Name: Kathy Diener
Political party: Republican
Where you live: Ballenger Creek, Frederick
Current occupation and employers (may also list up to two previous jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: I am an attorney with a solo practice in Frederick. I previously worked as attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs and as an adjunct professor at University of Baltimore School of Law.
Political experience (public offices held and when; as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years; do not include political party positions): none
1 – Why are you running for this office? (75 words max)
I want to help Maryland remain a free, fair, and prosperous place to live.
2 – What is the most important issue for Frederick County in this race? How would you address it? (100 words max)
I am appalled by the extent of government overreach we witnessed over the last two years, from shutting down schools to declaring which businesses are “essential” to regulating how we breathe in public. These measures were never acceptable in a free society, yet they continued for many months after it became clear that they were not only not stopping COVID, but were in fact wrecking the economy and harming children. I will do whatever I can to roll back this power surge and keep it from happening again.
3 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)
I have studied law and practiced law in Maryland for more than 14 years, including managing my own law practice. I have also served on the board of several nonprofits. I was president of an animal welfare organization while stationed as a military spouse in Japan. I was president of the Pro-life Alliance at Georgetown Law, and I served as secretary of Frederick County Right to Life for three years. But I think it is a mistake to view politics as the domain of only experts. The ideal government is an engaged public with a spirit of service.
4 – What is one major issue the current House of Delegates has handled poorly and what would have done differently? (100 words max)
Maryland is already in the minority of states that permits public funding of abortion. In the last session, the General Assembly went even further, allocating millions in public funds to train abortionists and mandating coverage by private insurers and Medicaid. This is an extreme position that disregards the interests of the majority of voters who don’t want to pay for abortion. I would oppose public funding of abortion.
5 – What is the most pressing health care issue in the state? How would you address it? (100 words max)
6 – What is the most pressing public safety issue in the state? How would you address it? (100 words max)
Drug addiction, often in conjunction with other mental illness, is a serious cause of violent crime and homelessness. It destroys the lives of those directly affected and diminishes the quality of life of entire cities. Rhode Island has adopted a medically assisted opioid treatment program for prison inmates, which has proven effective at preventing overdoses and recidivism. This should be a model for Maryland.
7 – How well is the state is addressing climate change? What would you do differently? (100 words max)
Government-imposed restrictions on energy sources in the name of climate change is a bad idea. It has been shown to lead to wasteful spending, increased economic hardship for consumers, and other unintended consequences that are likely to cause more suffering than they alleviate. Energy policy should focus on improving the efficiency and production of energy through those modalities the free market supports.
8 – Do you support widening interstates 270 and 495 and adding tolls? Why or why not? (100 words max)
Extensive road work is disruptive, widening the roads tends to create more traffic, and tolls are burdensome for those who must commute. I support encouraging policies that eliminate rather than accommodate traffic, such as facilitating telework, expanding core hours so employees may commute at off-peak times, and establishing satellite offices in areas outside the Beltway.