemployment for a while
Brutus Henry July 12, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Uhhmm - John Roberts was he a Clinton appointee. No too recent. An Obama appointee - no he appointed two women. Wait that was George W. Bush appointee as the deciding OPINION declaring the Affordable Health Care Act to be Constitutional. How is that voting for the Lesser of two evils - the RINO - working out for all of you North County Republican Cocktail Club Members? John Roberts - he is peachy.
Brutus Henry July 12, 2012 at 01:53 AM
We should as citizens make sure any candidate has the prerequisites to fill the position - and since they all swear an oath to the Constitution, let us start there. Mr. Bongini have you studied the Constitution? What article contains the legislative body? Which article and section includes the 18 enumerated powers of Congress? If you do not know the Constitution, how do you plan to keep your oath?
Marion Keane July 12, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Vote out Cardin!!! We need someone like Mr Bongini.
Freedom 2012 July 14, 2012 at 05:35 AM
Keep listening to the mainstream media, look up information on your own, the democrats really needed 60 votes to pass this law, Americans wanted no part of this law, even Masschusetts sent a message with Scott Brown and the ndemorats shoved it down Americans throats with their vote. Scott was our winning vote and they went against our wishes. They bribed elected leaders with earmarks to get their votes. They even told those against abortion that it would not be in the law at the last minute and they voted based on what they were told. Guess they were thrown under the bus based on the fact that we have people who have actually read the bill. The republicans want to fix our health care that we now enjoy, the best system known to mankind, patient and doctor. The Demorats want doctor, government, patient. Do we really want the government telling us what we need instead of our doctors?
Dave M July 14, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Unfortunately, new politicians aren't always better. When the Tea Party sponsored crowd got in all they cared about was our way or no way. When you are in Congress, its about working with others on a solution that benefits everybody, not just one group or another. If Mr. Bongino is for working with others outside of his party to keep America great for everyone, then he could be the right person for the job and I would vote for him. If he is just another single minded, my plans are the only plans type of person, then he would be more of what we already have in politics and we don't need that.
Totam Veritas August 19, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Maybe it's just me, but I am curious as to why exactly Mr. Bongino left the Secret Service just 30 days shy of being eligible for a partial retirement. That strikes me as very strange and leaves me wondering if there is more to the story than that. From what I gather his experience consists of working two good, secure law enforcement jobs, neither of which he finished. Is he seriously running for US Senator on those qualifications?
cynthia August 19, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Totam, maybe you could say, he is a man of principal. I have a friend who left the Secret Service. My friend left for many different reasons.

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